Techno-News Blog

September 3, 2015

E-Advisement: Technology-Supported Advising Services

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by Jimmy Solis, EDUCAUSE Review

Applying technology to the process of general academic advisement yields the more flexible, mobile approach called e-advisement, as explained in this case study. E-advisement integrates videoconferencing hardware (a webcam) and contemporary software with IM and uses online instructional tools in an advising capacity to improve student success. Further research should examine more student narratives in order to gain a better understanding of the student perspective and where they see themselves at the intersection of technology, academic advisement, and accessibility.

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September 2, 2015

Penn professors teach millions of students worldwide through Open Learning classes

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By SYDNEY SCHAEDEL, Daily Pennsylvanian

While Penn professors teaching Open Learning classes have to dedicate a lot of their time and resources to millions of online learners, the opportunity to contribute to the future of education is incentive enough. “It’s been a great experience,” said Director of the Lauder Institute and Wharton Professor Mauro Guillen. “It’s wonderful to connect with so many people around the world…. The students are primarily aged 16 to 26,” said Guillen. “It’s a little surprising there are so few people over the age of 60, but that might be because they have to access it on the computer.” With their classes so widely viewed, Open Learning professors have become academia’s equivalent of celebrities. Guillen said that once when he visited New York City, someone stopped him on the street and said he recognized him from the course. “He said, ‘You’re the one from the videos!’”

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Admissions officers seeing more MOOC credentials on applications

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By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

Prospective students are touting massive open online course enrollment and completion on college applications, often in hopes of differentiating themselves from their competitors. The New York Times reports that college admissions officers are viewing these classes on applications as similar to extracurriculars that they don’t necessarily need to verify, because they are interesting but not a game changer for a student’s application. Some admissions officers say there’s little confidence in each MOOC’s content or quality based on a course title, leaving their impact on an applicant’s chances minimal for now.

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3 Ways Mobile Technology Is Transforming Learning Spaces

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By Dennis Pierce, THE Journal

To support creativity and collaborative learning with digital tools, schools are creating flexible environments that give students ownership of the space and their learning. From the outside, Barrow Elementary School in Athens, GA, looks like any traditional school building built in the 1920s. Inside, it looks completely different. Instead of desks arranged in tidy rows, the classrooms have tables that can be reconfigured in seconds by the students themselves, depending on what an assignment calls for. There are spaces where students can work together in teams, and comfortable chairs for individual study. Nooks tucked off hallways enable teachers and students to gather in small groups, and wireless access points allow them to use portable digital devices anywhere in the building.

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September 1, 2015

Gaining the Competitive Advantage without the Price Tag with an Online MBA

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by Ashley Wren Collins, Huffington Post

In CBS’s “What’s an Online MBA Worth?” Peter Shea, former head of the online education system for the State University of New York, said, “There is a growing body of evidence that suggest that the quality of online learning outcomes…is actually better than that of face-to-face instruction.” Be sure to vet your online MBA choices. You want to make sure that the on-line MBA faculty has a crossover with the residential faculty – if they outsource their faculty it is a sign the program is not as reputable and they don’t place the same value on their online education options. Some people like the branding that comes with a top business school and are willing to risk the debt in order to “wear” the school label and benefit from the networking opportunities. But there is more than one way to reach your goal, and an online MBA from a top accredited school with great faculty at a lower cost is an attractive option.

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Study identifies new cheating method in MOOCs

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by Harvard Gazette

While the proliferation of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has expanded learning opportunities for individuals around the world, the digital classroom is also subject to many of the same issues as the traditional one — such as cheating. In a new working paper, researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have identified a new method of cheating specific to open online courses, and have recommended a number of strategies that are proving effective in preventing it. The working paper, “Detecting and Preventing ‘Multiple-Account’ Cheating in Massive Open Online Courses,” was published today on, an online repository for electronic preprints.

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Coursera Pivots to Focus on Job Training

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Back in 2012, we welcomed the dawn of the massive open online course (MOOC) and its promise to democratize learning with open arms. Stories like that of Christos Porios, a 16-year-old living in Alexandroupoli, Greece, who discovered a Stanford computer science class on online platform Coursera and soon mastered machine learning, captured our collective imagination. The learning experience was new, but the brand-name institutions providing the content were familiar, with universities like Harvard, MIT, and Stanford leading the way. Fast-forward to 2015, and the dynamics shaping online learning have changed dramatically. The typical student is not a teenage genius, but a mid-career working professional. And the brand names lending credibility are no longer vaunted educational institutions, but rather private companies on the lookout for new talent.

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