Archive for December, 2015

MOOC: A viable corporate learning alternative

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

by Nation Multimedia

One hundred years ago, we may have called the library a MOOC as the disruptor in the sense that it provided knowledge to so many who wanted “in”. Are you planning to invest valuable resources to build learning systems to enhance your company’s capabilities? You are probably contemplating some sort of online learning systems to complement your classroom training. Or if you already have an online learning system, are you struggling to deliver online courses to meet the needs of your organisation? If you are, you are not alone. The value of the global e-learning market is expected to rise to US$50.5 billion (Bt1.8 trillion) next year from $35.6 billion in 2011, with the highest annual growth rate of 17.6 per cent expected in Asia alone, according to a report by Docebo, a provider of cloud e-learning solutions.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/MOOC-A-viable-corporate-learning-alternative-30275724.html

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E-learning helped some students in India during flood

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

by R. Sujatha and Gayathree Ganesan, the Hindu

Access to the Internet and web-based learning ensured that students in some private schools did not miss schoolwork even during the extended holiday due to the recent rain and the ensuing flood. Some schools have installed software or signed into popular e-learning platforms to provide homework and assignments. A teacher in Omega, a private school in Kolapakkam, which is still cleaning up the mess left by the flood, said some teachers had sent online assignments to students. “But it depended on accessibility,” the teacher, who did not want to be named, said. Chettinad Vidhyashram sent assignments through Yokibu. “We concentrated on students appearing for the board exams. We sent SMS alerts when we mailed assignments students. But, only those who had power supply benefited. Children in less affected areas shared hard copies of the assignments with their friends in flood-affected places,” said Principal S. Amudha Lakshmi.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/elearning-helped-some-students-during-flood/article8023474.ece?css=print

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Smog alerts promote online education

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

By Zhao Xinying, China Daily

Beijing’s two recent red alerts for air pollution led to the suspension of classes at primary and middle schools in the capital, but online education platforms experienced a boom. According to 17zuoye.com, an Internet-based K12 homework service, the number of newly registered users on Dec 8 was almost three times as many as the day before, with 3,000 teachers and 160,000 students in Beijing assigning and doing homework there. Users of Homework Box, a mobile app that has similar functions to 17zuoye.com, hit a new high in the number of questions downloaded and worked on by students from Dec 7 to 9, when Beijing issued its first red alert for air pollution and primary and middle schools of the capital suspended classes for three days.

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2015-12/23/content_22781449.htm

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Penn’s Online Learning Initiative Launches New Robotics Specialization

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

by Amanda Mott, UPenn

Beginning in January, the University of Pennsylvania will roll out a new robotics specialization, an online five-course sequence, via the University’s Online Learning Initiative on the Coursera platform. Members of the School of Engineering and Applied Science’s GRASP Laboratory will teach these courses. Instructors include Vijay Kumar. “Robots are virtually everywhere in our lives today,” said Kumar. “No longer the stuff of science fiction, robots have evolved into complicated autonomous agents with sophisticated mapping technologies and coordination, capabilities and applications within a wide array of industries.”

http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/news/penn-s-online-learning-initiative-launches-new-robotics-specialization

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What’s Behind Wharton’s Massive Bet on Online Learning

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

by John A. Byrne, Fortune

Since 2012, some 2.7 million people have enrolled in Wharton’s 18 MOOC courses. More importantly, the school has awarded 54,000 verified certificates since 2012 and 32,000 verified certificates in specialization courses since April of this year. What started as something of an online experiment will bring an additional $5 million in revenue to Wharton in 2015. Through it all, Wharton has firmly established itself as the leading business purveyor of MOOCs. It was the first business school to offer a MOOC, the first to offer a specialization, or series of related courses, on Coursera, and can boasts one of the highest MOOC enrollments of any business school in the world. No less crucial, the school is now doubling down on its bet on MOOCs. Over the next 12 months, Wharton plans to launch at least two dozen new online offerings, including its first three SPOCs (small private online courses) on digital marketing, gamification, and advanced product design.

