Archive for October, 2013

Reinventing higher education – MOOCs, SPOCs and hubs

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

by Paul Rigg, University World News

Jean-Claude Burgelman, head of unit in the European Commission’s directorate-general for research and innovation, kicked off a panel discussion on “The Production of Learning Experiences: Hubs, technologies and new players” with provocative questions about the future of research. “Which professor would you hire if you had to choose between one who had published two articles in Nature and another who ran a blog that was read by the top 500 people in their field?” he asked. “And what if you had to decide between an applicant with a good degree or one who had qualified via MOOCs at Harvard and Oxford University?”

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=2013102415264928

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GBC students turn to Internet courses

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

by Elko Daily Free Press

Mid-semester preliminary enrollment numbers for Great Basin College are showing more students are enrolling in Internet classes. Mike McFarlane, vice-president of academic affairs at Great Basin College, said 47 percent of the full-time equivalent enrollment are using Internet-only classes. Since 2004, the college has seen a nearly eight-fold increase in students using online classes. While even the live classes have online components, the Internet-only classes have changed the proportions of student enrollment between the class styles. “That reflects two reasons,” McFarlane said. “One is the distance, because we can’t have a lot of small classes in our large service area … Also what’s important is the time factor because of people’s work schedules and family schedules.”

http://elkodaily.com/news/gbc-students-turn-to-internet-courses/article_5397de1a-3d0e-11e3-a38e-0019bb2963f4.html

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The 11-Minute Guide To All 8 Intelligences

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

By Paolo Leva, Edudemic

The theory of Multiple Intelligences was originally proposed by Howard Gardner some 30 years ago and is gaining increasing recognition and impact. In particular, the theory has deep implications on how to structure teaching, education and assessment, independently on whether we are talking about traditional schools, MOOC or corporate eLearning. It is important to stress that the Multiple Intelligence theory here discussed should not be confused with theories on different types of personality or different learning styles. Regardless of what type of student, their age, level, or subject you’re teaching, awareness and understanding of the theory of multiple intelligences will help reach more and deeper in the teaching effort.

http://www.edudemic.com/guide-to-intelligences/

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Indians comprise second largest group taking Coursera courses

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

by M Ramya, Times of India

As much as 8.4% of Coursera users are Indians, the second largest group after Americans (at 31.7%). Revealing the latest statistics on Thursday, Coursera, one of the world’s leading platforms offering massive open online courses, said students from 190 countries are currently enrolled in at least one of their courses. The total course enrolments of Coursera stands at 19.1 million, and the company reached 52,66,200 students this October from 1,11,479 in October 2011. An infographic released to the media shows that close to three-fourths of the students are employed. Computer science is the most popular course subject, with 94,28,982 enrollees, followed by humanities with 38,61,497 enrollees.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/education/news/Indians-comprise-second-largest-group-taking-Coursera-courses/articleshow/24697995.cms

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New online learning course format at Minerva Schools

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

by M Saraswathy, Business Standard

The Minerva Schools at KGI, an online undergraduate institute, is planning a centre here, where students can spend a part of their four-year study period. The school would have an online programme, with live lectures. Students from different centres across the world would have access to these programmes. The first batch of the Minerva Schools at KGI, an initiative of the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) and San Francisco-based Minerva Project, would matriculate in the fall of 2015. Students participating in the Minerva Schools’ undergraduate programme will reside in major cosmopolitan cities across the world and take part in intensive online seminars using a video learning platform. KGI is a member of the Claremont University consortium. In July 2013, it had announced it would launch the Minerva Schools at KGI.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/management/new-online-course-format-at-minerva-schools-113102301070_1.html

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MOOCs and the Liberation of Higher Ed: Reflections from edX President

