Archive for the ‘Online Learning News’ Category

The future of technology in adult learning

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

by the Inquirer

No matter how far we progress in formal education, there is always a point at which taught learning becomes optional. With adulthood comes the agency to decide when school or university learning will end. While professional development can mean acquiring new skills, we generally reach a critical point where the frequency with which we learn new information and disciplines slows down. The growth of the e-learning technology market was predicted to reach $51 billion (around £36 billion) by 2016. This could revolutionise how, when, and where we learn and enable adults to achieve more than ever before.

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/industry-voice-blog/2444215/the-future-of-technology-in-adult-learning

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Free Online Zika Virus Course Teaches You What You Need To Know

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

by ALISON

ALISON, the global free learning pioneer has launched a free course entitled “Zika Virus – What you need to know”. The course has been developed by ALISON Pedagogic experts within the guidance issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US-based Centre for Disease Control (CDC). The course highlights the virus origins, how people become infected by it, its impact, and how to minimize your risk of acquiring the virus. WHO estimates that over one million Brazilians are now infected with the virus and that it will inevitably spread to North America. Mike Feerick, Founder & CEO of ALISON, stated, “Free Online Learning via ALISON is well placed to assist in developing public awareness of the risks of the Zika Virus. Our success of educating communities in West Africa about EBOLA tells us just how important our role can be.”

http://news.sys-con.com/node/3656708

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Blended Learning: The Future Of Higher Education?

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

by Nick Morrison, Forbes

Universities have long been wrestling with the internet. On the one hand it represents a huge opportunity, in the shape of an enormous resource and new methods of delivery; on the other it represents a huge threat, in the shape of an enormous resource and new methods of delivery. But a pilot program at one of the world’s top universities is providing evidence that blended learning could be the future of higher education. Starting last semester, undergraduates in the engineering faculty at Imperial College London have been taking online business courses. While online courses are nothing new, the idea of delivering them to students who are physically present in the university is unusual.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorrison/2016/01/29/blended-learning-the-future-of-higher-education/#37761e5e2708

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There’s a lot we’re not learning when we try to learn online

Friday, February 5th, 2016

by Amy X. Wang, Quartz

Online learning, in 2016, is no longer the cautious experiment it once was. Universities all over the world are warming up to the idea of internet-based degree programs, while free online education—popularly offered in the form of massive open online courses, or MOOCs—remains a booming area. There are obvious benefits: Online courses are accessible to anyone with a computer, (usually) cheaper than a brick-and-mortar education, and can be helpful to those who are in the middle of their careers or have other full-time commitments. But e-learning is still lacking in certain key areas. One of its drawbacks is a heavy skew toward certain subjects—a problem that results not from uneven offerings, but from a lopsided modern mindset about the role of education, and the inherent pitfalls of trying to learn from the internet in the first place.

http://qz.com/594710/turns-out-some-subjects-really-cant-be-taught-online/

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Build More Collaboration into Your Online Class

Friday, February 5th, 2016

By Travis Grandy, Inside Higher Ed

As I build my course in preparation for this summer, one of the challenges I anticipate is how I can create similar kinds of active learning experiences for students without the benefit of in-person meetings. This started my thought process about ways to foreground collaboration in an online class. Today, my post will discuss some approaches to designing online activities that promote active learning and team-building skills. Although I’ll focus on some example activities intended for an online class, they can also be adapted for blended classes as well. What follows are a few activities that I’ll be working to adapt for my online class. Hopefully they’ll give you some ideas too!

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/gradhacker/build-more-collaboration-your-online-class

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WOW! Flipkart Hires Without Interviews Based on Nanodegree Projects and Udacity Profiles

Friday, February 5th, 2016

by Track.in

This is surely a big leap forward and a positive one at that. According to reports, Flipkart has started hiring fresh graduates based on the capabilities they have built through Udacity’s Nanodegree Programs. And yes, these graduates did not have to face any in-person interviews. This move clearly shows that Indian companies (especially startups) are open to move away from traditional hiring methods and are looking at people who are building their expertise through online education portals like Udacity! Peeyush Ranjan, CTO at Flipkart said, “The kind of disruptive work that we do at Flipkart demands a world-class talent pool and we are constantly on the lookout for experts who can solve the problems of Indian consumers. The conventional hiring process often comes down to the performance of the candidate on that specific day, which may not be a true reflection of their skills and temperament. This is where a partner like Udacity comes into the picture.”

http://trak.in/tags/business/2016/01/28/flipkart-interview-hiring-nanodegree-udacity/

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Can students’ online posts guide instructor intervention?

