Online Learning in Postsecondary Education: A Review of the Empirical Literature (2013-2014)

March 18th, 2015

by D. Derek Wu, Ithaka S+R

“Online Learning in Postsecondary Education: A Review of the Empirical Literature (2013-2014)” assesses the current state of research on online teaching and learning. In reviewing twelve recent studies we found that there are still significant gaps in our understanding of the effectiveness of online and hybrid formats of teaching. The most methodologically rigorous studies in this review join a growing list of similarly rigorous research finding that students in online and hybrid formats perform about as well as their counterparts in face-to-face sections. Yet, we identify several areas where more research is needed.

http://sr.ithaka.org/research-publications/online-learning-postsecondary-education

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Innovative MOOCs Take Learning in New Directions

March 17th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Recent efforts are tweaking the formula for massive open online courses and expanding their reach to new audiences. The MOOC philosophy has always come across as “Go big or go home.” But some of the most interesting experiments occurring right now would better be described as “Divide and conquer.” These undertakings — one an experiment at Harvard (MA) and the other a longer-term commitment at the University of Michigan — are allowing schools to try out new practices from a narrower perspective, while still impacting the broader workings of the institution.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/03/11/innovative-moocs-take-learning-in-new-directions.aspx

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3 factors that are changing online learning

March 17th, 2015

by eCampusNews

New infographic illustrates latest trends shaping the future of higher education and online learning. According to recent data, online enrollments are growing faster than overall higher education; and today’s “typical” college freshman is no longer a rising high school senior–two trends that are shaping the future of learning, say researchers. Rising tuition costs and an evolving workforce are two other major factors driving change in online learning in higher education, according to research released by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). In a new infographic, the OLC examines the impact of the internet and changing “consumer” behavior on higher education.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/factors-online-learning-532/

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5 ways online education benefits students

March 17th, 2015

By DeLaina Tonks, KSL

As technology advances, more junior high and high school students and their parents are turning to more innovative schooling methods. Online classes that were previously associated with collegiate institutions are now beginning to resonate with dedicated millennials who want more flexibility, choices and control in their educational paths. In fact, by 2019, about 50 percent of courses will be delivered online, according to Michael B. Horn, the executive director of education at Innosight Institute. Linked below are five of the many reasons to explore online education:

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=1268&sid=33656049

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Microsoft is taking you back to school — free online courses through edX!

March 16th, 2015

By Brian Fagioli, Beta News

Microsoft is partnering with edX to offer courses taught by its employees and experts. The best part? Most of them are free! “Taught by Microsoft experts, these first courses focused on in-demand skills feature interactive coding, assessments, and exercises, and are now open for enrollment. Anders Hejlsberg, technical fellow at Microsoft, will co-teach Introduction to TypeScript; with Introduction to Bootstrap, students will learn a popular front-end web development framework; Programming with C# will help learners gain expertise in a widely used programming language for .NET; additional courses in fast-growing technologies such as cloud computing, data platforms, and Office 365 are also available on edx.org. Students can enroll in Microsoft courses for free or obtain a verified certificate for a fee. Enrollment is open, with courses beginning at the end of March”, says edX.

http://betanews.com/2015/03/11/microsoft-is-taking-you-back-to-school-free-online-courses-through-edx/

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Now you can earn a Yale degree from your own home

March 16th, 2015

By AINSLEY O’CONNELL, Fast Company

Earning a Yale degree will no longer require moving to New Haven, Connecticut, thanks to an online program for would-be physicians’ assistants that the university plans to launch early next year. The graduate program, developed in partnership with software-as-a-service provider 2U, will grant Master of Medical Science degrees exactly equivalent to those of on-campus students. “This is a Yale degree,” Lucas Swineford, who oversees the university’s digital strategy, told The Wall Street Journal. Online education, he said, is “coming of age.” Students will complete the vast majority of their coursework through 2U’s cloud-based platform, with some in-person training at a local medical center.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3043476/fast-feed/now-you-can-earn-a-yale-degree-from-the-comfort-of-your-living-room

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How Technology Can Help Close the Skills Gap in STEM Education

March 16th, 2015

by Felix W. Ortiz III, Huffington Post

A new report from the Education Testing Services (ETS) group highlights a relatively silent but highly urgent problem in America: the skills gap in STEM (science, technology, education, and math) education. What we mean by “skills gap” is the mismatch between the kinds of skills employers say they need compared to the skills our students possess. Right now, our students, especially millennials, are losing ground to the rest of the world. ETS’ report found that in numeracy (math) skills, the United States was tied for last among 22 developing countries. In the field of problem solving and technology rich environments (PS-TRE), U.S. millennials also ranked last. Both numeracy and PS-TRE skills are foundational to success in the STEM fields. In the age of rapid digital innovation, companies have huge demand for graduates with STEM skills. Yet institutions of American education are failing to produce the kind of graduates employers say they need. Maintaining America’s global economic competitiveness in the 21st century largely depends on equipping our students with the kinds of STEM skills employers need.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/felix-w-ortiz-iii/how-technology-can-help-c_b_6829614.html

