In Staying Online, one of our most respected online learning leaders offers uncommon insights into how to reimagine digital higher education. As colleges and universities increasingly recognize that online learning is central to the future of post-secondary education, faculty and senior leaders must now grapple with how to assimilate, manage, and grow effective programs. Looking deeply into the dynamics of online learning today, Robert Ubell maps its potential to boost marginalized students, stabilize shifts in retention and tuition, and balance nonprofit and commercial services. This impressive collection spans the author’s day-to-day experiences as a digital learning pioneer, presents pragmatic yet forward-thinking solutions on scaling-up and digital economics, and prepares managers, administrators, provosts, and other leaders to educate our unsettled college students as online platforms fully integrate into the mainstream.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Emergency Online Learning 1. We Are All Online Learners Now Part 2: Theory and Practice 2. Theory and Practice 3. Online as an Ethical Practice 4. Adaptive Learning Part 3: Scaling-up 5. Academic Digital Economy 6. Outsourcing vs. Insourcing 7. MOOC Invasion 8. Going Online Abroad 9. Finding and Keeping Online Learners Part 4: Problems and Considerations 10. Online Cheating 11. Online Predators 12. Accreditation Works Part 5: Changing My Mind 13. Changing My Mind
Robert Ubell is Vice Dean Emeritus of the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University and Senior Advisor at Stevens Institute of Technology. The author of Going Online, a companion collection to this book, he is a Fellow of the Online Learning Consortium, a columnist at EdSurge, and a recipient of the highest honor given for individual achievement in digital education, the A. Frank Mayadas Leadership Award.
Praise for Staying Online: How to Navigate Digital Higher Education
"For many years I have enjoyed reading Bob Ubell’s essays on online and digital education for their unique and insightful takes on important issues in online learning. I particularly appreciate his ability to shine a light on critical issues in engaging and accessible language. Ubell revisits and expands on many of his ideas in Staying Online, while including essential new chapters on remote learning in response to the pandemic and how his views have changed over time. The result is very much more than the sum of its parts. This volume is a must-read for all educators involved with online learning—which, these days, is all educators."
—Karen Swan, Stukel Professor of Educational Leadership at University of Illinois Springfield, USA
"This collection of relevant chapters about online learning are essential readings and highly recommended for higher education leaders and faculty today. Bob Ubell has been a prominent and distinguished thought leader in the field for more than two decades. His insight and vision provide important guidance to our colleges and universities during this critical period."
—Eric E. Fredericksen, Associate Vice President for Online Learning at University of Rochester, USA
"Digital higher education has a rich history and is often misunderstood. In this useful, contemporary collection of perspectives built on his extensive experience as an industry pioneer, Bob Ubell traces how online learning is evolving—with an eye toward the inevitable future where digital education is not a novelty but is instead a central, integrated aspect of how higher education institutions operate."
—Sean Gallagher, Executive Director of the Center for the Future of Higher Education & Talent Strategy at Northeastern University, USA
"Bob [Ubell] has a wealth of experience in leading and developing online programs having had major administrative positions at Stevens Institute of Technology and New York University. His knowledge is evident in this book and [he] shares many kernels of practical advice on how to move a college or university forward in their online program initiatives. . . . I recommend Staying Online to higher education administrators who feel they need a bit more understanding of the universe of online learning."
—Anthony G. Picciano, Professor of Education Leadership at Hunter College and Professor in the PhD program in Urban Education at the City University of New York Graduate Center, USA
"A powerful resource for administrators and faculty . . . it provides the opportunity to have a veteran pioneer at your side as you plan your own innovations as we continue to respond to the emergency and, at the same time, build the basis for the post-pandemic environment. . . . Staying Online allows innovators to better help their institutions scale up online learning in this rapidly evolving field."
—Gary E. Miller, Executive Director Emeritus of Penn State World Campus at the Pennsylvania State University, USA
"Bob Ubell is a distinguished member of the online 'guru' community and an excellent writer. This book is one of his best contributions. . . . He explores scaling up, outsourcing and insourcing of digital learning development, the future of MOOCs, ethical issues and bias, cheating and online predators as well as the challenge of finding and keeping online learners. For policy makers and administrators this is a good, quality, quick read."
"This book is required reading for university and college administrators struggling to plan a route forward following the pandemic."
—Tony Bates, Research Associate at Contact North and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University, Canada
"Terrific . . . The book is wise, smart, funny, modest, direct, personal, insightful and easy to spend time with. Staying Online provides a timely analysis of the major challenges and trends related to online, blended and digital learning. . . . Both skeptics and champions of online learning would benefit from spending time with Bob and from reading Staying Online."
—Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed
"At its core, the book offers a compelling argument that online learning can be a force for equity, despite the widespread claim that low-income and first-generation college students fare relatively poorly in online courses. Done properly, Ubell contends, online learning can boost outcomes for marginalized students, increase retention rates, improve student learning and stabilize institutional costs. Staying Online is, in short, a clarion call for institutions to mainstream virtual learning."
—Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed
"Bolstered by convincing evidence from experts and experience, Ubell invites us to think about our place in and our individual contribution to the holistic landscape of digital higher education. . . . For those of us who teach successfully in online platforms, those of us who deeply know the students who enroll in our online classes, it is gratifying to see Ubell’s commitment to non-traditional students. . . . Ubell’s book shows us how complex, how diverse, how expansive digital education has become."
—Beatrice Mendez Newman, Global Society of Online Literacy Educators
Praise for Going Online: Perspectives on Digital Learning
"This well-structured, well-researched collection gets to the root of the world's skepticism about digital education, and snippets of humor make it a more entertaining volume than readers might initially expect. Collectively, the essays argue that, despite our misgivings, online education is the best tool for advancing, creating, and distributing knowledge in the modern world."
—Alex Moore, in TD Magazine (1 May 2017)
"Ubell's proposition is that online learning lets students process information in their own time. They can take part in online discussions and ask questions anonymously, without losing face. This demands a new pedagogy—teaching, learning and assessment for active learning communities. Academics must work with web designers and educational technologists to create conditions that let students control the pace and delivery of learning, yet continually share and respond to others' ideas...Those shifts can also foster an excitement that Robert Ubell's Going Online captures."
—Mike Sharples, Emeritus Professor of Educational Technology in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University, UK, in Nature 540, 340 (15 December 2016)
"Ubell describes in detail how new technology allows us to use online learning in new ways that are both more participatory and more effective. These assertions come from someone with a remarkable track record of making learning actually happen."
—Ralph Gomory, Research Professor in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University, USA, and former President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
"Provides readers with a balanced and researched discussion of the nature of online learning and issues related to making the transition. Ubell does not try to proselytize readers as he fully recognizes the shortcomings of online education and the very real concerns faculty and administrators have of the modality. However, Ubell does encourage readers—and in this regard, the book is perhaps best suited for online holdouts and skeptics—to think about online education objectively to better recognize what it is, what it offers, and thus its educational potential. Going Online is a valuable collection of observations and insights of online education for those already teaching online and those who question it."
—Kurtis Clements, Research in Online Literacy, Vol. 3, No. 1