February 19, 2013
For the first time, U.S. News & World Report has published Best Online Education Program rankings, a national ranking of online degree programs. Programs offered at IUPUI appeared three times in the top 100. Ranked 3rd in the nation was the Kelley Direct Online MBA Program, 14th was the IU School of Education, and 37th was the IU School of Nursing. GetEducated.com (The Consumer’s Guide to Online Colleges) cited IUPUI’s Online Master of Science in Music Technology, offered in our Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, among the best online music schools for career readiness. They praised this in-residence or distance-learning degree, which focuses on digital and multimedia music, for teaching practical skills in mixing, engineering, sound design and website design for musicians.
Are there are other innovative learning experiences that could be developed and delivered via technology for students both on and off campus? Experiences such as modules, tutorials, games and immersive environments could be vital supplements to coursework, giving our students an edge and enhancing their learning. There is also the vast expansion of online and distance education, some with brand names (like Harvard), and offered free or priced according to demonstrated learning and desired credential.
IUPUI clearly has significant, competitive strengths in pursuing more online education. The Out-of-the-Box for Learning Task Force, chaired by Professor Steve Mannheimer, noted the following as part of its strategic planning work:
- We are still relatively young and thus flexible as a campus culture and infrastructure. We tend to discount the idea that a possible innovation lacks credibility because it is “just not the way we do things around here.”
- We are inherently connected -- to the other campuses (IUB and Purdue) and, perhaps more important, to our communities.
- Our students are already “connected learners” -- like most “digital natives” born after 1980.
And, of course, Indiana University Online is being heavily promoted for undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates.
What opportunities do you see in your school or unit for online education? What barriers exist to developing the assets we have?