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1 – 10 of 13
Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

Barton Kunstler

The aim of this paper is to provide discursive background to a consideration of higher education's approach to online learning and set out the terms of engagement represented by

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to provide discursive background to a consideration of higher education's approach to online learning and set out the terms of engagement represented by the articles in this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is in the form of a narrative surveying the state of the discourse on online learning and providing a brief introduction to each of the articles.

Findings

The paper finds that history of online education has been compressed into a brief period, but it has already undergone several phases: from initial euphoria over the possibilities for expanded enrollments to a realization that online learning posed a new set of knotty pedagogical and institutional issues, to a current maturing phase. In this latter phase there is a pressing need for a public dialog that addresses the institutional challenges inherent in online education, and that provides examples of successful experiences and even specific guidelines for any institution or program involved with – or considering initiation of – an online program. This special issue of On the Horizon is intended as a contribution to this dialog.

Originality/value

The paper establishes a framework for in‐depth consideration of the issues addressed in this issue of On the Horizon.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Barton Kunstler

To present a model of innovative change in higher education based on research into the factors behind the performance of highly creative historical communities.

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Abstract

Purpose

To present a model of innovative change in higher education based on research into the factors behind the performance of highly creative historical communities.

Design/methodology/approach

The article diagnoses current pressures under which academia is laboring, explains the hothouse effect, and proposes solutions based on the hothouse effect model.

Findings

The article proposes restructuring of discipline‐based learning, developing new methods of strategic planning, adopting new assumptions about the social role of higher education, exploring modes of perception and cognition that are critical to education, and using digital technology to create learning communities and facilitate accelerated learning models. The model of organizational change emphasizes modest and numerous grass‐roots initiatives as the most efficient generator of broad cultural change.

Research limitations/implications

The aim is to stimulate pilot initiatives and broad dialog on the issues raised. The research points the way to further work in the dynamics of creativity, the nature of pedagogy, and the future role of the university.

Practical implications

Numerous methods are presented for strengthening the relationship of faculty and administration, utilizing technology to create learning communities and transform pedagogy, stimulating faculty collaboration, and planning for the future.

Originality/value

This paper provides many fresh and practical ideas useful at an individual, department, or institutional level. The goal is not a specific type of institution or mode of operation. Instead, it the model is flexible and adaptable to creative initiatives of any scope. Ultimately, this article can contribute to revitalizing the ongoing dialog about higher education's future.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

Shirley M. Adams

The purpose of this paper is to present an intentional model for moving into online learning; to show how the decision was part of the strategic planning process; and to explain

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an intentional model for moving into online learning; to show how the decision was part of the strategic planning process; and to explain the decision behind utilizing the consortium approach. The paper aims to discuss the pros and cons of the consortium model.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper describes the process Charter Oak State College, a non‐traditional public college, undertook to move from being an aggregator of credits to being the state's leader in providing undergraduate online learning to adult students. It also discusses how the college took a leadership role in forming a state‐wide online learning consortium that then became its online learning infrastructure.

Findings

The paper emphasizes the importance of the strategic planning process and the Board's buy‐in to making an online learning venture successful and candidly discusses the advantages and disadvantages of being in a consortium. The college found that the consortium approach was highly advantageous for start‐up, but has found that the consortium can hamper growth. The college also found that in certain areas, it needs to develop its own services independent from the consortium.

Research limitations/implications

Research could be carried out on consortium models to determine best practices and/or to categorize strengths and weaknesses.

Practical implications

By sharing what worked and what did not work, other colleges can learn from the study's experiences.

Originality/value

This paper describes one college's experience of moving into the online course delivery arena using the consortium approach. It provides those who are contemplating developing or joining a consortium for the purpose of offering online courses with a case study to examine and discuss.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman

The purpose of this paper is to examine the trends in the growth of online learning since 2002 and the change in the opinions and strategies of chief academic officers.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the trends in the growth of online learning since 2002 and the change in the opinions and strategies of chief academic officers.

Design/methodology/approach

Annual surveys of chief academic officers from 2002‐2006 are summarized.

Findings

The paper finds that online courses and programs continue to grow at a rate of 20 percent or more per year and the quality of these courses continues to improve. Online education is part of the long‐term strategy of a majority of chief academic officers. Faculty lag in their acceptance of online courses.

Originality/value

This survey provides the first estimates of the number of online learners, online courses, and online programs. This is the first survey on the attitudes of chief academic officers towards online learning.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Barton Kunstler

Reflecting on the forces that produced the first universities 800 years ago provokes consideration of today's universities at the start of the new millennium. The paper

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Abstract

Purpose

Reflecting on the forces that produced the first universities 800 years ago provokes consideration of today's universities at the start of the new millennium. The paper complements Snyder's critique by suggesting that higher education engage in an exacting review of its most cherished assumptions, from the categorical definitions of disciplines to the fundamental structure of its pedagogy.

Design/methodology/approach

Comparative historical research fuels a conceptual examination of the university today. It adopts Snyder's view that higher education is currently adrift in fulfilling its academic mission and sustaining itself in a competitive environment. This approach yields a much more dramatic range of future plausibilities for contemporary universities than do more conventional extrapolations.

Findings

Rearranging schools and departments will not solve its problems, nor will it make much of a contribution to the state of the world. But digging deep into the wellsprings of knowledge, learning, and wisdom, and engaging in the great work of harmonizing the university with the emerging needs of its era and the concomitant forces of social change, can only energize the culture of higher education.

Practical implications

The article has important implications for strategic planning in higher education. It argues that universities will become increasingly irrelevant if they fail to recapture the spirit of exuberance, intellectual discovery, and social relevance evidenced by the earliest universities. This can be achieved by reassessing the university's mission and social role, utilizing technology to accelerate the learning process, and rethinking disciplinary definitions to reflect the explosive growth of knowledge and changes in methodologies in virtually every academic field. The most enduring transformation will begin with a dramatic shift in program content and pedagogy rather than reliance upon organizational restructuring.

