Archive for October, 2015

How Technology Can Drive Active, Perpetual Learning

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

by Jeremy Petranka, EDUCAUSE Review

That’s a parting comment familiar to every professor and student. And while bookmarking a course is useful, it’s also static, even limiting. Sure, the instructor issues assignments, but aside from group projects, class activities usually happen in isolation even though we know a collaborative environment expands and enriches education. What can we do? A current convergence of technology trends can help facilitate out-of-the-classroom engagement and collaboration, but also capitalize on technological infrastructures and behaviors already deeply ingrained in today’s students. This starts by recognizing that technology is a core and permanent part of student life — socially, organizationally, communicatively, and academically. By embracing appropriate technology in the classroom, we can realize its potential for supporting more engaging and effective pedagogy.

http://er.educause.edu/blogs/2015/10/how-technology-can-drive-active-perpetual-learning

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Competency-Based Education: Technology Challenges and Opportunities

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

by: Mark Leuba, EDUCAUSE Review

Competency-based education (CBE) has elicited strong interest among educators and education stakeholders due to its potential to meet students where they are in their education journey and provide a more personalized path to completion. A typical CBE program has a curriculum structured to demonstrate learning in clearly articulated competencies, is often self-paced, is agnostic as to the source of learning while maintaining clear and transparent learning standards, and has an emphasis on authentic assessment, which evaluates what the learner knows and can do through real-life demonstrations and projects. Unfortunately, the model’s practical benefits are tempered by the significant technology challenges and barriers to CBE program adoption, roadblocks due to limits in (and among) higher education software products.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2015/10/competency-based-education-technology-challenges-and-opportunities

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Rethinking college: Disruptive innovation, not reform, is needed

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

by Stuart M. Butler, Brookings

To make college more affordable for low-income students we need to rethink what “college” means. The system needs much more than tweaks in financing or regulation; it requires an entirely different business model. Today, a student typically moves away from home for some years and chooses from a limited set of courses at a costly brick-and-mortar institution. Imagine instead a “general contractor” model of college, in which the contractor assembles a collection of courses from different places and delivers them in different ways. The contractor’s (college’s) role in this model is assembly and quality control, rather than running an institution. This model would also allow for much greater customization, with degrees better tailored to the student’s interests and needs—as well as their home and employment situation.

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/social-mobility-memos/posts/2015/10/23-rethinking-college-disruptive-innovation-butler

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New collaborative sheds light on learning outcomes

Friday, October 30th, 2015

By Laura Devaney, eCampusNews

A new project focused on advancing learning outcomes has demonstrated that rubric-based assessment can be scaled and can offer up valid findings, along with actionable information, about student learning. This information could be used to improve curriculum and assessment design, and to improve program and class effectiveness in an effort to advance learning outcomes at colleges and universities. These findings come from the pilot year of the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment (MSC) project, which launched in 2011 and supported by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) Association.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/learning-outcomes-study-672/

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Flipped Classes Continue Evolving at Stanford and Harvard

Friday, October 30th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Instructors at two universities on opposite sides of the country, both with extensive experience in flipped learning, are continuing to tweak the model, according to articles recently published in their respective student newspapers. In flipped learning lecture is typically delivered through pre-recorded lectures that students watch before coming to class; then class time is dedicated to other activities. Harvard University has been holding “active learning” lunches for faculty interested in flipping their courses. An article by student reporters C. Ramsey Fahs and Daniel Wood reported an increase by faculty in the flipped model, as well as “logistical challenges and student concerns.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/10/20/flipped-classes-continue-evolving-at-stanford-and-harvard.aspx?admgarea=topic.software

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5 Lessons Worth Learning About E-Portfolios

Friday, October 30th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The University of Alaska Anchorage shares best practices from its institution-wide electronic portfolio implementation and new approaches to gain rapid traction among faculty and students. The University of Alaska Anchorage introduced e-portfolios to the campus in a big way this year, rolling out the technology across the entire institution. And as anyone who has attempted such a feat quickly realizes, large-scale e-portfolio adoption takes more energy and commitment than the typical technology project. That’s because a healthy digital portfolio program requires ongoing support for adoption among faculty and students. Here’s how U Alaska is tackling the work.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/10/21/5-lessons-worth-learning-about-e-portfolios.aspx

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Harvard Offers Alumni Online Learning

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

by Harvard University

Welcome to your window into online learning at Harvard. Curated by Harvard Alumni Association alumni volunteers, this selection of courses reflects the variety of topics, platforms, and structures the University has to offer. Engage with classes that interest you at your own time and pace, wherever and whenever you want. Offerings will be refreshed throughout the year, so check back for updates. This is just a starting point. If you don’t find what you’re looking for on this page, explore the rest of the Online Learning site. You can use the tools at the top of the page to sort by category or course title. Harvard Online Learning provides opportunities for lifelong learning, including open courses from HarvardX, for-credit programs from Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education, and a selection of offerings from across Harvard’s professional schools, from business to public health. Dive in now and learn something new.

