Online Learning Update

March 1, 2017

World Bank offers new financing for development MOOC after 32,000 users took the first one

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

By Sophie Edwards, Devex

The World Bank is launching a new free online course to teach participants about financing for development in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, after nearly 32,000 people registered to take part in its first one. The course will address the challenge of finding the additional $2.5 trillion each year that the United Nations estimates developing countries need to achieve the SDGs by 2030. With current political uncertainty surrounding foreign aid and trade flows from the U.S. and other countries, plugging that gap seems more challenging than ever. The course is designed to teach participants where funding for the SDGs is available and how it can be mobilized. It builds on a previous course offered by the World Bank in 2015, its first MOOC, or free massive open online course.

https://www.devex.com/news/world-bank-offers-new-financing-for-development-mooc-after-32-000-users-took-the-first-one-89652

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To attract students, colleges try moving brick-and-mortar experience online

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

By RYAN DELANEY, KBIA

Increasingly, college life is less about walking across the quad or stopping at the dining hall before sitting in a big lecture hall, and more about flipping open a laptop at home. Take Royal Witcher, a St. Louis native and Army veteran who lives in Belmont, Mississippi. He completed most of his bachelor’s degree through the University of Phoenix, a fully online institution, but often felt like just a number. When it was time for his MBA, the 45-year-old did his research — lots of it — and decided on Maryville University, which has a campus in suburban St. Louis. But he didn’t return to Missouri, instead taking advantage of an online degree. “The biggest changes that I saw were, I think, the drive to solidify, or prove, the online degree as just as good as a traditional,” he said of the difference in the programs.

http://kbia.org/post/attract-students-colleges-try-moving-brick-and-mortar-experience-online#stream/0

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Speech class mixes online learning with classroom face-time

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

by Muscatine Journal

When long-time Muscatine Community College faculty member Kay Rooff-Steffen was asked, last fall, to offer an evening public speaking class this spring, she ventured outside the traditional box. “It is time to recognize how busy our students are,” Rooff-Steffen said, “and how responsible they can be for some of their own learning.” Rooff-Steffen has designed and taught face-to-face, as well as online classes at MCC for several years, so she knows what kind of assignments translate well into distance learning; she also knows how important the traditional face-to-face environment is for public speaking activities. The district course model requires students to speak for a minimum of 30 minutes during a semester. This, in Rooff-Steffen’s opinion, is vital to the relevant learning outcomes of the course.

http://muscatinejournal.com/muscatine/news/local/speech-class-mixes-online-learning-with-classroom-face-time/article_516d5747-3e14-50f4-8c62-7a12d02ed1b9.html

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February 28, 2017

Online Ed’s Return on Investment

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:24 pm
by Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed
The study, “The Returns to Online Postsecondary Education,” reads something like an indictment of online education. Written by Caroline M. Hoxby, the Scott and Donya Bommer Professor in Economics at Stanford University, the paper and its findings “provide little support for optimistic prognostications about online education.” Higher education researchers questioned its deviation from online enrollment numbers reported by the federal government’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Hoxby writes that, in 2013, the proportion of students taking all or a substantial number of their courses online totaled only  7 percent of postsecondary enrollment in the U.S. However, IPEDS data show 27 percent of all students took at least one online course in fall 2013, and 13 percent studied exclusively online. Russell Poulin, director of policy and analysis for WCET said “Even a quick check with one of the databases they did use … would show they are off on their counts and should have made them rethink their assumptions,” Poulin said in an email.
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/02/28/working-paper-finds-little-return-investment-online-education
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These are the 248 Ivy League courses you can take for free online

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

by Business Tech

Online learning website Class Central has compiled a list of the 248 online courses currently being offered for free by the world’s Ivy league universities, in fields like computer science, business, humanities, art, science, health, teaching and engineering. The 8 Ivy League schools (Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, Columbia, and University of Pennsylvania) are considered to be amongst the most prestigious universities in the world, with all eight schools placed in the top fifteen of the U.S. News and World Report 2017 national university rankings.

