Archive for November, 2011

Deeper Learning Online: Engaging Students Across the Humanities

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

by Tom Vander Ark, Huffington Post

StudySync is “online learning that inspires higher levels of reading, writing and critical thinking.” StudySync content is generated from reading lists from universities and aligned with Common Core State Standards and specifically reflecting the Common Core’s Performance Tasks. Teachers are able to consistently and continually monitor students and provide ongoing assessments using Sync-Lessons, Management and Assessment tools. Through SyncTV students are able to watch high quality videos of academic discourse, modeling college level for high-school product and high-school level for middle school, on a subjects across the humanities, helping to develop confidence and patterns of analysis.  “StudySync really helps the courses within the Humanities develop meaningful writings that are essential to the Literacy Standards mandated in the Common Core,” said Kathleen Miltz, an assistant high school principal near Indianapolis. She continued, “I definitely think that the features of StudySync boost critical thinking and writing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-vander-ark/deeper-learning-engaging-_b_1107478.html

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5 Ways Online Learning Education May Improve Your Social Life

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

5 Ways Online Education May Improve Your Social Life

by Greg Voakes, Techi.com

Among the perks of attending an online college is the flexible schedule and leftover time to hang out, read, play video games, or even socialize. Socializing is becoming more and more archaic as the Internet seeps into every nook and cranny of our lives; we prefer to online date, text, email, or create Vlogs instead of interacting with others face-to-face. A determined individual, however, may actually use their online education to improve his or her social life. Here’s how….

http://www.techi.com/2011/11/5-ways-online-education-may-improve-your-social-life/

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N.C.’s online learning public school facing $3M shortfall

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

by the Associated Press

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that the projected $3 million shortfall for the North Carolina Virtual Public School means those and other districts may have to tap local funding if they want students to take the free classes. The virtual school receives $20 million for its budget, which is divided among school systems based on previous enrollment. Teachers are paid to teach online courses that often are hard to find in districts or don’t fit a student’s schedule. Officials expect more than 28,000 students in the spring — 3,000 more than originally forecast.

http://hamptonroads.com/2011/11/ncs-online-public-school-facing-3m-shortfall

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GAO Sting Operation for Online Learning at 15 for-profit Universities

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

he U.S. Government Accountability Office has released results from a second undercover “secret shopper” investigation of for-profit colleges, this time attempting to enroll a fictitious student online at 15 unnamed institutions. The findings were mixed, but investigators uncovered problems with how seven of the colleges handled online course grading, academic dishonesty, or students’ exit counseling.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/11/23/gao-releases-new-investigation-profit-colleges

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Study: As Enrollment Rises, Institutions see Online Learning as a ‘Critical Part’ of Growth

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

by Get Educated

Online learning continues to rise, with roughly 6.1 million college students having taken an online course in the fall semester of 2010, according to a report by the Babson Survey Research Group, (formerly the Sloan Online Survey,) which was released earlier this month. Institutions of higher learning increasingly embrace online education, with 65.5 percent of chief academic officers now calling it “critical” to their institution’s long-term strategy, an opinion that’s risen more than 15 percent over eight years. Sixty-seven percent believe academic outcomes from online classes are equivalent to those in face-to-face learning, but still, one-third of academic leaders think online classes are inferior. “Obviously institutions themselves are moving towards incorporating online learning, largely for two reasons,” says Vicky Phillips, CEO of GetEducated.com. “One is that consumer demand continues to outstrip availability, and also, it’s much more cost-effective than building more brick and mortar campuses.” Nearly one-third of all college students have taken part in online classrooms in the past year, the new figures show.

http://www.geteducated.com/online-education-facts-and-statistics/latest-online-learning-news-and-research/461-online-education-study-increasing-enrollment

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New Batch of Open Online Learning Classes from Stanford

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

by Citizen Science Quarterly

Stanford University has released a new batch of free online classes starting in January 2012. This follows the success of this semesters extremely popular class on Artificial Intelligence.

