Online Learning Update

February 25, 2017

Is higher ed ready for the big edtech explosion?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:11 am


New infographic details the causes of, and advice for, the incredible growth of college and university edtech spending over the next three years. According to recent research, edtech spending is on the rise, with an estimated $252 billion to be spent by colleges and universities on campus edtech by 2020. IT leaders and campus admin are projected to invest in everything from online learning solutions to personal devices, as well as investments in up-and-coming technologies as listed in the recent Horizon Report. The research was conducted by conducted by Marketwatch, the U.S. Department of Education, EDUCAUSE, Computer Economics, TDX Market Study, and HDI, and condensed into an informative infographic by TeamDynamix.

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February 6, 2017

Brief interventions help online learners persist with coursework, Stanford research finds

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

BY ALEX SHASHKEVICH, Stanford University News

A study, published in the Jan. 20 issue of Science, found that people in less-developed countries are completing MOOCs at a lower rate than those in the more developed parts of the world. But, the researchers found, brief psychological interventions that affirm class takers’ sense that they belong can help close the global achievement gap. “MOOCs have expanded access to education but this doesn’t guarantee equal opportunities for people around the world,” said René Kizilcec, the lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication. “Providing access to the Internet and courseware is not enough. People need to feel welcome in online-learning environments to reach their potential.”

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December 30, 2016

ED publishes final rules on distance education

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

by Jarrett Carter, Education dive

The U.S. Department of Education has finalized its guidance on colleges and universities offering online degrees in states and territories beyond their home location, requiring that schools receive authorization from every state where domestic students do, or could pursue degrees. The guidance allows for continuation of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, which allows degree offerings in 44 states so far. According to Inside Higher Ed, some observers are not sure if the new guidance will be maintained under the incoming Trump Administration, which has shared on the record a desire to rollback several key elements of educational regulation.

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December 21, 2016

Is Distance Ed Rule DOA?

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

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Education Department finally issues rule on state approval of online programs, but with opposition in Congress, it may never go into effect. The U.S. Department of Education, with a month to go until the transition of power, has finalized a rule that clarifies how colleges become authorized to offer online programs to students in other states — an effort in the works since the first years of the Obama administration. But the rule is by all indications dead on arrival. President-elect Trump has support for undoing Obama’s regulatory legacy in Congress. Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, said in an interview with Inside Higher Ed last month that her party is looking to “deal with” certain “onerous rules and regulations” as part of how it approaches higher education. Foxx, the incoming chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, specifically mentioned the state authorization rule as one example. She has over the last several years introduced bills that would block or repeal that and other rules issued by the Education Department.

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October 19, 2016

Texas A&M Prof Develops AI for Adaptive Online Learning

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

By Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

A professor at Texas A&M University is developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology for creating adaptive online courses. Noboru Matsuda, an associate professor of cyber STEM education in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture at Texas A&M is currently the principal investigator on three related research projects funded by National Science Foundation grants. In September 2016, Matsuda received his latest grant for a project that aims to develop a browser-based development environment to let teachers author their own adaptive online courses without specialized training. The technology will also enable researchers to gather data about how students learn from adaptive online courses.

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October 18, 2016

The future’s looking good for online learning

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

By CHASEN SHAO, the Pennsylvanian

Last week, Penn hosted the Third Annual Learning with MOOCs Conference, bringing together leaders in the mass learning system. MOOCs — Massive Online Open Courses — were created in 2008, and since then, various universities have started offering free courses. Through a grant from the United States Department of State, Penn has also begun offering MOOCs. Provost Vincent Price and CEO of edX, Anant Agarwal, were among the panelists who discussed the development of the MOOCs and their visions for the future at the conference on Oct. 6 and 7. Agarwal described MOOCs as a response to what he believes is a broken current educational system. He calls his solution the “unbundling” of the four-year educational system provided by universities and colleges.

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October 13, 2016

DOJ vs. UC Berkeley: Forcing Online Content to Be Accessible

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

by TANYA ROSCORLA, Center for Digital Education

On Aug. 30, Rebecca B. Bond, the chief of the disability rights section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, sent a 10-page letter to Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks and campus counsel representatives that laid out the conclusion of a Title II Americans with Disability Act investigation. In October 2014 the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf. This complaint said deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals could not access UC Berkeley’s audio and video content that is available to the public online at no cost. Title II of the act prohibits public entities including colleges and universities from excluding or denying the benefit of their programs, goods or services to people with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Education Department both have authority to enforce this law through their civil rights’ divisions, and they have filed at least 15 lawsuits since 2003 against colleges that don’t comply.

