Category Archives: Online Learning

An Online School Just for Girls

When two teachers at Westridge School in Pasadena decided to create a course based on pairing music and English together, they decided to turn to online education after their school became part of Online School for Girls, a nonprofit dedicated to educating girls. Paid by the online school, the teachers were able to build the course on their own time; now, Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition: The Music of Literature will hold its first lessons this fall.

Westridge is just one of eight schools in Los Angeles County that offers online classes through Online School for Girls. Despite the extra costs, the schools say the price is worth it and that they choose the nonprofit over other online options because it emphasizes teaching girls through creativity, practical lessons, and connection and collaboration. Furthermore, the schools found that it was time to join the edtech world or risk falling behind.

Through Online School for Girls, students are able to enroll in online courses that don’t fit into their regular school schedules or are of a special interest not on campus. These courses are taught by teachers from around the world who provide lecture videos, homework assignments, and even feedback through video chat. Due to the program’s emphasis on convenience outside of school, several students take courses to go beyond and prepare them for challenges outside of school.

Despite the nonprofit’s praises for its convenient and relevant courses, some critics of Online School for Girls note that its single-gender model can reinforce stereotypes, and that gender has very little to do with academic performance. However, the students don’t seem to mind the single-gender structure of Online School for Girls; since its establishment five years ago, the program has grown to over 80 schools and over 1,000 middle and high school students. In addition, Online School for Boys will launch this fall and pair with independent boys schools.

What are your thoughts on online learning and online classes? Check out the original article,“Online School for Girls puts focus on connection, collaboration” and check out Online School for Girls’ website to learn more about the nonprofit.

Our Speak Up survey features questions regarding online learning and online classes. An example question is:

If you could take an online class in whatever subject you wanted, what would be the advantages to you?

Speak Up provides an easy way for students, parents and educators to participate in local decisions about technology, as well as contribute to the state and national dialogue about educational technology. Data from the surveys – including data regarding online classes – will be released in February 2015. Click here to register for Speak Up 2014 and mark your calendars for the survey’s launch date on October 6!

Why do students pursue online education?

As we all know, the Internet is increasingly becoming more integrated in our daily lives. No longer is it just a source of entertainment and resource – it is also a huge part of academia. Learning House and Aslanian Market Research recently teamed up to form the report “Online College Students 2014: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences,” which takes a look at students who use the Internet and education technology to earn their degrees.

According to the study, students who enroll in online classes understand how the Internet and technology can help their future. While business is the most popular major for undergraduates taking online classes, a significant number also study health professions, computers and IT, social sciences, arts, humanities, and education. Most of these students are focused on long-term goals, citing job-related opportunities as their main motivation for pursuing an online degree. While most of online students are currently unemployed, about 40% report improvement in their employment status within one year of graduation.

Furthermore, students enroll in online classes due to its convenience and lack of limitations. A slight majority of online undergraduate students are enrolled in a campus or center within 100 miles of where they live, meaning that students can take classes at these faraway institutions without having to travel or relocate. However, price of tuition is less of a factor when students decide to take online classes – in fact, two-thirds of online students say that balanced a program’s quality and value with the price rather than just chose the program with the lowest tuition.While there are several factors that determine whether a student takes online classes or not (i.e. some just have a clear preference for online study while others prefer programs that will easily allow them to transfer credit earned elsewhere), the majority choose to do so based on their future plans and out of convenience.

Click here to read Learning House and Aslanian Market Research’s full report, “Online College Students 2014: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences.” What do you think about online classes? Let us know!

The Learning House, Inc. helps colleges and universities create, manage and grow high-quality online degree programs and courses. Partnering with more than 100 schools, Learning House enables institutions to efficiently and affordably achieve their online education goals. Services include product development and market research, marketing and lead generation, admissions and enrollment management, student retention, curriculum development and management, faculty training and professional development, learning management systems and 24/7 technical support.  As a thought leader in the industry, Learning House publishes an annual report on online college student preferences and demographics and presents an annual online higher education conference.

Having completed nearly 300 market studies for every type and level of post-secondary institution, Aslanian Market Research staff have an unparalleled depth of experience in higher education. For over 25 years, Carol Aslanian and her team have exclusively focused on understanding the emerging and ongoing demands, preferences, and attitudes of adult and other post-traditional students — who collectively comprise more than half of all enrolled students.

College Board announces major changes to the SAT

College Board announced on Wednesday major changes to the SAT. The association that heads the standardized test noted that it does not focus on major academic skills and has “become disconnected from the work of our high schools.” In order to give students a test that will prepare them college, the test has been changed to reinstate the 1600-point scoring scale (rather than the 2400-point scale), eliminated essays, replaced obscure and uncommon vocabulary words with words more frequently used in college courses, and has ended the penalty for inputting the wrong answer.

Besides changing the test the College Board has also created several initiatives to give more support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as giving every income-eligible student four fee waivers to apply to college. Furthermore, the association has noted that students who cannot afford test-prepatory courses are typically at a disadvantage; in order to combat this disadvantage, the College Board is teaming up with Khan Academy, a non-profit educational organization that provides free lessons online, to offer free SAT preparatory courses to every student via the Internet. Through their partnership with Khan Academy, the College Board hopes to close the wealth gap and quiet any critics who say that standardized test unintentionally favors students who can afford courses.

To read more about the changes to the SAT, check out these articles by The New York Times and US News. What do you think about the new SAT? What about College Board’s partnership with Khan Academy? Let us know!