Online Learning Update

October 13, 2017

Exploring the new world of online credentials

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

by David Chandler, MIT News Office
Five years ago, at the first annual Online Learning Summit, the question being asked was “can we scale learning” to reach the vast population on the internet, said Sanjay Sarma, MIT’s vice president for open learning, in his introduction to this year’s summit. That’s no longer in question, he continued: “The answer is emphatically yes.”
Now, as the number of people taking online classes around the world has rocketed upward, the questions revolve around issues of how to carry out such online education, how to provide meaningful credentials for online classes, and how to integrate and complement online education with that offered on traditional residential campuses.

http://news.mit.edu/2017/exploring-new-world-online-credentials-1003

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Future Forward: The Next Twenty Years of Higher Education

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

Preface by Katie Blot, Blackboard

…You’ll find several themes emerge over and over:
• Our current system is unsustainable and ill-suited for a globally connected world that is constantly changing.
• Colleges and universities will have to change their current business model to continue to thrive, boost revenue and drive enrollment.
• The “sage on the stage” and the “doc in the box” aren’t sustainable; new technologies
will allow faculty to shift their focus on the application of learning rather than the
acquisition of knowledge.
• Data and the ability to transform that data into action will be the new lifeblood of the institution.
• Finally, the heart and soul of any institution are its people. Adopting new technologies is only a small piece of the puzzle; institutions must also work with faculty and staff to change institutional culture.

http://www.blackboard.com/resources/pdf/future_forward_the_next_20_years_higher_ed_rev.pdf

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Reuters: These are the world’s 100 most innovative universities

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

BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

The top 10 innovative universities are:
1. Stanford University
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
3. Harvard University
4. University of Pennsylvania
5. KU Leuven
6. KAIST
7. University of Washington
8. University of Michigan System
9. University of Texas System
10. Vanderbilt University

Overall, the top 100 consists of 51 universities based in North America, 26 in Europe, 20 in Asia and three in the Middle East.

For more on the Reuters Top 100, including a detailed methodology and profiles of the universities, visit www.reuters.com/innovative-universities-2017/.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/campus-administration/worlds-100-innovative-universities/

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October 12, 2017

Survey: Faculty Getting More Confident in Tech Skills, but Students’ Skills Are Slipping

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

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Faculty confidence in their technological abilities is growing. In a nationwide survey on the use of technology for teaching and learning, a full 84 percent of respondents said they are “absolutely confident” or “very confident” in their tech skills (up from 79 percent in 2016), and another 14 percent consider their skills “adequate.” Just 2 percent said their tech skills are “below average,” and not one person identified as “incompetent.” Those findings came out of Campus Technology’s second annual Teaching with Technology Survey, in which we asked faculty how they feel about tech in the classroom, where they go for IT support and more.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/09/27/survey-faculty-getting-more-confident-in-tech-skills.aspx

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AI, Merging of Digital and Physical Worlds Among Top 10 Tech Trends for 2018

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

By Joshua Bolkan, Campus Technology
Nearly every app and service will incorporate some level of artificial intelligence in the next few years. Whether they’re obviously intelligent or use intelligence behind the scenes, these tools “create a new intelligent intermediary layer between people and systems and have the potential to transform the nature of work and the structure of the workplace,” according to a new trends forecast. Gartner has released its list of top 10 strategic technology trends for 2018 with a focus for the coming year on technologies related to artificial intelligence and machine learning and those that blend the physical and digital worlds. “Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with substantial disruptive potential that is beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use, or which are rapidly growing trends with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/10/05/ai-merging-of-digital-and-physical-worlds-among-top-10-tech-trends-for-2018.aspx

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A Big Publisher Embraces OER

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

By Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

For years, big-time publishers have been skeptical of open educational resources, questioning their quality and durability. But one of those publishers, Cengage, is today announcing a new product line built around OER. Cengage predicts that the use of OER — free, adaptable educational course materials — could triple over the next five years. In a report published last year, Cengage said that education and technology companies were ready to “embrace the movement” — adding their own services and technology to create “value-added digital solutions that help institutions use OER to its best advantage.” With OpenNow, Cengage is sending its clearest signal yet that it is serious about OER

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/10/10/cengage-offers-new-oer-based-product-general-education-courses

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October 11, 2017

How Machine Learning Is Easing OER Pain Points

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

by David Raths, Campus Technology

California State University, Fresno has been urging its faculty members to seek out appropriate no- or low-cost course materials. The problem: Replacing costlier course material with appropriate OER content is time-consuming, said Bryan Berrett, director of the campus’s Center for Faculty Excellence. To ease the process of selecting material, CSU-Fresno has been piloting an analytics solution from Intellus Learning, which has indexed more than 45 million online learning resources and can make recommendations of matching OER content. A similar homegrown effort at Penn State University has branched out into new directions, said Kyle Bowen, director of education technology services. PSU’s BBookX takes a human-assisted computing approach to enable creation of open source textbooks. The technology uses algorithms to explore OER repositories and return relevant resources that can be combined, remixed and re-used to support learning goals. As instructors and students add materials to a book, BBookX learns and further refines the recommended material.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/10/04/how-machine-learning-is-easing-oer-pain-points.aspx

