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Education scholar Michael Beaudoin co-authors new book on 'Online Learner Competencies'

September 03, 2013

Michael Beaudoin, Ed.D, University of New England emeritus professor of education, served as lead author of a five-member international team on a new book, Online Learner Competencies- Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes for Successful Learning in Online Settings.

The culmination of a six-year project, the book, published by Information Age Publishing, identifies a set of validated competencies and performance statements, with supporting explanation and data to inform and equip online learners with the critical attitudes, knowledge and skills for successful learning in online and/or blended educational settings.

The work also enables online education providers to better understand learner needs in order to design and deliver online education products and services best suited to learners.

Beaudoin, in reflecting on the importance and implications of this new publication, said: "The authors of this book are especially pleased that it is now finally available, as we believe it will make a valuable contribution in enhancing both research and practice in this burgeoning, worldwide phenomenon of online education."

He added that "until now, many resources about how to learn or teach in online settings have been largely based on anecdotal experience; hopefully, our work gives both users and providers a reliable framework for assessing their respective levels of competency in specific activities that we have identified as critical for success. Both individual online learners, as well as institutions designing and delivering online courses, now have information to guide them in performing at a high level to meet personal and organizational goals in this exciting area of education."

This volume offers a definitive set of 14 competencies and 75 performance statements that demonstrate those competencies.  Validated by systematic research and input from over 1,000 online users and providers worldwide, this work should impact the quality of learning and teaching, at both the individual and organizational levels. This volume in the latest in a series prepared under the sponsorship of the International Board of Standards for Performance, Training and Instruction.

Co-authors of the book are Gila Kurtz, College for Academic Studies (Israel); Insung Jung, International Christian University (Korea); Katsuaki Suzuki, Kumamoto University (Japan); and Barbara L. Grabowski, Pennsylvania State University (USA).

Michael Beaudoin

Beaudoin is professor emeritus of education at the UNE, where he was previously founding dean of a new college. He continues as adjunct faculty, teaching in UNE's new online Ed. D. program, and has served as adjunct professor in the University of Maryland University College's Masters of Distance Education program.  He has designed and directed innovative and successful programs to provide educational opportunities to those not served by traditional offerings, including distance education degree programs.

He has held senior administrative positions and faculty appointments at institutions in the US and abroad, was a visiting scholar at institutions in Germany, China, Mexico, and Japan, and a Fulbright Fellow in Ghana. With more than 100 publications and presentations, including three books (one which won the Wedemeyer Award for best book in distance education in 2004), he has written extensively in the field of distance education and related areas, presents frequently at conferences, and serves as an evaluator, consultant, and reader for distance education programs, institutions, and journals.

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