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Improving open access through prior learning assessment

This paper explores and presents new data on how to improve open access in distance education through using prior learning assessments. Broadly there are three types of prior learning assessment (PLAR): type-one for prospective students to be allowed to register for a course; type-two for current students to avoid duplicating work-load to gain certification; and type-three mapping occupational skills as portfolio-needs analysis. In each of these some e-assessment can play a role, notably in type-three in distance education. [The authors'] previous research has been in type-two and [the authors] report the empirical results and challenges involved in practice. Moving beyond type-two [the authors] further report how e-type-three can improve practice in the Open University of China - a very large [open and distance learning] ODL provider. [The authors] discuss the barriers and challenges being faced, and ways being explored to resolve these issues, to reduce the costs involved and to improve open access to learning.

This paper explores and presents new data on how to improve open access in distance education through using prior learning ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Yin, Shuangxu; Kawachi, Paul
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: China; Asia
Journal title: Open praxis
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Pathways; Equity;

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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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Preparing faculty for teaching a MOOC: recommendations from research and experience

Due to the increasing popularity of massive open online courses (MOOCs) more faculty and institutions are exploring MOOCs. Faculty often seek help from campus units such as faculty development centers to handle the complexity of factors involved in planning, designing, developing and delivering MOOCs. As a result, faculty development centers should be ready to prepare faculty for teaching a MOOC. In this paper, a number of recommendations based on research and experience for faculty development staff to follow in helping faculty plan and design a MOOC, and organizational issues to consider, are summarized.

Due to the increasing popularity of massive open online courses (MOOCs) more faculty and institutions are exploring MOOCs. ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Richter, Stephanie L.; Krishnamurthi, Murali
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: North America; United States
Journal title: International journal of information and education technology
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Workforce development; Higher education; Providers of education and training;

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MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses [January 2014 update]

This paper updates developments in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), particularly where they may concern European higher education. MOOCs are growing, and while the highest concentration is in the US, around one third of MOOCs involve European higher education institutions. The European Commission has expressed interest in, and support for, exploring the possibilities MOOCs offer. MOOCs have also developed in other regions where existing education structures are well-developed. These courses are not viewed as a replacement for traditional higher education, but as an adjunct to it through blended learning, lifelong learning and continuing professional education. There are concerns about MOOCs but European institutions see forms of technology-enhanced learning in a positive light.

This paper updates developments in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), particularly where they may concern European higher ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Gaebel, Michael
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Europe
Resource type: Paper
Series name: EUA occasional papers
Subjects: Higher education; Teaching and learning; Technology;

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Measuring student graduateness: reliability and construct validity of the Graduate Skills and Attributes Scale

This study reports the development and validation of the Graduate Skills and Attributes Scale which was initially administered to a random sample of 272 third-year-level and postgraduate-level, distance-learning higher education students. The data were analysed using exploratory factor analysis. In a second study, the scale was administered to a stratified proportional random sample of 1102 early-career, undergraduate open distance-learning higher education students in the economic and management sciences field. The data were analysed using confirmatory factor and Rasch analyses. The structural validity and reliability of the scale were confirmed by the results. Educators and learning and development practitioners may be able to use the findings in their teaching, learning and assessment design.

This study reports the development and validation of the Graduate Skills and Attributes Scale which was initially ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Coetzee, Melinde
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: South Africa; Africa
Journal title: Higher education research and development
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Students; Employment; Skills and knowledge;

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Gender analysis of open and distance learning in the Caribbean region

This report provides an overview and analysis of the existing literature on open and distance learning (ODL) in the Caribbean from a gender perspective. It covers a wide range of themes encompassing the socio-cultural and economic factors. For some there was no data or analysis available directly related to gender issues or the data available is over 10 years old. In these instances, the report summarized key ODL issues in that area and assessed the relevant gender equality issues and questions influencing the related current practices and status.

This report provides an overview and analysis of the existing literature on open and distance learning (ODL) in the ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Peebles, Dana
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Central America and the Caribbean
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Gender; Teaching and learning; Technology;

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The development of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in New Zealand

The aim of this project was to provide a baseline account of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in the New Zealand context. An introductory section puts MOOCs into their theoretical and conceptual context in commitments to freedom, citizenship, knowledge for all, social progress, individual transformation and 'openness'. Five themes emerged from the literature: the disruption of higher education; open learning; technology and education; the political economy; and learners and learning. Stakeholders identified a range of potentially disruptive effects of MOOCS, but there is evidence of significant caution among organisations in adopting MOOC models. Disruption may occur from issues of access, price and non-traditional modes of learning, new models of learning and incompatibilities. Little is yet known about MOOC learners, but many see the potential to improve access and reduce costs to learners, including particular groups of learners. The conclusion examines the themes raised in the report and considers options for the sustainable development of MOOCs in the New Zealand context.

The aim of this project was to provide a baseline account of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in the New Zealand context. ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Gordon, Elizabeth Audrey; Peters, Michael; Besley, Tina
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: New Zealand; Oceania
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Technology; Innovation;

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Promise and/or peril: MOOCs and open and distance education

This paper provides an introduction to [massive open online course] MOOCs with a special focus on distance educators and institutions. The paper begins with a short description of the characteristic of the four words included in the MOOC acronym and then tries to show how each contributes to the complexity of this education phenomena. The paper concludes with discussions of MOOC business models and the implications for open and distance education institutions.

This paper provides an introduction to [massive open online course] MOOCs with a special focus on distance educators and ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Anderson, Terry
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: United States; North America
Resource type: Paper
Subjects: Technology; Teaching and learning; Higher education;

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Introduction to MOOCs: avalanche, illusion or augmentation?

The New York Times labeled 2012 'The Year of the MOOC'. Less than 24 months after the launch of the first massive open online course (MOOC) at Stanford University and with potentially over five million students around the world now registered with a MOOC platform, massive open online courses would appear to be a new and significant force within higher education (HE). However, it is still unclear what effect, if any, MOOCs will have on the HE sector in the longer term and whether their explosion in popularity has enough momentum to sustain their method of educational delivery. This policy brief aims to provide a background to the expansion of MOOCs, explain their differences and similarities, identify the types of students using MOOCs, investigate their business models and potential direction, and finally to scope the risks and benefits associated with their development.

The New York Times labeled 2012 'The Year of the MOOC'. Less than 24 months after the launch of the first massive open ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Grainger, Barnaby
Date: 2013
Resource type: Paper
Series name: IITE policy brief
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Technology; Higher education;

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Proceedings: EADTU 25th anniversary conference 2012: the role of open and flexible education in European higher education systems for 2020: new models, new markets, new media

Educational models are changing increasingly. More universities are embracing open and flexible learning and as a consequence, the creation of international student markets is becoming a reality. The Conference presents the most recent results of task forces and projects with regard to quality assurance in e-learning; networked curricula involving strategic partnerships between universities; online or virtual mobility; and knowledge sharing with business.

Educational models are changing increasingly. More universities are embracing open and flexible learning and as a ...  Show Full Abstract  

Conference name: European Association of Distance Teaching Universities' Annual Conference
Corporate authors: European Association of Distance Teaching Universities
Date: 2012
Geographic subjects: Europe
Resource type: Conference
Subjects: Higher education; Teaching and learning; Technology;

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