$2.4 million grant will help UCLA to make undergrad STEM courses more interactive, more effective

May 1st, 2015

by Stuart Wolpert, UCLA

A new four-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation will help UCLA redesign some undergraduate courses to make them more interactive and more interdisciplinary. The multipronged initiative, which is already underway and under the auspices of UCLA’s division of life sciences, could transform key courses for thousands of UCLA undergraduates. It is part of a campus-wide goal for all science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses to implement teaching methods that have been proven in peer-reviewed studies to help motivate and engage students. The projects should help students in the STEM fields achieve a deeper level of learning and a richer classroom experience, said Blaire Van Valkenburgh, UCLA’s associate dean of life sciences, who heads the initiative.

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/2-4-million-grant-will-help-ucla-to-make-undergrad-stem-courses-more-interactive-more-effective

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Students want better digital credentials

April 30th, 2015

by Ron Bethke, eCampus News

Innovation in online credentialing can help students better display learning outcomes and the value of their education to employers on social sites. According to a new whitepaper revealed by ed-tech company Parchment at Baltimore’s AACRAO conference on April 13th, a majority of students believe it would be useful to display official credentials on a social site. However, the report suggests their is a lot of room for innovation on the part of institutions. The ideas generated in Parchment’s whitepaper, titled “Extending the Credential; Empowering the Learner,” stem from the results of two surveys which polled over 500 recent college graduates and 100 registrars.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/students-digital-credentials-422/

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DeVry University will close Wisconsin campus, offer online classes only

April 30th, 2015

By Karen Herzog, Journal Sentinel

DeVry University, a for-profit college that has had a presence in downtown Milwaukee since 1983, announced Thursday it will close its only Wisconsin campus Dec. 31 and move to offering only online courses. The closing will affect 247 graduate and undergraduate students, according to spokeswoman Melanie Wright. Half of the university’s students assigned to the Milwaukee campus — a suite at 411 E. Wisconsin Ave. — take online courses, while 80% take a combination online and campus-based courses, Wright said. Students will be offered the options of completing their program through DeVry’s online courses, transferring to another DeVry University campus outside of Wisconsin, or transferring to a local college or university with a comparable program, Wright said.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/devry-university-will-close-campus-offer-online-classes-only-b99487482z1-301149851.html

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At this college, you only pay if you pass (Arizona State Global Freshman Academy)

April 30th, 2015

by Emily DeRuy, Fusion

Arizona State University plans to offer a freshman year of college to anyone in the world with an internet connection – no application required. Even better? You only pay if you pass. In its latest effort to distinguish itself in a crowded higher education field, ASU announced Thursday it will partner with edX, a popular online course provider founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, to create the Global Freshman Academy. The program will offer 12 online courses and students will only owe tuition – $200 per credit – if they get a passing grade. Students will be able to complete courses on their own time, so everyone from people with day jobs to high school students looking to get an early start on their degrees could enroll.

http://fusion.net/story/125256/at-this-college-you-only-pay-if-you-pass/

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Total production time for online courses expected to fall

April 29th, 2015

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

New research finds the idea that online courses take longer to develop to be true but breaks with common rhetoric when it comes to future offerings. A study by University of Michigan-Dearborn assistant professor Lee Freeman shows future iterations of the same online courses require about the same amount of time as traditional courses, eCampus News reports. While many attribute the need for extra time to technology, Freeman found it was more about adapting to the pedagogy of offering online courses, according to the article.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/total-production-time-for-online-courses-expected-to-fall/389031/

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With online learning for feds, OPM sees narrowed skills gap

April 29th, 2015

By Jory Heckman, Federal News Radio

Federal employees and their families can now add online college to the list of benefits offered by the government. Following up on the success of its first continuing education program, the Office of Personnel Management on Monday announced its partnership with Champlain College, a 137-year-old private college based in Burlington, Vermont. Federal workers and their spouses will be able to enroll in degree or certificate programs before the start of the summer 2015 semester. The admission deadline is June 5. In a conference call to the press, Sydney Smith-Heimbrock, OPM’s strategic workforce planning and chief learning officer said the program focuses on providing continuing education to mid-career federal workers at a discounted rate.

