A Reason to be an Educational Technologist…

In doing some research for my blogging material, I came across a YouTube article about the National Inflation Association (NIA).  What caught my attention was that according to the NIA, more Americans will be turning to the internet for his or her learning needs. (Adams, & Parker, 2011)  Online education can include anything from the use of video, audio, rich media, and computer technologies.  As NIA illustrated in the documentary, anyone can purchase anything on the internet at a substantial less cost compared to a retail store, because online retailers have less overhead costs to deal with.  This also includes the investment of education – that is comparing to a brick and mortar school to that of the online educational school.  This certainly reduces the number of in-class seating and on campus attendance.  The future illustrates that the largest and most profitable colleges will be online colleges.

To further my research, according to the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C), there has been a 25% increase in online course enrollments, compared to the brick-and-mortar enrollments. (Rusk, 2002)  The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data reported in 2006 – 2007, that two-thirds of degrees were granted from postsecondary online and distance educational courses. As stated by NCES “There was a total of an estimated 12.2 million enrollments in college-level credit-granting distance education courses in 2006–07. Of these enrollments, 77 percent were reported to be in online courses, 12 percent were reported in hybrid/blended online courses, and 10 percent were reported in other types of distance education courses”. (“Fast facts,” 2011)
Online courses will allow instructors to provide courses to an unlimited amount of students, allowing students to have the opportunity to be educated, of any postsecondary courses of his or her choice, at the fraction of the tuition cost(s) – from the comfort of his or her home to the cafeteria of their workplace. Students will receive a much higher quality education because of interesting, diverse, and rich media introduced into the online classroom.

References

  • Adams, G., & Parker, G. (Producer). (2011). College conspiracy. [Web]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/VpZtX32sKVE
  • Fast facts. (2011). Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=80
  • Rusk, M. (2002). Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C): Working Toward Quality Standards for Online Courses. Community & Junior College Libraries, 11(1), 65. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
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About cadeleo
My name is Christina DeLeo, I am a grad student working on completing my Master's of Educational Technology degree at Boise State University.

One Response to A Reason to be an Educational Technologist…

  1. mkbnl says:

    Christina, one of the things to be cautious about when it comes to simply relying upon these numbers is that they don’t tell the whole story. For example, in my own area of K-12 online learning there has been a growth from 40,000-50,000 students taking online courses in 2001 (Clark, 2001) to over 2,000,000 taking them in 2010 (Watson et al., 2010). However, if you look at who are enrolling in these courses, up until about 2006 it was primarily high ability students, and even then they weren’t performing as well as their classroom counterparts when you really dug down into the data. Today there are still a lot of high end students taking online courses, but also a lot of credit recovery courses being offer in what the proponents and for profit companies describe as online courses; however, in reality these are basically online Skinner boxes.

    So I encourage you to dig deeper into these numbers and see what is actually happening. For example, are the increases in enrollments from on campus or off campus students? If it is on campus students, it is likely that the university enrollment would not drop if they stopped offering the online courses as those students would just register for the classroom versions. How many of these online students are at for profit institutions? Many of these institutions inflate their enrollment numbers by accepting students that have no chance to having success or that will have no job prospects at the end of the studies simply because the for profit company wants the student aid money. Just to provide two examples of things that you might look for…

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