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Organization to Teach Coding to Girls in Detroit Area

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

by Corey Williams, Associated Press

Computers already are a big part of Marianna Campbell’s life. Now, the 17-year-old Detroit resident is looking forward to attending workshops, classes and discussions with other girls who want to learn about cyber technology. With a focus on programming and computer coding, the events are being offered by Oakland-based Black Girls CODE. The nonprofit introduces young black, Latino and Native American females to computer sciences. Black Girls CODE is starting a chapter in Detroit. Girls in the program also learn how to build websites and create mobile apps. For Marianna, who is black, it will be an opportunity to speak the same computer language while learning with girls who look like she does and who share similar cultural experiences.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/michigan/articles/2017-10-08/organization-to-teach-coding-to-girls-in-detroit-area

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How Online Learning Compares to the Traditional Classroom: Measuring Accounting Course Outcomes

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

By Clement Chen, Keith T. Jones, and Keith Moreland, CPA Journal

The results indicate that a student’s ability to regulate her commitment and effort can be associated with a more positive course experience, which may ultimately translate into a better evaluation of the course. This seems true whether the course is delivered in a traditional or online format. As such, differences among students seemed to have more of an effect than course delivery method; online students do not necessarily appear to be at a performance disadvantage. As noted earlier, some research suggests that online students are more motivated because they know that they cannot rely on class attendance.

https://www.cpajournal.com/2017/10/09/online-learning-compares-traditional-classroom/

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October 10, 2017

How American edutech unicorn Udacity is re-skilling Indians through nanodegrees

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

By Rajiv Singh, Economic Times

Cofounded by Stanford professor and former Google vice-president Sebastian Thrun, Udacity offers free and paid online certification courses for students who earn nanodegrees and learn skills such as front-end web developing, iOS and Android programming, or machine learning. It recently rolled out ‘Introduction to Selfdriving Cars’ and ‘Flying Car’ nanodegree programmes to give students the skills to create autonomous flight vehicles.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/how-american-edutech-unicorn-udacity-is-re-skilling-indians-through-nanodegrees/articleshow/60987152.cms

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Making the Most of MOOCs Premium Content

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

by Robert Ubell, ATD
How to overcome common challenges of introducing massive open online courses to your learning portfolio. When e-learning first emerged a couple decades ago, organizations turned their backs on it. But by 2014 resistance had collapsed. With the conquest of swifter and cheaper virtual training over traditional methods, organizations started shutting down lavish ­country-club training parks and canceling employee travel to exotic sites. Yet, just when companies started imagining the learning industry was comfortably settled, dominated by just two principle players—classrooms and e-learning—a new competitor invaded. Out of the blue, MOOCs (massive open online courses) muscled in. About five years ago, computer scientists at Stanford University astonished everyone by streaming video lectures worldwide to anyone—for free. Since then, thousands of high-quality courses have streamed to millions of people.

https://www.td.org/Publications/Magazines/TD/TD-Archive/2017/10/Making-the-Most-of-Moocs

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More Colleges Are Offering Microcredentials—And Developing Them The Way Businesses Make New Products

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

By Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

If 2012 was “The Year of the MOOC”—massive open online courses, usually offered for free—2017 could be “The Year of the Microcredential.” A growing number of elite colleges are offering short-form graduate and certificate programs that can be taken online for a fraction of the price of a traditional master’s. Proponents say the new offerings will expand access to graduate education and help workers update their skills in fast-changing fields. But the programs also serve as an example of how colleges, increasingly thinking like businesses, are eager to find new ways to bring in revenue.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-10-05-more-colleges-are-offering-microcredentials-and-developing-them-the-way-businesses-make-new-products

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October 9, 2017

A South Texas University Turns to Online Courses to Help Commuters, Students in Mexico

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

By Sydney Johnsonc EdSurge

For the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, geography is everything. Split into two satellite campuses in South Texas—one in Edinburgh and another nearly 60 miles away in Brownsville—students and professors may commute more than an hour to get to their next class. And that’s just for those who live who live in the United States.  In Brownsville, a fence dividing the U.S. and Mexico runs visibly through the far-side of campus, and some students live south of the border. Though the Brownsville campus is just one freeway exit away from the national entrypoint, faculty say crossing can take over an hour on a busy day. That, plus the threat of heightened border security, can make attending school challenging, and intimidating, for some students. Increasingly, the university is turning to online classes to alleviate the struggle.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-10-04-a-south-texas-university-turns-to-online-courses-to-help-commuters-students-in-mexico

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UMW should offer more online classes to give students flexibility

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

by Taylor Ostrom, Blue and Gray

Life as a college student is all about creating the perfect schedule to avoid unnecessary stress. In my experience, I have found online classes are a great option when trying to create a flexible schedule. However, after transferring to the University of Mary Washington last year, I was sad to learn that the university has a limited amount of classes offered online. In correspondence with Rita Dunston, university registrar, she said, “No more than 5 percent of online classes are offered during the academic year.” This percentage was alarming to me because not only am I a college student but I am a mother as well. Online classes are extremely beneficial to me when trying to make enough time for both my daughter and class work. They’re not only beneficial to me but other Mary Washington students too.

