What Is The Best Approach To Changing Curriculum In Online Learning In Higher Ecuation
When it comes to online learning, the students are the first hurdle to overcome.
With a whopping 81 percent of Gen Y students favoring online, many might assume that online learning is the only path to success. However, there are several online degrees that bring about real success with the most relevant education standards for today’s students.
The topic of changing curricula in online courses is highly personal and is a subject of debate among professors and graduate programs. Some argue that the job market is more important than the education process, while others justify the need for real-world experience.
In recent years, two aspects of an online degree have grown in prominence: the ability to integrate interactive courses with asynchronous learning (an online course that is placed into a loop with classroom learning) and the option to schedule classes when needed, rather than requiring students to commit to as much time per week as face-to-face courses do. There is also a growing discussion about whether some online degree programs should be available only to certain students.
Why does each approach matter? Below are some things to consider if you are considering changing curricula in online courses.
There is a distinct lack of integration between the traditional classroom and online programs. At most companies, the job is to get employees to stay in a lecture room to take notes; if they work at a company with multiple businesses (whether it be a clothing company, a car dealership, or a software company), chances are that the team will opt for an in-person discussion over an online chat board or virtual chat application.
As a result, some companies have implemented blended online/face-to-face classes to ease attendance to traditional classes. The idea is that the instructor will be available through multiple methods (online, face-to-face, audio via walkie-talkie, etc.) but it is rare that students are paired up with an instructor as in-person as at a real classroom.
However, a hybrid approach does come at a price. A hybrid class pairs an instructor that works in a virtual format with the real-world element of team discussion (perhaps an employer could recommend a blend or hybrid option for a program in a given field).
The caveat of a hybrid approach is that it has a bias toward in-person engagement and interaction between students. As a result, many hybrid classes are in agreement that in-person engagement is essential to online learning.
Another major argument for incorporating virtual elements is that students are not able to access their classes the way they would at a regular classroom. Their access to their work (using real-time collaboration tools) is much more direct, and teachers are able to do real-time evaluation.
On the other hand, some argue that any distance could add or take away from the course experience. They cite issues of too many self-paced students and students replacing teacher-recorded lectures with video-based lessons. Teachers say that to get great grades, they need at least one day each week to watch student videos and write them up.
When professors bring up the questions that students should actually live in their courses or talk at school about various issues, they are usually told to “put a fish in every pot.”
However, there are many ways to truly engage with students online while increasing the online teaching force. One such method includes student-to-student conversations. Another way involves students creating and sharing individual thoughts and ideas within a virtual classroom on an interactive board. Students have previously even created content to be shared on their YouTube channel, making it easier for online professors to receive content from students outside of the classroom.
There are also some old-school ways to increase an online school’s educational value. The most obvious way is to double the commitment of instructor time. It is critical that online instructors commit an hour per week to interacting with students in real-time through their course textbooks. This leads to higher test scores and, in turn, higher standards for faculty and employers.
One option that many faculty have not considered is offering online courses specific to employers to accommodate students who do not want to come to school at all.
Many institutions already have a small pool of students who work, school, and take care of the necessary things for their job, like taking care of student, paperwork, and family. This pool makes it possible to fill needed openings through these online courses, even if the majority of students take the regular higher education course on campus.