August 26, 2008, Washington, DC...According to the Best Worst in Online Degree Programs 5th Edition, the best virtual classroom provider is a freeware producer named Moodle. “This particular course and learner management system is, according to the author, Professor Fred DiUlus, a highly sophisticated and technically well advanced software program. The author, an eLearning expert and CEO/Founder of Global Academy Online, states he is basing the books conclusions on a research project undertaken at a major South American university, Universidad Espirtu Santo (UEES) of Samborandon-Guayaquil, Ecuador, earlier this year.
As a school just beginning to introduce online education in a blended format (part online, part in class), it was an ideal laboratory notes DiUlus. “I was offered an opportunity to examine for them the multiple opportunities that could be made available either now or at some point in future.”
The research was conducted over a 16 week period in early 2008. Undertaken by advanced undergraduate bi-lingual students on the verge of graduation, they became both the research subjects and the developers of the project study. DiUlus observed that as the student researchers became more aware of the opportunities of an online class, they became more enthusiastic. He found that as they progressed they overcome even their own parental reservations to online education. With only a basic understanding of online modalities and possibilities,”these students and their university”, DiUlus concludes, “were the perfect laboratory to conduct the research for unbiased and credible results.”
The first thing his project research teams did in a class entitled “Projects II” was to identify all the major players in the field and then, one by one, without concern whether an institution had to pay for the service or not, meticulously picked them apart, piece by piece. DiUlus says their report reveals they pulled information and research from all over the world looking for pros and cons, polled students and faculty on their own campus, as well as gleaned results from research conducted at other universities. When they uncovered research results as far down as third graders and were given the task of creating online courses themselves in three days flat, their conclusions solidified,
“My conclusion”, states DiUlus “was that the UEES students went from neophytes to online experts in 16 weeks. Their results are solid, evidence of fine scholarly research and exceptional dedication to the project. They are a real credit to the university.”
The Best and Worst in Online Degree Programs is available to the public as a free eBook download from the Academy as well as its operating divisions, the Center for Ethics in Free Enterprise, Powered by Global, and The e-Education Trust.
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