The Future of Higher Ed? A Canary in the Coal Mine of Online Learning
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The Future of Higher Ed? A Canary in the Coal Mine of Online Learning

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Presented at the 2012 HighEdWeb Conference in Milwaukee. Compares the experience of a traditional online degree with a new MOOC to make observations about future directions in online learning.

Presented at the 2012 HighEdWeb Conference in Milwaukee. Compares the experience of a traditional online degree with a new MOOC to make observations about future directions in online learning.

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  • Teresa Sullivan asked to resign in June. “Higher education is on the brink of a transformation now that online delivery has been legitimized by some of the elite institutions,”\n
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  • Teresa Sullivan asked to resign in June. “Higher education is on the brink of a transformation now that online delivery has been legitimized by some of the elite institutions,”\n
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The Future of Higher Ed? A Canary in the Coal Mine of Online Learning The Future of Higher Ed? A Canary in the Coal Mine of Online Learning Presentation Transcript

  • The Future of Higher Ed?A Canary in the Coal Mine of Online Learning Lori Packer HighEdWeb 2012
  • “Online” learning isn’t newWalter Lewin, “Electricity and Magnetism” http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-02-electricity-and-magnetism-spring-2002/ License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
  • “Online” learning isn’t newWalter Lewin, “Electricity and Magnetism” http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-02-electricity-and-magnetism-spring-2002/ License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
  • “Online” learning isn’t new Walter Lewin MIT Physics professor His courses have been on MIT CableTV for almost 20 years. Broadcast on PBS stations in the 1990s.Walter Lewin, “Electricity and Magnetism” http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-02-electricity-and-magnetism-spring-2002/ License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
  • Technology has changed. Business models have changed. Commitment to openlearning and teaching is the same.
  • Case Study #1: TraditionalOnline degree in Library andInformation Sciences fromSyracuse University’s iSchool
  • Case Study #2: MOOCGamification course offered byUniversity of Pennsylvania’sWharton School through CourseraTaught by Kevin Werbach (@kwerb)
  • What is a MOOC, you ask?• Massively Open Online Course• Free, open to anyone who signs up, all online (no classroom component)• Udacity (Stanford), edX (MIT and Harvard, Berkeley), Coursera (now up to 33 partner schools)
  • What is Coursera, you ask?• Consortium founded by Penn, Michigan, Princeton• Major expansion in September: 17 new schools added• For-profit, venture capital funded• 200 courses, 1.35 million students
  • Students
  • Case Study #1: Traditional• Students apply to the graduate program, are accepted or rejected• 20-30 students per class• Mix of students who need the MLS credential and students changing, expanding careers
  • Case Study #2: MOOC• 80,000 students enrolled • 43,000 have watched the lecture videos • 12,800 submitted the first written assignment • 10,700 submitted the second written assignment
  • Case Study #2: MOOC• Students were STILL signing up with only one week left in the course -- Why?• For future access to video lectures, maybe?
  • Faculty
  • Personal Takeaway #1Faculty are HUGELY important tothe online learning experience ...... maybe even more so than in anin-person classroom experience.
  • Case Study #1: Traditional• Create syllabi• Prepare lectures (usually)• Moderate discussions forums (usually)• Devise assignments• Grade assignments
  • Case Study #2: MOOC• Prepare lectures• Devise assignments• ... and that’s pretty much it.• Grading = online quizzes, peer grading
  • More on Peer Grading • Must complete 3 written assignments • Must evaluate essays from 3 students • BUT ... why would a student in this class know more than me on this topic?
  • Lectures
  • Case Study #1: Traditional
  • Case Study #1: Traditional
  • Case Study #2: MOOC
  • Case Study #2: MOOC
  • Personal Takeaway #2The lecture isn’t going away.The lecture -- as a format, ascontent -- is what binds thestudents together in an onlineclass, more so than“discussions.” It’s what we have in common. It provides structure.
  • Collaboration
  • Personal Takeaway #3“Discussions” are notdiscussions.Discuss.
  • Case Study #1: Traditional• Discussions are treated as homework• Effectiveness depends on the role taken by the professor• Blackboard makes following discussion threads difficult
  • Case Study #1: Traditional• Other “collaboration” tools in Blackboard: • Blogs • Wikis • Messaging • File sharing• However, real collaboration took place on Google Docs, Facebook
  • Case Study #2: MOOC• Discussion forums actually didn’t play a role in the class for me at all• Real discussions were on Twitter, mostly with friends outside the class• Discussion platform in Coursera more user-friendly
  • Technology
  • Personal Takeaway #4 educationalLess is more withtechnology.I don’t need a Swiss-army-knifekitchen-sink LMS.Make it easy to use, easy tocollaborate.
  • Case Study #1: Traditional“Blackboard isnot awesome.”http://goddessofclarity.com/2011/07/18/blackboard-is-not-awesome/
  • Case Study #2: MOOC
  • The Future of Higher Ed?
  • “The world is simply moving too fast.” -- University of Virginia Board of Visitors Rector Helen Dragas http://www.cavalierdaily.com/article/2012/06/sullivan- resignation-spotlights-long-running-debate-about-online- education/
  • “Rarely is the question asked, ‘Is our children learning?’”http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/hack-higher-education/dropping-out-moocs-it-really-okay
  • “MIT and Harvard will use thejointly operated edX platform toresearch how students learn andhow technologies can facilitateeffective teaching both on-campus and online. The edXplatform will enable the study ofwhich teaching methods andtools are most successful. ” http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/mit-harvard-edx- announcement-050212.html
  • Credentialling•Mozilla Open Badges Initiative http://www.openbadges.org/•Can you get transfer credits for MOOCs?•Coloradocredits for Udacity’s “Intro to transfer State’s Global Campus offers Computer Science” course•EdX offers students option to take
  • Degrees•Can youwith only Coursera courses? degree take a computer science http://www.thesimplelogic.com/2012/09/24/you-say-you-want-an- education/•Where is your “degree” from?
  • Adding value:Education or Prestige“Think about how impressed you’d be ifyour cousin got into Harvard. Then thinkabout how impressed you’d be if yourcousin told you she was going to enroll inHarvard’s free online course. Thensubtract those two. The difference is thevalue of a Harvard education.” --University of Rocheste professor Ben Hayden http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-decision-tree/ 201205/how-harvard-and-mit-can-give-away-their- only-product-free
  • “In five to 10 years, people are goingto look back and wonder whyuniversities ever crammed 500students into an auditorium to listento a lecture for an hour and a half.” -- Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller http://www.npr.org/2012/09/30/162053927/online- education-grows-up-and-for-now-its-free
  • Questions? I’m all ears.< do canaries have ears? >