Archive for December, 2013

Blazing the Trail: Competency-Based Education at SNHU: A Brief Q&A with Paul LeBlanc

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

By Mary Grush, Campus Technology

Southern New Hampshire University’s competency-based program, College for America, is opening up new options for the assessment of student learning. It’s also turning the notion of the traditional credit hour, and all it supports, on its ear. Paul LeBlanc: Competency-based education is a hot topic right now, but in reality it’s been around for a long time — some would argue 30 or even 40 years. A whole host of institutions have worked in this space: important institutions like Excelsior, Charter Oak State College, and more recently, Western Governors University. They have really moved the dial on how we think about education and measuring outcomes and competencies. What’s different now, though, is that we’ve crossed a line and moved into a new generation of competency-based programs — and here I would include our program, College for America — that are actually fully untethered from the credit hour.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2013/12/18/competency-based-education-at-snhu.aspx

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How To Start An Online Program Infographic

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

by eLearning Infographics

Online learning can expand student (and staff) options, grow enrollment, and power blended learning. It shares many critical success factors with traditional education, but there are other differences that require a solid plan and well-developed strategy. The How To Start An Online Program Infographic outlines the 10 steps that need to be taken to implement a successful online program, the 8 key issues that need to be addressed and the 4 areas on which to place focus.

http://elearninginfographics.com/how-to-start-an-online-program-infographic/

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Local college leaders express mixed opinions on Open SUNY online initiatives

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

By JACOB TIERNEY, Watertown Times

A SUNY initiative designed to increase online access to courses and programs is slated to be rolled out next month, but leaders at local SUNY campuses say they don’t yet know exactly what form it will take. The Open SUNY initiative was first announced in January, and the plan has been in the works ever since. It is scheduled to make about 60 college programs available online next month, allowing anyone with Internet access to pursue an education from any location. However, north country colleges do not yet know how the new focus on online coursework will impact them and their students. “We’re just at the beginning stages of that discussion,” said Walter J. Conley, SUNY Potsdam biology professor and representative to the SUNY University Faculty Senate.

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20131222/NEWS05/712229912

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Four time factors are key to online learning success

Monday, December 30th, 2013

by Simon Frazier University

If you think online learning gives you all the time in the world to learn, think again say four researchers, including three in Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Education. Associate professor Alyssa Wise, her master’s student Simone Hausknecht, her recently graduated master’s of education student Yuting Zhao and an American researcher say time management is crucial to successful online learning, especially now. “As more learning experiences include online components or take place wholly online, it is important to understand how to best support students in being successful as learners in this exciting but challenging medium,” says Wise. “An understanding of the unique temporal aspects of online learning discussions can contribute to this.”

http://www.sfu.ca/sfunews/stories/2013/four-time-factors-key-to-online-learning-success.html

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From E-Learning to M-Learning: A Different Beast

Monday, December 30th, 2013

By Meghan Decker, Business 2 Community

I was doing some consulting with a e-learning company a few years ago when the iPad first came out. We had no idea how it would change the landscape for e-learning. While traditional e-learning programs still have their place, it is not on a mobile device. The constraints and opportunities that come with mobile dictate an entirely new way of looking at how we deliver learning. A great m-learning course might look like this: small chunks of learning, no more than 10 minutes at most; emphasis on information design rather than instructional design; single training need focus; accessibility of key concepts for later reference; focus on support rather than teaching and testing.

http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/e-learning-m-learning-different-beast-115049597.html

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How Technology Helps (And Hinders) Education

Monday, December 30th, 2013

By David Johnson, Edudemic

So does technology help or hinder learners? The answer to this question is; it all depends how you use it. Handled poorly, its impact to education can be disastrous! But if handled well, it can facilitate learning. Just as we have found out, technology can be a powerful learning tool, and it can also be a powerful tool for cheating. It can gallantly open new doors and learning possibilities, while at the same time open some that are better off left closed; because some topics are not appropriate for some age groups. It can also be used to inform, and also to distort. If not utilized properly, the positive effects of technology become negative which continue to hinder student’s success.

