Daphne Koller on Education, Coursera, and MOOCs

August 31st, 2014

by Russ Roberts, EconTalk

Daphne Koller of Coursera talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about online educational website Coursera and the future of education both online and via bricks-and-mortar. Koller, co-founder of Coursera with Andrew Ng, explains how Coursera partners with universities, how they try to create community and interaction, and the likely impact of widespread digital education on universities and those who want to learn. The conversation includes a discussion of why Koller left a chaired position in computer science at Stanford University to run a for-profit start-up in a crowded field.

http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2014/08/daphne_koller_o.html

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10 Free Online Courses That Every Professional Should Take

August 31st, 2014

by RICHARD FELONI, Business Insider

We asked Salman Khan, founder, executive director, and lead tutor of Khan Academy, for the top 10 lectures professionals in any industry would appreciate, and included them below. Not every lecture is the first one in its respective series, but Khan thinks each is a good indicator of whether you’d like to spend more time going through all the videos and exercises in that course.

http://www.businessinsider.com/essential-khan-academy-courses-2014-8?op=1

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LI colleges, universities boost online courses

August 31st, 2014

By JOIE TYRRELL, Newsday

Online education at most Long Island universities and colleges is being boosted in the 2014-15 school year, with the state university system continuing its major push and other schools reconstructing courses, hiring staff and adding infrastructure to support virtual learning. “We are realizing a vision of learning anytime, anywhere,” said Wendy Tang, an associate professor at Stony Brook University. She also is director of an online SBU program that leads to a bachelor of science in electrical engineering.

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/li-colleges-universities-boost-online-courses-1.9134768

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Blended learning design advice for collaboration & retention

August 30th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

According to a new roundup of case studies spanning multiple universities in Australia, blended synchronous learning can improve student retention rates and ease the concern that online students aren’t getting the same education as on-campus students. However, that’s only if blended learning is done right. Researchers from Macquarie University, Charles Stuart University, and the University of Melbourne identified seven recent case studies from leading universities using diverse technologies in blended synchronous learning to enhance student and faculty collaboration, ultimately leading to better retention rates for online students and more effective learning.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/blended-learning-design-763/

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Trust in online education on the rise

August 30th, 2014

By Ron Bethke, eCampus News

A recent Gallup poll has revealed that Americans are increasingly valuing the quality of online colleges and universities. A growing trust in digital institutions is occurring with online learning. According to a new Gallup poll, more U.S. adults (out of a random sample of about 1,000) agree or strongly agree that online colleges and universities offer high-quality education. The 37 percent of adults polled, who agreed with idea that online instructions offer high-quality education in the Gallup-Luminia Foundation Poll on Higher Education, represent a respectable increase among a similar group polled in 2011, when only 30 percent of those polled responded positively to the question. A neutral stance was taken by 34 percent of those polled.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/trust-online-poll-678/

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5 important higher-ed conversations on Twitter

August 30th, 2014

By Michael Sharnoff, eCampus News

See what higher-ed professionals are saying on Twitter about some of the most pressing ed-tech issues. How will colleges and universities find a more sustainable business model in higher ed?  Whether discussing the latest trends in online learning, cybersecurity, or tuition costs, there are plenty of ed-tech conversations to follow on Twitter.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/twitter-higher-ed-382/

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What’s better: Skills or degrees?

August 29th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

According to a recent national survey on whether employees value their degrees more than skills training, though most employees say higher education is still a must, skills training is what’s more important to their career. Riding the recent waves of criticism from the general public on the high cost of tuition, lack of employment post-graduation, and perceived de-valuing of the traditional degree from employers, many new initiatives in higher-ed have taken root—from competency-based education (CBE) pathways to skills training programs beginning as early as high school.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/skills-degrees-survey-486/

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Critics of online degrees start from a false premise

August 29th, 2014

By PAUL LeBLANC, Concord Monitor

The higher education that tends to most shape our debates is the one of four-year, first-time, full-time students going right from high school to college – the college most often depicted in movies and television and novels and cherished by most who had the privilege of being educated that way. That higher education is about getting a degree and an education, and it is about coming of age. And these students now make up less than 20 percent of all college students in America. Online programs, in contrast, mostly serve working adults who have had all the coming of age they need. For this population, the four C’s that shape adult students’ needs are: credential (getting the right degree that advances their work and careers), completion (getting a degree as quickly as possible while maintaining quality), cost (a major issue for much of this population) and convenience (having delivery methods that work for them).

http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/13187082-95/my-turn-critics-of-online-degrees-start-from-a-false-premise

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Computer Science: The Future of Education

