Tag Archives: CPD

Satisfaction with digital education

I came across this survey from Gallup on student satisfaction with digital higher education. The findings make interesting reading from a number of perspectives. While the value-for-money and breadth of curriculum of online learning is clearly acknowledged as key strengths by students. More important are the perceived weaknesses in terms of the quality of teaching, rigour of assessment and credibility with employers.

Also worth noting is that while both four-year degree universities and community colleges are seen to provide good or excellent education:

Americans’ overall assessment of Internet-based college programs is tepid at best. One-third of Americans, 34%, rate such online programs as “excellent” or “good.” The majority calls them “only fair” or “poor.” In contrast, two-thirds of Americans (68%) rate four-year colleges and universities as excellent or good, and nearly as many (64%) rate community colleges this highly.

Also interesting in terms of MOOCs and badging of skills and learning was the finding that…:

half of Americans currently believe that obtaining the knowledge and skills needed to perform a specific job are more important for young people today than earning a college degree from a well-respected university. This broadly suggests that online programs offering more targeted curriculum — distinct from a traditional bachelor’s degree — or even certification in specific skills, could ultimately transform how students approach postsecondary education.

The survey indicates that from a market perspective, online learning has a way to go to have the authority to disrupt higher education but perhaps has more potential for professional learning and development.

Designing open infrastructures for professional development

Last week I attended a seminar by the Supporting Sustainable e-Learning Forum at Glasgow Caledonia University with Peter Sloep from the Open University of the Netherlands.

[slideshare id=3578737&doc=100325sloep-sswlf-glasgow-100328105848-phpapp02]

The seminar and presentation used six “use cases” as the staring points for discussions on the efficacy of networked learning as viable solutions in terms of non-formal professional learning as well as collaborative sense-making and knowledge sharing.
The main discussions were, as might be expected,gravitated towards the debate of open v closed systems – although I find the debate at a broad level somewhat unhelpful as argued here. However, working through the issues to be considered for ePortfolios that can transfer from formal into non-formal professional learning as a useful tool for the individual while also providing suitable evidence for assessment provided a useful illustration of the difficulties of the practicalities of the “edgeless university” – for my take, see here. Other practical issues with the distributed network model that were discussed centred on institutional issues of IP and barriers derived from the imperatives of managerial control as well as technical barriers surrounding interoperability & standards etc.
A key issue underpinning many advantages of either the open/ distributed model and the closed model was one of trust and sources of ‘trustworthy’ knowledge.
An interesting day. While the seminar was about non-formal learning, the cross-over to capturing, understanding and enhancing informal (incidental?) learning were many.

The Supporting Sustainable e-Learning Forum has three more events planned for the rest of the year and more detail can be found at their Ning site here.