2/19/2013: Good NYT editorial on the limitations of on-line education, with links to research.
10/22/2012: Dash Paulson has a good story in the ODE, with interviews of Cathleen Leue and Garron Hale, who have been working on this for about 10 years now, helping CAS build many successful online versions of regular UO courses. Good discussion of the issues and opportunities:
Leue stressed how important it is to be intentional with developing online software and courses. “Developing a quality online course is not cheap.” Leue said. “Administrators need to be cautioned that this might not be a big cost-saver necessarily. It takes the efforts of a department and everyone involved to deliver quality online classes.”
My department offers a few online classes. The student evaluations consistently report that they are as difficult as our regular courses. Students take their exams in a testing center, while being monitored. There are many Universities that offer online courses though, such as the University of Southern California as just one example.
There is no mention in the story of UO’s new “Global and Online Education initiative”, pushed by a giddy Jim Bean for the past year or so, and run by yet another new $200K administrator. Their very nice website is here. I’ll be dammed if I can figure out what they actually do.
Updated with an old Beangram:
Message for August 17, 2012
In my previous messages, I gave a brief overview of some of the presentations covered at the July 24 Leadership Retreat. The retreat concluded with a discussion of technologically enhanced education.
Professor Yong Zhao, Associate Dean of Technical and Global Education, spoke to us from Beijing on the future of online education and how the UO can leverage global opportunities to expand our outreach and enhance the student educational experience.
Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Doug Blandy followed up with a presentation on what courses the UO is offering online now and student reasons for choosing online education. In a survey on self-support online courses for Winter and Spring 2012, the top reasons students cited for taking online courses were:
Schedule conflict (24%)
Meet UO requirement (19%)
Course only offered online (10%)
Subject interest (9%)
On Wednesday, Aug. 15, as a follow-up to the retreat presentation and the request by faculty to look further into online education opportunities, we brought in an expert from the University of Michigan to help us explore policies and procedures for developing pilot courses.
While many believe that online education may never replace the face-to-face pedagogy our institution offers, the reality of the world requires us to consider appropriate uses for such an educational model. We will continue to examine how the UO can best use such technology to enhance the student experience.
In my next message, I will discuss the reality of classroom expansion at the UO.