http://fortune.com/2015/12/22/wharton-online-learning/

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Indonesian Online Education Platform Links Up With US Counterpart EdX

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

by Jakarta Post

Jakarta. IndonesiaX, a local massive open online course platform, is partnering with its US counterpart EdX to allow Indonesians more access to courses offered by some of the world’s most prestigious universities. EdX is an initiative spearheaded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in 2012, while IndonesiaX partners with the Bandung Institute of Technology and the Indonesia Stock Exchange, among other institutions. “The free online courses under IndonesiaX will help to democratize access to education in Indonesia and this new partnership will allow our students to access materials from one of the best educators’ in the world, such as Professor Charles Fried from Harvard University,” Lucyanna Mangeondipoero Pandjaitan, the chief executive of IndonesiaX, said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday.

http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/education/indonesian-online-education-platform-links-us-counterpart-edx/

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The 6 Most Important Things That Happened in Virtual Reality in 2015

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

By Rachel Metz, Technology Review

Though virtual reality is still far from mainstream, 2015 was a big year for the industry as new headsets were introduced—some full-featured and powerful, some simple and portable—and companies announced new ways to control and capture VR imagery, too. Throughout the year, investors poured money into companies developing the technology, content creators figured out how to make everything from films to advertisements in VR, and millions of Americans experienced virtual-reality technology for the very first time. With all that happened, it can be hard to sift out what’s most important. We cut through the virtual noise to bring you the six most significant events in virtual reality this year.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/544866/the-6-most-important-things-that-happened-in-virtual-reality-in-2015/

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Want to improve student success? Personalization, accelerated programs are a start

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

As colleges and universities spend more time and money committing to student success, five key strategies can be highlighted for their promise of results. University Business reports using data analytics to tailor student support, offering accelerated degree programs, and finding ways to personalize big campuses with close attention on individual students could see more widespread adoption across higher education. Colleges are also paying more attention to at-risk groups early, offering peer mentoring and targeted advising to keep them on track, and some are hiring bilingual support staff members or developing bilingual programs to encourage student identity and prepare students for certain careers.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/want-to-improve-student-success-personalization-accelerated-programs-a-st/411263/

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Under 1% of Global Freshman Academy students eligible for ASU credit

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Brief

Arizona State University’s massive open online course experiment in partnership with edX was supposed to give thousands of students free access to freshman-year courses they could take online and pay for only if they passed.  Inside Higher Ed reports, however, that just 323 of 34,086 people who registered for the Global Freshman Academy MOOCs — less than 1% — actually completed the courses with a C or better, making them eligible for the reduced-cost first-year credits. While Arizona State was hoping more students would enroll when it announced the Global Freshman Academy, it sees the small first year as a positive first step.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/under-1-of-global-freshman-academy-students-eligible-for-asu-credit/411241/

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Someday, the school name on your college diploma won’t be the most important thing

Monday, December 28th, 2015

By Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post

Today’s economy demands higher-level skills that are best learned through a mash-up of hands-on activities and different classes in various academic disciplines. That’s the experience employers want in today’s job candidates, but aren’t always sure they are getting with a one-dimensional bachelor’s degree. Think of those silly endorsements for skills we all get on our LinkedIn profiles. What if they were verified by a trusted source — a test, a school, or an individual with deep knowledge of a subject? It could open up job opportunities to a broader array of students who didn’t go to top schools. Sure, the name on a diploma would probably still matter in a hiring process full of hidden biases, but it wouldn’t be the only signal that someone is fit for a job.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/12/21/someday-the-school-name-on-your-college-diploma-wont-be-the-most-important-thing/

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Highlights of Distance Education Enrollment Trends from IPEDS Fall 2014

