Online Learning and Quality Practice With Administrative Support and Collaboration

Online Learning and Quality Practice With Administrative Support and Collaboration

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3476-2.ch052
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Higher education institutions must innovate and develop new modes of learning, both formal and informal, that meet the demands of the knowledge-driven economy. There is a growing demand for education and a push for non-traditional ways of delivering knowledge and learning. This chapter begins by identifying the technological changes that are affecting all societies and how these changes will specifically impact postsecondary education. The topic of course delivery is viewed as a cultural issue that permeates processes from the design of an online course to the evaluation of an online course. This chapter will examine and review key components of and tools for designing high impact online courses that support student learning and provide suggestions for faculty teaching online courses to assist in creating high-quality online courses that support teaching and, consequently, facilitate opportunities for student learning.
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Technology, broadly defined, has been transforming human life in one way or another for thousands of years (Jerald, 2009). However, beginning in the 1990s, technological change has come at an exponentially faster rate due to factors such as increased competition in a global economy, automation, workplace change and policies increasing personal responsibility. As the world’s labor markets evolve in the digital economy, we cannot predict what specific jobs will exist in the future. However, what is clear is the shift from print to digital is a profound transition in how human beings learn (Marginson, 2016; Pearson Learning, 2014). According to UNESCO (2017), there are more than 207 million students enrolled in higher education worldwide. UNESCO also reported that the percentage of college age students (ages 19-23) has increased from 19% to 34% between the years 2000 and 2014. Craig (2014) projected that the demand for on-line learning will increase by 2025, and that higher education must plan for this growth.

The advent of the personal computer, the Internet and the electronic delivery of information have transformed the world from a manufacturing, physically based economy to an electronic, knowledge-based economy. Whereas the resources of the physically based economy are coal, oil and steel, resources of the new, knowledge-based economy are brainpower and the ability to acquire, deliver and process information effectively. Craig (2015), in his book titled College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of College Education argues that technology may bring more changes to teaching and learning than college leaders have anticipated. Online learning will center the instruction around students rather than the classroom, tailoring education to the needs and abilities of individual learners, and making life-long learning a practical reality for all (Balanko, 2002).

The global economic crisis and especially youth unemployment have prompted the urgency to develop educational systems aligned with the needs of the society it serves. Statistics from the United Nations indicate that one-half of the global population is currently under the age of 25 years. The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2012) examined this young population from its 33 member nations and concluded that 39 million or one in four 16-29 year olds were neither employed nor enrolled in some type of education or training program.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Assuring Quality: Online course delivery focusing on the alignment of sound instructional features, meaning-making, working together with students to develop new ways ‘to do school’ online, recognition of faculty work, and continual improvement.

High Impact Practices: Educational experiences that are meaningful and require student action and participation, and that contribute to the life-long learning of the student.

Continuous Improvement: A dynamic process that examines those shared ideas of what is quality online teaching and learning and is essential for assuring quality.

Evaluation: Examining the content, processes, impact and outcomes of on-line courses in order improve the course quality.

Continual Improvement: The act of reflecting on the effectiveness of pedagogical alignment within the context of the constraints and affordances of the online teaching and learning environment.

Self-Regulation: Those processes that occur at an individual level that play an important role in student academic achievement.

Cultural Systems: Within online environments refers to understandings and meanings socially shared.

On-line Teaching and Learning: Faculty-delivered instruction via the Internet or distance learning.

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