Computer Science

- Game Theory http://www.game-theory-class.org/

- Design and Analysis of Algorithms I http://www.algo-class.org/

- Cryptography http://www.crypto-class.org/

- Software Engineering for Software as a Service http://www.saas-class.org/

- Natural Language Processing http://www.nlp-class.org/

- Computer Science 101 http://www.cs101-class.org/

- Human-Computer Interaction http://www.hci-class.org/

- Probabilistic Graphical Models http://www.pgm-class.org/

Entrepreneurship

- Lean Launchpad http://www.launchpad-class.org/

- Technology Entrepreneurship http://www.venture-class.org/

http://citizensciencequarterly.com/2011/11/21/new-batch-of-online-classes-from-stanford/

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Online Learning in Presidential Politics?: Gingrich to teach free online course from White House if elected

Monday, November 28th, 2011

By Jo Ling Kent, NBC

If elected to the White House, former speaker of the House and history professor Newt Gingrich wants to teach Americans a lesson — that is, for free on the Internet about his policy views. The self-proclaimed “ideas man” said on Monday his course would be distributed on the Web in a format similar to the University of Phoenix or Kaplan. “I think I will probably teach a course when I’m president,” Gingrich told students and supporters after a campaign speech on entitlement reform at Saint Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Gingrich said an online course would be one element of a major social media strategy that would allow him to communicate with more citizens directly, if elected president.  “The idea would be, why wouldn’t you want a president in the age of social media to methodically in an organized way share with you what they’re going to accomplish so that those people who really won’t understand it can understand it,” Gingrich said.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/21/8941059-gingrich-to-teach-free-online-course-from-white-house-if-elected

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How a Professor Gave a Blind Student a New Outlook on Science

Monday, November 28th, 2011

By Alexandra Rice, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Amanda Lacy was frustrated with her physics class and ready to drop it. Ms. Lacy, a blind student at Austin Community College, is a computer-science major who loves her classes but often struggles in them, not because she doesn’t understand the material, but because she doesn’t have access to adequate textbooks. The college provides blind students with digital copies of textbooks so they can listen to them on the computer or read them using an electronic Braille display. But the figures and graphs in Ms. Lacy’s physics book don’t easily translate the same way that text does. When Ms. Lacy showed her digital textbook to her computer-science professor, Richard Baldwin, he was shocked, she said. He told her if someone didn’t take her problem seriously there was no way she would make it through the course. So Mr. Baldwin began creating an open-access online tutorial for blind students learning physics. http://cnx.org/content/col11294/latest/

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/how-a-professor-gave-a-blind-student-a-new-outlook-on-science/34424

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Government Accountability Office Calls For More Information About Online Education

Monday, November 28th, 2011

By Catherine Groux, US News

As online courses become an integral part of academia, the U.S. Department of Education has vowed to increase its oversight of web-based programs to ensure that students are still receiving a quality education. However, a new report by the Government Accountability Office states that the department does not have the proper information to do so, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. A new report urges the Department of Education to gather more data on online education. report states that the department should strive to collect data on which programs receive the most federal financial aid, as well as which schools have the most students using online education. In doing so, the department will be better equipped to target at-risk programs. Additionally, the report, which was requested by Congressional Democrats, states that the department should find ways to use the new data currently being collected by the National Center for Education Statistics to ameliorate its oversight project.

http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com/articles/government-accountability-office-calls-for-more-in_11939.aspx

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University looks to widen online learning opportunities

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

by Cory Weinberg, GW Hatchet

The online master’s of fine arts program, which caters to mid-career dance professionals looking to improve both their pirouettes and their photo-editing skills, could be a model for future online learning at GW, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning Stephen Ehrmann said. As online enrollment climbs nationwide, administrators are embracing the hybrid method of interspersing online research, blogs and video chats with in-person class sessions as a way to improve teaching and save money on classroom space. The University offers 60 degree and certificate programs that use a standard distance learning model where students never have to set foot on campus. But Ehrmann, who brings experience in educational technology to his first year at GW, hopes a potential funding boost this year will foster a bigger future for hybrid programs. He said these programs help the University offer more classes despite the crunch for classroom space and the pinch of the city-imposed population cap.

http://www.gwhatchet.com/2011/11/21/university-looks-to-widen-online-learning-opportunities/

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Are Your Beliefs About Online Learning Accurate?

