Online Learning Update

May 31, 2015

A Simple DIY Approach to Tracking and Improving Student Learning Outcomes

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

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

As the director of institutional research and then dean of performance excellence at San Antonio College, David A. Wood, Jr. had the capacity to use all kinds of sophisticated modeling and statistical tools and techniques to help measure and influence student learning outcomes. Now that he’s back to teaching astronomy at the college (a move he’s “ecstatic” about), he has turned to a self-created Excel spreadsheet to manage the data he needs to improve learning outcomes for the students in his own classes. Wood’s basic approach has increased scores on tests by five to 10 points, he said. More importantly, the quality of the types of questions students are asking in class suggests they’re understanding more about the topics being covered. Best of all, his technique is easily replicable by any instructor who cares to test it out. Those who have tried are big fans.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/05/20/a-simple-diy-approach-to-tracking-and-improving-student-learning-outcomes.aspx

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Long Distance Wisdom

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

Rick Lewis, Philosophy Now

One of the less well-known benefits of the internet has been a huge expansion in the possibilities of studying philosophy. Taking a degree course from home is very hard work, and you won’t have the emotional support of fellow students around you, nor the stimulation of informal conversations with them in the bar about your topic of study. You still have to write essays and assignments, and meet deadlines. You still need to sit exams or fulfil assessment requirements in order to receive your degree. However, you can take the degree without having to uproot your life, resign from your job, abandon your children, sell your house, or put the dog up for adoption.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/108/Long_Distance_Wisdom

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History Channel And U of Oklahoma Offer Online Course ‘United States, 1865 To The Present’

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

By Tony Sokol, KpopStarz

History Channel and University Of Oklahoma will offer a revolutionary online course called “United States, 1865 To The Present.” Three condensed sessions will offer a unique trip through America’s rich past in a flexible, affordable and interactive way to learn U.S. history.

http://www.kpopstarz.com/articles/204212/20150523/history-channel-u-oklahoma.htm

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May 30, 2015

Where is scholarship headed in the digital age?

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

by ecampus News

Two academics sound off on what open access really means in higher-ed today, and where the future of scholarship is headed. The tenure system is still built on a publish-or-perish foundation, but what does it mean to “publish” in a digital age? How does an institution appropriately evaluate, and reward, a body of academic work that is collaborative, iterative, and communal in nature? Two well-placed academics join this month’s eCampus News Symposium to discuss how higher education can adopt open access scholarship to the benefit of the faculty, the institution, and scholarship itself. Both writers argue that for open scholarship to truly take hold, cultural changes have to occur in higher education.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/where-is-scholarship-headed-in-the-digital-age/

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Collaboration Critical for System-Level Online Aggregators

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

By Mary Niemiec, et al; Evolllution

Collaboration, stakeholder trust and clear roles have allowed the University of Nebraska Online Worldwide to succeed where other system-level online aggregators have failed. The system-level online aggregator works with the campuses of the NU system to deliver online programs to a wider audience, within Nebraska, across the United States and across the world. In this interview, Mary Niemiec, Marie Barber and Lanyce Keel discuss the elements of the NU Online Worldwide project that have made it so successful and share some insights into what it takes to maintain such a strong partnership.

http://www.evolllution.com/opinions/collaboration-critical-system-level-online-aggregators/

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UNC creates online program, advising for military students

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

BY JANE STANCILL, News and Observer

UNC-Chapel Hill has announced a new push to help veterans and active-duty military pursue higher education. At an event attended by students in uniform Wednesday, Chancellor Carol Folt announced an online education program available to active-duty military, so they can take introductory, general courses that could lead to an undergraduate degree. The program, dubbed UNC Core, will allow soldiers, sailors, Marines and Air Force members to take UNC courses at a distance – from their bases across North Carolina or at military installations around the world.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article21500364.html

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May 29, 2015

Leaders discuss taking online learning from an alternative to a “must”

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

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

Until recently, online learning has been viewed as either solely for those interested in adult education or as a branding tactic for innovative institutions. And though online learning is still one of the most accessible ways of providing quality postsecondary education to those with diverse backgrounds and commitments, the popularity of blended learning models, and recent trends in cross-institutional collaboration, online learning is experiencing rapid implementation in today’s colleges and universities. Here, eCampus News asked distinguished online learning advocates to give their thoughts on why it’s imperative to take higher education’s perception of online learning from an alternative to a “must.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/online-learning-must-989/

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What Disruption? Online Education and the Status Quo