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September 28, 2016

Because of the ADA, Universities May Withdraw Free Online Course Content

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


On September 13, the University of California at Berkeley announced that it may have to take down online lecture and course content that it has offered free to the public: content that we have made available to the public. That Berkeley is not just imagining these legal dangers is illustrated by this clip from Tamar Lewin of the New York Times from February of last year: “Harvard and M.I.T. Are Sued Over Lack of Closed Captions.” I’ve been warning about this, to no apparent avail, for a long time. I noted the tag-team alliance of the U.S. Department of Justice, disabled-rights groups, and fee-seeking private lawyers in gearing up web-accessibility doctrine.

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September 16, 2016

Digital Tips for Cultural Responsive Activities

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

by Nancy Wozniak, University of Alaksa Anchorage

Culturally-responsive design strategies allow students to realize they are important as participants in the class community and respected as unique individuals. The University of Alaska Anchorage includes culturally-mediated design as a major development strategy for their Robust Online Learning Program (Title III Grant) focused on General Education Requirement (GER) online courses. The goal is to create online environments that nuture and support cultural exchange and community. One thing to remember, when designing culturally responsive activities, is that students learn best, collaboratively. They learn effectively by discussing their ideas with one another and by participating in peer-to-peer learning activities and reviews. Here are 5 digital tips for infusing cultural responsiveness in your course.

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September 7, 2016

Notre Dame announces collaboration with AT&T for online master’s degree in data science

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

by Sue Lister, University of Notre Dame

In a data-driven economy, industry leaders rely increasingly on skilled professionals who can see the significance in data and use it to solve business challenges, create new opportunities and shape change. With a growing need for skilled data scientists, the University of Notre Dame, in collaboration with AT&T, has announced its new online master of science degree with a specialization in data science. Offered by the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, with the collaboration of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Mendoza College of Business and the Department of Psychology, this degree program will prepare graduates for careers as data scientists in a wide range of industry fields fields including management, marketing, information technology, government policy, health care, finance, education and scientific research.

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September 6, 2016

Penn is teaming up with the State Department to offer online courses to English language learners

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

By CHASEN SHAO, Daily Pennsylvanian

Penn is partnering with the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to offer a series of online courses geared towards English language learners. The courses are being offered through Online Learning at the School of Arts and Sciences as well as the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. The curriculum is designed for advanced beginner and intermediate learners, and in total, 33,000 students are enrolled across 161 countries. The collaboration focuses on five content areas: Business and Entrepreneurship, English for Journalism, Career Development, Media Literacy and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Using the predetermined content areas, LPS created five courses through the online learning platform Coursera with the same names.

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August 24, 2016

Colleges partner with training boot camps and online course providers for federal experiment

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

By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Washington Post

Eight colleges will team up with companies that run computer coding boot camps or online courses for an experiment that lets students pay for nontraditional training programs with federal grants and loans, the Education Department said Tuesday. Short-term courses, such as coding boot camps, have become a popular model for acquiring skills and credentials without spending years in school, yet they’ve only been available to people who can afford thousands of dollars for six-week classes. The objective of the experiment, dubbed the Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships, is to provide people with modest means access to innovative education and to ensure that they receive quality training.

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July 29, 2016

Education Department Proposes Rule on State Authorization of Postsecondary Distance Education, Foreign Locations

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

by US Dept of Ed

The U.S. Department of Education today proposes regulations that seek to improve oversight and protect more than 5.5 million distance education students at degree-granting institutions, including nearly 3 million exclusively online students by clarifying the state authorization requirements for postsecondary distance education. To ensure that institutions offering distance education are legally authorized and monitored by states, as required by the Higher Education Act, the proposed regulations clarify state authorization requirements for institutions to participate in the Department’s federal student aid programs. The proposed regulations also address state and federal oversight of American colleges operating in foreign locations worldwide.

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July 27, 2016

UN launches e-learning training to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse

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

by UN News Centre

The United Nations department providing logistical support to field missions announced today the launch of a new mandatory online programme for all uniformed and civilian personnel to strengthen training on the standards of conduct, with a special focus on sexual exploitation and abuse. The programme is part of the UN’s wider effort to implement a series of corrective and preventive measures, following a number of allegations of such misconduct, including within the ranks of its peacekeepers. “The new e-learning programme is an important step in reinforcing our prevention efforts against misconduct by UN personnel,” said Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Atul Khare in a memo issued to journalists by the UN spokesperson’s office.

