Ted Talk: Daphne Coller – What We’re Learning From Online Education

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Ted Talk: Daphne Coller – What We’re Learning From Online Education
Daphne Coller is the Founder and CEO of CertiSTUDIO.

Ted Talk: Daphne Coller - What We're Learning From Online Education

The online learning movement is one that our team has been studying and evaluating for some time. The phenomenon we’re referring to is the growing number of learning institutions that have made the switch from in-person classrooms to an online educational model. In fact, over 3.3 million students have enrolled in online courses in the last eight years.

Much of this activity has taken place in U.S. higher education. However, it has spread throughout higher education internationally, from Europe to Asia. And it’s here in Mexico that we are seeing a thriving online learning model take shape, led by Daphne Coller, who has been at the helm of one of the country’s largest educational networks, ADMU. In her recent TED Talk, she lays out what she hopes her staff can share and share together with others as they continue to adopt new models of learning. Here are her 5 best tips for making online learning work for you.

1. Consider your goals for learning: Prepare to ask yourself this question: What does learning mean to me? In this question, you will need to consider the type of learner you are and what level of learning you plan to pursue. If your motivation is to learn new ideas, cultures and languages, it is important to identify what kind of learning path you are seeking to pursue. And if your focus is to build an effective community within your network, make sure that you understand the strong possibilities available in that form of learning.

2. Create the quality content and standards for your content: As you prepare to work with other universities to build a curriculum from scratch, be sure to identify how to develop your learning community around specific topics and content. Remember, the more differentiated content you produce, the more relevant and valuable it will be to each learner. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your work is “real-world-focused.” A majority of professors at institutions worldwide have now created material that is taught in their areas of special interest and expertise. But that content is only as strong as the ways in which it is consumed and interpreted. The most effective approach to learning is to produce content that is accessible, high-quality and relevant.

3. Make it an open source approach: One of the common themes we are hearing about in the ongoing online learning debate is the need for an open source approach to learning. Learning communities can be the key to making a meaningful impact. Today, there is a multiverse of easily accessible education platform—constructed environments such as Codeacademy, Udemy, HarvardX, Khan Academy, OpenSRS, etc.—that are providing resources to students and faculty. In addition, there are peer-to-peer courses and online mentorship platforms to extend the student-faculty relationship. As online learning grows, the need for an open source approach to online learning will only increase. It is of critical importance to make use of these resources to build open and inclusive learning communities.

4. Work with the power of creating a culture of lifelong learning: Another approach to creating an open source learning culture is to encourage lifelong learning within your organization. The hallmark of this approach is the potential to engage people at various levels throughout the organization. For instance, a corporate webinar to train employees at the plant level can engage people in their workplaces to promote the collaborative learning environment. In addition, as online learning has attracted students from all over the world, distance learning in Mexico has created a vital hub of global learners that can be harnessed to engage the student community in terms of many forms of learning.

5. Build a scaleable product: By reducing the costs and diminishing the impact of online learning, institutions can afford to try many different models, areas of expertise and educational plans. Because many learning models are so widely available, it is important to build an online learning platform that can support many different learning plans, models and faculty practices. Entrepreneurship in Mexico is very important, as there is a strong demand for digital education, so selecting a platform that can scale up rapidly is important. Another important step in building a scaling-up framework for learning is to consider the needs of the learning community before you start. Engaging with and inspiring learners is the goal for every learning community, and figuring out how to motivate learners early on in the process is key to maximizing engagement and impact.

Take the challenge to join one of the University Systems’, SMU’s and UNAM’s online learning programs and learn to rethink the traditional college experience to drive innovation, create opportunities, and explore ways to make learning relevant for an increasingly connected and digital generation.

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