Archive for January, 2014

Transformational Change: The New Face of Higher Education

Friday, January 31st, 2014

by Irene Hecht, Tomorrow’s Professor

Higher education is in the midst of a process of transformational change. For the department chair, leadership today must include breadth of vision and the skill to bring the single individuals who make up a department into a group that can think collaboratively about the questions facing their discipline, department, and institution. Chair leadership now depends heavily on the ability to create collaborative habits of thought and dialogue among a group of individuals, none of whom may have had experience in effective teamwork. Skill in this area will derive in large part from the chair’s ability to structure the department’s dialogue to be conscious of the connections among its members and the links between the department’s work and the institution’s goals. Ultimately, the habits of dialogue must also include consciousness of the transformational currents in higher education as an enterprise.

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/posting.php?ID=1283

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A Look into the Near Future (of the Virtual Classroom)

Friday, January 31st, 2014

by Rick Reis, Tomorrow’s Professor

“What can institutions, instructors, and their students expect to see over the next few years as online learning becomes an even greater part of not only the academy but the K-12 world as well? Although there continue to be no certain answers to these questions, we suspect that we will see more changes in the following areas: technology, course, and program quality and development; professional development; the ways in which faculty and students interact; and increased research into online education.”

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/posting.php?ID=1291

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Can online education grow up?

Friday, January 31st, 2014

by Kent Bernhard Jr, Biz Journals

Coursera Co-Founder Andrew Ng — an expert on machine learning and director of Stanford’s artificial intelligence lab — is currently mulling the ways his startup can position MOOCs as an employer-approved job credential. Andrew Ng has an impressive resume. But it’s an open question whether his company, Coursera, can really revolutionize higher education. First Stanford, then Google, then multimillion-dollar startup. Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng has put together an impressive resumé in Silicon Valley. Now the 37-year-old Stanford computer science professor is parlaying his academic and corporate experience into a startup that aims to put an elite education within reach for anyone with a Web connection. The question is whether Coursera, which has amassed $85 million in funding, can deliver on that promise while actually making money in the sizzling education technology field.

http://upstart.bizjournals.com/companies/innovation/2014/01/19/can-online-education-grow-up.html

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Security Risks and Protection in Online Learning: A Survey

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

by Yong Chen and Wu He, IRRODL

This paper describes a survey of online learning which attempts to determine online learning providers’ awareness of potential security risks and the protection measures that will diminish them. The authors use a combination of two methods: blog mining and a traditional literature search. The findings indicate that, while scholars have identified diverse security risks and have proposed solutions to mitigate the security threats in online learning, bloggers have not discussed security in online learning with great frequency. The differences shown in the survey results generated by the two different methods confirm that online learning providers and practitioners have not considered security as a top priority. The paper also discusses the next generation of an online learning system: a safer personal learning environment which requires a one-stop solution for authentication, assures the security of online assessments, and balances security and usability.

http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1632/2712

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Factors Influencing Students’ Acceptance of M-Learning: An Investigation in Higher Education

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

by Ahmad Abu-Al-Aish and Steve Love, IRRODL

M-learning will play an increasingly significant role in the development of teaching and learning methods for higher education. However, the successful implementation of m-learning in higher education will be based on users’ acceptance of this technology. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to study the factors that affect university students’ intentions to accept m-learning. Based on the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) (Venkatesh et al., 2003), this study proposes a model to identify the factors that influence the acceptance of m-learning in higher education and to investigate if prior experience of mobile devices affects the acceptance of m-learning. A structural equation model was used to analyse the data collected from 174 participants. The results indicate that performance expectancy, effort expectancy, influence of lecturers, quality of service, and personal innovativeness were all significant factors that affect behavioural intention to use m-learning.

http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1631/2711

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Online Social Media Applications for Constructivism and Observational Learning

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

by Lydia Mbati, IRRODL

Web 2.0 technologies have a range of possibilities for fostering constructivist learning and observational learning. This is due to the available applications which allow for synchronous and asynchronous interaction and the sharing of knowledge between users. Web 2.0 tools include online social media applications which have potential pedagogical benefits. Despite these potential benefits, there is inadequate utilization of online social media applications in learning management systems for pedagogical purposes. Reasons cited for the limited uptake of online social media applications in learning management systems include the lack of consideration regarding the pedagogical benefits of these applications (Christie & Garrote-Jurado, 2009, pp. 273-279). There is limited information regarding experiences of the use of online social media that foster constructivist and observational learning. The findings suggest that discussion forums are ideal for the stimulation of constructivism and observational learning in online learning programmes.

http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1579/2709

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New Report Guides Redesign of Grading for Competency Learning

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Schools that have or are planning to adopt competency-based learning have access to a new report that offers guidance in how to assess student progress. In 42 pages “Progress and Proficiency: Redesigning Grading for Competency Education” walks educators through the process of redesigning their grading practices from one that uses simple letter or number grades to determine whether somebody has passed the class to one that communicates learning progressions in a more nuanced fashion. Competency learning, also known as proficiency-, performance-, or mastery-based education, shifts the focus of instruction away from a time-based system and to a more personalized model. Students move onto new content only after they prove mastery in the current content. As a result, in the classroom each student moves through the subject at a unique pace.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/01/16/new-report-guides-redesign-of-grading-for-competency-learning.aspx

