Archive for February, 2013

Penn’s Rebecca Stein Will Engage Online Economics Students in the ‘Active Sport’ of Learning

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

by Penn News

Many professors who embark on teaching a massive open online class, or MOOC, may be apprehensive about conveying their subject material to thousands. But that’s nothing new to Rebecca Stein, a senior lecturer in the University of Pennsylvania Department of Economics, who may teach 1,000 Penn undergraduates in a given year. That’s not to say that she doesn’t anticipate surprises in the course that she is teaching through Coursera this spring, “Principles of Microeconomics.” Set to begin April 8, the offering has already enrolled 8,000 students. To Stein, however, much more important than scale will be the different kinds of interactions she’ll have with her students, who, instead of being in a large lecture hall, will be behind their own computers, scattered across the globe.

http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/news/penn-s-rebecca-stein-will-engage-online-economics-students-active-sport-learning

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6 Challenges to Higher Ed Technology Adoption Including Online Learning

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

By Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education

Over the next five years, the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Project suggested that six emerging technologies would become mainstream in higher education. But the adoption of these technologies comes with challenges. The six emerging technologies include massively open online courses, tablets, games and gamification; learning analytics, 3D printing and wearable technology. While universities and colleges are exploring these technologies, it’s not always easy to stay up on an ever-changing field and fulfill other responsibilities, said Malcolm Brown, director of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative.

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/6-Challenges-Higher-Ed-Technology-Adoption.html

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How EdX Plans to Earn, and Share, Revenue From Its Free Online Courses

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

By Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Two other major providers of MOOCs, Coursera and Udacity, are for-profit companies. While edX has cast itself as the more contemplative, academically oriented player in the field, it remains under pressure to generate revenue. “Even though we are a nonprofit, we have to become self-sustaining,” said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. And developing MOOCs, especially ones that aspire to emulate the quality and rigor of traditional courses at top universities, is expensive. Harvard and MIT made an initial investment of $30-million each last year to start the edX effort. Legal documents, obtained by The Chronicle from edX, shed some light on how edX plans to make money and compensate its university partners.

http://chronicle.com/article/How-EdX-Plans-to-Earn-and/137433/

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U.K. MOOCs Alliance, Futurelearn, Adds Five More Universities And The British Library — Now Backed By 18 Partners

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

NATASHA LOMAS, Tech Crunch

Futurelearn, the U.K.’s first large-scale alliance between traditional higher education institutions aimed at testing the waters of MOOCs (massively open online courses), has bolstered the number of partners signed up to offer free courses. Five more universities are joining the original 12 announced last December, along with the British Library — which has signed an agreement with Futurelearn to develop online courses using BL resources. The British Library’s addition to the roster is interesting, being as, although it runs some workshops and training courses, it’s not a traditional higher education institution — underlining how MOOCs’ campus-less, remotely delivered education model broadens the pool of potential education providers, as well as widening access for students. The five new university signs-up to Futurelearn are the universities of Bath, Leicester, Nottingham, Queen’s Belfast and Reading. The original 12 who formed Futurelearn are: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Exeter, King’s College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Southampton, St Andrews and Warwick, along with UK distance-learning organization The Open University (OU).

http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/19/u-k-moocs-alliance-futurelearn-adds-five-more-universities-and-the-british-library-now-backed-by-18-partners/

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Analytics, Online Learning Course Guides, and Quality Assurance

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

By Raymond Uzwyshyn, Campus Technology

The American Public University System libraries’ Online Library Course Guides project is an award-winning academic technology initiative to match every one of APUS’s online courses with an online library course guide, a new approach to offset the high cost of traditional print text books. Now that the project has successfully completed guides for a little over half of the university’s course offerings, further practical metrics may be applied to the initial statistical analytic framework to widen the project’s focus from course guide completion rates to higher levels of quality assurance and sustainability.  In the past year, the guides have produced massive savings in online textbook conversion costs for APUS. The project has also been recognized with several academic technology innovation awards, including a gold medal for the IMS Global Learning Consortium’s 2012 Learning Impact competition.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2013/02/20/thinking-beyond-project-completion.aspx

