Wednesday, November 11, 2009

1.4.1: Growth of online learning

A report linked to from the Becta web site suggests that the number of US post-secondary stduents studying online will double in the next five years. The report, released by Ambient Insight (overview here) considers the growth of blended and online learning (note the relatively insignificant 'all online' category in comparison).

When you consider the potential benefits of online access to resources and class discussions, the growth rate is relaly not surprising. What is hidden in the statistics (perhaps it might be available in the full $US4.9k report?) is any indication as to how blended the mix of the courses will be. Here at Laidlaw College, all of our courses (with the exception of one particular programme) might be considered 'blended' because all provide online course areas and expect students to interact with them (even if just to upload and receive back assignments). We are steadily improving resource availability and online discussion use, but already we can be considered 'blended' - and that on a shoestring budget!
  • Moodle (open source, no license cost), externally hosted (reduced infrastructure cost).
  • Google education services (free, no infrastructure cost - and we were the first in New Zealand to roll it out institutionally).
  • Turnitin integration (minimal annual license fee, fully integrated with Moodle, and no administrative overhead).
  • Mahara (open source, no license cost), externally hosted (reduced infrastructure cost).
  • Adobe Connect Pro (commercial, hosted internally).
Not a bad selection of applications... with smooth, highly integrated administrative systems we do pretty well!

1 comment:

EJ said...

Blended learning, experts think are more reliable than just elearning and fact to face learning. What is important, I think is finding the right elearning authoring tools for educators to use.