Online Learning to Provide Access for Adult Continuing Learners

Here are three resources I’ve researched briefly that have some compelling information in them:

  1. This study from April 2013 recaps the state of online higher ed. Says it’s not the future, it’s here now with about 1/3 of all college students enrolled in online courses. Online students were more likely to be academically prepared at entry, from higher income neighborhoods, fluent in English, and White. Failure and dropout rates are higher for students in online courses than for students in face-to-face courses. Online courses may make achievement gaps worse among between two populations, worse than it would be in face-to-face classrooms.

  2. In this article about the value of a college degree, one economist says that college is valuable because “People who go to college, especially elite colleges, tend to ‘come out with a certain amount of polish and understanding about how the world works,’" A challenging assumption to agree with, but thought provoking nonetheless. The same economist projects that by the year 2018 that the US will need at least 22 million more people to have college degrees. He says that even some college credit is proven to give people a leg up in the labor market.

  3. This summary of a document explains a new model for institutions to make curriculum changes in order to consider broader approaches to granting degrees. It is called the Degree Qualifications Profile, and it was created by the Lumina Foundation. Since it was introduced in 2011, more than 400 colleges and universities have used it, and this article is a brief explanation of the revised version.

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I agree strongly with the statement in this article. “The student, not the institution, is the primary reference point. The DQP describes what students should know and be able to do as they progress through progressively higher levels of postsecondary study.” there are many pathways to becoming knowledgeable. The student should be able to defend their own course of study.

It is distressing to me that online learning is becoming a tool of Pearson and others to generate profit though a design of cookie cutter educational tools online that pose as education.
I was talking with a young woman who took an on line CNA class. Online not interaction with humans at all. This can not possibly teach what is need to do the real work that is required of a CNA as it is such a person driven profession. Will she gain skills on the job? Of course but to consider that a full education is preposterous.
Online learning has its limitations and real world needs to be integrated into the experience. -Lisa

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I absolutely agree, @Niebels, and I recently read a great article in the Chronicle of Higher Education that seems to praise the way online learning is now, but leaves out some glaring deficiencies. Unfortunately (along the lines of Pearson) the Chronicle is a subscription-only service. I have the hard copy if you’d like to read it, or I can pull it up on my computer for you next time we see each other!

on-line learning is a food way to learn if you are self motivated but lets be honest we are all human and often need a human touch in order to boost our moral.


totally agree, @squeakie and I’m really liking getting into that gap more and seeing what’s up with it. How come it’s so easy for some people to make the whole online learning thing work and not so easy for others?

On line learning can happen but the missing nuance of body language and tonality that are part of our vocabulary are missing and the conversation feels flat for me.I think if we could do more google cam, (or what ever it is), type communicating it would be better and might help to bridge that gap.

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Hey, what’s this thread about? Is it collaborating on this course?

Hey @nathanmaton - this thread was my initial efforts at participating in this course in a way that supports my work, but I’ve clearly fallen off it. Things are pretty busy here now, but if you want to continue this conversation about transforming education technology to solve new problems in higher education that revolve around that technology itself, then I’m happy to bounce ideas around.

I was able to put some words together here as a start, but other than that, I haven’t supported any activity on this thread.