Khan Academy founder has two big ideas for overhauling higher education in the sciences

December 18th, 2014

by Gregory Ferenstein, Venture Beat

Soft-spoken education revolutionary Sal Khan has a few ideas for how to radically overhaul higher education. First, create a universal degree that’s comparable to a Stanford degree, and second, transform the college transcript into a portfolio of things that students have actually created. Khan is the founder, executive director, and faculty member at the Khan Academy, an online education provider. Speaking at the Atlantic’s Navigate tech conference, Khan said that the online education providers and independent technology “boot camp” schools will end up playing an important role in pressuring legacy universities to change their outdated ways.

http://venturebeat.com/2014/12/14/khan-academy-founder-has-a-couple-of-big-ideas-for-overhauling-higher-education-in-the-sciences/

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Forward Planning on Technology

December 18th, 2014

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Technology can address some of the financial and organizational challenges facing public flagship universities, according to a new report, but those challenges have to be solved with input from the entire institution — not just a “coalition of the willing.” Ithaka S+R, a nonprofit research organization, last academic year traveled to 10 institutions in the Public Flagship Network, a group of 17 such institutions, to learn how the universities are using technology to respond to shrinking state funding and changing student behavior. Ithaka’s researchers interviewed 214 senior administrators, directors of online learning, department chairs and staffers at those universities, finding similar concerns: The institutions are struggling to perform the traditional functions of a research university as outside forces — politicians and students among them — urge them to make higher education more affordable and accessible.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/12/15/report-recommends-public-flagship-universities-plan-incentivize-technology-classroom

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Online education growing at Purdue

December 18th, 2014

By HELEN STORMS, Purdue Exponent

The amount of online classes available to Purdue students has continued to grow in recent years. Currently, there are about 135 undergraduate courses that can be taken online each semester, and this number will only increase in the future. In fact, according to statistics from Purdue’s spring 2015 graduating class, about 51% of the graduates have taken at least one online course throughout their time at Purdue. Some of these classes are almost entirely online, whereas others still conduct the course partially face to face. This type of course is becoming the preferred format because it allows students to listen to the lecture before coming to class to make better use of class time.

http://www.purdueexponent.org/campus/article_95bbc052-f949-56f4-a377-878dc0fd4d5a.html

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10 Online Learning Trends to Watch in 2015 [#Infographic]

December 17th, 2014

by D. Frank Smith, EdTech Magazine

Frank is a social media journalist for the CDW family of technology magazine websites. Amid the shifting sands of online education, which trends can we expect to set the tone for e-learning in the year ahead? Online options are growing, and the classroom format is changing to incorporate the technology. There are a few trends on the cusp of explosive growth in the coming year. A new infographic from TalentLMS, a cloud-based learning management system, offers its picks for the top 10 E-Learning Trends to Follow in 2015:

http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2014/12/10-online-learning-trends-watch-2015-infographic-0

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UIS offers free online course on wrongful convictions

December 17th, 2014

By The Associated Press

The University of Illinois Springfield plans to offer a free online class examining the issues surrounding wrongful convictions. The university said Wednesday that online registration is underway for the six-week course, which begins in February and is open to the public. Participants need not be enrolled at the university. It will examine the scope and causes of wrongful convictions and the difficulties in trying to free innocent people after they have been convicted. It also will consider strategies to prevent future wrongful convictions. The course will be taught by assistant professor Gwen Jordan, who also is a staff attorney for the Illinois Innocence Project.

http://www.lincolncourier.com/article/20141211/NEWS/141219905/11669/NEWS

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Learning is Evolving: 10 Key E-Learning Trends for 2015

December 17th, 2014

by Training Zone

So what’s in store for the coming year then? Some of the ‘trends’ you will find popping up also feature from previous years, so technically they may not be a new trend, but we’ve kept them on our list as some of them have been slow to adopt and still hold a solid presence and form the topic of many a conservation by the water cooler. [ed note: here's one we will be sure to see more often]

9. Learning as a lifestyle

The L&D sector as a whole is shifting from thinking about organising individual learning events to creating learning campaigns. In 2015, organisations will be looking for new ways to connect with their learners through social, informal and creative methods that transform learning into a lifestyle rather than a compartmentalised activity.

http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/blogs-post/learning-evolving-10-key-e-learning-trends-2015/188096

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Asking a Small Favor of Readers

December 16th, 2014

If you read my postings and live in/are from South Carolina, would you ping me?

