Online Learning Update

August 25, 2011

The Bottomless File Box: Electronic Portfolios for Learning and Evaluation Purposes

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

by Shannon Jarrott and Laura Eubanks Gambrel, International Journal of ePortfolio

Portfolios have been used for the past three decades in higher education for assessment of student competency and also as a reflection tool to assist student learning. Electronic portfolios, or ePortfolios, have additional benefits compared to paper portfolios in that they are easily accessible, portable, and sharable, and they are more environmentally friendly. Although ePortfolios are gaining in popularity, faculty and students sometimes resist adopting new technology. We describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of two ePortfolios, for undergraduate and graduate programs, in a Human Development department. The systems were created in response to a university initiative for integrated assessment of student competencies, the findings of which are reported through a centralized, electronic system. For undergraduates, the ePortfolio was used primarily as an evaluation and reflection tool, whereas graduate students created personal ePortfolio pages to demonstrate learning and professional development. As a result of our experience, we recommend that departments seeking to implement ePorfolios as part of an integrated assessment system start simple, collaborate with technology experts, build upon work completed in other programs, and educate students and faculty about the personal and professional benefits of ePortfolios.

http://www.theijep.com/pdf/IJEP15.pdf

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August 24, 2011

Ivy League Online Learning: e-Harvard.400

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by Eli M. Noam and Nadine Strossen, Harvard Magazine

Harvard started as a small local seminary. Students and faculty got there by foot, boat, or horseback. Information arrived the same way. But in the nineteenth century, transportation and communications improved rapidly and Harvard became a university to the nation. With the arrival of the jet plane, it reached the world. How should the new, powerful means of electronic communication shape Harvard’s scope? They have already enabled new forms of online and distance education. For-profit and public universities and second-tier private universities have used these enthusiastically—though not always successfully—to expand their reach and serve nontraditional student pools. But should an elite university such as Harvard extend exclusive Ivy League education beyond campus? In the past, students came to Harvard. In the future, Harvard will come to the students, wherever they are.

http://harvardmagazine.com/2011/09/e-harvard-400

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An accessibility survey for blind users

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

Official Google Blog

This week, we’re announcing a survey that will help us better understand computer usage and assistive technology patterns in the blind community. Over the past three months, we’ve worked closely with the ACB to develop a survey that would give us a greater understanding of how people choose and learn about the assistive technologies they use. This survey will help us design products and tools that interact more effectively with assistive technologies currently available to the blind community, as well as improve our ability to educate users about new features in our own assistive technologies, such as ChromeVox and TalkBack. The survey will be available through mid-September on the ACB’s website and by phone. We encourage anyone with a visual impairment who relies on assistive technologies to participate; your input will help us offer products that can better suit your needs. For details, visit www.acb.org/googlesurvey

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/accessibility-survey-for-blind-users.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FMKuf+%28Official+Google+Blog%29

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EduMOOC; Online Learning Tomorrow 2011-2021

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

by Anil Prasad, Views, Dreams & Creative Writings

The final week at EduMOOC was a time for forecasting (the future of online learning) based on the logically coherent discussions and documents we went through during the past seven weeks, and of course, based on further references as well. I firmly believe that Open Distance Learning, with the support of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), is going to build an inclusive higher education system in the immediate future. The world has already started to view online learning and e-learning synonymous to Open Distance Learning (ODL). But I see online learning as an ICT enabled method of Open Distance Learning, which is fast becoming predominant of all methods of ODL. Therefore I prefer to call it online ODL, rather than calling it e-learning or online learning.

http://apletters.blogspot.com/2011/08/edumooc-online-learning-tomorrow-2011.html

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August 23, 2011

OCW People’s Choice Award Finalist: “Most Open” Is UIS eduMOOC

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by Education-Portal.com

Finalist: Massive Open Online Courses

‘Many people can undergo the course at the same time.’ -Rachel Nyingi

This 8-week course supported by the University of Illinois – Springfield has its sights set on online learning in more ways than one. Students here engage in a class that’s a mix of self-driven instruction and video seminars all about the future of scholarship on the Internet, including a focus on OCW. MOOC embraces its Web surroundings, incorporating Google Docs, blogs and Twitter hashtags into its coursework. Every week a panel of experts on each topic delivers a webinar to those enrolled in the course.  http://sites.google.com/site/edumooc

http://education-portal.com/articles/Most_Open_College_Open_Textbooks.html

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Tailored online learning can help with learning motivation, claims expert

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by the Virtual College (UK)

Using highly tailored and relevant e-learning programs should overcome any concerns relating to motivation, an expert has claimed. The project director of Learninglight.com – a Centre of Excellence in the use of e-learning – has claimed that while motivation has occasionally been an issue with the technology, tailoring its content helps to overcome this. “A common mistake is to make the e-learning too flashy,” said David Patterson. He added: “If the learning is highly relevant to the learners’ needs, there is less need to make the learning hugely interactive.”

http://www.virtual-college.co.uk/news/Tailored-online-learning-can-help-with-learning-motivation-claims-expert-800705964.~

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Rural Montana women find online learning a perfect fit

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

by Lisa Gilbert, Healthy Montana

Thanks to online learning it is possible to earn a college degree in disciplines like counseling, social work or nursing with little or no time spent on an actual college campus. This may be one way to assist with the shortage of health care and mental health workers in Montana’s rural communities. According to Kristi Golik, director of marketing and public relations at the University of Great Falls, during fall semester 2010, 36 percent of the UGF’s distance-learning students where from rural Montana. In fact, in the last five years, 43.5 percent of the degrees awarded in UGF’s online degree programs went to people calling rural Montana home.

