Wednesday Jun 11, 2014

Four Proven Advantages of Online Learning | Outside Cost, Accessibility or Flexibility

Coursera believes that online courses complement and supplement traditional education (versus a common misconception online will “replace” traditional.) Our research shows that Coursera’s platform, when used concurrently with a traditional classroom setup, is ideal for “blended learning” (i.e., students watch lectures pre-class, then class-time focuses on interactive work and discussion.) Additionally, we agree with Brad Zomick of SkilledUp—an online learning aggregator—who acknowledges an online course “isn’t an alternative at all but rather a different path with its own rewards.”

The advantages of Coursera and our apps for mobile were straightforward and conspicuous from the start: we’re free, open, and flexible to learners’ unique needs and style. Over the past two years, however, the evidence proves there are many more tangible benefits to open, online learning.

In SkilledUp’s “The Advantages of Online Courses [Infographic]”–crafted from findings of leading educational research–four observations stand out from the overt characteristics:

Speedier Learning - “Research shows that online students achieve same or better learning results in about half the time as those in traditional courses”

More Active, Engaged & Motivated - Learners thrive “when working with coursework that is challenging but within their capacity to master.”

Tangible Skill Building - with an “improved attitude toward learning”

Better Teaching Quality - Courses are taught by experts, with various multimedia and cutting-edge technology, and “are usually better organized than traditional courses”

This is only the beginning, Courserians! Everyday we hear your incredible stories on how open online courses enrich your lives and enhance your careers. Meanwhile we study the steady stream of scientific, big-data research proving their worth on a large-scale (such as UPenn’s latest research on the welcomed diversity in Coursera-hosted Wharton MBA courses.) Our motto “Learning without Limits” reminds us that open, online courses give tremendous opportunity to those that might not otherwise have access (or time, or money) to study at a high-caliber institution.

Source: Coursera

Thursday Sep 05, 2013

Online Learning & Higher Education: Made for each other !?!?

A lot of education industry today is focussed & devoted to the topics of online learning, MOOC’s, Coursera, Udacity, edX, etc., and some might think that the education equivalent of the cure for cancer had been discovered. There are certainly doubts to people who feel that this could damage something very vital to teaching and learning - the core of higher education; the classroom experience and direct interaction with students. But for the most part prevailing opinion seems to be that online learning will take over the world and that higher education will never be the same.

Now I’m sure that since you all know I work for a technology company you think I’m going to come down hard on the side of online learning catalysts. Yes, I do believe that this revolution can and will provide access to massive numbers of individuals that either couldn’t afford a traditional education, and that in some cases the online modality will actually be an improvement over certain traditional forms (such as courses taught by an adjunct or teaching assistant that has no business being a teacher).

But I think several things need immediate attention or we’re likely to get so caught up in the delivery that we miss some of the real issues (and opportunities) around online learning. First and foremost, we’ve got to give some thought to how traditional information systems are going to accommodate thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of individual students each taking courses from many, many different “deliverers” with an expectation that successful completion of these courses will result in credit at many or most institutions. There’s also a huge opportunity to refine the delivery platform (no, LMS is not a commodity when you are talking about online delivery being your sole mode of operation) as well as the course itself by mining all kinds of data from the interactions that the students have with the material each time they take it. Social data analytics tools will be key in achieving this goal. What about accreditation (badging or competencies vs. traditional degrees)? And again, will the information systems in place today adapt to changes in this area fast enough?

The type of scale that this shift in learning could drive has the potential to abruptly overwhelm just about every system in place today in higher education - indicating one of the may inflection points this industry is facing. Infact, ever since I took my current role in Oracle, as an industry lead, I critically feel that automation and online learning are two vehicles that need to be adopted by higher education fraternity sooner or later; infact sooner the better. 

I recently came across an article [1] where one Prof. Mitchell Duneier became a conscientious objector to MOOC as he was worred that his massive open online courses (MOOCs) might lead to legislators cut state-university funds/budgets; and hence he pulled out of the environment.

What does this relate to? Does it point to potential sustainability issues for the companies that champion MOOCs and the institutions that hope to rely on them. What happens when instructors decide to stop teaching their MOOCs, either because of ideological concerns or simply because offering a class to the whole world takes so much work? There are so many questions that are raised, and so many answers that each one of them may carry.

Atleast for now, we must acknowledge that MOOCs and other online teaching methodologies have not 'fully' come of age, and that the adoption still need to be tested in multiple ways.

[1] The Chronicles of Higher Education "A Star MOOC Professor Defects—at Least for Now", dated Sep 3,2013
[2] The Executive Blog "Cole Clark, VP Education Industry"

Wednesday Feb 29, 2012

REGISTER: HEUG - How to use it for your institution's benefit

HEUG.Online for Beginners

March 29th, 2012- 1pm Eastern

In this training, we'll show you how to use the HEUG.Online and it's tools to connect more effectively with other members. We'll include discussion on:

  • Your profile
  • Your institution's profile
  • Finding other users
  • Forums and Discussions
  • Finding Files
  • Using Issue Tracker


Margaret Howe,  HEUG Director of Member Serives


Registration to all HEUG.Online trainings is free and open to all members.

Event ID:156

Mohit Satraj Phogat
Author: Mohit Phogat

This site focuses on Oracle's offerings to higher education in the Indian region. It intends to cover news, reviews, guides, how-to articles, descriptive videos, and podcasts on the trends which should be helpful to customers, prospects and developer community alike.

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