The Research

Virtually Inspired is an ongoing research project to uncover the best of breed technology-enhanced online courses and programs indicative of the “Online Classroom of the Future.”

We research globally in pursuit of the best practices in online learning, investigating the latest technologies and examining what is trending.

The methodology followed was to examine several discipline areas–from general studies to specialization areas–and look at innovative approaches by institutions that are revolutionizing education. We examined a range of technologies, including adaptive learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, gamification & simulations, holography, learning platforms/tools, robotic telepresence, video, virtual labs, virtual worlds, technologies on the horizon and more.

Examples are from diverse institutions across the world. Each example contains an overview video that links to detailed descriptions, links, photos and video clips.

If you are innovative educators or know of those blazing trails in education we would love to highlight your program. Just let us know.

Enjoy!

The Team

Dr. Susan Aldridge

dr-susan-aldridgeDr. Susan C. Aldridge serves as senior vice president for Online Learning and president of Drexel University Online. Dr. Aldridge is responsible for building an administrative division that provides comprehensive services focused on the unique needs of online students and pursues new approaches to online curricula, teaching and student tracking that improve retention and learning outcomes. Drexel University is a premier private non-profit university offering high quality academic programs on campus and online.

Dr. Susan Aldridge is a frequent keynote speaker at national and international conferences and a consultant to university presidents, government officials and business leaders regarding strategic initiatives in challenging university environments, international education initiatives, strategies associated with developing distance education models and retention/degree completion opportunities.

For 17 years, Dr. Aldridge has held university executive leadership positions in some of the largest universities in the U.S. She has led entrepreneurial global campuses and provided the vision and strategic direction for increased access, sustainable growth strategies, developing student analytics and quality service metrics, while receiving the highest accreditation reviews. Dr. Susan Aldridge is an experienced higher education strategist and fundraiser, having successfully completed a $26 million capital campaign at UMUC and leading growth initiatives transitioning UMUC from $200 million in revenue to $400 million in annual revenue in 5 years.

Her professional website provides a venue to share Dr. Aldridge’s work, her speeches and thoughts. Hopefully you will find the material there as beneficial and engaging as Virtually Inspired.

Marci M. Powell

USDLA Chair Emerita and Past President, Global Partnerships Committee Chair

CEO | President, Marci Powell & Associates

Marci Powell, chief project researcher, is an expert in the field of educational technology with extensive experience in applications related to lifelong learning and innovation. Powell began her career as a classroom teacher and has served as an administrator at various educational institutions across Texas.

Marci has spent nearly 20 years of her career in the field of distance and online learning. She been inducted into the Texas Distance Learning Association (TxDLA) and United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Halls of Fame and most recently was recognized as a European Distance and Elearning Network (EDEN) Fellow for her distinguish contributions to the European learning field.

She is passionate about the field of digital learning as evident in her recent work with the European Commission (EU) to the OpenEdu Framework project. As Chair Emerita and Past President of the USDLA, Marci currently chairs the Global Partnership Committee. Marci also sits on the High Level Advisory Board of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). Higher Ed Tech Decisions named Marci as a 2014 Top 10 Leaders in Higher Education. With over 25 years of progressive leadership and management serving as an advisor to public and private sectors in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific, Marci shares global best practices in digital learning.

About Drexel University

Founded in 1891, Drexel University is a top-ranked, regionally accredited, comprehensive research university, located in the heart of Philadelphia and recognized for its commitment to experiential learning, leading-edge academic technology, and use-inspired research. With approximately 26,000 students, Drexel is one of the nation’s 15th largest private universities and was recently ranked 14th on U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Most Innovative Schools.”

As an academic center of excellence, entrepreneurship, and innovation, Drexel remains a pioneer in technology-enhanced education for working adults, who want to advance their careers and make a difference in their professional fields.  Having launched its first online courses in 1996, this transformative university now offers more than 140 high-quality online degree and certificate programs, using the same accredited curriculum and distinguished faculty as it does on-campus.