“””o’riordan, Tim \””how Should We Measure Online Learning Activity?\”””””

Omani Entreprenuer delivers on his promise to have 140 million Omanis learn English by 2020 by delivering an online mastery course.

"""o'riordan, Tim ""how Should We Measure Online Learning Activity?"""""


I told you it would take a town hall in order to properly measure and understand online learning, just as it does online video, online audio, etc.

My tribe is measuring everything but being clear about how we measure online learning activity and the extent to which it influences learning outcomes.

But this week I happened to meet with one of my online learning sponsors, O’Brien, University of New England (own entity) to talk about measuring.

I need to revise the goals of the online learning meeting I am hosting at the end of this month to accommodate this check in.

So many of the attendees are teaching faculty from large online institutions. I must do a better job identifying who is representing whom.

Here is my thought list for the focus of the meeting.

1. There has been some question of whether or not the measurement of online learning should take the form of FTE and less than full time. This topic may have been too semantic when first brought up.

2. A subsequent development since that discussion concerns whether online courses are equal to traditional courses. There is a consensus among the online learning community that the nature of online courses is about 10% lower in terms of course length but at a 5x higher quality level. Online courses are like online worksheets of 5x ft for the entire student body. As such, there is less capacity to implement cap and trade systems in terms of identifying problems and taking corrective action and less capacity to assign poor FTEs or teach to the average student cohort (i.e. for the “standard” classroom model). Online courses, in turn, cost 3x less per student to administer than the traditional model. Some believe the cost per student for the online group may even be less.

3. A number of online learning resources have developed metrics about online learning. While they appear to provide useful indicators, some suggest that online learning is not “real learning” unless it incorporates more conventional learning metrics. More traditional learning metrics may provide insight into the amount of effort and preparation put into a learning experience but may provide a limited ability to measure and track the extent to which online learning changes a student’s learning or mindset.

4. Higher education is being attacked. The results of this attack include higher student debt, lower market value for degrees and new menu of incentives for businesses to provide better education and better educations.

5. The Title IV process is becoming ever more challenging. Much of the funding is being redistributed between institutions. Schools are dependent on Title IV funds to meet the full cost of providing institutional tuition. In light of the fact that institutions are struggling to enroll faculty and administration in these unbalanced schools, do you want to make it more difficult to meet the cost of online learning?

6. Tools for measuring online learning exist and most online learning providers will provide a dashboard or set of tools. Some degree of integration or comparison analysis of online course is warranted. However, this must be done in context with the rest of the online education ecosystem and regardless of the type of online teaching activity.

So next time you go to a university, give it a spin. The talk will be informal. The goal is to build bridges across silos.

I hear the phrase ‘universities of one.’ I am a lone wolf.

What else are you doing to increase your visibility to a broader market, with increased levels of visibility? Help us out!

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