Archive for May, 2013

Online learning gets fresh look from a heavyweight

Friday, May 31st, 2013

By LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY, CBS Moneywatch

Enter William G. Bowen, one of the most respected figures in the higher-education, who has tackled the question in his new book, Higher Education in the Digital Age. Just a few years ago, Bowen, an economist and a former president of Princeton University, was skeptical about the fledgling movement. But after some research, he sees the potential for new classroom technologies to improve productivity, reduce institutional costs and make pursuing a degree more affordable. And Bowen believes all this is possible without harming the quality of the educational experience. Change is coming to the the higher-ed world and Bowen just might end up helping to hasten the disruption.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500395_162-57584878/online-learning-gets-fresh-look-from-a-heavyweight/

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Online learning poised to transform the world: MOOCs to be as transformative as ‘BOOCs’

Friday, May 31st, 2013

By Rik Myslewski, the Register

Ethernet inventor Robert Metcalfe was asked what surprises were on the horizon due to the ever more pervasive advance of the internet. “The most exciting surprise, I think, is going to be MOOCs,” said Metcalfe on Wednesday, referring to online education – Massively Open Online Courses. “Education is about to be disrupted, like iTunes did to music.” Some educators have called MOOCs a bad idea, raising the objection that online education destroys the one-to-one relationships between teachers and students. Metcalfe disagrees. “Here’s how I handle those [objections],” he said. “It goes back to the invention of another ‘bad idea’ – the BOOC, which is spelled today B, O, O, K. It was obviously a very bad idea, because before BOOCs, we would sit around the campfire and we would hear the story directly from the storyteller, but now we have these damn BOOC things. “You’ve read The Great Gatsby but you’ve never met F. Scott Fitzgerald,” he said. “That’s a problem – so the BOOC is really a bad idea.”

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/22/metcalfe_on_moocs/

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Futurelearn plans Moocs for mobiles

Friday, May 31st, 2013

by Times Higher Education

The first massive open online courses on the UK-based Futurelearn platform will go live in the autumn and are being developed for use on mobile devices, the company’s chief executive has revealed. Simon Nelson said he believed that his company, which has 21 UK university partners signed up to offer free online courses, would gain an advantage over existing Mooc platforms by ensuring that its courses were designed “for mobile first, rather than as an afterthought – transforming the convenience and accessibility of learning”. Speaking to Times Higher Education at the Open and Online Learning conference on 16 May organised by Universities UK, Mr Nelson, who in a previous role helped the BBC to set up its iPlayer service, said: “I don’t think [US Mooc platforms Coursera, edX and Udacity] are performing particularly well on mobile yet, so it may give us a short-term advantage.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/futurelearn-plans-moocs-for-mobiles/2004010.article

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The Pedagogical Foundations of Massive Open Online Learning Courses

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

by David George Glance, Martin Forsey and Miles Riley, First Monday

In 2011, the respective roles of higher education institutions and students worldwide were brought into question by the rise of the massive open online course (MOOC). MOOCs are defined by signature characteristics that include: lectures formatted as short videos combined with formative quizzes; automated assessment and/or peer and self–assessment and an online forum for peer support and discussion. Although not specifically designed to optimise learning, claims have been made that MOOCs are based on sound pedagogical foundations that are at the very least comparable with courses offered by universities in face–to–face mode. To validate this, we examined the literature for empirical evidence substantiating such claims. Although empirical evidence directly related to MOOCs was difficult to find, the evidence suggests that there is no reason to believe that MOOCs are any less effective a learning experience than their face–to–face counterparts. Indeed, in some aspects, they may actually improve learning outcomes.

http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4350/3673

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Online Learning: Copyright 101.2

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

By Sarah Laskow, Columbia Journalism Review

CopyrightX, an online course run out of Harvard this spring as part of the EdX program, was unusual in a couple of ways. It might not strictly be called a MOOC—a massive open online course—because it wasn’t open. More than four thousand people applied, and enrollment was capped at 500. Half of the selected students were women. There were equal number of students from the United States and from other countries. Students outside the US came from 70 different countries, in total. The youngest student was 13, the oldest 83. Although CopyrightX was a class about copyright law, only thirty of the 500 students were lawyers. And these students stuck with the course. Most online courses have an appalling rate of attrition. Students start out with the best of intentions. But week after week, lecture after long, academic lecture, commitment flags. Usually around 90 percent of students drop out. For CopyrightX, two-thirds of those students made it through until the end. Fully half of them took the final exam —a typically grueling and mind-bending, four-hour law school take-home test, not much different from the exam Prof. Fisher gave Harvard Law School students.

