Archive for March, 2014

How to make flipped learning work in higher education

Monday, March 31st, 2014

by Campus Technology

Once the domain of the most innovative and experimental faculty members, the flipped classroom model has made its way into higher education’s mainstream as students offer their approval in droves. There remains some confusion as to what constitutes flipped learning, though educators who have deployed the model for years have created replicable best practices that can be used at small colleges and large universities alike. With the generous support of Adobe, we’ve assembled this collection of stories and resources to help you make flipped learning a success on your campus.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/educator-resource-center/make-flipped-learning-work-higher-education/

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8 Ways Tech Has Completely Rewired Our Brains

Monday, March 31st, 2014

by Rebecca Hiscott, Mashable

Technology has altered human physiology. It makes us think differently, feel differently, even dream differently. It affects our memory, attention spans and sleep cycles. This is attributed to a scientific phenomenon known as neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to alter its behavior based on new experiences. In this case, that’s the wealth of information offered by the Internet and interactive technologies. Some cognition experts have praised the effects of tech on the brain, lauding its ability to organize our lives and free our minds for deeper thinking. Others fear tech has crippled our attention spans and made us uncreative and impatient when it comes to anything analog. Every emerging study and opinion piece is hotly disputed, yet each brings us closer to understanding how tech can fundamentally alter our minds. Below, we list some of the major ways tech has rewired our brains, for better or worse.

http://mashable.com/2014/03/14/tech-brains-neuroplasticity/

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The Best of Elearning! 2014 Voting Begins

Monday, March 31st, 2014

by Elearning!

In previous years we processed more than 4,000 nominations, and we expect an even higher volume this year. Elearning! and Government Elearning! magazines, the industry voices of the enterprise learning and workforce technology market, has announced that the Best of Elearning! Awards 2014 voting is now open. Celebrating 10 years of success, The Best of Elearning! Awards recognizes best-in-class solutions across 27 product and services categories. Executives leveraging learning and workplace technologies, including readers, practitioners, and community members from both the private and public sectors, are invited to cast their vote for best-in-class solutions starting March 15.

http://www.2elearning.com/awards/best-of-elearning-awards

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Online Course Provider’s Data Shows Low Women in Engineering

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

by Shawn Wasserman, IMT

Coursera, which partners with major universities, shows female enrollment in science and engineering e-courses is dragging. Its study, however, notes that the proportion of women engaging in online learning is growing overall. March 8 marked International Women’s Day this year. In response to the festivities, Coursera, a for-profit educational technology company offering massive open online courses (MOOCs), released data on female interactions within its MOOCs. The results, for the most part, are promising. Overall, about 40 percent of Coursera’s users are female and the numbers are climbing, though work is still needed to bring women to STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) courses.

http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/2014/03/20/online-course-providers-data-shows-low-women-in-engineering/

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Focus on high-demand courses in UC online education

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

by Alexandra Tashman, Daily Bruin

To accomplish the goal of decreasing overcrowding on a long-term basis, the initiative should be targeted toward General Education requirements on all UC campuses. That way, the program would serve as a means of cutting costs because different professors and teaching assistants wouldn’t have to be teaching the same or similar classes at every UC. As it stands, for UCLA students, many of the classes that will be offered through the new program will only count as units toward their degree, as opposed to major or GE requirements. By focusing on the latter, the UC can maximize the impact of the initiative. The Innovative Learning Technology Initiative is a step in the right direction toward providing a better educational experience for students who would otherwise have to enroll in overcrowded classes, or wouldn’t be able to enroll at all.

http://dailybruin.com/2013/11/13/alexandra-tashman-focus-on-high-demand-courses-in-uc-online-education/

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Harvard Business School to offer online courses

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

By Callum Borchers, Boston Globe

The new program, called HBX, also marks the school’s maiden voyage below the graduate level. At its Allston campus it currently provides master’s- and doctorate-level courses, or executive education certificates, to about 2,000 students a year. HBX is inspired by popular online learning platforms, such as edX, which was launched two years ago by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But unlike edX, the Harvard Business offering will not be a so-called MOOC — a massive open online course anyone with an Internet connection can join. Prospective students must apply for admission and must already be pursuing at least a four-year degree at another school. “The folks who are flocking to these open courses vary dramatically in terms of how committed they are to finishing. You get a lot of browsers,” said Youngme Moon, chair of Harvard’s MBA program. “We started from a very different place, where we decided we wanted to offer something that is for serious learners only.”

