The Future of Online Education

I read an very interesting article on Inc.com today the future of online education. It does an excellent job of looking at how Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) are now being applied when flipping the classroom. For those that don’t know a MOOC is a recorded lecture series that students can watch (sometimes by the hundreds of thousands) from their home or anywhere else they choose. Universities are now utilizing MOOCS to deliver the lecture so that the professor has the time in class to engage with the students.

Organizations like Coursera, edX and Udacticity are applying MOOCS and the “flipping the classroom” philosophy in varying ways. Often they’re showing interesting results. EdX recently launched a pilot program at San Jose State University. Before the school incorporated edX, the failure rate for the course edX is supporting had been a 41 percent. After one semester, the failure rate for students in the flipped classroom dropped to just 9 percent. Those are important numbers that translate to a substantial increase in revenue and definitely is an indicator of student satisfaction.

There are a couple of factors that I wished the article dived into more deeply. One is the type of engagement the student is experiencing in the classroom seems to be a vital component of the success equation. While the article did point out some challenges inherent to the online classroom it didn’t bring to light what kind of engagement is best. What are teachers and professors doing with students during the critical time they’re spending with them? The other factor that the article didn’t discuss is the enrollment factor. Screening for the right students that would thrive in a MOOC/Flipped Classroom environment must be another important component of success. At ACE Global, for example, we know from experience that screening for personality traits, skill sets and knowledge base are critical components of our success.

I’d love to get your feedback on both those topics. Read the article in Inc.com by clicking on this link and let me know your thoughts.

Ian Bellais
Vice President
ACE Global
480-263-0562
ian.bellais@aceglobalinc.com
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