What Harvard Business School Has Learned About Online Collaboration From HBX

April 21st, 2015

by Bharat N. AnandJanice H. HammondV.G. Narayanan, Harvard Business Review

In June 2014, Harvard Business School launched HBX, to focus on solving real-world business problems. Videos capturing real managers discussing real problems would anchor the course offerings, to help students understand the applicability of even the most abstract and esoteric concepts. Encourage active learning. Students would engage with the material in “lean forward” mode, rather than passively watching video lectures. Students would not spend more than 3-5 minutes on the platform before being required to interact with the material. Foster social and collaborative learning. Students would engage meaningfully and regularly with others on the platform. We believed that such collaborative learning would not only make it more engaging, but would draw participants more deeply into a process of discovery. Here are some of the most important things we’ve learned since launching HBX, as it relates to creating a social, collaborative experience online.

https://hbr.org/2015/04/what-harvard-business-school-has-learned-about-online-collaboration-from-hbx

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MIT creates new Online Education Policy Initiative

April 21st, 2015

by MIT

Through its newly created Online Education Policy Initiative (OEPI), made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, MIT aims to catalyze the national conversation on the future of education and online learning. Led jointly by Professor Karen Willcox and Dean of Digital Learning Sanjay Sarma, the initiative’s broad objectives are: to explore teaching pedagogy and efficacy, institutional business models, and global educational engagement strategies — and to present a cohesive report on these issues that can be used by policymakers and leaders in education; to engage in the public discourse surrounding online learning and to encourage productive discussion; and to aid policymakers in creating a welcoming environment for educational innovation. “There’s been much written about online education recently,” Sarma says. “OEPI is an opportunity to pause and have a thoughtful, scholarly discussion about everything from the cognitive psychology of learning to the policy implications of online courses.”

https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/mit-creates-new-online-education-policy-initiative-0414

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Online Course Offers N.H. Primary Experience To Political Junkies Across Globe

April 21st, 2015

By MICHAEL BRINDLEY, New Hampshire Public Radio

A free online course this fall focused on the New Hampshire Primary is likely to attract political junkies from the Granite State and beyond. “FIRST! Understanding New Hampshire Presidential Primary” is the University of New Hampshire’s first Massive Open Online Course. It’s open to anyone, anywhere. It will explore the history of the First-in-the-Nation primary, and follow the 2016 primary as it unfolds. The course will be taught by UNH political science professors Andrew Smith and Dante Scala.

http://nhpr.org/post/online-course-offers-nh-primary-experience-political-junkies-across-globe

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7 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT VISUAL LITERACY

April 20th, 2015
by EDUCAUSE
Visual literacy is the ability to recognize and critically appreciate meaning in visual content and to use visual elements to create effective communication. Visualizations often provide better ways to tell a story or understand data, and some colleges and universities are making visual literacy coursework part of general education requirements. As the prevalence of visual communication expands, so does the need to develop a critical eye to evaluate visual content for its accuracy and validity. The demand for visual literacy is driving key changes in curricula as visual content becomes a presumptive component of our communication toolbox.

http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/7-things-you-should-know-about-visual-literacy

by EDUCAUSEVisual literacy is the ability to recognize and critically appreciate meaning in visual content and to use visual elements to create effective communication. Visualizations often provide better ways to tell a story or understand data, and some colleges and universities are making visual literacy coursework part of general education requirements. As the prevalence of visual communication expands, so does the need to develop a critical eye to evaluate visual content for its accuracy and validity. The demand for visual literacy is driving key changes in curricula as visual content becomes a presumptive component of our communication toolbox.

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Science, math, art valued more than technology in poll

April 20th, 2015

By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

California education poll reveals that core subjects might trump technology access. Providing computers to public school students is important to California voters, but not as crucial as other factors affecting education, including a more intense focus on math, science and the arts, according to a new poll. In the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times survey, voters were given a list of options and asked to select the top two that would have the most positive impact on improving public education in California. Nearly half, 49 percent, picked “increasing funding for math, science and technology instruction,” according to the poll. Nearly a third said funding should be increased for subject like art and music education.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/04/14/science-technology-poll-893/

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Embracing Failure to Spur Success: A New Collaborative Innovation Model

April 20th, 2015

by Kim Wilcox and Edward J. Ray, EDCUAUSE Review

On college and university campuses across the United States, we’re surrounded by a resource that leads to discovery, innovation, and growth—yet we don’t embrace it at the leadership level. That resource? Failure. Failure is happening every day in our labs and classrooms and is essential to the learning and discovery process in both settings. As our research scientists attempt to make breakthrough discoveries, they run through repeated trials that fail to deliver the hoped-for results, but each failure provides another clue pointing in the direction of a solution. In classrooms, we encourage students in every discipline to question and analyze the information we put before them. Have we ever criticized them for being “wrong”? Not at all. We congratulate them on having the courage to ask new questions, and we encourage them to keep going.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/embracing-failure-spur-success-new-collaborative-innovation-model

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A Data Commons for Scientific Discovery

