Online delivery of higher education

Online course delivery by Australian universities has exploded over the last few years, where students can now get university degrees taught entirely through online teaching modes such as webinars, recorded lecturers and group chats.

We’ve also seen the rise of Massive Open Online courses (MOOCS) which are free university courses anyone can take. Many Australian universities, as well as leading global universities, are also producing MOOCs. New private sector companies are also competing in this space, developing platforms and business models devoted solely to online learning.

It is often claimed that MOOCs provide an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills, advance your career and deliver quality educational experiences at scale. However, they do not generally provide academic credit and you may not have a lot of learning support or interaction with the lecturer.

Why the contribution is important

Structural changes in our economy, including digital disruption, are changing the skills that employers need. This requires workers to be adaptable enough to adjust to the changing nature of work and undertake life-long learning, including new forms of learning like micro-credentialing and MOOCs.

  • What does this mean for face-to-face learning in higher education, and for university campus culture?
  • In your opinion, what are the benefits to online university delivery? We’d love to hear from Australians in regional areas who may be undertaking study online.
  • How do you think MOOCs are changing our expectations of higher education?
  • What are the benefits and downsides for undertaking MOOCs and other forms of self-directed online learning? How can this form of learning influence someone’s job readiness?

by DigitalEconomyTeam on October 23, 2017 at 06:20PM

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Comments

  • Posted by AimeeZhang November 09, 2017 at 19:03

    Education should be changed with the changing requirements of students. Online and mobile education has changed the education industry in most countries. Some empirical studies in 'The Handbook of Mobile Teaching and Learning' can provide a better view of new technologies and future technologies in education.
  • Posted by johnkh79 November 10, 2017 at 14:01

    I have done most of my study online, and I believe that the impact of online/interactive/flipped/blended learning on the campus culture will be significant, especially with the flexibility of digital learning.
    Online learning has huge benefits that can be summarised by the ability to access university courses from almost anywhere, reduce travel time, reduce cost and the ability to learn at own pace. Online learning allows more time for research and application rather than campus settings.
    About expectations, I believe everyone is equal in the digital space or at least has equal opportunity to promote quality and recognised qualifications. In the digital space, there is no place for "Since 1845".
    On the other side, online training can't create the campus atmosphere, which might be prefered by young students, and it is less acceptable by businesses that an online degree has the same quality as a campus degree. Another area that might be of great concern is support, customer service, and quality. With online delivery, these are key success factors for any university.
  • Posted by DigitalEconomyTeam November 10, 2017 at 17:06

    Hi johnkh79 - thanks for posting. This is a really great comment that touches on a lot of different observations and ideas.
    You mentioned that you've done most of your study online - in your experience, what makes a good online study experience? For example, is frequent communication with your course teachers important to you? Or is the types of assignments and assessment you might have as part of your course?
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