Archive for November, 2013

UM System sees 26 percent jump in number of students taking online courses

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

By KARYN SPORY, Columbia Tribune

The number of students taking online courses across the University of Missouri System increased by 26 percent over the past year, and officials expect much more growth in the future. Hank Foley, executive vice president for academic affairs for the UM System, told the UM Board of Curators during its meeting Thursday that the number of students taking online courses has increased to 27,996 students in fiscal year 2013 from 22,151 last year. Currently, 32 percent of students are taking at least one online course, which is on par with the national average, which is also 32 percent, said Foley.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/a/por/um-system-sees-online-classes-riseum-system-sees-percent-jump/article_1702b94c-5407-11e3-befe-10604b9f6eda.html

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Coursera lands $20 million in new funding, despite online education turmoil

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

by Lauren Hepler, Silcon Valley Business Journal

Stanford-bred online education startup Coursera has announced an additional $20 million in funding, bringing its total Series B haul to $63 million. News of the additional $20 million was delayed because of added due diligence requirements for investments from three unnamed universities that use Coursera technology. The university funding is not a first for the startup, since the University of Pennsylvania and California Institute of technology previously invested in the company, a Coursera spokesperson said. GSV Ventures and Learn Capital also contributed to the newly-announced funding.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/11/22/coursera-lands-20-million-in-new.html

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Royal award for e-learning innovation

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

by University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s excellence in distance learning has been recognised with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The award – widely regarded as the highest national honour in UK education – has been given for a set of five online courses, aimed at aspiring surgeons. The University has developed this innovative method of teaching in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd). It allows trainee surgeons to continue practicing, while utilising online platforms to learn at a time and place convenient for them. By using virtual patient case-studies for discussion, students learn how to make better clinical decisions. They can discuss patient scenarios with fellow e-learners, while under the guidance of a supervisor based in Edinburgh.

http://www.ed.ac.uk/news/2013/royal-221113

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The Developing World Shouldn’t Fear MOOCs

Friday, November 29th, 2013

By Jamie Hodari, Slate

So in much of Africa, as is the case across the developing world, people have looked with hope to massive open online courses, or MOOCs, to help increase the scalability, quality, and affordability of university education. Sometimes that hope is unreasonable: No matter how much we all might want to believe it, a student in Uganda cannot now get a Stanford-quality education with little more than a laptop and 3G Internet. But MOOCs do hold enormous promise for the developing world, in part because they are forming the catalyst for a series of experiments to reinvent the modern university, experiments that very well might leapfrog existing models in the very places that need them most.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/11/kepler_spire_the_developing_world_should_embrace_moocs.html?wpisrc=burger_bar

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Coursera founder Ng counters MOOC criticism, aims for corporate education market

Friday, November 29th, 2013

by Lauren Hepler, Silicon Valley Business Journal

While the two online education pioneers – Andrew Ng and Sebastian Thrun – may have different perspectives on the usefulness of MOOCs to students in an open market, both Coursera and Udacity are already in the process of broadening their offerings to appeal to employers. Grabbbing a share of the $62 billion U.S. corporate education market may hold the key to reliable revenue — and even profits — for MOOCs. Under a program called the “Open Education Alliance,” Thrun’s Udacity is now getting paid by companies like Google Inc. and Intuit Inc. to help produce courses for employee training and recruiting. Coursera has yet to formally launch a competing corporate training program, but Ng said that the company has been working with partners including Yahoo Inc. to define a strategy in the field.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/11/20/courseras-ed-tech-enterprise-play.html

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Online courses fail to reach poor students, survey shows

Friday, November 29th, 2013

By Nicole Ostrow, Bloomberg News

The authors looked at 34,779 responses from a University of Pennsylvania survey in July of students in 32 course sessions. The classes were offered by Coursera Inc., a venture-capital- backed, for-profit company started by two Stanford University professors offering more than 500 courses. They found that 83 percent of the students already had a two-year or four-year college degree, and the majority had education levels exceeding the general population in their country, including both developing and non-developing nations.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-blm-news-bc-online-study20-20131120,0,1625735.story

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Online Learning in a Social Media World

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

by Lynda Weinman, LinkedIn

Perspectives on education are changing. In a post written by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, provocatively titled “Disrupting the Diploma,” he describes how simply promoting a college diploma doesn’t reflect the gathering of additional skills, especially those that demonstrate fast-changing technological expertise. The article’s main critique of higher education is its unsustainable high cost, but it also describes how education of the future needs to be lifelong and multifaceted, including things like internships, peer-to-peer learning, Open Badges, and ongoing certification that is machine readable.

