Monday, November 30, 2009

More College Students Taking Classes Online

With rapid growth in online learning, tools for effective online teaching become urgently important. David Nagel of Campus Technology recently reported, “Nearly 12 million post-secondary students in the United States take some or all of their classes online right now. But this number will skyrocket to more than 22 million in the next five years, according to data released recently by research firm Ambient Insight.”

That’s a lot of students taking online courses. But even more interesting is Ambient Insight’s forecast that the number of students who take all of their courses in physical classrooms will drop from 15.15 million in 2009 to just 5.14 million by 2014. The landscape of college education in the United States is definitely changing. What tools of technology will make this change successful?

Penn Foster Career School
in Scranton, Pennsylvania, is a school of independent study with many courses offered online. Penn Foster utilizes LabSim training to offer students a course in Crime Scene Investigation. The training in the LabSim course gives Penn Foster students relevant, hands-on technology education. And while LabSim courses are frequently taught in a physical classroom, they are also extremely effective as online curriculum. Online students succeed in LabSim working at their own pace, viewing instructional videos, online lessons, and hands-on lab simulations. Built-in section quizzes and practice exams test students’ knowledge, and LabSim’s reporting system tracks the progress and scores of each student—accessible by instructors any time.

What other tools do you utilize in online courses to make learning successful?

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