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/03/20/harvard-business-school-launches-online-education-program/L2×3xMuBgjR12TLlh01XYO/story.html

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Wisdom of massive open online courses now in doubt

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

By Meghan Drake-The Washington Times

“There is a lot of speculation that [MOOCs] were going to change the face of higher education. That’s not what’s happening,” said Jeff Seaman, co-director of Babson Survey Research Group. Mr. Seaman and fellow Babson researcher I. Elaine Allen conducted a survey charting fresh doubts about MOOCs as long-term higher-education supplements. Their study, which polled chief academic officers at 2,831 colleges and universities about online education, reported that 39 percent say they do not believe that MOOCs are sustainable models for their schools — up from 26 percent in 2012. “There still is not a clear business model to why I should do this,” Mr. Seaman said. Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng notes that half of MOOC students who complete the first homework assignment wind up completing the entire course. But skeptics say the virtues of MOOCs also are emerging as vices. “Two words are wrong in ‘MOOC’: massive and open,” Stanford President John Hennessy said in a widely noted interview with the Financial Times.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/9/big-plan-on-campus-is-dropping-out/

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Shai Reshef is bringing the university to the people

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

By Gregory M. Lamb, Christian Science Monitor

The online University of the People has an immodest goal: Bring higher education to everyone on the planet – and at little or no cost. This spring it’s passing two significant waymarks on the way: Earlier this year, the UoPeople, as it’s called, earned accreditation from the Distance and Education Training Council. And on April 2 the first seven students (four from the United States and one each from Nigeria, Jordan, and Syria) will formally graduate. The nonprofit, online-only university, which began operation in 2009, seeks to reach millions of potential learners worldwide who would otherwise have little or no chance of earning a two-year or four-year college degree.

http://news.yahoo.com/shai-reshef-bringing-university-people-192543885.html

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Online learning pioneer slams ban on Iranian, Cuban, Sudanese students

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

by Gemme Ware, the Conversation

The founder of free online learning platform edX, set up by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has spoken out against the US State department’s decision to block people in Iran, Cuba and Sudan from accessing a new advanced course on aircraft design. “I believe that all our courses should be freely available. I believe it does not make sense to block any courses from embargoed nations,” said Anant Agarwal, president of edX and professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. In early March, edX discovered the US government was going to block the Flight Vehicle Aerodynamics course offered by MIT. “Right now on EdX, of the 160 courses on our platform, one course is blocked, that’s the advanced aeronautics course to the embargoed nations.”

http://theconversation.com/online-learning-pioneer-slams-ban-on-iranian-cuban-sudanese-students-24581

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Students press for cheap online textbooks

Friday, March 28th, 2014

By KATHERINE LONG, The Seattle Times

In deciding which classes she’ll take every quarter, Alissa Ramberg often applies the textbook-cost-factor test: She figures out which professors require pricey textbooks, and avoids those classes. The University of Washington senior and student-government senator, who is majoring in political science, also has put off taking classes – and even chosen alternative courses that still fill the requirement – to try to control how much she must shell out for books. The price of college textbooks has risen at four times the rate of inflation in the past two decades, according to one study. Now, students are trying to gain some control over spiraling prices by asking professors to seek out less-expensive alternatives.

