New trend: Students enrolling with no intention of graduating

April 13th, 2014

by eCampus News

A student at Santa Rosa Junior College in Northern California, Kevin Floerke, 26, already graduated in 2010 from UCLA, where he majored in archaeology. This time, however, unlike many other people in his field, he’s not interested in getting yet another degree. He’s just trying to master a set of techniques and technologies that will help him verify the details he finds while doing fieldwork. “I’m really there to learn the program itself and be able to use it in a professional setting,” he said. Floerke, who leads tours for the National Geographic Society, is part of a group of students known as “skill builders,” who are using conventional colleges in an unconventional way: not to obtain degrees, but simply to learn specific kinds of expertise without spending time or money on courses they don’t think they need.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/students-skills-degrees-565/

Share on Facebook

Online at Community Colleges

April 13th, 2014

Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Online enrollment continued to grow at community colleges in 2013, even as many two-year institutions saw overall enrollment stagnate or drop, according to a report released Sunday by the Instructional Technology Council. The council released its annual report on online education at the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges, with which it is affiliated. In 2013, the 142 distance education officials who responded to the survey reported that their online enrollments were up by 5.2 percent over the previous year. That increase is smaller than those of the three previous years, going back chronologically, 6.5 percent, 8.2 percent, and 9 percent. But those increases came in years in which community colleges were reporting increases in both in-person and online enrollments, which is no longer the case this year.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/04/07/study-finds-slower-online-growth-community-colleges-growth-nonetheless

Share on Facebook

MOOCs: the Next Evolution in (corporate) E-Learning?

April 13th, 2014

by Gary Kranz, Workforce

Industry observers believe MOOCs will follow an adoption path similar to that of e-learning, which likewise germinated within universities before being embraced by corporations. “There could be a huge demand for MOOCs as the corporate content market gets consolidated. If companies are able to get low-cost to free learning content through a MOOC, they’ll be interested,” said Josh Bersin, president of research firm Bersin by Deloitte. Hall doesn’t speculate on when MOOCs might go mainstream. His focus is on the videos that should enable Marek Bros. to boost its bottom line. “It gives us a better idea of what our market share is and what it should be, which helps us change behavior to improve results,” Hall said. Which is what learning is all about.

http://www.workforce.com/articles/20358-moocs-the-next-evolution-in-e-learning

Share on Facebook

1 million students to get free textbooks

April 12th, 2014

By Jaccii Barmer, eCampus News

This fall, over 1 million students will have access to the free textbook, Principles of Economics, provided by OpenStax College. Founded in 2012, OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization developed by Rice University and supported by numerous foundations, which provides free textbooks and learning materials. The organization has produced six textbooks that have been downloaded over 480,000 times, estimating students have saved about $8 million. The organization, which has been adopted by hundreds of educational institutions, works with educators to write and peer-review each textbook.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/business-news/openstax-students-textbook-234/

Share on Facebook

Innovation, online learning helping adults go back to school

April 12th, 2014

By Austen Smith, Ann Arbor Journal

As the work force in Michigan has evolved since the manufacturing and housing crash in 2008, more adults are finding their way back to the classroom and they’re finding more flexibility in learning. The average age of students at Washtenaw Community College has been driven upwards to around 27 in recent years as the college has seen more enrollment from adult students than tradtional students coming from high school. President Dr. Rose Bellenaca says WCC is the perfect place for adults retraining in a new field. “This is the absolute best place you can retrain,” says Bellanca. “We’re an economic driver for the region. We work hand in hand with business and industry, we are able to train for a variety of jobs…this is the best place to learn for an adult.”

http://www.heritage.com/articles/2014/04/05/ann_arbor_journal/news/doc533f356843847099215608.txt

Share on Facebook

Google Glass journalism course coming to USC

April 12th, 2014

By Jake New, eCampus News

A new course to be taught at the University of Southern California will ask students to find ways for journalists to take advantage of Google Glass. The course, which is called Glass Journalism, will begin this fall. “In this class we’re not talking about the future of journalism,” Robert Hernandez, the course’s professor, wrote on his Tumblr blog. “We’re building it.” Glass is a type of wearable computer developed by Google. A head-mounted display sits in front of the user’s right eye, allowing for voice-commanded access to the internet, a camera, and other applications. Hernandez, a well-known digital journalist, is one of a select few who were allowed to purchase an early version of the device through a Google Glass Explorer program.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/google-glass-usc-journalism-025/

Share on Facebook

Americans’ Trust in Online Higher Ed Rising

April 11th, 2014

by Valerie J. Calderon and Susan Sorenson, Gallup

Online colleges and universities continue to evolve, as do Americans’ and business leaders’ opinions about them. While perceptions about the quality of education at these institutions appear to be improving, attitudes toward community colleges and traditional universities remain far more positive at this point. And although more than half of business leaders and Americans in general say companies might be somewhat more likely to hire an online graduate over an equally qualified traditional college graduate, only about one in eight business leaders and one in seven U.S. adults overall say it is very likely. This represents room for improvement in the online education business.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/168416/americans-trust-online-higher-education-rising.aspx