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

BY WILLIAM FENTON, PC Magazine

The problem with today’s MOOCs is their elite pedigree and top-down approach to online education. Creating and maintaining a MOOC takes a village—and well-heeled one. From my conversations with faculty who developed online courses for edX and Coursera, I came to understand that an educator couldn’t possibly build an online course without tenure and voluminous institutional support. For example, the aforementioned Coursera class lists 21 contributors, including two pedagogical assistants, two producers, and a copyright consultant, under its course credits. The professor estimated that she spent hundreds of hours developing her first course, and still more time revising it for later iterations. It’s no wonder that large, established institutions dominate the catalogs of edX and Coursera. Udemy is the only platform I have encountered that challenges this paradigm by allowing anyone to create courses. However, its approach is at once logistically and philosophically limited.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2484354,00.asp

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Technology in Higher Education: Defining the Strategic Leader

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

by EDUCAUSE Review

The higher education IT enterprise has become complex. No longer simply responsible for provisioning IT infrastructure and services, the IT department increasingly helps re-envision business and service models, all in a context of cost and accountability pressures. IT is simultaneously more challenging, relevant, and exciting than ever; leading IT requires unique characteristics and capabilities. But what qualities make for a successful IT leader in this environment? What traits are required to be a strategic player for IT on campus? What are the most significant gaps in required knowledge, skills, and abilities? How do we prepare the next generation to lead? In 2014, EDUCAUSE, the association of IT leaders in higher education in the United States, and Jisc, the national organization supporting the use of digital technologies for higher education and research in the United Kingdom, came together to address a common concern — that insufficient attention is paid to understanding the skills required by technology leaders in higher education, both now and in the future.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/technology-higher-education-defining-strategic-leader?

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May 28, 2015

Stanford researchers develop virtual discussion sections tool

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

by Skylar Cohen, Stanford Daily

Stanford researchers have developed a new tool called Talkabout to enhance online learning through the formation of virtual discussion sections — allowing students from around the globe to connect and share ideas. Talkabout is built around Google Hangouts and joins groups of 2 to 9 people in conversation. This feature will facilitate small-group discussion in order to improve massive open online courses (MOOCs), which are offered by Stanford and many other institutions and attract thousands of students from around the world.

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2015/05/19/stanford-researchers-develop-virtual-discussion-sections-tool/

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Experts: Higher Education Reinvestments Needed In Illinois & Nationwide

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

by Progress Illinois

Illinois, and nearly every other U.S. state, is spending less today on higher education than when the Great Recession started, according to new research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). CBPP’s report, issued last week, details how state-level cuts to higher education funding over recent years have been a key cause of “steep tuition increases that threaten to put college out of reach for more students.” The center’s research comes at a time when Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed deep cuts to higher education as part of his 2016 budget plan.

http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2015/05/18/experts-higher-education-reinvestments-needed-illinois-other-states

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Distance education conference addresses radical changes in teaching and learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

by University of Wisconsin

Technology has radically transformed the way people learn in the college classroom, in the workplace and in the military. Educators must stay on top of cutting-edge innovations to prepare students for success in the 21st century workforce, including novel ways of using mobile devices, digital games and social media. The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Distance Teaching & Learning Conference will explore the latest developments August 11-13 at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.

http://www.news.wisc.edu/23786

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May 27, 2015

TwitterChat: Balancing the Urgency of Revenue Performance with Mission and Quality Online – May 27

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

by Ray Schroeder, Josh Kim (Dartmouth / Inside Higher Ed), Katie Blot (Blackboard), Debbie Cavalier (Berklee)

Challenged by complex and shifting funding models, higher education faces a growing urgency to balance mission and product mix to keep things afloat as enrollments and state funding decline. Adding to this complexity is the growing tension in the marketplace in which the value/currency of traditional degrees are challenged by micro-credentials and the emergence of CBE. How can institutions address these crises? Join UPCEA for this timely TweetChat by using the hashtag #HigherEdAhead on social media as online education leaders share experiences and resources and respond to your questions. A live question and answer session will occur on May 27th from 2-3PM EST.

http://upcea.edu/tweetchat

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Discover 4 Unusual Online Bachelor’s Degrees

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

by Ian Quillan, US News

Many people know a college student or a working professional pursuing an online degree in business, health care, information technology or education. “People are stepping away from the thought of, ‘You can’t learn that online,’” says Cali Morrison, communications manager at WCET, an organization that advocates for effective technology use in higher education. And now in 2015, it’s possible to get an online bachelor’s degree in fire and emergency services administration, aviation, integrative health or even horticulture.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2015/05/18/discover-4-unusual-online-bachelors-degrees

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Cal Lt. Gov. cites insufficient outreach to faculty in push for online education

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

by David Siders, Sacramento Bee

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he and other proponents of online education, including Gov. Jerry Brown, failed to sufficiently engage faculty members in their longstanding push to expand online course offerings at California’s colleges and universities. Brown has pressed the University of California and California State University systems to expand online offerings for more than two years, hoping to expand the system’s reach and to reduce costs. But his efforts remain largely unfulfilled.