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/life/students-press-for-cheap-online-textbooks/article_28ffbbab-b4e5-51fd-b869-253d2d0798db.html

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Critical success factors for online education

Friday, March 28th, 2014

By Mario Matus, Navy Times

Active-duty service members and veterans tend to be nontraditional students — more likely to be married, have children, and to hold down a job while going to school. For these reasons, the flexibility and time-efficient environment of online programs is well-suited to military and veteran students. Compared to the traditional college environment, they adapt to the online environment well, given that the military culture instills discipline, commitment and planning behaviors — attributes essential to success in an online learning program. However, military students and veterans often need guidance to adapt from getting hands-on, in-the-moment training to completing reading assignments, written essays and final exams in an online environment.

http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140318/NEWS01/303180039/Opinion-Critical-success-factors-online-education

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Coursera course inspires student to apply to Penn

Friday, March 28th, 2014

By JESSICA MCDOWELL, Daily Penn

College freshman Taha Tariq’s journey to Penn began with an online Coursera course. As a high school senior in Lahore, Pakistan, Tariq knew he wanted to come to the United States for college, but was never able to visit schools before applying. “As an international student, you don’t get the opportunity to fly around visiting all of these campuses. You really have to rely on what is available online,” he said. While researching Penn, Tariq discovered Modern Poetry, an online course taught by Professor Al Filreis on Coursera, a free platform for Massive Open Online Courses, commonly known as MOOCs.

http://www.thedp.com/article/2014/03/taha-tariq-coursera-to-penn

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Understanding the Learning Personalities of Successful Online Students

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

by Tena B. Crews, Sradha Narendra Sheth, and Tamlyn M. Horne; EDUCAUSE

Long studied as a way to help people better understand themselves and others, personality research and theory has evolved to include the use of assessment tools to identify various personality types and temperaments.

These tools have been used in education to identify learning styles, teaching strategies, and opportunities to increase success for both students and teachers.

Building on studies of traditional students, this study uses the True Colors model of personality characteristics to identify characteristics common to successful online students as well as strategies for improving how online courses are designed and taught to better meet the needs of all students.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/understanding-learning-personalities-successful-online-students

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Catching a Cheater Online

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

by JESSICA LAHEY, the Atlantic

Universities are scrambling to keep up with the novel methods students have found to cheat on these courses. Given that online courses do not require face-to-face student-teacher interactions, colleges have had to resort to all sorts of other safeguards in order to prevent academic dishonesty. Schools are using signature-tracking services and software that identifies a student’s typing speed and style, thereby preventing someone else from typing on a students’ behalf. While these technological safeguards may help catch cheaters, Kimberly Williams, a teaching support specialist at Cornell and longtime professor of education, points out that the key to preventing cheating in the first place, lies in the teaching itself. “We need to make sure what we teach is meaningful to students so that they actually want to learn it or see value in their own learning of it,” she said. “If they don’t, then we’re sunk and they are wasting their time anyway. It is a wake-up call for higher education that we need to teach better and in more meaningful ways so that learners want to learn.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/03/catching-a-cheater-online/284461/

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Flexible web-based classes are empowering for women

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

by Patricia Moore, Arizona Central

The landscape has changed significantly for women since the feminist movement of the 1970s. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, women now outpace men in educational attainment. Women are not only welcome, but sought after in skilled-career paths such as technology and health care, and they experience a much lower wage gap in those fields. While education is a recognized tool for those seeking equality, access to education can be difficult for women for a variety of reasons. Women often take on the role of caregiver for children or aging parents, and, according to a 2013 report from the Pew Research Center, women are increasingly taking on the responsibility of sole or primary wage-earner. Balancing family and work can make it difficult for women to find time for regularly scheduled classes.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/tempe/2014/03/17/flexible-online-classes-empowering-women-tempes-rio-salado/6528123/

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The Impending Disruption of Traditional Business Schools

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

BY ILAN MOCHARI, INC

Some think B-schools are headed online. Others don’t think B-schools can even teach entrepreneurship. “Half of the business schools in this country could be out of business in 10 years–or five,” is the prediction Richard Lyons, the dean of University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, made to Bloomberg Businessweek not long ago. Robert Lytl, an education consultant at the Parthenon Group, is advising directors at B-schools “to stop dallying and start building [online] programs,” according to the Bloomberg Businessweek article. “Once you get out of the top tier of schools, you’re either already online, on your way there, or dead in the water,” he observes.

http://www.inc.com/ilan-mochari/no-more-business-schools-mbas.html

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Working adults plug into online education