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Heisman Winner Johnny Manziel Takes Only Online Learning Classes

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

by Sam Laird, Mashable

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel seems to have embraced working from home. The Texas A&M football star told reporters on Monday that he’s enrolled in exclusively online courses this semester — meaning he only has to set foot on campus about once a month. Manziel spoke before accepting the Davey O’Brien Award, which annually goes to the nation’s top college quarterback. He threw for 26 touchdowns and ran for 21 more last season in leading Texas A&M to an 11-2 record. In December, the man known as “Johnny Football” became the first freshman to win the Heisman, catapulting him to nationwide fame. That newfound notoriety, Manziel said, is part of the reason for his online-only course load.

http://mashable.com/2013/02/19/johnny-manziel-online-classes/

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Where Credit Is Due: Whose MOOC Is It?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

by Derek Bruff,  Agile Learning

Amy Collier, who supports online learning initiatives at Stanford, pointed out to me during the MROE workshop that an awful lot of people, including me, refer to these MOOCs as “Coursera courses” and not, say, “Georgia Tech courses” or “Vanderbilt courses.” I’ve used “Coursera course” as a shorthand to refer to the open online courses that Vanderbilt on the Coursera platform, but, thanks to Amy, I’m coming to see that such language is perhaps misleading. I blogged earlier this month about the challenging design and production process required to launch one of these courses, a process undertaken largely by Vanderbilt faculty, students, and staff. Sure, Coursera assists with the course preparation and provides an online platform for the courses, but the heavy lifting is done by Vanderbilt. It’s also Vanderbilt that is responsible for setting the bar when it comes to the academic quality and rigor of these courses. We decide the content, design the assessments, and determine what merits a “Statement of Accomplishment.” If I’m going to use shorthand for “Vanderbilt open online courses on the Coursera platform,” perhaps “Vanderbilt course” is more accurate…. If universities are going to have responsibility for their open online courses, that means universities will have to take the blame when they fail.

http://derekbruff.org/?p=2509

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Online learning class enrollment climbing

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

By Lauren Foreman, Santa Maria Times

Enrollment in online classes at Hancock College, as at many community colleges, is increasing more rapidly than overall enrollment, according to officials. Nancy Meddings, academic dean of distance (online) learning at Hancock, said the number of students enrolled in online classes has more than doubled since 2005, when 2,293 students registered for online courses. “Online classes have been growing as a modality statewide and nationwide really quickly since about 2005 or so,” Meddings said. About 5,000 students have enrolled in online courses this spring at Hancock. They are a part of an enrollment group second only to daytime registrants.

http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/education/online-class-enrollment-climbing/article_a14d4e58-78d6-11e2-8c7b-001a4bcf887a.html

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California universities see future in online learning classes

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

By Kelly Puente, Long Beach Press-Telegram

The Fullerton program started small with about 25 students per course, said program director Jenny Zhang, adding that the program will grow in the fall. Zhang said Fullerton received about 140 applications this year and more than 500 for fall 2013. “So far I think our students are very happy with the program,” she said. “Almost all of our students are working full time, and it’s hard for them to come to campus, so this is a good solution.” But as the demand grows, online learning also faces challenges, including costs for program development and concerns over quality and academic rigor. “The vast majority of our faculty is not opposed to online education, but we want to make sure it’s the quality education that you’d find in a regular classroom,” said Teri Yamada, a professor of Asian Studies at Cal State Long Beach and member of the Cal State Online Taskforce, a group of faculty and other CSU officials who oversee the development of online programs. “The ideal online class would be small, under 35 students. Because to teach a quality online course, you have to establish a relationship with the student.”

http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_22610430/california-universities-see-future-online-classes

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Online learning: MOOCs Explained

Monday, February 25th, 2013

by FutureLearn

MOOCs (or Massive Open Online Courses) have become increasingly popular since they first emerged in 2008. Free and easily accessible online MOOCs offer large numbers of students the opportunity to study high quality courses with prestigious universities. Whilst MOOCs don’t always lead to formal qualifications, they allow students to gain invaluable knowledge to support their careers, or their own personal learning goals. There are no entry requirements and students can take part in the courses regardless of where they live in the world or their financial circumstances. Because they are online, MOOCs are highly scalable and thousands of students can take part in any one course.