http://www.edudemic.com/technology-education-help/

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The e-learning key to adult training

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

by KIRSTY CHADWICK, Gadget

Staff training plays a pivotal role in the success of any organisation that hopes to succeed in the fast-paced and ever-changing world in which we live. In order for learners to really absorb and retain information, they need to be motivated to learn, which is often easier said than done. Delivering training to adults can be somewhat of a challenge, particularly when it comes to things like office procedures or safety regulations. Malcolm Knowles, an American practitioner and theorist of adult education, defined andragogy as “the art and science of helping adults learn”. Let’s have a look at a few ways in which we can encourage and enhance the adult learning process.

http://www.gadget.co.za/pebble.asp?relid=7469

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Israeli Online Course Attracts Egyptian, Syrian and Saudi Students

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

By Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Thousands of students from Arab countries have signed up for Haifa’s Technion’s first online course taught in Arabic as well as in English. Even before officially opening, the Israel Institute of Technology’s nanoscience course, which begins in March 2014, has drawn more than 32,000 views from all over the world, including from Arabic-speaking countries. The syllabus has had thousands of views which include 5,595 in Egypt, 1,865 in Kuwait, 1,243 in Saudi Arabia, and 1,243 from Syria. The course, covering nanotechnology and nanosensors, will be taught in Arabic by Technion Professor Hossam Haick of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering. Professor Haick, a native of Nazareth, pioneered innovative cancer detection via breath tests, with a device he invented known as the Na-Nose.

http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-online-course-attracts-egyptian-syrian-and-saudi-students/2013/12/20/

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Hands Off MOOCs, Advisors Tell POTUS

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

by EdSurge

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology have sent “the first in series” of letters to President Obama on education technology. And at least for now, the group suggests that the government watch but not interfere with MOOCs. Hundreds of US colleges and universities are experimenting with MOOCs and other related educational technologies, the letter points out, including partnering with the likes of Coursera, edX and Udacity. And guess what? “After only two years of practical experience with MOOCs and related technologies, it is too early to tell whether substantial gains in the quality of instruction, access, achievement, and cost will be realized.” the PCAST letter notes.

https://www.edsurge.com/n/2013-12-19-hands-off-moocs-advisors-tell-potus

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Incentives and Training for Online Learning

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

By Marian Stoltz-Loike, Inside Higher Ed

A new academic fairy tale goes something like this. Once upon a time there was a great faculty member who had been lecturing to her class for 25 years. She was smart, entertaining and interesting. One day, the president of her university told her they were going to flip the classroom. In a flash, she placed much of her material online, along with interesting videos and other material and, in class, she cleverly led the discussion among students, always making sure to speak far less than her students. The reality? It doesn’t always work out that way. Educational magic is created by great faculty members who provide the knowledge and tools students must acquire to reach their goals. To make that happen we need to ensure that instructors receive the training they need to be most-effective in the rapidly changing educational landscape.

http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2013/12/18/essay-incentives-and-training-teaching-online

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Data Mining Exposes Embarrassing Problems For Massive Open Online Courses

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

by Technology Review

Not only does student participation decline dramatically throughout the new generation of web-based courses but the involvement of teachers in online discussions makes it worse. Today, Christopher Brinton at Princeton University and a few pals offer their view. These guys have studied the behaviour in online discussion forums of over 100,000 students taking massive open online courses (or MOOCs).

And they have depressing news. They say that participation falls precipitously and continuously throughout a course and that almost half of registered students never post more than twice to the forums. What’s more, the participation of a teacher doesn’t improve matters. Indeed, they say there is some evidence that a teacher’s participation in an online discussion actually increases the rate of decline.

