One Reason to Offer Free Online Courses: Alumni Engagement

January 20th, 2015

By Casey Fabris, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Conversations about the atomic bomb can go only so far among a classroom of 20-somethings. It’s hard for today’s students to imagine living in 1945, experiencing a world war, or, for most, serving in the military. But bring alumni—with many more years of experience to share—into the equation, and class discussions can get a lot more interesting. That’s what Karen Harpp is doing in her Colgate University course “The Advent of the Atomic Bomb.”

http://chronicle.com/article/One-Reason-to-Offer-Free/151163/

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Is Online Learning an Institutional Fit?

January 19th, 2015

by Vickie Cook, Evolllution

Many institutions and their leaders make assumptions about online learning that are often false or simply incomplete as they plan to enter this marketplace. These assumptions include how an online program initiative should be approached, who the stakeholders are, institutional infrastructure support required for online learning, governance and organizational structure for online learning and the sustainability of the online learning courses and program offered.  While not comprehensive or customized to a specific organization, the following list may be helpful to the institution considering adding or energizing an online learning program.

http://www.evolllution.com/featured/online-learning-institutional-fit/

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The Search for Meaningful e-Learning at Canadian Universities: A Multi-Institutional Research Study

January 19th, 2015

by Vincent Salyers, et al; IRRODL

While e-learning is now characterized by a past and trends within that past, there continues to be uncertainty about how e-learning is defined and conceptualized, whether or not we like e-learning, and whether or not it is as meaningful to us as face to face learning. The purpose of this study was to document the e-learning perceptions of students at three Canadian post-secondary institutions. Key components of e-learning courses including ease of navigation, course design, resource availability, and adequacy of e-learning supports and their impact on the student learning experience were also evaluated. Based on a survey of students (n= 1,377) as well as their participation in focus groups, the following are presented as important findings: the majority of students studying in e-learning courses at the three institutions represented in the study were women; ease of navigation, course design, and previous experience with e-learning consistently demonstrated a statistically significant predictive capacity for positive e-learning experiences; and students expressed less preference for e-learning instructional strategies than their faculty.

http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1713/3121

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William Mitchell welcomes its first hybrid ‘online’ law school class

January 19th, 2015

by MAURA LERNER , Star Tribune

Vershawn Young, a college professor from Canada, started his first day of law school on Monday. So did Dr. Brooke Baker, an anesthesiologist from New Mexico. But they won’t have much time to learn their way around their St. Paul campus. By this weekend, they’ll be heading home. They’re part of the first “hybrid” class at the William Mitchell College of Law — which means they’ll be doing most of their coursework online. Until now, no accredited law school in the country has offered such an option. But on Monday, William Mitchell became the first one. It welcomed an eclectic group of 85 students, ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s, who jumped at the chance to pioneer a version of law school that, some say, could be the wave of the future.

http://www.startribune.com/local/stpaul/288350831.html

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INFOGRAPHIC: 5 ways to strengthen higher ed-tech security in 2015

January 18th, 2015

by eCampus News

What can higher ed institutions do to protect their data and their students’ data? Learn 5 ways to protect data and meet compliance. 35 percent of all security breaches take place in higher education. 500+ security breaches have occurred at 320+ higher ed institutions since 2005–a rate of just over 1 security breach per week. These are just some of the sobering findings from recent research, with sources that include EDUCAUSE and the SANS Institute, and compiled into an infographic by SysCloud–a company that helps enterprises and educational institutions more easily transition to Google Apps and ensure continued safeguarding of their users’ data.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/safety-and-security/infographic-stregthen-security-738/

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Chief digital officer title gaining steam on campuses

January 18th, 2015
by Keith Button, Digital Dive
More universities and colleges are creating chief digital officer positions to help manage online learning and other digital initiatives. Part of the reason for the movement may be that higher education institutions believe that they need more structure and accountability for online and digital learning beyond what the chief information officer provides, Campus Technology reported. Splitting information technology duties between the CIO, CDO, and potentially other IT silos could dilute campus IT leadership.
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“Just When You Thought”: How Predictive Analytics Will Impact the Data Center

January 18th, 2015

by Bill Jacobs, Data Center Knowledge

Deployment of predictive analytics to production will deliver operational, performance and risk improvements across large organizations in 2015. Whether by integrating on-demand analytics into BI dashboards and reports, or by computing predictions as part of the business application logic, predictive analytics will go production for many this year. For those already in production, historical methods such as re-coding predictive models into Java or C++ prior to deployment have reached end-of-life. As application teams accelerate model deployment cycles, lower development costs and minimize coding inaccuracies, direct deployment of new models is needed. For IT, this means onboarding of new production systems that compute predictions, and with them, come challenges.

