Online education platforms scale college STEM instruction with equivalent learning outcomes at lower cost

Igor Chirikov
Tatiana Semenova
Natalia Maloshonok
Eric Bettinger
René F. Kizilcec

Meeting global demand for growing the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce requires solutions for the shortage of qualified instructors. We propose and evaluate a model for scaling up affordable access to effective STEM education through national online education platforms. These platforms allow resource-constrained higher education institutions to adopt online courses produced by the country’s top universities and departments. A multisite randomized controlled trial tested this model with fully online and blended instruction modalities in Russia’s...

Alternative Digital Credentials: An Imperative for Higher Education by Gary W. Matkin

Gary W. Matkin

Alternative Digital Credentials (ADCs) will significantly transform the relationship between higher education institutions and society. By providing fully digital, workplace-relevant, and information-rich records of an individual’s skills and competencies, ADCs will render traditional university transcripts increasingly irrelevant and obsolete. Universities and colleges that to not adopt in some measure the ADC movement will begin to experience a slow decline in market position and patron support. Current usage of ADCs is emerging rapidly in the marketplace and is supported by standard-...

Open Learning: What Do Open Textbooks Tell Us About the Revolution in Education?

Gary M. Matkin

This paper provides a summary and assessment of the current development of open textbooks and describes a possible direction for future development and funded support of open textbook projects. This paper provides answers to the following questions: Why do we need open textbooks? What are open textbooks (in their various forms)? How are open textbooks developed and distributed? And finally, when will open textbooks be produced? As these questions are addressed, other dimensions relevant to the Open Education Resource (OER) movement are also revealed and discussed.

Strategies for E-Learning in Universities

Chris Curran

This paper examines the e-learning strategies adopted by universities, from the perspective of three common objectives: widening access to educational opportunity; enhancing the quality of learning; and reducing the cost of higher education. The discussion is illustrated by drawing on case studies of universities in Europe and the United States. It is concluded that the most striking characteristic of the e-learning strategies adopted by universities is their diversity, and inherent characteristic of adaptability in use and flexibility in application. The implicit compatibility with...

University-Industry Relations in the Market for Online Courses and Degrees

Steven Brint
Katrina Paxton-Jorgenson
Eric Vega

The market for online courses and degrees has continued to grow in recent years in spite of an overall slowdown in the growth of Internet-related industries. Who will control the new market for online courses and degrees - universities or corporations, or will a division of labor emerge between the two? What are the advantages of universities and corporations in this new market, and what are their liabilities? Will widely-endorsed models of "blended" online learning, which require some face-to-face interaction, become the norm, or will most courses substitute chat rooms and bulletin boards...

The Role of US Higher Education in the Global E-Learning Market

Marijk Van der Wende

This paper analyzes system and institutional level responses to the growing demand for e-learning in the US in comparison with a number of other countries and regions. It reviews the external forces and factors that are driving institutions to introduce and use ICT in this area and investigates in particular the role of globalisation and increasing competition. The responses of institutions to the changing (global) environment are discussed with respect to e-learning models and international strategies. Finally, a number of future scenarios are presented as well as an outline for research...

Higher Education in the Digital Age: A U.S. Perspective on Why Accurate Predictions May Be Difficult

Diane Harley

This paper analyzes some of the ways in which Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are being employed as possible solutions to the triad of pressures facing US research universities: (a) holding down costs, (b) providing access to an increasingly diverse demographic, and (c) maintaining quality. It presents the preliminary results of a large research project investigating the economic and pedagogical impacts of technology enhancements in a large lecture course at the University of California, Berkeley. Findings from this study, as well as a review of activities taking place...