Leaders discuss taking online learning from an alternative to a “must”

May 29th, 2015

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

Until recently, online learning has been viewed as either solely for those interested in adult education or as a branding tactic for innovative institutions. And though online learning is still one of the most accessible ways of providing quality postsecondary education to those with diverse backgrounds and commitments, the popularity of blended learning models, and recent trends in cross-institutional collaboration, online learning is experiencing rapid implementation in today’s colleges and universities. Here, eCampus News asked distinguished online learning advocates to give their thoughts on why it’s imperative to take higher education’s perception of online learning from an alternative to a “must.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/online-learning-must-989/

Share on Facebook

What Disruption? Online Education and the Status Quo

May 29th, 2015

BY WILLIAM FENTON, PC Magazine

The problem with today’s MOOCs is their elite pedigree and top-down approach to online education. Creating and maintaining a MOOC takes a village—and well-heeled one. From my conversations with faculty who developed online courses for edX and Coursera, I came to understand that an educator couldn’t possibly build an online course without tenure and voluminous institutional support. For example, the aforementioned Coursera class lists 21 contributors, including two pedagogical assistants, two producers, and a copyright consultant, under its course credits. The professor estimated that she spent hundreds of hours developing her first course, and still more time revising it for later iterations. It’s no wonder that large, established institutions dominate the catalogs of edX and Coursera. Udemy is the only platform I have encountered that challenges this paradigm by allowing anyone to create courses. However, its approach is at once logistically and philosophically limited.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2484354,00.asp

Share on Facebook

Technology in Higher Education: Defining the Strategic Leader

May 29th, 2015

by EDUCAUSE Review

The higher education IT enterprise has become complex. No longer simply responsible for provisioning IT infrastructure and services, the IT department increasingly helps re-envision business and service models, all in a context of cost and accountability pressures. IT is simultaneously more challenging, relevant, and exciting than ever; leading IT requires unique characteristics and capabilities. But what qualities make for a successful IT leader in this environment? What traits are required to be a strategic player for IT on campus? What are the most significant gaps in required knowledge, skills, and abilities? How do we prepare the next generation to lead? In 2014, EDUCAUSE, the association of IT leaders in higher education in the United States, and Jisc, the national organization supporting the use of digital technologies for higher education and research in the United Kingdom, came together to address a common concern — that insufficient attention is paid to understanding the skills required by technology leaders in higher education, both now and in the future.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/technology-higher-education-defining-strategic-leader?

Share on Facebook

Stanford researchers develop virtual discussion sections tool

May 28th, 2015

by Skylar Cohen, Stanford Daily

Stanford researchers have developed a new tool called Talkabout to enhance online learning through the formation of virtual discussion sections — allowing students from around the globe to connect and share ideas. Talkabout is built around Google Hangouts and joins groups of 2 to 9 people in conversation. This feature will facilitate small-group discussion in order to improve massive open online courses (MOOCs), which are offered by Stanford and many other institutions and attract thousands of students from around the world.

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2015/05/19/stanford-researchers-develop-virtual-discussion-sections-tool/

Share on Facebook

Experts: Higher Education Reinvestments Needed In Illinois & Nationwide

May 28th, 2015

by Progress Illinois

Illinois, and nearly every other U.S. state, is spending less today on higher education than when the Great Recession started, according to new research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). CBPP’s report, issued last week, details how state-level cuts to higher education funding over recent years have been a key cause of “steep tuition increases that threaten to put college out of reach for more students.” The center’s research comes at a time when Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed deep cuts to higher education as part of his 2016 budget plan.

http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2015/05/18/experts-higher-education-reinvestments-needed-illinois-other-states

Share on Facebook

Distance education conference addresses radical changes in teaching and learning

May 28th, 2015

by University of Wisconsin

Technology has radically transformed the way people learn in the college classroom, in the workplace and in the military. Educators must stay on top of cutting-edge innovations to prepare students for success in the 21st century workforce, including novel ways of using mobile devices, digital games and social media. The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Distance Teaching & Learning Conference will explore the latest developments August 11-13 at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.

http://www.news.wisc.edu/23786

Share on Facebook

TwitterChat: Balancing the Urgency of Revenue Performance with Mission and Quality Online – May 27

May 27th, 2015

by Ray Schroeder, Josh Kim (Dartmouth / Inside Higher Ed), Katie Blot (Blackboard), Debbie Cavalier (Berklee)

Challenged by complex and shifting funding models, higher education faces a growing urgency to balance mission and product mix to keep things afloat as enrollments and state funding decline. Adding to this complexity is the growing tension in the marketplace in which the value/currency of traditional degrees are challenged by micro-credentials and the emergence of CBE. How can institutions address these crises? Join UPCEA for this timely TweetChat by using the hashtag #HigherEdAhead on social media as online education leaders share experiences and resources and respond to your questions. A live question and answer session will occur on May 27th from 2-3PM EST.