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June 26, 2016

Coursera, State Department Launch Online Classes For Asylum-Seekers

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

BY JULIA GLUM, International Business Times

Refugees trying to start their lives over in new places are about to have a whole host of new learning opportunities. The U.S. State Department announced Monday a collaboration with the free education site Coursera aimed at helping recent transplants access more than 1,000 massive open online courses, nicknamed MOOCs, according to a news release. The program appeared to be live Monday morning at Timed to launch on World Refugee Day, the initiative is intended to give refugees a chance to gain “important skills that will help them in the global economy,” Evan Ryan, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, told reporters on a press call last week, Quartz reported. Nonprofits around the world can apply to Coursera to get fee waivers that will fund refugees’ participation in MOOCs, which are run by institutions like Stanford University.

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June 25, 2016

The U.S. State Department and Coursera Offer Free Online Courses to Refugees

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

by EdSurge

Coursera has announced the launch of Coursera for Refugees in partnership with the U.S. Department of State. The initiative lets refugees and nonprofits supporting them apply for financial aid to access Coursera’s library of online courses. Coursera is not the first to offer a MOOC-for-refugees program—edX stepped into this space in February—but it is the first to partner with the State Department, which will provide in-person facilitation at embassies and consulates and help identify partner organizations currently supporting refugee communities. In 2013, the State Department announced its MOOC Camp initiative, hosted at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, partnering with Coursera as a Global Learning Hub. Coursera for Refugees continues this partnership, potentially enabling refugees to build career skills to find employment as now any nonprofit (501(c)(3) or international equivalent can apply for at least one year of comprehensive group financial aid.

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June 23, 2016

USC Keck School of Medicine Offers Lectures on Demand

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

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Instructors at USC’s Keck School of Medicine now have a new resource for flipping the classroom. Using Wirecast streaming production software from Telestream, the institution’s Preventive Medicine Soto Studio is creating on-demand video lectures for the Master of Public Health Online Program as well as instructional content for multiple departments. “Our goal is to produce videos of our college lectures that offer the same high-quality production standards that viewers have come to expect from a TV newscast,” explained Gary San Angel, distance education specialist/media technology, Department of Preventive Medicine at Keck School, in a prepared statement.

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June 19, 2016

Coming of age:online accelerated learning is here to stay

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

by Marjorie Hope Rothstein, the Examiner

In an article by Candice Adderly, How Technology Has Changed Education, she has touched upon many significant points. “Over the past 20 years, technology has dramatically transformed how we live, how we work and how we connect. How we learn is no exception…. Nearly 70 percent of chief academic leaders said that online learning is critical to their long-term strategy, and 77 percent rated learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in a classroom setting.” A more recent study estimates that about 46 percent college students are taking at least one course online and that by 2019, roughly half of all college classes will be digitally based. On average, students in online learning conditions performed modestly better than those receiving face-to-face instruction. —SRI International for the Department of Education

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June 8, 2016

Coursera, US Dept launch free online course on ‘The Importance of India’

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

By: Mohd Ujaley, Financial Express

Each week of the course will explores one major theme related to India’s impact on the world, from India’s ancient trade relations with the Roman Empire to India’s rapidly growing startup ecosystem. The six week long self-paced course which starts on June 6th, 2016, and will be accessible to anyone with Internet access for free is being offered as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Passport to India Initiative. Each week of the course will explores one major theme related to India’s impact on the world, from India’s ancient trade relations with the Roman Empire to India’s rapidly growing startup ecosystem.

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June 5, 2016

Online classes: tips for success

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

By Thor Mallgren, Michigan State News

Although online classes are different in format compared to traditional ones, that doesn’t make them any easier. According to the MSU Department of Psychology, “taking an online class requires just as much time and effort as class on campus.” With a semester-worth of content compressed together into a measly month and a half, and without any physical lectures to attend, it can be easy to fall behind. Here are some tips to help you get that illusive online 4.0.

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April 18, 2016

4 Features You Can Now Get by Paying for MOOCs

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

by Jordan Friedman, US News

Given that MOOCs can be expensive to produce, it makes sense that providers would find ways to make a profit, says Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois—Springfield. Even when charging a fee, MOOCs are and will continue to be less expensive than paying for credit-bearing courses offered. “In the beginning, the return to universities came in generally marketing and publicity and giving examples of quality lectures, and showcasing certain faculty members who work for certain departments to prospective students,” Schroeder says. “And yet still, that was a rather high price to pay for just that kind of indirect benefit.” Nanodegrees enable students to earn a credential as they develop job-specific skills through project-based learning, and those who pay get additional benefits on top of the nanodegree, including access to live coaches. Meanwhile, students who enroll in edX and Coursera MOOCs might now gain access to the following features, the availability of which vary depending on the class and discipline.

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