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No room for sloppiness in online classroom

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

by Mike Sharples, the Conversation

When your classroom is a global one, filled with well-informed online learners, they don’t cut you much slack, The Conversation reports. Hundreds of people pore over every element of your course, making well-informed and sometime acerbic comments. Academics who run Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are finding that they can’t afford any sloppy reasoning, one-sided arguments, or narrow perspectives when teaching to a massive global audience. As academic lead at FutureLearn, a company offering free online courses from UK universities, I’ve seen that this instant feedback can be eye-opening for course designers.

http://theconversation.com/no-room-for-sloppiness-in-online-classroom-21861

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[Some] academics are down on MOOCs. Business schools aren’t

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

by Patrick Clark, Businessweek

Academic leaders are increasingly skeptical of MOOCs, so why are top business schools increasingly warming to the online learning model? An annual report on online education published this week may hold a clue, Bloomerg reports. Meanwhile, Harvard Business School is experimenting with MOOCs, and Wharton made its entire first-year MBA course load available for free on Coursera. Five other schools in Bloomberg Businessweek’s top 10 full-time programs have taken the plunge, including the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. nough MBA programs have made classes available through MOOCs that the website Poets & Quants published a course guide for the MOOC MBA. It’s an appealing concept: The website followed up with a prospective MBA who plans to piece together a business school education from Harvard, Wharton, Yale, and other top schools for less than $1,000.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-16/academics-are-down-on-moocs-dot-business-schools-arent

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CU-Boulder learning its own lessons from online teaching

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

By Sarah Kuta, Daily Camera

After CU’s first semester offering MOOCs to the world last fall, the resounding feeling among faculty who participated was that it was a worthwhile experience and one that they’ll spend the spring assessing and discussing. In all, 125,399 people enrolled in the four MOOCs CU offered through Coursera. Of those who enrolled, 2,720 completed the four courses.

http://www.dailycamera.com/cu-news/ci_24940918/cu-boulder-learning-its-own-lessons-from-online

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Reach Higher program helps adults finish what they started

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

By Kathryn McNutt, NewsOK

Reach Higher is Oklahoma’s flexible degree-completion program for working adults. It is designed to give them a second chance to finish their degree — through a mix of classroom and online learning — while keeping their normal work and family routine. The program is offered at 14 public community colleges and technical branches and nine public universities. Adult degree completion is vital to the state’s ambitious Complete College America initiative, Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson said.

http://newsok.com/reach-higher-program-helps-adults-finish-what-they-started/article/3924999

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Nine Strategies to Spark Adult Students’ Intrinsic Motivation

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

By Ludmila Battista and Verlinda Ruble, Faculty Focus

There are many ways to cover course content and effective instructors may find adult learners more enthusiastic when a variety of instructional methodologies are used (McDaniel & Brown, 2001). Students, particularly adult students, become motivated when they see value in what they are working toward—when the work they are putting forth is clearly in line with their ultimate values or ideals. Students can find satisfaction in learning when their curiosity about a topic or skill level is improved. “Adults find motivation to learn within the demands and desires of their lives, in providing for themselves and their families, and in satisfying personal dreams and ambitions” (Fisher, 2006, para. 4). It is through the student’s sense of accomplishment and vision for the future that intrinsic motivation is born. An approachable instructor can be the inspiration for this change in the student’s mindset.

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/nine-strategies-to-spark-adult-students-intrinsic-motivation/

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Online Higher Ed’s Profit Potential Aids in Driving Push Toward ‘Innovation’

Monday, January 27th, 2014

by Susan Meisenhelder, Huffington Post

Profit potential and bottom lines — not increased access for students — are the underlying motivation behind the recent push toward online higher education, according to research by the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education. Private companies and investors have exploited the money-making potential of this latest trend in higher education, partnering with both public and private universities to offer factory-farm-type courses that often fail to do much more than make money for the corporations behind them, according to “The ‘Promises’ of Online Higher Education: Profits,” one of three research papers released by the group and available online.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-meisenhelder/online-higher-ed_b_4613191.html

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Current And Non-Traditional Students To Gain More Through Online Courses

Monday, January 27th, 2014

by Saratoga Today

State University of New York Chancellor, Nancy L. Zimpher, announced this week that SUNY Empire State College will play a leadership role in the system’s introduction of Open SUNY, offering two of the first degree programs to be powered by this signature online initiative. “Open SUNY will provide our students with the nation’s leading online learning experience, drawing on the power of SUNY to expand access, improve completion and prepare more students for success,” said Zimpher. “In addition to these new, fully online degree programs, Open SUNY will take every online course we offer at every SUNY campus—now upwards of 12,000 course sections conducted by 35,000 faculty—and make them easy to find and accessible for every SUNY student.”

http://saratogatodaynewspaper.com/index.php/today-in-saratoga/education/item/2956-current-and-non-traditional-students-to-gain-more-through-online-courses

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Online learning presents big future for ProctorU

