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Quality Online Learning
 

Quality Online Learning

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Presentation for the Idaho SDE about quality online learning

Presentation for the Idaho SDE about quality online learning

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  • Hi everyone!My name is Patrick LowenthalI appreciate the opportunity to be here today.I was asked to come talk about high quality online courses.I presented this earlier to the online learning sub committee – for those who have seen this before, I apologize that you have to sit through it again.So a little about me… I have been involved in online learning for the past 10 years. I have taken online courses, I have designed and developed online courses, I have taught online courses, and I have managed online programs. On top of this, I have been researching and writing about online learning for years now and if all goes well I will complete my doctorate in December which is focused on online learning.
  • But perhaps the #1 reason, I support legislation like this is because of my girls. I have two girls. My oldest daughter Jordan is junior high. She will be going to college in about 5 years and possibly entering the work force in 10 or so years. Think back about what the world was like 10 years ago…
  • In the fall of 2009, 5.6 million students took at least one online course according to Sloan-C
  • In 2010, estimated 4 million K12 students participated in an online learning programhttp://www.inacol.org/press/docs/nacol_fast_facts.pdfIn 2009, estimated 5+ million college enrollmentshttp://sloanconsortium.org/publications/survey/class_differencesSo what does this mean, well it means that we have millions of students learning online already
  • But let’s look at the growth of online learning in higher education
  • In 2009 there was 21% growth and online enrollments were nearly a 1/3 of total enrollment
  • It is predicted that 50% of high school courses will be offered online by 2019.
  • So back to my girls. Online learning isn’t going away and I want them to go to college and be successful and all the indicators suggest that online learning will be a part of their future. Sure there will likely always (or at least for years to come) be institutions of higher education that specialize in either only offering courses online or only offering them face-to-face. But even the Harvard’s and Princeton’s of the world are using Learning Management Systems more and more and their students could benefit from the skills learned from taking courses online.So for me, I can’t think of a better time or place to help prepare our children to be able to learn online successfully than when they are in high school and still living at home and still have all the supports that a high school and one’s family can provide.
  • However, I know I don’t want my children to be required to take low quality washed down versions of courses they could take face-to-face.While critics like to argue that online learning is always somehow inferior to f2f, research suggests otherwise. Nearly every comparison study has shown that there is no significant difference between online learning and f2f. However that doesn’t mean that all online courses are good and all f2f courses are good. In my experience many of the people who are skeptical of learning have never taken a course online before.But sure, I have met people who have taken a few courses online and had bad experiences. But those same people probably have had a number of bad F2F learning experiences.http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf
  • So what does a quality online course look like?
  • First, if we just talk in general terms, online learning looks very different across different spaces. For instance, while online learning in higher education tends to be teacher led asynchronous courses, in corporate education and industry, they often use synchronous webinar like online learning experiences or self-paced asynchronous courses (e.g., Compliance training like sexual harassment training).
  • But I argue however that it is much more complicated than this. Some colleagues and I developed a typology of the online learning landscape to show some of the different ways online learning can vary depending on the context. The following chart is just an summary of the typology.http://patricklowenthal.com/publications/AECT2009TypologyOnlineLearning.pdf
  • But back to the question, what does quality look like.Well this is one of manyframeworks found in the literature talking about the different components of high quality online learning.
  • http://www.csuchico.edu/tlp/resources/rubric/rubric.pdfhttp://sloanconsortium.org/5pillarsBut despite all of these variables, there are things you can do to improve the quality of nearly any online course.At some level good teaching is good teaching. However, the reality is that teaching online is different than teaching face-to-face.Early on standards focused mostly on course design. The assumption was that a high quality course = high quality learning experience
  • Early on standards focused mostly on course design. The assumption was that a high quality course = high quality learning experience
  • http://www.inacol.org/research/nationalstandards/NACOL%20Standards%20Quality%20Online%20Teaching.pdfhttp://www.inacol.org/research/nationalstandards/NACOL%20Standards%20Quality%20Online%20Programs.pdfhttp://www.inacol.org/research/nationalstandards/NACOL%20Standards%20Quality%20Online%20Courses%202007.pdf
  • http://www.inacol.org/research/nationalstandards/NACOL%20Standards%20Quality%20Online%20Courses%202007.pdfNew as of Oct 2011: http://www.inacol.org/research/nationalstandards/iNACOL_CourseStandards_2011.pdf
  • http://www.inacol.org/research/nationalstandards/NACOL%20Standards%20Quality%20Online%20Courses%202007.pdfNew as of Oct 2011: http://www.inacol.org/research/nationalstandards/iNACOL_CourseStandards_2011.pdf
  • So according to INACOL, quality = high quality courses and high quality teaching
  • So according to INACOL, quality = high quality courses and high quality teaching
  • So given all of these elements the question becomes can districts continue to provide this type of high quality online learning on their own ~ perhaps! But smaller districts with smaller resources might struggle to do the same as the larger districts as demands increase. There has been a lot of talk about the increase demand with students being required to take two online courses but there doesn’t seem to be much talk about what will happen when a small percentage of students chose to take a larger amount of courses online now that they will have the right to do so.
  • Local control is a great thing but centralized models of online course development and delivery have some benefits that must be considered. A number of years ago I worked at Regis University. Regis is a Jesuit university but the College for Professional Studies runs very similar to a for-profit institution. They described their centralized model of designing, developing, and delivering online courses an enterprise model. So this is a diagram I created for a paper I wrote a while back with a colleague trying to differentiate enterprise models from traditional “lone ranger” types of approaches in higher education. You can see a number of the differences between the two different types of approaches. This shouldn’t be seen as either or but rather as a continuum. I am not advocating for an enterprise approach – in fact, I have been openly critical of parts of these types of models – but I think it’s important to think about how easier it might be to ensure quality if certain aspects of accountability were done at the state level.

