Archive for September, 2013

UT-Austin receives bulk of UT System money — yet still lacks enough funds

Monday, September 30th, 2013

BY JORDAN RUDNER, Daily Texan

The UT System allocates more than one-third of the money in the Available University Fund directly to UT-Austin, and the campus is growing more dependent on these allocations as state funding shrinks. For the 2012 fiscal year, such projects included $50 million for the Institute of Transformational Learning, an organization created by the board to build the System’s online learning efforts. UT professors currently teach four massive open online courses — better known as MOOCs — which each cost $150,000 to develop, as part of the System’s online learning initiative.

http://www.dailytexanonline.com/news/2013/09/22/ut-austin-receives-bulk-of-ut-system-money-%E2%80%94-yet-still-lacks-enough-funds

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Distance Learning tips

Monday, September 30th, 2013

by Rebecca Gaulke, Mount Hood CC Advocate

If you are new to online courses, they may be a bit tricky to navigate at first. Online classes are fast-paced, and unforgiving if you miss assignments, but if you stay on top of things, the course becomes much more manageable. The first thing you need to know is that you MUST sign on to Blackboard within the first couple days of the term or you will be dropped from the course. You can officially sign into the course today, so if you unsuccessfully tried before now, try again immediately. “Students must log in the first day of classes and not just sometime in the first week,” said Cat Megic, MHCC’s Distance Learning program coordinator.

http://www.advocate-online.net/opinion/column-opinion/distance-learning-tips-4395/

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E-Learning: Tips for Student Success

Monday, September 30th, 2013

By Bridget McCrea, Campus Technology

Advancements in technology have literally put higher education at students’ fingertips in the form of distance learning. As more institutions embrace and offer online courses, the number of students tapping into the option is expanding exponentially. And while the online learning concept is straightforward enough, everything from time constraints to lack of oversight to poor motivation tend to get in the way when students sign up for self-directed, online courses. The 2012 National Survey for Student Engagement singles out students’ time use, programs of study, and co-curricular activities as elements that hamper their ability to engage with online coursework. An absence of collaborative activities can also play a role in a student’s ability to successfully complete distance education commitments. “Online leaders were more challenged in their coursework,” the NSSE reports, “but engaged less often in active and collaborative learning activities.”

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2013/09/18/elearning-tips-for-student-success.aspx

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Femgineer Launches New Ruby on Rails Online Course – For Everyone

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

BY ANN JOHNSTON, ExitEvent

Don’t let the name fool you – Femgineer serves both men and women. Femgineer, a company that provides continuing education to the technology sector, just launched a new Ruby on Rails course. It’s not for tech newbies. The 9-week live online course addresses the need for continuing technology education – a need that has increased with the rate of change in the industry. The company’s curriculum includes technology and entrepreneurship, largely targeting startup technical leads and co-founders.

http://exitevent.com/femgineer-launches-new-ruby-on-rails-course—for-everyone-13923.asp

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This Online Class Wants You to Change The World

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

BY MEG WAGNER, Mashable

Ever wanted to learn the secrets of changing the world? There’s a class for that. Wesleyan University has developed a new massive open online course (MOOC) based on the ideas exchanged this weekend at the Social Good Summit in New York City. Launching in January, the course is now open for enrollment on the Coursera website. Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan, said during his speech on Sunday his university and the online class foster a liberal education that encourages scholarship beyond campus. Roth said education should do four things: liberate, animate, cooperate and instigate. “The business of education is to help people make the world come alive for them.”

http://mashable.com/2013/09/22/online-class-world/

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Hacking the Classroom: Purdue U’s Approach to Augmented Learning

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

By Mary Grush, Campus Technology

A term more familiar in the competitive world of the television industry, “second screen” offers a simple way for viewers to access additional information relevant to a TV program. At Purdue University, researchers aim to put the concept to work in the classroom — making an enriched and interactive learning experience with classroom apps easier. Here, Kyle Bowen, Purdue’s director of informatics explores his latest research on “hacking the classroom”: how to leverage the second screen concept to help instructors and students negotiate the realm of multiple and varied classroom apps.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2013/09/18/hacking-the-classroom-purdue-us-approach-to-augmented-learning.aspx

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How online content development and delivery could improve the productivity of post-secondary education

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

by Tony Bates, Online Learning and Distance Education Resources

Nowhere in online learning is there such potential for increases in educational productivity as in content development and delivery. Once learning materials are created, they can be stored, accessed, delivered and used by an unlimited number of learners, thus potentially achieving large economies of scale and thereby reducing costs per learner. MOOCs are a classic example of economies of scale. Once lectures are ‘captured’ they can be stored and accessed by anyone with high speed Internet access. xMOOCs in particular have another ‘productivity’ advantage, in that they can also achieve economies of scope, in that the lectures would have been prepared and video-captured in any case for on-campus students, and thus once produced they can also made available to the rest of the world at technically little or no extra cost. Thus the cost of conversion from on-campus to online is less than it would have been if there was no on-campus version. (However, we shall see below that there are additional costs in creating xMOOCs compared to online credit courses). Even for online courses for credit, there are considerable economies of scale in course development and delivery.

