The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Making Online Learning Better

Companies are working on ways to make online classes better than the traditional classroom setting, according to a report in eCampus News.

One issue with online learning is it requires a level of self-discipline that many students lack. Blended learning has been found to be an important part of the online experience because it combines online with face-to-face learning.

“We’re definitely seeing a trend over the last three to five years of people moving to these blended, online, hybrid, flipped-classroom models,” said Jennifer Ferralli, math product manager of the online instructional platform WebAssign. “We’re seeing this across the different disciplines, not just in math, but also in physics and chemistry. People are trying to find different ways to connect with students to make classroom time more effective and more efficient.”

Video helped support the flipped classroom concept, but it’s been found that video works best with an interactive element. That is being addressed through mobile apps that allow faculty to drag and drop material and learners to go on their personal devices to access the content.

Other online learning issues being address include identity verification and cheating, auto-grading, and open learning management systems.

“We’re starting to hear a real desire for online learning to turn the corner and be focused on a mode of instruction that is inherently better than what we have today in traditional education,” said Chris Walsh, CEO of the video-learning firm Zaption. “People are starting to look at new tools and new opportunities to create an instructional experience that is different, but hopefully better as well.”

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