What we’re buzzing about lately: MOOCs, online education, college applications

As you might expect, our faculty and staff are voracious readers, and when we come across an article that really hits a chord, we often leave a comment. Here’s a recap of a few articles that have caught our attention lately.

Student-instructor interaction remains crucial to successful online education models.

A newspaper

ABUZZ: Our reaction to several higher education stories we’re following

Forbes Contributor Daphne Koller penned a piece about Antioch University’s announcement to allow students to take certain courses through Coursera for credit. This approach blends the concept of MOOCs (free, non-credit-bearing courses) with the traditional model of educational institutions providing credit-bearing online courses through their own systems. Daphne goes on to discuss how this new model could play out. She mentions how such a model can let students interact with local instructors — filling a gap in the MOOC model.

This point in particular resonated with me. It’s crucial for educational institutions to continue to innovate their models to provide higher quality, career-focused education to students. One element that we at Post University believe should be integral to any online education model is strong, ongoing student-instructor interaction. What’s your take on Antioch’s approach? Read the Forbes article for more details, and scroll to my comment for the rest of my reaction.

Focus online education technology decisions on student outcomes.

Inside Higher Ed’s Alexandra W. Logue wrote a story pointing out that while online education technologies have enabled us to provide more personalized instruction, we should remember that many of the popular technologies today have actually been around for some time. What’s more, just because we have access to the technology, doesn’t automatically mean we are better educators.

I piggybacked on this notion in my comment, where I said that we shouldn’t embrace technology for technology’s sake. Rather, we should adopt those technologies — and equally important, develop the processes and policies around them — that help us achieve learning outcomes and meet student needs. Click over to Inside Higher Ed for Alexandra’s full piece, and hit my comment for the rest of my thoughts.

College-bound high school seniors should maximize their Thanksgiving breaks

The New York Times featured a November college check list for high school seniors. The tips and advice are worth a look for any college-bound high school senior, and there are recommendations geared toward those who’ve been procrastinating and now need to catch up on their college applications, as well as those who’ve submitted their college applications and are playing the “waiting game.”

Our own Jay Murray, Director of Admissions, added to the advice in a comment on the article. He underscored the importance of using the upcoming Thanksgiving break as an opportunity to tie off any outstanding college applications. He also left some tips on what makes for a solid college application essay. You can click over to The New York Times and Jay’s comment for all the recommendations.

What are your thoughts on anything you’ve read here?

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