How Are Colleges Adapting to Online Learning
‘Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative’, said H. G. Wells. But the mantra is applicable to universities now more than ever. With millions of students opting for online education, regular universities have to adapt and evolve in order to be able to survive. Most of them have done so with some amazing results. Some of them include:
Flipped learning is the buzzword in the blended learning world today. A typical example would be where students are asked to go through lecture material as short videos to be viewed at home, while the classroom is reserved for exercises and projects based on these lectures. So, in effect, class-work is to be done at home and homework is done in class. This is especially true for courses involving Information Technology and Electronics. The instructor acts more as a collaborator rather than a leader. Students are made responsible for their own learning forcing them to be more involved with the process rather than act as mere spectators.
Using MOOCs to Help Students Blend Into Regular College:
Almost half of all undergraduates that join regular college need additional training before they qualify for regular credit-bearing classes, claims an NY Times report. This often results in student dropping out of programs with little or no scope of finding a job. Universities are now introducing short term credit-bearing courses that help students understand the basics and adapt well into regular college.
Online Math Labs:
Math courses register the highest failure rates in the United States. For example, a report on the Washington Post claimed three out of four high school students failed Algebra in Montgomery, Maryland. The situation is nothing different in universities for degree (math) courses. Online Math Labs such as the one adopted by the Florida International University helps increase pass rates. During classroom training, students are only watching the instructor solve problems but online learning helps them solve problems on their own. Rather than look for math homework help, math labs enable students look for solutions. Homework answers definitely make teachers happy!