The Sloan Consortium released a new report this month by I. Elaine Allen, Ph.D. and Jeff Seaman, Ph.D. on distance education.   The report is named Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning, and is the fifth annual report on the state of online learning in U.S. higher education, based on responses from over 2,500 colleges and universities.  If you’d like to read the report, the PDF is here.

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teaching technologies

October 8, 2007

Once I received my MLIS, I was promoted at my library.  My new job title is “Instructional Design Librarian.”  Right now we are still evolving this position, but largely the focus appears to be finding new technologies and creating plans and pilots where we can integrate these technologies into our services and workflow.  So, I’m working on developing a number of blogs (subject specific, announcing good resources, screencast instruction, etc), a modular tutorials project (which is still evolving, but I’ll let you know more once we have it figured out), and even creating little thinks like a twitter feed of interesting facts.

In the context of this blog and interest group, this work is interesting to me because we’re a very traditional liberal arts campus.   Most of our students between 18 and 22.  Most live on campus.  There’s no entirely online course that I know of.  Some professors use Blackboard, but there isn’t the widespread use of technology that you see at some of the larger technical schools.  Yet, we know students like to learn things at the point in time when they need them.  We realize students like to be able to have quick access to the information they are interested in following.  We know that our students spend a lot of time on their computers.

So while we’re not a campus with any kind of emphasis on “distance learning,” I’m playing with using the tools of distance learning librarians to help our on-campus population.  Where is the dividing line between distance and traditional learning?  Is there a line anymore?  Do you all have examples of this type of situation from your own place of work?