Online Learning Update

September 24, 2011

How Technology Fuels Learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

By Sara Nolan, Mind Shift KQED

What do today’s students need to learn to find success and fulfillment? In a recent report on the top ten skills that teachers think students need to learn, the belief that “the more things change…” was front and center: things like reading, writing, and critical thinking. While some squint selectively at recent reports on standardized test scores in tech-rich schools, common-sense use of technology in the classroom clearly presents opportunities for building up these essential skills.

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September 23, 2011

Four Online Learning Technologies To Inspire Students

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

By Chris-Rachael Oseland, Campus Technology

Instructional Technologist Marta Masterson is used to some skepticism when students see her syllabus. A lot of them have never heard of Web 2.0 technologies like Diigo, Glogster, Prezi, and PBworks. For some, the thought of using any technology they can’t access from their phone breaks them out in a cold sweat. For others, there’s a very real concern that investing hours into Web 2.0 projects could result in waking up one morning to discover the cloud ate their homework. Masterson said she has faith that the four technologies she finds most useful in the classroom aren’t going anywhere. She’s willing to back that faith up with examples of real world success in using Diigo, Glogster, Prezi, and PBworks as teaching tools.

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Can Web 2.0 technology assist college students in learning English writing?

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

by Ru-Chu Shih, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology

The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of integrating Facebook and peer assessment with college English writing class instruction through a blended teaching approach. This blended approach consisted of one-third of a semester of classroom instruction and two-thirds of a semester combining Facebook, peer assessment, and classroom instruction. The subjects were 23 first-year students majoring in English at a technological university in Taiwan participating in an 18 week English writing class. The students were divided into three groups with three Facebook platforms. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were employed in the study. Research instruments included pre-test and post-test of English writing skills, a self-developed survey questionnaire, and in-depth student interviews. The findings suggest that incorporating peer assessment using Facebook in learning English writing can be interesting and effective for college-level English writing classes. Students can improve their English writing skills and knowledge not only from the in-class instruction but also from cooperative learning. In addition, this Facebook integrated instruction can significantly enhance students’ interest and motivation. Finally, the findings may provide useful instructional strategies for teachers of ESL English writing courses.

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Emphasising assessment ‘as’ learning by assessing wiki writing assignments collaboratively and publicly online

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

by Anne Davies, Kerry Pantzopoulos & Kathleen Gray, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology

The use of Web 2.0 communication practices in assessment may offer a new approach to assessment ‘as’ learning, a goal for assessment that is more highly valued than assessment ‘of’ and even ‘for’ learning in the literature. This paper describes a case study of a wiki-writing assignment that aimed to achieve this goal. The stakes were high, in that the assignment was worth 100% of the mark and the assignment was set for a group of tertiary teachers who were enrolled in a unit of study about student assessment as part of a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education. This paper analyses how the wiki-writing assignment shaped assessment ‘as’ learning in four ways, through: finding a language for talking about assessment; collaboration (interaction); dialogue (expression); and inquiry learning (cognition).

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September 22, 2011

Online learning fits busy lifestyle

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:04 am

by Chelsea Vermette, BC Local News

Why do I choose to take courses online? The simple answer, but “I have a life” just doesn’t quite suffice. Maybe an answer that encompasses, “… husband, two kids, a house, a yard, a full-time job, no sleep, an attempt to have a social life…” would be better. Online learning allows me to work toward an academic goal while the chaos of life surrounds me. My experience with online learning has been a positive one with Thompson Rivers University Open Learning. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and really is a faster, more convenient way to have schoolwork marked and put through the school system – not to mention, finish a course. The best part of online learning, for me, has been the tutors I’ve met. Most of them are awesome, and have been willing to answer any questions I have.

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DCU to offer more online learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

by CÍAN NIHILL, the Irish Times

More than  80 per cent of Dublin City University programmes will involve online learning by 2015, the college said yesterday.  It pledged an additional 15 new undergraduate and postgraduate programmes would be available either online or “blended” (a combination of online and face-to-face tuition) during the 2012/2013 academic year.  Alongside existing offerings, the latest announcement will bring the number of online programmes to more than 30.

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Sinclair Community College sees record fall online learning enrollment

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

by Laura Englehart, Dayton Business Journal

As the largest college in the Dayton region converts to semesters, it will bring in nearly 25,000 students, continuing a record-breaking streak that started in 2008. This fall, about 6,000 students are enrolled in online courses. That includes students taking online courses exclusively and those taking online courses in addition to traditional courses.

