Whether or not you think online learning is ever going to be as popular as face-to-face tutoring, there are some ways for you to get started. The online learning experience, at least as it stands now, is big business and is only getting bigger.
What Events Happened With Online Learning In 2010
Back in the day, online courses were a flash in the pan. They were the stuff of wishful thinking and academic fads, rather than the mid-sized world of today. A time when would-be students could choose anything from online political science courses to online courses from China, a timely selection was growing on the web. It was called academic MOOCs.
For the most part, academic MOOCs were just that – short courses meant to spread awareness and catch the eye of potential voters. I was aghast when I saw the term MOOC make the rounds, especially as the term comes to relate as an acronym for “massive open online course”.
Fast forward to 2010. The year the whole MOOC thing came of age. MOOCs have evolved from a marketing campaign to what they are today. But what does that mean today? The MOOC industry has created a lot of promise but has not managed to fully realize that promise. Critics say the MOOC model is broken, can never replace in-person education, and at some point nobody will be able to monetize it.
Those issues are tough to answer since for-profit MOOCs failed so badly and are being weeded out (Sparked by a wildly disappointing graduation rate, The New York Times set out to investigate the for-profit college MOOCs). Still, in many ways online learning is the missing link in the 21st Century education system and a controversial but necessary element in the turnaround of public education and for businesses in the information economy.
The expansion of MOOCs in 2010 ushered in a revolution in online learning, brought about by a growing movement of students, teachers, companies, and the #techset.
Here are some important events and events in the history of online learning that might appeal to today’s students, educators, and entrepreneurs.
May 25, 2011 – The Dropout Stigma Against MOOCs Is Unraveled in Times and the Guardian
Colin Bateman, an employment specialist with the U.S. Department of Labor in Fort Worth, TX, was dismayed by a discouraging photo of an underachieving, unemployed 22-year-old enrolled in an online college course at the University of California, Davis, the only online course the man was taking. It depicted a face to the 22-year-old’s life for no obvious reason. The photo convinced him to begin the makeover process.
Bateman sought out the man’s name, business history, and financial need, and he traced the man’s route to Davis over a two-year span and calculated the return on investment that he would receive through online training and employability. From obtaining commercial licenses that allow him to employ others, getting his computer skills tested to becoming more knowledgeable on current technology, and even starting his own hair-care product business, he now has a successful online record.
Linda Sarti, a marketing consultant based in Chicago, also seeks out the backgrounds of candidates to find a way to explain the value of online education. She tries to illustrate the difference between a training class, or an actual course of study, versus an online course. She says you might see an all-online class that is “too traditional, and doesn’t have anything to learn from the job-skills alone. The power of the online instructor will really shine.”
Despite the possibility of self-employment, most students still don’t finish the educational game, either through some connection with a college or university, or by buying materials and re-teaching at home. The lag in completion rates is not a topic of debate.
February 16, 2012 – Stanford University Creates Open Courses for All
With a keen focus on creating accessibility and affordability for all – whether they be students or first-time learners – the series of free educational documents from Stanford are intended to be a new venue for learning. There is no charge for these official online courses, and faculty and students appear to have appreciated the flexibility as well as opportunities for discussion and collaboration.
May 14, 2015 – Shunichi Taniguchi, Don Hsu, Yuka Oda, and Norimitsu Soejima of Cengage Learning Introduce Online Courses
There are many initial challenges in rolling out online learning programs from the larger schools. This one from Cengage Learning will take about the same time to get up and running as the traditional face-to-face courses. However, the challenge will be less controversial.