http://www.cjr.org/cloud_control/copyright_1012.php

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CSU trustees hope online learning classes will ease bottleneck on required courses

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, Southern California Public Radio

Officials said more online courses will help students at California State University, Los Angeles and other campuses complete graduation requirements. California State University officials today laid out to its trustees how the university plans to ease students’ access to required courses in the fall — a huge problem that affects tens of thousands fo students at all 23 campuses. During a trustee meeting in Long Beach, Cal State officials said budget cuts have led to bottlenecks in lower level classes such as college algebra, general education biology, and micro economics. “We have 22 courses across the CSU where we have high enrollment and also low success in those students completing those with good academic grades,” said Gerry Handley, head of CSU’s Academic Technology Services.

http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2013/05/21/13747/csu-trustees-hope-online-classes-will-ease-bottlen/

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Imminent Chaos

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Bruce Judson, Business Insider

The next phase of digital disruption is now here, and I suspect higher education officials are, with few exceptions, not ready. As I look at what is happening, I suspect there is one thing I bring to analyzing this landscape that the majority of higher education officials do not: The perspective of someone who has intimately lived the digital disruption of two separate industries, magazines and book publishing. In addition, I have been studying the patterns of how digital disruption happens since my initial involvement in Web innovations over 15 years ago. From this viewpoint, I strongly suggest that higher education officials must develop an immediate sense of urgency. Here’s why: First, there is a clear pattern to the digital disruption of industries: Change happens slowly and then quickly. Our society has been here before. The pain in the retail, music, newspaper, magazine and book industries is ongoing. And our nation is far poorer for the many former employees of these industries who have never regained their former ability to provide for their families or contribute to our nation’s prosperity.

http://www.businessinsider.com/imminent-chaos-2013-5

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Non-Profit Online Learning Initiative, edX, Expands To Asia

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

by Asian Scientist

EdX, the not-for-profit online learning initiative founded at MIT and Harvard, has expanded to Asia with the addition of six Asian institutions. EdX also welcomed nine universities from North America, Europe, and Australia, bringing its total to 27. The universities in Asia are Tsinghua University and Peking University in China, The University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University of Science & Technology in Hong Kong, Kyoto University in Japan, and Seoul National University in South Korea.

http://www.asianscientist.com/topnews/non-profit-online-learning-initiative-edx-expands-asia-2013/

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What Professors Can Learn From ‘Hard Core’ MOOC Students

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

By Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Nearly 100 students using Coursera, the largest provider of MOOCs, have completed 20 or more courses. And more than 900 students have finished 10 or more courses, according to the company. That means taking several courses at a time, and racing through as many lecture videos and robot-graded assignments as possible to collect certificates that carry no official credit. Colleges and professors teaching MOOCs or thinking about jumping in can learn a few things from these students, who have spent more time in these new virtual classrooms than just about anyone else on the planet.

http://chronicle.com/article/What-Professors-Can-Learn-From/139367/

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Yale, You’ve got to MOOC

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

By Carole Bass, Yale Alumni

Early to the online-education party with the free video lectures known as Open Yale Courses, Yale has sat out the more recent phenomenon called MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses. Until now. Starting in January, four of the university’s most popular lecture courses will be offered on the web via Coursera, Yale announced last week. Like Open Yale Courses, the MOOCs will be free and not for credit. Yale also appointed music professor Craig Wright to the new, part-time position of academic director of online education, where he’s charged with “creating a ‘community of practice’ for faculty interested in experimenting with online teaching methods,” Provost Ben Polak says in a press release. Wright will also chair a new standing committee, comprising faculty from the professional schools as well as Arts and Sciences, that will advise Polak on online education.

http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/blog_posts/1464

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University of Washington expands online learning courses, this time from Harvard, MIT

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

By Katherine Long, Seattle Times

The University of Washington is growing its presence in the world of online course offerings by joining with edX, a course platform pioneered by Harvard and MIT. Adding to its growing catalog of free online-course offerings, the University of Washington announced Tuesday it is joining another free course provider — this one run by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Beginning in January, the UW will offer four new courses through edX, a not-for-profit Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider pioneered by Harvard and MIT. The UW already offers eight courses through Coursera, a for-profit started more than a year ago by two Stanford University professors.

