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A new paper by Derrick Z. JacksonJoan Shorenstein Fellow fallBoston Globe essayist, and a climate and energy writer for the Union of Concerned Scientists, examines the failure of national media outlets to respond to the Flint water crisis in an urgent manner, as well as biases in coverage. In Junefive Michigan officials were charged with involuntary manslaughter for their role in the Flint water crisis—more than three years after residents had first noticed that something was wrong with their water.


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P resident Barack Obama spoke to the community in Flint, Mich. Well, it is good to be back in Flint, Michigan. All right. Let me do some business here. Let me begin by recognizing some of the guests who are here. Your mayor, Karen Weaver, is here.

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Unlike face-to-face environments that offer more flexibility, online environments have to be purposefully structured before students begin their studies, and it is not possible to leave things to chance. We thus set out to create an online program that met those needs, and that had a different purpose -- namely, to fuse theory, research and practice. A: Our goal was never to offer a learning experience that was comparable to the on-campus experience, but to de a unique and excellent learning experience that fulfilled our objectives and those of incoming students.

In Kara Dawson, a professor of educational technology at the University of Floridastarted to realize that her institution's Ph. Many working professionals in the program weren't adequately served by the course content. Note: The book includes of a survey of students at the end of the first year of each of the first three cohorts on the application of learning to professional practice. Q: What lessons did you learn about teaching and learning from thinking critically about the shape of an online doctoral program?

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Other statements included "I have changed how I approach my work responsibilities," "I have a better understanding of my role as a practitioner" and "The program has been relevant to my professional goals. We are amazed at the range of online doctoral programs that now exist, and the different ways in which they have been deed, from the admissions process to program content to the types of dissertations. For instance, research apprenticeships and enculturation into the discipline are strong components of the on-campus program, while the integration of theory and research into practice is a strength of the online program, as is the diversity of students in terms of age, backgrounds, expertise and experiences.

Our on-campus and online doctoral programs are very different in purpose and de; each has components that are unique. Yes, online doctoral programs do struggle with perceptions of poor quality, which is why we have done extensive research on various aspects of our program to document quality assurance and impact. We have retired comments and introduced Letters to the Editor. In terms of what we would do differently, we just began our 10th year and our sixth cohort we admit one every two yearsso we have already had the opportunity to make changes and improve with each cohort.

A lightly edited transcript of the exchange follows. Q: What techniques did you employ to ensure that an online doctoral program offered a learning experience comparable to that of the traditional modality?

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At the doctoral level, this is particularly challenging because students have different research interests and professional goals a master's or undergraduate program is far more homogenous in student goals and outcomes. Advertise About Contact Subscribe. In doctoral education, it is probably most difficult to simulate traditional research apprenticeship experiences online, but that was not a goal in our online doctoral program.

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Post A Job Today! Instead of attempting to recreate on-campus programs in online environments, it is important to create a program for the online environment and for online learners. September 5, Courtesy of Athabasca University Press. In a professional doctoral program in educational technology, the professional environments, disciplines, backgrounds and goals of students vary widely, making it difficult to provide learning experiences that are meaningful and relevant to all.

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Founding Director Alan Lightman is pictured on the center right. Q: What surprised you most about this process? Expand comments Hide comments.

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We have a successful Ph. We had several inquiries from working adults interested in conducting research in professional environments. We drew on our extensive experience and prior research in online education, doctoral education and adult education to de our online doctoral program. We were also surprised by the of amazing professionals out there who applied and enrolled in our program, the caliber of work that they produced and their ability to persist despite all their commitments.

Thinking critically about the de of the online doctoral program did reinforce three areas for us:.

Q&a: how to create an online doctoral program

We have been very lucky to work with colleagues who collaborate and others in our college who have contributed to the success of our program. Dawson and Kumar aim to give instructors and deers tools and tips for launching online doctoral programs that offer students maximally valuable learning experiences. If we had known the extent of the continual workload, we would have attempted to negotiate incentives for the faculty mentoring doctoral students and serving on committees in our program. What virtual reality can and should do. A new book lays out a plan for creating a high-quality online doctorate, drawn from the experiences of a degree program in educational technology.

