How To Add Students To The Behrnan House Online Learning Center

The Behrnan House Online Learning Center has been gathering community and providing online courses for a few years. The best way to gather community and create community within your new online learning program is to use it for both teaching and community.

Harvard is looking for a good 6,000 students to join their online learning center, with applications now open. The online offering was introduced in 2015 with the support of a $1 million investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies and $2 million from GE, putting to an end the renowned Ivy League University’s decades-long legacy of in-person exams, major speeches, and special projects. The idea of the online learning site, called Behrnan House, came from former Harvard College Dean Lawrence Sills who said it would attract a far wider range of students than before.

The Beta Theta Pi alumni chapter, of course, will also benefit the most from the online learning center. Professors aren’t even allowed to know whether the student who requested an interview has taken a test. That student is then automatically pulled into the online center, adds him or herself to the course credits and assists with assessment and digital transcripts.

Harvard’s philosophy continues with the use of technology as the driving force behind a university’s online offerings. I would like to add that there are no heavy editorial deadlines and no compulsory submissions or periodic, teachable information. Instead, the course is designed to focus on learning topics in a context that reflects the reality of students’ lives on and off campus. Learning becomes a natural, present part of their lives and the online offering brings the richness of full-course instruction that can’t be supplied by a single learning platform.

The system also works with multiple academic credit paths. Starting with Kaplan, the online college education platform offers course completion credentials. The three plans include two completion options for online undergraduates, one for part-time graduate students, and one for hourly part-time graduate workers and contractors. Harvard has recently partnered with a leading global education platform on a complete upgrade of their credit management tools that will make it possible for students to keep their five-credit courses and walk-in courses online when they are not taking an exam or presenting at an event.

One thing in particular that caught my attention in the various financial terms that Harvard is listing in the application is that the online learning center was established to “select students”. This leads me to think that the Harvard administration has not adopted a harsh stringent test-taking policy. Many innovative schools have turned into online learning institutions and shut down their traditional test-taking structures. Then there is the question of the ease of accreditation. The fact that the Harvard online learning center is classified as a Foundation institution also suggests that the school should place greater emphasis on teaching methods and assessment than on the qualifications of those who reach it.

The online learning center provides mentoring as well. Part of it involves guidance and constant communication with external resources that may be available to a student while he or she is online. This may include professors and guest speakers, as well as customizable content and platforms. Having the ability to tailor and enhance this process through the online center is likely to help nurture more successful students.

During my time working in the business school area, I found that a lot of students felt that their studies were being pushed upon them without their consent. Online tuition took away a lot of traditional college experience and so it was difficult for some students to return to traditional courses. Every course has a set of worksheets and questionnaires that one may need to complete for example, but with the online platform there are also publications to be made and practical issues that need to be addressed. An online forum also provides a forum for connection between students and faculty and lets them communicate outside of the class.

Harvard is striving to better customize its online offering, taking it from being a significant part of the overall learning experience, into the natural event of an undergraduate career path. For example, they include a free hosting and online testing solution at their fingertips through the Society for Online Learning development as well as already investing $18 million in the livechat experience. As an internationally recognized nonprofit educational institution, with a reputation for pushing the boundaries, they expect more from their online education offering.

Student benefit from this. I guess that is the positive to consider – something even was admitted about the online schooling being good for the students.

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