The National Institute of Online Learning (NIOL) was founded in 2012 at MindEdge to fuel our internal exploration of modern best practices for a rapidly growing discipline vital to the expansion of education for all.
The initial research and development efforts of NIOL resulted in our suite of self-paced courses about online learning and a host of efforts to inform and influence our development work to improve the way the world learns.
So much of what we learned then, and know today, is reflected in our efforts to promote sustainable educational practices that serve the majority of learners — those outside the demographic experiencing college in their late teens and early 20s.
For so-called “adult learners,” online education — its formalities, nuances, pedagogy, and inclusion — represents a lifeline to hope and growth for people everywhere, in disciplines that span the educational institutional spectrum.
That said, the broader online education ecosystem has lacked general recognition for its sustained development of the field — and the mass market conversation around online learning has often been dominated by those seeking to make a market via so-called disruptive technology plays.
To spur the true growth of online learning, a multitude of existing voices need to be aggregated and amplified — with an eye toward funding research that can enhance the working practices of the field and address challenges specific to the discipline.
So, It’s time for a reboot — a rebirth in a world of online learning that’s changed, and in a world that’s changed to embrace online learning in new and unexpected ways.
The rebirth of NIOL is aimed at expanding pertinent research and practice while broadening the discussion around the expanding practices of online learning. This effort includes alliances with industry partners, technology developers, institutional practitioners, and researchers.
Via its home on the web, papers, webinars, and research sponsorship — NIOL aims to make a lasting impact on the further evolution of online learning. It’s a mission of improvement — continuous improvement — of the way we understand online learning and undertake efforts to expand its reach.