#impactchat Recap: How Is Online Learning Changing Higher Education?
This week has seen some notable announcements in higher education: MOOCs are going to college and 70 percent of academic leaders say online learning is critical to their institution’s long-term strategy. The world knows that online learning is changing the landscape of higher education, but we wanted to know what real people are saying about the future of education.
To get the conversation started, we hosted our first Twitter chat, called #impactchat. During this chat, we spoke with students, professors, administrators and 2U’s own CEO, Christopher Paucek, to understand the fears and hopes that surround these changes in the long-established world of higher education. We were also able to hear from many who feel online education has already changed their lives for the better.
What Is a Twitter Chat?
A Twitter chat is an online public forum that takes place via tweets and a hashtag. Anyone can participate by adding the hashtag (#impactchat) to his or her tweet. #impactchat was a great example of how we can use technology and crowdsourcing to open up the dialogue for an industry deep in disruption. With each tweet, a new perspective came to light.
Who Participated in #impactchat?
Established Twitter chats, like #Edchat, have hundreds of followers with rapid-fire responses, but smaller, lesser-known chats may only garner a few participants. We were pleasantly surprised by the turnout for #impactchat. While we had a modest audience of about 25 contributors, we reached about 78,826 accounts and generated about 221,280 impressions.
Sorry I'm late. Educational consultant, speaker, and online course designer and faculty at Wilkes University. #impactchat— Kathy Schrock (@kathyschrock) April 23, 2015
To give you a sampling of the conversation, we’ve pulled together a few response tweets to each question we posed to the audience. If you would like to join the next #impactchat, or if you have an idea for an upcoming topic, email secheveste(at)2U.com.
Q1: How is online learning changing higher education?
“What changes are you seeing? #impactchat” Employers are now curious and impressed instead of turned off when you mention online degree.— Jennie McGuire (@JennieJMac) April 23, 2015
Q2: How is online learning impacting the student experience?
Immersion in online classrooms prepares tomorrow’s teachers to be digitally literate for today’s digitally-native students. #ImpactChat— Teach.com (@Teachdotcom) April 23, 2015
A2: In some ways, I am more confident in participating in class since virtual classrooms are less intimidating than in person. #impactchat— Jennie McGuire (@JennieJMac) April 23, 2015
Q3: How is online learning impacting the faculty experience?
A3: Plus, are experts in their fields, many guest lecturers from industry, tons of real time feedback #impactchat— Elizabeth Peters (@ehp2010) April 23, 2015
Teaching online allows faculty to immerse their everyday lessons & curricula in rich, multimedia tools. #ImpactChat— Michelle Manno (@michellermanno) April 23, 2015
Q4: Can you build meaningful relationships online?
A4. Having taught online for several semesters, I believe the potential is = f2f classes for building relationships #impactchat— Kelly Lux (@KellyLux) April 23, 2015
A4: Build in lots of collaboration and utilize real-time tools at times to build relationships. #impactchat— Kathy Schrock (@kathyschrock) April 23, 2015
A4. My relationships with learners is similar to F2F because student blogging is awesome for personal reflection and sharing #impactchat— Renee Hobbs (@reneehobbs) April 23, 2015
A4: Working w/ tools outside of the course management system allows relationships to extend past the semester. #impactchat— Kathy Schrock (@kathyschrock) April 23, 2015
A5...the relationships are actually what I have valued most in my online degree #impactchat— Elizabeth Peters (@ehp2010) April 23, 2015
Q5: Do you think online education is going in the right direction?
A5: I hope it is not just traditional moved online. Must be more thoughtful and creative in course design & assessments. #impactchat— Kathy Schrock (@kathyschrock) April 23, 2015
I think Univ that do this well will win. Reshuffling the deck of higher ed is happening now. #impactchat— Christopher Paucek (@Christopherpaucek) April 23, 2015
With the kind of blended learning and PBL models we are doing in K12, students may have different expectations for HE. #impactchat— Kathy Schrock (@kathyschrock) April 23, 2015
A5. Small classes, personalized attention, modern curriculum, varied methodologies - all bode well for online education #impactchat— Kelly Lux (@KellyLux) April 23, 2015
We want to hear your thoughts on online learning. Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #impactchat. Be sure to mention us (@2Uinc) so we don’t miss it.