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A: We both had ificant experience teaching in various educational contexts, and several years of online teaching and curriculum development when we worked on the online doctoral program. While there are essential components of all doctoral programs, be it face-to-face or online such as student acquisition of knowledge of prior research, academic writingour goal was not to copy or rebuild courses or a program online that exists face-to-face.

When creating online learning experiences, it is extremely important not to adopt a comparison mind-set, but to exploit the potential of the online medium as a unique environment with its own opportunities and challenges. by Mark Lieberman. Q: What advice would you give to other institutions looking to create similar programs? In falla new online Ed. In the process of creating an online doctoral program in education, Dawson had lots of time to ponder best practices for online doctorates more generally. A: The biggest challenge of the online environment is that any learning experience, be it a course or a program, has to be purposefully deed and readied well in advance to achieve its goals.

A: Despite the extensive research on quality in online education, the online modality and online learning experiences continue to be viewed with skepticism.

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Dawson, along with her colleague Rick Ferdig, had recently launched online master's programs in education. A: Due to the varying quality of doctoral programs being offered, there is a perception that the doctorate in education Ed. Thus, when we set out to create an online Ed.

There is also a tendency to compare online education to on-campus education, whereas the reality is that the quality of learning varies widely, both on campus and online.

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We addressed these two challenges by collecting data that helped us assure the quality of our program and document its impact, and publishing articles and this book about our program. Gameful de could be the next big innovation. Holyoke Class Mt. Bol Ph. Catherine University St. Edward's University St. Joseph's College-New York St. Lawrence University St. Mary's University St. Norbert College St.

Inside Higher Ed Careers Hiring? The phrase "I have applied knowledge or skills gained from Year 1" earned a mean score of 4. Students were asked to rate their agreement with various statements on a scale from 1 -- strong disagreement -- to 5 strong agreement. Q: Do doctoral programs struggle with lingering skepticism over the validity of the online modality in the same way that many undergraduate and graduate programs do?

By Mark Lieberman.

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Q: What aspects of a successful face-to-face doctoral program are most difficult to translate into the online format? A: Defining the purpose, goals and prospective students is important for any learning experience. This involves creating a curriculum that is purposefully sequenced and deed for the online medium, engaging and supporting faculty to mentor research and dissertations in the online environment, creating and providing resources specifically for online doctoral students e.

Program de includes curriculum mapping with the end goal of the dissertation and all the content and experiences that lead up to it. Share your thoughts ». How would you approach it differently if you could do it again? We have also devoted Part III in our book to quality and impact.

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Q: What were the biggest challenges you encountered in the process? Doctoral experiences have to be individualized to ensure student development, while simultaneously ensuring the acquisition of knowledge and research skills for all students. How to think about online teaching and de. You may also be interested in Valparaiso University Now the 'Beacons'.

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Meanwhile, working professionals elsewhere in the country had started expressing interest in the program. Coronavirus Live Updates - 10 min 48 sec ago. Each incoming cohort is different; we adapt to the students and learn from each experience, so it is always a work in progress.

Therefore, our book is aimed at explaining how an excellent online doctoral program can be created, implemented and evaluated as a unique learning experience. Community is built differently in each environment, where different media, structure and strategies are required.

In an online doctoral program, defining the nature of the dissertation, the prospective students, the types of research they will conduct and the larger purpose of the doctoral degree is essential because this drives most of the program de.

In reality, both online and face-to-face learning experiences vary in quality. View the discussion thread.

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In the book, Dawson and Kumar mention that early iterations of the program had overlapping content and that "knowledge needed at the qualifying examination and dissertation stages had not been delivered in the coursework. Were others skeptical that you would be successful? Our intent in creating an online doctoral program was not to recreate what exists on campus. We have enjoyed this endeavor, so we would suggest having a vision, being open and flexible to change during implementation, and learning from students and faculty about what works or not as you make changes for improvement.

They soon became convinced they could give the doctoral program the same treatment. A bird's-eye view of online program quality.