Study bolsters hybrid, online learning efficacy Posted on July 30th, 2009 by Michael B. Horn

A new study from the Department of Education, titled Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, examined several studies comparing online learning to face-to-face learning and concluded that, “Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.”

Other studies have reached similar conclusions in recent years, and what is also interesting about this study is that it found that blended learning—in which a course combines elements of online and face-to-face learning—is the most effective. This is significant as blended or hybrid learning appears to be the fastest growing form of online learning out there, which, as we’ve said before, does not surprise us at all.

The study focused mostly at levels above K-12—undergraduate, graduate, military, and so on. The report is available online at http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf.

This study from the federal government is critical in its validation of the growing disruption of online learning. Online learning has proven itself by allowing people to access quality courses in places where they otherwise would not have had access to them—and in the post-secondary world by making education far more convenient and affordable for many people who otherwise would not be able to access it.

What’s important, however, is not to confuse the medium as the root cause for the results. Just because something is online does not automatically make it as good as or better than face-to-face. The medium and its accompanying new system do shift the platform of learning. This gives us the opportunity to give every student a quality experience and to customize for each individual in the way that he or she learns by making time variable and the learning constant; improving time on task as the report notes; offering students different paths; and so on. By doing this, we address some of the root causes of an individual’s struggles.

What we now need is better online programs that better customize to engage students by being intrinsically motivating and targeting specific needs—and thus take full advantage of this exciting medium.

The trading markets can be classified into different types on a number of bases, such as the type of assets traded, the location of the operating center, trading entities, history and prominence etc. Based on the proceedings of the sale of assets, markets can be classified as primary and secondary, which are further described in this post.

What is a Primary Market?

A market where initial or first-hand transactions take place between the company as the seller and the buyer is a primary market. Transactions in the primary market are aimed mainly to generate money and the best example is the initial public offering in which the company sells a certain number of its shares or securities to the public. Another type of primary market transaction is the private placement, where the company sells the concerned shares, bonds or equities to a specific individual, association or company.  When shares like hedge funds, mutual funds etc are offered not to the general public, but to a preselected group of investors, it becomes preferential allotment.

The requirements of conducting a primary market transaction are revolved around registering the prospectus of transactions with the Intellectual Property Commission. Registration is compulsory and the seller company has to disclose all the necessary information related to the shares and contracts to the Commission. The registration can be expensive due to the cost of all these procedures including registration, underwriting, legal formalities, accounting, notifications etc.

What is a Secondary Market?

A market where transactions resulting in ownership transfers between two individuals or companies are carried out is a secondary market. The transfer can be that of securities like equity and bonds, shares, currencies etc.  A secondary market transaction involves one owner or lender selling to another. Therefore, the secondary markets provide the means for transferring ownership of corporate securities. The JSE is the largest stock exchange in Africa. The shares of over 400 companies are traded on the JSE using an automated trading system and all trades are executed electronically.

Typical examples of secondary market are the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ etc which are also called stock markets and markets where investment banks, corporate and other investors exchange bonds, mortgages and mutual funds. The cryptocurrency or digital currency trading market is also considered as a secondary market where owners exchange the ownership of the currencies either directly or through crypto traders. A secondary market can be a dealer market where prices are negotiated electronically or an auction market where traders announce the price they are willing to pay by grouping in one place.

– Michael B. Horn


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