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September 21, 2011

UC seeks outside students to pay for online learning courses

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

by the The Associated Press

The University of California is seeking to raise money for its new online education project by finding non-UC students willing to pay for them. The UC system is expected to unveil 26 new cyber courses in January, covering topics from climate change to game theory, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday. “Some of our courses will be absolutely stunning,” said Vice Provost Daniel Greenstein, who is leading the effort. “But we’re not going to just knock people’s socks off. We want to identify what works.” UC officials had expected to raise $6 million for the pilot project, but secured only $748,000 in private funds, so the university gave the program a $6.9 million interest-free line of credit. The university hopes to repay the loan by selling at least 7,000 spots in online classes to about 5,000 non-UC students, possibly in China, Greenstein said.

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Indiana University Northwest redoubles emphasis on online learning

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

by IU NW

Innovations in technology, instant access to vast resources and data, and the growth of online instruction have changed the landscape of teaching and learning. In response to the evolving pedagogy environment, Indiana University Northwest has developed a strategic plan to redouble its efforts to significantly increase the number of online courses offered. IU Northwest currently offers 54 online courses in studies ranging from computer science to nursing and mathematics, but has recently outlined a plan to increase online courses by 19 percent within the next 12 months. IU Northwest’s long-term plan calls for a 56 percent increase, which would bring the total online course offerings at the Northwest campus from 54 to 84 courses.

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State superintendent will propose that all students be required to take online learning before graduation

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

Kids may have to go online to graduate

by Bill McCleery, Indianapolis Star

Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction wants all Hoosier students to take one course online before graduating from high school. Tony Bennett will propose legislation to that effect — a way to incorporate technology into his reform agenda — in his second annual State of Education speech. “Technology will continue to be a driving force in education and in our economy,” Bennett said. “We have to make sure our students are prepared to flourish and prosper in that environment.” Bennett noted that 38 states operate virtual schools or have state-led initiatives promoting online learning. Indiana, he said, is not among them.|topnews|text|

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September 20, 2011

Open Educational Resources (OER): For online learning and more

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

by Sir John Daniel, Univesity World News

Open educational resources (OER) have the potential to increase access to education while cutting costs and improving quality. They are, therefore, an important element of the Commonwealth of Learning’s mission of ‘Learning for Development’. International guidelines for OER in higher education have been drafted, and comments are being invited. OER are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open licence that permits their free use and, in some instances, re-purposing by others. They can include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, research articles, videos, tests, software and any other tools, materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge. OER is not synonymous with online learning or e-learning. Rather, many OER – while shareable in a digital format – are also printable.

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The High School Student and Online Learning: Be Prepared To Succeed

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

by Rebecca Wardlow, Ashford University

With online education growing at a record pace at every level, from high school through graduate programs, Dr. Rebecca Wardlow, provost for Ashford University, has identified eight helpful tips to aid high school students in achieving academic success through online learning. High schools across the country are adding online education to their core curriculum to improve student access to advanced placement classes, to stimulate more student-teacher interaction, and to create new efficiencies in an era of severe budget constraints. The percentage of high school students taking online courses nearly doubled in a single year and, according to the latest data available from Project Tomorrow’s annual Speak Up Survey, more than one-quarter (27 percent) of all high school students took at least one class online last year, up from 14 percent the year before. High school students, although tech savvy and online for hours a day, can face a tough transition into online learning. Teens often don’t have the frame of reference, and discipline necessary, to succeed in what may falsely seem to be an unstructured learning environment.

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Florida virtual-school options expand: Some worry about costs, quality of online learning

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

By Leslie Postal, Orlando Sentinel

Florida, a pioneer in the field of virtual education, is extending its digital reach this year with a new law that will push even more students to log on to learn. It is a move some educators call worrisome, fearful it really is an effort to cut costs, not boost education, and uncertain all online offerings are the right fit for so many youngsters. But others say the Digital Learning Now law is precisely what Florida needs to prepare children for a technology-based future and to free them from the geographic constraints of the walled classroom. “Online courses help level the playing field so that every student can access a world-class education,” Susan Patrick, president of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, wrote in an email.,0,3739022.story

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September 19, 2011

The pros and cons of online learning

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

by Simon Bredin, the Varsity

After going viral over the summer, an artificial intelligence class offered by Stanford University has now enrolled over 130,000 students — a staggering number that exceeds the entire population of the St. George, Mississauga and Scarborough campuses combined. If taught on campus, the class would require 76 Convocation Halls filled to capacity, but instead, this enormous class is to be administered entirely over the Internet. The class is the latest, and most popular, development in mass online education.

