What is Online Learning?


Online learning is not new. What has made the topic new is the recent and unprecedented focus on providing learning via the Internet that has been stimulated by the tremendous interest in massive open online courses (MOOCs). What is new in this space is that online learning has “come of age;” the design of online learning is (more and more) specifically intended to encompass the latest research, the most promising developments, and new emerging business models in the online learning environment. At many institutions, online learning is an area newly ripe for experimentation — some would argue it is undergoing a sea change, with every dimension of the process open for reconceptualization. On campuses around the globe, virtually every aspect of how students connect with institutions and each other to learn online is being reworked, rethought, and redone — but it will be some time yet before ideas coalesce enough to be validated by research and implemented broadly.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).
Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 7, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Online learning was, is and will remain relevant for education in all levels and specially in STEMx Education. From my personal point of view it is, and it will be, a matter of methodology, how will we use and apply modern technological resources to improve teaching and learning. We need to stay always ahead of the technology and not behind it, I mean, we should use the proper technology for solving a known issue and not just because it is available- Uriel.Cukierman Uriel.Cukierman Aug 24, 2013 - Zeinab.El.Maadawi Zeinab.El.Maadawi Sep 3, 2013- Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Sep 3, 2013
  • Agree on using technology to solve known issues and not because it's available but in my field of distance learning we need to exploit the technologies that emerge as mature consumer technologies in order that they accessible at costs students can afford.
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Existing definition of "Online Learning" is still based on 200 year old literacies (3R's). We need to redefine "new" Online Connectivist Competencies (5R's).

    Traditional Literacy Competencies
    The 3 R's (Sir William Curtis, 1795):
    -Reading
    -wRiting
    -aRithmetic

    "New" Online Open Connectivist Competencies
    The 5 R's (Hussin & Kim, 2013):
    -Reach (out to others)
    -Respond (in context)
    -Research (for content)
    -Reflect (on learning)
    -Reiterate (to improve)

    John Timbs. (1825). The three R’s – Reading Writing and Rithmetic: Speech by Sir William Curtis (1795) at a school dinner. The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Volume 5.

    Hussin, R., & Kim, P. (2013). Workshop on Open Ongoing Connectivist MOOCS. Retrieved July 30, 2013, from http://shell.venture-lab.org/wooc

    - phkim phkim Sep 1, 2013 - Zeinab.El.Maadawi Zeinab.El.Maadawi Sep 3, 2013 - Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Sep 3, 2013
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on STEM+ education?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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Please share information about related projects via our NMC Horizon Report project submission form.