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

By Laura Devaney, eCampusNews

A partnership between two universities seeks to predict where students will struggle academically to help better inform instructor strategies. A method of analyzing what students post in academic forums, and using those posts to help instructors identify where students are struggling most with reading materials, could help improve learning and instruction. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and MIT are using a new method to analyze students’ online academic forum posts to predict questions so teachers can intervene.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/students-online-posts-682/

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Big Data, Jobs, Mobile To Drive EdTech In 2016, Predict MOOC Company Chiefs

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

by Seb Murray, Business Because

Business Because speaks to executives of edX, Coursera, Udacity, FutureLearn and ALISON to get their predictions for how online learning will be shaped in 2016. Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, says that employers and universities will increasingly accept certificates for Mooc courses. Udacity is so confident it can find users jobs that it is guaranteeing them placement, or will refund their tuition. Vish Makhijani, COO of Udacity, says “For us, helping people learn so they can advance their careers is the cornerstone of online education.” Julia Stiglitz, director of business development and international at Coursera, which has 17 million users, anticipates rapid growth in mobile and tablet learning.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/3751/five-edtech-trends-for-2016

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Why Female Professors Get Lower Ratings

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

by ANYA KAMENETZ, NPR

Anne Boring, an economist and the lead author of the paper, was hired by her university in Paris, Sciences Po, to conduct quantitative analysis of gender bias. Through her conversations with instructors and students, she became suspicious of what she calls “double standards” applying to male and female instructors. Philip Stark, associate dean of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, is a co-author of the paper along with Kellie Ottoboni. “Trying to adjust for the bias to make SET ‘fair’ is hopeless,” says Stark, “(even if they measured effectiveness, and there’s lots of evidence that they don’t).” Boring acknowledges that “SETs can contain some information that can be valuable.” But, she adds, they are too biased to be used in a high-stakes way as a measure of teacher effectiveness.

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/01/25/463846130/why-women-professors-get-lower-ratings

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Aereo founder’s next business: Wireless gigabit home Internet

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

by Jon Brodkin – Ars Technica

Millimeter wave tech will achieve high speeds, launching first in Boston. A startup led by the founder of Aereo says it plans to sell wireless Internet service with speeds of 1Gbps in Boston and then other cities. Project Decibel’s “Starry” Internet service “will launch its first beta in the Greater Boston area in the summer of 2016,” with additional cities being announced later in the year, the company said. Project Decibel is based both in Boston and New York City.

http://arstechnica.com/business/2016/01/aereo-founders-next-business-wireless-gigabit-home-internet/

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Alternate Reality Gaming Spices Up Professional Development

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

By Dennis Pierce, Campus Technology

Alternate Reality Learning Experience (ARLE) is a new type of alternate reality game in which participants weave in and out of a fictional story and reality as they learn. “In gaming, you fail 80 percent of the time, and you enjoy the experience and come back for more,” Jeff Borden St. Leo University’s chief innovation officer, said. “This lets you put students in situations where they fail, and learn from their failure, safely. At the same time, the authenticity of the learning experience is off the charts.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/01/27/alternate-reality-gaming-spices-up-professional-development.aspx

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New Blackboard CEO Bill Ballhaus Reflects on His First Weeks at the Helm

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

By Dian Schaffhauser, eCampus News

Ballhaus likes what he sees at the company he now leads, especially the breadth of its offerings and its capabilities. Analytics is an exciting new space for us and for our clients. When we think about what our clients are really trying to accomplish, it’s outcomes — and the ability to use analytics to help them improve those outcomes. For instance, I just met with one of our customers, which is one of the largest universities in the world in terms of student count. A big challenge is that they have hundreds of thousands of passive students. So getting through the heart of understanding why they’re passive, what has happened, some of the trends that led them from being active to being passive and things they can do to bring those passive learners back into the active educational community to improve outcomes, is a great example of the role that analytics can play in improving our client’s ability to achieve better outcomes .It’s an area that we’ll continue to invest in and continue to develop.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/01/27/new-blackboard-ceo-bill-ballhaus-reflects-on-his-first-weeks-at-the-helm.aspx

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Harvard to raise the bar for online learning tech

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

By Andrew Barbour, eCampus News

The Harvard Division of Continuing Education (HDCE) opted to build a customized, cloud-based version of Opencast, an open source video-capture and distribution product previously known as Matterhorn. “Other Harvard units use lecture capture as a review tool for students who don’t come to class, are sick, or need a study tool, but our distance-education group actually sells access to these lectures,” said Gabriel Russell, a video, software, and systems engineer at Harvard. “Lecture capture is a primary learning tool for our students, so we need to make sure the product meets their needs.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/harvard-lecture-capture-928/

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New Foundation for Blended and Online Learning Announces Scholarship and Grant Programs

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

by the Foundation for Blended and Online Learning

The Foundation for Blended and Online Learning today released details on its scholarship, grant, and research programs designed to advance the availability and quality of digital learning in the U.S. The Foundation for Blended and Online Learning will strive to achieve three main goals:

Provide post-secondary scholarships to students;

Launch a grant program for educators and organizations making significant progress in teaching and instruction;

Advance the field of digital learning through research and intentional collaboration with key stakeholders.

http://www.blendedandonlinelearning.org/

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Student Course Evaluations Are Biased Against Female Professors, Study Says

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

By Marie Solis, identities.mic

After a semester of pop quizzes, all-nighters and 12-page research papers, college students have only one card to play against their professors: the course evaluation. While students may think they’re dealing evenly, a new study shows most are harder on their female instructors. French economist Anne Boring led the study which resulted in two sets of results: one for French students and another for American students. According to NPR, male French students gave their male professors higher ratings overall after being randomly assigned male and female instructors across a range of different courses. In the study with American students, Boring and her colleagues built in an extra control: Students would never meet their professor. Instead, they took an online course in which they were only told their instructor’s name. Half of the male professors who participated in the study were given female names.