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/522816/data-mining-exposes-embarrassing-problems-for-massive-open-online-courses/

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EdX: Expanding Education Beyond the American University

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

By KRISTINA D. LORCH and CONOR J. REILLEY, Harvard Crimson

This is about experimentation; it’s about research; it’s about rethinking education,” said Harvard Provost Alan M. Garber ’76 last May, when the initial partnership between Harvard and MIT was announced. Although conceived by two elite American institutions of higher education, edX has quickly established a global footprint among not only college students, but also working adults and high-schoolers looking to supplement their formal degrees. As edX continues to expand its presence overseas and partners with an increasingly diverse array of non-educational institutions, professors and students agree on the initiative’s international significance but say its precise impact on the landscape of higher education remains uncertain.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/12/18/edX-global-expansion-degrees/

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Broadband, e-books boost learning

Friday, December 27th, 2013

by Sam Jackson, Martinsville, Bulletin

A recent Associated Press report said most digital learning occurs in schools that have rich connectivity to the Internet. Nearly every school has Internet access, but many schools struggle to keep up with the changes in education due to limited capacity inside schools to transmit data, or bandwidth, the AP reported. Today, about 80 percent of schools nationwide have Internet capabilities that are too slow, or they are isolated to places such as front offices and computer labs, Richard Culatta, director of education technology at the U.S. Education Department, told the AP.

http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=40347

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An Interview with Daphne Koller of Coursera

Friday, December 27th, 2013

by Peter High, Forbes

Daphne Koller: I think there are universities that are going to be at risk from this, but it is not necessarily the lower level ones. I think it is the ones that don’t give careful thought to the implications of this transformation and how it impacts the value proposition that they provide to their students that will have trouble. I think many universities go into this or have traditionally gone into this with the assumption that their primary value for their students is the dissemination or delivery of content. Content is becoming a lot more readily available, through many open educational resources, and universities had better be more than just the content they have been providing to the students and also more than just a degree. So, what are the value-added services that the universities provide? Is this the support with tutoring? Is this internship tutoring with the ability to get involved in research with a faculty member? There are a lot of other performances with the university experience that do provide huge value, but you really have to clarify that with the students and really execute on that. If they don’t do that, then they are the ones that are going to suffer.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterhigh/2013/12/16/for-coursera-broader-is-better/

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REPORT: 90% of Associations Use Technology to Enhance Learning

Friday, December 27th, 2013

BY KATIE BASCUAS, Associations Now

Associations that implement a strategic approach to incorporating technology into learning report more revenue gains, according to a new report from Tagoras. Roughly half of associations that use technology for learning purposes reported they have been able to increase their net revenue from educational offerings, a new report from Tagoras found. The day will arrive, maybe sooner than we all think, when we can drop the term technology altogether when talking about learning. The report—“Association Learning + Technology 2014”—also found that less than a quarter of the 200 associations surveyed have a formal, documented strategy for using technology to enhance or enable learning.

http://associationsnow.com/2013/12/report-90-of-associations-use-technology-to-enhance-learning/

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Cash and credits: Online classes during winter break a boon for colleges and students

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

by Jacqueline Palochko, The Morning Call

NCC, Kutztown University and East Stroudsburg University all begin online, winter session classes Monday. Lehigh Carbon Community College started its winter classes last week. The online classes, which run through mid-January, are relatively new at these colleges, but every year more students register for them. And while many colleges around the country are grappling with budget gaps and falling student enrollment, interest in online classes in the Lehigh Valley region is climbing. Schools say they’ve been promoting everything from British literature to introductory psychology courses, and they’ve received a good response — mostly from students needing an extra course or two to graduate. The 2012 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group shows that more than 6.7 million students, nearly a third of total enrollment at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, took at least one online course during fall 2011.

http://articles.mcall.com/2013-12-15/news/mc-lehigh-valley-colleges-winter-session-20131215_1_winter-session-winter-break-online-classes

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MOOCs Attracting the Highly Educated

