Weekly Bookmarks (10/21/2012)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

8 thoughts on “Weekly Bookmarks (10/21/2012)

  1. I found the article on Best Practices to have some good information, especially in trying to give a more human touch to online classes. The article, which appears to be from 2009, says that institutions that offer online courses ought to be thriving, but the economy has not been friendly to for-profit universities. An article from my local newspaper indicates closures of several University of Phoenix locations around Seattle and also nationwide: (http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2019448516_universityphoenixxml.html).

    • I believe you’re correct about the Best Practices article being from 2009. However, I understood the point about economic pressures differently than you did. This sentence seems more about how the economy is increasing online enrollments, not decreasing them: “Economic trends have forced more and more disenfranchised individuals out of the workforce and into a situation of needing to achieve a higher education to improve their chances for employability; many of the students in these online colleges and universities are students over 25, with families, and some with full- or part-time jobs.”

      Thanks for the article on UoP. I noticed that article mentioned that part of why they are closing locations is that students prefer online courses to attending in physical classrooms.

      I suspect that changes in the regulatory environment and increased awareness of questionable ethics in the for-profit sector also play a role in this instance.

      • Yes, you’re right of course about increasing enrollments., I guess I thought it ironic that UoP’s big online offerings somehow didn’t allow them to do really well in an era of increased online enrollments.

        I’ve wondered about the questionable ethics issue too. Where I live, we saw a private college fold because they secretly weren’t accredited in a health care profession, and graduates learned to their sorrow that they couldn’t sit for State exams because their degree had to have come from an accredited institution. Ouch.

        I’ve really been enjoying your blog. 🙂

      • A lot of my career has been in the for-profit education world, and there are good things about it. But I spent two years working for a company where we couldn’t delete any emails. Legally, when you’re under a continuous SEC investigation, deleting emails is considered destroying documents. There were people working internally to clean things up, but I was certainly aware of both unethical and illegal activities when I was there.

        The smaller for-profits are a much different animal from UoP, Kaplan, DeVry, CEC, etc. I don’t see the kind of questionable ethics there.

        • My for-profit experience was several years at DeVry, one of the Big Ones you identified, and I did find them relatively principled. The faculty were great, but learning how to work for a large corporation, not a college administration, was a challenging lesson for me.

          My hat is off to them, however, for making me suffer through several absolutely awful online compliance trainings; that’s what made me pursue becoming an instructional designer.

  2. This article is very timely and brings up some great ways for instructors to create structure. It’s an exciting time to be an instructional designer with so many opportunities to bring science and creativity together in an online setting. Great article!! I am always looking for ways to make online learning more effective:)

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