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20110819/MT_HEALTH03/108190361

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August 22, 2011

Cutting Their Losses

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

by Libby A. Nelson, Inside Higher Ed

Colleges trying to obtain permission from every state in which they enroll students, as required by a new Education Department rule, have confronted a patchwork of widely different regulations. Fees can range from none at all to thousands of dollars per course or degree program. Requirements range from lax (the institution must be accredited) to stringent (facing a possible site inspection — and paying all of the inspectors’ travel costs). In response to the rule, some institutions will abandon some states altogether, a survey released today by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies has found. Many of those colleges cited Massachusetts, Minnesota and Arkansas as places where they will no longer enroll students. At least 19,000 students total will be turned away, the colleges who responded to the relevant survey questions estimated.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/08/18/survey_on_state_authorization_requirements

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Online Learning: U.S. opens new front in fight with for-profit colleges

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By Anika Anand, MSNBC

The Department of Justice filed a complaint against Education Management Corp. (EDMC), marking the first time the federal government has gotten involved in one of many cases against such for-profit colleges. The move represents an escalation in a battle against for-profit colleges, which have been targeted because they are funded largely by students with federal loans, who are far more likely to default than students at non-profit colleges and universities. The complaint against EDMC, which operates schools in 105 locations under the names such as Art Institute, Argosy University, Brown Mackie College and South University, alleges the company paid its recruiters based on how many students they enrolled.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44093876/ns/business-school_inc_/

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For-Profit Online Learning Colleges See Decline in Enrollment

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

by SaVannah Reading, KIMT

Some of the nation’s biggest for-profit colleges are seeing fewer students than they would like.The University of Phoenix and Kaplan University report first time student enrollment is down by nearly half after they introduced programs that let folks test classes out before deciding to continue.

http://www.kimt.com/content/localnews/story/For-Profit-Colleges-See-Decline-in-Enrolment/sETD5-pIX0Gn1bD_hR1JXQ.cspx

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August 21, 2011

Improving Online Learning Success

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

By Rob Jenkins, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Every college that offers online courses should require students to pass an online orientation. I’m envisioning a one-credit course, taken online, that covers the technical requirements of online classes, familiarizes students with the pedagogical approaches they can expect, addresses candidly the time commitment and degree of responsibility and motivation required, and essentially teaches students how to take a course online. I understand the main objection to that idea, which is that it could negatively affect enrollment at a time when many institutions need to attract more students for financial reasons. That might be true, but I’ve also been reading lately that, in many states, future state dollars may ultimately be tied to student success and not just to headcounts. In that case, allowing enrollment to decline just a bit while at the same time increasing success rates would be a pretty good trade-off.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/onhiring/improving-online-success/29390?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

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Universities Refine Mobile Online Learning Strategy

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By Tanya Roscorla, Converge

As students demand more mobile services, universities shape and align their mobile strategies. Along the way, they hurdle obstacles, consider mobile apps and websites, and provide students with personalized information. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed a Web presence, a portal and mobile apps for the iPhone and Android platforms. And the university may consider a mobile-optimized website. “I think the conversation we’re having is, ‘Ok, there’s a strategy, at least implicitly, behind all these efforts, but the strategy is not necessarily aligned,'” said Chris Holsman, director of enterprise Internet services. To align these efforts, the university is working on a comprehensive governance structure and strategy.

http://www.convergemag.com/policy/Universities-Refine-Mobile-Strategy.html?elq=1b81313e9f254a4e8f79638324d45029

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University of Kansas Creates Coalition on Open Access

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

By Tanya Roscorla, Converge

A group of colleges and universities that have faculty open access policies on scholarly articles will share strategies with each other in a new coalition created by the University of Kansas. Through a new coalition, a group of colleges and universities that have faculty open access policies on scholarly articles will share strategies with each other. The University of Kansas has taken the lead on creating the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions, and on a teleconference call last month, 21 other universities including Harvard, Duke and Stanford expressed interest in moving forward. In future coalition teleconferences, universities that have open access policies can talk about how to handle issues like sharing research on open websites, said Lorraine Haricombe, dean of libraries.

http://www.convergemag.com/policy/University-of-Kansas-Creates-Coalition-on-Open-Access.html

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August 20, 2011

Will high costs lead to the extinction of on-campus learning? Is online learning the answer?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by Michael Weldon, Chicago Tribune