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131119050944-255996-online-learning-in-a-social-media-world

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Why Online Learning is More Valuable Than Traditional College

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

By SIMON DUDLEY,Wired

On the Internet, where everything is available, you have access to the best, most unique material from the world’s top scholars. That’s not true in a typical college — and that’s where an online education becomes more valuable than a typical college degree. If I’m going to spend the kind of money that colleges require for tuition, I want to make sure that I have the best possible lecturers. In an online, open environment, you can find the finest lecturer in any field and absorb that information at your own pace. And as long as you have a connection to the Internet, you can do it for free.

http://www.wired.com/insights/2013/11/why-online-learning-is-more-valuable-than-traditional-college/

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San Jose State faculty leaders reveal ‘deep concern,’ ask CSU chief for help

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

By Katy Murphy, Mercury News

San Jose State’s faculty leaders are asking CSU Chancellor Tim White to help the campus sort out its problems, citing a “series of conflicts” between the faculty and the administration that they say hurt morale and weakened the institution. “This is an unpleasant truth,” said Kenneth Peter, who serves on the Academic Senate. “In my 24 years at SJSU … I have never heard such widespread and deep concern about the direction in which the campus appears to be heading.” The resolution, which passed on Monday by a vote of 38-2 with five abstentions, does not name SJSU President Mo Qayoumi or anyone else within the administration. Its authors stressed that it was not a vote of no-confidence in the president or an attempt to remove him from office.

http://www.mercurynews.com/education/ci_24550555/san-jose-state-faculty-ask-csu-chancellor-review

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Online lectures debut at CMU

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

by George Lederman, The Tartan

While the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Harvard University have received huge publicity for their Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Carnegie Mellon has been quietly developing its own set of technological learning tools which were on display Thursday in conjunction with the launch of President Suresh’s Simon Initiative. Carnegie Mellon’s strength in both technology and in understanding learning begs the question — why isn’t Carnegie Mellon known for its educational technology? Perhaps the answer lies in Carnegie Mellon’s rich history as a center for data analytics and machine learning — the university has facilitated some cautious investigations into online learning but has not wanted to jump into the fray before understanding the data.

http://thetartan.org/2013/11/18/scitech/simon

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Inside Udacity’s struggle to reinvent and democratize higher education

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

By David Pierce, the Verge

Turning massive open online classes (MOOCs) into a successful education and a successful business is much harder than anyone thought. Fast Company’s Max Chafkin paints Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun as a lover of the humanities, talking about robots in terms of human ideas and human behavior. But Udacity, Khan Academy, and universities across the world have encountered a problem that is both deeply human and deeply technical. There are solutions everywhere, but few answers so far.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/17/5114092/udacity-struggle-reinvent-higher-education

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With new MOOC, Silicon Valley schools the world on business ethics

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

by Lauren Hepler, Silicon Valley Business Journal

Santa Clara University is getting into the Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, field with a new class on real-world business ethics. The new course is part of a broader push to bolster the university’s brand in the rapidly-evolving world of online education. The future of education is changing as traditional educational institutions embrace new teaching techniques like Massive Open Online Courses. Santa Clara University isn’t pushing into the online education market in a traditional academic subject like math, or even Silicon Valley’s signature computer science disciplines. Instead, the university is wading into a crowded market with a course on “Business Ethics in the Real World.”

http://upstart.bizjournals.com/news/technology/2013/11/16/mooc-schools-teach-ethics.html?page=all

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MOOCs, Norway, and the ecology of digital learning

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

by Tony Bates, Online Learning and Distance Education Resources

The most interesting presentation in this session came from Cathy Sandeen, the VP, Education Attainment and Innovation, at the American Council of Education. She reported that currently 18-24 year olds constitute less than 25% of all post-secondary students in the USA. Students aged 24-34 constitute 65% of all students now, most of whom are working at least part-time, and many of whom have children. Even more importantly, the U.S.A. participation rate in post-secondary education is now only 42%, putting it in the bottom quartile of OECD countries, whereas 20 years ago it was top. To catch up, it would need to add another one million places.

http://www.tonybates.ca/2013/11/14/moocs-norway-and-the-ecology-of-digital-learning/

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Exporting Education

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

By Anya Kamenetz, Slate

Foreign users are adapting the courses produced at Harvard, MIT, and Stanford to fit their local communities and cultures. And in the process, they’re creating an entirely new education model. Instead of toiling at MOOCs alone with the dim light of a laptop, communities around the world are combining screen time with face time. In these small-group, informal, blended-learning environments, students work with the support of peers and mentors and compete online on a level playing field with the new elite of the world. “It gave me a taste of what is first world education,” said Alejandra B., a 21-year-old studying business at a Catholic university in La Paz, Bolivia, and a MOOC participant in such a setting, told me.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/11/developing_countries_and_moocs_online_education_could_hurt_national_systems.html

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Udacity Introducing Big Data Courses and Paid Enrollment

