Archive for September, 2012

In brave new world of online ed, Smarterer wants to track what you’re actually learning

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

BY Ki Mae Heussner, GigaOm

When Boston-based Smarterer launched in late 2010, it was conceived as a way for people to quickly show others what they know. But, two years later, the company says it’s stumbled on to an important lesson: especially with the emerging crop of education startups, life-long learners need a way to assess their progress for themselves. To that end, Smarterer (see disclosure), which uses crowdsourced tests to measure skill mastery, is shifting its attention away from being a site for public validation to being a platform to track personal learning. “We started with the vision of you’re doing this because you want to prove to the world what you know – it was more about reputation management [and] trying to get the job,” said co-founder Dave Balter, who is also the CEO of marketing firm BzzAgent. “The deeper we got, the closer we came to the realization that people were using the system for much more intrinsic purposes … to understand if they were growing or not.”

http://gigaom.com/2012/09/20/in-brave-new-world-of-online-ed-smarterer-wants-to-track-what-youre-actually-learning/

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Startups put new spin on online teaching

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

by Ellen Lee, San Francisco Chronicle

Eren Bali spent his early years in a one-room schoolhouse in a remote village in southeast Turkey. One teacher taught all the students. Highly motivated to learn more, Bali poked around on the Internet and taught himself advanced mathematics. When he was 15, he won the gold medal in Turkey’s National Mathematical Olympiad and went on to receive the silver in the International Mathematical Olympiad. That experience opened doors for Bali and has fueled his effort to create Udemy, an online learning resource. “That changed my whole life,” Bali said about winning the awards as a teenager. “I started Udemy so other people could make big moves in their lives.”

http://www.sfgate.com/technology/article/Startups-put-new-spin-on-online-teaching-3878149.php

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Washington University looks into providing online learning video courses

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

by Justine Chu, Student Life

As many top-tier universities begin to integrate their educational systems with the digital age, Washington University is undergoing research to design video courses that can closely reflect the classroom experience. rovost Ed Macias described the University’s possible venture into online courses as one of experimentation. While there have been lots of experiments and lots of progress over the last few years, this—the technology and the techniques—is all still evolving,” Macias said. “So we’ve been trying some things, we’ve been watching what’s happening and we’re trying to learn from these various activities. We’re trying to determine what would be the best practice.”

http://www.studlife.com/news/academics/2012/09/20/university-looks-into-providing-video-courses-online-2/

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Learning Online: Turn on, Tube in: a class of its own

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

by Peter Lynch, Irish Times

The Khan Academy has about 3,200 tutorials on video, each about 10 minutes long. It attracts more than a million students a month. Initially, the content was mainly second-level maths. Maths is still the focus, but there is growing content on physics, chemistry and biology, as well as economics, humanities and fine art. The videos have been viewed more than 150 million times. In addition to videos, the academy resources include progress-tracking software, automated exercises with continuous assessment, and a range of aids for teachers. A dashboard tool allows teachers to see immediately how students are getting on, how many videos they have completed, how many questions they have answered and where they need help.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sciencetoday/2012/0920/1224324195489.html

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University of Rochester President Seligman weighs state, future of online learning

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

By Leah Buletti, UR Campus Times

While UR maintains its commitment to the residential college feel at least on the undergraduate level, UR’s School of Nursing has embraced the trend of online education and plans to expand online offerings in a model that UR President Joel Seligman praised in his Annual Report to the University community given to the UR Faculty Senate last week. “Our School of Nursing has been the leader at our University in developing a significant online curriculum,” he said in the address on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

http://www.campustimes.org/2012/09/20/seligman-weighs-state-future-of-online-learning/

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Is Udemy the future of online learning?

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

by: Susan Moore, MindLeaders

The site – which allows anyone to upload a “course”, sell it to other users, or give it away for free – was developed by two Turkish learning platform designers and launched in May 2010. Since then it has gained tens of thousands of courses, ranging in price from $0 to $250. Udemy is really a massive, open, social LMS. By some measures, it has become the single largest destination for formal learning on the internet. Courses contain multiple lessons which can include pdfs, word docs and slide presentations. But the bulk of the content consists of video learning. There are video tutorials on everything from how to use FourSquare for business to introducing Brazil as a country. Once you take a course you can rate it and share it on Facebook, allowing other users to gauge which courses are worth spending a few dollars on. Some people do use the network for marketing themselves by uploading free courses (such as the good people at SEOMoz) but the most of the content are lessons uploaded by “experts” and sold for a price. This means that, often costing $200 or more, we expect several hours of high quality learning from each course.

http://blog.mindleaders.com/is-udemy-the-future-of-online-learning/

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Mizzou Online expands online classes

Friday, September 28th, 2012

By Alyssa Nielsen, the Maneater

Enrollment in MU online courses is up, with a 12 percent increase in the 2011-2012 enrollment from the year prior. Mizzou Online offered 696 courses last year, catering to 3,014 graduate and 6,141 undergraduate students. In the 2010-2011 academic year, MU offered 624 courses, 72 fewer than this year. The university is able to offer the wide array of classes due to the increased course offerings that are provided through this program. “Professors can convert classes into an online format and make it available to students online,” Interim Vice Provost for E-Learning Jim Spain said. “Programs that apply for funding can receive funding for up to $250,000 for a proposal (to add an online class).”

