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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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Inside Online Learning 

What Makes College Worth the Cost?

We hear a lot about what employers, parents and higher education institutions think about the value of a college education. But do recent graduates think college is “worth it?” A new study from Gallup and Purdue University shares feedback from more than 30,000 undergraduate alumni. Tuition, loans and salaries are the big news in calculating return on college investment, but students who’ve navigated courses and graduation requirements know that there’s more to it than that. The best person to ask for a review is someone who has direct experience with…

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Inside Online Learning 

What Will You Earn After Graduation?

What’s the return on investment (ROI) of a college education? This is continuously under debate. At the heart of the issue is how much students will earn after graduation, as compared to how much they spent to complete the degree. How can you set realistic expectations for your future income? There are many resources available to help you determine what type of wage or salary you can expect. It’s not all black and white, however. There are many variables to consider in terms of costs and benefits, and your calculation…

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Inside Online Learning 

Shaping the Future of Online Learning

I attended the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) annual conference last week, and the event’s theme was relevant to everyone involved in online education right now – Shaping the Future of Online Learning. There was a lot to explore through keynote presentations, general sessions and posters (now called discovery sessions), as well as virtual attendance and social networking feeds. More than 1,700 on-site participants, representing all 50 states, Washington, DC and 26 countries, discussed leading edtech practices, new innovations and ideas about what’s to come. Challenging Assumptions Opening keynote speaker Goldie…

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Inside Online Learning 

A Week of Education Twitter Chats

“What other Twitter chats should I attend?” This question comes up fairly frequently during our weekly Inside Online Learning chat sessions (#IOLchat) here at Online Colleges. There are literally hundreds of Twitter chats out there, covering topics that range from cooking and travel to news and entertainment. Education chats are also popular, but which ones are most relevant to you and how do you find them? Twitter Chat Basics For those who are new to the live-chat format on Twitter, reviewing how-to materials can be helpful. Educators Sue Waters and…

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Inside Online Learning 

5 Video Tools for Your Online Class

One of the courses I teach is completely asynchronous, and for a long time I’ve wanted to add a video component to at least break up the monotony of otherwise text-heavy materials. I’ve been experimenting with a few things, but there are many more out there I want to try. There’s no disputing the power video can have in boosting instructor presence and student interest in an online course. But it doesn’t have to mean creating hours of highly–produced footage. Whether you want to record yourself giving a presentation, include…

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