http://www.tonybates.ca/2013/09/21/how-online-content-development-and-delivery-could-improve-the-productivity-of-post-secondary-education/

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Course using virtual online internships tries to hook prospective engineers

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

by Karen Herzog, Journal Sentinel

At a time when educators worry about a critical shortage of engineers in the United States — and especially female engineers — this course developed at UW-Madison is believed to be the first of its kind in the country. It aims to improve engineering student retention by hooking and reeling in prospective engineers their first semester of college. The virtual internships unfold over the semester in a video game simulation complete with bosses, conflicting priorities, hard-to-please clients and pressing deadlines. The course is one of seven introductory engineering options offered to freshmen.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/course-using-virtual-internships-tries-to-hook-prospective-engineers-b99101487z1-224732752.html

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Purdue NExT online learning program set to debut

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

by Purdue

Registration is opening this fall for Purdue NExT, an online program that emphasizes interactive learning for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate-level courses. The five-week, non-degree courses taught by Purdue faculty are currently being offered to undergraduate and graduate students, and will be marketed to professionals, businesses looking to improve skill levels of employees and higher education institutions that wish to supplement their degree programs and curricula. “Purdue NExT will enable students to gain exclusive access to courses taught by world-class faculty that focus on applied professional development across several areas of Purdue expertise,” said Timothy Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at Purdue.

http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/purdue-next-online-learning-program-set-to-debut.html

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British universities join online education revolution

Friday, September 27th, 2013

by Mysinchew.org

Dozens of British universities began offering free online courses on Wednesday through a collective portal, joining a global trend started in the United States that opens higher education to the masses. They are initially offering 20 courses including causes of war from King’s College London, studio production from Queen’s University Belfast and introductory particle physics from the University of Edinburgh. Pre-registration opened on Tuesday and in one day 20,000 people from 158 different countries signed up — even though the portal site will not be completed for several months. Until then it will run in beta phase, without all the finishing touches, so organisers can see how it works. The scheme brings British universities in line with many of their rivals in the United States, where so-called massive open online courses (MOOCs) are hugely popular.

http://mysinchew.com/node/91597?tid=179

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Benefits of Teaching Online

Friday, September 27th, 2013

By Audrey Heinesen, Inside Higher Ed

Whatever the reason, online education has reached a broader population, and I see many businesses and entrepreneurs taking advantage of online teaching for greater reach and additional revenue. While it’s exciting to see such varied audiences creating online courses, the truth is that we acutely need more individual educators to help shape online teaching. Make no mistake, teaching online demands a willingness to try new things. You’ll test new tools, topics, and ways to communicate. For subject matter experts, it’s sometimes off-putting to fumble through cords and cables on your way to your first online lesson. Yet, I’ve seen time and again a profound sense of freedom and accomplishment wash over instructors when courses hit the Web. I’ve also witnessed online teaching reinvigorate a joy and passion for teaching.

http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2013/09/20/essay-mooc-platforms-and-payoff-professors

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Cultural Imperialism? MOOCs make waves in higher education worldwide

Friday, September 27th, 2013

by Karen MacGregor, University World News

The development of MOOCs – massive open online courses – outside the ‘Anglo-centric hothouse’ of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia is “characterised by strong involvement with professional needs, wide experimentation and enthusiastic engagement in all significant geographies”, according to a British government review. An annex to the main report published last week, The Maturing of the MOOC – Literature review of massive open online courses and other forms of online distance learning, finds that opinions on the role of MOOCs in development have polarised. While many identify MOOCs as providing direct access to global high quality education, others “detect a new form of cultural imperialism”.

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20130920142318192

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Wharton Puts First-Year MBA Courses Online for Free

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

By Louis Lavelle, Business Week

Getting a Wharton MBA involves taking off from work for two years, moving to Philadelphia, and spending about $200,000 on tuition and expenses. Now, with the addition of three new courses on the online learning platform Coursera, you can get much of the course content for free. While you won’t get the full Wharton on-campus experience—or an internship, career services, or alumni network, for that matter—the new courses in financial accounting, marketing, and corporate finance duplicate much of what you would learn during your first year at the elite business school, says Don Huesman, managing director of the innovation group at Wharton.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-13/wharton-puts-first-year-mba-courses-online-for-free

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Union concerned with New York MOOC expansion

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

By Denny Carter, eCampus News

A plan to enroll 100,000 New York college students in massive open online courses (MOOCs) without increasing faculty has drawn criticism from a union leader who described MOOCs as “experimental.” SUNY was one of several university systems to sign on with Coursera. Officials from the State University of New York (SUNY) system announced in June that schools would partner with MOOC platform Coursera to serve 100,000 students in for-credit classes. Frederick Kowal, president of the 35,000-member United University Professions (UUP) — a union representing 35,000 academic and professional faculty — said SUNY’s agreement with Coursera represented a weakening of academic standards and a watering down of classroom lessons.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/new-york-mooc-union-987/

