University hopes to raise student success rates with online learning

posted on Tuesday, Mar 08 2011

More students at the University of Maryland now have the ability to take blended learning courses, which combine traditional and online education, according to The Diamondback.

The decision to increase the number of hybrid courses was one of the final acts of university provost Nariman Farvardin, who will soon step down. By combining the face-to-face classroom experience with internet-based activities, school officials hope to enhance sessions, which have had low success rates in the past.

Farvardin's office sent out a campus-wide proposal for blended-learning courses. To date, the university's arts and humanities college has embraced the new format, with 10 hybrid classes having been developed over winter break.

"If we can use technology to improve the student success rate and the student learning experience in these important courses, you can have a profound impact on this university," Farvardin told the news source.

Among the successful courses the university already offers is one entitled Exploring Technological Tools. This social media class relies heavily on distance learning and exercises that utilize websites such as Twitter, blogs and online forums.

In 2009, approximately 5.6 million college students were taking at least one online course, according to the Sloan Consortium.

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