George Siemens, an expert in digital learning, will be spearheading a new research lab at the University of Texas at Arlington. The Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab, or LINK Lab, will look at how new technology – such as online learning – is affecting higher education.
The lab, which opens this spring, will explore such topics as the effectiveness of alternative teaching and the growing influence of data and analytics on higher education.
Siemens taught one of the first online courses in 2008 while he was a professor in Canada. He’s also the director of the MOOC Research Initiative. In December, Siemens spoke with KERA News about his new role while attending a conference on Massive Open Online Courses at UTA.
He said he’s focused much of his research on how technology changes the way people interact with each other and the way they learn.
“What we’re trying to do here [at UTA] is look at innovations in learning – new models of teaching, new models of assessing and evaluating students,” Siemens said. “How can we serve the needs of a broader range of students? And what is the impact that might have on a university model? What will UTA look like in 20 years time?”
UTA officials report that more than 10,000 students enrolled in online classes and degree programs last fall.