The price of living on or near campus may have reached a tipping point. Because now there is another viable option: online learning, where the cost of living on campus is zero. According to elearner.com, 216 online colleges and universities will extend their passwords to students this fall. These schools run from Kaplan University and the megamarketer University of Phoenix to traditional institutions such as Arizona State University and Washington State University. Online enrollment at virtual, online-only and traditional universities and colleges offering online classes increased 21 percent in 2009, according to the Sloan Consortium’s 2010 survey of online learning. The report says more than 5.6 million students took at least one class online, and 75 percent of the 2,500 colleges and universities surveyed report that the economic downturn has increased demand for online learning.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-oped-0817-college-20110817,0,4800172.story

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MIT to Open Center on Mobile Online Learning, With Google’s Backing

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By Jie Jenny Zou, Chronicle of Higher Ed

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab has announced the creation of the New Center for Mobile Learning, with start-up support from Google. The research center, to be led by three professors at MIT, is focused on building innovative mobile technologies in education, such as interactive games for children that use GPS. The first project involves creating new features and versions of Google’s App Inventor for Android, which allows programmers to easily build applications for the company’s smartphone operating system.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/quickwire-mit-to-open-center-on-mobile-learning-with-googles-backing/32879?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

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Ensuring Online Learning Quality Requires Constant Vigilance

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

By: Jennifer Garrett, Faculty Focus

Online programs are under a microscope. Some school faculty and administrators are concerned with maintaining academic quality, while others have already identified problems with quality and integrity. Negative media exposure has caused accreditors and other stakeholders to scrutinize online learning, and college and university administrators know that they need to respond. The eQuality program, used at the Open Campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville, provides a method for ensuring and demonstrating quality across online courses and degrees. It provides both an overall plan and a framework, and it also allows colleges and universities to address concerns or issues as they arise. The eQuality model is based on continuous process improvement.

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/distance-learning/ensuring-online-course-quality-requires-constant-vigilance/

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August 19, 2011

Using Blogs to Enhance Learning Online

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by W. Gardner Campbell, Campus Technology

“Narrate, Curate, Share.” I believe these three imperatives underlie some of the most important aspects of an educated citizen’s contributions to the human record. And in my experience, blogging offers a uniquely powerful way of becoming a self-aware learner in the process of making those contributions. “Narrate, Curate, Share” is the framework in place for the upcoming fall semester as the Virginia Tech Center for Innovation in Learning partners with Tech’s new Honors Residential College to bring 21st-century innovation to the tradition of residential learning with a program-wide blogging initiative. Our goal is to enrich each student’s individual learning, as well as to help the living-learning example of the Honors Residential College to influence and inspire the entire university. We wanted the rich individuality of each student’s voice to be able to sound within a networked conversation that could scale across many contexts. “Narrate, Curate, Share” gave us the framework we needed to conceptualize and articulate these goals.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2011/08/10/how-blogging-can-catalyze-learning.aspx

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Report: Federal action needed to expand digital and online learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By Raishay Lin, eSchool News

An Alliance for Excellent Education report says educational technology should be an integral part of all federal education programs. As schools increasingly embrace digital learning, a new report says more federal action is needed to encourage the effective use of educational technology. The Alliance for Excellent Education hosted a recent webinar to discuss its report, which highlights examples of successful digital learning around the country and recommends several steps for the federal government to take in order to build on this success and bring it to scale nationwide.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2011/08/15/report-federal-action-needed-to-expand-digital-learning/

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Hybrid online learning classes: What we’ve learned

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

By Len Lubinsky and David Greenberg, eSchool News

We learned a lot about how to make a hybrid online (HO) course work. We made some interesting discoveries and developed some best practices that we want to share. With regard to our discoveries: 1.We found that people were eager to enroll in our HO courses. The HO sections were usually filled before our traditional format sections. We attribute this to several factors: (a) the oft-cited benefit of the flexibility offered by an online course that is available 24/7; (b) savings of time and money by limiting the amount of required driving to class; and (c) a preference for online instruction that we see primarily among our younger teachers.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2011/08/15/hybrid-online-classes-what-weve-learned/

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August 18, 2011

Online Learning’s Net Worth

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

By Patrick Arden, Village Voice

Taking classes by computer has become common at many community colleges, and today, most universities offer some online courses. Elite schools like NYU and Columbia have remained reluctant to award online bachelor’s degrees, but that has started to change during hard times: Online courses can be more cheaply produced than traditional classroom offerings.  But knotty problems remain for online education. Dropout rates are higher than in traditional courses, and educators have struggled to ensure that long-distance students don’t cheat on exams. Students have raised other concerns, from fair tuition costs to the perceived inferior quality of online coursework.

http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-08-10/news/online-education-s-net-worth/1/

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Online Learning: Volunteer to Caption Videos

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By George Williams, Chronicle of Higher Education

I’ve written a few times before about Universal Subtitles, a great web service that facilitates the crowdsourcing of captions for online videos. Earlier this summer they announced a new initiative to focus the crowd‘s efforts on specific videos: “We’re looking for volunteers to caption and translate videos on our volunteer team page. We’ve curated some fascinating videos from non-profit and educational partners that deserve a global audience. Even if you don’t speak multiple languages you can still help make the video more accessible by creating captions.”

http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/volunteer-to-caption-videos/35289?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

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