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

by Anne Eigeman, Non-Profit Quarterly

The question of how edX will ultimately generate income from its free classes to sustain the nonprofit organization has been an ongoing question for many and no doubt a source of attention for Agarwal. In response to Stephen Colbert’s asking why edX would offer classes for free, Agarwal sheepishly responded, “Enlightened self-interest—it’s good for everybody.” As a means to moving past enlightenment and toward the cold cash, however, this week the Atlantic reported that Agarwal has negotiated new income-generating partnerships with France and China via its Open edX platform. The deal gives both countries access to edX software and technical advice for their emerging MOOCs, for which edX will get an annual fee. As Robinson Meyer observed in the Atlantic, “It’s a seemingly irregular way to do business, but the environment of education, in all its market-esque complexity, is anything but regular.” With these new partnerships, Agarwal, the multi-tasking, moonlighting professor, might have just hit upon an important new business model for edX, along with new opportunities for MOOCs everywhere.

http://www.nonprofitquarterly.org/policysocial-context/23137-moocs-and-the-liberation-of-higher-ed-reflections-from-edx-president.html

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Essay by former Dept of Ed official on the need for innovation-focused Accreditor

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

by David Bergeron and Steven Klinsky, Inside Higher Ed

(Ed Note: David Bergeron, the former acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education, is vice president of postsecondary education policy at the Center for American Progress.)

Schools like MIT should not be forced to dilute the power of their brand by being forced to give their regular degree to students who simply take some of their tuition-free online courses. However, it is equally inappropriate to give no value to the online learning that occurs in a MOOC, particularly if a student can complete a high-quality, rigorous course and then prove mastery of the material on a separate, proctored, certifying exam… However, for the most rapid and effective progress, America needs a new, innovation-focused accreditor, Modern States, which would also be recognized by the Department of Education and which could accredit providers of emerging technologies and ideas in order to drive down costs, drive up quality and to shape federal aid programs in new and effective ways. Unlike traditional accreditors, Modern States would be able to accredit specific courses, not just the degree-granting institution as a whole. For example, it could recognize that the freshman physics MOOC from MITx is of high quality, and then develop a widely available, proctored test for students who complete that course, similar to an SAT exam or CPA exam.

http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2013/10/28/essay-need-new-innovation-focused-accreditor

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Washington U. moves cautiously into online learning

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

By Dale Singer, St Louis Beacon

Bill Lowry considers himself to be a “pretty low-tech guy – no iPhone, no apps, any of that stuff” – so he thought it was pretty ironic that he is teaching the first class at Washington University’s entry into the growing field of internet education. Dubbed Semester Online, the program joins Washington U. with other schools, including Emory, Northwestern and Notre Dame, for online instruction that is less open, less massive than the so-called MOOCs – massive online open courses — that have been popping up all over in recent years. Those courses can have thousands of students signing up to watch lectures and take part in online discussions with students from all over the world. They have no admissions requirements, but they usually don’t cost anything or lead to any credit toward a degree.

http://www.stlbeacon.org/?_escaped_fragment_=/content/33333/washu_online_update_102113?coverpage=4176

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USM online course offerings continue to grow

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

by Kirsten Sylvain, USM Free Press

USM has ramped up its online class offerings over the past few years in the face of a system-wide push for more online credit hours. Because they are the two largest branches of the University of Maine System, USM and the University of Maine at Orono will account for much of the change in a system effort set last January to offer 20 percent of the total system credit hours online by 2015. At USM, the number of students enrolled in fully-online degree programs has increased from 52 majors in Spring 2012 to the current number, 237––an over 400 percent increase over four semesters. However, USM still ranks as having the third lowest percentage of online credit hours in the system, coming in at 11.5 percent of its total credit hours.

http://usmfreepress.org/2013/10/22/usm-online-course-offerings-continue-to-grow/

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Coursera partners with 13 institutions to pass 100 total, sees over 5 million students and over 500 courses too

Monday, October 28th, 2013

By Emil Protalinski, the Next Web

Coursera today announced that 13 new institutions have joined its ranks, bringing the education startup’s total number of partners offering courses on its platform into the triple digits: 107. Furthermore, Coursera this month also surpassed the 5 million student mark and now offers more than 500 courses as well. The new partners span the following 11 countries: China, Denmark, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the US. To celebrate the 100 institution milestone, Coursera decided to release an infographic highlighting its growth (see URL).