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4 Ways to Engage Digitally Distracted Students

March 15th, 2015

by Rony Zarom, edSurge

The demand for digital learning offerings presents new challenges for educators and administrators. One of the biggest is keeping students engaged. In one survey, 74 percent of students reported that the Internet distraction was “significant” and “worrying.” Educators have an opportunity to structure online learning environments in a way that addresses how students already interact online, and in a way that also reduces distraction and increases engagement. Here are four ways to get started.

https://www.edsurge.com/n/2015-03-08-4-ways-to-engage-digitally-distracted-students

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Parents flock to free online course on autism

March 15th, 2015

by Danielle Kutchel, the Age

Swinburne University has designed an online course to give families practical strategies to cope with a child with autism. More than 10,000 participants have registered for a new, free online six-week course beginning in April, which has been designed by Swinburne University to provide practical help to families with a child on the autism spectrum. Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong condition affecting about 1 per cent of children who typically have preoccupations, aversions, obsessions and difficulties with social interaction. But, despite the disorder’s frequency and the challenges it poses to parents, carers and teachers, much online information is about diagnosis and emotional support rather than practical help. Now, a team at Swinburne University has stepped in to move away from “the theory of autism” to provide a free, practical online six-week course designed to give parents and carers strategies to help their child – and the family.

http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/parents-flock-to-free-online-course-on-autism-20150308-13vcc9.html

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California offers $50 million carrot for college innovation

March 15th, 2015

BY LISA LEFF, Associated Press

Gov. Jerry Brown has made a habit of criticizing California’s public colleges and universities for what he sees as a failure to adapt to the 21st century. Now he is putting the state’s money where his mouth is. The governor has pledged $50 million to reward campuses with creative and cost-effective approaches to getting more students to earn degrees in less time. A seven-member committee chaired by Brown’s finance director is scheduled to name the winners of the California Awards for Innovation in Higher Education later this month.

http://www.fresnobee.com/2015/03/08/4415990_california-offers-50-million-carrot.html?rh=1

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Beyond Programming: The Power of Making Games

March 14th, 2015

By Lisa Castaneda, Manrita Sidhu, THE Journal

Art and creative expression have an interesting way of weaving in and out of classrooms, offering students the opportunity to explore their own ideas and minds. Video games are no different, and while most of the discussion about their use in classrooms centers on play, we at foundry10 wanted to examine the value of making games. Through easily accessible programs such as Scratch and Gamemaker, students from early elementary up through college are creating games and learning while doing it.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/02/18/beyond-programming-the-power-of-making-games.aspx

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9 IT Best Practices for BYOD Districts

March 14th, 2015

By Bridget McCrea, THE Journal

Districts with successful bring your own device programs share their key strategies for rolling out and managing student-owned devices in school. Allowing students to bring their own devices into the classroom is a relatively new concept to many U.S. school districts. BYOD can help personalize learning by letting students work on devices that they are very familiar with, but it also creates some key challenges for the IT professionals who have to balance the need for computing power with the resources provided by their districts. Here, a handful of district technology heads discuss their BYOD best practices and suggest how others might adopt them.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/02/10/9-it-best-practices-for-byod-districts.aspx

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Course Design that Meets More Learners’ Needs

March 14th, 2015

By Dennis Pierce, Campus Technology

ECU is one of three North Carolina universities taking part in a grant-funded project called College STAR, which aims to support students with learning disabilities. These challenges might include dyslexia, dyscalculia and problems with focusing or memory recall, among others. One way College STAR supports these students is by training faculty and instructional designers in the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a framework for creating flexible learning environments that can accommodate a wide variety of learning styles. The project’s goal is to “help our universities be more welcoming places for students with learning differences,” said Sarah Williams, principal investigator.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/03/04/course-design-that-meets-more-learners-needs.aspx

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The Key to Solving the Teacher Labor Shortage: Online Learning

March 13th, 2015

by MyUSA

For more than 50 years, schools across the country have faced a decline in teacher quality and – despite an overall teacher surplus – chronic local and position-specific shortages. New research from the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation shows that online learning could hold the key to providing the quality teacher labor supply that schools so desperately need. Solving the Nation’s Teacher Shortage: How Online Learning Can Fix the Broken Teacher Labor Market unpacks the compounding reasons behind teacher shortages to focus on the solution: online learning. By allowing educators to reach students from anywhere in the country, online learning creates a new degree of flexibility and productivity among teachers, while also making the field more attractive to new teachers.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/press-releases/article/The-Key-to-Solving-the-Teacher-Labor-Shortage-6116909.php

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Udacity launches Nanodegree program for iOS developers

