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Online Education And Hybrid Learning Focus Of Rutgers Conference For Educators

Jeff Selingo, author of College (Un)Bound, to cover higher education challenges in shift from ‘time served’ college experience

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Some of the nation’s top experts in online education and hybrid learning will share innovations and best practices at the Rutgers Online Learning Conference (RUOnlineCon) Jan. 11-12, 2016.

The conference will explore available and emerging technologies, use of learning management systems, ancillary software and sites, new instructional methods, assessments, audio/video elements, and faculty training and resources.

Jeff Selingo, best-selling author of College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What it Means for Students, will be keynote speaker. In his book, Selingo argues that demographics, economics and technology are converging to force fundamental changes in the traditional college education experience. Through a process he calls “unbundling,” Selingo reports that education is shifting from a time-served model (where higher education degrees are based on credit hours earned) to models featuring new modes of learning, including “online degrees and credentials based on what students actually know rather than how much time they spend in a classroom,” according to Selingo’s book.

Joining Selingo as speakers are Deb Adair, managing director and chief planning officer, Quality Matters, a nonprofit dedicated to quality assurance in online education; Ray Schroeder, founding director, Center for Online Leadership, UPCEA, a leading association for professional, continuing and online education; Joan Bouillon, director of regulatory compliance, Pearson, an international education company; and Kenneth Ronkowitz, senior designer, New Jersey Institute of Technology.

RUOnlineCon also features 35 breakout sessions with speakers from colleges throughout the mid-Atlantic region, and a lineup of sponsors and exhibitors demonstrating instructional technologies.

Now in its seventh year, RUOnlineCon has expanded from a statewide event to include attendees throughout the mid-Atlantic region, from New York to West Virginia. It is meant for faculty and others from higher education institutions who are active in online and hybrid learning environments, including instructional designers, educational technology specialists, department and program chairs, curriculum managers and online program administrators. Early registration is available at

“Higher education is now interwoven with education technology tools and instructional design approaches,” explained Richard J. Novak, vice president of continuing studies and distance learning at Rutgers. “In the future, every university and faculty member will rise or fall based on the ability to succeed in producing strong outcomes in a variety of face-to-face, online and hybrid learning environments.

“RUOnlineCon is part of Rutgers’ contribution to leading the effort to integrate in-class learning with online teaching tools and hybrid learning environments.”

Rutgers’ co-presenters of the conference are the Mid-Atlantic chapter of UPCEA and the New Jersey Research and Education Network, a nonprofit technology consortium of academic and research institutions.

RUOnlineCon is managed by the Rutgers Center for Online and Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies, which supports academic units universitywide in creating and delivering hybrid and online credit and noncredit courses.

Rutgers University’s Division of Continuing Studies (DoCS) focuses on lifelong learning needs and opportunities. Serving all Rutgers campuses, the division includes more than 135 employees in 20 business units providing hundreds of credit and noncredit programs with thousands of participants from youth to retirees. DoCS also provides educational support services combining pedagogy and technology, including instructional design and course management systems for online, face-to-face, and hybrid learning environments.

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