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Study: Educators need to clearly define nontraditional learning methods
THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011 07:26 AM

Caption: Study: Educators need to clearly define nontraditional learning methods Researchers from the University of Missouri recently found that nontraditional learning environments may need to be defined more clearly in order to provide students with an accurate preview of courses.

The findings - published in the journal The Internet and Higher Education - sought to make better definitions for e-learning, online learning and distance learning. The study surveyed educational technology experts and found that each of these methods had several different meanings.

First, the study found no common spelling of e-learning because there were differing opinions of spelling and hyphen use. Researchers noted that while this may be a small issue, it could imply differences that may impact the future of education.

"What we found is there is no common understanding, even across disciplines or locations," said Joi Moore, lead researcher of the study. "We found that many experts in the field did not define what they were doing; they just said, 'this is what I use.'

According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, nearly 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course during the fall 2009 semester.

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