https://businesstech.co.za/news/business/157319/these-are-the-248-ivy-league-courses-you-can-take-for-free-online/

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UTEP Center Helps Create Online Courses

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

by El Paso Herald Post

The team that assists faculty from The University of Texas at El Paso to develop online courses has settled into its new home in UTEP’s Extended University and looks forward to assisting more professors to catch the digital wave. UTEP’s Center for Instructional Design (CID) guides and supports UTEP instructors in the creation and enhancement of online courses. This unit has served the campus under different titles for about 20 years. The center made the switch during the fall 2016 semester from Academic Technologies, where it functioned as the Online Learning unit, after it was decided the mission was a better fit under Extended University, which directs UTEP Connect, the University’s suite of fully online degree plans. UTEP Connect launched in May 2015 with a handful of online programs. Today, it has 14 online undergraduate and graduate degree plans that serve about 900 students from 10 countries and 47 states. More courses are being developed every semester.

http://elpasoheraldpost.com/utep-center-helps-create-online-courses/

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Are Millennial Employees Different?

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

by Richard D’Ambrosio, Travel Market Report

Millennials are different from Baby Boomers and even some GenXers in how they prefer to learn, and what kinds of tools work best for them. Experts say that as the first generation raised wholly on the Internet and smart phones, Millennials gravitate toward a mix of learning, though agency owners shouldn’t discount their desire to be mentored one-on-one. “Millennials’ ease with technology means they respond well to a range of digital learning styles and delivery methods, which might include online learning modules, webinars or interactive game-play,” said PricewaterhouseCoopers International in its recently published report, Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workplace. “Millennials are tech-savvy and they like having technology woven into their training,” agreed Dr. Mimi Hull, a consultant and speaker to the travel industry. “This may mean providing links and additional online resources that they can access while taking or following their training.”

http://www.travelmarketreport.com/articles/Are-Millennial-Employees-Different-Travel-Agents-Speak-Out-Part-Three

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February 27, 2017

She has quite a brain, but this teaching assistant is just not human

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

By Eric Stirgus,The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It began as an experiment, and it could change how college students learn. Last year, students in Georgia Tech professor Ashok Goel’s online Masters in Computer Science class were told the questions they asked after class would be answered online by a teaching assistant named Jill Watson. What the students didn’t know is Watson is not human, but computer artificial intelligence. Georgia Tech is believed to be the only school in the nation using artificial intelligence in such fashion. Goel and other Tech researchers are working on the next phase, virtual teaching assistants that can be tutors, answering questions and asking questions. Goel believes their work has immense potential. “We get to build a future of our own imagination,” he said exuberantly. Students in courses where the teaching assistants were artificial intelligence programs say they were surprised that it wasn’t a human answering their questions.

http://www.myajc.com/news/local-education/she-has-quite-brain-but-this-teaching-assistant-just-not-human/ZD8NiCkbgWOM4XaXkZ6cBL/

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Artificial intelligence ‘to revolutionise higher education’

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:08 am

by John Elmes, Times Higher Education

The NMC Horizon Report: 2017 Higher Education Edition is produced by the New Media Consortium – a community of hundreds of universities, colleges, museums and research organisations driving innovation across their campuses – and is the flagship publication of the NMC Horizon Project, which analyses emerging technology uptake in education. Artificial intelligence, the report notes, has the “potential to enhance online learning, adaptive learning software, and research processes in ways that more intuitively respond to and engage with students”. Samantha Adams Becker, senior director of publications and communications at NMC and the report’s editor, said that the higher education world was already seeing the initial benefits of AI, which was “very much driving” the adaptive learning field.

