What is next?
I agree with the majority on online education, MOOCs, adaptive learning, as well as m-learning. A straw poll conducted in June 2011 asked responders to select the top five key topics in learning technology from a list of 41 possibilities (Rushby, 2011). 1139 individuals from the education sector (93.8%) and training sector (6.2%) responded to the poll. Respondents from both sectors placed mobile learning in first place, followed by collaborative learning and social networking (Rushby, 2011). M-learning delivers independent and collaborative learning practices, allows for flexibility, provides instant student communication, and offers personalized learning—these are shared benefits of multiple topics we have been discussing and researching.
Open source and standards are topics I have been reading a lot about lately. Developing standards for course quality assurance is an opportunity that higher education institutions are contemplating. Syllabus standards, course format standards, and the use of rubrics are methods that some higher education institutions have implemented.
Another topic that is important to this is the role of the instructor. The shift to online learning has required a shift of the instructor. The roles of the online instructor are vast and multidimensional. The three most important roles of an online instructor are: professional, technologist, and pedagogical. Re-evaluating these roles, and specific training methods for developing these roles, are topics that will continue to be studied in this technology-focused educational climate for years to come.
Rushby, N. (2011.) Editorial: Trends in learning technologies. British Journal of Educational Technology 42(6), p. 885-888.