Online Learning Update

March 31, 2015

What Can Happen If I Don’t Follow State Authorization Regulations?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by WCET Frontiers

A public university in the Midwest recently discovered what can happen in a relatively straightforward situation in which the institution failed to get authorization. Institution X enrolled an online student in a state in which state authorization is required, but did not get that authorization. When the institution contacted the appropriate agency in the student’s state of residence, state officials there indicated that not only was the tuition debt uncollectable, but all of the student’s tuition that had been collected had to be refunded in order to avoid formal action against the provider, which could have included a ban on operating in that state, as the institution had no authority to charge tuition to a resident of that state. Yes, states really do take action, it just rarely appears in the headlines.  (see the URL for more details on non-compliance)

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Why Are You Teaching That?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by Richard M. Felder, Tomorrow’s Professor

How about the courses you teach? If you went to some of your alumni and asked them what in their college education turned out to be really useful after graduation, what do you suppose they’d tell you? I did that a few years ago. I surveyed 72 chemical engineering alumni I had taught, asking them to reflect on their college experience and tell me what about it was helpful in preparing them for their current careers, and 50 of them responded. Practically none of the curriculum content made their lists. Skills, yes, especially the problem-solving skills they learned from those endless assignments (25) and the communication and time management skills they got from team projects (23). Only one specific course was nominated by more than two people, however-material and energy balances, naturally (8). As far as the students were concerned, the content of those 4-5 years of math and science and engineering and general education courses was mostly irrelevant to their post-graduation careers and lives.

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Mooc Makers Disrupt Business Education With Careers Focus

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by Seb Murray, Business Because

The business school as we know it is ripe for innovation by new technologies. For the liquid Mooc developers disrupting the market, employment is increasingly the priority. In an office complex in California’s Mountain View on the fringes of Silicon Valley is Coursera — a $300 million+ start-up trying to bring about a new age in education. The university as we know it is ripe for innovation by the disruptive use of new technologies. Online learning groups like edX and Udacity emerged as providers of free education to the masses but have evolved into colossal entities that are on the cusp of rivalling the traditional degree and providing the same boost to careers. As they scramble to understand emerging threats, universities and business schools are being forced to evolve their content to be delivered in blended forms – accessible from both classrooms and smart devices. Wharton, Stanford and INSEAD have all invested heavily digital tech.

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March 30, 2015

The End of College?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

The End of College takes the long view in diagnosing a higher education business model that Carey says is desperately flawed. He goes back centuries to describe how colleges developed scattered and disjointed missions. Carey also looks forward, to how information technology could help birth a more affordable and meritocratic form of higher education. His book has generated loads of coverage in the news media, including a somewhat positive review in The Washington Post by Janet Napolitano, the University of California system’s president. And several of Inside Higher Ed’s bloggers have been critical about his assertions. We sent some questions about the book to Carey via email. The exchange is linked below.

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Gamification Harnesses the Power of Games to Motivate

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

By Kevin Werbach, Epoch Times

Walk through any public area and you’ll see people glued to their phones, playing mobile games like Game of War and Candy Crush Saga. They aren’t alone. 59 percent of Americans play video games, and contrary to stereotypes, 48 percent of gamers are women. The US$100 billion video game industry is among the least-appreciated business phenomena in the world today. But this isn’t an article about video games. It’s about where innovative organizations are applying the techniques that make those games so powerfully engaging: everywhere else. Gamification is the perhaps-unfortunate name for the growing practice of applying structural elements, design patterns, and psychological insights from game design to business, education, health, marketing, crowdsourcing and other fields. Over the past four years, gamification has gone through a cycle of (over-)hype and (overblown) disappointment common for technological trends. Yet if you look carefully, you’ll see it everywhere.

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March 29, 2015

Instructor Time Requirements to Develop and Teach Online Courses

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:11 am

by Lee A. Freeman, Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

Developing online courses is more time consuming than developing face-to-face courses, but the development of each subsequent online course is not as time consuming as the previous online course development. In addition, teaching online is more time consuming than teaching face-to-face, but this is only the case for the first time and perhaps the second time teaching the course. After the second time, teaching a course online or face-to-face is relatively the same in terms of time. In addition, the Technology learning curve is shorter than the Online Pedagogical learning curve. While the data from this study can be used by instructors, administrators, and instructional designers to create higher quality course development processes, training processes, and overall communication, there is still much to be learned through further data analysis as well as additional data collection. Instructor time commitment is an issue, and now a more clear understanding is available.

