What Faculty Need to Know About ‘Learner Experience Design’

November 21st, 2016

By Patrice Torcivia & Whitney Kilgore, EdSurge

The emerging field of Learner Experience Design or LX design is about balancing the need for quality course design with the central role of human interaction in online learning. It’s a collaborative process that engages faculty in the design and improvement of online courses. But LX design doesn’t have to be daunting or complicated. Here are three big LX ideas for faculty who may be new to online learning, and hope to create and facilitate more humanized online learning experiences.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-11-10-what-faculty-need-to-know-about-learner-experience-design

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Why Online Classes Aren’t Easy

November 21st, 2016

By Madison White, ULoop

Work from home, when you want, wherever you want — what could be difficult about online classes? For many students, online courses are a great tool in managing the busy schedule of a student and employee. However, many students also assume that every online class will be much easier than a normal class when this simply isn’t the case. Here are four reasons why online classes aren’t easy.

http://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/219200/Why-Online-Classes-Arent-Easy

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College leaders identify the top IT challenges

November 21st, 2016

by Jarrett Carter, Educaton Dive

Security, data management and governance, and next-gen enterprise were among the top networking concerns for CIOs at Educause this year. IT impact from affordability, funding and leadership were also among chief concerns. Next generation enterprise and the digital transformation of learning were rated by attendees as the top two themes of importance during one session of the conference.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/college-leaders-identify-the-top-it-challenges/430256/

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More schools are online than ever before – but it’s far from perfect

November 20th, 2016

by Nichole Dobo, Hechinger Report

Even though more schools are online, leaders say they will need more modern connections in the coming years to keep up with the pace of technological advancement. Nearly 60 percent of school leaders surveyed by CoSN said ongoing costs remain a major challenge. “The good news is districts are making real progress in supporting modern technology infrastructure,” Keith Krueger, the CEO of CoSN, said in a statement. “However, it remains clear that more work and investment are needed over the long run to address the digital equity challenge of today and provide robust broadband connectivity for all students in and outside of school.”

http://hechingerreport.org/more-schools-are-online-than-ever-before-but-its-far-from-perfect/

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4 Reasons Why Online Courses Can Get You Out Of A Career Rut

November 20th, 2016

by Laurence Bradford, Fortune

Especially in recent years, online courses have officially claimed their place as the future of affordable, accessible education. Whether you’re just entering the workforce and want more skills and credentials to pad your resume, you’re looking to upskill early to late in your career, or you want to change careers entirely, here’s why taking courses online should be at the top of your priority list.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurencebradford/2016/11/07/4-reasons-why-online-courses-can-get-you-out-of-a-career-rut/

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3 tips for turning credentials into degree and job opportunities

November 20th, 2016

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Credentialing processor Parchment.com offers 3 tips on how to successfully package and promote skills earned to parlay them into quality chances at career entry or advanced degrees. Parchment recommends making credentials digitally deliverable, aesthetically appealing and accessible to graduates throughout their lives are essential to making the most out of earned skills. The ability to list and see pathways of how credentials can be “stacked” together makes students and potential employees more marketable in fields which demand workers with increasing diversity in skills sets and knowledge.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/3-tips-for-turning-credentials-into-degree-and-job-opportunities/429859/

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“This house believes AI could, should and will replace teachers”

November 19th, 2016

by OEB

At this year’s OEB, we’re looking to provide some of that nuance in our annual Plenary Debate on the motion entitled “This house believes artificial intelligence (AI) could, should and will replace teachers”. This is not only a debate about the capabilities of technology, but also about its ethical implications. In this particular case, it’s as much a question of philosophy as of technological practicality. What exactly is a teacher? Some would say that in many schools, teachers have become little more than devices for transmitting information in the hope of achieving defined educational outcomes and that these functions can be taken over – and even improved on – by a machine. For Donald Clark (proposition) the case for teaching bots is fairly obvious: they would be “free from cognitive… racial, gender and socio-economic biases. They never get ill, don’t forget much of what they are taught, operate 24/7, and can deliver from anywhere to anywhere where there is an internet connection. Unlike our brains they don’t sleep for eight hours a day and, in a fatal objection to human frailty, neither get burnt out, retire or die.”

http://www.online-educa.com/OEB_Newsportal/this-house-believes-ais-could-and-will-replace-teachers/

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New Era for Disability Rights

November 19th, 2016

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Miami University in Ohio last month became the latest institution to overhaul its accessibility policies for people with disabilities. Miami is far from the only university to face legal action over accessibility issues. In the last two years alone, several colleges and education companies — Atlantic Cape Community College, edX, Harvard University and the University of Phoenix, among others — have either been sued or settled complaints about inaccessible websites or content. . Lennard J. Davis, a prominent disability studies scholar based at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said those lawsuits highlight a trend of the last 10 years of accessibility lawsuits shifting from concerning physical to digital spaces. “The web and technology associated with sensory impairments are where it is at right now,” Davis said in an email. “The virtual and digital world has replaced the physical world as the locus for discrimination and barriers.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/11/07/disability-rights-advocates-shift-strategies-ensure-equal-rights-digital-age