April 19th, 2015

By David Raths, Campus Technology

The Open Cloud Consortium is working to meet the collaboration and data-management needs of multi-institution big data projects. In 2008, a group of researchers came together to form the nonprofit Open Cloud Consortium (OCC), a shared cloud-computing infrastructure for medium-size, multi-institution big-data projects. The OCC has grown to include 10 universities, 15 companies and five government agencies and national laboratories. In a recent interview with Campus Technology, OCC Director Robert Grossman discussed the organization’s relationship to research universities’ IT departments, as well as its business model and sustainability challenges.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/09/a-data-commons-for-scientific-discovery.aspx

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5 Lecture Capture Hacks for More Engaging Videos

April 19th, 2015

By Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

As more and more instructors flip their classrooms or teach online courses, it’s become increasingly important to create videos that can hold students’ attention. Some instructors have experimented with new ways to make videos more interactive and engaging; for instance, including themselves in the picture along with their teaching materials. “Putting our face on the presentation allows us to offer nuances and to communicate with more richness and immediacy,” said John Lammers, professor of communication and director of the Health Communication program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Here are five ways to take lecture videos up a notch and better engage students.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/08/5-lecture-capture-hacks-for-more-engaging-videos.aspx?admgarea=News

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5 universities taking innovation from buzzword to practice

April 19th, 2015

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

How universities are looking past incubators to future functionality. Are college and university investments in innovation worth the time and money? Only if your incubators lead to scalable, sustainable success, says new research. A recent report, conducted in 2014 by the American Council on Education (ACE) and Huron Education aimed to gauge some of the current thinking and practices of select institutions on taking innovation from a commonly passed around buzzword to actionable practice. ACE chose five institutions that had detailed case studies and data on their innovation incubators—each highlighting the goals, challenges, and outcomes of their own unique approaches to scaling innovation campus-wide.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/innovation-buzzword-practice-311/

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Fee payments lift MOOC completion rates

April 18th, 2015

by Tim Dodd, Financial Review

Students in massive open online courses (MOOC) who pay a modest amount for a “verified certificate” are just as likely finish their course as regular university students, according to a new large-scale study of online education. The study, from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which jointly founded the leading MOOC provider edX, found those students who paid the usually less-than $US100 ($130) fee for a certificate, had a 59 per cent course completion rate, the same as the overall graduation rate for students enrolling in bachelor’s degrees in the United States.

http://www.afr.com/news/policy/education/fee-payments-lift-mooc-completion-rates-20150412-1mhw76

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UCLA Library to expand program promoting free, online course material

April 18th, 2015

BY DANIEL AHN, Daily Bruin

UCLA, following the lead of many universities, is expanding an initiative to promote free, online course materials for students amid rising textbook costs. The Affordable Course Materials Initiative, a UCLA Library-led project which launched in 2013 as a pilot program, will become an official program fall 2015. The program, which UCLA recently decided to continue, seeks to encourage faculty members to compile online resources in a textbook-like form so they can be freely accessed by professors and students. The library will send out applications for the program this week, and instructors will be able to apply for a grant of up to $2,500 to help find resources and adjust syllabi and assignments. Since 2013, the UCLA Library has awarded $27,500 to 23 instructors. The library estimates that students enrolled in awarded courses saved more than $160,000 collectively since the program began.

http://dailybruin.com/2015/04/13/ucla-library-to-expand-program-promoting-free-online-course-material/

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The ‘University Of Everywhere’ Isn’t For Everyone: The Future Of Learning Will Be A Big Tent

April 18th, 2015

by Andrew Kelly, Forbes

The point is: all of these ideas are part of the future of learning. Because the set of prospective students is large and diverse, that future must be a “big tent” containing a variety of new ideas, not just online learning. Some of the tools (i.e., MOOCs) will be low-touch, low-cost affairs with little interpersonal contact. Others will feature short, intense doses of direct instruction and mentorship and cost significant amounts of money. In short, entrepreneurs will produce different products because learners have different preferences. While The End of College implicitly acknowledges this by talking about more than just MOOCs, other models always seem to take a back seat to the open online courses that Carey expects to dominate in the future.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/akelly/2015/04/08/the-university-of-everywhere-isnt-for-everyone-the-future-of-learning-will-be-a-big-tent/

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The Benefits of Adaptive Learning Technology

April 17th, 2015

By Kristen Hicks, Edudemic

Adaptive learning has long been a part of education. The basic concept is simple: Coursework should be adapted to meet the individual needs of each student. Every teacher has experience modifying curriculum in some way to help students access information. Nowadays technology can help make the adaptations easier and more streamlined. Many of the benefits that adaptive technology offers in online courses also apply to traditional classrooms. However, the nature of online learning means that some of the challenges adaptive learning helps to address are especially relevant to online students. When teachers and students don’t interact with each other regularly in person, as often happens with online courses, having a tool that helps pick up the slack becomes that much more important.

http://www.edudemic.com/how-adaptive-learning-technology-is-being-used-in-online-courses/

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Report: Schools Should Focus More on Soft Skills