Monday, December 28th, 2015

by Terri Taylor Straut and Russ Poulin, WCET

Enrollments by students Exclusively in Distance Education continued to rise in 2014. There were 2,824,334 fully online enrollments in 2014, compared to 2,659,203 in 2013, representing a 6% increase in just one year. Last year, one-out-of-eight of all higher education students were enrolled exclusively in distance education. In 2014, it is now closer to one-in seven students being enrolled exclusively at a distance. As we noted in our blog about the 2013 data, the distance education growth is in the context of a slight decline in overall enrollments, as reported to IPEDS. Public institutions represent 49% of all enrollments with 1,381,897; Private For-Profit institutions represent 30% of enrollments with 838,219; and the Private Non-Profit sector remains the smallest with 604,218 enrollments or 21% of fully online enrollments.

https://wcetblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/ipeds-fall-2014-de-highlights/

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Anger at ‘stolen’ online courses on Udemy

Monday, December 28th, 2015

by Dave Lee,BBC

Several experts and academics have expressed anger at finding their courses uploaded to the site and offered up for sale, without their permission. Udemy, which raised $65m in investment in June this year, responded by saying it relies on users flagging copyright infringing content and would review its procedures for doing so. Rob Conery discovered that his programming courses had been reposted – but sometimes with identifying information intentionally removed. “Piracy happens,” Mr Conery said. “But I’ve never seen it rewarded so openly… so brazenly.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34952382

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What should be the place of educational technology (edtech) in the wider higher ed conversation?

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

What should be the place of educational technology (edtech) in the wider higher ed conversation? As we look to 2016, where should the edtech profession direct its focus? I’d like to make 3 arguments for those of us working at the intersection of learning and technology to widen our perspectives, and to perhaps shift our focus to the bigger questions faced by the higher ed.

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/edtech-and-wider-higher-ed-conversation-2016

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A full schedule of online courses may help some students

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

by Rhonda Siebecker, News Republic

Ashley Kingcade, a junior at Baraboo High School, already takes several virtual classes and said she will apply for the school’s new full-time virtual learning program set to begin in January. Starting in January, some Baraboo students will have the opportunity to attend online classes full-time, a new feature that one student says will help her reduce missed coursework due to health-related school absences. “I originally wanted to go to full-time online but at the time they didn’t offer it, so now that they do I am extremely excited to get the opportunity to go completely online,” Ashley Kingcade said. Through a partnership with the Wisconsin Digital Learning Collaborative, Baraboo students who participate in the full-time virtual education can choose from as many as 200 courses. The Baraboo School Board approved full-time virtual learning for a limited number of students.

http://www.wiscnews.com/news/local/article_b84ea313-620d-54ff-b667-cd85c67d0b4b.html

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Less Than 1% of ASU Global Freshman Academy Qualify to Advance

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Only 323 of 34,086 learners are eligible to take advantage of Arizona State’s MOOCs-for-credit initiative with edX. The university calls it a “positive first step.” Less than 1 percent of the learners in the massive open online course partnership between Arizona State University and edX are eligible to earn credit for their work, according to enrollment numbers from the inaugural courses. The partnership, known as Global Freshman Academy, was announced this spring with great fanfare. University officials and fans of the effort said the new way of delivering education (in addition to traditional online and face-to-face options) might be a way to get new students excited about and enrolled in degree programs.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/12/21/323-learners-eligible-credit-moocs-arizona-state-u

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Six Ways to Increase Enrollments at an Extended Campus

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

by Steven S. Christensen, Scott L. Howell, Jordan Christensen; OJDLA

This is a “best practices” article focused on sharing six new academic scheduling strategies recently employed by the BYU Salt Lake Center to optimize course offerings and increase enrollments. These strategies are generalizable to other academic programs that help extend academic programs at a distance, including online courses. The Center is an extended campus in Salt Lake City, Utah situated 46 miles to the north of the main campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The distance between the flagship university and its Center pose unique challenges in relation to course and enrollment optimization. Some of these strategies are made possible with the help of new software tools recently licensed by the university to help mine “big course and enrollment data” (current and historical) of a large university with 30,000 students.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter184/christensen_howell_christensen184.html

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Expert Reflections on Effective Online Instruction: Importance of Course Content

