Online Learning Update

March 24, 2017

EdX brings students together to brainstorm online improvements

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

by Maya Goldman, Michigan Daily

The Office of Academic Innovation partnered with edX, a massive online open course provider, on Tuesday evening to hold a Design Jam for University of Michigan students. The event was held so edX could hear from students about its program and get a new perspective on the issues within their platform they want to solve. MOOCs are online higher-education classes available to learners at all levels and with all interests. The University partners with edX, as well as with other providers like Coursera, to create classes taught by University professors for the platform. The event aimed to facilitate the discussion of solutions and creation of prototypes to solve some of the challenges edX faces within their company. According to Rachel Niemer, director of the University’s Gameful Learning Lab and the organizer of the event, design labs are important because they allow students to enter conversations about innovation that are traditionally faculty-based.

https://www.michigandaily.com/section/academics/design-jam-brings-together-students-and-edx-developers

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The Future of EDUCAUSE: Expanded Partnerships and Collaboration

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

by John O’Brien, EDUCAUSE Review

Over the five-year period covered in our strategic plan, EDUCAUSE will work to promote stronger, more collaborative relationships between IT leaders and other senior campus leaders. As technology solutions extend across campus and IT risks intensify, it’s crucial to make connections and elevate the strategic role of information technology and also of IT leaders. With this in mind, EDUCAUSE will work at two levels. On the ground, we will expand access to resources that help our members connect the dots on campus and tell the IT story effectively. Beginning in July, we will be able to do that even better when our new membership model opens up ELI and ECAR resources to all members.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2017/3/the-future-of-educause-expanded-partnerships-and-collaboration

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Understanding the Faculty Role in Digital Accessibility

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

By Doug Lederman, Inside Digital Learning

The decision last week by the University of California, Berkeley, to take years’ worth of video and audio lectures out of the public realm because of federal requirements on accessibility for people with disabilities was decried by many accessibility advocates. In the context of Berkeley’s decision, Inside Digital Learning asked a group of digital accessibility experts how they balance the essential goal of making digital courseware accessible while respecting faculty independence and avoiding deterring professors who may already be daunted by the prospect of creating digital academic materials. Among the questions we asked them to address are: *Are there practices that you have found work (and don’t) in assuring the creation of accessible digital materials? *Are there decisions to be made about what you have faculty members themselves do, versus the institution’s technology specialists? *What issues should administrators and faculty members alike be thinking about as they navigate this terrain?

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2017/03/15/digital-accessibility-experts-discuss-how-they-approach-faculty

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March 23, 2017

Universities scramble as political climate threatens international enrollment

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

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Approximately 40% of domestic colleges and universities participating in a recent higher education survey are reporting a decrease in applications from international students, a trend that some observers attribute to the changing political climate in the United States, travel restrictions, and growing perceived animus against international student presence on some campuses, Inside Higher Ed reports. 35% of the 250 participating schools reported increases in applications from foreign countries, while 26% reported no change. Applications from Middle Eastern nations were the most reduced according to a recent study of international students by Royall & Company, but interest from students in Canada, Asia and Europe is also declining. Respondents indicated the federal travel ban, the attitudes from the White House about foreign students, and a perception of unwelcoming campus climates as the top reasons for their decreased interest.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/universities-scramble-as-political-climate-threatens-international-enrollme-1/438060/

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4 trends poised to transform the future of higher education

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

by Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

Association of Governing Boards associate managing principal for institutional strategies Jim Hundrieser speaking during the 99th annual American Council on Education meeting in Washington, DC said,“Students are no longer buying that whole college” experience, said Hundrieser, using the example of having to buy an entire album for one or two good songs, prior to the profusion of digitized media. As such, certificates, credentials, and job-related curricula are becoming increasingly more important considerations for leaders of traditional institutions. Not only that, he said, but despite what recent data show, MOOCs were not just a flash in the pan. Instead, we’ve seen “inning one of a nine inning game,” Hundrieser said, adding that MOOCs are still “absolutely” poised to disrupt the traditional higher education marketplace, as courses, particularly around college prep, increase.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/4-trends-poised-to-transform-the-future-of-higher-education/437923/

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Smartphones Outpacing Humans in Literacy

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

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

“Illiterate people are more likely to be poor, lack education, miss out on opportunities to participate fully in society and the workforce,” Project Literacy stated on its website. “Sadly, their choices in life are far too limited.” Currently, 758 million adults around the world and 32 million Americans are illiterate, according to a new report issued by the project, “2027: Human vs. Machine Literacy.” These are individuals who are unable to read “a road sign, a voting form or a medicine label.” At the same time, technological advances in artificial intelligence and voice recognition will soon enable more than two billion smartphones to read and write. Natural language processing capabilities will “begin to outpace the reading skills of millions of people,” asserted the authors.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/03/09/smartphones-outpacing-humans-in-literacy.aspx