August 29th, 2014

by Alison Derbenwick Miller, Edutopia

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020 there will be 1.4 million new computer science jobs. However, between current professionals and university students, we will only have 400,000 computer scientists trained to fill those roles. Since it can take as many as 25 years to create a computer scientist, and since computer science skills are becoming increasingly integral for jobs in all industries, this skills gap is on track to emerge as a formidable economic, security, and social justice challenge in the next few years. Teachers, schools, parents, and industry must act on multiple fronts to address student readiness, expand access to computer science curriculum and opportunities, and help foster interest in computer science to ensure that it becomes a core component of every child’s education.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/computer-science-future-of-education-alison-derbenwick-miller

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Coursera’s MOOCs Go To Work: What MasterCard Is Learning

August 28th, 2014

by George Anders, Forbes

An intriguing strategy tweak is taking shape at Coursera, the pioneer of massively open online courses, or MOOCs. While Coursera still opens its (virtual) doors wide to anyone who wants to take a free course for the fun of it, the company also is welcoming big firms such as MasterCard, BNY Mellon, AT&T and Shell, as they seek new content for employee training and development. The business case is obvious.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2014/08/20/courseras-new-goal-teaching-at-firms-such-as-mastercard/

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CAPS goes digital with new online tutoring

August 28th, 2014

By Matt Reisen, New Mexico Daily Lobo

This semester a new program will help students bring tutors into the comfort of their own home — electronically. Anne Compton, associate director of the Center for Academic Program Support, said CAPS will debut its new Online Learning Center on Monday, which allows students to receive tutoring from their own computer. The Online Learning Center, a combined effort of CAPS, Extended University and New Media and Extended Learning, will give tutoring to students who may be too busy, or too far removed, to physically go to the CAPS office, but still need assistance, she said.

http://www.dailylobo.com/article/2014/08/caps-online

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Study examines online, face-to-face courses

August 28th, 2014

by Phys.org

“The study reveals students actually see online classes as more challenging,” Professor Platt said. “Part of that is the students have to do more to manage their own time and schedule because online courses do not meet at a set point each week and some self-paced courses don’t have regular deadlines.” Students also perceived online classes as having less interaction than face-to-face classes, which Platt said could make the course more challenging for students who rely on extra help from their instructor or their peers. “The main reason the students took online courses was the flexibility of scheduling,” Platt said, noting online courses don’t conflict with scheduled courses in the classroom. “Online courses also can fit in if a student has a part-time job.”

http://phys.org/news/2014-08-online-face-to-face-courses.html

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Awarding Badges in Moodle

August 27th, 2014

By Tim States, Emmett Dulaney, Campus Technology

Organizations like Boys and Girl Scouts have long modeled the significance of having a common language to describe an accomplishment through earning physical badges for completion of preset tasks. The idea of creating a common language for noting student achievement has been embraced by the educational community through the next generation of badging known as digital badges. Moodle offers a central repository to manage and distribute digital badges for an institution. Badges can be awarded at the site level or course level. Site-level badges allow for institutional collaboration on a set of common standards for awarding badges, while course level badges can allow individual instructors to set their own standards for acknowledgment. In this article, we’ll first take a look at why you might want to do this and outline the user experience as an instructor and student.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/20/awarding-badges-in-moodle.aspx

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This Flipped Class Is Studying Biology with a $10 Microscope and a Smart Phone

August 27th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Take a smartphone, add $10 worth of plywood and Plexiglas, a bit of hardware, laser pointer lenses and LED click lights from a keychain flashlight and you have a DIY microscope worthy of use in college classes. At least, that’s the idea of an instructor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology who is adding the do-it-yourself technology in her biology lab courses. The project is part of a larger research endeavor at the university to explore the design of instructional labs for science and engineering courses that can be delivered in a blended or online format. The goal of a research is to develop e-learning models to redesign traditional lab courses to work in a hybrid format and to create a handbook for use by instructors that explains how to apply the new models.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/19/this-flipped-class-is-studying-biology-with-a-$10-microscope-and-a-smart-phone.aspx

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Why you should care about gamification in higher education

August 27th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

gGaming in education has, for the most part, been a K-12 trend, with its popularity relegated to supplemental learning for elementary school students. But gamification, from its implementation at MIT to its praise from the job industry, has much more serious implications for college students—and perhaps it’s time higher education got serious about incorporating game design. Today’s course design is under incredible pressure from popular practices favored by students—practices like the inclusion of interactive mobile technology, blended learning, Flipped Learning, and the integration of peer community forums—and according to experts, understanding the reasons why students prefer these methods of instruction can be gleaned from taking part in gaming.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/gamification-higher-education-028/

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Studying in 2014: could online courses become the new norm?