http://blueandgraypress.com/2017/10/05/umw-should-offer-more-online-classes-to-give-students-flexibility/

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Exploring the new world of online credentials

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

by David Chandler, MIT News

Five years ago, at the first annual Online Learning Summit, the question being asked was “can we scale learning” to reach the vast population on the internet, said Sanjay Sarma, MIT’s vice president for open learning, in his introduction to this year’s summit. That’s no longer in question, he continued: “The answer is emphatically yes.”
Now, as the number of people taking online classes around the world has rocketed upward, the questions revolve around issues of how to carry out such online education, how to provide meaningful credentials for online classes, and how to integrate and complement online education with that offered on traditional residential campuses.

http://news.mit.edu/2017/exploring-new-world-online-credentials-1003

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October 8, 2017

How Machine Learning Is Easing OER Pain Points

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

By David Raths, Campus Technology

Algorithms can help faculty discover and select open educational resources for a course, map the concepts covered in a particular text, generate assessment questions and more. The basic definition of machine learning is that it allows a computer to learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. One obvious example: the way a Netflix algorithm learns our TV-watching habits to make suggestions of other movies we might like. We come into contact with dozens of such machine-learning algorithms every day. And in support of faculty members, several efforts are underway to use machine learning to analyze the contents of open educational resources (OER) for their fit in a particular course.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/10/04/how-machine-learning-is-easing-oer-pain-points.aspx

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Juilliard will now offer free online courses

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

by Pat King, Metro

Who would have thought that one of the most prestigious performing arts schools in the world would now be offering part of its curriculum for free online? That is exactly what the Juilliard School is offering with their new JuilliardX program. In a collaboration with the popular online education service edX, Juilliard will now offer six different classes that are open to the public without having to be accepted through their notoriously competitive audition process. What would Miles Davis think if he were alive today?

https://www.metro.us/lifestyle/career-education/juilliard-will-now-offer-free-online-courses

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Coming to Campus to Teach Online

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

By Penelope Adams Moon, Inside Higher Ed

But while I see a lot of logic and value in telecommuting, I want to make a case for having online educators, in particular, physically present on campuses. My motivation and reasoning stem not from a sense that physical presence is crucial to student learning (it isn’t), but from my understanding of the political landscape of academic environments.  There are a host of reasons why online educators — particularly full-time contingent faculty members — should resist the lure of full-time telecommuting. If we hope to build an educational environment that truly values online spaces and online learners — not to mention non-tenure-track faculty members — we need to make ourselves impossible to ignore. The best way we can do that is to maintain both an intellectual and physical presence in our academic communities.

https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2017/10/03/why-online-professors-should-be-campus-essay

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Ohio State, Apple Start Push in Digital Learning

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

By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Ohio State University and Apple on Wednesday announced a collaboration that will start a digital learning effort at the university that Apple and university officials said may represent the company’s most ambitious program in higher education. The university plans to start a series of efforts to promote student success, using tools from Apple. Starting in autumn 2018, new first-year students (at Columbus and regional campuses) will receive an iPad Pro with tools including Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard as well as apps to support learning and life at Ohio State.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/10/05/ohio-state-apple-start-push-digital-learning

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October 7, 2017

New computer program to examine collaborative online learning

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

by Jim Carlson, Penn State
An effort to transform burgeoning online learning from being essentially individualistic to considerably more collaborative is gaining ground, according to a researcher who is breaking ground about the usefulness of online communities. Marcela Borge, assistant professor in learning, design and technology in Penn State’s College of Education, earned a National Science Foundation grant for her work on “Fostering Ecologies of Online Learning Through Technology Augmented Human Facilitation.” Borge said “Research in the learning sciences has shown that collaborative processes like discourse and collective sense-making are essential for learning. For this reason, we wanted to make sure that students who are learning in online contexts have equal access to meaningful learning experiences: collaborative learning, deep sense-making, building relationships with other students.”

http://news.psu.edu/story/485949/2017/10/03/research/new-computer-program-examine-collaborative-online-learning

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We Are Living in the Age of Online Learning

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

by Calvin Harper, Go Certify

Learning House queried 1,500 past, present, and prospective online college students about their demographics and reasons for pursuing an online education. Their responses show some interesting trends. For example, cost can lead to a reluctance to enroll in school, but it can be overcome with minor scholarship incentives, as little as $500 in most instances. What came as no surprise was the finding that the percentage of students pursuing online computer science and IT degrees has more than doubled since 2014, from 9 percent to more than 20 percent. Additionally, the average age of online students is really declining. In 2016 the average age was 29, down from 36 just two years ago. The main reason for the age drop is directly related to an increase in the number of younger students signing up for online courses. Since 2012, the number of online students in the 18-to-24-year-old demographic has more than doubled.

http://www.gocertify.com/articles/we-are-living-in-the-age-of-online-learning

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