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Balancing Online Teaching Activities: Strategies for Optimizing Efficiency and Effectiveness

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:04 am

Deana M. Raffo, Thomas M. Brinthaupt, Justin G. Gardner, Lawanna S. Fisher; OJDLA

Increased demands in professional expectations have required online faculty to learn how to balance multiple roles in an open-ended, changing, and relatively unstructured job. In this paper, we argue that being strategic about one’s balance of the various facets of online teaching will improve one’s teaching efficiency and effectiveness. We discuss the balancing issues associated with four key online teaching facets: course design/development, delivery of the course content, assessments/feedback, and professional development. We conclude with a template for a strategic professional development plan that addresses these key facets.

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Competency-Based Education: A Framework for Measuring Quality Courses

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

by Jackie Krause, Laura Portolese Dias, Chris Schedler; OJDLA

The growth of competency-based education in an online environment requires the development and measurement of quality competency-based courses. While quality measures for online courses have been developed and standardized, they do not directly align with emerging best practices and principles in the design of quality competency-based online courses. The purpose of this paper is to provide background and research for a proposed rubric to measure quality in competency-based online courses.

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March 28, 2015

Online college wins over students in Missouri

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

by Koran Addo, St. Louis Today

Two years ago, it might have seemed strange when Gov. Jay Nixon starting pushing for Missouri to create its own branch of Western Governors University. After all, WGU is a bit of an oddity. It’s a nonprofit online university that doesn’t use teachers. Students work at their own pace and are assigned course mentors who offer tutoring, advice or pep talks as needed. Students can also skip large sections of the curriculum if they can demonstrate command of the subject. After two years and a state investment of $4 million, WGU-Missouri leaders say the school is doing what it’s supposed to do: providing access to students who don’t fit the mold of a traditional student.

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From Disruptor to Bestie: How Instructors are Learning to Leverage MOOCs

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by Charlie Chung, EdSurge

Only a handful of sessions at SXSWedu this year used “MOOC” in their titles or descriptions, but those four letters were still mentioned quite a bit. It is safe to say, MOOCs have been passed over as the disruptor du jour of higher education. But this is a good thing, because now we can get on with the real work to figure out how to best study, utilize and improve their role in education. Here are a few of the takeaways I gathered about MOOCs during the conference.

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Learning How to Practice Medicine—Virtually

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by Alia Wong, the Atlantic

Soon, an aspiring Physician’s Assistant might be able to complete nearly all this coursework online—and through an Ivy League to boot: Yale. Yale announced earlier this month that it’s partnering with 2U, Inc.—a firm that helps selective nonprofit universities develop virtual degree programs—to launch its online PA initiative. The project is still pending approval by the accrediting commission for PA schools and from various state licensing agencies. But if it gets the green light, it would likely be the country’s first fully online PA degree. (Some programs are considered “hybrid” and entail a combination of on-campus and online coursework.) It would also become Yale’s first fully online master’s program and join the university’s existing on-campus PA program, which was launched in the early 1970s.

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March 27, 2015

Local college to let students decide on-the-fly to go to class in-person or online

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:06 am

by Lauren Hertzler, Philadelphia Business Journal

Peirce College has a new program that takes its historically flexible schedule to the next level. For the past year, the college has been testing a model where students can decide on-the-fly to attend class in person or online. It’s aimed at the students that primarily make up Peirce’s population — the working adults that are often hit with last-minute tasks for a job or for their family. If they can’t make it to class due to a sudden engagement, they can read up on all the lecture notes at a later date and even, in some cases, receive audio feedback on assignments and turn in assignments online. For online students, it allows them the opportunity to go to class for that extra in-person interaction if need be.

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Masters Level Computer Science From Udacity

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by Sue Gee, i-programmer

Applications for the Fall 2015 admission to Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMS CS) are due before April 17, 2015. But if you don’t want to wait you can follow along for free with Udacity. President Obama visited Georgia Tech last week and pointed to the OMS CS as an example of the kind of innovation needed by the United States to address the rising costs of higher education. This is because, with tuition entirely online, students are charged as little as $6,600, less than one-sixth of the cost of an on-campus equivalent at $45,000.

