Instructor Engagement with E-Texts

March 5th, 2015

by Serdar Abaci, Anastasia Morrone, and Alan Dennis, EDUCAUSE Review

This case study of Indiana University’s e-text initiative reports on the participation levels and motivations of instructors in engaging with digital textbooks. Instructors can benefit from e-text features, including real-time reading and engagement analytics, note-sharing with students, and ability to integrate links, annotations, and multimedia materials into study materials. The findings from this study suggest that instructors play an important role in e-text adoption by modeling active e-text use and creating meaningful interaction around the content. Simply put, when instructors engage with e-texts, so do their students.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/instructor-engagement-e-texts

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Why You Now Need a Team to Create and Deliver Learning

March 5th, 2015

By Mary Grush, Campus Technology

“Higher education institutions that intentionally move towards using a team-based approach to creating and delivering the majority of their education content and learning experiences will stand out and be successful over the long run.” — Daniel Christian Institutions employing a team-based approach to the creation and delivery of education content and experiences will differentiate themselves and succeed, even as the pace of change — both in technology and in the disciplines — accelerates, says Daniel Christian, a senior instructional designer at Calvin College. Teams, comprised of a range of technology and subject content specialists, will be structured and function differently at each institution, but they all share a prime advantage: the ability to guide their institutions to thrive in higher education’s increasingly competitive environment. CT explored the idea with Christian.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/02/24/why-you-now-need-a-team-to-create-and-deliver-learning.aspx

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Growth in online courses shows need for universities to incorporate new technology in their teaching models

March 5th, 2015

by Out-Law.com

Universities expert Chris Martin of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said that the figures showed that online learning was “definitely part of the future of higher education”. However, he pointed out that questions remained over how best to earn income from online learning, while calls for more face-to-face teaching time remained a common complaint amongst students. “The growth of platforms such as FutureLearn comes as traditional universities learn to embrace and use new technologies to deliver education in the way that meets the needs of a new generation of students who want and expect the use of digital technology to be integrated fully in course delivery,” he said. “The best adopters will use technology to enhance their offering, without losing sight of the importance of face to face teaching.”

http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2015/february/growth-in-online-courses-shows-need-for-universities-to-incorporate-new-technology-in-their-teaching-models-says-expert/

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6 key trends accelerating technology adoption in higher education in 2015

March 4th, 2015

BY Chris Parr, Times Higher Education

What will be driving the use of education technology in universities in the next five years? The NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Edition came out earlier this month, declaring what its panel of experts believes to be the key trends that will accelerate the adoption of technology in higher education in the coming years. As last year, we have gathered these trends together and given a brief overview of each. The report is produced by the New Media Consortium, a not-for-profit group of more than 250 higher education institutions, museums and companies that conducts research into emerging technologies. The NMC has grouped the trends in three sections: long-term, mid-term and short-term. Read on to find out more about them.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/6-key-trends-accelerating-technology-adoption-in-higher-education-in-2015/2018706.article

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How Google and Coursera microdegrees may upend the traditional college degree

March 4th, 2015

by Stuart M. Butler, Brookings Institution

Recently, the online education firm Coursera announced a new arrangement with Google, Instagram and other tech firms to launch what some are calling “microdegrees” – a set of online courses plus a hands-on capstone project designed in conjunction with top universities and leading high-tech firms. Coursera is one of America’s leading MOOC developers (Massive Open Online Courses). Together with other developments, such as rival MOOC developer Udacity’s “nanodegree” program, the Coursera announcement could be an important step in a radical shakeup of higher education. That shakeup holds the prospect of far less expensive and more customized degrees that are more in tune with the recruiting needs of major employers.

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/techtank/posts/2015/02/23-mooc-google-coursera-butler

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How Cornell is training the next engineering generation-for free

March 4th, 2015

by eCampus News

Cornell University’s College of Engineering and ANSYS are training future engineers worldwide to become proficient in engineering simulation solutions. Through the SimCafe wiki, which was developed in part with National Science Foundation support, students at Cornell and elsewhere are preparing themselves for success by learning to use–for free–the same tools utilized by thousands of engineers in virtually every industry. ANSYS donated the simulation software for the development of the site. SimCafe has helped integrate simulation into 12 mechanical and aerospace engineering courses at Cornell.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/cornell-ansys-engineering-756/

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Online board helps create online programs

March 3rd, 2015

by Luis Martinez, the Daily Eastern

Eastern created a temporary board in 2012 focused on putting together online degree programs for off-campus students. Robert Augustine, the chair of the online board, said the board is a group of both faculty and administrators. “People know it’s not one of our permanent committees,” Augustine said. “It’s a temporary committee that we have until the time we decided we want a more permanent committee.” The focus of the board is to create online degree programs for students who are unable to come to campus to get their degree. “We have students that want to come to EIU, but because they’re working or because of other reasons, they cannot come in the usual way,” Augustine said. “They’re looking for online degree programs, and to be responsive to that, we have then brought the representatives of the departments together.”

http://www.dailyeasternnews.com/2015/02/22/online-board-helps-create-online-programs/

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Social Interaction in Self-paced Distance Education

