Archive for the ‘Online Learning News’ Category

In person online: the human touch

Monday, October 20th, 2014

BY JUDITH BOWMAN, Oxford University Press Blog

We can create the human touch by establishing an online presence – a sense of really being there and being together for the course. To be perceived as real in the online classroom we need to project ourselves socially and emotionally, and find ways to let our individual personality shine through whatever communications media we’re using. We can look to our own face-to-face teaching style for ways to humanize an online course. What do we do in a face-to-face classroom to make ourselves more approachable? We talk with students as they arrive for class, spice up lectures with touches of humor and relevant personal stories, treat discussions as conversations, and sometimes depart from what we planned so we can follow more promising asides.

http://blog.oup.com/2014/10/music-education-online-in-person/

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A New Department Marks the Rise of a Discipline: ‘Computational Media’

Monday, October 20th, 2014

by Rebecca Koenig, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Pixar movies, interactive video games, smartphone applications—all are forms of computational media, the marriage of computer science to the arts and humanities. Signaling a deeper investment in that fast-growing if slippery field, the University of California at Santa Cruz announced the creation on Monday of what it called the first computational-media department ever.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/a-new-department-marks-the-rise-of-a-discipline-computational-media/54883

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Blended Learning as Transformational Institutional Learning

Monday, October 20th, 2014

by Kim VanDerLinden, Tomorrow’s Professor

The research about the effectiveness of blended learning provides a powerful jolt for campus members. Of note, a recent Inside Higher Education (2013) survey of faculty attitudes toward technology found large amounts of skepticism among faculty members about the quality of online learning. This finding of high levels of skepticism, taken out of context, raises more questions than answers. What specifically are faculty members skeptical about – the learning outcomes, the pedagogical approaches, and student engagement in online activities? And if faculty members are the instructional designers in most instances, does that mean they are skeptical about their own work as novices or the work of their colleagues? The results become clearer when we keep in mind that most faculty members who were surveyed do not actually teach online. Moreover, the survey revealed that appreciation of the quality of online courses grows with instructors’ experiences teaching online.

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/enewsletter.php?msgno=1358

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UNL is looking to expand distance learning programs

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

By Bailey Schulz, Daily Nebraskan

The university already has an acclaimed graduate online education program, ranked sixth nationwide among online graduate business programs, and ranks 11th out of 300 in distance education programs, according to U.S. News and World Report’s most recent rankings. Administrators want to place more emphasis on online programs. “We need to expand these programs, both for the revenue they provide as well as the diversity of new students they connect to our campus,” Nebraska Chancellor Perlman said.

http://www.dailynebraskan.com/news/unl-is-looking-to-expand-distance-learning-programs/article_ae559548-528b-11e4-a149-0017a43b2370.html

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7 STEM apps designed by students

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

By Michael Sharnoff, eSchool News

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) may have found an innovative solution through the creation of the Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) Video Game Innovation Fellow, a prestigious award to encourage American minorities to pursue STEM fields. On Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C., I had the privilege to meet with 20 student fellows, ages 15-25, selected for their video game and app prototypes that address social issues in their community. These future ed-tech leaders did a fantastic job of not only promoting STEM fields, but also dissuading the naysayers that the United States lacks innovation in education and technology. The fellows presented their projects to the Obama administration and will receive an innovation grant to help further develop their game or app. Here are seven of the apps that really stood out.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/10/13/stem-apps-students-429/

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In Texas higher education, massive open online courses are money well-spent

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

By Caroline Levander, Houston Chronicle

Like many of its peers in Texas and elsewhere, Rice has developed a portfolio of MOOCs – now numbering more than 40 – for hundreds of thousands of learners, and we show no signs of slowing down. The costs of this endeavor have been substantial, and the return on investment – at least in dollars – thus far has been negligible, to say the least. So one might well ask, particularly at a university that prides itself on its smarts, why? Why do this expensive and difficult thing? What’s the value proposition for having award-winning faculty creating digital education assets for the masses? And even more pointedly, aren’t you eroding your own business model by “giving away for free” what students and their families are spending hard-earned money to acquire? The answer is as simple as the question: It’s all about the assets.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Levander-In-Texas-higher-education-massive-open-5816611.php

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U of Chicago: 3 Challenges Creating Massive Open Online Courses

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

by Tony Dreier, Streaming Media

Video in education has moved beyond simply capturing classes and letting students review online. Video is truly changing the way institutions are delivering education. Progressive institutions are delivering “Global Classrooms” where students—and even multiple professors—are located in classrooms around the globe. At the other extreme, institutions are delivering education to mass audiences through online video. Multiple business models are being developed, including charging for classes, providing them for free, and even offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Hear about the challenges and successes from those who are experimenting with these new business models.

