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Thread: Are virtual, online schools the future?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Dad View Post
    Like I said, there are big name universities getting into the online degree market. Not one class, but the full degree. The University of Alabama now has Bama By Distance. The degree will have the name University of Alabama upon it. The University of Maryland has done it for years. Purdue acquires for-profit Kaplan University. What employer is not going to take one of these degrees? These are prestigious schools. Although here in Georgia we do tend to look down upon University of Alabama.
    As long as its not an online only degree school then people should be fine.

    I was just saying that purely online schools don't have the best reputations.

  2. #12
    Veteran Member Southern Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    As long as its not an online only degree school then people should be fine.

    I was just saying that purely online schools don't have the best reputations.
    Yes, that is true, but my point is that schools that you wouldn't expect to get into the online degree game are going there. I know someone that got her AAS and BS from Kaplan. She got her MBA from University of Georgia. The undergraduate degrees were completely online. Those online degrees allowed her to get into UGA's MBA program. I asked her about how UGA treated her Kaplan degrees, she said that they treated them just any other degree because Kaplan is regionally accredited just like UGA. I was impressed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCProf View Post
    I teach online for both HS and College. I have also been a student, online and ground. In the HS, the Juniors complete a on line program for our discipline but we are in the classroom facilitating. Online for college, puts a lot of motivation on the student. I worked twice as hard as a online student when compared to ground classes. The grading is more stringent because written communication is all you have for the most part. One trend I am noticing, online colleges are beginning to require one or two days of synchronized learning where we meet for a class together. I use a microphone/webcam and Power Points as if in class and take attendance for both days. My personal opinion, if a student is fresh out of HS and young without life or professional experience, ground face to face is better for the student. If a student is a non traditional learner, such as a career changer and older, online probably fits better. 90% or so of my online students work during the day in different healthcare related disciplines. They perform very well in online classes. As far as employers, they really don't care as long as you hold the credentials needed for the job, at least in healthcare. Accreditation is everything with online colleges...the best ones are the colleges that are accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or CHEA. The expectations for online professors are MUCH higher than ground classes. We have to log in 6 days a week and be very engaged and visible in our classes. I teach many online classes and I basically work 7 days a week in them. I teach a couple of ground classes and am only present 1 or 2 days a week and never think about them until I show up. I earned my Master's degrees online, I ended up with a double major and literally had no life for 2.5 years. I wrote 2 giant research papers a week, one individual one and a group paper that were about 15 to 20 pages each. It was pretty brutal, when I compare it to my bachelor degrees with the exception of Nursing, the first one was a breeze and partied most of my time earning my BBA on campus.

    Online is what you make of it. If you want to learn, you will. If you want to coast, you probably will end up dropping out because the ownership is on you to complete your degree.

    Employers on online education - CNN.com
    For most people, learning is a social activity. Most people benefit from the social aspects of learning that come from F2F learning. And if instructors have to be so much more engaged in order to get accreditation as you've suggested, one big reason for PROVIDING on-line classes is eliminated--the idea that it would be massively cheaper.

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    Established Member libertariat720's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Interesting, I know so many who are taking classes online nowadays. I think it works well at the high school and collegiate level, but I still think little kids need interaction with other kids.


    The vision was clear throughout the American Federation for Children summit: that schools need to be reinvented with an emphasis on technology. And throughout the gathering, exclusively online schools were a key part of that vision—even though some supporters acknowledge existing virtual schools have not produced strong academic outcomes to date.

    Advocates say that online schools have the potential to harness “personalized learning,” a term that generally means using technology to provide an education tailored to each student’s needs. “The end game … is personalized learning,” said Kevin Chavous, a board member and the executive counsel at AFC, in response to a question about virtual schools. “Every child being shepherded into a schoolhouse where they sit in a classroom and where a teacher stands and delivers, and then they regurgitate back … those days are not going to be the future.”

    Robert Enlow of the group EdChoice described the research on virtual schools as “not great, at the moment,” but pointed out that studies rely on test scores, a limited measure in his view. Enlow said that he had seen evidence that online schools could improve life outcomes for students in a presentation from K12. “The device of making a school virtual—I think we need to preserve the tool,” said Derrell Bradford of the 50-state Campaign for Achievement Now, or 50CAN, which was part of the statement calling for tighter oversight. “At some point, someone’s going to figure out a way to do virtual well.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/educatio...future/529170/
    There is something to be said for going to class with a real teacher and interacting with students in person.

