Infographic: Keeping Pace with the Changing Face of Online Learning

Over the past two decades the Internet has made it possible for anyone anywhere to pursue an affordable degree; for adults to continue their education in efforts to remain productive; and for universities to reach a greater number of people who want to learn. Infusing online learning into higher education provides educators with innovative ways to connect with students, wherever they are, and offers incredible, new career opportunities. This infographic by the Online Learning Consortium highlights a few of these changes.

OLC Infographic 2015

2014 Survey of Online Learning Report

2015 Online Learning ReportGrade Level:Tracking Online Education in the United States is the twelfth annual report on the state of online learning in U.S. higher education. The 2014 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and co-sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Pearson and Tyton Partners, reveals the number of higher education students taking at least one distance education course in 2014 is up 3.7 percent from the previous year. While this represents the slowest rate of increase in over a decade, online enrollment growth far exceeded that of overall higher education.

Key report findings include:

  • The year-to-year 3.7% increase in the number of distance education students is the lowest recorded over the 13 years of this report series.
  • Public and private nonprofit institutions recorded distance enrollment growth, but these were offset by a decrease among for-profit institutions.
  • The percent of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face remained unchanged at 74.1%.
  • The proportion of chief academic leaders reporting online learning is critical to their long-term strategy reached a new high of 70.8%.
  • Only 28.0% of academic leaders say that their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy of online education.”
  • The adoption of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) is reaching a plateau, only 8.0% of higher education institutions currently offer one, another 5.6% report MOOCs are in the planning stages.
  • The proportion of academic leaders who believe that MOOCs represent a sustainable method for offering online courses dropped to 16.3%.

Download the full report [PDF] or the infographic [PDF], displayed below.
2015 Infographic

Click image above to enlarge

2015 #et4online Conference Preview

2015 Emerging Technologies Symposium

Recently, I had the opportunity to join my colleagues from the Online Learning Consortium (formerly Sloan-C), MERLOT, and the Emerging Technologies steering committee to share a sneak peek of what lies ahead at #et4online. We hung out to share details about the upcoming conference being held April 22-24, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.

Who attends #et4online?

who-attends-et4online

image c/o @brocansky

6 Reasons Why You Should Join Us for #et4online

Or hear what the #et4online Steering Committee Members have to say in our 1/30 Google+ Hangout ON AIR (recorded):
Michelle Pacansky-Brock Conference Chair – @brocansky
Jason Rhode, Assistant Conference Chair – @jasonrhode
Jane Moore, MERLOT Program Chair – @janepmoore
Laura Pasquini, OLC Program Chair – @laurapasquini

Here are just a few of the MANY highlights for the #et4online program that we shared:

  • The Unconference – dig into topics and direct the agenda as you like it
  • Technology Test Kitchen – a maker space to explore, play & learn for ed tech
  • Keynote & Plenary Speakers – talks about connection to learning, networked identity, collaborative knowledge, and then some
  • Featured Sessions & Workshops – are just a few of the program items NOT to miss and learn from
  • Discovery Sessions with VoiceThread – to augment interaction and learning between presenters and attendees
  • The Launch Pad & Teacher Tank- Where #edtech start ups can show case their wares to our Ed Tech “sharks.” Submission Deadline Closes February, 13, 2015 – apply now!

Interested in attending (virtual or on site)? Register TODAY! Early bird pricing ends on February 25, 2015. Do you have questions about the conference or program? Leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter @jasonrhode

Beyond the Headlines: A Decision-Making Rubric for the Next Phase of Online Program Growth

As the number of online degrees have proliferated in recent years, it is even more important for institutions to take a more thoughtful approach to program selection. Often, a university must consider key issues like course offerings and schedules, degree specialization, and admissions requirements in order to offer a competitive online degree.

In this webinar offered 11/12/2014, academic leaders from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Ohio University discussed the key market forces that are present today, and how universities can best position their prospective degrees in the market. Panelists provided practical insights and recommendations on how to handle the change management for a university to offer competitive degree programs.

The participants in this webinar learned about:

  • How to effectively plan for the online marketplace, validate program expansion, and reduce risk
  • How to influence change across the institution to prepare to take degrees online
  • Key considerations when evaluating online program management services

More details and a copy of the webinar slides, are available here.

NIU’s Customizations and Building Block for Blackboard Enterprise Surveys and Course Evaluations

Since the open discussion at BbWorld where NIU shared that we’ve been working on some system tweaks as well as a custom building block for providing an alternative reporting format for Bb enterprise surveys and course evaluations, we’ve conducted a very small pilot of the tool this summer and continued efforts on an initial draft of a building block that provides an alternate report format.

For those interested in learning more about our efforts, I recorded this screencast demo of the functionality at this point that I can share with those who would like to see the building block deployed within our dev environment. I tried to avoid as much technical-specifics as possible and rather just show the workflows and functionality tweaks that we’ve envisioned.

A decision still hasn’t been made institutionally whether we will continue to pursue a wider pilot of the tool with additional building block enhancements to be requested, or look at other 3rd party tools.

For follow-up on any additional technical details about the tweaks and building block depicted, please contact Ruperto Herrera (rherrera@niu.edu) and Matt Kacskos (mkacskos1@niu.edu) who have done all the technical development work.