Quality Online Learning Quality Online Learning Presentation Transcript

  • High QualityOnline Courses Patrick R. Lowenthal Boise State University University of Colorado Denver slides @ www.patricklowenthal.com
  • Senate Bill No. 1184“…the legislature finds that in order to betterprovide students with the skills that they willneed to be successful as students,employees, entrepreneurs, and parents in thefuture, more exposure is needed in onlinelearning and informational environments…”
  • My Girls
  • Growth of Online Learning5.6 million post-secondary students Source: Class Differences: Online Education in the United States, 2010
  • Growth of Online Learning+ 4 million K12 5 + million post-secondary Millions of online learners Source: http://www.inacol.org/press/docs/nacol_fast_facts.pdf
  • Growth of Online Learning Source: Class Differences: Online Education in the United States, 2010
  • Growth of Online Learning Source: Class Differences: Online Education in the United States, 2010
  • Growth of Online Learning50 % High school courses online by 2019 Source: http://www.inacol.org/press/docs/nacol_fast_facts.pdf
  • My Girls
  • Online vs. Face-to-FaceComparison studiessuggest there is nosignificant differencebetween online & face-to-face learning
  • What Does Quality Look Like?
  • It Depends… Higher Ed. CorporateK-12 / Industry
  • … on a # of Variables Teachers & Context Media Learners Formality Instructor Role Setting Curriculum Fit Multimedia Cohort GroupSynch. / Asynch. Pacing Student % Online Collaboration Class Size Teacher Development Preparation Model 3-D Virtual Student Diversity Targeted Worlds Learning Class Size Subject Area
  • Quality FrameworkCurriculum Teaching and Learning Design Facilitation ExperienceInstructional Web Course Design Design Presentation
  • Standards / Guidelines
  • Standards / GuidelinesEarly assumptions & focus were that:High High QualityQuality = LearningCourse Experience
  • StandardsNational Standards for Quality Online Learningby International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) Quality Online Quality Programs Quality Online Online Courses Teaching Quality Learning Experience
  • StandardsNational Standards for Online Course Qualityby International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)“National Standards for Online Course ContentQuality is designed to provide states,districts, online programs, and other Instructional Designorganizations with a set of qualityguidelines for online course content,instructional design, technology, student Student Assessmentassessment, and course management.” Technology“These guidelines should be Course Evaluation andimplemented and monitored by each Managementdistrict or organization, as theyreserve the right to apply the guidelines 21st Century Skillsaccording to the best interest of thepopulation for which they serve.”
  • Standards
  • CourseQuality = + Teaching
  • Quality Courses Quality Teaching•Content •Licensed to teach / Highly qualified•Instructional Design •Prerequisite technology skills•Student Assessment •Designs & incorporates active & collaborative learning•Technology •Provides regular feedback & clear expectations•Course Evaluation & •Models legal, ethical, & safe technology useManagement •Been an online student•21st Century Skills •Responsive to students w/ special needs •Creates & implements valid & reliable assessments •Develops standards-based assignments & assesses student achievement •Uses data to modify instructional methods to guide student learning •Effectively enables teacher and students to self & pre assess •Collaborates w/ colleagues
