Archive for February, 2014

The open access movement includes college syllabi

Friday, February 28th, 2014

By Travis Thurston, eCampus News

With the launch of their Syllabus Tracker tool Utah State University is providing open access to all course syllabi through a functional and user-friendly dashboard.  The syllabi that instructors have already uploaded or created in Canvas are pulled into the tracker via the Canvas API. Administrators and department heads at USU have been in search of a solution for the time consuming and frustrating task of gathering syllabi for all course offerings and providing student access to those syllabi. The team in the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction (CIDI) at USU has stepped up to create a practical solution.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/course-syllabi-canvas-467/

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Online learning company 2U files for IPO of up to $100 million

Friday, February 28th, 2014

by Reuters

2U Inc, which builds online learning platforms, filed with U.S. financial regulators on Friday to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering of common stock. The Landover, Maryland-based company provides cloud-based online learning platforms that help nonprofit colleges and universities in student enrollment, education, support and other services. Goldman Sachs & Co and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC are the lead underwriters to the offering, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 2U, founded in 2008, is betting on the growing acceptance of and demand for online post-secondary education programs among students, academic institutions and employers.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-2u-ipo-20140221,0,2681078.story

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NYU supports University of the People, free online education

Friday, February 28th, 2014

by Mimi McCann, Washington Square News

The University of the People, a tuition-free online university, received accreditation on Feb. 13 from a national agency and will graduate its first class of seven students later this year. NYU has collaborated with the University of the People since its launch in 2009 and NYU professors hold administrative positions within the online university. NYU President John Sexton said the University of the People’s dedication to promoting higher education for disadvantaged students is impressive. “We [are] proud of NYU’s collaboration with the University of the People, which provides us with additional avenues in identifying bright and ambitious candidates who might be right for NYU,” Sexton said. Sexton said the agreement between NYU Abu Dhabi and the University of the People has worked wonderfully.

http://nyunews.com/2014/02/21/university-3/

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Harvard, MIT Launch MOOC Student Visualization Tools

Thursday, February 27th, 2014
by Inside Higher Ed
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the two institutions behind the massive open online course provider edX, on Thursday released a set of tools that visualize the age, gender, location and level of education of their almost 2 million MOOC users.  MITx students are more likely to be male — 66.2 percent to HarvardX’s 59.5 percent. They are also younger — MITx’s median age is 27; HarvardX’s, 28 — and, by a few percentage points, less likely to hold a postsecondary degree. MOOCs are still dominated by students who hold such a degree, however. Among MITx students, 64.6 percent hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and for HarvardX, those students make up more than two-thirds, or 67.8 percent, of the total enrollment.
<a href=”http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/02/21/harvard-mit-launch-mooc-student-visualization-tools

Harvard, MIT Launch MOOC Student Visualization Tools – Inside Higher EdHarvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the two institutions behind the massive open online course provider edX, on Thursday released a set of tools that visualize the age, gender, location and level of education of their almost 2 million MOOC users.  MITx students are more likely to be male — 66.2 percent to HarvardX’s 59.5 percent. They are also younger — MITx’s median age is 27; HarvardX’s, 28 — and, by a few percentage points, less likely to hold a postsecondary degree. MOOCs are still dominated by students who hold such a degree, however. Among MITx students, 64.6 percent hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and for HarvardX, those students make up more than two-thirds, or 67.8 percent, of the total enrollment.
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/02/21/harvard-mit-launch-mooc-student-visualization-tools

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By September coding will be mandatory in British schools. What about America?

