Text-based, asynchronous, scheduled assignments, proctored exams? Sound familiar? In spite of growing availability of tools, services that support synchronous interaction via text, voice, video?
In spite of growing availability of tools, services that support access to teaching/learning resources in growing variety of media?
How well do entirely online text-based asynchronous college-level courses reflect commitment to the role of liberal arts in higher education?
More ... OCICU as puzzling example
I was prompted to ask these questions by my recent visits to the OCICU website. Online Consortium of Independent Colleges & Universities (OCICU) is a consortium of small, private, liberal arts, mostly religiously affiliated colleges that provides a means for developing, offering, sharing, exchanging "online courses." The limited notion of "online courses" I found puzzled me. The lists of "features" and "benefits" and the nature of the "Demo Courses" [see below] seemed to rely most on the basic capabilities of Learning Management Systems - asynch text discussion forums and other text-based activities. I found only a few instances of recorded video and synchronous use of WIMBA. Perhaps I didn't browse long enough to find the OCICU courses that integrated some of the newer Web-based more flexible technologies.
Excerpts and links from
"Through the power of the Internet you can attend class from practically anywhere in the world. Web-based classrooms, e-mail, chat rooms and forums, bulletin boards, and other technologies will enable you to know and dialogue with faculty and fellow professionals throughout the world. Whether you're at home, at the office, or traveling on business, online classes allow you to connect yourself with faculty, advisors, and fellow students on a schedule that's right for you.
"Most classes are offered in an 8-week accelerated format with classes starting 6 convenient times per year. You will be supported by faculty, staff, and online learning professionals who are committed to your success.
"If you are a student, start by choosing your home university
"sharing online resources and coordinating collaborative activities among and between members.
Online Consortium of Independent Colleges & Universities
"Demo Course (WorldClass): Regis University
This course allows students of the Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities to take a self-guided tour of a demonstration sampler course. Follow the instructions below to access the course.
- Go to https://worldclass.regis.edu
- Enter UserID: conline
- Enter Password: 1234567
- Click “Log In”
"Demo Course: Robert Morris UniversityWelcome to the Robert Morris University Online Orientation/Demo Course.
- Go to http://rmu.blackboard.com
- Username: rmuguest
- Password: rmu
- On the right hand side of the screen, you will see OCICU DEMO COURSE
- 5. Click on the link to enter the demo course
Photo of "Madeline Breckinridge, full-length portrait, seated at desk, facing slightly left, with quill pen in hand," by Bain, George Grantham, ca. 1904-1920.
Permission "This media file is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923. See http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/public_domain/ for further explanation.