  • Quality Teaching•Licensed to teach / Highly qualified•Prerequisite technology skills•Designs & incorporates active & collaborative learning•Provides regular feedback & clear expectations•Models legal, ethical, & safe technology use•Been an online student•Responsive to students w/ special needs•Creates & implements valid & reliable assessments•Develops standards-based assignments & assesses student achievement•Uses data to modify instructional methods to guide student learning•Effectively enables teacher and students to self & pre assess•Collaborates w/ colleagues
  • Big vs.Little
  • Enterprise Models| |Lone Ranger Enterprise ModelFaculty Driven Administrative DrivenDecentralized Administration Centralized AdministrationCourses Developed Individually Courses Developed CollaborativelyUn-standardized Course Develop. Standardized Course Develop.Little Formal Oversight of Faculty Strict Assessment, Training, & Oversight
  • Things to Think About•What role should the state department play inensuring students take high “quality” online courses?•How can the state raise the bar regardingexpectations for vendors and/or districts that offercourses online?•How can current Idaho teachers receive training toteach online?•How can a state contract with vendors entail aquality component?•How can student learning be tracked and correlatedto courses take online?•Can a “customer” evaluation system be developed?
  • Things to Think About•What role should the state department play inensuring students take high “quality” online courses?•How can the state raise the bar regardingexpectations for vendors and/or districts that offercourses online?•How can current Idaho teachers receive training toteach online?•How can a state contract with vendors entail aquality component?•How can student learning be tracked and correlatedto courses take online?•Can a “customer” evaluation system be developed?
  • Things to Think About•What role should the state department play inensuring students take high “quality” online courses?•How can the state raise the bar regardingexpectations for vendors and/or districts that offercourses online?•How can current Idaho teachers receive training toteach online?•How can a state contract with vendors entail aquality component?•How can student learning be tracked and correlatedto courses take online?•Can a “customer” evaluation system be developed?
  • Things to Think About•What role should the state department play inensuring students take high “quality” online courses?•How can the state raise the bar regardingexpectations for vendors and/or districts that offercourses online?•How can current Idaho teachers receive training toteach online?•How can a state contract with vendors entail aquality component?•How can student learning be tracked and correlatedto courses take online?•Can a “customer” evaluation system be developed?
  • Things to Think About•What role should the state department play inensuring students take high “quality” online courses?•How can the state raise the bar regardingexpectations for vendors and/or districts that offercourses online?•How can current Idaho teachers receive training toteach online?•How can a state contract with vendors entail aquality component?•How can student learning be tracked and correlatedto courses take online?•Can a “customer” evaluation system be developed?
  • Things to Think About•What role should the state department play inensuring students take high “quality” online courses?•How can the state raise the bar regardingexpectations for vendors and/or districts that offercourses online?•How can current Idaho teachers receive training toteach online?•How can a state contract with vendors entail aquality component?•How can student learning be tracked and correlatedto courses take online?•Can a “customer” evaluation system be developed?
  • Patrick Lowenthalpatricklowenthal@boisestate.edu