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Distance higher education programmes in a digital era: good practice guide

This guide sets out to clarify the key distinctions between distance and contact education provision in South Africa, and to provide guidelines on how general programme accreditation requirements need to be interpreted for a distance education context and the wide variations thereof, including the effective integration of supporting information and communication technologies (ICTs). The guide is divided into eight sections as follows: introduction and background; a conceptual framework for distance education in a digital era; curriculum design, development and delivery for distance education in a digital era; teaching and learning in distance education in a digital era; assessment in distance education in a digital era; partnerships and collaborations for distance education provision in a digital era; managing distance education provision in a digital era; and concluding remarks. These sections include examples of good practice in distance education. There is also a glossary of terms that are useful in the discussion of distance education provision, and a distance education bibliography.

This guide sets out to clarify the key distinctions between distance and contact education provision in South Africa, and to ...  Show Full Abstract  

Corporate authors: Council on Higher Education (South Africa)
South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE)
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: South Africa; Africa
Resource type: Guide
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Quality; Higher education;

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Indirect measures of learning transfer between real and virtual environments

This paper reports on research undertaken to determine the effectiveness of a [three dimensional] 3D simulation environment used to train mining personnel in emergency evacuation procedures, designated the Fires in Underground Mines Evacuation Simulator (FUMES). Owing to the operational constraints of the mining facility, methods for measuring learning transfer were employed which did not require real world performance evaluation. Transfer measures that examined simulator performance relative to real world experience, fidelity assessment, and appraisal of the training value of the platform were utilised. Triangulation of results across all three measures indicated the presence of learning transfer, suggesting the viability of indirect measures in instances where real world performance testing is not possible. Furthermore, these indirect measures of learning transfer also provided some insight as to the strengths and weaknesses of the simulation design, which could be used to inform the development of future versions of the product.

This paper reports on research undertaken to determine the effectiveness of a [three dimensional] 3D simulation environment ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Garrett, Michael; McMahon, Mark
Date: 2013
Journal title: Australasian journal of educational technology
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Skills and knowledge; Teaching and learning; Evaluation;

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MOOCs: the final frontier for higher education?

This report compiles the latest literature in the field on [massive open online courses] MOOCs and presents four case studies including MIT OpenCourseWare, FutureLearn, Coursera and EdX. Should universities be using MOOCs or are they a threat to the sector?

This report compiles the latest literature in the field on [massive open online courses] MOOCs and presents four case ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: De Freitas, Sara
Date: 2013
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Higher education; Providers of education and training; Technology;

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MOOCs and the funnel of participation

Massive online open courses (MOOCs) are growing substantially in numbers, and also in interest from the educational community. MOOCs offer particular challenges for what is becoming accepted as mainstream practice in learning analytics. Partly for this reason, and partly because of the relative newness of MOOCs as a widespread phenomenon, there is not yet a substantial body of literature on the learning analytics of MOOCs. However, one clear finding is that drop-out/non-completion rates are substantially higher than in more traditional education. This paper explores these issues, and introduces the metaphor of a 'funnel of participation' to reconceptualise the steep drop-off in activity, and the pattern of steeply unequal participation, which appear to be characteristic of MOOCs and similar learning environments.

Massive online open courses (MOOCs) are growing substantially in numbers, and also in interest from the educational ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Clow, Doug
Conference name: International Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: Great Britain; Europe
Resource type: Conference
Subjects: Higher education; Participation; Outcomes;

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The potential social, economic and environmental benefits of MOOCs: operational and historical comparisons with a massive 'closed online' course

Massive online open courses (MOOCs) have recently become a much discussed development within higher education. Much of this debate focuses on the philosophical and operational similarities and differences between the types of MOOCs that have emerged to date, the learner completion rates and how they can be sustained. In contrast there has been much less discussion about how such courses do, or do not, fit in with existing higher education policy and practice in terms of the social, economic and environmental benefits. This paper begins to address this issue by comparing and contrasting current MOOCs with one large population [information and communications technology] ICT-enhanced, mostly online Open University UK course presented a decade earlier and how they have both served, or might serve, broader social, economic or environmental objectives. The paper concludes that while MOOCs are forcing a re-conceptualisation of higher education study, much can also be learned from previous and existing large population mainly online courses from open universities.

Massive online open courses (MOOCs) have recently become a much discussed development within higher education. Much of this ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Lane, Andy; Caird, Sally; Weller, Martin
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Great Britain; Europe
Journal title: Open praxis
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Technology; Higher education;

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Can MOOCs and existing e-learning efficiency paradigms help reduce college costs?