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

BY CARMEL DEAMICIS, Pando Online

Despite the shaky beginnings, though, the Year of Code still raises the question: What the hell, America? Silicon Valley is the biggest powerhouse of technology and entrepreneurship in the world. Every child in the United States — or at least California — should be learning how to code in school. Instead, our beautifully accented British brethren have beat us to the punch. By September, all state primary and secondary schools will be rolling out the new computing curriculum, where children from early ages will be taught how computers work and how to make them do cool things. According to a BBC report on the new UK program, Michael Gove, the country’s Secretary of State for Education, said, “[T]here was no alternative to making this work if we didn’t want the Googles and Microsofts of tomorrow to be created elsewhere.”

http://pando.com/2014/02/10/by-next-year-coding-will-be-mandatory-in-british-schools-what-the-hell-america/

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Mooc fans step out of the shadows

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

by Hannah Fearn, the Guardian

A University of London study tracked four new Mooc courses launched with the US-based provider Coursera in autumn 2013, each lasting six weeks and designed as an introduction to a particular subject.  It found that more men than women studied for Moocs – with a male to female gender ratio of 64:36, while the majority of students (22%) lived in the United States. India accounted for the second biggest proportion of students, with just 6% of participants. The UK came third, making up 5% of candidates. Importantly, 70% of the enrolled students already held a degree, while more than a third (35%) were already enrolled with another education provider. The data suggests that a typical Mooc student is a well-educated man in his mid-thirties, living and working full time in a developed or Bric (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) country, and using the course to improve their professional or personal knowledge. The developing economies are not getting a look in.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/feb/19/moocs-online-universities-recruit-students

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HarvardX for Alumni

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

by Harvard Magazine

Graduates who crave continued access to teaching and faculty members will have a new channel to (virtual) classrooms through HarvardX for Alumni, a spring experiment with the University’s online learning partnership. Beginning on March 22, seven units will be released, one every two weeks, enabling alumni individually, or through gatherings at Harvard clubs or elsewhere, to sample courses on the edX platform

http://harvardmagazine.com/2014/03/alumni-learning-online

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MOOC team set to hire more staff, launch new courses

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

By MaryCate Most, Daily Illini

Massive open online courses have unveiled a gold mine of data to University faculty and staff. Typically, instructors evaluating the effectiveness of their teaching styles can only gather data from relatively small classes. But with the help of data from massive open online courses, or MOOCs, an instructor’s sample size expands from 50 to 50,000 participants. Each class costs about $30,000 to $50,000 to produce, not including the faculty members’ time spent on its development. In addition to faculty members’ curricula, the MOOCs require a staff of instructional designers, who in turn design the MOOC presentation; audio and video producers to nail down technical details; and copywriters to ensure that the material is in the public domain. The MOOC Strategy Advisory Committee has already made a commitment to hire six more staff members in the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, which produces the MOOCs. The team estimated that it will need to make three or four more hires in the near future, all with salaries of about $50,000 a year.

http://www.dailyillini.com/news/campus/administration/article_fc41cc36-9832-11e3-83b7-0017a43b2370.html

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Indiana approved as first SARA state

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

by MHEC

Indiana has been approved by the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) as the first state to join the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). SARA is a nationwide initiative of states that will make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines, as well as making it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education. The SARA agreements are being implemented by the four regional higher education interstate compacts, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). The effort is funded by a $2.3 million grant from Lumina Foundation.

http://link.mhec.org/v/443/a0c12fcf4b39ce5e5c5061fabb70b155cadd35fa1e33239e

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Cross-Cultural Communication and Collaboration: Case of an International e-Learning Project

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

by Elif Toprak, etal; EURODL

Communication is an indispensable part of international cooperation and it requires managing different cultures. Being prepared to see and understand different values, trying to understand contrasting views in a consortium, can decrease the potential of misperception which otherwise may act as a real barrier to cooperation. This is why international cooperation necessitates negotiation across cultures. In the case of collaboration, parties come together for a joint work which itself may create common values/understanding, besides the set goals. This is because collaboration requires strong we-feeling and commitment. The purpose of this paper is to focus on cross-cultural communication and collaboration in the area of Open and Distance Learning (ODL), concentrating on the communication processes in project management. Cross-cultural studies point to different communicative behaviours of individuals in multinational work environments e.g. the cultural characteristics affect the preferences towards the use of the media. For the purposes of this paper, the authors make a phenomenological-oriented case study of project management based on interviews with partners of a multilateral Grundtvig (adult learning) project, affiliated with distance education institutions in eight different countries. The authors test their assumptions for constructive and cooperative communication in e-Learning projects; delineating the effects of different cultures as regards the expectations from (1) international projects and (2) communication media.

