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The vast majority of institutions utilize a Learning Management System for the administration of online courses. As theories of distance education evolve, digital technologies to support learning and pedagogy continue to transform as well. The first correspondence courses began in the s using parcel post to reach students who couldn't be on a university campus.

In professors at the University of Wisconsin began an amateur radio station, becoming the first licensed radio station dedicated to educational broadcasting. The University of Iowa began to experiment with television for educational purposes in the s. It was not until the s, when the FCC began to reserve television frequencies for educational purposes, that telecourses caught the attention of the public.

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The value of television for education was furthered by the establishment of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting CPB in The CPB mission was "to encourage the growth and development of public radio and television broadcasting, including the use of such media for instructional, educational, and cultural purposes" as cited in, [1] p. The School employed computer conferencing to deliver a distance education program to business executives. In with the debut of the first Internet web browser, created by the University of Illinois, online learning began to flourish.

Given the improvements in delivery methods, online learning environments provide a greater degree of flexibility than traditional classroom settings. Asynchronous learning environments are described as online spaces where work is supported through the use of digital platforms in such a way that participants are not required to be online at the same time.

A benefit of asynchronous learning is the learner having more time to generate content-related responses to the instructor and peer postings; they have time to find facts to back their written statements. Asynchronous learning is viewed as less social in nature and can cause the learner to feel isolated.

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Synchronous learning environments most closely resemble face-to-face learning. When compared to asynchronous learning, synchronous online environments provide a greater sense of feeling supported, as the exchange of text or voice is immediate and feels more like a conversation.

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Most online learning occurs through a college's or university's learning management system LMS. A LMS is a software application for maintaining, delivering, and tracking educational resources.

Shaping Higher Education with Students

ECAR's survey of institutions found that generally, both faculty and students are satisfied with the LMS; with three-quarters satisfied with the LMS for posting content faculty and accessing content students. Similarly, just under half of the students surveyed reported satisfaction of the LMS for "engaging in meaningful interactions with students" p.

While LMSs are largely being used as a repository for course materials e. The functional characteristics of the next generation of digital learning environments include: "interoperability and integration; personalization; analytics, advising, and learning assessments; collaboration; and, accessibility and universal design" [18] p. The well-known educational theorist John Dewey argued that learning occurs in collaboration with knowledgeable others.

5. Teaching Methodologies, Part II: Active Learning: Why and How

Piaget's constructivist theory of learning highlighted the importance of engaged learning where meaningful discussions were held between peers. Theories of distance education are relatively new to the scene.

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These theories can be placed into four main categories: 1 theories of independent study e. Charles Wedemeyer, Michael Moore ; 2 theories of the industrialization of teaching e.

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Otto Peters ; 3 theories of interaction and communication e. If however, you find that you need longer to complete, you are able to move into to the session of the course. The course is based upon the multi award winning open educational resource developed by Simon McIntyre and Karin Watson. Integrating online technologies into your teaching can be a challenging prospect, and it can be difficult to know how to approach it effectively for the benefit of both students and yourself.

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No matter what type of technology you are interested in exploring or your level of experience, this course will help you draw on your teaching strengths and find the approach that is right for you, your students and your educational context. This course will guide you through your journey of understanding how online technologies can enhance your course design. According to a new book by Harvard Professor Todd Rose, generalized curriculum and teaching approaches based on everyone and relevant to no-one fail to meet student academic needs or fuel a passion for learning.

In essence, a one-size-fits-all approach to education is no longer acceptable to students who are used to personalized customer service from companies such as Amazon and Spotify. While personalization has seen exciting changes in education, higher education is still struggling to adopt it.

Research into personalized learning first emerged in when the educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom challenged the academic community to replicate, at scale, the effectiveness of one-to-one or small-group tutoring. The introduction of one-to-one initiatives, online classrooms, blended-learning models, and the rise of technology in classrooms allow for students to have far more access to relevant information than past generations.

Personalized learning can be defined as prioritizing the needs of individual students when developing curricula and learning materials. Students work at their own pace, often independently of the teacher. Technology may be used to allow students to access online materials, work through topics, find additional resources and to assess and monitor their progress.

Students are encouraged to be active learners and teachers are encouraged to engage with students one to one or in small groups. In introducing personalized learning it is important that higher education institutes get buy-in from educators and ensure that they are consulted in developing personalized learning materials. Technology should be employed for a purpose and not just for the sake of following the latest technology trend.


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At all stages of development of personalized learning, educators should keep in mind the desired learning outcomes. Any use of technology should go hand in hand with these learning outcomes. The role of the teacher is as important in personalized learning as in traditional education and should not be viewed as being supplanted by technology. Rather technology can be used to allow teaching staff more time to give individual attention to the students who most need it.