April 17th, 2015

By Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal

A new study from Wainhouse Research finds that a large minority, 39 percent, of education stakeholders say their schools should be doing a better job of preparing students for the workforce. Among more than 1,000 administrators, teachers, students and parents surveyed from North America and the United Kingdom, “many” said they “believe that schools are doing a decent job focusing on the 3 R’s: reading, writing and mathematics, but are not doing as good a job focusing on other aspects of education essential to preparing learners for entering the workforce,” according to the report. Sixty percent of those surveyed said too little emphasis is placed on collaborations with other learners outside the classroom, while 46 and 40 percent, respectively, said there should be more emphasis on group achievement and working in teams.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/04/09/report-schools-should-focus-more-on-soft-skills.aspx

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Coming to a business school near you: disruption

April 17th, 2015

by Margaret Andrews, University World News

Over the past few years it seems you can’t read about higher education without thinking about how ripe it is for disruption. Rising costs, employer dissatisfaction with graduate skills, technology advances and new entrants are making the case for the need for new ways of thinking about and delivering education. Based on some recent developments, business schools may be the first to feel the heat. Clay Christensen, who popularised the idea of disruption, has written and spoken quite a bit about disruption in higher education in general, and the management education market in particular. So how is this beginning to play out in the management education sphere? There are many new initiatives afoot.

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150406140223800

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Tech-savvy seek dating help in online courses

April 16th, 2015

By Greta Kaul, Houston Chronicle

The 21st century version of the self-help book is an online course on how to get a date. And this is no tutorial on using Match.com but rather an online course — complete with a quiz and practice activities — in how to read body language and make good conversation. Udemy, an online course platform that enlists “everyday experts” to teach classes, helps people learn everything from programming to photography to marketing — and also how to approach the person you’re eyeing across the coffee shop. Udemy has seen its personal development offerings take off since about 2011, a year after it started, said Shannon Hughes, the company’s senior director of marketing. Though they’re a smaller share of the site’s course catalog, personal development classes are growing fast, and 77 of them — with nearly 52,000 students — cover dating and relationships.

http://www.chron.com/business/article/Tech-savvy-seek-dating-help-in-online-courses-6192588.php

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Watch out Watson: Here comes Amazon Machine Learning

April 16th, 2015

By Liam Tung, ZDNet

AWS developers who want to extract meaning and forecasts out of their data now no longer need other hosted machine learning platforms. Public cloud giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Thursday unveiled its first product for machine learning – simply called Amazon Machine Learning – to make it easier for AWS developers to extract value from the troves of transactional and operational data their hosted systems collect. The move by Amazon follows IBM’s recent launch of hosted Watson Analytics and Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning, with all three now looking for ways to help developers embed machine learning intelligence into their apps. Google’s own machine learning offering, Prediction API, was launched in 2012.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/watch-out-watson-here-comes-aws-machine-learning/

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Hands on with Office Online and Dropbox: A surprisingly smooth combo

April 16th, 2015

by Ed Bott, ZDNet

Microsoft has been expanding the reach of its Office franchise over the past year, releasing apps for iOS and Android, occasionally even at the expense of its Windows division. But the latest Office expansion comes inside the browser, where anyone with an Office.com account, free or paid, can now link Dropbox accounts for seamless creation, viewing, editing, and sharing of online Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/office-online-and-dropbox-together/

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Innovation is building your own adaptive tech solution, says major university

April 15th, 2015

by eCampus News

Arizona State University (ASU), Cengage Learning and Knewton announced a partnership to co-develop what ASU is calling “Active Adaptive” learning solutions, which leverage Knewton adaptive technology in new ways. These innovators in higher education will co-develop a solution from the ground-up utilizing adaptive technology paired with content and active learning activities, with the aim of empowering instructors to spend more time supporting and inspiring learning, and less time managing and lecturing students. ASU recognized the need for a new, customized way to deliver materials to students, allowing them to learn using instruction and content uniquely tailored to their individual needs in an environment that meets the University’s goals of having students take a more active role in their own learning.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/business-news/adaptive-knewton-asu-563/

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Higher Ed/Library Views Impact Final Net Neutrality Order

April 15th, 2015

by Jarret Cummings, EDUCAUSE

The FCC recently posted the full text of the network neutrality order it passed in late February. (Please see “FCC Votes to Restore Strong Net Neutrality Protections.”) An outline released after the vote highlighted the “no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization” rules that the order would impose. While those align with the views of the higher education/libraries coalition in which EDUCAUSE serves as a core member, the coalition looked forward to seeing if the order would address the other concerns it raised. And the order does.

http://www.educause.edu/blogs/jcummings/higher-edlibrary-views-impact-final-net-neutrality-order

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Accreditation for alternative credentialing gaining traction

April 15th, 2015

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

Multiple ideas to accredit alternative credentialing pathways are gaining traction in a push to expand opportunities for nontraditional, post-secondary learning.  Massive open online courses, coding bootcamps, and other programs offering “microcredentials” can’t currently accept federal financial aid because they’re not accredited, which ends up limiting access to low-income prospective students, Insider Higher Ed reports. Alternative pathways to accreditation include partnerships with accredited universities, the creation of new — state or federal — accreditation agencies, and authorization for existing accreditation agencies to do the job.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/accreditation-for-alternative-credentialing-gaining-traction/385338/

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