At Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC), the number of courses offered online and partially online (hybrid) increases every year. At last count, they were about 27% of credit classes. This is fairly typical nationwide in higher education. What may surprise you is that in a recent poll, 91% of students said that they are local residents and 62% indicated that they had not
taken an online class at another college or university. A likely factor for not "shopping around" is that financial aid is not easily shared between institutions. And of course, students have challenging time constraints balancing work, family, sports, and study. But I also wonder how widespread the skill set needed to surf educational opportunities state-wide, much less nation-wide, is among community college students.
I am taking a MOOC MOOC
this week, i.e., a massively open online course (MOOC) about massively open online courses. MOOCs have been in the news lately and one colleague even looked concerned when we discussed them the other day. The reason I am taking the course is that I am interested in what it takes to teach a student how to be a world-class online student. At CGCC, we have an online student orientation, a helpdesk, and instructor introductions to help students succeed. Enrolling in a MOOC involves degree of sophistication in online learning that transcends your local institution, and it also requires a larger skill set. So what can we learn from MOOCs to help our students navigate the wider world of learning?