Incorporating and Building Social Presence to Create Engaging Online Learning Experiences
Online learning in higher education has reached an inflection point. There are now over 4.6 million students taking online classes and 1 in 4 higher education students now take at least one course online. As we will explore in a subsequent paper, schools are increasingly moving to blended learning experiences. The walls between online learning and the traditional residential experience are coming down. In some ways, even the findings of the somewhat contentious 2009 DOE meta-analysis are outmoded ii. The question should no longer be whether online education is credible or comparable to traditional instruction; the real question is – how can we best employ online learning, and what features of the online experience contribute to outstanding learning outcomes?
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