Article Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Discover Emerging Trends in Online Higher Education

May. 4, 2015 US News and World Report

As online education enrollment growth slows, programs are exploring new formats to appeal to students.

The definition of online higher education is becoming increasingly broad as new models incorporate more real-time instruction, turn course work into competition or rethink how student learning is assessed, experts say.

“The range and extent of those offerings continues to increase at a pretty fair clip,” says Malcolm Brown, director of the learning initiative at Educause, an educational technology advocacy group.

Below is a look at three emerging trends in online instruction through the lens of institutions that are among the leaders in their implementation: synchronous instruction, gamification and project-based learning.

Synchronous instruction: In the online master’s in social work program at the University of Southern California, students in their first semester participate in a virtual field practicum.

Instead of being placed in a partner agency to do traditional field placement work with live clients, students spend four hours a week using videoconferencing​ and other interactive tools​ to receive synchronous – or real-time – instruction.

An hour of that weekly time is spent in a mock counseling session with an actor hired to portray a realistic client – similar to one​ students might encounter in an actual field placement. Students alternate leading the video session,​ and then use a second hour to discuss which strategies for engaging that client proved most effective.

The model gives students from diverse ​backgrounds much-needed preparation for interacting with a variety​ of clients. By delaying their face-to-face field experience into a following term, it also allows students in rural communities more time to find a suitable field placement following their enrollment, says Elizabeth Phillips, who oversees students’ clinical work as an associate professor.

“Before, we were just putting people brand new behind closed doors and saying, ‘We trust you,'” Phillips says. “Now we’re saying, ‘We think we’d like to teach you a little bit more.'”

Read More on US News and World Report

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

Apply Today

All Resources

Tell Me More

Your Team Doesn’t Need You to Be the Hero


Read More

Here’s why the IRS would want to audit your taxes

Mistakes and common situations that you should be aware of.

Read More

4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Achieve Massive Growth in a Recession

There is still great opportunity, you just need to look in new places.

Read More

U.S. Soccer’s Gregg Berhalter on Rebuilding Trust in the Wake of Controversy

Lessons in the response during controversy.

Read More

Why February Is a Better Month for Resolutions

We must look back before looking forward and ask ourselves these questions.

Read More

Budgeting to Get Out of Debt

Your clear first step to financial improvement

Read More

How To Be A Man According To 15 Dads

"What's the most important lesson you want to teach your son about being a man?"

Read More

Is There Really No Safe Amount of Drinking?

Your heart will benefit from any cutback.

Read More