What do students want in the learning activities for their online STEM courses? They'd prefer more real-life problems to solve and instructional resources such as simulations, case studies, videos and demonstrations. They'd also like the chance to meet and collaborate with other students as well as teaching assistants online.
Since the year 2000, it has been found that online learning had an edge over traditional, classroom-based learning. In 2010, a review published by the US Department of Education stated that online learning was just as effective, if not better, than face-to-face interactions.
Education doesn’t have to be expensive -- there are plenty of free courses to brush up on your IT skills that require nothing more than an internet connection and a laptop or smartphone. These eight online education providers offer free programs and courses on nearly any technical domain. It’s a great way to dip your toe into a new topic with limited commitment, or to stay on top of developing trends and technologies in your industry.
The last few years have also seen the development of massive open online courses, or MOOCS. Providers such as edX -- which was founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012 -- offer free online courses from renowned institutions such as Columbia University and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The platform provides more than 1,900 courses and its users come from all over the world.
The technologies currently in use by online programs were decidedly less cutting-edge. The top five most important technologies used for online learning today, COOs said, are the learning management system (the clear leader, cited by the vast majority of respondents), anti-plagiarism and assessment integrity tools, audio/video conferencing, lecture/video capture and management, and online assessment and proctoring.
Six years ago, inspired by a big idea to democratize higher education, the University of Michigan (U-M) became a founding partner of Coursera. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) were born. While the issuance of MOOC death certificates by skeptics is only rivaled in frequency by those filed by South Park writers for Kenny, MOOCs consistently find ways to survive and indeed thrive in nurturing environments.
Online lessons can enhance students’ understanding of science and help underachieving students close the gap with their peers, according to a new study. Students who took web-based units made significantly more progress than those who relied on textbooks, while the improvement was particularly marked for students with lower prior achievement.
When the Open University first launched science courses in the 1970s, it sent students home experiment kits, which included micro-computers, rock samples, microscopes, lasers to create holograms and even fish tanks to study animal behaviour. Now it seems that massive open online courses have brought distance learning full circle, after a US university announced that it would mail out circuit boards and other equipment to students enrolling in the first fully online electrical engineering master’s degree.
A proposed budget by California's governor would allocate $10 million to set up a new online "intersegmental" higher education initiative. The project would fund competitive grants for intersegmental teams of faculty to create new and redesign existing STEM courses -- both online and hybrid -- in a program titled the "California Education Learning Lab." However, state analysts aren't keen on the idea.
Eight hundred-plus universities are part of the MOOC movement, wooing some 78 million students to their online classes, according to Class Central CEO Dhawal Shah. However, there were fewer first-time MOOC students taking free classes in 2017 than in 2016 -- 20 million vs. 23 million. One reason, suggested Sha, is that there's a rise in the number of paying users.