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/10/24/coursera-partners-13-institutions-pass-100-total-sees-5-million-students-500-courses/

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The new distance learning gets up close and personal

Monday, October 28th, 2013

by BRYAN BORZYKOWSKI, The Globe and Mail

Jennifer Feschuk already had one degree when she started at Royal Roads University in Victoria last year, but she still had some pre-school jitters before her classes began. The first day involved the typical tour and meet-and-greet with classmates, and she was given time to look around and get her bearings. But unlike her first postsecondary experience, this wasn’t taking place in person – it was all being done online. Instead of scouring the halls of a building, Feschuk and her fellow students were exploring every nook and cranny of Moodle, an open-source program that would become the online hub for all her coursework.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/canadian-university-report/the-new-distance-learning-gets-up-close-and-personal/article14980178/

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The Humbling (at First) Experience of Teaching Online

Monday, October 28th, 2013

by Melora Sundt, et al; Huffington Post

At the dawn of the Internet Age, we could not have imagined that in two short decades, one-third of all students enrolled in higher education would take at least one course online. In 2011, that was six million students, and a 10 percent increase over the year before. We now know that great instruction is possible online. Our classrooms have changed, but the elements of good teaching have not: understand the content, know your students, use data, and adapt. We learned five key lessons as we adjusted to teaching online.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melora-sundt/teaching-online_b_4137858.html

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University considers online courses

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

By Josh Weiner, Tufts Daily

The Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences is currently analyzing a report, issued over the summer by the Arts and Sciences Online Learning and Education Working Group, to address topics related to integrating online technologies into academics. Most notable is the possibility of introducing massive open online courses (MOOCs) to the university’s curricula. “Further investment in the use of innovative technologies for teaching and research would enhance student learning in the residential model in many ways,” the report said. “Such technologies can strengthen and diversify student-instructor relationships and help create active and engaged classroom communities.” The report emphasizes that its primary objective is to improve the academic experience at Tufts, and not to save the school money through online resources. “We believe that Tufts should take steps immediately to develop a presence in online education but that we should do so in a way that leverages our particular strengths and is driven not by financial enticements but by our core values,” the report said.

http://www.tuftsdaily.com/news/university-considers-online-courses-1.2842233

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For Disruption, MOOCs Beat Open-Access Journals, Scholar Says

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

by Megan O’Neil, Chronicle of Higher Ed

MOOCs are more disruptive to higher education than open-access megajournals are, in part because of structural protections in the scholarly-publishing world and because some policy makers are pushing massive open online courses as a means to increase productivity, a professor argues in a new article on open-access alternatives in higher education.  The privatization of the delivery of educational services via MOOC platforms and other models is seen by some politicians as a solution to “the perceived higher-education crisis of cost, access, completion, and productivity,” writes Richard Wellen, an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at York University, in Toronto, and the author of the article. It is titled “Open Access, Megajournals, and MOOCs: On the Political Economy of Academic Unbundling.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/for-disruption-moocs-beat-open-access-journals-scholar-argues/47673

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Can we scale ‘the learning that matters most’?

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

by Tony Bates, Online Learning and Distance Ed Resources

This important question has been raised in the HEQCO report by Tom Carey and David Trick. It is this issue I wish to address here, since scaling up the delivery of content, and learner-content interaction, through online learning is relatively easy, although both depend on good course design for effective learning. What is more challenging is whether we can also scale the kind of ‘learning that matters most’, namely helping students when they struggle with new concepts or ideas, helping students to gain deep understanding of a topic or subject, helping students to evaluate a range of different ideas or practices, providing students with professional formation or development, understanding the limits of knowledge, and above all enabling students to find, evaluate and apply knowledge appropriately in new or ill-defined contexts.

http://www.tonybates.ca/2013/10/22/improving-productivity-in-online-learning-can-we-scale-the-learning-that-matters-most/

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China’s top universities offer online courses

