Purdue hires actors to deliver online course content

May 22nd, 2015

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

Purdue has seen success with its online courses by hiring actors who can be more engaging to watch than industry professionals. Campus Technology reports that the university cut the standard 20- to 40-minute lecture series by subject-matter experts in favor of 7-minute videos from actors contracted by a studio in Dallas. The shorter videos allow specific modules to be replaced easily to update courses, and, while the actor fees are relatively hefty, in some cases they’re cheaper than experts and their work gets better outcomes, according to the article.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/purdue-hires-actors-to-deliver-online-course-content/397777/

Share on Facebook

Feds say Miami University failed to accommodate disabled students

May 22nd, 2015
by Collin Binkley, The Columbus Dispatch
Miami University has failed to accommodate students with disabilities and provide them the technology they need to learn, the U.S. Department of Justice reports. The department joined an existing lawsuit filed against Miami by a blind student who said the school promised to accommodate her but failed to deliver.  A statement from the department said education is “said to be the great equalizer of American society.” “However, students with disabilities continue to encounter an impenetrable glass ceiling of opportunity when schools fail to comply with the ADA,” Vanita Gupta principal deputy assistant attorney general of the department’s Civil Rights Division, said in the statement.  The department’s legal complaint demands that Miami provide the right accommodations to students with disabilities, and to pay damages to those harmed by its practices.
Share on Facebook

Learning online offers many educational, financial benefits

May 22nd, 2015

By Jan Burns, Houston Chronicle

Students are finding out that online programs can be an affordable education path. Though not all online programs have less expensive tuition than traditional schools, the associated costs can be lower. “The financial benefits of enrolling in online programs at universities is that students do not have to pay commuting expenses, may not need additional child care, and most likely will be able to continue in their current employment while in school as they can manage their own schedule and do their coursework around their families and work obligations,” said Vickie S. Cook, Ph.D., director, Center for Online Learning, research and service/research associate professor, University of Illinois at Springfield.

http://www.chron.com/jobs/article/Learning-online-offers-many-educational-6264367.php

Share on Facebook

Does financial literacy ed need a “flipped” boost?

May 21st, 2015

by eCampus News

New course intends to give program facilitators an in-depth understanding of financial literacy. iGrad and the University of Illinois (UI) have launched a financial literacy instructor certification program, aimed at boosting instructor confidence in the subject. The online course will be led by Scott Johnson, Program Coordinator of the Illinois Online Network (ION), a faculty development program at the University of Illinois that focuses on online and technology-enhanced teaching and learning. The course will employ the classroom curriculum “Your Financial Mastery” from iGrad and “Pay Your Family First.” The 2015 “Education Program of the Year” was written by best-selling author Sharon Lechter and Certified Personal and Family Finance Educator Angela Totman.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/igrad-financial-literacy-243/

Share on Facebook

5 core functions of the LMS of the future

May 21st, 2015

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

According to over 70 education IT specialists, current LMS functionality is great for administrative tasks, but doesn’t provide support for the new learning approaches in today’s schools. The next generation digital learning environment (NGDLE), says a new EDUCAUSE report, will need a “Lego” approach, where components are built that allow individuals and institutions the opportunity to construct learning environments tailored to their requirement and goals.“What is clear is that the LMS has been highly successful in enabling the administration of learning, but less so in enabling the learning itself,” wrote the report’s authors. “The challenge is to build on the value of an LMS as an administrative tool by retaining what works, but not be bound to an outgoing model of teaching and learning. [This] NGDLE is what should come after the LMS era.”