Share on Facebook

How to make an online lab successful

April 11th, 2014

By Crystal Sands, eCampus News

The secret to the OWL’s success lies in its ability to bridge pedagogy with multimedia that engages, not just entertains. When the team at Excelsior College set out to build a new kind of Online Writing Lab, the team focused on using multimedia to reinforce key writing concepts for students. The OWL targets beginning writers who might have little experience with writing or experience so distant the writing process and vocabulary of writing felt foreign to them. The goal was to make writing instruction simple, clear, and more memorable for these students.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/excelsior-writing-lab-523/

Share on Facebook

5 must-haves for online assessments

April 11th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

“Assessments are the lynchpins of MOOCs,” said David Smetters, CEO of Respondus, a Windows exam creation tool. “If you go to a college campus and sit in the back of a lecture hall, it’s certainly possible to learn things. But when you actually register for the course and take the assessments designed for it, you can demonstrate mastery of the content. An instructor then feels comfortable providing a grade, and likewise the institution is comfortable granting a certificate, a degree or some type of badge. Assessments are the engine of this credibility cycle,” he continued. Smetters also argues that if students are effectively assessed during a MOOC, the credibility of MOOCs goes up.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/must-online-assessments-912/

Share on Facebook

Clemson invests to expand online platform

April 10th, 2014

By Don Fujiwara, South Carolina Business News

Online education is the future.” So says Clemson University’s Witt Salley. This future holds no classroom desks whose consoles, rocket fins and banks of brightly blinking buttons place them closer to cockpits than actual seating. There will be no matronly robot teachers with extensible pointing sticks in this future. No, in this future we’ll see an increasing numbers of pushes for a tablet in every book bag, like the one in Gov. Nikki Haley’s K-12 Education Reform Initiative. This future is agleam with the prospect of attending precalculus in your pajamas. Witt Salley is director of Clemson Online. The school brought him on board to ramp up its online education program in July 2012, a time when Clemson University “had no collective vision or strategy” for its online program. It didn’t even have a centralized office for its online offering.

http://www.gsabusiness.com/news/51023-clemson-invests-to-expand-online-platform

Share on Facebook

Is It Time To Dismantle the Lecture Hall?

April 10th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

In this debate, the question might not be so much about whether online education is effective, but whether it could be any worse than the existing model.  Before the debate — titled, “More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: The Lecture Hall is Obsolete” — began, the audience was definitely on the side of tradition. Fifty-nine percent were against the motion; 18 percent were for the motion; and 23 percent were undecided. Before the debate — titled, “More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: The Lecture Hall is Obsolete” — began, the audience was definitely on the side of tradition. Fifty-nine percent were against the motion; 18 percent were for the motion; and 23 percent were undecided.   People pondering the fate of higher education, concluded Nelson, “don’t need much more data than that to realize that the future of the university won’t be without bricks, won’t be all clicks, but will certainly be far more clicks than bricks.”  By the end of the debate, the number of people who agreed with Nelson and Agarwal grew from 18 percent to 44 percent. And the motion carried.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/04/03/is-it-time-to-dismantle-the-lecture-hall.aspx

Share on Facebook

Penn State Names Academic Leader for Online Programs

April 10th, 2014

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Pennsylvania State University has named Renata Engel associate vice provost for online programs. The new leadership position was established to oversee the academic unit within the university’s World Campus online education division. According to a university statement, Engel will help advance new online undergraduate and graduate offerings, including noncredit programs and massive open online courses, to students across the country and around the world. She will be responsible for all World Campus online programs, academic advising and faculty development, and will work with the university’s academic leaders to increase online enrollments.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/04/03/penn-state-names-academic-leader-for-online-programs.aspx

Share on Facebook

The Best of Elearning! 2014 Voting Hits Record Pace

April 10th, 2014

by Elearning!

Best of Elearning! Awards 2014 invites executives who drive learning, talent and HR development initiatives through employee, customer or channel partners, to nominate their solution providers in this year’s Best of Elearning! Awards. Elearning! and Government Elearning! magazines, the industry voices of the enterprise learning and workforce technology market, announced that the Best of Elearning! Awards 2014 voting has hit a record number of nominations. Voting will continue until May 1, 2014. Celebrating its 10th year, The Best of Elearning! Awards recognizes best-in-class solutions across 27 product and services categories.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11704211.htm

Share on Facebook

2U Ends Semester Online

April 9th, 2014
by Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed
The online education provider 2U will this summer eliminate its online course pool initiative in favor of developing fully online undergraduate degree programs, ending a high-profile effort to offer scalable, credit-granting online courses at residential colleges. The consortium, known as Semester Online, was initially marketed as a platform for top-tier universities to offer online courses to paying students at participating universities. During the 2012 media storm surrounding massive open online courses, it emerged with a distinctive message, promising small course sizes and live, interactive videoconferencing sessions.
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/04/03/online-education-provider-2u-disband-semester-online-consortium
Share on Facebook