Originality/value

A historically‐grounded vision of the university's current creative potential establishes a reference frame that bestows the freedom to transcend linearly progressed trends. The university can then be re‐imagined as a vital transformative and healing institution uniquely suited to its mission in an era rife with anxiety, uncertainty, and risk.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

Jonathan Gueverra

The paper aims to provide administrators with a comprehensive view of the necessity for careful strategic planning to deal with the emerging “virtu‐versity.”

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Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to provide administrators with a comprehensive view of the necessity for careful strategic planning to deal with the emerging “virtu‐versity.”

Design/methodology/approach

This paper examines current trends in e‐learning in the USA and extrapolates its impact to provide strategic guidance for colleges as they consider issues related to organization and governance, physical facilities and virtual environments.

Findings

The paper provides a suggested list of areas to consider before and during the transformation that leads to more on‐line courses and programs.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is not based on empirical research and is confined primarily to what is occurring in the USA.

Practical implications

The paper offers an overview that can help administrators begin and continue planning for the explosion of e‐learning.

Originality/value

This paper gives a general and balanced view of the need for strategic positioning in considering how e‐learning may continue to affect higher education.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

Joel Hartman, Chuck Dziuban and Patsy Moskal

The paper aims to present a strategic model for online program success in higher education and to discuss the implications of web‐based teaching for learning assessment and

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Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to present a strategic model for online program success in higher education and to discuss the implications of web‐based teaching for learning assessment and program evaluation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses an analytic approach to deconstruct a successful online program to identify necessary elements for the initiative to become apart of the institutional culture.

Findings

The paper traces the evolution of online learning in higher education over the past decade, poses the necessary strategic planning questions that must be answered, identifies critical success factors, argues that that the broadening scope of evaluation will have to encompass emerging constructs such as information fluency, and hypothesizes online learning as a systemic initiative.

Research limitations/implications

The study intends to stimulate case study research at other colleges and universities using the template of this paper to assess whether or not the model constructs and elements are robust with respect to institutional context.

Practical implications

This paper outlines a planning and assessment protocol that may be used for establishing successful online programs and assessing the outcomes of the initiative in terms of the original objectives as well as unanticipated side effects.

Originality/value

This paper unifies many heretofore disparate components of online learning as they effect student populations, faculty development, necessary support services, program accountability, infrastructure issues, and new models for evaluation.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

Robert Whittaker

The aim of this paper is to describe the rapid development and effectiveness of online education in an urban college, emphasizing the use of distance education by local students

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to describe the rapid development and effectiveness of online education in an urban college, emphasizing the use of distance education by local students, their academic performance and perspectives for future growth.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a description of the phases of distance education development. It analyzes of survey data on student response to online learning and analysis of grades indicating academic performance online in relation to overall undergraduate performance.

Findings

The paper finds that early unplanned development has brought increased administrative support: plans are being made for programs, major concentrations, and advanced degrees on the undergraduate and graduate level. Student academic success reflects the special demands of online education and indicates the need for special screening processes and support services.

Research implications

The academic success of students reflects the special demands of distance learning and qualifies the popularity of distance education as seen in rapid increases in online enrollment.

Practical implications

The promise of distance education for a local student population (to speed progress to degree completion by increasing the number of courses per semester) should be tested in terms of student academic success.

Originality/value

This account of how distance learning can develop in an urban, commuter college and the possibilities for improving service to existing students while increasing enrollment, suggests strategies for effective integration of online courses into the existing undergraduate and graduate curriculum.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

Nitza Davidovitch

The aim of this paper is to present conclusions from a series of studies on the introduction of new learning technologies at the College of Judea and Samaria, Israel, including

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to present conclusions from a series of studies on the introduction of new learning technologies at the College of Judea and Samaria, Israel, including course websites and a computerized marking system.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper summarizes four distinct empirical studies based on annual student surveys, questionnaires developed specifically for the study and the College exam database. The first series of three studies was designed to examine usage rates and students' evaluations of effectiveness of website courses, in three concentric circles in the College: on the institutional, faculty and departmental level. The fourth study tracked an institutional initiative towards enhanced quality of instruction, by comparing College‐wide data on students' ratings and grades for courses whose instructors implemented and used a computerized grading system for multiple‐choice on‐line exams.

Findings

Studies show that academic e‐learning in Israel has focused on quantity rather than quality; and on superficial technological adoption rather than conceptual pedagogical change process.

Practical implications

Institutions wishing to encourage the introduction of innovative learning aids and technologies must develop the necessary conditions that ensure that technology adoption serves rather than dominates pedagogy.

Originality/value

This paper discusses the reasons for a focus on quantity rather than quality, and on superficial technological adoption rather than the introduction of a conceptual pedagogical change process, in Israeli higher education's approach to online learning. Empirical findings highlight the need to introduce technological innovations that are grounded in and develop from a sound pedagogical base.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

George Otte

The purpose of this paper is to track trends in online learning and in higher education generally, particularly to see how the former might solve key problems for the latter.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to track trends in online learning and in higher education generally, particularly to see how the former might solve key problems for the latter.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a case study as a specific solution to a general problem.

Findings

The paper finds that, given the growing ubiquity of online instruction, its primary orientation may have shifted from “distance education” to largely local outreach, specifically as a way of addressing the growing problem of degree completion. The conclusion is that online learning may well be experiencing a generational shift, a turned corner from distance education to local access, and from a satellite operation to an integral part of an institution's function and mission.

Originality/value

The paper provides useful information on trends in online learning and higher education.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

1 – 10 of 13