What is Online Learning?

Online learning is not new. What has made the topic new is the recent and unprecedented focus on providing learning via the Internet that has been stimulated by the tremendous interest in massive open online courses (MOOCs). What is new in this space is that online learning has “come of age;” the design of online learning is (more and more) specifically intended to encompass the latest research, the most promising developments, and new emerging business models in the online learning environment. At many institutions, online learning is an area newly ripe for experimentation — some would argue it is undergoing a sea change, with every dimension of the process open for reconceptualization. On campuses around the globe, virtually every aspect of how students connect with institutions and each other to learn online is being reworked, rethought, and redone — but it will be some time yet before ideas coalesce enough to be validated by research and implemented broadly.

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Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 7, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • We currently are involved with online learning projects in Mandarin for both high school and college students. It has opened up new possibilities for access to students who live remotely and also for districts/institutions that can't afford the subject matter taught in a more traditional manner. See: https://hermes-fire.uoregon.edu/hermes/ - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 10, 2013
  • While people are continuing to generate new ideas and programs in this space, it seems like there needs to be something specifically new coming down the road it to be a part of the Horizon Report. If it's the emergence of MOOCs or affective-enabled LMS systems, then those would be their own items in the HR. - allan.gyorke allan.gyorke Oct 12, 2013
  • Online learning is in its infancy stage in public 4-year institutions. Design issues (e.g., academic TPCK) and media factors (e.g., emerging technologies) will significantly impact online learning in the next 5 years. - Jolie Jolie Oct 16, 2013
  • We have at Stanford an entire new vice provost unit devoted to online learning. Blended learning will increasingly become pervasive and more the norm as faculty learn how to take advantage of online and blended pedagogies.- holeton holeton Oct 25, 2013

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I like that the topic is described as being "open for reconceptualization". We certainly notice it here with our design/devleopment efforts. As we get feedback from students/instructors, it sends us back to the drawing board to revise the curriculum. The continual development of new Web 2.0 tools and LMS platforms also impacts our development process. - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 10, 2013
  • Online learning within the next five years will significantly impact those who teach and learn in higher education. Support structures for new online teachers in higher education will be key to organizational success. - Jolie Jolie Oct 16, 2013
  • I think what is missing is the blended or hybrid learning context -- this is where we are seeing a lot of the impact and change.- holeton holeton Oct 25, 2013

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • As budgets tighten and enrollments swell, online makes a great deal of sense, provided it is done well. - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 10, 2013
  • More and more students will elect to take their courses online for the convenience it affords, while at the same time new learning technologies will continue to emerge. The levels of immersion, interaction, and engagement will continue to rise as more educators learn effective practices of design, media/technology, and facilitation.- Jolie Jolie Oct 16, 2013
  • Online pedagogies will hopefully continue to improve and to be more informed by decades of educational research in this area. Despite the MOOC hype and exaggerated claims, at least on our campus and I think the other Ivy-plus schools, this "disruption" has spurred a lot of talk about teaching and experimentation and use of more progressive pedagogies by many faculty, departments, and programs.- holeton holeton Oct 25, 2013

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • Yes, referenced above. - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 10, 2013
  • Yes, the Learning Technologies program at the University of Minnesota offers several online courses that are designed for learner engagement, take advantage of the affordances of emerging technologies, facilitated by experienced online practitioners, and provide mentoring and support structures for new online teachers. - Jolie Jolie Oct 16, 2013
  • Yes, http://online.stanford.edu/ . - holeton holeton Oct 25, 2013

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