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The iTunes of Higher Education

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

By Gabriel Kahn, Slate

It’s nearly impossible to get into MIT, very expensive to enroll there, and exceedingly hard to graduate, which are some of the reasons why MIT degrees are so coveted. But very soon you’ll be able to take a series of online courses in computer science and earn an official certificate from one of the most prestigious engineering schools in the world, all for only a few hundred dollars—and without having to meet any admissions requirements. MIT will be launching these XSeries Certificate programs in the next few months, including one in “supply chain management.” MIT, in a press release, says the new programs are part of its effort to “reimagine the building blocks” of education as universities begin to deliver more of their content digitally.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/education/2013/09/edx_mit_and_online_certificates_how_non_degree_certificates_are_disrupting.html

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Open textbook publishing

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

by Global Education Network

Thanks to inexpensive or free publishing tools and the ubiquitous nature of the web, the faculty can assume the traditional responsibilities of publishers. Faculty members can build massive, global communities around their pedagogical works by licensing them under an open-culture copyright license and by employing peer-review processes to vet publications. When it comes to choosing the most appropriate open-culture license, faculty members have to consider whether they wish to choose a totally open license—one that permits remixing and repurposing of their works—or a more restrictive license that limits derivative works or commercial applications. The development of Writing Commons, an open-education resource, illustrates some of the issues faculty members will face when embracing their power as content creators and publishers.

http://world.edu/open-textbook-publishing/

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With 1M Users Now On Board, Learnist Brings “Pinterest For Learning” To Android

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

by Rip Empson, Tech Crunch

Backed by a fresh $20 million from Discovery, Summit, Atlas, Benchmark and others, Learnist is eager to ride the growing adoption of mobile learning tools both in and outside of the classroom and bring its network to a wider audience. Learnist was initially developed for K-12 teachers and students, allowing users to create “learn boards” for everything from reading assignments to Common Core-supported Math lessons, but the founders have since expanded that scope in an effort to attract a wider set of life-long and casual learners. In much the same vein as Coursera, Learnist is looking to create a network that applies to both formal and continuing education and can be used alongside classroom tools like Schoology and Edmodo to create a more holistic classroom learning experience, for example, while giving casual learners a place to store and view their various learning projects.

http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/18/with-1m-users-now-on-board-learnist-brings-its-pinterest-for-learning-to-android-as-it-looks-to-go-big-abroad/

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Keeping Students Engaged in the Online Classroom

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

By Ronald C. Jones, Faculty Focus

As an online instructor, I can fulfill the minimum requirements of the university regarding interacting with students, or I can create a learning environment that facilitates student engagement in the classroom. Students enroll in online classes because of the need for scheduling flexibility, work-life-school balance, costs, and convenience. Although online learning holds many advantages, the potential drawbacks revolve around the lack of personal interaction between the instructor and student, as well as the student-to-student contact. Keeping students engaged in the course is a vital function of an effective instructor.

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/keeping-students-engaged-in-the-online-classroom/

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Caltech to offer more online classes

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

By Adam Poulisse, Pasadena Star-News

Next month, Caltech will join 28 other prestigious colleges and universities in offering courses through an Internet education platform launched in 2012 by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to video lectures, the online initiative edX will allows students to customize when they want to take quizzes and use learning resources, while faculty will be able to embed textbook chapters, discussion boards and diagrams into the platform’s layout for classes. Called Massive Open Online Courses, the classes will begin in October at Caltech and be offered through the edX platform xConsortium.

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/social-affairs/20130917/caltech-to-offer-more-online-classes

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MOOCs Move Closer to Degree Programs

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

By TAMAR LEWIN, NY Times

Coursera and edX, the two largest providers of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are inching closer to offering degree programs, although the courses so far carry no academic credit. Coursera is now offering courses from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, covering most of its MBA program’s first year curriculum. And Edx is starting two “sequences,” linked courses in a particular discipline. Both are from MIT: Foundations of Computer Science, a set of undergraduate courses that will begin this fall, and Supply Chain and Logistics Management, a set of graduate level courses that will begin in fall 2014.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/education/online-classes-move-closer-to-degree-programs.html?_r=0

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Harvard Vice Provost of Experimentation

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

by Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Harvard University on Monday became the latest elite institution that will seek to organize its online education offerings with the creation of a high-ranking administrative position. Although not a widespread practice, early adopters say institutions should consider following suit sooner rather than later. The promotion of Peter K. Bol to vice provost of advances in learning adds coordination to the groundswell of experimentation with online learning at Harvard that includes, among others, edX, the massive open online course provider created in cooperation with the Massachusetts of Technology; the Harvard Initiative for Learning & Teaching, which supports learning innovation through grants and other programs; and the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, which uses a research-based approach to new teaching methods.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/09/17/harvard-u-appoints-first-vice-provost-advances-learning

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