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March 22, 2017

Facilitating Collaboration in Online Groups

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

by Geralyn E Stephens and Kathryn L. Roberts, JEO

Demonstrating the ability to collaborate effectively is essential for students moving into 21st century workplaces. Employers are expecting new hires to already possess group-work skills and will seek evidence of their ability to cooperate, collaborate, and complete projects with colleagues, including remotely or at a distance. Instructional activities and assignments that provide students with a variety of ways to engage each other have a direct and immediate effect on their academic performance. This paper shares the Facilitating Collaboration in Online Groups (FCOG) instructional planning strategy. The strategy is designed for faculty use and familiarizes students with the process and technology necessary to collaborate effectively in online classroom groups. The strategy utilizes proven teaching techniques to maximize student-student and student-content relationships.

https://www.thejeo.com/archive/2017_14_1/stephens_roberts

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Common Challenges for Instructors in Large Online Courses: Strategies to Mitigate Student and Instructor Frustration

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

by Beth A. Trammell and Chera LaForge, Journal of Educators Online

Teaching in the online classroom is becoming commonplace for instructors as universities seek to grow enrollments and tap into unexplored markets. Many instructors, however, are often unprepared for the nuances of distance education and apprehensive about making the transition to online learning. This article aims to discuss common challenges for instructors of high-enrollment online courses (70+ students). Course design and instructional effectiveness are some of the most significant challenges facing instructors tasked with managing large online courses and those challenges align with the areas students commonly consider as necessary for successful online delivery. Using examples from large online classes and the existing research on best practices in online education, ways to minimize those challenges will be discussed.

https://www.thejeo.com/archive/2017_14_1/trammell_laforge

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This heroic non-profit is providing free university education to refugees

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am
By Jack Boulton Roe, Techly
How best to offer education to displaced people? An important question and one that Kiron, a German non-profit, has attempted to answer with their two-year, refugee-targeted, online education programme. The proliferation of the internet has given rise to online learning platforms all over the world – take a look at MOOC-list for an idea of just what, and how much of it, is out there. What sets Kiron apart is their focus on refugees. A loss of education may not be the first thing that occurs in the case of a misplaced person, but when considering that 25 per cent of Syrians between 18-24 years old were in education before the war started, it becomes clear that this is vital work.

https://www.techly.com.au/2017/03/13/heroic-non-profit-providing-free-university-education-refugees/

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March 21, 2017

What the college digital experience will look like 5 years from now

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

BY JAMI MORSHED, eCampus News

The desire for a more digital campus has also come hand-in-hand with the rise of the non-traditional student, a population of which is generally characterized by part-time attendance, student swirl, working either full or part time, and taking classes either partly or entirely online. [Read: “Is it time to rethink the term nontraditional student?”] Online learning platforms change the lecture and classroom experience to allow students to connect with the university through a familiar medium–their mobile device. Predictive analytics, machine learning, chatbots and augmented reality have the ability to bring us into a completely new era of digital learning. In order for higher ed institutions to truly embrace these possibilities, advancements must encompass both student learning and student administrative functionalities.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/featured/featured-on-ecampus-news/college-digital-5-years-now/

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Digital disruption lowers the cost of expensive masters degrees

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

by Tim Dodd, Financial Review

A round of price-cutting has broken out in the market for high-priced masters degrees with four Australian universities offering students a pathway to complete part of the degree online at a steep discount. In a sign of digital disruption hitting higher education, the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Adelaide and Curtin University are offering students the chance to do a quarter of a full masters degrees at low cost through US-based massive open online course (MOOC) provider edX which gives them a new credential called a MicroMasters. Students can then complete the degree at the regular cost, giving them at least a 20 per cent discount overall.

http://www.afr.com/leadership/management/business-education/digital-disruption-lowers-the-cost-of-expensive-masters-degrees-20170310-guv6pf

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Coding, Robotics and the Jobs of the Future

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

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, tech Edvocate

IT jobs will grow by 22% through 2020 and jobs in STEM are said to see similar growth. Educators are expected to equip their students with skills that will translate into careers and yet they have no idea what these skills should be. So, what are the jobs of the future and how can be best prepare students for them? Programming jobs are growing 50 percent faster than the market overall. With such a rapidly growing market, it is important to note that not all coding jobs fall within the technology sector. Health care, manufacturing, and finance are in need of coders as is the tech industry. Coding is the backbone of many technologies, and in the future, it will be an important tool for entrepreneurs and innovators.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/coding-robotics-and-the-jobs-of-the-future/
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March 20, 2017

Mining Data Across the Campus

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

By David Raths, Campus Technology

An increased focus on data at Clemson University is impacting decision-making in finance, operations, facilities and more. At Clemson University (SC), data architects and business teams are developing a multidimensional database about campus facilities. By merging in data from financial systems, Brett Dalton, vice president for finance and operations, can see the size of rooms and their condition and can ask questions about the university’s costs associated with them. “We are creating a robust picture of an asset, how it is managed and what it produces in terms of bottom-line productivity,” he said. “We can be more strategic in targeting preventative maintenance dollars and renovation dollars. Some things come to life when you look at them in an integrated fashion. We might decide we need to tear a building down.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/03/09/mining-data-across-the-campus.aspx

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Report: Higher ed still woefully unprepared against cyber attacks