I ask this as an informal poll to help me with an application. Thanks for following the blog, and I apologize for this tiny interruption. Best holiday wishes! @rayschroeder / rschr1@uis.edu -ray

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Investing in Quality Competency-Based Education

December 16th, 2014

by Deb Bushway and Deborah Everhart, EDUCAUSE Review

Investments in competency-based education programs make sense as our nation strives to educate an increasingly diverse population. Key indicators of quality for all stakeholders in CBE ecosystems are curricular architecture, valid and reliable assessments, and comprehensive student success resources. CBE programs require substantial investments and often commitments to new or redefined business models.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/investing-quality-competency-based-education

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Hiring Outlook in Higher Education IT

December 16th, 2014

By David Weldon, Campus Technology

Campus information technology departments are looking for candidates with skill sets in mobile, big data and more — but will the best talent be lost to the corporate sector? With cloud computing, mobile technology and big data analytics on the rise, a lot of change is coming to campus IT departments. And along with all that change comes the need for many colleges and universities to ramp up their IT hiring in 2015. That is both good news and bad news. It’s great for job seekers, of course, when organizations increase head count. But for higher education institutions — not known for their top IT salaries — competition with the corporate sector should be tough.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/12/11/hiring-outlook-in-higher-education-it.aspx

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Texas university finalizes major partnership to expand access

December 16th, 2014

by eCampus News

Pearson to provide online learning services for baccalaureate, graduate and certificate programs at University of Texas at El Paso. The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is partnering with Pearson to expand access to an estimated 5,000 under-served students regionally and nationwide through UTEP Connect, a suite of fully online baccalaureate, graduate and certificate programs. The first eight programs, including health, criminal justice, communication, and education, will launch in May 2015.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/business-news/texas-access-pearson-377/

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Online Learning and the Doctorate

December 15th, 2014

By Alison Carr-Chellman, elearnmag

More and more universities are starting to turn their attention toward online doctorates. As the number of master’s students from the initial flush of fully online degrees stabilizes, those interested in increased revenue streams have opened up the university gates wide and have started to look to doctoral-level education for the next big democratization of higher education.

http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=2694729&rss=true

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Online Learning Is About Activities

December 15th, 2014

by Thomas De Praetere, eLearning Industry

My clients oten ask me what online learning means and what can be considered true online learning. Here is an attempt to define online learning the empirical way, proposing a table of possible online learning activities. The advantage of the behaviorist definition is that it focuses on activities and feedback, hence suggesting a method for e-learning design. Truth is seldom simple but only simple ideas are usable. Let’s consider e-learning from the author’s perspective. Publishing slides, PDF e-books, encyclopaedia articles does not mean I produce e-learning, as the criteria for e-learning does not lie in the resources I publish but in the activities I organize for the learners around these resources. E-learning starts when I switch from “I published my course online” to “my course takes place online”.

http://elearningindustry.com/online-learning-activities

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Course Completion Rates Don’t Really Matter When It Comes to Open Online Learning: What does? Students’ intentions.

December 15th, 2014

by Lauren Landry, BostonInno

Completion rates are the bane of massive open online courses. No matter how often critics are told focusing on them is “too simplistic,” naysayers harp on the average four percent rates anyway, rarely considering learners’ intentions. A new study, published in Educause, by Harvard University researcher Justin Reich suggests a new method of calculating course completion.

http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2014/12/09/mooc-course-completion-rates-harvard-study-on-online-learning/

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Best Way for Professors to Get Good Student Evaluations? Be Male.

December 14th, 2014

Many in academia have long known about how the practice of student evaluations of professors is inherently biased against female professors. Students, after all, are just as likely as the public in general to have the same ugly, if unconscious, biases about women in authority. Just as polling data continues to show that a majority of Americans think being a man automatically makes you better in the boss department, many professors worry that students just automatically rate male professors as smarter, more authoritative, and more awesome overall just because they are men. Now, a new study out North Carolina State University shows that there is good reason for that concern.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/12/09/gender_bias_in_student_evaluations_professors_of_online_courses_who_present.html

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Online Education, With Great Investment, Can Provide Extraordinary Opportunities for Students and Faculty