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021024256_uwedxxml.html

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edX adds Berklee, Boston University and a dozen more to online class initiative

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

by Katherine Landergan, Boston.com

One year after Harvard University and MIT launched edX, a $60 million initiative in which colleges offer online classes at no charge, the not-for-profit company announced today that it is doubling the number of participating universities, including the Berklee College of Music and Boston University.  edX said in a statement that 15 higher education institutions are joining the initiative, bringing the total number of schools to 27. Based in Cambridge, edX has more than 900,000 people using its platform.

http://www.boston.com/yourcampus/news/boston_university/2013/05/edx_adds_berklee_boston_university_and_a_dozen_more_to_online_class_initiative.html

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The $7,000 Computer Science Degree — and the Future of Higher Education

Monday, May 27th, 2013

By Martha C. White, Time

While a new report puts the average debt load of new college grads at a stomach-churning $35,200, the Georgia Institute of Technology is rolling out an alternative program experts say offers a beacon of hope for both students and employers: A three-year master’s degree in computer science that can be earned entirely online — and that will cost less than $7,000. The school is partnering with Udacity, a for-profit provider of MOOC (massive open online course) education, and AT&T, which is contributing $2 million and will provide connectivity tools and services. “We believe this program can establish corporate acceptance of high-quality and 100 percent online degrees as being on par with degrees received in traditional on-campus settings,” a statement from the school says.

http://business.time.com/2013/05/21/the-7000-computer-science-degree-and-the-future-of-higher-education/

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Learning Online: Why MOOCs are Good for Teacher Professional Development!

Monday, May 27th, 2013

by Justin Marquis, Online Universities

There are several factors that make MOOCs a perfect option for ongoing teacher PD. First, they are free, and schools are so strapped for funding that free anything is quite possibly the only option in many cases. In most states teachers are required to add to their learning annually in order to maintain certification. MOOCs provide an easy way to continually find updated content. MOOCs are generally flexible enough in their scheduling to fit in with teacher’s busy lives. Finally, the availability of the free content and resources found in some MOOCs could provide teachers with additional resources for teaching in their classrooms. While this plan places the entire burden for PD on teachers, without consideration for release time, it does reflect the way that the system currently works and the lack of real value that we place on teachers’ time and efforts. While that is unfair, it does reflect the reality in which we live and provides a real solution to an important problem.

http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2013/05/why-moocs-are-good-for-teacher-professional-development/

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Is Social Media the New Online Learning?

Monday, May 27th, 2013

by Cynthia Sassi, Socialnomics

Most universities are now providing online education, with 98% of universities offering at least one online course. Some major universities offering online degree programs include Cornell University, Penn State University, Purdue University, Ohio State University, Arizona State University, Boston University, University of Southern California and many more. By 2014, 18% of college students will take some or all of their classes online, according to Knewton.com. And by 2020, it is projected that 98% of students will be taking blended learning courses, which contain both classroom and online components. Though many employers seek candidates with college degrees, there are always companies that prefer speed, tech savvy and online smarts over degree-ed knowledge. Having an online education mixed with social media skills could be the perfect blend of attributes that today’s employers need.

http://www.socialnomics.net/2013/05/21/is-social-media-the-new-online-education/

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Open online learning courses are changing higher education.

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

by André Dua, McKinsey Quarterly

Something big is up in higher education thanks to the advent of “massive open online courses” (MOOCs), which can reach millions around the world. What most people—including university leaders—don’t yet realize is that this new way of teaching and learning, together with employers’ growing frustration with the skills of graduates, is poised to usher in a new credentialing system that may compete with college degrees within a decade. This emerging delivery regime is more than just a distribution mechanism; done right, it promises students faster, more consistent engagement with high-quality content, as well as measurable results. This innovation therefore has the potential to create enormous opportunities for students, employers, and star teachers even as it upends the cost structure and practices of traditional campuses. Capturing the promise of this new world without losing the best of the old will require fresh ways to square radically expanded access to world-class instruction with incentives to create intellectual property and scholarly communities, plus university leaders savvy enough to shape these evolving business models while they still can.

