A New Lexicon

Language Changes about Education Reflect New Approaches to Education

Junior College –> Community College Two-year colleges were initially called junior colleges. They offered coursework designed to allow students to continue their education by transferring to four-year colleges. As the educational focus widened to meet the needs of the larger community by including remedial education, adult education, vocational/technical education and continuing education coursework a large number of these institutions became known as community colleges.

Co-ed –> Student Oberlin College became the first co-educational institution of higher learning in the world in 1833. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a co-ed as, ‘A girl or woman student at a co-educational institution’ citing examples of usage from as early as 1893. As more colleges admitted women as students, women students became known simply as students.

Correspondence Courses –> Distance Learning Early on correspondence courses were conducted through papers and materials being sent back and forth through the mail. Current data on correspondence courses was difficult to find as they have evolved largely into distance learning programs. Distance learning courses and programs include live as well as pre-recorded coursework, interactive conferencing and websites and CD-ROMs and DVDs.   As of 2007, 20.4% percent of postsecondary students were taking some education courses online; whereas 3.7% of postsecondary students were taking their entire program online. The percentage of students taking distance learning coursework is slightly higher for students working full time, and married students, students with dependents and for students with mobility issues.

+ MOOC In 2013 the American Council on Education recommended five Mass Open On-line Courses or MOOCs’ for credit. The colleges themselves determine whether to accept the recommendations of offering college credit for students completing the courses. The approved courses were offered by three colleges: two from Duke University, two from the University of California at Irvine and one at the University of Pennsylvania. MOOC’s offer institutions a way to reach large numbers of students as evidenced by the 10000 students who enrolled in a free eight-week course on bioelectricity offered by Duke University in 2012. Of the students who enrolled, 321 completed the course, earning a certification. As Catropa notes in “Big (MOOC) Data” and as this study demonstrates, MOOCs also allow institutions to collect and analyze data about everything from how many countries students represented to how many questions students attempted on the first quiz, from prior qualifications of students who completed all requirements to reasons students gave for not completing the course.


Works Cited

Biolectricity: A Quantitative Approach.   Duke University’s First MOOC.  February 5, 2013.  http://dukespace.lib.duke.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/10161/6216/Duke_Bioelectricity_MOOC_Fall2012.pdf

Catropa, D. , in StratEDgy.  Blog U. Inside Higher Ed.  http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/stratedgy/big-mooc-data

“Co-ed.” OED.  Oxford English Dictionary.  The definitive record of the English language.  http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/35638?rskey=fno9BA&result=2#eid

Junior College Movement.  H. Stanton Tuttle, “JUNIOR-COLLEGE MOVEMENT,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kdj02),

Kolowich, S. American Council on Education Recommends 5 MOOCs for Credit.  Technology.  News.  The Chronicle of Higher Education.  February 7, 2013.   https://chronicle.com/article/American-Council-on-Education/137155/

National Center for Education Statistics.  Fast Facts. Distance Learning. http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=80

National Women’s History Museum.  Presents: The History of Women in Education. Timeline. http://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/education/Timeline.htm

Walton Radford, A. and Weko, T.  U.S. Department of Education.  Stats in Brief.  October 2011.  “Learning at a Distance: Undergraduate Enrollment in Distance Education Courses and Degree Programs.” http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2012/2012154.pdf

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Posted in Institutions of Higher Education, Students

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