Monday, January 27th, 2014

by Yann Ranaivo, Birmingham Business Journal

Birmingham’s Proctor U will play a large role in the University of Florida’s new fully online undergraduate program. The future continues to look bright for Hoover-based ProctorU. I reported about two weeks ago that the company, which partners with colleges nationwide to proctor online exams, was kicking off 2014 with some aggressive growth plans that consist of the addition of about 50 employees in the Birmingham area, the relocation of its Hoover office to a bigger space and the relocation of its Livermore, Calif., office to accommodate the hiring of 30 to 40 more employees there. Add to all that the opening of ProctorU’s third office in Folsom, Calif., last year, and you have a company that has experienced rather remarkable growth since 2011. ProctorU that year employed about a dozen employees, or a tiny fraction of the nearly 250 employees working for the company now.

http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/blog/2014/01/online-learning-presents-big-future.html

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A new university bets on a hybrid online-learning model

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

By Sarah McBride, Reuters

Offering a twist on the learn-from-anywhere convenience of Internet classes, a new university is asking freshmen to take a large leap of faith. Minerva Schools of KGI, a radically experimental university in San Francisco, is sifting through applications for its first class, starting this fall. The school is an alliance between Minerva Project, a venture-backed for-profit company, and Keck Graduate Institute, one of California’s Claremont colleges.  “Technology can be used in a much more effective way in higher education than has previously been the case,” said Stephen Kosslyn, Minerva’s founding dean and the former dean of social sciences at Harvard. Even though all classes will be held online, first-year students must live in a residence hall in San Francisco and take classes together in real time, deviating from the “anywhere, anytime” model prevalent in online education. “We are entirely focused on active learning,” said Kosslyn. Before each class, students must complete assignments that will then require vigorous participation during the online session, such as engaging in a debate, presenting their own work, or critiquing that of others, he said.

http://news.yahoo.com/university-bets-hybrid-online-learning-model-050334491–sector.html

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Study Finds Elite Universities’ Verified Certificate MOOCs a Smart Ed Buy at $49

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

by MOOCs University

For students wanting to showcase their MOOC courses and achievements to employers, schools and others, a new optional type of paid “Verified Certificate” credential verifying the identity of the person who took and completed the MOOC is now available. The new Verified Certificate MOOCs will verify your identity through a variety of means that can include webcam, keystroke analysis, valid photo identification, and/or test centers. Each MOOC provider can require different methods of identification in order to grant the Verified Certificate. Make sure to read the MOOC’s requirements closely prior to enrolling in the course because most Verified Certificate fees must be paid at the beginning of the course and are not refundable. While most of these Verified Certificate MOOCs do not yet offer credit, some institutions may provide cost-savings incentives if you enroll in one of their related existing online degree programs.

http://news.gnom.es/pr/study-finds-elite-universities-verified-certificate-moocs-a-smart-ed-buy-at-49

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Mobile users can pursue internationally recognised courses

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

By PTI, Economic Times

Mobile phone users in the country having interest in developing skill on finance and accounts can now pursue internationally recognised professional courses online for free. UK Minister for Skills and Enterprise, Mathew Hancock, today launched India’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for professional skills– Qualt.com– at an event hosted by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) here. Working in partnership with internationally recognised accrediting bodies such as AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) and IDM (the only UK government approved awarding body in digital and direct marketing), Qualt.com brings a series of industry and job-specific, entry level, free, professional training opportunities to India.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/telecom/mobile-users-can-pursue-internationally-recognised-courses/articleshow/28958064.cms

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Ways to Make the Most of Your E-Learning

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

By Nicki Krawcyzk, business2Community

Over the past few years, access to education has been revolutionized: Flip on your screen, login, and start learning. Online courses (e-learning) offer students the flexibility to master new skills and concepts on their own time and at their own pace. But just like anything else, e-learning can still be improved—or, at least, your use of it can be. Here are five tips to optimize your online learning experience.

http://www.business2community.com/strategy/5-ways-make-e-learning-0744741

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Online College Courses and How to Select Them

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

by Matthew C. Keegan, Say Campus Life

Online courses are nothing new with millions of students enrolled in them from around the world. The Internet has opened up education possibilities and options that did not exist a generation ago, enabling individuals to pursue undergraduate and advanced degrees alike. While online classes do open doors, there are still some points to consider when taking them.

http://www.saycampuslife.com/2014/01/16/online-college-courses-and-how-to-take-them/

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Babson Study: Over 7.1 Million Higher Ed Students Learning Online

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

by Marketwatch

The 2013 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group reveals the number of higher education students taking at least one online course has now surpassed 7.1 million. The 6.1 percent growth rate, although the lowest for a decade, still represents over 400,000 additional students taking at least one online course. “While the rate of growth in online enrollments has moderated over the past several years, it still greatly exceeds the growth in overall higher education enrollments,” said study co-author I. Elaine Allen, Co-Director of the Babson Survey Research Group. “Institutions with online offerings remain as positive as ever about online learning, but there has been a retreat among leaders at institutions that do not have any online offerings,” added co-author Jeff Seaman.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/babson-study-over-71-million-higher-ed-students-learning-online-2014-01-15

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