The TLT Group
A Non-Profit Organization

Online Courses - Success, Failure, Variety

  • 23 Feb 2018
  • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
  • Online meeting info in Registration Confirmation Email [also check your Junk folder] and via email 24 hours prior to event start


  • If you're new to a TLT Group event, you are welcome to register for free for FridayLive!
    However, please consider becoming a member of the TLT Group!

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FridayLive! Feb 23, 2018, 2pm ET

Factors in online courses that can harm/support students?

We’ll include a focus on Student Readiness and Student Support (and Faculty Readiness/Support) for hybrid and fully online courses. E.g., Dillard University’s REQUIRED Onboarding* LMS and eLearning Readiness Course. Dillard suggests several quick self-assessments available to students before they begin a hybrid or online course; e.g., see Google Form “Skills for Effective Online Learning’; and the Student Online Readiness Tool (created and used by The University System of Georgia).

Guests and Moderators: 
Rona Tyger, Dir., Instructional Technology & Distance Ed. for Authentic Learning, Office of Acad. Affairs, Dillard Univ.;
Steve Gilbert, Sally Gilbert, Beth Dailey, TLT Group

We had an excellent, lively discussion in FridayLive! on January 26 prompted by Susan Dynarski's provocative article “Online Courses Are Harming the Students Who Need the Most Help" As follow-up, some of us seek relevant resources to recommend and possibly include in an open letter to those new to online education. Our goal is to help beginners who encounter Dynarski’s article - or similar ones - and innocently accept oversimplifications and overgeneralizations about the harmfulness (or helpfulness) of online courses.

We believe in the potential value of online courses for many kinds of learners - because we recognize the variety of options already available and how rapidly those options are changing. The concluding paragraph of Dynarski’s article begins with two sentences that support our hopes.

“Online education is still in its youth. Many approaches are possible, and some may ultimately benefit students with deep and diverse needs.”

But the final two sentences ignore this important insight: “There are online courses, and there are other online courses.” Dynarski’s conclusion is an overgeneralization that ignores too many important factors and variations.

“As of now, however, the evidence is clear. For advanced learners, online classes are a terrific option, but academically challenged students need a classroom with a teacher’s support.”

- “Online Courses Are Harming the Students Who Need the Most Help" Susan Dynarski, New York Times, Jan 19, 2018

*NOTE: “Onboarding” is an approach designed to increase the success of people who are new to an organization. Onboarding typically begins before new people actually arrive and continues well beyond their first days. It usually includes something like a traditional orientation day or week. Onboarding offers a structured sequence of activities and support services that continue after orientation. See, for example,

NOTE:  Login instructions for the session will be sent in the Registration Confirmation Email. Please check your Junk folder as sometimes these emails get trapped there. We will also send an additional login reminder 24 hours prior to the start of the event.
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