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Welcome to the Virtual Nest

Where good ideas come to roost.

By Haley Murphy, Online Program Development manager, Online Learning

May 20, 2021

Student leaning against Colorado Convention Center window near the Blue Bear.Welcome to the second article in a new Early Bird series developed by Online Learning: the Virtual Nest. This twice-monthly series highlights strong practices, emerging research, professional-development opportunities and more.

While highlights focus on online learning, they are valuable for all modes of instruction because when we implement best practices for online students, all students benefit collectively. Whether you are a faculty member, staff member or administrator, this series will offer new and valuable information to enhance your ability to support Metropolitan State University of Denver students.

Online Course Design:

Read: Transitioning to the World of Online Learning: Preparing Higher Education Instructors and Students for Success (Northcentral University)

While it is acknowledged that face-to-face teaching competencies such as knowledge of curricula and pedagogy do transfer to online contexts, it is also important to recognize some of the unique competencies required for online teaching success.

Online Instruction and Pedagogy

Read: Resilient Teaching During Times of Change with Dr. Rebecca Quintana, University of Michigan (Coursera Blog)

Rebecca Quintana is the learning-experience design lead at the University of Michigan. This Q&A elaborates on what resilient teaching really means in these remote-learning times.

Read: Delivering High-Quality Instruction Online in Response to Covid-19 – A Faculty Playbook (Online Learning Consortium)

This “playbook” addresses online teaching and learning in emergency and nonemergency contexts with special attention to course design, course construction, course management, course evaluation and strategies for continuous improvement.

Online Program Development and Administration

Read: 5 Tips for Moving From Remote Instruction to Quality Online Learning (Educause Review)

Quality-assurance measures can help institutions successfully bridge the gap between emergency remote instruction and quality online learning.

Online Recruitment, Retention and Strategy

Read: A 2021 Outlook for Professional, Continuing and Online Education (UPCEA)

Higher education had to grapple with unprecedented challenges over the past 14 months. The forced transition to remote learning across all institutional levels was a major shift in the industry at large. As institutions have navigated these paradigms, they have had to develop long-term strategies for the future. To help guide this strategic preparation across the industry, UPCEA has developed an outlook for 2021. The following are 10 trends it sees as highly influential and imperative to understand as we enter the new academic year and continue to navigate pandemic-related shifts.

Online Tools and Technologies

Read: 3 Ways to Future-Proof Your University (Campus Technology)

The Covid-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on higher education. Here’s how to weather the emerging “new normal” for the next semester and beyond.

Deep Dives

Read: Online College Students: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences (Wiley Education Services; Education Dynamics)

This report offers the latest culmination of market-leading insights into online-learner perceptions, behaviors and the evolving online education landscape. It provides higher-education leaders with the data they require to help recruit, maintain and graduate online college students from their respective institutions.

Read: A Guide to Online Bachelor’s Degrees Post-Pandemic (Wiley Education Services)

The guide provides what undergraduate students should know and how to stay on track amid Covid-19. It touches on understanding the difference between online degree programs and emergency virtual instruction; identifying student priorities and how they are evaluating schools; exploring the online student experience; and debunking the myths about online bachelor’s degrees.

Topics: Best practices, Excellence, Learning and development, Online Learning, Student Success

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