March 3rd, 2015

by Terry Anderson, Lorne Upton, Jon Dron & Judi Malone, Praxis

In this paper we present a case study of a self-paced university course that was originally designed to support independent, self-paced study at distance. We developed a social media intervention, in design-based research terms, that allows these independent students to contribute archived content to enhance the course, to engage in discussions with other students and to share as little or as much personal information with each other as they wished. We describe the learning design for the intervention and present survey data of student and tutor perception of value and content analysis of the archived contributions. The results indicate that the intervention was positively received by tutors and by the majority (but not all) students and that the archive created by the students’ contributions was adding value to the course. We conclude that the intervention was a modest, yet manageable example of a learning enhancement to a traditional cognitive-behavioral, course that has positive impact and potential with little negative impact on workload.

http://www.openpraxis.org/index.php/OpenPraxis/article/view/164/139

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Business Schools Bet On Technology To Gain Digital Edge

March 3rd, 2015

by Seb Murray, Business Because

As they scramble to understand emerging digital threats, business schools are adopting learning technology at a rapid pace. Innovation in education is often a slow and painstaking process but the speed with which business schools are adopting learning technology has become rapid. As they scramble to understand emerging digital threats, big-brand schools Wharton, INSEAD, MIT Sloan and Harvard Business School are all investing in online education. International companies, including Accenture and Google, have also joined the fray. To advocates of learning technology, the future of education is in digital delivery. “Given the increasing importance of online for management education, being a leader is important,” says Peter Zemsky, dean of innovation and strategic initiatives at INSEAD, “especially as business schools are teaching how to adapt to changing technologies and business models.”

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/3117/bschools-bet-on-tech-for-digital-edge

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Wiley College embraces distance learning

March 2nd, 2015

by Rebecca Holland, Marshall News

Wiley College, in 2013, created its Center for Excellence in Distance Learning, with four goals in mind. The college wanted its center to be a forum for dialogue on virtual teaching and learning at historically black colleges and universities; to be a network of distance learning decision-makers, practitioners and researchers; to form a partnership between historically black colleges and universities and others with like purposes; and to be a place for research, collaboration, dissemination and innovation in distance learning, faculty development, continuing education and global initiatives.

http://www.marshallnewsmessenger.com/news/wiley-college-embraces-distance-learning/article_bfa5d617-9448-5db2-8e2b-f7e0cc3a3f81.html

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UNH offering online course on presidential primary

March 2nd, 2015

by WMUR

The University of New Hampshire is planning to hold a six-week online course devoted to the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary. Political science professors Dante Scala and Andrew Smith will teach the class that looks at the primary as it unfolds, and explore the unique qualities of New Hampshire’s status and the process of campaigning. It will combine video lectures, online discussions and interactive activities.

http://www.wmur.com/news/unh-offering-online-course-on-presidential-primary/31404452

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Data Doomsday Preppers

March 2nd, 2015

by Shelly Palmer Cyber Security

Data Doomsday Preppers should assume that every computer exposed to the public Internet is vulnerable to attack, even if it predominantly attaches to the outside world through a VPN (virtual private network). Remember, Joseph Heller’s famous phrase: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” Importantly, Data Doomsday Prepping is not a replacement for vigilant cyber security measures. You should encrypt your data, and use every practical security tool to help keep the amateur bad guys at bay. Data Doomsday Preppers fear weapons-grade super cyber attacks and professional bad guys. After all, you can’t have a serious breakdown of social services and live in a post-apocalyptic world unless something really bad happens. Which begs for the question, “Is Data Doomsday even possible?” Not only do I think it’s possible… I think it’s likely.

http://www.shellypalmer.com/spb/2015/2/20/data-doomsday-preppers

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Program offers online certificate for adjunct faculty, journalism teachers

March 1st, 2015

by Arizona State University

Arizona State University’s Cronkite School and the Poynter Institute are offering an online training seminar for adjunct faculty and others who teach journalism. The Poynter Institute and Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication are accepting registrations for an innovative online certificate program for adjunct faculty and others who teach journalism and mass communication classes at universities and colleges across the country. The course, offered through Poynter’s highly successful e-learning platform, News University (NewsU), provides adjuncts with the skills necessary to be effective teachers. Registration is available at newsu.org/courses/adjunct-certificate.

https://asunews.asu.edu/20150220-online-journalism-teaching-certificate

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Intro to Global Dance: ‘Cloud-breaking’ course takes dance online, into GCP

March 1st, 2015

by Webster University

How do you have a dance class online? Webster University students from across the globe are actively addressing that question in the Department of Dance’s flagship online course: Introduction to Global Dance. Adjunct faculty member Betsy Brandt, an interdisciplinary scholar and dancer, choreographer, teacher, dramaturge, and writer, created the eight-week course as the first online and Global Citizenship Program course available from the Department of Dance in Webster’s Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts. “Betsy Brandt’s tremendous work on this course has been an exciting addition to the Department of Dance course offerings,” said James Robey, Department of Dance chair.

http://blogs.webster.edu/webstertoday/2015/02/20/global-dance-online-course-gcp/

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NEF Launches 2 Programs To Improve Digital Skills of U.S. Students and Workers

March 1st, 2015

By Michael Hart, THE Journal

The National Education Foundation aims to improve the digital skills of students and workers in financially disadvantaged area of the United States.The National Education Foundation (NEF) has launched two new programs designed to enhance the digital literacy skills of American students and the job skills of the United States workforce. NEF, a nonprofit that focuses on enhancing academic and job skills for disadvantaged students and adults, has introduced the National Digital Literacy initiative and the Adopt-a-School national initiative, both in partnership with the State University of New York (SUNY).