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2015/01/12/just-thought-predictive-analytics-will-impact-data-center/

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Simon & Schuster to Sell Online Courses Taught by Popular Authors

January 17th, 2015

By ALEXANDRA ALTERJAN, NY Times

Simon & Schuster is making a push into paid online video, with a new website offering online courses from popular health, finance and self-help authors. The cost of the first batch of online courses ranges from $25 to $85, and includes workbooks and access to live question-and-answer sessions with three authors: Dr. David B. Agus, the best-selling author of “The End of Illness”; Zhena Muzyka, who wrote the self-help book “Life by the Cup”; and Tosha Silver, the author of the spiritual advice book “Outrageous Openness.” The courses will be available on the authors’ individual websites and on the company’s new site, SimonSays.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/12/business/media/simon-schuster-to-sell-online-courses-taught-by-popular-authors.html?_r=0

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Online fix to Australia’s classroom crisis

January 17th, 2015

by Rick Morton, THE AUSTRALIAN

Online teacher training has the potential to overcome the malaise affecting the sector, with a major audit suggesting the pool of ­teacher talent is significantly improved using distance education, particularly in regional and ­remote Australia. Students enrolled in online courses are achieving at the same level academically as their peers who turn up to campus every week, the audit by the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards has found. Charles Sturt University faculty of education executive dean Toni Downes said “shipping” graduate teachers out into the country was not working. Online courses attracted people who wanted to enrol in teaching courses but stay in their communities.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/education/online-fix-to-classroom-crisis/story-fn59nlz9-1227182740095?nk=ccacb96e55d04e14eb634499d75aba4a

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eLearning as good as traditional training for health professionals

January 17th, 2015

by Imperial College London

Electronic learning could enable millions more students to train as doctors and nurses worldwide, according to research. A review commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and carried out by Imperial College London researchers concludes that eLearning is likely to be as effective as traditional methods for training health professionals. eLearning, the use of electronic media and devices in education, is already used by some universities to support traditional campus-based teaching or enable distance learning. Wider use of eLearning might help to address the need to train more health workers across the globe. According to a recent WHO report, the world is short of 7.2 million healthcare professionals, and the figure is growing.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-01/icl-eag010815.php

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EdX Offers Amazon Web Services Credit for Course Completion

January 16th, 2015

By HANNAH SMATI, Harvard Crimson

When edX courses Entrepreneurship 101 and 102 opened Friday, enrollees had an extra incentive to complete the courses: Users who pass either class will receive $1,000 in credit to spend on Amazon Web Services. “[The Amazon offer] is to provide a valuable incentive for people to take and finish the course,” edX spokesperson Nancy Moss said. According to the edX blog post announcing the offer, students who pass either course can participate in web training, attend virtual office hours with experts, and receive assistance from companies that help start-ups.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2015/1/11/edx-amazon-credit-offer/

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The future of online learning

January 16th, 2015

Anant Agarwal, chief executive of edX in Financial Times:

For providers of Moocs (massive open online courses), I am enthusiastic about what the next five years will hold. Overall, we are discovering that current and prospective students engage with online education more as additional options become available…. I expect that these options – in courses, credentials and programme design – will continue to diversify.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/f8a03bbe-9802-11e4-b4be-00144feabdc0.html

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Australians learning the financial power of e-books

January 16th, 2015

by John Robertson, Christian Today

A retired high school principal and former business owner have spoken of their lucrative new lives as e-book writers. The former has found her niche in the romance genre, while Sydney resident, Angela Vassallo, is riding the success of a book based on her personal experiences with marriage and parenthood. Annie Seaton told the Brisbane Times on Friday that prior to her retirement from the education sector she had always wanted to pen a romance novel. Although she received a rejection letter for her first effort, she was concurrently placed on Amazon’s best-selling e-books chart. Her first book, “Winter of the Passion Flower”, led to offers from five e-publishing outlets.

http://www.christiantoday.com.au/article/australians.learning.the.financial.power.of.e.books/19273.htm

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Rancher takes advantage of online school

January 15th, 2015

by Nelson Garcia, KUSA

One of the people at the 109th annual National Western Stock Show is a Denver student who does not always spend a lot of time in Denver. “I was working on a ranch at the time that school started and I didn’t want to go back to public school,” Jacob Leyba, 16 years old, said. Leyba did enroll in public school. He signed up for Denver Online High School to take classes on his own schedule and location. He was working on a ranch near Steamboat Springs. “The flexibility is what makes ranchers successful,” Leyba said.

