:: The second piece of the series, "Internet Economics" can be found here: Scale, Economies of Scale and Online Higher Education. The third piece of the series, "Internet Economics", can be found here: The Network Effect and Online Higher Education. :: It's not often you hear a reference to the "economics of the internet" at conferences held on … Continue reading Notes on Internet Economics and Online Higher Ed
Art Fridrich is the first Director of Distance Education at Virginia State University, where he's charged with bringing courses and programs from the classroom to the online environment. Art also works with faculty members to change the in-class experience for students. Prior to his role at VSU, he spent over 30 years in higher education as a consultant, administrator and technologist with over 70 colleges and universities in the US and abroad.
Great moments like these in the history of university rankings underscore the importance of an institution’s overall reputation on everything it does, what Brewer et al refer to as the “halo effect”. But it also points to the emphasis placed on research productivity: high-ranking institutions are those with faculty who have won the most rewards and captured the greatest volume of external research funds.
One of the key characteristics that distinguishes faster growing, more scalable, and increasingly high-quality online universities (described in “The Growing Chasm”) is the systematic use of knowledge about what works in online instruction and what doesn’t. This handful of US institutions tend to capture more data about student learning, learn from it, and act on it.
A chasm is beginning to appear between institutions of higher education that offer online programs. It's a divide created by the different strategies taken for designing, sourcing and managing online education programs. A small number of institutions in the U.S. have adopted methods for producing and supporting online courses that have the potential, if not the liklihood, to improve learning outcomes, increase the speed with the institution improves the quality of teaching and learning, increase value (quality/cost) and, possibly, reconfigure the deeply embedded hierarchy that frames higher education.
Learning management systems have been the dominant technology in online higher ed since the late 1990s. These systems are, by design, as instructionally agnostic as possible. They're designed so as to not impose specific instructional strategies on the educators that adopt them. This design fits with the prevailing division of responsibilities and occupational roles in … Continue reading Moving Beyond “Instructionally Agnostic” Educational Software
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 … Continue reading Coherent, Coordinated, and Consistent Design of Online Courses