http://online-learning.harvard.edu/alumni

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Udacity and Google collaborate to help developers get the best from Android Wear

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

by Phil Tann, Android.net

As part of a seemingly long running partnership, Google has today announced a new collaboration with Udacity in the form of a new course focusing on Android Wear development. The course includes practical advice, code snippets and sample code, the clear aim of which appears to be to get more developers involved with Android Wear and make it the dominant wearable platform. The best part about the course from Udacity is that its not an expensive course, in fact; it’s free. They’re looking at 6 hours per week from developers to work through the course and expect it to take most users around 2 weeks so it’s not a huge commitment to take your app to greater heights on Android Wear.

http://ausdroid.net/2015/10/22/udacity-google-collaborate-help-developers-get-best-android-wear/

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Humanities courses go online

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

BY SUSAN FISER, the Concordian

Concordia has joined with the Council of Independent Colleges, an organization dedicated to helping small liberal arts colleges, in offering a new program called Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction this year. Concordia was among 100 colleges who applied to be a part of the program, and was one of 21 colleges who were accepted, according to Dr. George Connell, chair of the humanities department. The program was mostly sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which helps promote and support the department of humanities in the United States. Each college offers two classes to the program.

http://theconcordian.org/2015/10/22/humanities-courses-go-online

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Mobile Learning: Apps vs. Web?

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

If I worked for any of the open online learning platforms – EdX or Coursera or NovoEd or OpenLearn – I’d create a dedicated mobile only team. I’d send the team to China (or India) and have them design an open app learning platform from scratch. I would accept that the future of higher education is in the emerging countries of East and South Asia, Africa, and South America. If the future of learning is digital, and the digital future of learning is mobile, will that future unfold on the mobile web or the app? Do learning platform providers have the bandwidth to code for both the mobile web and the app? Is trying to do both mobile web and apps for education limiting the quality and reach of both?

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/mobile-learning-apps-vs-web

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Arkansas Business: Ark. colleges doing more to get online students

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

by KTHV

Universities across the state are expanding and strengthening their online degree programs. According to Arkansas Business, it’s an attempt to attract some of the 300,000 plus potential students who can’t attend classes on a campus. The University of Arkansas system recently launched its online-only university called the eVersity, which is designed to go after Arkansans who have some college credits but aren’t in a position, either financially or personally, to attend college to complete or earn a degree. Online degree programs have been around in Arkansas for years and now many Arkansas universities are ramping up those efforts.

http://www.thv11.com/story/money/business/arkansas/2015/10/19/arkansas-business-ark-colleges-doing-more-to-get-online-students/74244500/

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China turns to online courses to promote culture

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

by Today Online

Chinese universities are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on sleek videos and translations. They are advising instructors to abandon dull lecturing styles. And they are coaching professors on how to deal with foreign students, telling them to embrace open discussion and dissent. But the effort faces significant challenges, most notably convincing overseas students that their courses are intellectually compelling and rigorous, despite China’s strict limits on academic freedom. It also puts online education providers in a difficult position, forcing them to strike a balance between preserving academic freedom and maintaining high standards for thousands of courses. Mr Yong Zhao, an education professor at the University of Oregon, compared China’s push in online education to its efforts to build an international following for its flagship news network, CCTV, in the past decade. “China has been on the receiving end of education for a long time, and now it has a big opportunity,” Professor Zhao said. “The question is, can it really reach anybody? Does it have the same credentials, quality and authenticity?”

http://www.todayonline.com/chinaindia/china/china-turns-online-courses-promote-culture

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Google Teams Up With Udacity To Introduce A New Tech Entrepreneurship Nanodegree

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

by Mir Juned Hussain, Tech Portal

Google, during its I/O 2015 developer conference in May had announced a partnership with Udacity to launch a six-course Android Development Nanodegree. The company wanted to allow developers to learn how to write apps for Google’s mobile operating system. Surprisingly, these new Nanodegrees turned out to the most popular ones by Udacity, attracting more than 300,000 people to enrol in the courses. As a part of that initiative, Google has now introduced a new Nanodegree, which will consist of a Tech Entrepreneurship certificate, access to coaches, guidance on your project, help staying on track and career counseling. If all you want is the content, quizzes, and projects, all of that is available online for free at udacity.com/google.

http://thetechportal.in/2015/10/19/google-teams-up-with-udacity-introduces-tech-entrepreneur-nanodegree/

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Value of MOOCs more nuanced than completion rates

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

Kennesaw State University in Georgia has dubbed its entry into the world of massive open online courses a success — not by the traditional standard of course completion, but based on branding, student access, and return on investment. According to eCampus News, MOOCs have increased the brand visibility for the university and expanded student access to KSU course materials. Researchers also measured the ROI, defined by the number of MOOC participants who later enrolled in a university program, and in the first year, KSU far exceeded its goal to simply break even.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/value-of-moocs-more-nuanced-than-completion-rates/407548/

