Technology in the classroom can be a burden or a relief. It can be an element of fear for educators, or an instrument of success for students, faculty, and institutions alike. Following are four approaches to redesigning the learning experience by incorporating technology.
With a flipped course, the type of head-down, solitary, content-related work that was commonly done in a classroom is now given exclusively as homework. This may include videos, reading, webinars, and so on—on any subject. Collaboration and interaction, on the other hand, happen in class. Said another way, quiet, static work is done alone, while students come to class to solve problems together. This approach has been successful at Stanford University, online with the Kahn Academy.
Blended courses describe a hybrid approach that utilizes both in-class learning as well as web-enabled learning inside and outside of the classroom. Its success has been proven in terms of performance, at least in part because teachers gain access to real-time data about student performance at each stage of the learning process.
Open Learning Initiative
The Open Learning Initiative, based at Carnegie Mellon University, empowers educators by providing tools to develop and deliver online courses, as well as measure and analyze data about student learning at no or little cost. The Open Learning courses and modules, which can be integrated into other classrooms, are created by teams of people, including researchers who are in the process of testing leading-edge theories about how students learn.
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
The largest MOOC to date included 160,000 enrolled students from 190 countries. About 23,000 students completed the course, and 248 graduated with a perfect score. From this single class, the third party company that hosted the MOOC forwarded the resumes of 200 students, based on class performance alone, to Fortune 500 companies including BMW and Amazon.
Finding Custom Solutions
The MOOC format, and all of the course redesigns mentioned here, pose many questions for higher education institutions include monetization, funding, scalability, and sustainability.
One thing, however, is certain. Technology is carrying higher education toward undeniable change, including in language learning. Innovative solutions like the Rosetta Stone® Language Learning Suite and others provide options ranging from incorporating an individual module designed by a team to flipping the classroom completely.