http://futurelearn.com/moocs-explained/

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Lynda Weinman of Lynda.com Talks About Future of Learning Online

Monday, February 25th, 2013

by Kara Swisher, All things D

Lynda.com raised $103 million a month ago in its first major funding. And, last week, as part of a major expansion globally using that money, it bought Austria-based video2brain to add to its online course offerings in a range of computer and other skills, in a number of European languages.It’s all part of the plan to dominate the continuing education market, and to bring 60 more employees and a pile of lessons to a service that competes with a range of others, such as Codecademy and Treehouse in the business and computer learning space. Currently, Lynda has 83,000 videos in 1,500 courses, and close to 500 employees. Unlike many hot startups, Lynda.com has been profitable for a long time, making more than $100 million in revenue annually from subscriptions from a range of customer groups, including individuals, companies, schools and the U.S. government.

http://allthingsd.com/20130218/lynda-weinman-of-lynda-com-talks-about-future-of-learning-online-video/

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Online Learning: Is the ‘College of the Future’ it for everyone?

Monday, February 25th, 2013

by First Coast News

Right now many high school seniors already know or are deciding which college to attend in the fall. But with tuition at the average public university costing $22,000 year and a private university double that, some can’t afford to go to school. A new type of online learning called mooc’s, massive open online courses, may change that. Students from anywhere in the world can take top tier university classes online for free. However, some argue that this type of learning is not for everyone or every school.

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/topstories/article/298703/483/College-of-the-future-Is-it-for-everyone

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6 Ways Campuses Are Scaling Up Online Learning in 2013

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

By Bridget McCrea, Campus Technology

Three higher education CIOs discuss their e-learning agendas and wish lists for the year ahead. For administrators in higher education, each new year presents a clean slate that they can use to consider, test out, and implement new technology projects. In 2013, campus technology leaders are focusing more of their efforts on academic computing. Some initiatives are small in scale and limited to a handful of classrooms or departments while others permeate entire campuses. Regardless of size and scope, each of these projects comes together to contribute to the institution’s educational mission.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2013/02/07/6-ways-campuses-are-scaling-up-elearning-in-2013.aspx

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Is Online Learning One Answer to Higher Ed Remediation?

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

By Eric Wearne, Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Colleges around the country, including Emory, are constantly experimenting with online learning. New formats and offerings appear somewhere every semester. Many colleges already partner with the private company Coursera to offer fully online courses (though not for normal credits). Last week San Jose State University reached an agreement with another private online learning company, Udacity, to offer Udacity courses, with the aid of live San Jose State classroom instructors, for San Jose State credit in some remedial and introductory courses. While disruptive to the normal way of conducting classes, this arrangement might represent a compromise skeptics can accept. All three of the groups involved in this deal stand to benefit in some way: San Jose State, Udacity, and the students.

http://www.georgiapolicy.org/is-online-learning-one-answer-to-higher-ed-remediation/

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College: Degrees for $10,000?

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Editorial: West Virginia Gazette

Florida has announced that 23 state-run colleges soon will offer $10,000 degrees, and some Texas schools already have complied. A Texas master plan is titled “Anatomy of a Revolution? The Rise of the $10,000 Bachelor’s Degree.” It notes that three-fourths of families now think college is out of reach. In California, Assemblyman Dan Logue has introduced an “Affordable College Act” to achieve the $10,000 level. Such cost-cutting strategies depend heavily on online learning courses in which a few teachers reach thousands of students — rather like the famed computer courses of Khan Academy. It’s controversial, and some critics sneer that it will bring “Wal-Marting of education,” weakening the value of degrees. The Texas master plan says: “The ground has shifted beneath the feet of traditional public higher education.”

http://wvgazette.com/Opinion/Editorials/201302150198

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Stop polarising the MOOCs debate

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Cathy N Davidson, University World News

The academic conversation on MOOCs is starting to polarise in exactly the talking-past-one-another way that so many complex conversations evolve: with very smart points on either side, but not a lot of recognition that the validity of certain key points on one side does not undermine the validity of certain key points on the other. I regret this flattening of online learning into a simple binary of ‘politically and financially motivated greed’ on the one hand and ‘an opportunity to find out more about learning’ on the other. Some of both in different situations can be true.