http://www.themaneater.com/stories/2012/9/16/mizzou-online-expands-online-classes/

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In first for Brown U., prof offers online computer science class

Friday, September 28th, 2012

by Kate Nussenbaum, the Brown Daily Herald

The inaugural rendition of one online course has attracted a wide of range of advanced programmers from around the world. Two weeks ago, Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron announced via email that three Brown courses will soon be available online for free worldwide through the Coursera platform. But one computer science professor, Shriram Krishnamurthi, has already begun offering an online version of his course CSCI 1730: “Programming Languages.” Krishnamurthi said his decision to offer the course both in-person and on the web was independent of the University’s move toward online education. By the time the University announced its plans to offer online courses, Programming Languages already had 600 sign-ups.

http://www.browndailyherald.com/in-first-for-u-prof-offers-online-computer-science-class-1.2764197#.UFsFk7JmRl8

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10 Reasons Why Online Learning Courses Beat Independent Research

Friday, September 28th, 2012

by DIANE HAMILTON, Online Schools

I recently had a guy tell me that he did not want to take online courses because he did not see the point. He believed he could just learn everything he needed to learn through researching information on the Internet. He apparently did not fully understand the advantages of receiving a formal online education. If he wanted to do the research on his own rather than taking formal online courses, he’d miss out on many things. With a formal online education from an accredited university he would receive the following benefits….

http://www.onlineschools.org/inside-online-schools/10-reasons-why-online-courses-beat-independent-research/

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In Colleges’ Rush to Try MOOC’s, Faculty Are Not Always in the Conversation

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

By Alisha Azevedo, Chronicle of Higher Ed

As soon as University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Phyllis M. Wise, the university’s chancellor, heard about Coursera from other administrators who had signed on, she wanted to follow suit. She asked the executive committee of the university’s Academic Senate for a recommendation on whether to work toward a Coursera deal, and a faculty task force quickly issued a report giving a green light for such a partnership. The task force devised a list of questions about how a Coursera partnership would work, said Nicholas C. Burbules, a former chair of the Academic Senate and a professor of educational-policy studies. For example, how would potential revenues from Coursera be divided within the university, and how would faculty members be compensated for teaching Coursera courses? “I don’t think anyone knows exactly where this is going,” Mr. Burbules said. “We’re on a very fast train right now, and we’re jumping on board and seeing where it ends up.”

http://chronicle.com/article/In-Colleges-Rush-to-Try/134692/

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Online Learning: Technology To Democratize Education

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

By Mary Beth Marklein, CIO Today

Sebastian Thrun, a Google vice president and Stanford professor best known for his role in building Google’s driverless car, aims to develop a catalog of free online courses taught by star professors from around the world. He feels that, just as film enabled people all over the world to access movies, the Internet will democratize education.

http://www.cio-today.com/news/Technology-To-Democratize-Learning/story.xhtml?story_id=10100CFSOTU7&full_skip=1

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New platform for online learning courses stresses team-based, experiential learning

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

by India Education Diary

A new online course on a new online platform at Stanford succeeds not only in joining people from dozens of countries but enabling them to directly collaborate on group projects: A group of women in Iran put together a tourism project; three men in India devised a way of connecting Indian musicians, audiences and venues; a pair of men in Trinidad and Tobago figured out how to ease road transportation; a team with members in Germany, the United Kingdom and Russia developed a mobile app for buying and selling locally designed products; and four Americans and a Pakistani created a search engine to find online classes. Clearly, some projects will prosper and others will not, though in either case the experience will have taught team members invaluable lessons.

http://www.indiaeducationdiary.in/showEE.asp?newsid=15234

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Don’t forget the ‘active learning’ mission in online learning

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

By Peyton R. Helm, philly.com

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about a Tibetan yak herder I read about last summer in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Apparently this guy has a laptop and an Internet connection and is taking an online course offered by my alma mater, Yale – “The Philosophy of Love in the Western World,” to be precise. I think that’s remarkable – and admirable. This man is what educators would call an “autodidact” – someone who is so motivated to learn that he can do it virtually on his own. OK, there are professors creating these online courses, but they are not personally invested in his education. They have put it out there for the taking, and he’s taking it.

http://articles.philly.com/2012-09-18/news/33926905_1_online-courses-moocs-yak

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Cal State hopes to provide new degree opportunities via online learning

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

By Rogue Morales, Collegian CSU Fresno

The California State University system has chosen the company Pearson to launch Cal State Online, a completely online option for people looking to complete their bachelor’s degree. Cal State Online will be a fully online option for students who have dropped out of the CSU system and found it difficult to return to school. “One of the main focuses of the effort is to increase access to nontraditional working professionals who have previously been affiliated with CSU,” said Claudia Keith, assistant vice chancellor and public affairs for California State University. “It is also a way to meet California’s economic and workforce development needs.”

