Fully Online Education and Underserved Populations

Fully Online Education and Underserved Populations

Rochelle R. Newton (Duke University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2000-9.ch007


Success in the fully online model requires self-discipline and an intrinsic motivation. Most fully online courses are asynchronous. Typically, in asynchronous education, the student and the instructor are not in the learning space at the same time. For some learners, asynchronous learning is sufficient. For others, instructor and institution support are essential to their success. Many of the learners who require institutional support, can be categorized as underserved populations. Underserved learners have been defined as learners from low socio-economic backgrounds and are likely to be the first in their families to attend college. They may also be students of color. As the cost of a post-secondary education continues to rise, fully online options have been promoted as a low-cost alternative to on-campus education and specifically offered as an option for underserved populations. However, fully online courses may not benefit underserved populations.
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Key Terms in this Chapter

MOOCs: MOOCs are (m)assive (o)pen (o)nline (c)ourses available completely online to anyone with a computer and access to the Internet.

Technology in Education: Technology in education is the practice of using technology to improve the education of the students in the institution and the improve the institutions ability to achieve its mission.

Academically Prepared: Academic readiness and prepared have been used interchangeably to mean ready for post-secondary study without the need for remedial assistance upon enrollment.

Technology: Technology in the broadest sense is any resource that improves the efficacy of processes or services.

Underserved Populations: Underserved populations or under-represented minorities are individuals from certain socio-economic; cultural, educational, or regional areas or groups that have been marginalized in some form by the larger society.

Fully Online Education: Fully online education is an asynchronous mode of learning where information is imparted to the student by the instructor through technology.

Completion Rates: Completion rates in higher education is the time it takes a college freshman to obtain a degree or certificate. Completion rates in MOOCs similarly defined is the number of people who earn a certificate.

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