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/520/3843186/With-online-learning-for-feds-OPM-sees-narrowed-skills-gap

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HarvardX and MITx: Two Years of Open Online Courses Fall 2012-Summer 2014

April 29th, 2015

by Harvard and MIT Researchers

What happens when well-known universities offer online courses, assessments, and certificates of completion for free? Early descriptions of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have emphasized large enrollments, low certification rates, and highly educated registrants. We use data from two years and 68 open online courses offered by Harvard University (via HarvardX) and MIT (via MITx) to broaden the scope of answers to this question. We describe trends over this two-year span, depict participant intent using comprehensive survey instruments, and chart course participation pathways using network analysis. We find that overall participation in our MOOCs remains substantial and that the average growth has been steady. We explore how diverse audiences — including explorers, teachers-as-learners, and residential students — provide opportunities to advance the principles on which HarvardX and MITx were founded: access, research, and residential education.

http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/04/harvardx-and-mitx-two-years-of-open-online-courses-fall-2012-summer-2014/

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Babson Report That Says Online Learning Growth Is Slowing Misses Big Picture

April 28th, 2015

by Michael Horn, Forbes

Some research has suggested that the growth of online learning is flattening. Much of the reduction in the rate of growth is because one segment of higher education—for-profit four-year institutions—recorded the first-ever drop in online enrollments of 8.7 percent. The fact that online learning still grew illustrates growth in public four-year institutions and private non-profit four-year institutions, remains quite strong. But even more significantly, the data is increasingly incomplete. First, the research purposely only counts online learning that is taken in a distance-learning environment. Blended delivery of online learning doesn’t count toward the data. The other challenge is that increasingly, much of the growth of online learning isn’t just in accredited higher education institutions, but in unaccredited institutions that advance adult learners in their career pathways.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelhorn/2015/04/23/report-that-says-online-learning-growth-is-slowing-misses-big-picture/?ss=tech

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Creating Your Own Online Course? Avoid These Mistakes!

April 28th, 2015

by Priscila Hinkle, Huffington Post

The Internet has made it possible for us to explore different options, learn new skills, and embark in new careers with the click of a mouse. In the online or digital entrepreneurial realm, everyone seems to be creating their own online courses and group coaching program these days. The problem with that? There are a lot of bad practices out there, and a lot of people copying these bad practices only because they’ve seen someone else do it that way, sometimes with success (in terms of sales). If you are in the business of creating your own online courses or programs, or want to have your own in the future, then take note to avoid these top three mistakes.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/priscila-hinkle/creating-your-own-online-_b_7114852.html

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Free Online Course Hopes To ‘Myth-Bust’ Controversial Topic Of Global Climate Change

April 28th, 2015

By Chris Spears, CBS4

Do you believe in global climate change? It’s not always an easy topic to discuss. If you want to learn more about the topic, researchers from around the world have created a free online course through the University of Queensland. The class will explore why the topic of climate change is so controversial and hopes to explode a number of climate myths along the way. It’s being taught by several renowned researchers from universities in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, including Dr. Keah Schuenemann, Assistant Professor of Meteorology at Metropolitan State University in Denver. University of Queensland’s John Cook says the course will tackle climate myths and expose techniques that are often used to mislead the public.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/04/22/free-online-course-hopes-to-myth-bust-controversial-topic-of-global-climate-change/

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6 Tips for Creating a ‘Mini’ MOOC