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/02/19/nef-initiates-2-programs-to-improve-digital-skills-of-u.s.-students-and-workers.aspx

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How Course Web Design Impacts Student Engagement

February 28th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

When Instructure began analyzing the course designs for its higher ed customers, the LMS company discovered something about getting students to interact with the online elements of their courses. Cloud-based applications have the advantage of generating lots of usage data that can give developers insights about how customers are using their products. Rarely, however, do companies share the data publicly. But that’s exactly what Instructure did when it released an interesting infographic offering summary data from 387 colleges and universities that have used its learning management platform for at least two years. Although the company shares all kinds of data points of interest in the compilation, what really stands out is the analysis Instructure offers on course Web site design. According to Jared Stein, vice president of the company’s research and education division, the company enlisted experienced instructional designers to evaluate a number of course designs and rate the “navigational complexity” of those designs against a rubric.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/02/18/how-course-web-design-impacts-student-engagement.aspx

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ACE and Blackboard Unveil Research on Alternative Pathways to Degree Completion

February 28th, 2015

by the American Council on Education

The first paper is “Credit for Prior Learning: Charting Institutional Practice for Sustainability,” which identifies and addresses some of the cultural barriers and successful strategies to institutions incorporating CPL. Interviews with leaders and practitioners from a diverse group of seven institutions located across the U.S. offer insights into common challenges, successful strategies and innovative CPL practices. “Embracing CPL initiatives means first acknowledging that college-level learning can occur outside the traditional classroom setting,” said Soares. “For many institutions, this requires a shift in thinking from how credit has been awarded historically.” The second paper is “The Currency of Higher Education: Credits and Competencies,” which explores the challenges in adapting the traditional credit hour to an information-age economy that relies on greater flexibility and productivity. Credits and competencies both reflect important structures of value for diverse stakeholders: government agencies, educational leaders and administrators, faculty, assessors, students and employ

http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/ACE-and-Blackboard-Unveil-Research-on-Alternative-Pathways-to-Degree-Completion.aspx

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Managing Constant Change

February 28th, 2015

by Jonathan Blake Huer, Educause Review

If you are in higher education using technology, you may often feel like your hotly anticipated, recently purchased technology solution is obsolete by the time the delivery person drops it off. If we are truly on “the back half of the chessboard,”1 the rapid pace of technological change will only continue to increase. Depending on your view, this either causes constant disruption or presents constant opportunity. Are you being disrupted? Or are you the disruptor? How should the academy—bound by deep tradition and extensive regulations—manage this increasing onslaught of change?

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/managing-constant-change

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The Web’s About To Get Faster

February 27th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Hypertext Transfer Protocol version 2 is a done deal. According to the chair of the HTTP working group within the Internet Engineering Task Force, the draft specification for HTTP/2, as it’s known, was sent off to the Request for Comments (RFC) Editor, where it will officially become an Internet standard. The same delivery included the draft specs for HPACK, the format for header field compression to be used in HTTP/2. Currently, the most common version of HTTP in use is HTTP/1.1. The HTTP/2 standard is expected to speed up loading of Web pages by transporting data between browser and server.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/02/19/the-webs-about-to-get-faster.aspx

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One vision of tomorrow’s college: Cheap, and you get an education, not a degree

February 27th, 2015

by Kevin Carey, Washington Post

Higher education — increasingly unaffordable and unattainable — is on the verge of a transformation that not only could remedy that, but could change the role college plays in our society. Can you imagine the benefits of colleges having little bricks-and-mortar overhead, of each student being taught in ways scientifically tailored to their individual needs, of educators, students and researchers being able to capi­tal­ize on global intelligence? In “The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere,” Kevin Carey, director of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation, a public-policy think tank in Washington, lays out a provocative history of how the university system got to this point and one vision of the revolution that’s beginning because of digital innovation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/one-vision-of-tomorrows-college-cheap-and-you-get-an-education-not-a-degree/2015/02/11/7b2ed78c-8617-11e4-9534-f79a23c40e6c_story.html

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UK online course provider FutureLearn reaches million

February 27th, 2015

by Sean Coughlan, BBC

The provider of so-called Moocs (massive open online courses) says interest has been rising sharply, with 20% more UK students in the last three months of 2014. FutureLearn carries free online courses from universities including Warwick, King’s College London and Sheffield. “We’re just at the start,” said chief executive Simon Nelson. FutureLearn has reached the million-student milestone after launching in September 2013. Set up by the Open University, it offered a UK platform for online courses in a field that was becoming dominated by US university networks.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-31533681

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