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

by Sue Gee, I-programmer

Udacity has announced two new initiatives – a new Data Science and Big Data Track and Paid Course Enrollment. The link between them is a focus on improving career prospects. When Sebastian Thrun announced the Open Education Alliance formed by Udacity with a group of industry partners in September, he stated that its focus would be to develop career readiness and to provide education that is relevant to employment opportunities. Now Udacity has announced both a new track and a new personal coach option for students who enroll in courses, and pay a monthly fee, rather that just follow the free online content comprising information, lectures and auto-graded exercises.

http://www.i-programmer.info/news/150-training-a-education/6608-udacity-introducing-big-data-courses-and-paid-enrollment.html

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Learning Marketplace Sites Compete To Become School Of Everything

Monday, November 25th, 2013

by Julia Flucht, OPB

Online marketplaces like eBay, CraigsList and Etsy offer you a way to sell your stuff. But what about a place to sell your skills and expertise? Now sites like Udemy, Skillshare, and Lynda.com are in a race to become the School of Everything. But as more courses appear, the competition among teachers is intensifying. “I could never do that with books” Portlander Vanessa Van Edwards is an expert on body language. She’s written books, columns and lectured on the subject. She’d often thought body language was an ideal subject to be taught online. But it’s only when she found Udemy that it made sense. She says, “This was the first time I was able to actually offer it because they took payment, they hosted it all, they got me students, they helped me with marketing…”

http://www.opb.org/news/article/npr-learning-marketplace-sites-compete-to-become-school-of-everything/

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Missouri Chamber Education Foundation to Conduct a Study of Online Learning Opportunities

Monday, November 25th, 2013

by El Dorado Springs Sun

The Missouri Chamber Education Foundation has commissioned nationally recognized experts in online learning education to conduct a study of the availability and need for expanded virtual learning opportunities in Missouri. The study will be led by the Evergreen Education Group, an independent firm that conducts education research that can be used to lay the groundwork for virtual and blended learning opportunities for schools, districts, and non-profit organizations with a stake in education. “Expanded online and blended schools and courses could provide options to Missouri students,” said Brian Crouse, vice president of the Missouri Chamber Education Foundation.

http://eldoradospringsmo.com/pages/?p=19994

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Flexible online courses popular amongst athletes but require self-motivation

Monday, November 25th, 2013

by the Daily Nebraskan

The NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors asked late last month for an examination of online courses and how much student athletes should rely on them – but University of Nebraska Athletic Department officials say the matter isn’t an issue here. Although athletes enrolling in online courses has become a trend across the country in recent years, senior associate athletic director Dennis Leblanc said the percentage of University of Nebraska–Lincoln student athletes enrolling in online courses isn’t significantly greater than the percentage of non-athlete students, he said.

http://www.dailynebraskan.com/news/article_3cab8498-4daa-11e3-aefa-0019bb30f31a.html

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Online ‘classrooms’ break the MOOC language barrier

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

by Colleen Kimmett, University World News

China is the number one country worldwide in terms of growth potential for massive open online courses, or MOOCs. This is something the largest North American MOOC platforms know well, and the past year has seen a flurry of activity to capture this market. Tsinghua University became the first in mainland China to create online courses, available through the US-based platform edX since October – the same month that rival platform Coursera announced a partnership with National Taiwan University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. But the question of translation – how to make the selection of predominantly English-language courses accessible to a global audience – is a problem these industry pioneers are still grappling with. Providers like Coursera, edX and Khan Academy have brought Ivy League teaching to the world, but cultural and language barriers remain.

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20131112160706778

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Udacity Creates Data-Science Career Track

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

by All Things D

Udacity is launching a data-science curriculum with the support of companies including Cloudera, MongoDB and AT&T, who hope to equip potential hires and/or train existing employees with skills for dealing with big data. Starting in January, Udacity plans to offer paid options for its data-science classes that include mentoring, code reviews and the potential for a completion certificate, in addition to the free course materials.

http://allthingsd.com/20131114/udacity-creates-data-science-career-track-with-courses-built-with-cloudera-and-mongodb/?refcat=news

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LinkedIn moves to legitimize Web classes by Coursera, Udacity, others

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

by Lauren Hepler, Silicon Valley Biz Journal

An online course doesn’t get you college credit, why watch video lectures and complete Web assignments? Perhaps showing off to potential employers could create that incentive. A new partnership between LinkedIn and some of the most-hyped companies in education technology suggests that providers of Massive Open Online Courses, aka MOOCs, are seeking to establish online courses as valid professional credentials that people can tout on their LinkedIn profiles. LinkedIn announced the new “Direct-to-Profile Certifications” pilot program. Organizations participating in the program include: MOOC startups Coursera, Udacity and Udemy; Harvard and MIT-backed nonprofit MOOC provider edX; publishing giant Pearson; e-learning companies Lynda.com and Skillsoft.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/11/14/moocs-and-jobs-linkedin-coursera.html

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