How colleges are bringing online students into the classroom

educationdive | October 17, 2019

How colleges are bringing online students into the classroom
When online education entered the scene more than two decades ago, its critics predicted it would dampen the quality of college instruction. Today, the sector has shed some of those concerns, with about one-third of students taking at least one course online.Yet there's still room for improvement. Researchers have found that fully online programs and classes may contribute to equity gaps and lead to poorer outcomes for the least prepared students. But there are some bright spots, according to speakers at Educause's annual conference in Chicago. Innovative models for online classroom instruction could be poised to help the sector live up to its goals of expanding college access and making learning possible anywhere. Below, we share how several administrators are moving online education forward at their institutions. At California State University Channel Islands, a midsize institution located about an hour's drive from Los Angeles, officials wanted to proactively teach students the skills needed to thrive in online classes. So in 2018, they rolled out a self-paced course called Learning Online 101. The one-to-three-hour class allows students to practice using the technology required in online courses in a low-stakes environment while also teaching the importance of time management and a strong support network.

Spotlight

As the United States moves into a new era of federal education policy with the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, talk of education reform continues, with much of it uninformed even if well intentioned. The presidential election campaign, already well underway, is certain to keep education issues in the forefront given the stakes for the future of the economy. At the turning center of this unceasing maelstrom lies the ultimate educational challenge: how to effectively impart, nourish, deepen, and strengthen to full potential the literacy skills of the nation’s students.

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