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Online/Distance Education Programs

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A Campus Away From Campus
CURRENTS Article Helping online students feel connected to your institution is a major challenge for engagement professionals. In 2015, the Penn State San Diego alumni chapter created an "adoption" program to engage the hundreds of virtual students in its neighborhood and make them feel part of the Penn State family. The chapter assessed its ongoing programming to see how it could include and assist San Diego-area distance learners. It offered the students free membership, invited them to a networking event, sent encouraging notes during finals week, and hosted a family-friendly afternoon holiday party.

Cyber-Go-Seek
CURRENTS Article Online students constitute 15 percent of the higher education market, and adult learners make up 40 percent. If we don't engage these students while they are taking courses, we may lose them as alumni. Yet they are continually overlooked, because this type of student is still new to advancement professionals. To develop an effective engagement strategy, we must first figure out who online students are and what they want from us.

More Countries Adapting MOOCs to Fit their Educational Needs
Article,  BriefCASE Article More countries, including China, Saudi Arabia and Rwanda, are creating and adapting massive open online courses, more popularly known as MOOCs, to fit the specific needs of their populations.

Talking Points: Tech in a Tangle
CURRENTS Article The MOOC landscape is changing almost daily as developers try to improve their products and find sustainable business models. When assessing emerging projects, critics and advocates alike should be patient, understanding that MOOCs’ disruption of higher education may be less a smooth ascent than a stop-and-go route.

President’s Perspective: The MOOCs Shall Inherit the Earth
CURRENTS Article What can MOOCs do for advancement? Quite a bit, writes CASE President John Lippincott.

The Marketability of MOOCs
Article,  BriefCASE Article Massive open online courses present a great marketing opportunity for educational institutions. That’s according to one nationally known expert on MOOCs.

Odds and Ends: Digital-Age Dumbledore
CURRENTS Article In this Q-and-A format interview, Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, discusses the changes he foresees in education credentialing, the noncommercial nature of his online learning academy, and his long-held desire to start a school.

Making Their Presence Felt
CURRENTS Article Andrew Morrison at the University of Liverpool writes about how the U.K. institution has been able to engage—and in some cases raise gifts from—alumni of the university’s online program. He discusses findings from the university’s survey of online alumni and covers the ways that engagement of online graduates is different from and similar to engaging traditional graduates.

New Report Tracks Adoption of MOOCs in Higher Education
Article,  BriefCASE Article A new report indicates that nearly 55 percent of U.S. institutions are still undecided about whether to offer massive open online courses even as public interest in MOOCs continues to grow.

Talking Points: A MOOC Point
CURRENTS Article Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, burst onto the higher education scene last year. Yet while MOOCs offer several tangible benefits for colleges and universities, the technology also has drawbacks that institutions must consider.

Talking Points: Opening Up Education
CURRENTS Article In the 10 years since the Massachusetts Institute of Technology decided to publish online the core academic content of all of its courses, there's been a wealth of activity in the creation and sharing of open educational resources that has created unprecedented opportunities for learners.

A Greater Academic Mission
CURRENTS Article A distance learning program created by Jesuit Commons educates refugee populations in Syria, Kenya, and Malawi. Refugees take classes online and earn a Diploma of Liberal Studies, conferred by Regis University.

Odds and Ends: Talking Tech
CURRENTS Article As someone who lives and breathes technology, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is ideally suited to predict how it will intersect with education.

Online Classes Becoming More Popular and Accepted
Article,  BriefCASE Article Post-secondary students in the United States who take some or all of their classes online may soon outnumber students who take all of their courses in physical classrooms, according to recently released data.

Talking Points: Studying in Cyberspace
CURRENTS Article Will the growing numbers of online students become committed alumni?

Advance Work: Empowering Online Education
CURRENTS Article The Bismarck State College Foundation in North Dakota has been instrumental in gaining funding to make the college a leader in energy education.

Now You See Them, Now You Don't
CURRENTS Article More and more institutions are offering online degrees. If advancement professionals fail to engage and cultivate these alumni, then a philanthropic windfall could be frittered away.

Closing Remarks: Why We Are Still Waiting
CURRENTS Article E-learning promised to transform teaching and learning. In truth, its impact on higher education has been disappointing, asserts the author Robert Zemsky. Having examined what happened to e-learning and why, Zemsky and his colleague Bill Massy found that too much emphasis in the early stages was on what the technology could do rather than what problems it could solve. This piece delves deeper into what e-learning should and could accomplish but hasn't so far.

Sending Signals
CURRENTS Article The popular distance learning approach of Britain’s campus-less Open University has generated a global presence and an international alumni base, as well as an atypical advancement operation. The fledgling alumni office seeks to involve alumni volunteers in multiple ways suited to OU’s character, such as student recruitment and mentoring. The development operation maintains a strong emphasis on business development while building programs in annual giving and planned giving.

What's Holding Us Back?
CURRENTS Article Although online alumni education offers certain advantages over traditional programs--such as broader reach, easy specialization, and flexible scheduling--institutions have been slow to institute online courses. Shaindlin identifies some specific obstacles alumni officers face in developing online education programs and describes innovative examples from both ends of the cost spectrum.

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