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/05/13/post-lms-era-437/

Share on Facebook

Education’s Moment of Truth

May 21st, 2015

By Frederick Singer, Inside Higher Ed

The use of big data and predictive analytics in higher education is nascent. So-called disrupters often claim that the lecture hasn’t changed in 150 years, and that only online learning can drive transformative, game-changing outcomes for students. Of course, these claims ring hollow among today’s tech-savvy professors. Since my transition into higher education, I have been struck by the parallel journey retailers and educators face. Both have been proclaimed obsolete at various points, but the reality is that the lecture, like the retail experience, has and will continue to evolve to meet the new demands of 21st-century users.

https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2015/05/14/professors-should-seize-chance-use-data-improve-learning-essay

Share on Facebook

TwitterChat: Balancing the Urgency of Revenue Performance with Mission and Quality Online – May 27

May 20th, 2015

by Ray Schroeder, Josh Kim (Dartmouth / Inside Higher Ed), Katie Blot (Blackboard), Debbie Cavalier (Berklee)

Challenged by complex and shifting funding models, higher education faces a growing urgency to balance mission and product mix to keep things afloat as enrollments and state funding decline. Adding to this complexity is the growing tension in the marketplace in which the value/currency of traditional degrees are challenged by micro-credentials and the emergence of CBE. How can institutions address these crises? Join UPCEA for this timely TweetChat by using the hashtag #HigherEdAhead on social media as online education leaders share experiences and resources and respond to your questions. A live question and answer session will occur on May 27th from 2-3PM EST.

http://upcea.edu/tweetchat

Share on Facebook

American Universities Provide Laptops, Make Online Courses More Available

May 20th, 2015

BY DEJAN LESICAR, Plymouth Daily News

Having a laptop is especially crucial when it comes to online degrees – while having a laptop or desktop on campus makes a student’s life much easier, taking a distance course without one in our day and age is nigh impossible. Different online schools organize their laptop programs differently. Some, like Independence University, provide a new laptop on enrollment and allow the student to keep it in case he or she manages to successfully graduate. Some include laptops into their payment plans, aiming to help those students who are incapable to pay a rather hefty cost of a new laptop upfront.

http://plymouthdailynews.com/2015/05/13/american-universities-provide-laptops-make-online-courses-more-available/

Share on Facebook

Lynn University, American College Dublin To Offer iPad-Powered Online MBA

May 20th, 2015

by University Herald

As soon as fall 2015, students earning their MBAs at American College Dublin (ACD) will be able to take up to half of their required credits through iLynn, Lynn University’s award-winning iPad-powered curriculum. The program will offer students the flexibility to learn online in addition to taking classes at ACD’s campus. “Students at American College Dublin will now have mobile access to Lynn’s MBA curriculum, which includes interactive course materials, videos and other rich content,” Gregg Cox, vice president for academic affairs at Lynn University, said in a statement. “It is a highly personalized education with small class sizes and unlimited use of next-generation collaboration tools.” Lynn has been using these mobile technologies on its campus for the past two years to improve student engagement and reduce the cost of traditional textbooks by up to 95 percent.

http://www.universityherald.com/articles/18725/20150506/lynn-university-american-college-dublin-to-offer-ipad-powered-online-mba.htm

Share on Facebook

New Consortium’s Mission: Improve Liberal-Arts Teaching Online

May 20th, 2015

by Jeffrey Young, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Four liberal-arts colleges on Monday formed a consortium to share information about their experiments with online education, and more members may soon join in. The focus is not on bringing down the cost of education, but on improving online-teaching projects — whether all-online or hybrid courses — by sharing experiences and collaborating. The premise is that liberal-arts institutions have goals and methods for going online that are different from those of research institutions. “There’s a steep learning curve to figuring out how to use this technology with our students, and with our teaching style,” said Douglas Johnson, an associate professor of psychology and director of the Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research at Colgate University, a founding member of the group. By working together, he said, “we can save each other from reinventing wheels.”

