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September’s Letter from the Editor

Trends I’m Following this Month It’s All About Multimedia Innovation in online education is moving forward, and it’s not just because the technology is getting better. Designers, program managers, and faculty members are making the most of the tools available in the context of online learning. My students are even surprising me these days with multimedia submissions of the usual text-based assignments and discussion posts. Video in particular is gaining ground in online courses as it becomes easier to create and stream. In a recent #IOLchat conversation, instructors shared how…

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August’s Letter from the Editor

Trends I’m Following this Month Augmented and Virtual Reality in Online Education Last month I was introduced to virtual reality! And my Google Cardboard viewer is already in the mail. I became an instant fan of this new digital media experience and the potential it has for educational use and career preparation. The possibilities seem endless for colleges to connect with students in all kinds of ways from class assignments to outreach about services. Pokemon Go’s popularity on college campuses provides a peek into the future. Are you using these…

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July’s Letter from the Editor

Trends I’m Following this Month Participating, Planning … Prioritizing Once a time of rest and relaxation, the college “summer break” (if we get one at all) is now one of the busiest times of the academic year. In most online programs, accelerated terms (i.e., 5- to 10-week classes) continue through the summer, and campus-based programs are in the middle of their summer schedules. This is also when many instructors participate in professional development activities, plan for the fall, and try to take time off from work. I’m teaching this summer,…

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June’s Letter from the Editor

Trends I’m Following this Month Professional Development – Is it time to refresh your skills? Summer is upon us and it’s a good time in the academic year to pursue professional development activities. No matter your field of study or employment, continued training and education will almost certainly be required. You may have the opportunity to attend a workshop, take an extra class, or attend a conference. But there are also low- and no-cost ways to pursue professional development on your own. What are the latest books in your area…

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May’s Letter From the Editor

Trends I’m Following this Month the open education movement is going strong Open Education Week is an annual event coordinated by the Open Education Consortium. The goal is to “raise awareness about the movement and its impact on teaching and learning worldwide.” I have incorporated open textbooks in my online courses, and used open education resources (OER) as supplemental materials when I was a student. While this movement is not new, it’s still relevant. Find out more about how open resources can affect your classes. Episode 11 of the Teaching…

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Inside Online Learning 

The Online Student’s Guide to Professional Credentials

As you begin the new year, your resolutions may include job and education goals. The options for expanding your professional knowledge and technical skills are offered by a wide range of schools and organizations. The emergence of new formats, such as  badges and nanodegrees, has caused some confusion however. Can these opportunities help you get ahead in your career? Even after you have a college degree (or several) the question of credentials persists. Should I, for example, pursue certification as a professional resume writer or career coach? Or maybe completing…

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Inside Online Learning 

8 Critical Career Skills for 2016

A perceived skills gap – between what college graduates bring to the workplace and what employers want to hire – still exists. I’m not completely convinced that this is a lack-of-skills issue, however. It’s a complex situation that includes challenges communicating needs (employer) and communicating competence (student/job seeker). How can you and bridge the gap and be more competitive in the job market? Do you have the skills hiring managers are looking for, and are you able to share your readiness for the workplace? The Essential Skills While each industry,…

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Inside Online Learning 

Student-Centered Learning: Buzzword or Innovation?

The term student-centered was popular at the Online Learning Consortium conference this year, but it also appeared on a buzzword bingo card for the SXSWedu event. Is it something new and innovative, or just trendy terminology? Makes you wonder what education has been focused on all these years if it hasn’t been students. Definitions and Descriptions There’s an apparent shift in the focus of attention in higher education among those who are developing new programs. We are moving from strategies that are helpful or convenient from an administrative point of…

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Inside Online Learning 

Are You Using These Job Search Resources?

As a college student, online or on campus, you have access to a wide range of support services designed to help you find your next job. A recent study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) asked students to share which resources they used most and rate them on effectiveness. What initially caught my eye about the NACE report was the fact that “faculty members” rated so highly (more about that below). This list sparks a lot of ideas and none of the items included is unusual, out…

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Inside Online Learning 

Are Your Online Students Lost? Try a Course Map

It’s that time of year again. The end of the Fall semester is in sight and we’re looking ahead to the Spring. Once Thanksgiving is behind us the days get busy with final exams, holiday celebrations and (hopefully) vacations, but planning for the next term is also a priority. While the content and layout are familiar to you, what will the experience be like for students who are new to your course? What about those who will be enrolled in your class as their first online course? The Geography of…

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