http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article21349020.html

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May 26, 2015

UK Digital Course Provider Claims Biggest Student Uptake

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

by Shannon Greenhalgh, MISCO

Classroom overcrowding is not an issue for UK online learning platform FutureLearn. The digital course provider is claiming the biggest online university course ever. The service has reported that 370,000 students have enrolled for its English language British Council course – showing the scale of online learning, says the BBC. The Understanding IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Techniques for English Language Tests course, which prepares students for a recognised English language proficiency test, has overtaken in numbers a US social psychology course from the Connecticut-based Wesleyan University which had 260,000 students.

http://www.misco.co.uk/blog/news/02964/learning-online-digital-course-provider-claims-biggest-student-uptake

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When Your Online Course Is Put Up for Adoption

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

by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Ed

For many institutions, online education has been an opportunity not only to increase the number of enrolled students, but also to focus on designing courses that are compelling no matter who is leading them. “You’re seeing more and more of instructors rotating in and out of courses once they’re developed, because obviously the time to develop a course is a lot,” says John Haubrick, manager of instructional design at Pennsylvania State University’s online arm.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/when-your-online-course-is-put-up-for-adoption/56723

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A Semi-Automated System for Recognizing Prior Knowledge

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

by Joaquim Moré, et al; iJET

Adaptive e-learning systems are able to automatically generate personalized learning paths from the students’ profile. Generally, the student profile is updated with information about knowledge the student has acquired, courses the student has passed and previous work experience. Unfortunately, dealing with courses that students passed in other learning environments is very difficult, error prone and requires a lot of manual intervention. In addition, the recognition of external courses is a process that all institutions, on-site and online learning organization, must perform during the access of new students, since it can be greatly useful not only for personalization but also for recognizing the courses the students attended. In this paper, we propose an intelligent system that analyzes the academic record of students in textual format to identify what subjects the students studied in the past and therefore are potentially recognizable. In addition, the proposed system is able to enrich the information the institution has about the students’ background, facilitating the identification of personalized learning paths.

http://online-journals.org/index.php/i-jet/article/view/4610

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May 25, 2015

TwitterChat: Balancing the Urgency of Revenue Performance with Mission and Quality Online – May 27

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

by Ray Schroeder, Josh Kim (Dartmouth / Inside Higher Ed), Katie Blot (Blackboard), Debbie Cavalier (Berklee)

Challenged by complex and shifting funding models, higher education faces a growing urgency to balance mission and product mix to keep things afloat as enrollments and state funding decline. Adding to this complexity is the growing tension in the marketplace in which the value/currency of traditional degrees are challenged by micro-credentials and the emergence of CBE. How can institutions address these crises? Join UPCEA for this timely TweetChat by using the hashtag #HigherEdAhead on social media as online education leaders share experiences and resources and respond to your questions. A live question and answer session will occur on May 27th from 2-3PM EST.

http://upcea.edu/tweetchat

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Effects of Applying the Site Map Principle in an Online Learning Environment in Higher Education

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

by Laura Porta Simó, et al; iJET

Web interfaces play a very important role in teaching-learning processes in virtual environments, since this is how students carry out their activity. This paper describes a web interface for online learning based on a graphic map that orients learners, tries to reduce cognitive overload, gives access to learning resources and personalizes learning. The interface was designed to guide the learning process in accordance with Shapiro’s “site map principle”. The objective of this article is to analyze the impact of such web interface on students’ satisfaction with the learning process and on their academic performance. We conducted experimental research. The experiment tested the goodness of the interface among students enrolled in a Multimedia Degree in an open university. We used the T-Test, the Chi-square Test and the Kendall correlation Test. The results showed that the interface had a positive impact on students’ satisfaction and performance. It also encouraged students to take a more proactive role in their learning activity than with the “normal” interface. These results are in keeping with the features the site map principle has shown in face-to-face environments.

http://online-journals.org/index.php/i-jet/article/view/4620

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Get Back to Work – Reducing Procrastination in Online Classes

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

by Carl Straumsheim, Tomorrow’s Professor

The key to making online students focus on their course work may be making procrastination as unenjoyable as possible, according to a study out of Cornell University. It’s a familiar problem to anyone with a deadline and a computer: the assignment is open on the screen, half-finished, but is quickly lost in a stack of web browser tabs. Upon rediscovery (with an accompanying pang of guilt), the procrastinator resolves to buckle down and type out the last few paragraphs — right after clearing the notification that just popped up and checking just one more website. Richard W. Patterson, a Ph.D. student in policy analysis and management at Cornell, wanted to see if software could reduce procrastination and, as a result, improve students’ grades.

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/enewsletter.php?msgno=1413

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