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/new-consortiums-mission-improve-liberal-arts-teaching-online/56621

Share on Facebook

The Online Paradox at Community Colleges

May 19th, 2015

by the Hechinger Report

Two weeks ago I wrote about the overwhelming research evidence that community college students aren’t doing as well in online classes as they are in face-to-face traditional classes. Students are failing in higher numbers and getting lower grades. That remains true, but it isn’t the whole story. Peter Shea, who is the associate provost of online learning at the University of Albany—SUNY, contacted me to share his research findings. Community college students who take online courses are more likely – 25 percent more likely to be exact – to complete their two-year associate degree or some sort of certificate than students who didn’t take any online classes. Not only are online course takers more likely to graduate, they’re more likely to graduate sooner than students who don’t take any online classes, Shea also found. He presented this research in a working paper at the American Education Research Association conference in Chicago in April 2015. “It’s a bit of a paradox,” said Shea. “They’re doing worse at the course level, but at the program level – despite lower grades – they’re finishing.”

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/05/11/the-online-paradox-at-community-colleges

Share on Facebook

How to Dramatically Slash the Cost of College Education

May 19th, 2015

by Sramana Mitra, Huffington Post

The exorbitant cost of higher education is a recurrent topic of conversation, concern, and discontent these days. Against that backdrop, an announcement from edX and Arizona State University caught my attention last week. ASU and edX announced a program called Global Freshman Academy: The Global Freshman Academy (GFA) will give learners anywhere in the world the opportunity to earn freshman-level university credit after successfully completing a series of digital immersion courses hosted on edX, designed and taught by leading scholars from ASU. By allowing students to learn, explore and complete courses before applying or paying for credit, the Global Freshman Academy reimagines the freshman year and reduces academic and monetary stress while opening a new path to a college degree for many students.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sramana-mitra/how-to-dramatically-slash_b_7257134.html

Share on Facebook

Human connections important for online courses

May 19th, 2015

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

New research into the most effective elements of massive open online courses and other digital learning models find the human elements to be critical. eCampus News reports peer interaction improves outcomes and instructor input, through course design or the actual teaching and facilitation of course concepts, is essential. The report also covers the evolution of online course technology, discussing the currently emerging “fourth generation,” which includes adaptive learning and competency-based models, according to the article.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/human-connections-important-for-online-courses/396232/

Share on Facebook

Moodle Gets Redesigned Navigation, User Interface Upgrade

May 18th, 2015

By Rhea Kelly, THE Journal

Moodle has unveiled version 2.9 of the open source learning platform, featuring a navigation and user interface redesign focused on ease of use for students, educators and administrators. “Our core goal is to support and improve education by making our teachers and trainers more effective, and Moodle continues its evolution in Moodle 2.9 with enhancements for users at all levels” said Martin Dougiamas, Moodle founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Working from the navigation overhaul specification with the input of the HQ team and community over the past 12 months, the core interface has seen some solid progress in making Moodle simple and friendlier for educators and students.”

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/05/11/moodle-fine-tunes-navigation-user-interface.aspx

Share on Facebook

The death of classroom learning: What got us here won’t get them there

May 18th, 2015

by ARINYA TALERNGSRI, Bangkok Post

In essence, the future of leadership development not only requires a shift in mindset, but also a transformation in approach to enhance speed, outcomes and effectiveness. In other words, it should be a development method that focuses on building capability — not just competence.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/557571/the-death-of-classroom-learning-what-got-us-here-won-t-get-them-there

Share on Facebook

Creating a Culture Conducive to Integrative Learning

May 18th, 2015

by Louis E. Newman, et al; Tomorrow’s Professor

Our experience has reinforced one overriding lesson: integrative learning is as much about pedagogy as about curriculum, as much about the culture of learning and collegiality as about specific programs. At Carleton, integrative learning thrives when faculty and staff working collaboratively and with strong administrative support see themselves as collectively responsible for the learning of their students in ways that transcend specific courses, departments, or programs. The distinctive practices of integrative learning are not self-sufficient or easily transferable from one institutional setting to another. They thrive only in a context where collaboration, risk taking, and modeling are actively fostered and rewarded.