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

by BPT, LA Times

Many working adults begin using technology from the moment their alarm clocks go off. From checking emails on a tablet over morning coffee, to sending out social media posts from a smartphone before they get into the office, technology allows people to be efficient and stay connected anytime, anyplace. This same technology is now playing an important role for individuals seeking alternative learning environments to continue their educations or grow their careers. According to a national survey from University of Phoenix, 87 percent of working adults say there are benefits to online learning. Another survey reveals that 54 percent indicate they’ll go back to school in the future and 48 percent are interested in taking an online class. So it is no surprise that universities are adjusting their online classroom offerings to cater to the technology working adults are currently using.

http://www.latimes.com/features/aranet/living/ara-8075450606-20140310,0,426245.adstory

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The Future of Brain Implants

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

By GARY MARCUS and CHRISTOF KOCH, Wall Street Journal

What would you give for a retinal chip that let you see in the dark or for a next-generation cochlear implant that let you hear any conversation in a noisy restaurant, no matter how loud? Or for a memory chip, wired directly into your brain’s hippocampus, that gave you perfect recall of everything you read? Or for an implanted interface with the Internet that automatically translated a clearly articulated silent thought (“the French sun king”) into an online search that digested the relevant Wikipedia page and projected a summary directly into your brain? Science fiction? Perhaps not for very much longer. Brain implants today are where laser eye surgery was several decades ago. They are not risk-free and make sense only for a narrowly defined set of patients—but they are a sign of things to come.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304914904579435592981780528

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With Eye Toward Financial Self-Sufficiency, edX Hires Businesswoman Cebula as President and COO

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

by Michael V. Rothberg, Harvard Crimson

EdX announced Monday that it has appointed Wendy Cebula, the former chief operating officer of VistaPrint, as its president and chief operating officer to help lead the non-profit online education platform as it expands and attempts to become financially self-supporting. Ray Schroeder, the associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois Springfield and an expert on online education, offered a reading of edX’s outlook. “I don’t look at this as a shift in the inherent nature of edX,” Schroeder said. “It’s still learning. It’s still higher ed. But it adds an entrepreneurial aspect that I think has been missing in edX. The commercial opportunities to take this to large audiences is just huge.” “It’s fascinating that on the same day, both edX and Coursera brought in top leadership, and particularly, for Coursera, bringing in a top academic administrator to augment their team, I think, was a very savvy move,” Schroeder said.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/3/25/edx-new-COO-president/

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Coursera Names Former Yale President as its New CEO

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

by DOUGLAS BELKIN, Wall Street Journal
Coursera Inc., a Silicon Valley startup that has provided millions of students free online access to hundreds of brand-name college courses, named former Yale University President Rick Levin to be its new CEO. The appointment signals a renewed bid for credibility and profitability for a sector of higher education known as Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs. The appointment could represent a doubling down on Coursera’s bid to win accreditation for its courses, a step which would open up the door to significantly more revenue, said Ray Schroeder, the associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois Springfield.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304679404579459681722504264

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The Effects of Online Teaching Experience and Institution Type on Faculty Perceptions of Teaching Online

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

by Deborah L. Windes & Faye L. Lesht, Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

In light of the recent growth of online education and its disruptive impact on higher education, this study compared faculty attitudes toward teaching online across institution type, including community colleges and four-year public and private institutions, as well as across faculty with and without online teaching experience. While the data reflected similarities across groups, there were also striking differences which included the following: experienced online community college faculty indicated more so than those at four-year public/private institutions that online education was inferior to face-to-face instruction; intellectual property was reported as more important to those who had not taught online than to those who have online teaching experience across all settings; and community college faculty reported more negative attitudes toward online education over the past five years than did those at other types of institutions in the study. At the same time, faculty members who responded to this study were influenced to engage, or consider engaging, in online teaching in order to meet students’ needs, reach new students not previously served by the institution, discover ways to enhance and strengthen teaching through new technologies, and increase the flexibility of their schedules. It appears there are different perceptions and motivating factors across institutional types for teaching online, which may influence institutional strategies.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring171/windes_lesht171.html

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