E-learning enrollments in post-secondary education are growing significantly but the annual cost of tuition continues to increase more than inflation. Does this mean that e-learning cannot reduce costs? After describing some salient details of the tuition cost problem, this article examines four paradigms that have the potential to reduce tuition significantly over the long term, perhaps by half. First, it reviews the effects of free massively open on-line courses (MOOCs) and the new [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] MIT/Harvard Ed X project. Second, it describes the underutilized but highly scalable National Center for Academic Transformation's (NCAT) course redesign paradigm, capable of reducing aggregate administrative and teaching costs by billions annually, and examines problems associated with its wider deployment. Third, Western Governors University's competency-based approach is presented as another way of drastically reducing labor costs while increasing availability of college courses to low income students. Finally, the export/import approach is introduced, in which MOOCs for credit become available (at a fee) beyond the offering institutions, thereby setting up a disruptive, but potentially highly economical reduction in faculty and administrative labor expense.

E-learning enrollments in post-secondary education are growing significantly but the annual cost of tuition continues to ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Ruth, Stephen
Date: 2012
Geographic subjects: Unites States; North America
Journal title: International journal of technology in teaching and learning
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Economics; Higher education; Technology;

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MOOCs: cutting through the hype

The [massive open online course] MOOC hype has been building since they first launched in 2011. These massively open online courses offered huge disruptive potential to the world of higher education. Everyone from commentators in mainstream media and the trade press to investors, educators, and administrators watched as enrollment in these courses soared to unprecedented heights. MOOCs have emerged at a time when other pressures on the market are making an impact, including the high and rising costs of attending higher education institutions, and the increasing use of technology to help deliver education. Today's students are carefully weighing whether higher education will be worth their while, particularly in markets such as the US where costs are extremely high. [This report] takes a deeper look at MOOCs and their impact on this market, their influence on students and learning, and how student expectations affect business models.

The [massive open online course] MOOC hype has been building since they first launched in 2011. These massively open online ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Worlock, Kate; Ricci, Laura
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: United States; North America
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Higher education; Innovation; Technology;

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Prospects for success of MOOC in higher education in India

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are witnessing a huge demand among students, with the majority of Indian students enrolling in foreign universities. When elite colleges are offering courses free of cost to students, it is definitely an offer hard to resist. Coursera, a major player in the MOOC sector gets the second highest enrollments from India. It is time to develop a strategy for launching MOOCs in India. This paper proposes a framework for the success of MOOCs in India to revolutionize the current education sector. If accurately implemented, the massive and economic nature of MOOCs can provide a solution to the problems of the youth, along with changing the dynamics of education delivery methods currently followed in India. The objective of the paper is to focus on providing a framework beneficial for the learner, trainer, university and industry.

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are witnessing a huge demand among students, with the majority of Indian students ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Devgun, Puja
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: India; Asia
Journal title: International journal of information and computation technology
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Technology; Teaching and learning; Innovation;

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Has Web 2.0 revitalized informal learning?: the relationship between Web 2.0 and informal learning

Learning is becoming increasingly self-directed and often occurs away from schools and other formal educational settings. The development of a myriad of new technologies for learning has enabled people to learn anywhere and anytime. Web 2.0 technology allows researchers to shed a new light on the importance and prevalence of informal learning. However, there are few empirical studies that support the claim that this technology facilitates informal learning. The present study investigates the relationship between Web 2.0 levels and the evaluation of informal learning websites. For this purpose, 287 informal learning websites were selected and their Web 2.0 levels were rated based upon eight criteria proposed in the Web 2.0 exploratory literature. In addition, previously examined informal learning evaluation results were employed. The results showed that current informal learning websites have moderately adopted the most heavily promoted features of Web 2.0. Correlation analyses showed a positive relationship between Web 2.0 features and informal learning website ratings. The implications for the relationship and internal correlations of variables [are] summarized and discussed.

Learning is becoming increasingly self-directed and often occurs away from schools and other formal educational settings. ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Song, D.; Lee, J.
Date: 2014
Journal title: Journal of computer assisted learning
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Technology; Teaching and learning; Evaluation

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MOOC pedagogy: gleaning good practice from existing MOOCs

The revolutionary potential of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has been met with much skepticism, particularly in terms of the quality of learning offered. Believing that a focus on learning is more important than a focus on course completion rates, this position paper presents a pedagogical assessment of MOOCs using Chickering and Gamson's Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education and Bloom's taxonomy, based on the author's personal experience as a learner in four [extended] xMOOCs. Although most xMOOCs have similar characteristics, the author shows that they are not all offered in exactly the same way, and some provide more sound pedagogy that develops higher order thinking, whereas others do not. The author uses this evaluation, as well as reviews of other xMOOCs in the literature, to glean some good pedagogical practices in xMOOCs and areas for improvement.

The revolutionary potential of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has been met with much skepticism, particularly in terms ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Bali, Maha
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: United States; North America
Journal title: Journal of online learning and teaching
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Technology

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