Who: Amy Ricci, Director of Online Education at Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education
Agree or Disagree with Article: Neither
Her Defense: In the U.S. News & World Report article on “Discover Emerging Trends in Online Higher Education,” the author mentioned three emerging trends in online instruction that institutions are using to appeal to new students:
- Synchronous instruction
- Project-based learning
Although these approaches to online instruction sound trendy, they’ve actually been around for many years. As overall higher education enrollments decline, online education continues growing and more and more institutions are vying for online education enrollments. Some institutions are marketing synchronous instruction, games, and project-based learning to differentiate themselves from others and to attract new students. While these instructional strategies certainly can be effective, they are not appropriate for every program or for every audience. There are also many other instructional strategies that work just as well.
My advice for students interested in pursuing online education is to look for programs using instructional strategies that fit their individual needs and learning styles.
For example, synchronous instruction may not be a good choice for students with busy schedules, but it may be a good option for students who learn best by interacting with others. Project-based learning like that described in the article may be challenging for students who need the structure of a set schedule of assignments to progress through coursework. Gaming can be very effective for simulating real-world situations, but not every student is comfortable in game environments.
So, explore the options, think about what learning environment will work best for you, and don’t be tempted to choose an online program just because it is touting a trendy instructional strategy.
For more information on pursuing your degree at Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education, complete the “Request Info” form on this page or call 855-JWU-1881 or email email@example.com.