April 27th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

There are ways to allow your institution to experiment with online courses, even if they’re not intended to be “massive.” An online program manager shares advice. Not every school is ready to run a massive open online course through one of the larger platforms like edX or Coursera — and maybe that’s not what’s needed anyway. Sometimes instructors simply want to dabble in order to understand something better. Elizabeth Fomin, program manager for University of Michigan Dearborn’s College of Arts, Sciences and Letters Online Program, teaches courses in visual communication and Web technology. For Fomin, the answer lay with an alternative MOOC platform, Canvas Network that produces her campus’ chosen learning management system, Canvas. Canvas Network will host courses from two-year and four-year colleges, K-12 schools and districts, academic partnerships and consortia, non-profits with an education or public mission, government agencies with an education mission and even for-profit companies if they’re teaming up with an educational organization.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/20/6-tips-for-creating-a-mini-mooc.aspx

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Does it really take longer to create an online course?

April 27th, 2015

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

165 instructors, who teach both online and face-to-face, from three diverse universities across the country, were surveyed. These instructors have been teaching at the university level for an average of 14 years, and developed their first online course in 2001. Each respondent has developed an average of 2.13 distinct online courses and has taught an average of 2 distinct online courses. The survey found that [of the respondents]: 81 percent agree that it is more time consuming to develop an online course than a face-to-face course. However, subsequent online course developments are less time consuming that prior online course development, said the majority. This is also true for perceptions of teaching an online course for the first time compared to subsequent courses [82 percent agree with this statement]. By the 3rd time teaching an online course, there seems to be no difference in time when compared to the 3rd time teaching a face-to-face course [41 percent agree with this statement].

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/time-online-course-281/

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California’s Online Education Initiative Pushes Forward on PD, Student Readiness

April 27th, 2015

By John K. Waters, Campus Technology

The California Community College Online Education Initiative (OEI), the state-sponsored project that aims to dramatically increase the number of students who earn associate degrees and transfer to four-year colleges, has come a long way since it was announced in the fall of 2013, according to the OEI’s executive director, Patricia James. “If you remember, we were in bad economic times back then, turning away students at almost all of our colleges,” James told an attendees at the annual CT Forum conference, held in Long Beach, CA this month, “and the governor was looking at MOOCs and other business-ed types of activities that would bring courses to our students. But now we’re trying to get them back with the online courses they need to complete their educational goals.”

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/20/online-education-initiative-pushes-forward-on-pd-student-readiness.aspx

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Despite popularity, experts remain divided on credit for MOOCs

April 26th, 2015

By Neelesh Moorthy, Duke Chronicle

Duke’s popularity in Massive Open Online Courses is booming, but the University remains divided on whether or not to offer course credit. “In terms of the number of Coursera courses produced, Duke is one of the top 10 schools,” said Lynne O’Brien, associate vice provost for digital and online education initiatives. “Out of the top 20 Coursera courses of all time, Duke has three of those.” These large online offerings, more commonly known as MOOCs, are on the rise as more and more universities embrace their potential to provide quality learning for greater audiences, often free of charge. Coursera is an online interface for offering courses to an international audience.

http://www.dukechronicle.com/articles/2015/04/20/despite-popularity-experts-remain-divided-moocs

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Online Course Enrollment Skyrockets at Ole Miss

April 26th, 2015

by Brian Romski, HottyToddy

Enrollment in online courses at Ole Miss has jumped more than 3,000 percent in recent years. More Ole Miss students are signed up for online classes than ever before, but these classes should come with a warning: Don’t register for an online class unless your time management skills are up to par. Cossar Morgan, a sophomore business student at Ole Miss, is currently enrolled in Writing 102, the second writing class he has taken online. “If you are motivated they are a lot easier, but there is also a downside to them. You can fall behind pretty easily because you are not going to class every week,” said Morgan.

http://hottytoddy.com/2015/04/20/online-course-enrollment-skyrockets-at-ole-miss/

