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Articles: Online learning

Many have spoken positively about the next generation of learning technologies, but there is reason for apprehension. While the enthusiasm of those joining the move to digital assets is encouraging, there is a certain amount of naiveté that comes with it. As a result, when people advocate for certain digital initiatives, it causes some to question what could go wrong.

Creating an online community that mirrors a school’s physical campus is another way to retain online students.

This can be achieved by digitizing freshman orientation, mental health counseling, and career and résumé services.


Link to main story: College students learning online, but stepping on campus

Many online students still have on-campus business, such as meeting with instructors and making payments, according to “Online College Students: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences,” The Learning House Inc. (UBmag.me/demands).

Like their peers on campus, students enrolled in online programs benefit when they feel included in a community. Colleges cater to this population by offering in-person special events and extended office hours.

Train both students and faculty

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke uses WebEx to allow students—even those in very remote areas with no broadband internet access—to provide access to lectures online. The IT team initially offered training and on-demand assistance for students only, but its popularity inspired a new category of training focused on helping faculty too, says Nancy Crouch, associate vice chancellor for technology resources and chief information officer.

While providing access to courses is essential to educating students in remote areas, helping them feel they are a part of the campus community is another key piece for retention and completion efforts.

What: A branded campus app used to connect students with courses and campus life

Where: Lindsey Wilson College, located on the southern tip of rural Appalachia, in Columbia, Kentucky

What are the biggest technology barriers for students in rural areas who want to pursue postsecondary education but can’t get to a campus? How can colleges break through those barriers?

“The greatest challenge for students in rural areas involves access to engaging and pedagogically sound mobile learning experiences. Through investments in accessibility, a focus on mobile learning and a data-informed approach to instructional design, institutions have the opportunity to increase access and see more students graduate with high-quality credentials.”

Here’s how four institutions are bridging the gap between their campuses and students based in rural areas. 

In 2013, Glenda Baskin Glover became president of Tennessee State, the same historically black university that she graduated from in 1974.

Integration between digital learning materials and an institution’s learning and administrative systems has gotten better, but instructors, higher ed administrators and providers agree there’s more work to be done.

That work, providers say, is easier when all parties pitch in to figure out how to best serve students.

As more textbooks and other learning materials become digitized, institutions regularly face challenges in smoothly integrating all the different resources into the LMS and other campus networks.

What should campus administrators consider as they integrate their digital textbooks and e-learning materials with their LMS and SIS systems? 

“Campus administrators need to ensure they understand their student experience goals relating to digital content. The technology ecosystem they use to manage and deliver this experience needs to be considered in full, and in service of their student needs—including privacy, content performance data and individual student data.”

—Ken Chapman, vice president of Market Research, D2L

Meghan Hollowell is dean of College Support Services at The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

From IT support staff to upper-level administration, everyone wants to protect student data from the hackers who hope to pilfer it.

As more colleges make dual-enrollment classes available online, new options are emerging for structuring classes, boosting student/teacher interaction and ensuring content rigor. Here are some successful approaches.

BUSINESS CASE—Part-time MBA students at Fox School of Business at Temple University can divide their time between classrooms and synchronous web sessions. (Temple University Photography).

With the number of traditional MBA students dropping, business schools must get creative to survive and ultimately thrive.

At Temple University’s Fox School of Business, students have a menu of options to choose their own MBA path.

“They can do 100 percent online, 100 percent face-to-face, or any mix of online, hybrid, and face-to-face coursework,” says Darin Kapanjie, academic director of Fox’s online and part-time MBA programs.

Students can change course on their choices after beginning the program, too. If a student needs to travel or relocate for work, for example, it’s not necessary to leave the program.

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