http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/social_sector/college_for_all

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Solving the skills gap: Udemy, TechCrunch launch online learning platform for the tech world

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

By Davide Savenije, Education Dive

“The trends are clear. More and more, people are going to be able to educate themselves on an as-needed basis as they progress through life. Where the universities stand in that is a question the universities need to answer.”  -Ned Desmond, COO at TechCrunch. On Wednesday, TechCrunch, an online publication for the tech and startup world, announced it has teamed up with online learning provider Udemy to launch CrunchU, an online learning platform for startups and tech companies. s I noted when Udemy launched its platform for organizations, there’s an untapped market for skills-based learning—and universities are not filling it. University degrees are dropping in value, partly because many are no longer relevant to college graduates five years down the line. New technologies and methodologies are rendering college educations obsolete within just a few years. Out of this crater-sized hole, commonly known as the “skills gap,” online platforms like CrunchU are emerging.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/solving-the-skills-gap-udemy-techcrunch-launch-online-learning-platform-f/128958/

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MOOC Professors Claim No Responsibility for How Online Learning Courses Are Used

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

By Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Ed

“I have long ago dealt with the issue of: What if something I create is put to bad use?” the mathematician says. “And I have found that, throughout history, the benefit of building good things outweighed the hazards,” he says, citing lasers and the Internet as net-positive inventions despite ample opportunity for abuse. “That’s true in my research; it’s also true in my teaching.” That ethical dilemma became relevant to Mr. Ghrist’s teaching only recently, when he began teaching a massive open online course on single-variable calculus through Coursera, the Silicon Valley-based MOOC company. A group of philosophy professors at San Jose State University last month slammed Michael Sandel, a government professor at Harvard, for offering a MOOC through another provider, the nonprofit edX. The administration at San Jose State is encouraging its faculty members to use edX courses in their own teaching.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/mooc-professors-claim-no-responsibility-for-how-courses-are-used/43881

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Challenge your online learning expectations

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

By: Kathryn Landers, Wired Cosmos

It’s the 21st century and one-third of all college students are taking at least one online course during their college careers. For students who’ve never taken an online course, especially those who are returning to school several years after graduation, fears about taking an online course are understandable. Many unfamiliar with the format believe that online learning will be drastically different from traditional in-class experiences, that they won’t be able to interact with professors and classmates, or that online courses may not be as valuable to a career or educational endeavors as those in a classroom. While these concerns are not entirely unfounded, many students, once enrolled, quickly realize that online courses often aren’t quite how they imagine them to be. If you’re considering taking online courses but have some reservations about their value to your career or the online learning experience itself, it can be immensely valuable to take some time to learn about what you can actually expect from an online course.

http://wiredcosmos.com/2013/05/17/challenge-your-online-learning-expectations/

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The connection: BYOM and personalized learning

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

by Maggie Hos-McGrane, Tech Transformation

This week I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about and preparing for ASB’s presentation at ISTE on our BYOD laptop programme. At the same time I’ve also been involved with one of our R&D teams investigating the value of students bringing in and using their secondary (mobile) devices, which we are now calling BYOM. I’ve been synthesizing all of our experiences and all the research and thinking about how the BYO programme is leading us closer to our goal of personalizing learning for all our students.

http://www.maggiehosmcgrane.com/2013/05/the-connection-byom-and-personalized.html

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Stanford and edX unite to build stronger open online learning platform

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

by Rebecca Lindegren, Open Source

The open education landscape is set to grow a little more as Stanford University announces plans to team up with edX to build an online learning platform that universities and developers around the world can access for free. edX, a not-for-profit online education project founded in 2012 by MIT and Harvard University, develops online learning courses for students. The project encourages collaboration between teachers, students, and faculty to fit the needs of individual institutions. Now, Stanford, an industry leader in online education, will integrate its existing Class2Go open source platform with the edX platform. The collaboration will be available on June 1, 2013 and used as an internal platform for online courses taken by on-campus and distance learners. Stanford will also work alongside edX and other institutions to further develop the platform and make it accessible to a number of international schools.

http://opensource.com/education/13/5/stanford-edx-open-education-platform

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