How Does Identifying Academic And Professional Networks Support Online Learning

An online learning community that informs and facilitates relationship with peers and mentors helps participants develop skills.

How Does Identifying Academic And Professional Networks Support Online Learning

Recently, I was part of a cross-sectional study of young adult non-college educated people around the globe. The research was presented in the Journal of Innovation in Human Development, and it was created by Hugh Wilder, CEO of WanderLever, LLC.

I recently took a demo class on a particularly innovative course management software solution I learned about while attending this conference. I had to do some quick homework and answer three questions about my experience with the platform to see how it connects those in online courses to academic and professional networks.

How does Identifying Academic and Professional Networks Support Online Learning?

One of the most exciting things I learned at this conference was the amazing perspective platforms offer in terms of tools and resources. After all, I graduated from high school over 30 years ago and I’ve heard way too many stories about their lack of quality and purpose. Part of why these platforms are so appealing is because they provide schools and teachers a first-hand look at their students’ unique perspective.

One example of this interaction between a non-college educated person and a teacher is when you go on a one-to-one computer course. The teacher can see that the student is in the class. During class, he or she can ask the student questions to create a dialogue.

Another example is when a university builds an online course to make certain it has a desired impact on the individual’s potential for employment. This kind of integration allows the university to adapt in real time to meet student needs and interests.

To provide you a snapshot of how students view their ability to support the journey of their peers, let’s take a look at a recent survey conducted by Ad.ly. It found that college-educated students want you to be able to connect with their education, their careers, and their future employers.

While this survey indicates that the education system and recruiters can certainly use more data on this topic, given the rising need for well-qualified online learners, these online platforms provide the insights needed for a very beneficial connection between those in coursework and those in professional or educational networks.

Most students I’ve talked to are good-humored in the sense that they are willing to tell me about what they’ve done on the internet and in this generation’s connected world. Indeed, these students’ education is truly revolutionizing. I asked them what they find helpful when they go on coursementing. Each participant told me that they enjoy linking with other students in their area of study, and it is very important to them to be able to create a real-time identity as though they were already alumni.

Additionally, they felt they wanted to support each other in different ways. For example, if a student was creating a portfolio online, they would encourage that student to network with people in other areas to get valuable feedback on the content they were sharing.

Lastly, they were drawn to networking within the field they were studying. As college admissions gets more competitive, it is important to have networks to connect with qualified potential employers and contact them when they have job openings.

Catching up for these reasons, I also wanted to see how campus alumni can support the first generation that is pursuing higher education online. One thing that came up was how each of the universities in the survey was developing their alumni networks. Each university creates a personal college email as a way to communicate with past students and current ones. A highlight was that 55% of these university alumni said they maintain or use their campus email, compared to just 23% of the non-college-educated participants.

This indicated a lot of confidence in the power of online education and opportunity.

How Do Online Courses Benefit And Connect Students With Other Students And Professional Career Outcomes?

In the video below, I’ll help you expand on the connections between academic and professional networks and their impact on learning. In this session, I discuss ways colleges and universities can build and develop a network of students and educators.

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