http://chronicle.com/items/biz/cartoons/CHEMAR0413_iPadBanner.gifInformation Provided By Adobe. Online learning today faces a tall order. With people accustomed to richer, more engaging digital experiences on their computers, smartphones, and tablet devices, it’s not surprising that they would expect that same quality of experience in their online classes. The reality is that capturing and keeping people’s attention in today’s world is more challenging than ever.
In higher education, distance learning has moved well beyond offering a small subset of classes to include complete undergraduate and graduate programs that foster ongoing collaboration among students and faculty. The challenge for higher education institutions is building distance learning on a foundation that supports today’s demands, while staying open to tomorrow’s requirements.
A few years ago distance learning largely involved students logging on and listening, with limited direct interaction with their professors and even less with their fellow students. Now, real-time interaction is the norm, as students virtually “raise their hands,” participate in breakout sessions, jointly lead presentations, share video, and engage in a host of other dynamic interactions.