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Students worldwide competed to improve security software in a contest led by UMD

November 19th, 2016

By Rachel Kuipers, Diamondback

Some University of Maryland professors are trying to change how software designers approach their work. Three cybersecurity professors — Michelle Mazurek, Andrew Ruef and Dave Levin — and computer science professor Michael Hicks were among those to host the Build It, Break It, Fix it security contest, which aims to teach students how to construct more secure programs, according to the contest website. This is the fifth contest the group has held in the past two and a half years, Hicks said. “We want to make software security better [and] help developers who aren’t security experts do a better job of writing secure software,” said Mazurek, who is also a member of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center. “There’s a gap between what seems like it should work and what actually should work in the real world.”

http://www.dbknews.com/2016/11/07/university-of-maryland-computer-science-software-contest/

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No matter where you turn, the Internet shapes us

November 18th, 2016

By Zhu Shenshen, Shanghai Daily

Virtual reality English learning is just one example of Internet Plus services in Shanghai — a merging of online applications and offline lifestyle trends. This latest digital trend covers a wide range of services, including the panoramic view of a restaurant when you book a table via smartphone, sharing bicycles unlocked by mobile apps, and paying for Metro trips and drinks by smartphone or even smart watches. Internet Plus services are turning Shanghai into one of the world’s most “digital smart” cities and, at the same time, changing human experiences and habits in education and entertainment, dining, transportation, payment and investment.

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/business/economy/No-matter-where-you-turn-the-Internet-shapes-us/shdaily.shtml

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Georgia Tech’s Ashkok Goel says automated ‘nano tutors’ will take-off in education

November 18th, 2016

by Tim Dodd, Financial Review

Georgia Tech artificial intelligence pioneer Ashkok Goel says his ground-breaking use of artificial intelligence to interact with students will soon be cheap and widely available. Earlier this year Professor Goel famously introduced a “nano tutor”, dubbed Jill Watson, to answer the questions in the online forum for students in his course at the US university, called Knowledge-Based Artificial Intelligence. For over a month students didn’t realise they were talking to a robot teaching assistant (TA) rather than a real one. “We did not tell the students Jill Watson was an AI [artificial intelligence]. As far as they were concerned Jill Watson was just another human TA,” he told a Sydney conference last week. After learning that one of their teaching assistants was a bot, students were both amazed and receptive.

http://www.afr.com/news/policy/education/georgia-techs-ashkok-goel-says-automated-nano-tutors-will-takeoff-in-education-20161103-gshuth

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U of Alberta launches more massive open online courses to increase brand

November 18th, 2016

by Daniel Stilwell, iNews

The University of Alberta is adding another option to their range of massive open online courses. The MOOC program started a couple of years ago with the highly popular Dino 101 program. U of A Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation Dean Kerry Mummery said Dino 101 and several other courses were so successful that they thought opening up a new course called Mountains 101 would be a good fit. “We’d certainly be the leaders in the world right now for inter-disciplinary mountain studies and we’re intent on claiming that for the University of Alberta. Where better than Alberta to claim the mountains? We’re known internationally for them,” said Mummery.

http://www.inews880.com/syn/110/133286/133286

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Do online high schools make the grade?

November 17th, 2016

by Leslie Katz, C|Net

There are all kinds of online high schools — from government-funded public and charter schools, which are free to resident minors, to private schools including those like OHS, which are affiliated with universities. This last category varies in price: Indiana University High School charges $250 for each course, George Washington University Online High School costs $12,000 a year, while yearly tuition at OHS hits nearly $20,000 for four or more courses. (OHS says about 15 percent of its students receive financial aid.) Nearly 460 full-time charter, privately run or district-operated virtual schools enrolled more than 261,000 students during the 2014-15 academic year, according to the National Education Policy Center.

https://www.cnet.com/au/news/online-schools-get-mixed-report-cards/

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6 ed tech products to note from Educause 2016

November 17th, 2016

by Roger Riddell, Education Dive

From solutions for boosting cybersecurity to new accessibility components on familiar platforms, these solutions are worth a closer look. Between keynotes, panels and interviews, Education Dive took time to check out what Educause 2016’s close to 300 exhibitors had on display. From solutions for boosting cybersecurity to new accessibility components on familiar platforms, here are six products we saw worth noting.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/6-ed-tech-products-to-note-from-educause-2016/429723/

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Shifting to digital classrooms

November 17th, 2016

By Skylar Griego, Daily Lobo

With registration for the spring semester beginning on Nov. 14, many students are browsing the UNM course catalog to start piecing together their class schedule. Some may notice a number of courses available online for the first time. Students may also notice that many of the new classes aren’t actually new — they’re online sections of courses already held on campus. UNM Extended Learning is developing online sections for classes in high demand to add to the online course directory. Debby Knotts, the executive director of UNMEL, said this she hopes of creating more availability for students trying to meet requirements for their degrees.

