June 27, 2011
Online Learning: Wave of the Future…?
(Sara Lenz, Deseret News) — BYU-Idaho launched a new online learning program late last month called Pathway, which is geared toward 18- to 30-year-olds who have not earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree but are interested in doing so. Students are eased into the college experience with a light load of online classes the first year and a weekly study group with the other 15 to 20 students at their location, said Andy Cargal, spokesman for the university. There are currently about 22 sites around the nation where the Pathway Program is offered and two international locations. The university plans to expand the program by about 10 sites each year.
Weber State University, which had the most public college students taking online courses in the state as of 2010 with over 7,150 enrolled, now offers two-hour professional development courses twice a month to help professors develop better online courses, said Gail Niklason, associate of continuing education at the university. They learn about incorporating video and other interactive tools. She said 90 full-time faculty members out of about 480 have been through the training over the last five years.
Many organizations warn students to research their classes before taking them, especially if the university is online only. Several lawsuits have been filed over the last several months against for-profit colleges, which often have a big online base, over best practices and validity.
To read this article in its entirety from the Deseret News, click here.Posted by: psilberman