Have you heard of the TED talks? This is a good one on math: http://www.ted.com/talks/arthur_benjamin_the_magic_of_fibonacci_numbers.html
A recently released study by Columbia looked at an extremely large sample of online courses and their associated success rates. The study found that demographic groups that tend to struggle in class do worse in online classes and have a lower success rate (I guess that means course completion) than students who do well in traditional classes. These groups include black and male students, younger students, and students with lower GPAs tend to do less well in online classes than they do in traditional f2f classes. Other groups, including females and older students also do more poorly in online classes but the tradeoff for easier access to education is apparently worth the slightly lower success rates. This study begs the question of just how the impact of MOOCs might be negative for the poorly performing groups. If MOOCs begin to replace many traditional courses, the achievement gap might widen. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Read more here: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/online-courses-could-widen-achievement-gaps-among-students/42521.
You can hardly “open” an online education resource without stumbling into much ado about MOOCs. I am still in the formative stage of my own opinions about them but I just found a great resource with bunches of articles giving the background and current status of MOOCs: http://alturl.com/v26ff
If you have taken one of my online classes, you are probably aware that I am a fan of Khan Academy how-to videos. Well not everyone feels the way I do and there has been much discussion in the higher education circles about the pros and cons of Khan Academy. Today, an author proposed a rigorous study (http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2013/02/11/does-khan-academy-help-learners-a-proposal/) of the possible benefits of Khan Academy using a well-known experiment previously conducted on a specific type of learning – peer instruction. While such a study would possibly add valuable information to the discussion, I tend to agree with a comment one of the readers posted about the merits of the study. She said something to the effect “if a student tells me he was helped by the Khan Academy videos, I tend to believe him.” True this is anecdotal but it rings true with me.
Of the many elearning software applications, three seem to be the most popular: Captivate, Lectora and Articulate. I am in the process of trying out each of these applications to gain my own perspective but Thomas Toth on his blog has a good discussion comparing the three. Trainers Talk Tech
The Chronicle has published a report that provides a glimpse of the college of 2020 based upon trends identified in higher education today. Read the Executive Summary or order the entire report. The College of 2020