Following a study released by the American Association of Colleges & Universities, the Learners’ Illustrated site tests how much engagement occurs between the learner and the website.
When Learners Participate In An Online Learning Course At Different Times
One innovative college is making learning more accessible to college students with online educational courses and partnerships with outside organizations.
At Oberlin College, an online learning course can be taken every day of the semester, the way a traditional classroom would be, including, for example, on an evening or weekend, according to a recent article from the College Fix.
“Essentially, students can make adjustments as needed,” Oberlin College professor Ted Mack writes. “The courses themselves are catered to individuals’ work cycles and best practices, and typically use content found in textbooks for some of the lessons and enhanced with the latest technology to give students a deeper understanding of the material.”
So why? Mack explains that Oberlin’s online learning model “increases access and flexibility to degree programs, as well as helps colleges attract students with diverse interests and learning styles.”
“Partnerships with other institutions allow our school to tap into the content on national or international stages for best practices in class content and delivery,” Mack continues. “Likewise, outreach partnerships provide college students with career opportunities in other disciplines.”
Online learning from Oberlin College represents an entirely new model for U.S. colleges and universities, but it represents more than just a cost-saving measure. The school’s partnership with Go Get Educated is aimed at providing remedial courses in English and social studies that can be taken at other colleges during the day.
“My students could finish the same courses in one session in any college of their choice without having to leave class,” says Millie Corns, Oberlin College’s Title IX Coordinator, tells the Fix. “We also partner with colleges across the country, including Loma Linda University, the University of Phoenix, Community College of Los Angeles, and the University of Kansas. Most importantly, we anticipate seeing our programs launched and delivered in our college’s neighborhood of Ohio, resulting in the addition of direct access for thousands of regional students.”
And when faculty and students are a part of the system, the learning experience becomes not only more accessible, but also more experiential.
“We anticipate seeing a variety of programs and experiences online that students are more likely to take advantage of, such as the following:
● Content from book clubs and guest lecturers, relevant discussions, and discussions on intellectual topics of interest to each student, giving them a more well-rounded view of course material;
● Events such as demonstrations, panel discussions, and concerts that accompany current events or provide students with opportunities to discuss critically important matters of diversity, equality, race relations, and equity.
● Audio-visual opportunities for immersive experiences, including classroom live-streaming and podcasts;
● Points of interests like nonprofit organizations and specialty clubs where students can interact with their peers and gain relevant information;
● It is possible for professors, students, and faculty to more seamlessly collaborate online as learners and share resources together.”
Oberlin College is not alone in trying to make its online learning model more accessible. Other schools, including five top tier U.S. schools, are diving in to the online world as well. One goal of these schools is to foster collaboration, but also to extend course content and resources from external providers to students who may not have the time to stay in the classroom for classes.
In Oberlin’s case, its outreach partnerships with colleges and universities across the country can help students explore their interests from an early age while they are still in school. The school is also making online courses more accessible for students with disabilities and who are absent from school one or more days per week. The partnership with Loma Linda University, for example, allows students with limited mobility to access a full-range of courses using the online platform adaptive learning. Students also can take online courses by hooking into certificate programs at non-Oberlin colleges.
Digital programs in higher education can improve access, scale, and make learning more relevant to students. As the Oberlin model illustrates, offering online classes in a variety of formats for students to choose from can be a powerful tool to make high-quality education more accessible to those who need it most.