Tag: e-learning

Distance and Remote Learning In The Age of Coronavirus

Nick Schiavi

Responses by Nick Schiavi, vice president and global head, high education, Unit 4.

Because most schools have moved to virtual learning environments in response to COVID-19, what are the likely long-term outcomes of this?

The conversations we’ve had lately with our customers, from our people in the field who are leading projects, and those who are in touch with the macro-responses by the global industry, are pointing to a couple of things:

I doubt in-classroom education will go away for good. Will there begin to be a sea-change? Potentially yes, considering all the ways we learn today, during any phase of life, there is a combination of in-person instruction and training; experiential and immersive learning; and self-paced knowledge consumption.

From what I’ve been reading and hearing from educators and other vendors, this situation could create a time to re-focus on curriculum design and delivery methods to increase student engagement. Having family members who are educators, I know the rigors of transitioning instructional design and faculty enablement to effectively deliver online courses can be substantial but enduring them is important to be successful in that transition.

What might institutions need to do to attract and retain students in a climate where supply may begin to outpace demand?

This is an interesting question since enrollment and retention have been common challenges for a long time, even prior to this pandemic. Ultimately I believe that institutions will double-down on their interest in differentiating themselves from their peers. Competition for fewer enrollments may occur in the near term; however, this also offers opportunity for institutions to create more demand for education from a wider age-range of students.

Many institutions already look at “traditional vs. non-traditional enrollments” but this situation may be a catalyst for every institution to focus more on how they can engage new segments of the population as students. I suspect it will provide an opportunity for institutions to become more creative as marketers – potentially even thinking of themselves as product managers seeking to understand their target segments more deeply and re-packaging their offerings to attract new enrollments that are the best fit, which should also help with retaining those students.

How do you continue to support the health, safety, and well-being of students, faculty, and staff with everyone distributed remotely?

I look at this from the angle of prioritization of the urgent-important items first. Imagine if all of our customers lived, worked, and ate in our offices – day in and day out – and they also happened to be young adults not yet accustomed to being on their own. In that scenario during a pandemic crisis I’d first look at how we transition all of our customers back to a safe and protected place, how we monitor and account for their successful transition, how we handle the same monitoring and accounting for our own staff, and only then start looking at basic operations and service delivery needs which in many cases include providing equipment and communications tools to staff that they don’t currently have.

So on top of accounting for everyone, you need to ensure you have the supply chain moving to equip them all. That’s the type of scenario institutions are facing around the world right now – it’s a version of Maslow’s Hierarchy where everyone is reset to ensure the basic needs are met first. Only after that phase, which I suspect many US institutions are emerging from now, can they look at continuity of operations and academic delivery beyond the immediate term.

In the long run I suspect this increases the prioritization of digital transformation and organizational change management but those cycles can only happen after the first layers of the Hierarchy are addressed.

McGraw Hill Offers ALEKS MathReady As An Online Direct-To-Student Personalized Math Learning Plan

McGraw-Hill Education wordmark.svgA new online math learning program from McGraw Hill makes it easy and affordable for students and adult learners to prepare for their math placement test, get extra help over the summer, or refresh their skills before returning to college.

ALEKS MathReady is a direct-to-student version of McGraw Hill’s personalized ALEKS program that is used by millions of K-12 and college students to accelerate their math learning and help them succeed in their courses. It is $9.95 for the first month, $24.95 for three months, and $19.95 for each additional month after that.

For students entering college, math placement and college level math courses can be a challenge and are among the contributing reasons that students fall behind or drop out. College math courses often have high failure rates, largely because many new college students lack the foundational math skills needed to be successful. For some, a trusted tutor is a proven model for learning math and reducing math anxiety, yet the high cost of tutoring and scheduling tutorial sessions are barriers. ALEKS MathReady is an affordable alternative for those who are looking for math support.

ALEKS MathReady is a self-paced, online math learning program that is rooted in research and analytics. ALEKS efficiently guides learning by identifying what topics students don’t know and then focusing them on practicing topics they are ready to learn next. With this personalized learning approach, students learn and retain topics efficiently with real-time feedback to keep them motivated and engaged, while reaching their goals.

For more information about ALEKS MathReady or to sign up for access, visit: http://bit.ly/ALEKSMathReady

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Lessons Learned Delivering Virtual Learning Experiences

By Melinda Kong, director of instructional design and learning management system, Nyack College

Melinda Kong

As we emerge from the last few months of the sudden online teaching shift for courses intended for classroom settings, there are a few glaring lessons learned that will help propel educators forward into the future. While much is still unknown for what the next several months will hold, it is certain that online classwork will be a predominant feature in education.

The methods of online teaching will look different within each education context from K12 to higher education, but one thing is certain; online learning is here to stay and we must adapt to the needs of current and incoming students.

We will likely see a mix of three offerings when thinking about the new normal of distanced learning; the continued implementation of hybrid courses, full fall terms taught online-only, and even HyFlex courses, in which students will be able to be in either face-to-face classes or join virtually when needed.

As educators, it’s important to look at what happened as courses were quickly moved online and learn from what was able to be accomplished. Understanding what worked well and what didn’t will help all educators grow and adopt better pedagogy for online instruction.

Foundationally all courses, despite their delivery makeup, involve diligent planning. All teachers, whether in a face-to-face classroom, online course, or a mix of the two, plan extensively for their courses.

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Education’s Place Among Coronavirus

Kaine ShutlerResponse from Kaine Shutler, managing director, Plume.

Schools might be presented with a unique challenge in the short term: creating an e-learning platform, populating it with content etc. But long term, this system will provide students with more learning opportunities and we see this benefitting both the academically engaged students, but most importantly, the students who have struggled with classroom learning.

For parents, we hope that they’ll be more active in their child’s learning and we believe this will strongly improve caregiver/ student relationships, as well as student’s confidence as they engage with independent learning opportunities.

Despite these merits, elearning will not replace classrooms; schools provide a safe place for students where they can be mentored by teaching professionals and gain valuable social skills. All in all, we think elearning will support classroom learning, independence and will strengthen student/parent relationships as they play a more active role in academic development.