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/U-of-Chicago-3-Challenges-Creating-Massive-Open-Online-Courses-99848.aspx

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Free Ebola Prevention Class Offered Online

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

By Allie Bidwell, US News

More than 10,000 West Africans have taken a free online course about preventing the spread of Ebola. The free course might not make a significant impact, but it could help spread information, experts say. ALISON (Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online), a global online education company based in Ireland, has been providing a free massive open online course, known as a MOOC, to thousands of people in West Africa in an effort to educate them about preventing the spread of Ebola, a disease that has claimed the lives of nearly 3,900 people, according to an Oct. 8 update from the World Health Organization. More than 250,000 of the online education company’s 4 million students are located in West Africa – with 100,000 in Nigeria and 50,000 in Ghana, two areas that have experienced new outbreaks.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/10/09/global-education-company-offers-online-course-on-ebola-prevention

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New level of courses now offered on edX: Paid, Professional / Continuing Education

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

by eCampus News

Thanks to universities looking to diversify [and monetize] their online offerings, edX is starting to host for-credit, for-a-fee, and job market-targeted courses to recent graduates. One of the first institutions to embark on this new level of course on edX, Rice University will offer three professional education courses in conjunction with the online education provider. Subjects will include energy sustainability, laboratory safety and health care in the digital environment, and the courses will begin in 2015 or 2016. Unlike free massive open online courses (MOOCs), participants will pay a fee to take these courses, build their professional knowledge and skills and earn certificates and/or continuing education credits. The courses are intended for recent graduates entering the workforce and current professionals seeking to advance their careers or transition into a new field.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/edx-rice-fee-781/

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How Office Mix is a powerful tool for blended or flipped learning

Friday, October 17th, 2014

By Peter West, eCampus News

15 features that make the free Office Mix software a resource for any teacher involved in flipped or blended learning. Mix is a free addition for PowerPoint 2013 that lets you turn PowerPoint documents into interactive online lessons or presentations. It takes any existing or new PowerPoint presentation to a whole new level, making it easy to create resources for flipped or blended learning. Here are 15 reasons Office Mix should be part of your “teaching toolbox.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/office-mix-learning-240/

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The must-know changes in distance education policy

Friday, October 17th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

A lot has changed in online learning practices in just a few short years—and accreditation policy is no exception.  Did you know that when offering online courses, collaboration options for students are a requirement? Or that faculty participation in designing the implementation of an online learning program is mandatory? These are just a glimpse of some of the most recent (within the last two years) updates to distance education policy standards set forth by regional and national accrediting organizations in the U.S.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/changes-distance-policy-691/

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Google Glass Gives Learners a New Point of View

Friday, October 17th, 2014

By John Pulley, Campus Technology

What if a paramedic student could view a delicate medical procedure directly through the eyes of his instructor, and then apply that experience to his own practice? A new pilot program at State University of New York Cobleskill will allow students to do just that, using Google Glass to provide first-person point-of-view video capture and replay in an academic laboratory. According to SUNY Cobbleskill CIO Jim Dutcher, the pilot seeks to enhance the delivery of experiential learning in support of traditional modes of instruction in two programs: paramedic training and animal hoof health.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/10/08/google-glass-gives-learners-a-new-point-of-view.aspx

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University centers struggle for students, while online courses grow in popularity

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

by Bob Mercer, Sioux City Journal

When they were built in Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Pierre, South Dakota’s public university centers seemed to meet a vexing need. But those centers aren’t drawing students as well as education officials hoped, while Internet courses and other distance-education classes offered by the six traditional state universities set records again in the past year. The state Board of Regents received reports Wednesday that suggested distance education is competing against the centers for enrollment. The centers concept was developed a decade ago as a mechanism to deliver courses in cities with large populations of adults. That was before Internet courses swept the nation. The university centers show the effect. Unduplicated headcounts decreased at two of the university centers from fall 2009 to fall 2013. Sioux Falls dropped from 2,275 to 1,859; Pierre slid from 133 to 81.

http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/university-centers-struggle-for-students-while-online-courses-grow-in/article_bdcc562d-7f7b-579f-bc9f-bf88c951aee6.html

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More part-time students taking online courses in South Dakota

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

by Associated Press

The Board of Regents says more older students in South Dakota are taking online college courses while they complete their degrees part time. The regents say more than 22,500 students enrolled in distance courses at the state’s six public universities last year. University data show about 63 percent of all distance course learners are part-time students and the average age of students is nearly 27 years old. About 63 percent of students are female. The majority of students take courses using the Internet but many also use off-campus sites.