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

by Michael Ryan, Christine Jonick, and Lee Woodham; OJDLA

This study seeks to identify common factors that leaders in online instruction consider most critical to successful teaching and learning at a distance. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the teaching philosophy narratives of the nominees for the University System of Georgia Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award for Online Teaching was conducted. The total number of times a concept was mentioned and the percentage of nominees who cited each concept were computed. The results indicate the relative importance of each concept to these leading practitioners in the field. Rapport, design, engagement, feedback, research, and course improvement emerged as some of the most commonly cited themes, and these correspond with the literature review of best practices for online instruction. However, these instructors also emphasized course content as a significant element, even though this concept is less prevalent in the literature. The emphasis on content by these nominees underscores the importance of this theme and suggests that content is a factor that should be carefully considered in online instruction.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter184/ryan_jonick_langub184.html

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Relationships Among Faculty Training, Faculty Degree, Faculty Longevity, and Student Satisfaction in Online Higher Education

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

Robert Todd Kane, et al; OJDLA

With the ever-increasing availability of online education opportunities, understanding the factors that influence online student satisfaction and success is vital to enable administrators to engage and retain this important stakeholder group. The purpose of this ex-post-facto, nonexperimental quantitative study was to investigate the impact of faculty professional development, faculty degree status, and faculty longevity upon online student satisfaction and success. A large, archived dataset from an online public state university was analyzed. Repeated measures Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) analysis was used to explore changes in student satisfaction over time. Results showed that both training and degree were not significant predictors of student satisfaction. On the contrary, faculty longevity was found to be a predictor of student satisfaction. Recommendations for future research include incorporating qualitative analysis and expanding the study to diverse institutional types to determine whether findings are consistent.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter184/kane_shaw_pang_salley_snider184.html

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BILL GATES: IT’S HIGH TIME FOR SOME GOOD NEWS

Friday, December 25th, 2015

by Bill Gates, OZY

This past June, the company that created the SAT helped Khan Academy launch a free online learning portal for any student who wants help getting ready for the SAT or PSAT. Check out the site for yourself. If you’re like me, you’ll look at these interactive tools and video lessons and wish they had been around when you were in high school. I’m very excited about this development because of what it means for kids who can’t afford expensive test-prep classes and tutors.

http://www.ozy.com/wildcard/bill-gates-its-high-time-for-some-good-news/66891

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Lifetime Learning: Discovering MOOCs

Friday, December 25th, 2015

by Kelly Ann Benz, the Daily World

I have three EDx certificates, one from the Cornell class, one from Smithsonian University, and an art history certificate from the University of Madrid. By the end of the year, I’ll have a certificate in the “Science of Art Restoration” from Trinity (just completed), and by January, a certificate in Civil War history from Columbia. Finally, also in January, I’ll have a certificate in a class called “American Government” taught by professor Thomas Patterson from Harvard. Yes, I finally passed a Harvard MOOC. Phew. How do I know I’ll earn these certificates? The course page offers a chart of my progress and I am only a few lessons away from finishing the last two MOOCs. My progress chart shows that I’ve already made a passing grade. It remains to be seen if and how this education impacts my life, my work, my world, but I know one thing for sure. I like learning, and finding a way to do that has renewed my interest in keeping it a lifetime pursuit.

http://thedailyworld.com/lifestyle/lifetime-learning-discovering-moocs

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Universities weave caucuses into spring courses

Friday, December 25th, 2015

by Jeff Charis-Carlson, Press-Citizen

At Iowa State University, Steffen Schmidt is finished up his second version of his new massive open online course on the caucuses. The longtime political science professor said he is excited for the third iteration of the MOOC, which begins Jan. 5 and continues until the day after the caucuses. “We’re really looking forward to the final roll-out because by then we will know even better what is likely to happen on caucus night — whether (Donald) Trump is going to hold where he is, whether Bernie Sanders has a chance to catch up,” Schmidt said.

http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/2015/12/18/universities-weave-caucuses-into-spring-course/76788426/

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