Technology Drives 2013 Trends in Education in the Growing Online Sector

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Dean of Aurora University Online, Professor Carmella Moran, Forecasts Top Trends

Students considering an online education should look to personalize the experience in order to gain the most personal and professional benefits.

Aurora University recently launched online programs featuring in-demand degrees for today’s top growth industries. The esteemed university joins the list of educational institutions that are expanding their reach by creating courses that are accessible online. The flexible professional and degree programs include some of the school’s well-regarded programs, including nursing, education and business administration.

Technological advances have helped spur the rise in online education. Students can take advantage of top-ranking degree programs while juggling full-time jobs and balancing family commitments. Technological advances have also made online education an engaging experience; chat rooms, virtual office hours, forums and study groups all help to empower students to engage with their peers and professors. Consequently, online education is expected to expand in 2013.

Carmella Moran, Dean of Aurora University Online, shares her top trends in online education:

  •     Gamification: Students are growing up in an increasingly interconnected world. According to the NPD Group more than 211 million Americans play video games. Institutions are starting to include gaming into college completion, test prep and everything in-between. Introducing this new way of learning helps students to engage in the learning process and better retain knowledge for tests and overall retention.
  •     Social Media: Almost 98% of 18-24 year olds use a social media network. At many universities including Aurora University Online, discussion boards, study groups, chat rooms and even Facebook groups help create a social community for students. Because of its widespread popularity, social media is now being used to facilitate learning management systems and social learning tools.
  •     Blended learning: Combining in-classroom learning with virtual learning tools continues as a higher education trend and is also an emerging trend for elementary and secondary schools. Providing online students with face-to-face opportunities to interact with one another and providing in-class students with online tools offers students more learning opportunities.
  •     Real-time: As the tutoring market continues to grow in the United States, students are beginning to demand real-time assistance. Online learners, as well as traditional students, can now easily gain real-time help to grasp lessons in virtual classrooms. For example, the Aurora University Online “Virtual Writing Center” offers all stages of writing help to students in an interactive online format. Students can sign up for “virtual office hours” where they receive one-on-one tutoring in an online format.

In addition to serving as the Dean of Aurora University Online, Moran is the Director and Associate professor for the Aurora University School of Nursing. She has 33 years of experience in the nursing profession, including 18 years in higher education.

Making the Most of your Education
Students considering an online education should look to personalize the experience in order to gain the most personal and professional benefits. Aurora University Online offers the convenience and flexibility of online classes with the personal attention, rigor and quality of education that students have come to expect from Aurora University. The school has several distinctive programs in place to help make online education personalized for each student:

  •     Upon enrolling, students are partnered with an Online Academic Advisor who maintains a relationship with them throughout their studies. This ensures that students have a dedicated, committed person to turn to along the way for career guidance, feedback and questions.
  •     Courses are led by experienced faculty that engage students in dynamic classroom activities and dialogue through interactive discussion boards and chat rooms.
  •     Affordable tuition options and a seamless transfer process help students reach the next level in their career.

The 16 career-focused programs maintain the highest standards of curriculum, resulting in students graduating with a reputable, distinctive degree. Courses are flexible and typically held in 5- to 8 week modules. Spring term classes begin March 11, 2013. For additional information about Aurora University Online, visit

About Aurora University
Aurora University is an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning, annually educating more than 4,400 degree-seeking students at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. The university has a long tradition of preparing students for lives of service and leadership, and using its resources and expertise to meet the needs of the community. In addition to its main campus in Aurora, Ill., Aurora University offers programs online, at its George Williams College campus in Williams Bay, Wis., and at the Woodstock Center in downtown Woodstock, Ill. Learn more at

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