http://upcea.edu/tweetchat

Share on Facebook

Discover 4 Unusual Online Bachelor’s Degrees

May 27th, 2015

by Ian Quillan, US News

Many people know a college student or a working professional pursuing an online degree in business, health care, information technology or education. “People are stepping away from the thought of, ‘You can’t learn that online,’” says Cali Morrison, communications manager at WCET, an organization that advocates for effective technology use in higher education. And now in 2015, it’s possible to get an online bachelor’s degree in fire and emergency services administration, aviation, integrative health or even horticulture.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2015/05/18/discover-4-unusual-online-bachelors-degrees

Share on Facebook

Cal Lt. Gov. cites insufficient outreach to faculty in push for online education

May 27th, 2015

by David Siders, Sacramento Bee

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he and other proponents of online education, including Gov. Jerry Brown, failed to sufficiently engage faculty members in their longstanding push to expand online course offerings at California’s colleges and universities. Brown has pressed the University of California and California State University systems to expand online offerings for more than two years, hoping to expand the system’s reach and to reduce costs. But his efforts remain largely unfulfilled.

http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article21349020.html

Share on Facebook

UK Digital Course Provider Claims Biggest Student Uptake

May 26th, 2015

by Shannon Greenhalgh, MISCO

Classroom overcrowding is not an issue for UK online learning platform FutureLearn. The digital course provider is claiming the biggest online university course ever. The service has reported that 370,000 students have enrolled for its English language British Council course – showing the scale of online learning, says the BBC. The Understanding IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Techniques for English Language Tests course, which prepares students for a recognised English language proficiency test, has overtaken in numbers a US social psychology course from the Connecticut-based Wesleyan University which had 260,000 students.

http://www.misco.co.uk/blog/news/02964/learning-online-digital-course-provider-claims-biggest-student-uptake

Share on Facebook

When Your Online Course Is Put Up for Adoption

May 26th, 2015

by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Ed

For many institutions, online education has been an opportunity not only to increase the number of enrolled students, but also to focus on designing courses that are compelling no matter who is leading them. “You’re seeing more and more of instructors rotating in and out of courses once they’re developed, because obviously the time to develop a course is a lot,” says John Haubrick, manager of instructional design at Pennsylvania State University’s online arm.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/when-your-online-course-is-put-up-for-adoption/56723

Share on Facebook

A Semi-Automated System for Recognizing Prior Knowledge

May 26th, 2015

by Joaquim Moré, et al; iJET

Adaptive e-learning systems are able to automatically generate personalized learning paths from the students’ profile. Generally, the student profile is updated with information about knowledge the student has acquired, courses the student has passed and previous work experience. Unfortunately, dealing with courses that students passed in other learning environments is very difficult, error prone and requires a lot of manual intervention. In addition, the recognition of external courses is a process that all institutions, on-site and online learning organization, must perform during the access of new students, since it can be greatly useful not only for personalization but also for recognizing the courses the students attended. In this paper, we propose an intelligent system that analyzes the academic record of students in textual format to identify what subjects the students studied in the past and therefore are potentially recognizable. In addition, the proposed system is able to enrich the information the institution has about the students’ background, facilitating the identification of personalized learning paths.

http://online-journals.org/index.php/i-jet/article/view/4610

Share on Facebook

TwitterChat: Balancing the Urgency of Revenue Performance with Mission and Quality Online – May 27

May 25th, 2015

by Ray Schroeder, Josh Kim (Dartmouth / Inside Higher Ed), Katie Blot (Blackboard), Debbie Cavalier (Berklee)

Challenged by complex and shifting funding models, higher education faces a growing urgency to balance mission and product mix to keep things afloat as enrollments and state funding decline. Adding to this complexity is the growing tension in the marketplace in which the value/currency of traditional degrees are challenged by micro-credentials and the emergence of CBE. How can institutions address these crises? Join UPCEA for this timely TweetChat by using the hashtag #HigherEdAhead on social media as online education leaders share experiences and resources and respond to your questions. A live question and answer session will occur on May 27th from 2-3PM EST.

http://upcea.edu/tweetchat

Share on Facebook

Effects of Applying the Site Map Principle in an Online Learning Environment in Higher Education

May 25th, 2015

by Laura Porta Simó, et al; iJET

Web interfaces play a very important role in teaching-learning processes in virtual environments, since this is how students carry out their activity. This paper describes a web interface for online learning based on a graphic map that orients learners, tries to reduce cognitive overload, gives access to learning resources and personalizes learning. The interface was designed to guide the learning process in accordance with Shapiro’s “site map principle”. The objective of this article is to analyze the impact of such web interface on students’ satisfaction with the learning process and on their academic performance. We conducted experimental research. The experiment tested the goodness of the interface among students enrolled in a Multimedia Degree in an open university. We used the T-Test, the Chi-square Test and the Kendall correlation Test. The results showed that the interface had a positive impact on students’ satisfaction and performance. It also encouraged students to take a more proactive role in their learning activity than with the “normal” interface. These results are in keeping with the features the site map principle has shown in face-to-face environments.