    The accredidation process needs to be reformed to allow cheaper access to post-secondary education.
    Thanks from bajisima

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    Quote Originally Posted by libertariat720 View Post
    The accredidation process needs to be reformed to allow cheaper access to post-secondary education.
    Not sure what this means, exactly. We should lower standards in order to make education cheaper? Should they allow instructors who are less qualified to teach because they are cheaper to employ (that's by far the biggest cost in higher ed)? Or what do you mean?

    Something like 75% of my campus's budget is for salaries and benefits to faculty, staff, and administrators

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Not sure what this means, exactly. We should lower standards in order to make education cheaper? Should they allow instructors who are less qualified to teach because they are cheaper to employ (that's by far the biggest cost in higher ed)? Or what do you mean?

    Something like 75% of my campus's budget is for salaries and benefits to faculty, staff, and administrators
    How are you figuring that into the cost?

    All of my post graduate work was done with professors who also teach undergrads.

    Seriously, I spent like seven years of my life studying with these people so where is the extra cost coming from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    How are you figuring that into the cost?
    I'm taking my administration's word for it. These are all public records and universities have "institutional research" departments that are really good at getting and crunching data about the institution itself.

    All of my post graduate work was done with professors who also teach undergrads.

    Seriously, I spent like seven years of my life studying with these people so where is the extra cost coming from?
    Professors are expensive as hell, comparatively speaking. Tenure-line faculty are much more expensive than part-time or full-time non-tenured instructors, who often don't have to have the same education and don't have research or perform institutional service. Higher education has, in general, paired down the portion of undergraduate education taught by tenure-line faculty to the breaking point.

    But I said salaries for all personnel, including staff. Lots of staff are needed to keep an institution like a university running: support staff, IT, buildings and grounds, business functions like the bursar's office, record keeping, support for student services like psych and health services, offices for disabled students, university police....

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    For most people, learning is a social activity. Most people benefit from the social aspects of learning that come from F2F learning. And if instructors have to be so much more engaged in order to get accreditation as you've suggested, one big reason for PROVIDING on-line classes is eliminated--the idea that it would be massively cheaper.
    The engagement part of the online adjunct contract is more about retention than accreditation. Most colleges online or F2F will set their policies above the accreditation requirements for faculty. I think the social engagement leans more toward the age of the learner. Most of my online students have jobs, families, etc. Online provides a little socialization with weekly discussion threads and academic online forums. For me, it was more about flexibility and the job I had when attending online. I worked a variety of shifts, day and night, and it fit better into my schedule.

    As far as expense, the IT part for online must be staggering. Black Board is the common learning management system and is very expensive, but reliable. If you add in the Collaborate part for synch. classes, that too must be costly as well. All of the online colleges I teach, have 24/7 IT support for the students, so if they have technology issues with their computers, the IT department can fix just about anything. I have known them to install firewalls, software, use technology where they can virtually access their computers with software like Join Me. They have extensive data bases in their libraries. They have Writing Centers to assist students with papers, and the Gen Eds have tutors. Most core Instructors do their own tutoring. Nothing about higher education is cheap...especially today.
    Last edited by HCProf; 12th June 2017 at 06:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCProf View Post
    The engagement part of the online adjunct contract is more about retention than accreditation. Most colleges online or F2F will set their policies above the accreditation requirements for faculty. I think the social engagement is more toward the age of the learner. Most of my online students have jobs, families, etc. Online provides a little socialization with weekly discussion threads and academic online forums. For me, it was more about flexibility and the job I had when attending online. I worked a variety of shifts, day and night, and it fit better into my schedule.
    Perhaps you're right, but your comment strikes me as agist.

    As for standards, I don't do much with on-line instruction, but I'm pretty sure that standards are vastly different in different circumstances.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Perhaps you're right, but your comment strikes me as agist.

    As for standards, I don't do much with on-line instruction, but I'm pretty sure that standards are vastly different in different circumstances.
    I thought you would have taught a few online language arts classes. English and composition classes are very popular online choices for many online and ground campuses.

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