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

BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Report indicates that of all sectors, education is the most at-risk when it comes to the ability to defend against cyber attacks of all kind. Twenty-six percent of education respondents in a new survey reported daily or weekly cyber attacks in 2016, and 98 percent of all responding organizations experienced cyber attacks in 2016. The 2016-2017 Global Application & Network Security Survey from cyber security company Radware reveals that while cyber ransom proves the easiest and most lucrative tool for cyber criminals, almost all ransom events have a different attack vector, technique or angle. Ransom attacks are the most prevalent, increasing from 25 percent of attacks in 2015 to 41 percent of attacks in 2016. The report attributes the increase to the lucrative nature of such a “business.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/it-newsletter/higher-ed-unprepared-cyber-attacks/

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The surprising new way students are paying for college

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

BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Social fundraising is enabling many students to meet their tuition goals in order to attend college. In the face of rising college costs comes a somewhat surprising funding trend: students are increasingly turning to GoFundMe, a social fundraising platform that allows anyone to contribute to funding campaigns on the site. Since 2014, more than 130,000 GoFundMes have raised $60 million from over 850,000 donations for college tuition and related campaigns. Among the top states where students raise college funds on GoFundMe are California, with 15,338 campaigns raising $8.3 million; Texas, with 10,152 campaigns raising $4.6 million; and New York, with 6,844 campaigns raising $4.2 million.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/03/09/getting-blended-learning-right/

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March 19, 2017

Projections see 7.2% expansion in e-learning by 2027

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

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Online learning platforms and devices are likely to follow a trend set by wearable technology, gaming and other digital industries, with a new report suggesting that instructional tech will grow by just over 7% in the next ten years. Report Linker makes its projections based upon the rise of technology use in instructional design, content created for web-based production and consumption, and the growth of virtual reality and artificial intelligence as academic support tools. Authors say that the report is based upon the revenue performance of several leading tech companies with impact in the educational industry, and trends in domestic and international institutional business models.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/projections-see-72-expansion-in-e-learning-by-2027/437819/

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3 Lessons Learned About Taking Online Courses

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

By Olena Reid, US News

Building relationships virtually is challenging, but not impossible for online students. Before deciding to pursue a two-year, rigorous online MBA program, I completed eight short free online classes. My go-to platforms were Coursera and FutureLearn, but there are many more options now that offer high-quality lectures and materials. These online courses combined with my online MBA program taught me a few lessons about learning virtually that might help a prospective or current online student answer their questions and know what to expect in an online program.

https://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/articles/2017-03-10/3-lessons-learned-about-taking-online-courses

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Textbooks could be history as schools switch to free online learning

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

by Kathy Boccella, Philadelphia Inquirer

Next year, though, when Gumpert’s ninth graders reach into their backpacks, they will pull out slim laptops instead of overweight tomes and use mostly free online resources, including the latest current events from Africa, the Middle East, and anywhere else on Earth. Garnet Valley is one of a handful of Philadelphia-area districts, and three in northern New Jersey, that are in the vanguard of a nationwide movement to ditch traditional textbooks for open-source educational resources on the web. Along with budget savings, which can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars in a district, proponents say it gives teachers more freedom to custom-tailor curricula and allows students to learn where they’re already most comfortable — on computers.

http://www.philly.com/philly/education/History-books-could-soon-be-history-as-schools-switch-to-free-online-learning.html

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March 18, 2017

Rallying Behind the Data: Building a Data-Backed Culture

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

by Melissa Vito, Evolllution

Three years ago, we were in a tough spot. We had a set of ambitious retention goals to meet, we had a lot of data—albeit static, siloed, dusty data—but no “system” to collect or distribute it, much less act on it. An institutional reorganization that brought together our institutional research and business intelligence teams set the stage for consistent and better data. So our next step as a team was to get our hands on the data. When you begin running data analyses, you need to prepare for some surprises!

http://evolllution.com/managing-institution/operations_efficiency/rallying-behind-the-data-building-a-data-backed-culture/

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Reduce Online Course Anxiety with a Check-in Quiz

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

By: Maryellen Weimer, Faculty Focus

“Online classes are often intimidating for first-time students,” writes David St Clair. “They wrestle with the gnawing fear that their class has no anchor in the physical world and that there will be no one there to address their fears and concerns.” (p. 129) His solution? A simple, online check-in quiz. Here’s how the activity unfolds. The first assignment in the online course, to be completed on the first day, is this required check-in quiz.

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/reduce-online-course-anxiety-check-quiz/

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Big Data, Big Opportunity, Big Challenge

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

by Gary Matkin, Evolllution

Continuing educators (CE) were the first to offer courses, certificate programs and degrees in digital analytics and in the related fields of predictive analytics, Big Data and the Internet of Things. Unfortunately, educators and administrators alike have been less aggressive in leveraging data analytics to enhance their own offerings and operations. However, there are emerging pathways for CE administrators to use these new technologies. An understanding of the concepts, domains of usage, and ways in which digital analytics can be used in CE are essential for all leaders.

http://evolllution.com/managing-institution/operations_efficiency/big-data-big-opportunity-big-challenge/

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