Baker's Guide to Christian Online Learning

News & Views from BakersGuide.com
Sarah Askins

Online Learning and Video Tutoring

With a new school year beginning for many students, teachers are looking for new ways to incorporate technology and online learning programs into their lesson plans. These teachers know that the lecture based learning does not always engage students especially in the areas of Math and Science. For many students, the classroom lecture and homework system does not address their learning needs. According to the Fort Worth Journal and Gazette, the Khan Academy, which specializes in video tutorials, offers teachers a free tool to help students engage with the material.

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Sarah Askins

Open Sourcing Textbooks

For each college student, textbook costs garner a sizable portion of education related expenses. Whether the student enrolls in an online learning courses or a traditional classroom environment, each student must acquire the textbook to complete the course successfully. Decreases in financial aide and other funding may affect how many students can afford their textbooks which could lead to a decline in students' success in the classroom. According to a case study conducted by John Hilton III and David Wiley entitled Open Access Textbooks and Financial Sustainability:A Case Study of Flat World Knowledge, Hilton and Wiley researched this open source textbook company in its beta phase to see if students would welcome open source e-textbooks and if this model could be sustained.

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Sarah Askins

Constructing a Dynamic Hybrid Course Website

Most universities incorporate a version of a learning management system or LMS such as Blackboard or Moodle. These systems have allowed professors and students to access learning materials for the course; however, both professors and students are limited to the static nature of many LMS providers. According to an article in The Chronicle for Higher Education, the company TechChange has developed a multi-layered learning management system that incorporates more social media features and builds a more dynamic hybrid course website. Many of these features are available via open source software which can be incorporated into other LMS providers.

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Sarah Askins

Encouraging Open Sourcing in Education

 

For many community college students, the prospect of earning a two year degree is exciting. These students look forward to better jobs, better life circumstances; however, many of these students do not finish these degree programs. In March 2010, President Obama encouraged lawmakers to increase funding substantially to community colleges to increase the percentage of students graduating. While this measure did not pass, both the Departments of Education and Labor  collaborated on a new federal funding program for community colleges. According to an article in The Chronicle for Higher Education, community colleges can receive federal funding if those schools will develop more open education resources  or OER's.

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Sarah Askins

Computers for Tutors: Individualized Online Learning

Debuting this summer, a new computer base learning program dubbed Knewton will be introduced into several mathematics classrooms on the Arizona State campus. Knewton provides students with almost instantaneous feedback on their progress, speeds up the material if the students understand the concept, and signals to the professor if students are not grasping course objectives. According to an article in The Chronicle for Higher Education, Knewton and other open source computer based learning programs have the potential to assist students struggling with the course material and reward students who are grasping key concepts in the course.

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