http://collegian.csufresno.edu/2012/09/19/cal-state-online-hopes-to-provide-new-degree-opportunities/

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Education Dept. investigating complaint that some UM online learning classes not handicap accessible

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has been investigating a complaint that educational technology used at the University of Montana is not adequately accessible to all students with disabilities. The Alliance for Disability and Students at the University of Montana filed a complaint with the Department of Education last May alleging students with disabilities face discrimination at UM. The department’s Office of Civil Rights confirmed in an email to the Missoulian Monday that it is investigating. Travis Moses, a blind student, said he can’t always do his homework because some online videos loaded onto the learning management system Moodle don’t have adequate captions and some online images are not clear enough for a screen reading program to translate.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/71a122d25d0141f78097bd5c81fc9e34/MT–UM-Disabled-Students-Complaint

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Smc’s Distance Education Goes A Long Way

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

by Henry Crumblish, Santa Monica College Corsair

In today’s fast-paced world where technology rules, it is no wonder that online classes, otherwise known as Distance Education, has become a prominent part of Santa Monica College’s educational agenda, as a part of a growing technology-based environment.  Within the past five years, the demand for Distance Education has more than doubled, and during the 2011-12 school year, 30 percent of enrolled students had taken an online course throughout the year, according to the Board of Trustees. “With more than 23,000 course enrollment seats, online education represents close to 12 percent of SMC total credit enrollment for 2011-12.”

http://www.thecorsaironline.com/opinion/2012/09/19/smcs-distance-education-goes-a-long-way-2/

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What in the world is a MOOC?

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

By Jenna Johnson, Washington Post

In the last few weeks, the word “MOOC” has become part of the higher education lexicon. The cute little acronym has been thrown around by administrators in suits-only meetings, casually dropped by blogging or vlogging faculty, and explained by student newspapers. Earlier this month, a PhD student and blogger in Canada declared: “I’ve watched agog as the word MOOC has proliferated and spiralled into the higher education buzzword of the year.” So, what in the world is a MOOC? It’s a “Massive Open Online Course” that anyone with an Internet connection can attend for free. These classes are aimed at expanding a university’s reach from thousands of tuition-paying students who live in town, to millions of students around the world.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/campus-overload/post/what-in-the-world-is-a-mooc/2012/09/24/50751600-0662-11e2-858a-5311df86ab04_blog.html

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Log On and Learn: The Promise of Access in Online Learning

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

by Daphne Koller, Forbes

Much of the discussion and debate around bringing higher education online has touched upon the implications of putting course material online versus in-person teaching. There are many questions floating around, such as how will students benefit from online classes if course credit isn’t given? What does the future hold for traditional brick and mortar institutions? While these points are important and not to be dismissed, there is a key issue that education pundits are often overlooking: the issue of access. For millions of people around the world, the choice is not between attending traditional university and online courses, between seeing a lecture in person and watching one online. As Princeton professor Mitch Duneier said in a recent op-ed on The Chronicle of Higher Education, for many students, the choice is between online education and no education at all.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/coursera/2012/09/19/log-on-and-learn-the-promise-of-access-in-online-education/

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Mature Market for Online Learning?

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

The market for online higher education aimed at adults may be reaching maturity, according to a new report from Eduventures. And without a better-defined product, the report’s author said online learning faces a risk of petering out and being little more than a back-up alternative to on-campus education for students. Inside Higher Ed The study describes alternative approaches for the future, including a relatively radical scenario with an expanded focus on individual courses and skills, as opposed to degrees, as well as a bigger role for competency-based education. Massive open online courses (MOOCS) could be a player, too, according to the report.For now, however, Garrett said the prognosis for the degree remains good. And MOOCs, while intriguing, are not currently part of a radical challenge to higher education. He said that could only happen if, on a wide scale, the courses became valuable to employers as they try to evaluate job candidates. “The challenge for MOOCs and similar innovations,” according to the study, “if the goal is to supplant conventional schools and credentials, is consumer conservatism.”

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/09/19/adult-students-interest-online-education-flat-study-finds

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Online Learning Is at a Historic Inflection Point

Monday, September 24th, 2012

YouTube of Andrew Ng

Andrew Ng, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University, discusses how America’s finest universities have revolutionized online learning by increasing their digital presence.

http://youtu.be/8U92aUu_Akc

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Online learning program draws mixed reactions at Brown

Monday, September 24th, 2012

by Eli Okun, Brown Daily Herald

Brown community members expressed a mixture of excitement and wariness in response to the University’s announcement that it will commence two online education pilot projects next year. Many lauded the decision, first announced Sept. 5 in an email from Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron, as an appropriate modernization and expansion of access to higher education, but some voiced concern that the courses could represent shoddy imitations of the classroom experience. Next summer, the University will offer a few for-credit courses online only for Brown summer session students. The University will also join the online course platform Coursera, which offers free, not-for-credit classes to hundreds of thousands of people around the globe.

http://www.browndailyherald.com/online-class-program-draws-mixed-reactions-1.2764210#.UFhwUbJmRl8

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