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Online Learning Courses Spark New Opportunities for Professors with Disabilities

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

by the University of North Carolina Greensboro

Two professors with special physical challenges are playing a critical role in UNCG’s online degree completion program. Online courses make learning more accessible for students, who can take classes from virtually anywhere in the world at any time of the day. But there are also significant advantages for professors – especially those with disabilities. An example: Two professors with special physical challenges are playing a critical role in UNCG’s Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (BLS) online degree completion program.

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Far and away: online learning’s big appeal

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

by Bernard Lane, The Australian

Students considering online study should find a course specifically designed for the online environment, says Professor Matthew Allen. But that doesn’t always mean the course has been reworked and tweaked so that it works well online, says Curtin University’s head of internet studies, Professor Matthew Allen. He says would-be students should track down the course co-ordinator and ask how exactly it works online. “They should be looking for online courses specifically designed to exploit the advantages of the online environment,” Allen says.

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September 18, 2011

Wednesday, Sept 21: Creating the Classroom of the Future: Technological Innovation Transforming Higher Education

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 11:50 pm


National Press Club, Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colo.) will provide the keynote address, and will be introduced by Kenneth Salomon, Chairman of Dow Lohnes Government Strategies. In addition, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, President Emeritus, University Professor of Public Service at George Washington University and a renowned authority on higher education, will give introductory remarks.

Two Panels:

“Future Trends Driving Technological Innovation in Education,” will provide a big-picture view of trends and directions with:

Richard Schurtz – President of Stratford University

John Flores, Ph.D. – Executive Director of the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA)and Executive Administrator and Program Professor at Nova Southeastern University

Jarret Cummings – EduCause Policy Specialist

Moderator: Alan Fishel – Partner, Arent Fox

The second panel, entitled “Practitioners Successfully Using New Technologies in Education,” will feature:

Michael Orey – Associate Professor and Chair of the Learning, Design and Technology Program at the University of Georgia.

Raymond Schroeder – Professor Emeritus of Communication and Founding Director of the Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Judy Komar – Vice President of Educational Technology, Career Education Corp. (CEC)

Robert Letcher – Director of Instruction – High School, K12 Inc.

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University of California Experiments with Online Learning

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

By Catherine Groux, US News

According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, online education is becoming increasingly popular at colleges across the nation. During the fall 2009 semester, approximately 5.6 million students took at least one web-based course, and this number has continued to grow since. Recently, the University of California (UC) became one of the first top-tier schools to provide undergraduate online education classes to students, Mercury News reports. Over the summer, the institution launched a pilot program in chemistry.

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Importance of Trust in Open Online Learning

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

by George Siemens, eLearnspace

“Why is trust important in an open course? Well, an open course starts as a shell with the instructor providing links, articles, and activities. From there, learners take course content and massage it, enhance it, extend it, clarify it, question it, and improve it. Passionate learners – the ones to take the time to improve a course – need a level of trust and transparency between course organizers. In an open course, the educator isn’t the one showering participants with gifts of knowledge. The process of learning is iterative and the relationship is mutually beneficial. Participants do the course organizers as much of a favour in joining as the course organizers do in opening the course.”

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The Official Moodle Online Learning App is Now Available

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

by Moodle News

The official Moodle app is now available on the App store. Designed as a mobile complement to the web version, you can:

– upload pictures and video (picked from your gallery or captured with your camera)

– record an audio file and upload it

– view the participant list of your courses

– view information about the participants

– send a private message

– add a private note about someone

– work offline with automatic synchronization

– add a participant to your iPhone/iPad contacts

– access the web version of your Moodle site

– access Moodle documentation

The Official Mobile App for Moodle is OUT NOW

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September 17, 2011

Human Factors in Online Learning with Doug Hersh

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

by California Community Colleges

Douglas Hersh describes the human factors in e-learning and the approaches he and his colleagues at Santa Barbara City College are using to bring presence into the online classroom.

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