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/enewsletter.php?msgno=1411

Share on Facebook

The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment: A Report on Research

May 17th, 2015

by Malcolm Brown, et al, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative

In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EDUCAUSE explored the gaps between current learning management tools and a digital learning environment that could meet the changing needs of higher education. Consultations with more than 70 community thought leaders brought into relief the contours of a next generation digital learning environment (NGDLE). Its principal functional domains are interoperability; personalization; analytics, advising, and learning assessment; collaboration; and accessibility and universal design. Since no single application can deliver in all those domains, we recommend a “Lego” approach to realizing the NGDLE, where NGDLE-conforming components are built that allow individuals and institutions the opportunity to construct learning environments tailored to their requirements and goals.

https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli3035.pdf

Share on Facebook

How to Make Online Learning Accessible for Students with Learning Challenges

May 17th, 2015

by Brent Betit, EdSurge

We know that students with learning disabilities may learn best in a human-mediated environment that takes into account their highly specific individual learning profile. The very best special educators adapt to a student’s learning style on the fly–a capability that computers haven’t yet acquired. So it would seem logical to question whether online education is even appropriate for students with LD. Yet I believe that a well-designed learning platform that includes multiple learning modalities could very well be superior to in-person education for someone with an LD. Based on my 30 years of experience working with students who learn differently, here are six precepts for how one could build an online learning platform that works for students with LDs:

https://www.edsurge.com/n/2015-05-10-how-to-make-online-learning-accessible-for-students-with-learning-challenges

Share on Facebook

Debt-Free College Catches On

May 17th, 2015

By Michael Stratford, Inside Higher Ed

After a concerted push over the past several months from liberals and progressive groups, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign appears to be on the cusp of embracing a debt-free college plan. The Democratic front-runner’s campaign manager promoted the idea last week during an interview on CNBC. “What voters are looking for is someone to be a champion for everyday people,” the campaign manager, Robby Mook, said. “For young people, that’s debt-free college.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/05/11/push-liberals-debt-free-college-gains-traction-2016-democratic-campaign

Share on Facebook

Balancing Online Teaching Activities: Strategies for Optimizing Efficiency and Effectiveness

May 16th, 2015
by Deana M. Raffo et al, OJDLA

Increased demands in professional expectations have required online faculty to learn how to balance multiple roles in an open-ended, changing, and relatively unstructured job. In this paper, we argue that being strategic about one’s balance of the various facets of online teaching will improve one’s teaching efficiency and effectiveness. We discuss the balancing issues associated with four key online teaching facets: course design/development, delivery of the course content, assessments/feedback, and professional development. We conclude with a template for a strategic professional development plan that addresses these key facets.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring181/raffo_brinthaupt_gardner_fisher181.html

Share on Facebook

An Investigation of Personality Traits in Relation to Job Performance of Online Instructors

May 16th, 2015

by Charles P. Holmes et al, OJDLA

This quantitative study examined the relationship between the Big 5 personality traits and how they relate to online teacher effectiveness. The primary method of data collection for this study was through the use of surveys primarily building upon the Personality Style Inventory (PSI) (Lounsbury & Gibson, 2010), a work-based personality measure, was the instrument used to assess personality measures. In addition an evaluation instrument was developed by the researchers to evaluate classroom performance across a 10-point scale. In total 115 instructors from a large predominantly online university were surveyed through Qualtrics for personality traits and then had their courses evaluated for effectiveness and quality utilizing measures based on the Quality Matters program. Using a Pearson product moment correlation coefficient, it was found that 9 personality traits were significantly correlated with online teaching performance. While the results of this study can only be seen at this point as preliminary, it does open the door to further studies to determine if online teacher training or professional development interventions should take a different approach. Ultimately, the findings of this study demonstrated that personality does play a significant role in the effectiveness of online teaching performance.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring181/holmes_kirwan_bova_belcher181.html

Share on Facebook