http://www.eurodl.org/?article=618

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Try, Try Again: Refining MOOCS

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Third time isn’t necessarily the charm for massive open online course instructors, but through a process of trial and error, some faculty members at Stanford University say their MOOCs are living up to (some of) the potential promised two years ago. Keith Devlin, a Stanford researcher who is spending a semester as a visiting professor of mathematics at Princeton University, recently launched the fourth iteration of his Introduction to Mathematical Thinking MOOC. He said the number of students who persist through the first and second weeks has grown with every new version of the course. He declined to provide any numbers, since enrollment varies between the fall and spring semesters, but said the results mean he has finally reached a point where he has moved from “crude-tuning to fine-tuning.”

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/02/18/stanford-u-mooc-instructors-trial-and-error-breeds-success

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Institutional Continuity and Distance Learning: A Symbiotic Relationship

Monday, February 24th, 2014

by Rodger Bates, OJDLA

Universities and colleges have been developing institutional continuity plans to protect their ability to function within an environment of increasing uncertainties caused by natural and man-made disasters and events. Within the academic context, distance learning strategies have emerged as critical components for program continuity. This research reviews the strategies and tactics of online learning in institutional continuity planning and preparation. In addition, the necessities of institutional continuity create an important and symbiotic opportunity for faculty training and the integration of distance learning within the fabric of the academic mission of an institution.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter164/bates164.html

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20 Awesome BYOD and Mobile Learning Apps

Monday, February 24th, 2014

by Vicki Davis, Edutopia

If students can’t find, review and access their notes or pictures of the board, their mobile notetaking system is useless. There are two multi-platform frontrunners. In my opinion, the most robust single note-taking app is Microsoft OneNote because it looks just like a traditional notebook. It rocks interactive whiteboards because the notes you write on the board go directly into the notebook you share with the students. You can also edit simultaneously with a maximum of five students (my unofficial number from testing it). Even with its strengths, I think the iOS version of OneNote is lacking, and it doesn’t have the robust developer and app community of Evernote. But if you’re predominantly using Windows or Surface RTs and have an IT staff who can support the setup, this may still be your best option. Evernote is a multiplatform app with robust, useful apps like Skitch that let you work with your notes in cool ways — but you cannot edit simultaneously.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/20-awesome-byod-mobile-apps-vicki-davis

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4 Ways Teachers Can Encourage Online Interaction

Monday, February 24th, 2014

By Laura Iancu, Edudemic

The education sector is rapidly changing and adapting to new technologies. Modern days have made educators go above and beyond with their teaching skills and learn to use new tools to innovate their style and create a better learning environment for students. If you are a teacher wanting to increase the interaction with students while helping them to learn online you have to identify the right way to communicate with students. You may want to achieve this no matter if we are talking about actual MOOCs or a custom way you choose to disseminate materials in a digital format. So linked below are some helpful tools which you can implement to encourage interaction and enhance your teaching skills.

http://www.edudemic.com/4-ways-teachers-can-encourage-online-interaction-2/

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14 E-Learning statistics you need to know for 2014

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

by Aurion Learning

We all know that the E-Learning landscape is rapidly changing. With so much information available, staying up-to-date with the latest information and statistics within the industry can be time consuming. To help you get informed, we’ve gathered and summarised 14 statistics from a range of sources in a useful infographic that will inform you about what’s happening in the E-Learning industry this year. See the interesting infographic linked below.

http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/blogs-post/14-e-learning-statistics-you-need-know-2014/186371

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What Rubio Got Wrong About College Accreditation