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

by Online College Courses

If you are considering an online degree program, what is your initial impression or belief about this type of learning? Your perception about the value and effectiveness of online learning will have a direct impact on your willingness to take an online course and work within this type of classroom environment. Some of the most common questions that potential students ask include: Is this a good way to learn? Will I obtain the information I need for my career?  Let’s explore both of these questions and then discuss some of the most common challenges and benefits of online learning so that you can determine if what you believe is accurate, which will allow you to make an informed decision.

http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com/2011/11/18/are-your-beliefs-about-online-learning-accurate/

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UCF Vice Provost Goes Extra Mile for Online Learning

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

 

by Adrian Crawford, Central Florida Future

A member of the UCF community is fast becoming one of the go-to gurus in online education.  This year, Joel Hartman, vice provost of information technologies and resources, was honored by the Sloan Consortium with the A. Frank Mayadas Leadership Award in Online Education. The award is presented annually to an individual whose leadership in the online education community has been transformative. Sloan-C is an association of more than 400 universities and institutions dedicated to integrating online learning into higher education. Hartman received the award at the association’s annual conference at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort from Nov. 9-11. “While these awards are great to have personally, what they really mean is that both our activities at the national and international level and through our individual contributions at the national and international level, UCF has been and is increasingly becoming recognized as probably one of the, if not the, leading institution in terms of our comprehensive online learning initiative – the way we do it, the things we do and the results we obtain from that,” Hartman said. This is only the second year the award has been given out. In 2008, Hartman received the EDUCAUSE Leadership Award for his work and is the only person to hold the leadership awards from both organizations.

http://www.centralfloridafuture.com/news/provost-goes-extra-mile-with-education-1.2674140#.TsrOgmOVrm0

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2011 Accessible Online Learning Leadership Award Nominations Open

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

CourseAvenue is announcing that nominations are now open for the 2nd Annual Accessible e-Learning Leadership awards. Nominations are being accepted from now until 5:00pm (CDT) on Monday, November 30th, 2011 via an online form available at www.CourseAvenue.com/award . This award recognizes organizations that demonstrate dedication to advancing the field of accessible eLearning through successful development and deployment of education materials that meet or exceed the standards defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/2011-accessible-elearning-leadership-award-nominations-open-2011-11-11

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Stanford Offering Three Open Online Learning Classes

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

By Alexandra Rice, Chronicle of Higher Ed

The three classes being offered—”Machine Learning,” “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence,” and “Introduction to Databases“—are among some of the university’s most popular computer-science courses, according to a blog post on the Open Culture Web site. Enrollment figures for the courses seemingly back up this claim: Andrew Ng, the professor for the machine-learning course, has approximately 94,000 students enrolled in his class alone, he told The Chronicle. These online courses are particularly noteworthy because they go beyond taped lectures, which the university offers through its iTunes U and YouTube services. Building off an idea developed by Stanford’s Daphne Koller, a computer-science professor, students in the courses, offered this fall, skip the traditional long lecture. Instead, they progress at their own pace using short, interactive video lectures that are punctuated every five to eight minutes with questions to make sure the student grasps the concept before continuing to the next idea.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/learn-about-robots-from-stanford-professors-free-of-charge/34402?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

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5 Ways Higher Education Is Leveraging Mobile Online Tech to Enhance the Learning Environment

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

by Jeff Kirchick, Mashable

Mobile technology is on the minds of higher education professionals more than ever before. At the recent HighEdWeb conference in Austin, the itinerary included several ways schools can use social media, blogs and mobile technologies to better captivate its student body. And last week, hundreds of orientation professionals gathered in New Orleans for the National Orientation Directors Association annual conference, where they discussed how to engage with prospective students in modern and relevant ways — including mobile — to welcome the next freshman class. There’s a recent debate about whether schools should create mobile apps or mobile websites.  [Yet, so far only 15% of colleges and universities have a mobile website, much less an app or set of apps targeted to their prospective, current and/or alumni bodies.]

http://mashable.com/2011/11/17/higher-ed-mobile-tech/

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US: Online learning growth dwarfs overall enrolment

Friday, November 25th, 2011

by I. Elaine Allen, University World News

I am co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group which, for the last nine years, has published a survey of online education in the United States. It has yet to see any clear indication of an overall slowdown in the growth of online education but there are changes in the differential growth of programmes and in the belief that, in some areas, online education is superior for students. The rate of growth of online enrolments was slower over the last year, but it continues to outpace the rate of growth of the total higher education student population in the US. Every year since the first report in this series in 2003, the number of students taking at least one online course has increased at a rate far in excess of the growth of the overall student body. The most recent estimate, for the autumn of 2010, shows an increase of 10% over autumn 2009 to a total of 6.1 million students taking at least one course online for that semester. This is an almost four-fold increase in students taking courses online since our first survey in 2002, and represents a compound annual growth rate of 18.3% over the nine-year period. By comparison, the overall higher education student body in the US has grown at an annual rate of just over 2% during this same period.