http://www.dailylobo.com/article/2016/11/4-online-courses-at-unm

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Marco Rubio still teaching an FIU course, online

November 16th, 2016

by Patricia MazzeiPatricia Mazzei, Miami Herald

Rubio has co-taught an online fall course, according to the university and his campaign. The class, held for an hour a week on Wednesday evenings, is titled, “Topics in Politics — the General Election.” “He participates live from home or on the campaign trail using a laptop,” campaign spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas said in a statement. On Aug. 16, John F. Stack Jr., dean of the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, sent Rubio a letter inviting him to work as a “visiting assistant scholar/science/engineer” for the three-credit class, which is co-taught by Dario Moreno and Sara Moats. The course enrolls more than 150 students. Rubio has taught on and off at FIU for years, particularly with Moreno, a Republican pollster. He’s getting paid $8,000, according to Stack’s letter, which the Miami Herald obtained from FIU through a public records request. That’s based on an annual salary rate of $24,000. Rubio makes $174,000 a year as a U.S. senator.

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/marco-rubio-still-teaching-an-fiu-course-online/2301404

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San Diego Unified’s Grad Rate Miracle Relied on Online Courses

November 16th, 2016

by Mario Koran, Voice of San Diego

Last school year, 1,381 seniors – more than 20 percent of San Diego Unified’s class of 2016 – took an online version of a course required for graduation. Roughly 92 percent of them passed. It’s an impressive pass rate. And it was crucial for the class of 2016. That group ended up setting the highest graduation rate on record. They achieved that even as the first class to be subject to far more rigorous graduation requirements. Researchers had predicted it would be impossible, in fact, for the class of 2016 to graduate at the rate they did. But the academics hadn’t factored in the new online courses that would quickly allow students to catch up.

http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/education/san-diego-unifieds-grad-rate-miracle-relied-online-courses/

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Why Udacity and EdX Want to Trademark the Degrees of the Future—and What’s at Stake for Students

November 16th, 2016

By Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

No one owns the term “master’s degree.” But upstart education providers dream of getting a lock on the words for the next generation of online graduate certifications. Their strategy says a lot about how today’s online programs differ from those in the past (Hint: duration and price are just one part of that). Udacity won a trademark for Nanodegree last year. And in April, the nonprofit edX, founded by MIT and Harvard University to deliver online courses by a consortium of colleges, applied for a trademark on the word MicroMasters. And MicroDegree? Yep, that’s trademarked too, by yet another company. Sean Gallagher, chief strategy officer at Northeastern University’s Global Network, picked up on this trend recently and wondered what’s going on. He knows the space well, since he literally wrote the book on “ The Future of University Credentials.” The trademarked words don’t mean much today, since they “aren’t really recognized by employers yet,” Gallagher says.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-11-03-why-udacity-and-edx-want-to-trademark-the-degrees-of-the-future-and-what-s-at-stake-for-students

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Survey: Students Think Schools Should Use Personal Data to Improve College Experience

November 16th, 2016

By Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

Seventy-seven percent of college students think schools should do a better job of using their personal data to improve the college experience, according to a new survey from Ellucian. The company released the results of a survey on the same day as its new data analytics platform, Ellucian Analytics. The online survey was conducted by Wakefield Research from October 13 to 18 and included 1,000 United States college students. The key takeaway from the survey is that students already share vast amounts of personal data with their schools, and they expect those schools to use that data in ways that benefit them.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/10/31/survey-students-think-schools-should-use-personal-data-to-improve-college-experience.aspx

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U.S. Ed Department Launches Free Online Tool to Rapidly Evaluate Ed Tech Products

November 15th, 2016

By Richard Chang, THE Journal

The United States Education Department’s Office of Educational Technology is unveiling a new online tool that’s designed to rapidly evaluate ed tech products and help educators decide whether a product or tool is worth their money. The Ed Tech Rapid Cycle Evaluation (RCE) Coach is a free, openly licensed, web-based platform created in partnership with Mathematica, a policy research organization. The RCE Coach guides educators step-by-step through an ed tech purchasing or renewal process.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/10/28/us-ed-department-launches-free-online-tool-to-rapidly-evaluate-ed-tech-products.aspx

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New website offers alternatives to class schedule stress

November 15th, 2016

by Alexander Holcomb, UT Daily Beacon

A new, free website is making it easier for University of Tennessee students to plan and enroll in the classes they need. The website, coursicle.com, notifies its users when a previously filled class has an open seat and creates potential schedules for the next semester. Tara Aida, the co-founder of the site, helped build coursicle.com during her freshman year at Harvard. “We offer two main services,” Aida said. “The first is an online course search engine and planner, and it allows students to browse classes easily, save them to a weekly calendar, save multiple schedules and also see what classes their friends are considering taking — their Facebook friends. And the second service is a notification system which allows students to sign up to receive a text message as soon as a class has an available seat.”

http://www.utdailybeacon.com/news/new-website-offers-alternatives-to-class-schedule-stress/article_b96bf0a8-a12b-11e6-80cd-07c8096167ad.html
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