Jonathan D. Becker, J.D., Ph.D.

Living at the intersections of education, technology, leadership, and policy.



In the name of distance education

Lindsey Downs, Manager of Communications for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technology (WCET), published a blog post today about definitions and distance education. It’s a really good post and you might choose to read that and come back here for… Continue Reading →

The rules of engagement for online learning

As a lawyer dude who lives in the world of online learning, the news about a complaint filed by a class of students at George Washington University has me intrigued. According to Inside Higher Education, Four graduates of the university’s… Continue Reading →

Nurturing curiosity through course selection/registration

Here’s a dilemma that I’m certain is not unique to my institution, but that raises complex questions for me: VCU ALTLab’s very own Lisa Phipps is teaching a (open, online) course this summer about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). She’s… Continue Reading →

The possibilities of/for #onlinelearning

Being asked what good #onlinelearning looks like is akin to being asked what a good meal looks like. — Jon Becker (@jonbecker) February 23, 2016   I remember being asked recently what good online learning looks like. That wasn’t the… Continue Reading →

The rhythm and pace of online learning

For our newest cohort of faculty participants, it’s now the end of the first week of the Online Learning Experience (OLE), our intensive online learning faculty development program. Week one was about getting folks situated and getting them equipped with… Continue Reading →


The latest and greatest cohort of our intensive online learning faculty development program, the Online Learning Experience (OLE), begins this week. We’ve got 32 faculty members from all corners of the university signed up and ready to dive into an… Continue Reading →

The Great VCU Bike Race Book

Imagine your university was going to shut down for a whole week within the first month of the semester because the UCI Road World (bicycling) Championships was overtaking your city. Residential students could stay in their residence halls, but classrooms… Continue Reading →

Electronic surveillance and higher education

These are only the stories that came across my radar during just the last 4 months.   Harvard secretly photographed students to study attendance (Boston Globe, 11/5/14) Harvard University has revealed that it secretly photographed some 2,000 students in 10 lecture halls… Continue Reading →

Connected Courses – Summer 2015

One strategic priority around online learning at VCU is online learning during summer sessions. As VCU President Rao has framed online learning as an issue of access and degree completion, we have put considerable resources towards working with departments and… Continue Reading →

This is how I read

One of these days, we’re going to do a “This is how I work” series for the VCU ALT Lab team. It’ll be much like the lifehacker series that I love.  For whatever reason, I’m totally fascinated by how different… Continue Reading →

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