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Non-traditional students deserve better support systems

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

by Susan Groenwald, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have some company. Today, more than one in five working-age Americans is a college dropout. Unfortunately, most dropouts aren’t tech billionaires. Many are nontraditional students who leave school not because of academic concerns, but because of issues specific to their stage of life: a sick family member, a job loss, a lack of family support or just the pure shock of returning to school after a long hiatus. Colleges must do more to reverse this trend. After all, they bear at least some responsibility for the fact that 20 percent of their students walk away. Schools can drive down the dropout rate — and get more students to graduate — by investing in staffing support and resources for high-risk students.

http://www.dailyegyptian.com/opinion/article_885bfc2e-76c5-11e5-b949-d3c41c451a76.html

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App helps students pay attention in class

Monday, October 26th, 2015

by Lyndy Berryhill, Oxford Eagle

By staying up to date with how today’s students learn, University of Mississippi instructors also are keeping up with how they are distracted. A new app called Pocket Points is designed to reward students for not checking their cellphones during class with coupons. Once the app is downloaded, a student can sit down in class, open the app, lock their smartphone and start scoring points. Points vary throughout the day, but the more students use the app on campus, the points per class can increase. Students can score up to three per class period. The points can then be redeemed at local businesses or in larger chain stores as well as online.

http://www.oxfordeagle.com/2015/10/11/app-helps-students-pay-attention-in-class/

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Google, micro-learning & the future of education

Monday, October 26th, 2015

by Nathan Bernard, The Next Web

Over the last several months my co-founder Chirag and I have spent a lot of time thinking about micro-learning as we build our startup, Lrn. We are big supporters of the micro-learning format -specifically on mobile- and believe it can make educational content easily accessible to a global audience. In this post we hope to shed some light on the current trend and why micro-learning makes a ton of sense right now. Micro-learning is learning in short, focused bursts of information. For example, a typical micro-learning activity could be viewing a flashcard, memorizing a word, listening to a short podcast, watching a brief video or answering a series of questions in a quiz.

http://tnw.to/c4kUR

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Break down learning barriers to sustainable development

Monday, October 26th, 2015

by Karen MacGregor, University World News

Boundaries between contact and distance universities are rapidly blurring, and boundaries between institutions and developers of technology-enhanced learning ought to be broken down if both worlds are to benefit from each other’s expertise in the interests of sustainable development, thought leaders told a global conference on open, distance and e-learning. Major shifts and challenges for open and distance learning, and how it might support the newly adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, were explored by a panel at last week’s conference of the International Council for Open and Distance Education, or ICDE.

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20151017100641870

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7 Up-and-Coming Wearable Technologies

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

By Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

Sensory messaging devices, stress-reducing headpieces, biometric authentication bands and more — these cutting-edge wearables could soon be coming to your campus. From the Apple Watch to the plethora of activity trackers such as Fitbit, wearable technology is becoming more common — and companies are creating a steady stream of new devices that we can wear on our eyes, head, wrist and body to communicate, consume and compute. Here are seven cutting-edge wearable technologies and some of their potential applications in and out of the classroom.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/10/14/7-up-and-coming-wearable-technologies.aspx

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Is there more to a MOOC than its completion rate?

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

In a recent report published in the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, authors Dr. Elke M. Leeds, associate vice president of Technology Enhanced Learning and associate professor of Information Systems for KSU, and Dr. Jim Cope, executive director of the distance learning center at KSU, mention that in Stephen Haggard’s “The Maturing of the MOOC,” many state and public institutions have not yet been able to qualify or quantify the value proposition in order to justify engagement with the open course market. “Measures of anticipated success are based on measures of academic course success, when in actuality one is not necessarily a substitute for the other,” say the authors. They mention that in Reich and Ho’s “The Tricky Task of Figuring Out What Makes a MOOC Successful,” course drop-outs are not a breach of expectations, but rather a natural result of the online, open environment.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/mooc-course-completion-973/
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Online Learning Consortium Awarded Adaptive Learning Grant

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

by Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide, today announced it has received a $2.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to speed adoption of next-generation digital courseware solutions by higher education institutions and faculty, in order to improve outcomes in general education courses, especially for disadvantaged and underserved student groups. Next-generation digital courseware, which is based on the science of learning and best practices in user experience (UX) design, has been shown to improve student learning outcomes for disadvantaged students. This grant will support OLC’s efforts to promote awareness of research, pedagogy, and best practices in the broader digital learning domain to speed adoption and facilitate the kind of innovation that is critical to closing the widening gap in degree attainment between economically privileged and low-income students.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/online-learning-consortium-awarded-adaptive-learning-grant-300158908.html

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