http://www.9news.com/story/news/education/2015/01/10/rancher-takes-advantage-online-school/21582635/

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Extension offers online course for board members of nonprofits

January 15th, 2015

by University of Missouri Extension

University of Missouri Extension is offering online training for board members of nonprofit organizations. While board members can bring valuable skills and knowledge, they might not be ready to deal with issues such as conflicts of interest, maintaining minutes and other required documents, compensation of paid employees, and proper handling of grants, donations and other income, Mefford said. Bringing new board members up to speed can be difficult and expensive for small nonprofits, especially in rural communities.

http://www.lakenewsonline.com/article/20150110/NEWS/150109168/-1/sports

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The best online programs in 2015

January 15th, 2015

by Michael Scharnoff, eCampus News

East coast and Midwest public universities dominate in best online bachelor programs rankings. Online education is appealing for its approach to teaching, flexibility, and cost. This phenomenon can be expected to grow. In 2013, the number of students taking at least one online course increased by over 411,000 to a new total of 7.1 million, according to a study by Babson Survey Research Group. Interested in capitalizing on all the benefits online learning has to offer, but unsure which program is best? You’re in luck, because U.S. News & World Report has released the Best Online Program Rankings in 2015. These rankings, accessible on both USNews.com and USNewsUniversityDirectory.com, includes more than 1,000 programs–an increase of more than 20 percent from last year, according to a USNewsUniversityDirectory.com press release.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/online-program-rankings-245/

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WSU Brings Classroom to Students With Online Certification in American Indian Studies

January 14th, 2015

by Jack McNeel, Indian Country

Washington State University is now offering an online program in American Indian Studies that leads to certification. This will provide an opportunity for those living away from campus to expand their education and enhance their opportunities for future employment. Michael Holloman, Colville/Coeur d’Alene, heads up the American Indian Studies program at WSU. He talked of the advantages in having an online certification program, not only for Native people but also for others who work with reservations and tribes in a variety of ways.

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/01/09/wsu-brings-classroom-students-online-certification-american-indian-studies-158617

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Obama proposes free community college for everyone

January 14th, 2015

By Christi Parsons, Tribune

President Barack Obama rolled out a new plan on Jan. 8 to make two years of community college free, or nearly so, for millions of students across the country, a major investment that the White House cast as changing the face of higher education. The program, inspired by new initiatives in Tennessee and Chicago, could benefit up to 9 million students, advisers said. At its heart is dedicated federal funding to cover 75 percent of tuition, with the states picking up the rest of the tab.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/obama-community-college-034/

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85% Report Increase In Willpower Through Free Online Course

January 14th, 2015

By MIKE BUNDRANT, NLP

In a recent voluntary survey on willpower, 85% of participants reported an increase in willpower through a free, 5-day online willpower boot camp conducted via email. As of this writing, 121 people have participated in the online willpower course. Updates may be posted at intervals as more data is acquired from future participants. Participants registered for the course on a voluntary basis and paid no fee. For five consecutive days, participants received an email that asked them to report their results. A final survey delivered the results show below.

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2015/01/increase-in-willpower-survey-results/

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Online courses are here to stay

January 13th, 2015

By: Lauren Coffey, University of Iowa

College officials are discussing how far online courses can go after a few football players at Mt. San Antonio community college were found to be taking an online math course that was known to be an easy way to boost their GPAs. “I love online classes, I don’t think there’s any problem with them when they’re done correctly,” Matthew Judd says, dean of natural sciences at San Antonio College. “…the biggest issue students have is the perception that these classes are easier. There’s the issue of student preparedness. When students aren’t studying there becomes a potential issue of academic fraud.”

http://college.usatoday.com/2015/01/08/online-courses-are-here-to-stay/

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Decide Between Live, Self-Paced Online Classes

January 13th, 2015

by Devon Haynie, US News

Asynchronous learning, or self-paced learning, can also be great for students who may feel more comfortable using the written word than speaking in class, says Vickie S. Cook, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at the University of Illinois—Springfield. “It gives you a more level playing field – even the thoughtful, introverted student can really take time to think about a response,” she says. In addition, she says, asynchronous learning gives struggling students the chance to review information or move at a slower pace, while also allowing advanced students to zip through the material. While asynchronous learning has its benefits, some believe live, online sessions provide the best education.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2015/01/09/decide-between-live-self-paced-online-classes

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