Keys to Effective Online Learning

Presented by:
Norm Coombs

Focus on the communication and not the technology

Friday 9a-10:30a
Levis Faculty Center
Technology is the means we use in online learning to facilitate learning that spans time and distance, but, if we focus on the technology itself, the means then will become the end. The online learning will get submerged in the technology. When a classroom teacher, in an attempt to make the content more interesting, highlights his or her dramatic and unique personality, students may enjoy the entertainment and remember the jokes but not the course content. The same can be true for the inappropriate use of online technologies. Even more, such distractions create an extra barrier for those learners with special learning needs.

The Perfect e-Storm

Presented by:
Curtis J. Bonk

Emerging Technology, Enormous Learner Demand, Enhanced Pedagogy, and Erased Budgets

Tuesday 10:30a-12p
Levis Faculty Center
Many demands are currently placed on online learning in higher education. While we may not realise it, we have entered the perfect electric storm, where technology, the art of teaching, and the needs of learners are converging. As such, this paper explores dozens of emerging learning technologies that are generating waves of new opportunities in online learning environments. In addition, this manuscript reviews trends in online enrolments, programs, and degrees in colleges and universities in the United States and around the world. To help create engaging content, pedagogical activities are outlined for synchronous and asynchronous learning with estimates of the degree of instructor risk and time as well as technological cost. Such activities focus on experiences that are rich in collaboration, interaction, and motivation. Finally, in the fourth storm, budgetary cutbacks are discussed which are restricting how colleges and universities can respond to these emerging technologies, enormous learner demands, and enhancements in pedagogy. These lean fiscal times are forcing institutions of higher learning to explore innovative projects and partnerships, including open source software solutions. Throughout the document, recent survey data projecting the future of online learning in higher education is presented.