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20111118193236730

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Idaho Rep. Thayn unveils ‘8 in 6’ to speed up college graduations

Friday, November 25th, 2011

BY DAN POPKEY, Idaho Statesman

Rep. Steve Thayn, R-Emmett, says Idaho students could save up to $220 million over two years by compressing eight years of secondary and college education into six years. “That money could be used for purchasing a house, a car or paying off debt, or decreasing the need to take out more student loans,” Thayn says in a PowerPoint presentation on YouTube. A member of the House Education Committee and longtime champion of school reform, Thayn is a farmer and former Spanish teacher at Vallivue High School in Caldwell. To reach biennial savings of $70 million to $220 million, Thayn says 30 to 50 percent of Idaho’s 21,000 K-12 students would need to earn between one year and two years of college credits while still in high school.

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/11/20/1886275/idaho-rep-thayn-unveils-8-in-6.html

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Larry Sanger on co-founding Wikipedia and how online learning education could change the world

Friday, November 25th, 2011

by Paul Sawers, the Next Web

Jimmy Wales may be the ‘face’ of Wikipedia, but you may not know that the online encyclopedia also has a co-founder in the form of Larry Sanger, who helped develop the project but left in 2002 shortly after it was launched. So how far is Larry wanting to take his interest in early education? “There really aren’t any multimedia encyclopedias for kids”, says Larry. “Not that I’m aware of at least. Not even for purchase, let alone free. I’ve created a load of videos, such as The Moon for Kids. The idea is I can make a zillion of those kind of videos, and I like doing it and I have experience using them. They’re extremely effective learning tools, and everybody who uses them likes them. I think they would work even better on Reading Bear. So the idea is, I could put together a multimedia encyclopedia for children, and this would require changing the software of Reading Bear, but most of the features needed are already there.”

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2011/11/19/larry-sanger-on-co-founding-wikipedia-and-how-online-education-could-change-the-world/

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You Test Drive A Car, Why Not College?

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

by Philjaelearning.org

Now more than ever, people who hold full time jobs but want to go to school are considering enrolling in an online college. They understand the value in creating a schedule that suits their needs and allows them to work and study when it’s convenient for them. Aspiring students reviewing scholarships materials will learn they now have the chance to apply for a new type of program that gives them a scholarship for a free online class. There are companies that are now offering fully paid scholarships for online classes to students who have expressed an interest in online learning. The companies and their affiliated online colleges offer students a chance to experience online learning at no cost. There is no obligation for the student to enroll in any particular online college; the student chooses which college they want to attend.

http://philjaelearning.org/you-test-drive-a-car-why-not-college/

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Stanford Opens Seven New Online Learning Courses for Enrollment (Free)

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

by Open Culture

This fall, Stanford launched a highly-publicized experiment in online learning. The university took three of its most popular computer science courses and made them freely available to the world. Each course features interactive video clips; short quizzes that provide instant feedback; and the ability to pose high value questions to Stanford instructors. The response? It has been nothing short of amazing. One course alone (Introduction to Artificial Intelligence) pulled in more than 58,000 enrollments. Starting in January and February 2012, Stanford will offer seven new courses, and they’re all open for enrollment today.

http://www.openculture.com/2011/11/seven_new_stanford_courses.html

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8 Lessons in the Art of Teaching Journalism Online

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

by Amy Eisman, MediaShift

I’m not the only one saying this: Online learning journalism educators should be good at teaching journalism online. After all, we are comfortable communicating clearly, are early adapters of technology, and we like being first. But online teaching (= distance ed = e-learning) isn’t easy. It requires rethinking teaching methods, tools and student needs. It is, however, worth it. I’ve been teaching an online class for about eight years. I am fortunate enough to do that — shameless plug coming — at American University where faculty can get course development grants to create online courses and enroll in a semester-long training tutorial to design the courses and learn the pedagogy. (We talk like that in academe.)

http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2011/11/8-lessons-in-the-art-of-teaching-journalism-online321.html

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