http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/education/2014/10/09/part-time-students-taking-online-courses/16966229/

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Adaptive Learning: Online and In Control

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

The spread of adaptive learning technology in high education, to some, is the rise of the machines — replacing professors with software and an automated, cheapened form of instruction. To Ariel Anbar it’s a tool that helps him teach in new ways. Anbar is a professor in Arizona State University’s department of chemistry and biochemistry. Four years ago he began a collaboration with Smart Sparrow, an education-technology company based in Australia and San Francisco. “I was trying to create an interactive, game-like science course for non-science majors,” said Anbar, who this year was named ASU’s first Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, an honor that comes with a $1 million research grant.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/10/10/emerging-adaptive-software-puts-faculty-members-charge-course-creation

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The Top Eight Things You Need To Know About Online Education

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

by Tom Lindsay, Forbes

There is a variety of opinions in the media these days regarding online learning. Depending on what you read, online education can appear to be either a cure-all or cancer. In an effort to cut through the smoke, here are the top eight established facts you need to know.

1) Online learning is here to stay. Since 1986, when the first online degree program from an accredited institution was offered (by John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California), growth has been exponential. Today, one-third of America’s 21 million enrolled students are taking some or all of their instruction online. The eleven-year study by the Babson Survey Research Group shows over seven million online enrollments in the fall semester of 2013.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomlindsay/2014/10/08/the-top-eight-things-you-need-to-know-about-online-education/

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SIUE to offer online classes over winter break

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
by SCOTT WUERZ, BND
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will offer new winter session courses to begin Dec. 15, the school announced. The four-week courses will be taught online so students can go home for winter break and still earn credits. SIUE provides financial incentive for students interested in winter session. Students, who enroll and complete winter courses, will be eligible to waive the $50 per credit off-campus fee. They also may be awarded up to $150 in scholarship to use toward the winter session. The total savings adds up to $300 for a three-credit course.

http://www.bnd.com/2014/10/08/3444234/siue-to-offer-online-classes-over.html

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Online Mooc courses deliver Ebola health advice

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

By Sean Coughlan, BBC

Online courses are delivering health advice about preventing the spread of Ebola to thousands of people in West Africa. The so-called Mooc providers – massive open online courses – are using their reach to provide information about the deadly virus. So far, 10,000 people have completed a free online course, Understanding the Ebola Virus and How You Can Avoid It. The provider, Alison, has 250,000 students using courses in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak has caused 3,400 deaths, mostly in West Africa, and the online course teaches about the signs and symptoms of infection and how to avoid getting infected. The course, which can be accessed on a mobile phone, is aimed at people living in regions affected by the virus and there are assessments on how the virus can be transmitted and treated.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-29521360

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Experts offer new resources for competency-based education

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

Competency-based education (CBE) is making the rounds in higher education as colleges and universities eager to explore alternative pathways discuss the model’s potential. However, many initiatives have already laid extensive groundwork, offering multiple resources covering everything from CBE’s basic definition to implementation best practices. According to Michael Offerman of Offerman Consulting, during an EDUCAUSE 2014 panel, a number of national initiatives dedicated specifically to CBE have partnered together to provide as many diverse resources as possible for institutions ranging from the simply curious to those in final implementation stages.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/competency-resources-cbe-467/

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XPrize focuses on open adaptive learning, but will it succeed or fail?

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

By Julia Freeland, eCampusNews

The Global Learning XPrize is aiming to spur the design of software that can serve students in as direct, unmediated manner as possible. The goal: to handsomely reward the team that develops the best open source, scalable adaptive software to help children in developing countries teach themselves basic literacy and math. As I’ve written about before, prizes are effective pull mechanisms to expedite R&D across a field and to in turn fill a gap that the market is currently failing to supply at scale. Unlike so-called push mechanisms that reduce the cost of R&D by directly funding research upfront, pull mechanisms incentivize private sector engagement and competition by creating viable market demand for specific products to solve specific problems. The XPrize is a good example of a pull mechanism, as are government Challenge Grants and social impact bonds.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/xprize-succeed-fail-423/

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The digital divide with online learning

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

by Daytona Beach News Journal

The future is now for the Class of 2015. Unfortunately, many Florida high school students, including at least half the graduating seniors in Volusia and Flagler counties, are stuck in the past trying to catch up. It’s another lesson in the gap between what Tallahassee mandates for education and how school districts execute them. In 2011, state lawmakers passed the Digital Learning Act requiring students to pass one online course to graduate. This year’s seniors are the first class that must fulfill that requirement.

http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20141006/OPINION/141009741

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