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

by Sophie Quinton, National Journal

Under the current system, students can get credit for learning outside the classroom. The process just isn’t as efficient or flexible as Rubio would like. The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service has been translating nontraditional learning into college credit since the 1970s. ACE has created credit recommendations for military service, job training, and some free online courses. It is also considering how credit might be awarded for Mozilla Open Badges, which are online representations of skills. It’s always up to individual institutions to decide what they’ll accept for credit. In general, the more elite an institution is, the less likely it is to accept credit from non-accredited sources. Lawmakers no longer want to sit back and let colleges and universities perform their own quality control. President Obama has proposed a college rating system that would tie federal money to outcomes like graduation rates and affordability.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/next-america/education/what-rubio-got-wrong-about-college-accreditation-20140217

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Online degrees the next frontier for UMES

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

By Univerity of Maryland Eastern Shore

Dr. Kristine Anderson has joined UMES’ Division of Academic Affairs to spearhead an aggressive expansion of online instruction for students looking for distance-education options. Having an online academic presence is a top priority for UMES President Juliette Bell, who wants the university to employ creative, proven strategies aimed at growing enrollment. “UMES Online,” said Dr. Ronald Nykiel, UMES chief academic policymaker, “is now approaching offering 100 courses in an online format.” Anderson’s first priority is establishing an online foundation of academic programs targeting students at community and junior colleges – commonly referred to as the “2+2” path to a baccalaureate degree. Long-term, the university’s goal is to offer the option of earning select bachelor degrees, master’s degrees, doctorates and certificates online, Nykiel said.

http://wesm913.org/post/online-degrees-next-frontier-umes

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Accredited online universities for UAE: 46 in UK, 34 in US, 20 in Australia, 5 in New Zealand

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

By Wam, Emirates 24/7

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has announced a list, including the names of 105 foreign online universities recommended for students in the UAE to enroll in them. Of those 46 are in the United Kingdom, 34 in the United States of America, 20 in Australia and five universities in New Zealand. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research issued last October an order on the regulations of accreditation of distance and online learning to keep pace with the latest developments in the area of higher education and spread of online learning.

http://www.emirates247.com/news/accredited-online-universities-for-uae-46-in-uk-34-in-us-20-in-australia-5-in-new-zealand-2014-02-15-1.538332

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Quick Guide To Blended Learning

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Blended learning is a combination of some face-to-face teaching and some online teaching. It is a great way for teachers to bring online components into the forefront, rather than just using digital materials as supplemental (often at home) course materials. Blended learning has a huge advantage – it doesn’t prescribe that particular activities must be online or in person. There isn’t a particular percentage of teaching and learning that has to happen in the classroom or not. You can tailor it to your needs, and do some experimentation. It is so flexible, and can be something different for each teacher, each class, or each student. One class may lean heavily on the online component and another may not, depending on the availability and appropriateness of materials available. The handy infographic linked below takes a look at the details on blended learning.

http://www.edudemic.com/blended-learning-infographic-2/

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Georgia schools, colleges make plans to cover days lost to winter storm

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

By LEE SHEARER, Athens Online

Area college and K-12 students got a long holiday during last week’s winter storm, but many will have to make up those days. One area college, the University of North Georgia, will actually extend its academic calendar by a week, while two other area colleges, Piedmont and the University of Georgia, anticipate some Saturday classes to make up the days lost Athens Technical College has a pre-existing plan in place requiring students and instructors to continue covering the material they’re supposed to be learning, using online materials or email, if weather prevents them from coming to class. Like many other area schools, Athens Tech shut down for four days last week.

http://onlineathens.com/breaking-news/2014-02-15/schools-colleges-make-plans-cover-days-lost-winter-storm

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Harnessing data mining to revolutionise education

Friday, February 21st, 2014

by Kavya Ram Mohan, the Hindu

The data gathered from online learning tools, as well from more traditional sources like class assignments, can be used to analyse student behaviour and improve their learning experience, said Professor Baker, a specialist in cognitive studies. “A student who is not fully engaged in the classroom might be bored or frustrated. A little bit of frustration can be good, it could lead him to seek answers. Boredom is always bad,” said Prof. Baker. He has developed a protocol named Baker-Rodrigo Observation Method Protocol (BROMP), which was developed by observing students at various levels in the U.S and can be used in Educational Data Mining (EDM).

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/harnessing-data-mining-to-revolutionise-education/article5690365.ece

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