http://online-journals.org/index.php/i-jet/article/view/4620

Share on Facebook

Get Back to Work – Reducing Procrastination in Online Classes

May 25th, 2015

by Carl Straumsheim, Tomorrow’s Professor

The key to making online students focus on their course work may be making procrastination as unenjoyable as possible, according to a study out of Cornell University. It’s a familiar problem to anyone with a deadline and a computer: the assignment is open on the screen, half-finished, but is quickly lost in a stack of web browser tabs. Upon rediscovery (with an accompanying pang of guilt), the procrastinator resolves to buckle down and type out the last few paragraphs — right after clearing the notification that just popped up and checking just one more website. Richard W. Patterson, a Ph.D. student in policy analysis and management at Cornell, wanted to see if software could reduce procrastination and, as a result, improve students’ grades.

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/enewsletter.php?msgno=1413

Share on Facebook

NM online classes will go out of state

May 24th, 2015

By Mike Bush, ABQ Journal

The ability of New Mexico’s public and private colleges and universities to offer online programs beyond the state borders just increased considerably and includes target states from coast to coast. In addition, New Mexico students who take distance education courses from institutions in those other states can now rest assured that the programs meet high, uniform standards. The state Higher Education Department announced this week that the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education – of which New Mexico is one of 16 members – unanimously approved New Mexico for membership in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.

http://www.abqjournal.com/586393/news/nm-online-classes-will-go-out-of-state.html

Share on Facebook

Archaeology professor designs first online companion course for field work in Kenya

May 24th, 2015

by Ryan Lasker, GW Hatchet

Before GW’s archaeology students visit Kenya, they’re going to have to see it on their computer screens. A field archaeology course run by David Braun, an associate professor of archaeology, now features a four-week-long online course that prepares students to study early human origins for six weeks over the summer at the Koobi Fora Field School in northern Kenya’s Sibiloi National Park. The class marks the University’s first online companion course for a course held abroad. With previous classes, Braun had previously typed up a 150-page manual with information on geology, ecology and evolution for students to read before heading off to Kenya. But that set the students back in learning once they got to Kenya because, “we knew that they didn’t get to read [the document],” he said.

http://www.gwhatchet.com/2015/05/18/archeology-professor-designs-first-online-companion-course-for-field-work-in-kenya/

Share on Facebook

Online classes, convenience does not mean easier set up

May 24th, 2015
By Rachel Fradette, State News

My fellow procrastinators, you cannot procrastinate in these classes and expect to pass with flying colors. Online classes require participation throughout the entire class. If you wait to work on anything, you will get far behind and you can kiss that 4.0 goodbye. So if you are constantly battling your own laziness, I would recommend you either not take the class or you use it as a way to fix your problem. After each of my online classes, I had become a much more diligent student–they forced me to actively participate. Go for those online classes, but be cautious, you will have to work harder than usual.

http://statenews.com/article/2015/05/online-summer-classes-opinion

Share on Facebook

Stigma over online courses has gone away

May 23rd, 2015

by Patrick Murphy, Ft Wayne Journal Gazette

Online degrees are more common and accepted part of the educational landscape, according to career counselors and people like Jennifer Schramm, manager for workforce trends and forecasting with the Society for Human Resource Management. “More and more employers and job applicants are realizing the opportunities available online,” Schramm said. “And company executives and human resource professionals feel more comfortable considering and hiring individuals who obtained these types of degrees later in life.”

http://www.journalgazette.net/business/Stigma-over-online-courses-has-gone-away-6634536

Share on Facebook

4 Steps to Smart Online Learning at Your Agency

May 23rd, 2015

by Paul Terry, ATD

Every agency has requirements for training and professional development. From keeping Baby Boomers at the top of their game to getting a new generation of federal employees up to speed, talent development leaders need to align training with the mission and objectives of their agencies. However, most government agencies are at a crossroads. Learning and development (L&D) remains a critical need, but budgets continue to tighten. Consequently, a growing number of agencies are turning to a cost-effective, online learning environment to ensure training mandates are met while saving budget dollars. Indeed, online learning is not only economical, but when used as part of a blended solution, it is proving to be more effective than traditional training.

https://www.td.org/Publications/Blogs/GovLearning-Blog/2015/05/4-Steps-to-Smart-Online-Learning-at-Your-Agency

Share on Facebook

Community of practice helps faculty and staff step into role of online learner

May 23rd, 2015
by Lika Balenovich, University of Wisconsin
Lisa Hebgen and other TeachOnline@UW participants shared their lessons learned during mini-presentations after the Fall 2014 workshop. This past year, more than 20 faculty and instructional staff received another chance at being a student — a role reversal that allowed each of them to explore the opportunities and challenges facing today’s online learners and instructors. As participants in UW-Madison’s inaugural TeachOnline@UW learning community, participants from eight schools and colleges came together to learn and share strategies for designing and teaching quality online courses. Over 12 months, they met and completed online coursework to learn how to better design and manage courses with specific learning goals, and to explore the use of new tools to help their teaching and their students.
Share on Facebook