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/artificial-intelligence-revolutionise-higher-education

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Consider an Online Program Designed for Working Adults

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

by Bradley Fuster, US News

If you’re a working adult considering an online degree, choosing a program wisely can help you avoid ultimately dropping out. Many institutions are launching online degrees in ways that allow working adults to be more successful and persist through graduation. So, if you work full time, it’s key to be aware of whether online degree programs have strong student services and classes that are structured in a way that supports you. Enrolling in an online degree program specifically designed for working adults significantly increases your chances of completing the program and being satisfied with the education.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/articles/2017-02-17/consider-an-online-program-designed-for-working-adults

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February 26, 2017

New report bodes well for e-learning

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

by Brett Henebery, Learning and Development Professional

Melbourne-based course comparison start-up, ​training.com.au,​ recently surveyed over 3,000 people to gain a better understanding of what motivated them to consider further study and the role of technology in the delivery of courses. “Since there are so many online courses now on offer, and readily accessible, people are giving them a try and some discover it’s not for them.” There are other factors at play too, Thomas added. “Some of these include a sense, or lack thereof, of belonging to a learning community, time management skills and interaction with the teacher or instructor,” he explained. “Overall, it seems when it comes to higher education, people’s preference is for ‘blended’ learning where they can experience face-to-face learning supplemented by online learning.”

http://www.ldphub.com/general-news/new-report-bodes-well-for-elearning-231505.aspx

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Check out Steppingstone Scholars’ new online course for low-income students applying to college

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

by Generosity.org

The nonprofit, which provides academic enrichment programs for minority and low-income students, collaborated with Penn to launch the course on Coursera. Steppingstone Scholars, the nonprofit established in 1999 to provide academic enrichment programs for minority and low-income students, believes first-generation and low-income students have particular difficulties navigating both the college search and admission processes. That’s why Steppingstone, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Admissions, recently launched an online course called “How to Apply to College.”

http://generocity.org/philly/2017/02/16/steppingstone-scholars-online-course-apply-to-college/

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Ask 4 Questions About Accessing Online Courses on Mobile

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

By Jordan Friedman, US News

Want to take online courses on your smartphone or tablet? In many programs, you can. For online learners constantly on the go, being able to access courses on mobile devices is important. Many online degree programs offer students mobile apps with most of the same capabilities as the virtual classrooms on their desktops and laptops, experts say. And it’s a topic many of today’s applicants ask about, says Katie Barak, manager of student resources and disability services at the online Colorado State University—Global Campus.

http://www.usnews.com/higher-education/online-education/articles/2017-02-16/ask-4-questions-about-accessing-online-courses-on-mobile-devices

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February 25, 2017

Is higher ed ready for the big edtech explosion?

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

BY MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

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.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/featured/featured-on-ecampus-news/higher-edtech-explosion/

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Should Online Courses Go Through ‘Beta Testing’? How One Provider Taps 2,500 Volunteers

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

By Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

Wesley Engers has an unusual hobby: beta testing online courses from well-known colleges and universities. He doesn’t get paid, but he helps improve the quality of courses by catching mistakes in quizzes and pointing out befuddling bits of video lectures, which can then be clarified before professors release the course to students. “I find it much more engaging than reading a book,” says Engers, a 29-year-old data scientist, when asked why he does it. “And I do enjoy giving back and trying to contribute to a community and help future students.” He’s one of about 2,500 volunteer beta testers for Coursera, and part of an expanded quality-control effort the company started in the past year.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-02-17-should-online-courses-go-through-beta-testing-how-one-provider-taps-2-500-volunteers

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Synthesis and Reactions to the 2017 NMC Horizon Report

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

By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

Trying to convince non-edtech academics to read and engage with this report. You don’t have time to read a 56 page report. Almost nothing that I could say could convince you to download, print, and devote a solid hour to the 2017 NMC Horizon Report. But maybe I can convince you to read the Executive Summary (2 pages, including graphics). This will take 5 minutes tops. Maybe less. I don’t need to persuade my edtech tribe about the merits of the Horizon Report. We love this stuff. A 56 page mirror on our thinking is too short. The Horizon Report is assembled from feedback from “78 education and technology experts” using a “modified Delphi process”. My goal is to that all of you edtech skeptics should put eyes to the NMC Report. You just might be surprised. [the report can be downloaded here: http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2017-higher-education-edition/]