March 13th, 2015

by Daniel Terdiman, Venture Beat

Last year, online education provider Udacity launched its Nanodegree program. In partnership with AT&T, the initiative’s goal is to help people develop focused vocational specialties in a short period of time. Now, Udacity, created by Google X founder Sebastian Thrun, has started an iOS developer Nanodegree. “This Nanodegree program will teach you the skills required to become an iOS developer,” Udacity writes on its site. “It’s an exciting occupation, as writing apps for the iPhone and iPad opens a world of opportunity. Developing for iOS … allows you to connect users around the world in interesting and innovative ways. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that iOS developers are in-demand and lucratively paid.”

http://venturebeat.com/2015/03/05/udacity-launches-nanodegree-program-for-ios-developers/

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Nine Ways to Encourage Faculty Experimentation with New Online Teaching Technologies

March 13th, 2015

By Vickie Cook, Evolllution

Creating an environment where faculty are excited about innovation is critical to institutional growth. Teaching online can be demanding. Faculty teaching online often spend their breaks between semesters refining and rethinking their classes. Because online classes can be developed from anywhere, they are developed everywhere—not just on campus. As such, faculty support to explore new technologies may not be at the top of the to-do list. Once faculty have developed a few tried and true tools that meet their specific teaching needs of online course delivery, instructional designers may find these faculty reluctant to try out new teaching technologies. When I attend professional conferences and talk with faculty, the number one comment I hear is that adequate support for new technologies is not available on their campuses.

http://www.evolllution.com/media_resources/ways-encourage-faculty-experimentation-online-teaching-technologies/

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Wharton’s New Online Courses Include Incentives

March 12th, 2015

By LINDSAY GELLMAN, Wall Street Journal

Acing an online course could lead to a Wharton degree. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School last month unveiled a new series of courses, dubbed the Business Foundations specialization series, through online-education platform Coursera. The business school said it would waive the application fee to one of its graduate business programs for each of the online program’s top 50 performers in a given year. Wharton also said it would offer up to five $20,000 scholarships to admitted M.B.A. students “who have excelled in completion” of the series in the previous 12 months.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/whartons-new-online-courses-include-incentives-1425515596

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Online education myths busted

March 12th, 2015

By Amaka Abayomi, Vanguard

Globally, online learning is on the rise. According to a 2013 report by the Babson Survey Research Group, over 6.7 million post-secondary students were enrolled in, at least, one online class in 2011, compared to only 1.6 million in 2002, and higher-education institutions continue to refine and enhance their online curriculum. Myth #1: Employers don’t value online degrees/certificates :  It is falsely believed that employers don’t value online degrees or certificates but the truth is that they do value and are often bound to respect accredited online degrees or certifications. Most respected companies really appreciate their employees taking the initiative of earning degrees online.

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/03/online-education-myths-busted/

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Education institutions lag in data protection

March 12th, 2015

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

A new report from Evolve, an IT services company selling cloud space, shows education institutions are more likely to lose critical data than their peer organizations in the business, government, and nonprofit sectors — and more likely to lose it forever. Respondents cited budget constraints for their poor outcomes, according to Campus Technology, and only 42% of respondents thought they had enough money in their disaster recovery budgets. That’s in contrast to 63% of respondents, who thought so in the for-profit realm.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/education-institutions-lag-in-data-protection/371507/

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Prepare For ‘The End Of College’: Here’s What Free Higher Ed Looks Like

March 11th, 2015

by Fresh Air, NPR

The University of Everywhere is the university that I think my children and future generations will attend when they go to college. … They will look very different in some ways, although not in other ways, from the colleges that I went to and that many of us have become familiar with. This will be driven by advances in information technology: So whereas historically you went to college in a specific place and only studied with the other people who could afford to go [to] that place, in the future we’re going to study with people all over the world, interconnected over global learning networks and in organizations that in some cases aren’t colleges as we know them today, but rather 21st-century learning organizations that take advantage of all of the educational tools that are rapidly becoming available to offer great college experiences for much less money.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2015/03/03/390167950/prepare-for-the-end-of-college-heres-what-free-higher-ed-looks-like

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Udemy Signs More Businesses for Online Training

March 11th, 2015

by Udemy

Udemy,the platform for learning and teaching online, today announced that its corporate training division, Udemy for Business, has achieved significant momentum, signing on key customers including Esri, Lyft and Mixpanel. In the past year, Udemy for Business quadrupled its customer count, as more companies realize the critical need to provide their employees with access to skills training to stay up-to-speed and competitive. At the start of 2014 Lyft had about 80 employees, and now Lyft employs over 400 people. They needed a tool to provide their expanding workforce with learning opportunities to support their dynamic and evolving roles.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/udemy-solidifies-leadership-position-in-online-training-for-companies-signs-esri-lyft-and-mixpanel-300044391.html

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