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Anyone Can Be a Teacher in This Online School

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am


Susan Orlean was considering giving up teaching. She had taught courses at New York University and at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College but was finding it difficult to maintain a consistent class schedule while fulfilling her obligations as a staff writer for The New Yorker. “I just started thinking, well, maybe there’s a different way to do this that doesn’t tie me to a physical location,” she said. “And right around that time, Skillshare contacted me.” Skillshare is an online video platform that allows anyone to sign up and teach a class. The company has proved adept at recruiting experts to teach on its website. Aside from Ms. Orlean’s class on creative nonfiction, the website has a class on visual storytelling from the design maven Debbie Millman and a marketing course taught by the entrepreneur Seth Godin. The company allows users to determine the courses they want to teach and take. A thousand courses are available for $10 a month.

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March 26, 2015

For Online to Really Matter in Education, We Need to Re-Define Competency

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:08 am

by Ryan Craig, Wired

In a decade, online education may be recognized not for making higher education accessible to anyone with a smartphone—but as the midwife who delivered competency-based learning into the world. Like so many other technology-driven advances, competency-based learning is theoretically possible in a paper-pencil world. Global positioning is, after all, feasible without a handheld GPS. But it’s not nearly as appealing, and a long way from a mass-market product. Competency-based learning turns higher education on its head – starting not with the curriculum, but rather the competencies one should exhibit upon completion (according to, say, employers).

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How to Use Online Learning as Part of Your Test Prep

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by Chuck Cohn, Huffington Post

In recent years, online learning has become an increasingly popular option for many students. Because online learning shatters the traditional borders of education, students can immediately access many benefits that were previously unavailable to them. Resources like MOOCs, OCW, and OERs can help with classes, employment skills, and even test prep. If you’d like to strengthen your test prep with these tools, here is everything you need to know:

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Online Course Provision Grows As Three University of London Colleges Sign Up To Digital Partnership

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by Shannon Greenhalgh, MISCO

The move to online course provision by UK universities is under way, as three University of London colleges, including Goldsmiths, enter a partnership that will enable their students to participate in massive open online courses (MOOCs), Government Computing has reported. The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and St George’s, alongside Goldsmiths, have announced an agreement to offer MOOCs through the FutureLearn platform – joining a network of 51 other higher and specialist education institutions globally which are using the service to offer courses online. FutureLearn (owned by the Open University) has already been adopted by other universities in the UK, with industry experts predicting that MOOCs will play a “complementary” role in higher education.

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March 25, 2015

EdX Partnership with Microsoft, Smithsonian Could Provide Professional Preparation

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:07 am

By HANNAH SMATI, Harvard Crimson

EdX, a massive open online course platform founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012, will launch seven courses on programming and cloud technologies in collaboration with Microsoft. A motivation behind the partnership might have been to reach edX’s student audience, according to Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois Springfield. Schroeder said there is an increasing number of employers looking for students that have specific technical skills for entry-level jobs, and so collaborating with edX would be a good way to target potential employees.

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LinkedIn Expands Efforts to Help Colleges Keep in Touch With Students and Alumni

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by Casey Fabris, the Chronicle of Higher Ed

LinkedIn is doing more these days to attract college students, and to work with colleges to use the website to get better data on what their students do after graduation. The social-networking company announced on Wednesday a new feature that allows college students and graduates to add their college affiliation to the education section of their profile by clicking a button on the college’s website or in an email from the college. When they do that, public information from their profile, such as where they live and work and what they do, is then compiled into college-specific metrics.

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Access free online courses with your L.A. County library card

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by Colleen Park, My LA News

Everyone with a Los Angeles County library card now has access to free online video courses teaching business, technology and creative skills, the county’s lead librarian announced Tuesday. The new program, dubbed, can be accessed remotely and on mobile devices, allowing users to learn at their own pace. “All you need is a county public library card and PIN to access’s vast collection of courses,” County Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd said. “Our patrons can take an unlimited number of classes with 24-7 access on their computer or smartphone.”

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March 24, 2015

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Market 2015-2020

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by MarketWatch

MOOCs appears as a very lucrative and commercially interesting solution for many companies looking to implement effective training programs for employees, MOOCs have the potential to revolutionize the corporate learning industry. Visiongain believes that 2015 will be a pivotal year and one of significant growth for MOOCs market as vendors address demands of higher education providers, schools and organizations. Not only will the MOOCs market flourish across education & learning sector. This growth will also generate additional demand across many industries especially wireless infrastructure, big data and cloud computing. The IT sector will also witness huge growth through widespread implementation of Big Data to derive maximum value from the valuable data collected via MOOCs and Cloud services for the seamless delivery of MOOCs no matter where you are located. As a consequence, Visiongain expects global MOOCs revenue to reach $1.5 billion in 2015.

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