Spotlight on Accreditation and Innovation in Online Learning
This week’s news was filled with great stories about online and higher education. Here are the articles we most enjoyed reading and sharing this week; covering accreditation, innovation, and more in online learning.
Community colleges face complex challenges in their often-diverging missions and roles. Unfortunately, solutions are brought to the table that often do not improve the learning experience of students. EdSurge discusses how digital innovation is a solution that improves student engagement and learning. Digital innovation enables the monitoring of homework and evaluations that students perceive as less judgmental and provides a frequent feedback loop between faculty and learners.
With lower costs and greater access, digital badges are on track to outpace traditional degree programs. Educause Review highlights the recent UPCEA report on alternative credentials that we wrote about in a previous blog post. Illinois State University Honors Program and Oregon Tech online are trailblazing in setting an example for why higher education institutions, and in turn employers, should value digital badges.
Educators can take professional development courses online thanks to the increasing number of professional learning online options to choose from. In a survey of 538 educators, nearly 60% of participants said they have taken some form of a PD course online. Before the option of online learning, educators cited that a lack of time produced a barrier in their professional learning development. Online learning has removed that barrier for many educators.
Members of the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions will now be going the extra mile to ensure that higher education institutions are doing all they can to enable their students to graduate with a quality degree. Accrediting agencies will ask institutions with below-average graduation rates to account for how they intend on improving their graduation numbers.