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

by Xinhaunet

Competition is expected to grow as more of China’s top universities vie for a market share of online students around the world. Tsinghua University says its courses are gaining popularity and it’s aiming to offer the best portal in Chinese. Day 2 of launch, Tsinghua University’s online learning portals are already becoming increasingly popular. Professor Yu Xinjie’s class on Principles of Electric Circuits alone has 11,000 students from more than 150 countries. “Foreigners are curious about studying in China. Tsinghua is well known for its quality education. We also offer a good sequence of pedagological methods.” Yu said.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/video/2013-10/20/c_132813940.htm

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Class continually in session on the Internet

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

By Rachel Coleman, Leader and Times

Through the nonprofit, Internet-based organization Coursera, hundreds of classes offered by top-notch universities around the world are now available for free to anyone who cares to enroll. These Massive Online Open Courses, or MOOCs, have exploded in the past two years. A few higher-learning institutions, like MIT, have made course materials available to the public for years. Now, however, it seems everybody wants to give MOOCs a try. It’s not clear how staging a class like The Modern World, offered by University of Virginia last year, at a cost to the private university in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, ultimately makes money for the learning institution. For now, all of them – Princeton, Yale, the University of Edinburgh, for heaven’s sake — seem giddy with the thrill of learning for its own sake, made available to the masses.

http://www.leaderandtimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13807:class-continually-in-session-on-the-internet&catid=29:opinion&Itemid=58

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FutureLearn offers first online course

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

by Tim Dodd, Financial Review

FutureLearn’s MOOC pilot course begins and 20 more are open for enrolment. The free online learning platform can be used on tablets and smartphones. FutureLearn, a new British venture offering large-scale, free learning online, has gone live, but faces the prospect of competing with US companies already well established in the field.FutureLearn’s first course, The Secret Power of Brands, started on October 14, and 20 more courses due to begin in the next few months are open for enrolment.

http://www.afr.com/p/national/education/futurelearn_offers_first_online_vKYbtb13BvAyUzzTTxu6QM

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Tips for Humanizing Your Online Course

Friday, October 25th, 2013

By: Rob Kelly in Online Education, Faculty Focus

Taking an online course can be an isolating experience, but it doesn’t have to be. There are several key techniques you can employ to humanize your online courses and thus improve the learning experience as well as success and retention rates. Humanizing an online course means making connections so that students feel a relationship to the course, fellow students, and the instructor. Jim Marteney, distance education trainer at Los Angeles Valley College, likens this idea to the concept of the third place—a place other than home and work where people come together to interact and build community, an idea popularized by Ray Oldenberg in his book Celebrating the Third Place: Inspiring Stories About the “Great Good Places” at the Heart of Our Communities.

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/tips-for-humanizing-your-online-course/

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Two types of online learning

Friday, October 25th, 2013

by Thomas Arnett, Christensen Institute

The emergence of online learning is transforming education by allowing us to personalize learning in ways that were impossible in the past. Because these technologies—and the new classroom models that best leverage them—are still evolving, it’s unclear what our educational system will look like in the future. New technologies entering the education ecosystem are often grouped under the common label of “online learning.” I have found it helpful, however, to categorize online-learning technologies into two distinct groups—instructional technologies and virtual interaction technologies—when contemplating the potential interfaces between teachers, technology, and physical space.

http://www.christenseninstitute.org/two-types-of-online-learning/

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New Survey: College Faculty Increasingly Use Social Media for Teaching and in Professional, Personal lives

Friday, October 25th, 2013

By Faculty Focus, Magna

A new report from the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson finds that college faculty members have become sophisticated consumers of social media, matching different sites to their varying personal, professional, and teaching needs — yet obstacles to wider adoption still remain. The annual survey of nearly 8,000 teaching faculty — from all disciplines in higher education and selected to be representative of the overall range of faculty teaching in U.S. higher education — examined both the personal and professional impacts of social media.

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/edtech-news-and-trends/new-survey-college-faculty-increasingly-use-social-media-for-teaching-and-in-professional-personal-lives/

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