December 14th, 2014

by James Goldgeier, Huffington Post

In recent months, news has emerged from universities around the country indicating that a significant level of skepticism remains about online education. When we first examined the possibility of working with an external provider to deliver graduate education three years ago at the School of International Service at American University, we shared the same instincts, alongside many of our faculty colleagues. After all, how could online education be as beneficial to students as being in the same room and on the same campus with one another and with their professors? Remarkably, we have found that it can be as beneficial, and that it has certain unique advantages. But this level of success requires a tremendous investment of resources, creativity and ambition to ensure that we meet our commitment as faculty and administrators to those students whose professional or family responsibilities or location do not allow them to enroll on campus.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-james-goldgeier/online-education-with-gre_b_6288764.html

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Full-time third-level education for all is a luxury we can’t afford

December 14th, 2014

by Brian Mulligan, Irish Times

Could it be that sending our children to college is an extravagance? Something that would be nice to have, but we can’t really afford and do not really need? We are also told that it is in the interests of the economy that as many people as possible get a higher education; that, as a nation, we cannot afford not to send our children to college. Our distance learners seem to be able to cover material in less time than the full-time students and achieve better scores in examinations. How can this be so? Is it the teaching medium? Is it that they can replay difficult parts of lectures over and over again or post questions to their lecturers and classmates at any hour of the day or night? Perhaps, but I think it might be something else. Our distance learners seem to be very highly motivated.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/full-time-third-level-education-for-all-is-a-luxury-we-can-t-afford-1.2025807

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Local experts discuss impacts of technology on teaching and learning

December 13th, 2014

by Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville Tomorrow

In 2012, Michael Lenox was among the first UVa professors to start teaching what are known as a Massive Open Online Course on the Coursera platform. “We can think about online education as both simultaneously a substitute and a complement to existing educational structures and efforts,” Lenox said. Lenox, who teaches at UVa’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, said consumers will be scrutinizing the value of a residential four-year university experience. “I would argue that residential-based education at a university setting is superior and will continue to be superior for a lot of reasons we can imagine to online education,” said Lenox, “but there’s also a potential for a very large price differential.” “At some price differential, people will substitute to online education and online degrees over residential-based degrees,” Lenox said.

http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/19654-impacts-of-technology-on-teaching-and-learning/

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MOOC student data privacy debatable

December 13th, 2014

By Keith Button, Education Dive

Massive open online course providers have differing opinions about whether people who take their courses are legally entitled to privacy protections under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports. The data in MOOCs is seldom protected by FERPA because MOOCs are rarely paid for with federally funded student aid, according to the chief privacy officer for the U.S. Department of Education, Kathleen Styles. Coursera and edX, the most well-known MOOC providers, disagree on whether FERPA applies to their students.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/mooc-student-data-privacy-debatable/340496/

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Stanford forms new Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning

December 13th, 2014

By KATHLEEN J. SULLIVAN, Stanford

By combining resources of the Center for Teaching and Learning, parts of Academic Computing Services, the CourseWork engineering team and the Office of the Vice Provost for Online Learning, the new organization will provide better coordination between groups that support teaching, learning and reaching learners online.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/december/faculty-senate-online-120514.html

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Five Psychology Principles That eLearning Professionals Should Know

December 12th, 2014

by Christopher Pappas, eLearning Industry

In this article, I’ll highlight 5 psychology principles that you should use before you develop your next eLearning courses. Knowing how learners acquire information and why they need such information, is the key to becoming a successful eLearning professional. Using psychology principles in eLearning courses, offers eLearning professionals the chance to take full advantage of learning behaviors when creating their next eLearning deliverable.

http://elearningindustry.com/5-psychology-principles-elearning-professionals-know

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Nanodegree Scholarship Program Expanded to an Additional 1,000 Students

December 12th, 2014

by Sustainable Brands

Nanodegrees, a new category of online degrees launched by AT&T and Udacity this fall, provide affordable and accessible training for jobs in the tech industry. As a company that relies on a highly skilled tech workforce, we believe that new educational pathways such as nanodegrees will help more people gain industry-relevant skills to fuel the 21st century workforce. This is also why, together with Udacity, we created the nanodegree scholarship program. Through AT&T Aspire, we are committed to helping students — regardless of age, gender, income or zip code — make their biggest dreams a reality.  Sustainable Brands is joining Udacity to announce an expansion of our nanodegree scholarship program from 200 students to an additional 1,000 students.

http://www.sustainablebrands.com/press/nanodegree_scholarship_program_expanded_additional_1000_students

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