August 26th, 2014

By Marni Williams, Career FAQs

Come in. Sit down. Eyes to the front and no talking in the back please. Just kidding, this is online learning! No one cares where you are and you can talk all you like. It’s your course and you can study it however you want to. Chances are that by now you might know at least one person who has studied online (I’m finishing off a Certificate IV in Fitness this weekend). Or maybe you’re in the middle of a bit of online upskilling yourself. Over the past five years, the online learning sector has gone from being a possible disruptor of traditional learning to a serious challenger. It’s found itself on top of industry watchlists, and with more providers and more government-funded courses on offer every other month, it’s clear that it’s here to stay. So why is online education so hot right now?

http://www.careerfaqs.com.au/news/news-and-views/studying-in-2014-could-online-courses-become-the-new-norm/

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Measuring the impact of a MOOC course can be complicated

August 26th, 2014

by Eric Schulzke, Deseret News

Brandon Alcorn, Gayle Christensen and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, all from the University of Pennsylvannia, argue in The Atlantic that critiques based on completion rate miss the point, and that MOOCs serve a valuable function even when the course is not completed. Using data from 1.8 million students enrolled in MOOCs offered by U. Penn, the authors conclude that “that students treat MOOCs like a buffet, sampling the material according to their interests and goals.” Some students, they find, are merely sampling out of curiosity, while others are primarily interested in discussion forums that link them to others with similar interests.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865609046/Measuring-the-impact-of-a-MOOC-course-can-be-complicated.html

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Tulane’s ‘Trauma!’ course offers new approach to online learning

August 26th, 2014

By Jed Lipinski, The Times-Picayune

The Levees.org mini-course is part of a MOOC called Trauma! that will be offered this fall through Tulane. Charles Figley, director of the Traumatology Institute, said the Trauma! MOOC is structured differently than most MOOCs, which have drawn criticism for their high drop-out rates. While most MOOCs are simply online versions of classroom-style classes, Trauma! consists of 10 one-week mini-courses, or what Figley terms “knowledge blocks.” Four of the courses are required, but students are allowed to choose the remaining six. “We’re taking a Netflix approach,” he said. “All the knowledge blocks will be listed online with information about each one. Popular courses may be listed as ‘Trending,’ others as ‘Recommended for You.’” In another deviation from the typical MOOC format, students at Tulane are allowed to take the course for credit. Every week for 75 minutes, the students will meet in a classroom on campus to discuss the course material, Figley said.

http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2014/08/tulanes_trauma_offers_new_appr.html

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Mobile technology lets students create their own classrooms

August 25th, 2014

BY GILLIAN SHAW, Vancouver Sun

Post-secondary students gearing up to return to the classroom will spend an increasing amount of their learning time online. A recent study by H+K Perspectives, Hill + Knowlton’s research arm, and yconic found that students report spending one third of their time doing schoolwork online. “Mobile technologies are changing the landscape of the classroom, of post-secondary education,” said Prof. Thierry Karsenti, Canada research chair on information technology and communications in education at the University of Montreal. “Simply put students are capable of creating their own classroom, a classroom they can access almost from anywhere, at anytime.”

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Mobile+technology+lets+students+create+their/10128650/story.html

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Twitter Has the Research Chatter

August 25th, 2014

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Academia.edu, ResearchGate and other websites jostle for the title of go-to social network for researchers, but when faculty members go online to discuss their peers’ work, many of them turn to Twitter. That’s one takeaway from Richard Van Noorden’s study of social media use in higher education, published last week in the science journal Nature. Van Noorden, senior reporter for the journal, surveyed 3,509 scholars worldwide this summer about their online habits, and his results suggest many researchers only use the social networks designed specifically for academics to establish a presence, and not much else. When asked specifically about their use, two-thirds of the scholars said they registered Twitter “in case someone wishes to contact me about my research.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/08/19/study-scholars-are-present-professional-networks-engage-twitter

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Robo-readers aren’t as good as human readers — in some ways they’re better

August 25th, 2014

By Annie Murphy Paul, Hechinger Report

Instructors at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have been using a program called E-Rater in this fashion since 2009, and they’ve observed a striking change in student behavior as a result. Andrew Klobucar, associate professor of humanities at NJIT, notes that students almost universally resist going back over material they’ve written. But, Klobucar told Inside Higher Ed reporter Scott Jaschik, his students are willing to revise their essays, even multiple times, when their work is being reviewed by a computer and not by a human teacher. They end up writing nearly three times as many words in the course of revising as students who are not offered the services of E-Rater, and the quality of their writing improves as a result. Crucially, says Klobucar, students who feel that handing in successive drafts to an instructor wielding a red pen is “corrective, even punitive” do not seem to feel rebuked by similar feedback from a computer.

https://people.uis.edu/rschr1/onlinelearning/wp-admin/post-new.php

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