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/synthesis-and-reactions-2017-nmc-horizon-report

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February 24, 2017

Report: Millions of students reveal surprising online learning trends

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

BY MERIS STANSBURY, Campus Technology

New study reveals that collaboration is still not a prevalent online learning habit; mobile phones have yet to be used for serious learning. GoConqr surveyed over 2.5 million students and teachers currently using the platform from over 160 countries last year (2016) to better understand their online learning habits and how learning is changing in general. The study surveyed students and teachers ranging from secondary to postgraduate levels. Some of the key findings of the report reveal that students and teachers are using online platforms as an additional source to help with selected subjects. Also, despite the prevalence of social networking, online study tends to be a solitary activity, with 79 percent of those surveyed choosing not to study collaboratively when they are online. However, this percentage is decreasing over time as traditional learning methods are being replaced with online and blended teaching styles.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/online-learning/students-online-learning-trends/

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How data analytics can bring out the best in a university

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

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

New systems of data analytics can equip college campuses to set and reach goals for student achievement, operational efficiency, and financial stability, Ed Tech: Focus on Higher Ed reported — but the first step in harnessing these benefits is understanding concepts of implementation and execution. A risk that campuses face is the integration of analytics in partial rollouts, which can create ‘haves and have-nots’ among students and faculty, and gleaning best practices from peer institutions and vendors is a good way of preventing this kind of digital divide. Institutional culture and campus governance are also critical areas to consider before a major tech rollout, as faculty, staff and students will have to buy into the new systems and their potential benefits.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/university-data-analytics-security-operations/436355/

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Elite colleges bet big on micro-degree programs

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

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Several colleges and universities are now offering micro degree programs in the hopes of attracting professionals interested in career development while selling full graduate degree programs in the process, NPR reported yesterday. MIT, Columbia University and the University of Michigan are just a few of the high research institutions attracting students through these online programs, which offer advanced credentialing in engineering, business and computer science for a fraction of tuition costs that can exceed $60,000 a year for full degrees. The programs, which have the same rigorous admission standards as traditional offerings, can present a challenge to some students who enroll without prior experience in the disciplines.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/university-micro-degree-program-MIT-columbia-michigan/436372/

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February 23, 2017

These Top Schools Are Offering Big Savings On Master’s Degrees, But There’s A Catch

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

by KIRK CARAPEZZA, NPR

There’s an experiment underway at a few top universities around the world to make some master’s degrees out there more affordable. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, says the class of 2018 can get a master’s degree in supply chain management with tens of thousands in savings. The university’s normal price runs upwards of $67,000 for the current academic year. But it’s not as simple as sending in a coupon with your tuition bill. There are big hurdles for students, and clear benefits for the universities.

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/02/15/504478472/how-to-get-20-000-off-the-price-of-a-masters-degree

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UW class on how to spot fake data goes viral within hours

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

by Katherine Long, Seattle Times

Two University of Washington professors are taking aim at BS in a provocatively named new course they hope to teach this spring. The professors would like to push the course materials online — teaching it as a MOOC, for example, a freely available course taught over the web. When it came to picking a title for the course they will teach this spring, University of Washington professors Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West decided to abandon academic stodginess and get edgy. Their new course title? “Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data.” Bergstrom and West figured using a minor profanity was a surefire way to draw attention to the course. And sure enough — within hours of unveiling a wickedly funny webpage they created for the proposed class, and announcing it via Twitter, the BS course went viral. The webpage went live at midnight, and “we woke up the next morning and it was over the whole planet,” West said.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/uw-class-on-how-to-spot-fake-data-goes-viral-within-hours/

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