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

by MARY ELLEN ELLIS, Teaching Certification Degrees

According to recent survey information, MOOCs and their administrators have a ways to go before they truly break down barriers to educational access. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania surveyed 35,000 students from around the world who were participating in MOOCs. They found that among U.S. students participating, 80 percent already had a college degree. In other countries, including Brazil, India, China, Russia, and South Africa, over three-quarters of the MOOC students surveyed were from the richest six percent of their nations’ populations. Although MOOCs are open to anyone, this study shows that they are not reaching very many people who have traditionally been shut out of higher education. Most of the students are men, already employed, and seeking courses to help them upgrade their careers.

http://www.teachercertificationdegrees.com/articles/moocs-higher-education-1215131/

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College classes move online to meet student demand

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

By DIANE D’AMICO, the Press of Atlantic City

Traditional colleges also are offering a greater number of online courses and degrees as they work to meet students’ desire for flexibility and alternate paths. But it is a challenge for colleges to keep up with rapidly changing technology that can accommodate all the ways students learn and communicate. “The future of online education has to change to meet student expectations,” said Matthew Cooper, assistant provost at Thomas Edison. He said the school has switched from the Blackboard delivery system to Moodle and Google Docs. It also moved content into cloud storage, where students can download it to whatever device they are using. “We have to have technology that is compatible with all the other technology,” he said.

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/education/college-classes-move-online-to-meet-student-demand/article_512b3cf2-660e-11e3-9e5e-0019bb2963f4.html

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Leading the E-Learning Transformation of Higher Education

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

by Gary Miller, Meg Benke, Bruce Chaloux, Lawrence C. Ragan, Raymond Schroeder, Wayne Smutz, Karen Swan

Announcing a new book!  Written by pioneers in the field of online learning, Leading the e-Learning Transformation of Higher Education is a professional text that offers insights and guidance to the rising generation of leaders in the field of higher education. It explains how to integrate online learning into an institution during a period of rapid social and institutional change.   This important volume:
• Shares success stories, interviews, cases and insights from a broad range of leadership styles
• Reviews how technology is transforming higher education worldwide
• Provides an overview of how distance education is organized in a range of institutional settings
• Breaks down current leadership challenges in both unit operations and institutional policy

http://stylus.styluspub.com/Books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=295407

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Classrooms Flipped Around the World

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

by John M. Eger, Huffington Post

But educators have no choice but to use technology aggressively, and in the process, change the way young people are educated. The concept of the flipped classroom is affordable and easily accessible to kids everywhere, and gives them the leisure to log on when and where they want, watch a short video, and absorb the material–even ask questions–without the embarrassment of their peers. The kids like it, it is more cost effective, and real learning is taking place. The Economist Magazine, which has been following the challenges in education for over two decades observed that, “A long-overdue technological revolution is at last under way.” And they have reported that education, as it exists almost everywhere in the world, is a major concern in nation after nation

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-m-eger/classrooms-flipped-around_b_4429987.html

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Online courses cut costs, expand options

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

By Ron Trowbridge, Houston Chronicle

The University of Michigan’s 2013 Alumni Newsletter features a piece, “MOOCs, Me, and Michigan,” by English professor Eric Rabkin. The evidence in it for MOOC (massive, open, online course) instruction is powerful in terms of reducing college costs while at the same time improving the quality of education. It is a godsend for low-income students. Rabkin writes, “Course co-founder Daphne Koller reported that … when an issue is raised on a (MOOC) forum, the mean time to someone else on the forum contributing a useful response is 22 minutes. That’s 22 minutes around the clock, because the course community is global. No professor could ever be that responsive.” “Harvard Business School,” Rabkin continues, “has stopped teaching statistics; instead, it requires its students to take an online statistics course from Brigham Young University, a course HBS believes is better than any HBS was offering.”

http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Trowbridge-Online-courses-cut-costs-expand-5064907.php?cmpid=htx

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