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MOOCs for (a Year’s) Credit

April 26th, 2015

by Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Arizona State University, in partnership with edX, this fall will begin to offer credit-bearing massive open online courses at a fraction of the cost of either in-person or traditional online education. ASU’s faculty members will create about a dozen general-education MOOCs, the first of which — an introductory astronomy course — will launch this August. Anyone can register for and take the MOOCs for free, but those who pay a $45 fee to verify their identity can at the end of each course decide if they want to pay the university a separate, larger fee to earn academic credit for their work. By fall 2016, ASU anticipates it will offer enough MOOCs so that students can complete their entire freshman year online through what edX and the university are calling the Global Freshman Academy.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/04/22/arizona-state-edx-team-offer-freshman-year-online-through-moocs

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Coursera’s Andrew Ng: How MOOCs Are Taking Local Knowledge Global

April 25th, 2015

by Knowledge@Wharton

In an interview about MOOCs and their impact, Ng says they allow universities to take their great content and project it onto a larger audience than they ever did before. A recent study co-authored by Wharton professor Ezekiel J. Emanuel on the impact of MOOCs on traditional business education, also found that rather than poaching students, MOOCs complement, enrich and help business schools reach new diverse audiences. An edited transcript of the conversation is linked below.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/how-moocs-are-taking-local-knowledge-global/

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Northern Illinois University offers ‘Game of Thrones’ course

April 25th, 2015

by The Associated Press

Northern Illinois University is offering a course this semester on the HBO series “Game of Thrones.” The University Honors Program calls the class “Game of Thrones, Television and Medieval History” and students can take the course for honors credit, The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/1FZj88k ). The popular cable TV show, based on books by George R.R. Martin, is in its fifth season. “It represents aspects of the Middle Ages much more realistically than other media depictions that purport to be more accurate,” co-professor Valerie Garver said. “It stands out because it comments on the human condition in a way that seems real to people. It’s a really good example of a piece of modern culture that draws on how the past impacts the present.” The course’s syllabus includes readings and watching episodes of the show. Students also see presentations on how the show relates to modern cable technology, history and current events. NIU plans to offer the class again next spring, Garver’s co-professor Jeff Chown said.

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/what/ci_27933950/northern-illinois-university-offers-game-thrones-course

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3 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Online Graduate IT Program

April 25th, 2015

By Devon Haynie, US News

Inquire about technical requirements before enrolling in an online computer information technology graduate program. Prospective online graduate students should ask about research opportunities within computer information technology, experts say. When it comes to choosing an online graduate program, there are a few key issues that every student should ask about: cost, length and faculty credentials, just to name a few. But coders, hackers, developers and others interested in pursuing an online graduate degree in computer information technology shouldn’t stop there. With just a few additional questions, they can reveal a lot about the kind of experience a program offers. The following questions can make a difference when choosing a program that will help graduates succeed in a field with fast growth, high salaries and low unemployment rates.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2015/04/17/3-questions-to-ask-before-choosing-an-online-graduate-it-program

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9 key findings about the humanities in higher education

April 24th, 2015

by eCampus News

Research aims to provide a “balanced look” at the state of humanities. According to a new report, there is no evidence of a net decline in the number of degree-granting departments in the humanities. But that doesn’t mean humanities studies are where they once were. The report aims to offer a look at the state of humanities in higher education to provide a balanced look at the field in the wake of portrayals that characterize it as beleaguered and declining. The State of the Humanities: Higher Education 2015, from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is intended to provide a more evidenced-based depiction of the health of the humanities on college and university campuses.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/humanities-higher-education-742/

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Gen Ed Discounting or Devaluing?

April 24th, 2015

By Kellie Woodhouse, Inside Higher Ed

University of Akron plans to cut the cost of its general education courses by 86 percent and begin delivering them primarily online in an effort to both increase enrollment and respond to calls from the state’s governor to make college more affordable for Ohioans. The university is publicizing that by charging $50 per credit hour — down from $359 per credit hour for an in-person general education class on the college’s main campus — students who enroll in the GenEd Core Pilot Program will pay half as much as they would for a general education class at a community college.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/04/17/university-akron-offers-introductory-courses-online-86-percent-discount

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