PHX Perspectives | March 7th, 2019
Over the last 14 consecutive years, distance education enrollments have increased, despite the continued decline of overall student enrollment (Babson Survey Research Group). For graduate programs, overall enrollments rose by 2% between 2012-2016, yet the numbers of graduate students taking at least some online courses rose by 27% in the same time frame.
Characteristics and Goals of Online Students. Source: 2018 Online Education Trends Report.
The 2018 Online Education Trends Report indicates that the majority of online students are non-traditional and career-oriented, and their perception of online learning is increasingly positive – 79% of all online students and 76% of alumni think that online education is “better than” or “equal to” on-campus education. At the same time, we are seeing an increasing use of micro-credentials, such as certificates and badges, for non-degree programs, and a growing interest by employers in skill-based hiring.
The Office of Lifelong Learning at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) aims to expand the reach of our world class education through online learning in both the degree and non-degree programs. Our first fully online Executive MPH program is slated for the Fall 2020 release with the first 2 online courses having been piloted in the Fall 2018 and 2 more being added later this year. Population Health Exchange (PHX) – our platform for non-credit professional and continuing education, offers practical training and skill development on a variety of public health-related topics. Taught by many of the same instructors as in our graduate degree programs, PHX online offerings come in many shapes and forms, designed to appeal to participants of different ages and professional aspirations. Our delivery models vary as well – webinars, virtual live short programs (e.g. Engage and Inspire your Audience with Story Maps), fully asynchronous online courses comparable to our for-credit offerings (e.g. Essentials of Biostatistics with JMP), and others.
PHX Faculty Development Event
The Office of Lifelong Learning has multiple opportunities for faculty to develop online courses in both the degree, and professional and continuing education space. Boston University School of Public Health faculty are invited to a short, informative workshop on online education on May 1st, 2019 (location TBD). This will also allow an opportunity to meet with the faculty already engaged in online learning opportunities. Breakfast will be provided.