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20130213114954750

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Online Learning: A Three-Pronged Approach to Improving Online Student Engagement, Critical Thinking

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

By: Rob Kelly, Faculty Focus

Monica Rothschild-Boros, an art appreciation and cultural anthropology instructor at Orange Coast College, uses a combination of embedded lecture questions, threaded discussion, and innovative assignments to engage students and get them to think critically in her online courses. Rothschild-Boros offers her online lectures in several formats. She creates them as PowerPoint presentations and includes narration, converts them to pdf, and uploads them into iTunes, “so [students] can take them to the beach and have no excuse for having trouble accessing the lecture.” In addition to offering the lectures in students’ preferred formats, she includes embedded questions within each, sometimes up to 10 per lecture, that ensures that students read the material and that they think about it more deeply than they might otherwise.

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/a-three-pronged-approach-to-improving-online-student-engagement-critical-thinking/

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Stanford Students question whether classes are using Coursera effectively

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

By Lucy Svoboda, Stanford Daily

Even as Coursera, an online learning platform developed at Stanford, continues to assume an increasingly influential role in the field of online education, its usage at Stanford has prompted concerns among students that courses using the platform have not fully exploited its potential. Coursera was launched in April 2012 by Associate Professor of Computer Science Andrew Ng and Professor of Computer Science Daphne Koller Ph.D. ’94, and it has since partnered with 33 universities to offer free online courses to millions of students. Coursera’s focus on facilitating a “flipped classroom” model of education – in which students watch pre-recorded lectures on their own before interacting with professors during class time – has, however, been inconsistently applied in several Stanford courses that use Coursera, with professors instead combining the new format with traditional lectures.

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2013/02/15/students-question-whether-classes-are-using-coursera-effectively/

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Competing MOOC Providers Expand Into New Territory—and Each Other’s

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

By Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Two major providers of massive open online courses have announced new expansions of their stables of university partners, which now overlap for the first time. Coursera, already the largest MOOC provider, announced that it would build courses with 29 new partners, nearly doubling the number of universities in its network, to 62. Meanwhile, edX, a nonprofit project started last year by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, announced it would add six new partners, including three universities—Rice University, the University of Toronto, and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (in Switzerland)—that already offer MOOCs through Coursera.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/competing-mooc-providers-expand-into-new-territory-and-each-others/42463

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Paying To Cheat In Online Learning Classes

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

By Aundrea Cline-Thomas, News Channel 5

College tuition is expensive. Each class can cost hundreds of dollars, and the pressure is on to do well and graduate on time. One way some students have found to do that: paying for answers. Cheating is nothing new, students have been doing it forever, but thanks to the internet it’s gone high-tech. We found a number of companies making a lot of money by promising online students they’d take their classes for them. Among them: www.wetake yourclass.com. It’s a website that allows students to pay to cheat. The site offers experts to take your online classes, even write your papers. All you have to do is pay a fee.

http://www.newschannel5.com/story/21221664/paying-to-cheat-in-online-classes

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Online learning the way of the future

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

by Tracy Larrabee, San Francisco Chronicle

One might say that the advent of online education has been disruptive for higher education in California. One might also say that the advent of penicillin was disruptive for the practice of medicine. More than 20 years ago, technology began to creep into my teaching. Ten years ago, I began to use electronics to present information in my classrooms and to allow students, even remote ones, to give me input during class. Now, everything I say, present or draw during class is posted to the class website as it happens; any student with Web access can submit questions, suggestions or comments to me during my lectures. I love how dynamic my lectures have become with the varied opportunities for student input. I am hooked, and so are my students.

http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Online-education-the-way-of-the-future-4283104.php

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