New experiment in tech retraining blends online learning with in-person mentors

April 9th, 2014

By Erin Carson, Tech Republic

By marrying online tech classes with local volunteer mentors, a new program in Louisville, Kentucky is reshaping the way professionals can get retrained for the next tech jobs. Rider Rodriguez Jr. knows it’s a cliche, but he’ll say it anyway: In the 21st century, if you want to thrive, software development is the skillset that you really need to have. As both the job market and the IT industry rapidly shift, making the match between employers and employees with the latest development skills can prove difficult. To start to solve this problem, Rodriguez and members of the local tech community are taking a grassroots educational approach through a program called Code Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. Code Louisville is a free 12-week course in which students can learn development skills with the aid of volunteer industry mentors, and an online learning system called Treehouse, available through the local library system.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/new-experiment-in-tech-retraining-blends-online-learning-with-in-person-mentors/

Share on Facebook

Half of New York’s Tech Workers Lack College Degrees, Report Says

April 9th, 2014

By PATRICK McGEEHAN, NY Times

The fast-growing technology industry in New York is often cited as a magnet for graduates of the nation’s top universities. But a new report to be discussed in a speech by a deputy mayor on Wednesday found that almost half of the technology jobs in the city are filled by people without college degrees. The report was commissioned to show just how important the tech sector has become, estimating that it accounts for nearly 300,000 jobs in the city, more than half of them at companies in nontechnology businesses, such as finance and advertising.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/nyregion/half-of-new-yorks-tech-workers-lack-college-degrees-report-says.html
Share on Facebook

New Coursera chief pledges better communication with partners

April 8th, 2014

By CHRIS PARR, Times Higher Education

Richard Levin, who was president of Yale University between 1993 and 2013, will become chief executive of Coursera in the middle of next month. “I will say a word about a concern that I’ve heard from a number of partners already…that we could do a better job of communicating with you and listening to you,” Professor Levin told the 2014 Coursera partner conference, attended by delegates from institutions that offer courses on the platform and taking place in London this week. He pledged that steps would be taken to improve the situation. “We want to hear your ideas,” he said, adding that the first priority was to increase the scale of Coursera’s operation, and “attract the revenues to support the mission”.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/new-coursera-chief-pledges-better-communication-with-partners/2012350.article

Share on Facebook

Online Learning Glossary

April 8th, 2014

By Devon Haynie, US News

Academia isn’t known for its rapid embrace of change. Yet when it comes to online learning, the field is constantly evolving. Hardly a day goes by without a university announcing a new online program or a company revealing a new tool to help online learners. Massive Open Online Courses are giving students all over the world access to courses taught by some of the best professors — for free. At some online schools, students can cobble together degrees using credit by exam, testing out of courses at their own pace. To help online students keep up with the latest trends, U.S. News has compiled a glossary of important terms specifically about online education. While this list is not exhaustive, it can help you make sense of new terminology and maybe even find the best online program for you.

http://news.yahoo.com/online-learning-glossary-140136584.html

Share on Facebook

The Liberal Arts Contribution to edX

April 8th, 2014

by Douglas A. Hicks and Patrick D. Reynolds, Huffington Post

MOOC users, at least so far, are readily described as intellectually curious. This early finding about the broad-ranging inquisitiveness of edX students suggests that the residential liberal arts model that our institutions and many other liberal arts colleges have embodied for two centuries has something to contribute to the open online platform: promoting a wide exploration of knowledge and the reciprocal illumination of seemingly disparate disciplines through critical thinking, discourse and writing. For the traditional college-age students on our campuses, the liberal arts approach is preparation not for one career, but for multiple careers; education for meaningful work and a fulfilling life course in an evolving world. We are excited by the prospect of extending this education to the diverse student population engaging with open online platforms.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/douglas-a-hicks/the-liberal-arts-contribu_b_5065593.html

Share on Facebook

Firm will get about $186 million to manage UF Online

April 7th, 2014

By Jeff Schweers, Gainesville Sun

The University of Florida will pay Pearson Embanet an estimated $186 million over the life of its 11-year contract — a combination of direct payments and a share of tuition revenue — to help launch and manage the state’s first fully online, four-year degree program. How UF evaluates how well Pearson does its job is unknown — the standards by which the contractor is measured are still being withheld from the public, such as minimum enrollment figures and total tuition levels. UF officials maintained that those criteria are “trade secrets” exempt from state public records law.

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20140327/articles/140329618

Share on Facebook

How Digital Learning Devices Are Being Used In Education

April 7th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Classrooms going digital bring both the good and the bad. Smaller mounds of paperwork and easy document storage (no more ‘dog ate my homework!’ or equally ridiculous excuses) fall on the good side of things. The necessity of teaching things like digital citizenship, the plethora of distractions online or the expense of digital devices might fall on the other side of things. But all of this is moot if your students don’t have access to the digital devices you’d like to employ in your classroom. The handy infographic below takes a look at the current state of access, and some examples of different options to improve access.

http://www.edudemic.com/access-digital-learning-devices-infographic/

Share on Facebook