http://mic.com/articles/133460/student-course-evaluations-are-biased-against-female-professors-study-says#.AIiRWdLMY

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Best FREE online course provider revealed

Monday, February 1st, 2016

by CATHERINE KNOWLES, Educators

According to MoocLab ranking, EdX comes top of the list of overall MOOC platforms. Khan Academy is ranked as number one of the free and low-cost online course providers, and the Open University’s OpenLearn, comes first of the open courseware provider list. For those interested in learning to code, TheCodePlayer website tops the free online coding course providers, and Treehouse is ranked the best provider of low-cost online coding courses. Flatiron School’s Learn-Verified Web Developer programme comes in first place among the online coding bootcamp providers. MoocLab says it ranks online course providers according to a number of factors relating to the type of offering, such as the number of courses on offer, the quality of the instruction and content, the standing of partner institutions, assessment, accreditation, practicality, social tools and interface usability.

https://educators.co.nz/story/best-online-course-provider-revealed/

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The Online Classes That Help the Homebound Connect

Monday, February 1st, 2016

by Beth Baker, Next Avenue

Each week, the Virtual Senior Center offers some 30 online classes to homebound clients, from tai chi and exercise to contemporary history discussions and gallery talks with museum curators, as well as music appreciation and singing — even Mandarin. Participants use a simple touch-screen computer to join in, as well as to Skype, play games or use the Internet. Selfhelp partnered with Microsoft and the City of New York to develop the center. “The whole point is to marry technology with homebound seniors, to alleviate loneliness and depression,” explains Carmella Chessen, Selfhelp’s outreach/volunteer coordinator. “We want them to join four classes a week as a minimum. They have to want to be social and to learn the computer.” They also cannot have cognitive issues, she adds.

http://www.nextavenue.org/the-online-classes-that-help-the-homebound-connect/

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Research: College Students More Distracted Than Ever

Monday, February 1st, 2016

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Students are more distracted than ever. They tend to check their digital devices, particularly, their smartphones, an average of 11.43 times during class for non-classroom activities. A solid 12 percent do texting, emailing, checking the time or other activities in class more than 30 times a day. A study published in the Journal of Media Education this week reported that students spend a fifth of their time in class doing things on their devices that have nothing to do with their school work. The research was undertaken by Associate Professor Barney McCoy, who teaches multimedia and news courses at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Two years ago McCoy ran a similar study that found similar results, but now the level of distraction has worsened.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/01/20/research-college-students-more-distracted-than-ever.aspx

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Coursera Removes Free Track From Some MOOCs

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
by Inside Higher Ed

Massive open online course platform Coursera is removing the option to complete some of the courses offered on its platform for free. Coursera has previously offered a free track and a paid track that awards an identity-verified certificate, but as of last week, learners will have to pay a fee in some courses to have their assignments graded. Learners in those courses who choose not to pay can still browse the course materials, including discussions and assignments. “We are on a mission to change the world by providing universal access to the best learning experience,” Coursera said in a blog post. “To do this, we also need to have a business model that supports our platform, our partners, our content and everything we do for learners.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2016/01/25/coursera-removes-free-track-some-moocs

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College class blends Game of Thrones and Medieval history

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

by Lexi Kallis, Winter is Coming

In recent years, we’ve seen more and more Game of Thrones-themed college courses pop up. They’ve focused on everything from religion to historical figures to war to the more granular R+L=J theory. Virginia Tech University is the latest to join the pack with a Game of Thrones-themed class centered on medieval history. Virginia TV station WSLS-10 recently took a look at the online class and at professor Matthew Gabriele, who combined his passion for medieval studies with his love for the show. The course concentrates on three major themes: power and politics, the role of women, and the fantasy element of dragons.

https://winteriscoming.net/2016/01/24/college-class-blends-game-of-thrones-and-medieval-history/

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Earning online degrees takes motivation

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

by Debbie Blank, Herald-Tribune

Malia Fledderman decided to go back to school to get an MBA “to just get a job in general. I had a very hard time after graduation just finding a full-time job because I was a ‘damn millennial’ and didn’t have any experience.” Aiming to earn a Master of Business Administration in management and strategy, “Mine was typically three courses, but a couple of terms I had four. Each major has a different setup.” In my major, all of the work required writing papers and working through simulations …. You can go at your own pace, because the papers or projects are not due at particular times. They just all have to be completed and you have to have a passing grade on each paper or project by the end of the term for all of the courses. If you submitted a paper and it didn’t pass, you had to redo the paper and resubmit. Before you resubmit, you have the option to speak with the professor of the course, (who) will read through your paper and help you figure out what parts you may be missing.”

http://www.batesvilleheraldtribune.com/news/local_news/earning-online-degrees-takes-motivation/article_31ba330b-78f9-516d-8851-c88d5f9310a3.html

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