Production Value in Online Higher Education

We can interpret the rise in production value of MOOCs as a sign of what’s to come for all of online higher education, or as merely an aberration – a by-product of the one-upmanship that characterized the response by elite institutions to the onset of MOOC-mania. I would argue that it’s the former – for two reasons.

Transparency, Instructional Content, and Competition

Then . . . MOOCs happened. Suddenly, this public demonstration of an institution’s instructional practices became front page news. Not merely local news or industry news (e.g. The Chronicle), but the New York Times, The Guardian, and The Atlantic. Now university presidents paid attention. They recognized that MOOCs could be one of the most potent forms of marketing for their institutions — for better or for worse. While they may not have shown much interest in online learning previously, Presidents of elite universities moved quickly to take part in this “me-too” public relations strategy. The investments made in these courses climbed quickly. Videographers, make-up artists, lighting crews and even actors started receiving invitations to the campus to help create a professional look and feel.

Coherent, Coordinated, and Consistent Design of Online Courses

It’s not uncommon for online courses in higher education to include instructional resources from a wide range of sources. Resources may include digital content from textbooks (e.g. flashcards), images used in campus-based courses, freely available content from the Internet, print or ebooks from publishers, activities pulled from open education resource repositories, and others.  Some of…

Why design matters in digital higher education

Design is having its moment.  Apple’s  Jonathan Ive, Philippe Starck and Michael Graves are among a growing number of designers enjoying rock-star status. Businessweek, Fast Company and other pubs now dedicate entire issues to design. Enrollment in college design programs has spiked. But what role does – or should – design play in education, specifically digital higher…

Minding the Gap: Instructional Technology and Pedagogy

A college in my neck of the woods is looking to build its capacity in digital learning. Like many other institutions, they see the brick n’ mortar campus as the core of the institution, but they also realize that the time has come to make a bigger investment in digital. The leadership at the college…

Frances Rowe: Leading Online Learning at Quinnipiac U

In my opinion, one of the toughest jobs in higher education today is leading an online unit within a traditional, non-profit, brick-and-mortar institution. To do your job well, you need to be a diplomat, present a compelling vision of the future, and have the patience of Job. Not only do you need to execute a…