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Teaching/Learning Center

eLearning at Otis College

Why eLearning Benefits Faculty + Students

Otis College embraces the potential learning-enhancing value of eLearning in various manifestations.

E-Learning courses are offered in support of student success. They afford students more flexible schedules, the opportunity to repeat or review online content as needed, and work on course content when most motivated. Such courses also provide faculty increased flexibility, in particular, saving commute time.

Myriad literature suggests that, when executed thoughtfully, eLearning can help students enhance overall learning in specific courses by:

  • managing their schedules,
  • reviewing class materials, and
  • organizing their efforts productively.

While the college continually gathers input from faculty members, chairs, directors, and others in the Student Learning and Success division, it strives to move forward with the help and guidance of the eLearning Advisory Committee toward achieving some of the benefits that e-Learning can bring, including bridging geographic divides to create a continuing learning relationship between faculty and students by matching technology with student needs, course learning objectives, and the College mission.

Currently, eLearning at Otis College comprises both blended (with micro option) and online course delivery that enhances: 

  • Interactivity, customization, and flexibility for students and faculty
  • Teaching effectiveness and academic excellence
  • Student success 
  • Opportunities for degree completion
  • Remedial learning opportunities
  • Academic emergency recovery capacity
  • Market competitiveness.

Otis College Faculty share what they have learned over the last year and a half teaching Blended Learning Classes. They discuss what is best taught online or face-to-face, how to keep community while not in person, and how to take advantage of video demos between meetings.


Types of eLearning Courses Available

  1. MICRO-BLENDED - Is an intermediate step in which online delivery of course instruction may only occur for 2 weeks. This allows faculty to experiment with eLearning.
  2. BLENDED - A combination of teaching on-campus and then providing 5 - 8 weeks of course instruction online. When structured well, the online portions of the course support on-campus instruction creating a more dynamic and interactive learning experience.
  3. 100% ONLINE - Provides 100% of course content and instruction digitally, or in combination with one or two face-to-face meetings on-campus.
  4. TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED - These courses use Instructional Technologies on a regular basis. In addition to O-Space and email, technologies used may include blogs, the DID, wikis, learning objects, video projects, Tumblr, Zoom, etc. This use of technology is overwhelmingly appreciated by students, 96% of whom have reported on course evaluations for several years that they like the use of appropriate technology in their courses.

The eLearning Modes

E-Learning classes can include elements of asynchronous or synchronous learning. 

ASYNCHRONOUS

  • Uses online learning resources to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a network of people.
  • Asynchronous classes allow for flexibility in the student's participation in activities.
  • Examples include email, listservs, online discussion boards, wikis and blogs.
  • Course management systems such as Digication (O-Space) support online interaction, allowing users to organize discussions, post and reply to messages, and upload and access multimedia.

SYNCHRONOUS

  • Refers to a group of people learning the same things at the same time, like lectures and class discussions.
  • Online synchronous learning would include voice chats, video-conferencing (Zoom), and webinars.

eLearning Advisory Committee

In 2012 the eAC was formalized to lead e-Learning activity in support of student and college success. The committee plans and oversees College e-Learning initiatives, reviews and recommends for implementation course and program proposals, and assesses these for the College. The committee convenes monthly to review the status of pending and new developments, or as needed at the request of the Provost or any member in coordination with all members.
 
The eAC is comprised of individuals representing a cross-section of the Otis College Academic community meeting once a month. Current members of eAC include: faculty/instructor representatives, the Instructional Designer, the Director of Library and Learning Centers, the Dean of Continuing Education and Pre-College Programs, the Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Provost’s Office. 

Learn More About eLearning

1. Pushing Through the Perils of Teaching Online (8-27-12) - Prof Hacker - The guest blogger Doug Ward explains why his first foray into online-only teaching didn't work out so well and offers some practical strategies for success.

2. Teaching Tips For a UDL Friendly Classroom (12.13.16)

3. "3 Tips for Handling Discussions in Online Courses" (ProfHacker, 2015)

4. "7 Things You Should Know About Navigating the New Learning Ecosystem" (Educause)

5. Student Success Strategies (Blended learning Toolkit)

6. Difficult Online Students (Inside Higher Ed)

7. "Case Study: Tips for Blending Your Course" (Karen Teeley)

8. "How Student Video Presentations Can Build Community in an Online Course" (The Chronicle)

9. Reimagine Blended Learning (ISTE Infographic)

10. The College of 2020 (Chronicle)

11. What Is a MOOC?

12. ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology (2013)

13. "Lessons About Online Learning" (Inside Higher Ed, 2016)

14. "The Trouble With Online College" (NYTimes, 2013)

15. "Keeping an Eye on Online Test-Takers" (NYTimes, 2013)

16. "Online Education May Make Top Colleges More Elite, Speakers Say" (Chronicle)

17. "Walk Deliberately, Don't Run, Toward Online Education" (Chronicle)

18. Blended Learning: A Disruptive Innovation (eLearning Infographics)

19. The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge - Edited by Toru Iiyoshi and M. S. Vijay Kumar, Foreword by John Seely Brown.

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