6 Tips for Creating a ‘Mini’ MOOC

April 27th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

There are ways to allow your institution to experiment with online courses, even if they’re not intended to be “massive.” An online program manager shares advice. Not every school is ready to run a massive open online course through one of the larger platforms like edX or Coursera — and maybe that’s not what’s needed anyway. Sometimes instructors simply want to dabble in order to understand something better. Elizabeth Fomin, program manager for University of Michigan Dearborn’s College of Arts, Sciences and Letters Online Program, teaches courses in visual communication and Web technology. For Fomin, the answer lay with an alternative MOOC platform, Canvas Network that produces her campus’ chosen learning management system, Canvas. Canvas Network will host courses from two-year and four-year colleges, K-12 schools and districts, academic partnerships and consortia, non-profits with an education or public mission, government agencies with an education mission and even for-profit companies if they’re teaming up with an educational organization.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/20/6-tips-for-creating-a-mini-mooc.aspx

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Does it really take longer to create an online course?

April 27th, 2015

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

165 instructors, who teach both online and face-to-face, from three diverse universities across the country, were surveyed. These instructors have been teaching at the university level for an average of 14 years, and developed their first online course in 2001. Each respondent has developed an average of 2.13 distinct online courses and has taught an average of 2 distinct online courses. The survey found that [of the respondents]: 81 percent agree that it is more time consuming to develop an online course than a face-to-face course. However, subsequent online course developments are less time consuming that prior online course development, said the majority. This is also true for perceptions of teaching an online course for the first time compared to subsequent courses [82 percent agree with this statement]. By the 3rd time teaching an online course, there seems to be no difference in time when compared to the 3rd time teaching a face-to-face course [41 percent agree with this statement].

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/time-online-course-281/

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California’s Online Education Initiative Pushes Forward on PD, Student Readiness

April 27th, 2015

By John K. Waters, Campus Technology

The California Community College Online Education Initiative (OEI), the state-sponsored project that aims to dramatically increase the number of students who earn associate degrees and transfer to four-year colleges, has come a long way since it was announced in the fall of 2013, according to the OEI’s executive director, Patricia James. “If you remember, we were in bad economic times back then, turning away students at almost all of our colleges,” James told an attendees at the annual CT Forum conference, held in Long Beach, CA this month, “and the governor was looking at MOOCs and other business-ed types of activities that would bring courses to our students. But now we’re trying to get them back with the online courses they need to complete their educational goals.”

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/20/online-education-initiative-pushes-forward-on-pd-student-readiness.aspx

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Despite popularity, experts remain divided on credit for MOOCs

April 26th, 2015

By Neelesh Moorthy, Duke Chronicle

Duke’s popularity in Massive Open Online Courses is booming, but the University remains divided on whether or not to offer course credit. “In terms of the number of Coursera courses produced, Duke is one of the top 10 schools,” said Lynne O’Brien, associate vice provost for digital and online education initiatives. “Out of the top 20 Coursera courses of all time, Duke has three of those.” These large online offerings, more commonly known as MOOCs, are on the rise as more and more universities embrace their potential to provide quality learning for greater audiences, often free of charge. Coursera is an online interface for offering courses to an international audience.

http://www.dukechronicle.com/articles/2015/04/20/despite-popularity-experts-remain-divided-moocs

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Online Course Enrollment Skyrockets at Ole Miss

April 26th, 2015

by Brian Romski, HottyToddy

Enrollment in online courses at Ole Miss has jumped more than 3,000 percent in recent years. More Ole Miss students are signed up for online classes than ever before, but these classes should come with a warning: Don’t register for an online class unless your time management skills are up to par. Cossar Morgan, a sophomore business student at Ole Miss, is currently enrolled in Writing 102, the second writing class he has taken online. “If you are motivated they are a lot easier, but there is also a downside to them. You can fall behind pretty easily because you are not going to class every week,” said Morgan.

http://hottytoddy.com/2015/04/20/online-course-enrollment-skyrockets-at-ole-miss/

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MOOCs for (a Year’s) Credit

April 26th, 2015

by Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Arizona State University, in partnership with edX, this fall will begin to offer credit-bearing massive open online courses at a fraction of the cost of either in-person or traditional online education. ASU’s faculty members will create about a dozen general-education MOOCs, the first of which — an introductory astronomy course — will launch this August. Anyone can register for and take the MOOCs for free, but those who pay a $45 fee to verify their identity can at the end of each course decide if they want to pay the university a separate, larger fee to earn academic credit for their work. By fall 2016, ASU anticipates it will offer enough MOOCs so that students can complete their entire freshman year online through what edX and the university are calling the Global Freshman Academy.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/04/22/arizona-state-edx-team-offer-freshman-year-online-through-moocs

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Coursera’s Andrew Ng: How MOOCs Are Taking Local Knowledge Global

April 25th, 2015

by Knowledge@Wharton

In an interview about MOOCs and their impact, Ng says they allow universities to take their great content and project it onto a larger audience than they ever did before. A recent study co-authored by Wharton professor Ezekiel J. Emanuel on the impact of MOOCs on traditional business education, also found that rather than poaching students, MOOCs complement, enrich and help business schools reach new diverse audiences. An edited transcript of the conversation is linked below.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/how-moocs-are-taking-local-knowledge-global/

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Northern Illinois University offers ‘Game of Thrones’ course

April 25th, 2015

by The Associated Press

Northern Illinois University is offering a course this semester on the HBO series “Game of Thrones.” The University Honors Program calls the class “Game of Thrones, Television and Medieval History” and students can take the course for honors credit, The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/1FZj88k ). The popular cable TV show, based on books by George R.R. Martin, is in its fifth season. “It represents aspects of the Middle Ages much more realistically than other media depictions that purport to be more accurate,” co-professor Valerie Garver said. “It stands out because it comments on the human condition in a way that seems real to people. It’s a really good example of a piece of modern culture that draws on how the past impacts the present.” The course’s syllabus includes readings and watching episodes of the show. Students also see presentations on how the show relates to modern cable technology, history and current events. NIU plans to offer the class again next spring, Garver’s co-professor Jeff Chown said.

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/what/ci_27933950/northern-illinois-university-offers-game-thrones-course

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3 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Online Graduate IT Program

April 25th, 2015

By Devon Haynie, US News

Inquire about technical requirements before enrolling in an online computer information technology graduate program. Prospective online graduate students should ask about research opportunities within computer information technology, experts say. When it comes to choosing an online graduate program, there are a few key issues that every student should ask about: cost, length and faculty credentials, just to name a few. But coders, hackers, developers and others interested in pursuing an online graduate degree in computer information technology shouldn’t stop there. With just a few additional questions, they can reveal a lot about the kind of experience a program offers. The following questions can make a difference when choosing a program that will help graduates succeed in a field with fast growth, high salaries and low unemployment rates.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2015/04/17/3-questions-to-ask-before-choosing-an-online-graduate-it-program

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9 key findings about the humanities in higher education

April 24th, 2015

by eCampus News

Research aims to provide a “balanced look” at the state of humanities. According to a new report, there is no evidence of a net decline in the number of degree-granting departments in the humanities. But that doesn’t mean humanities studies are where they once were. The report aims to offer a look at the state of humanities in higher education to provide a balanced look at the field in the wake of portrayals that characterize it as beleaguered and declining. The State of the Humanities: Higher Education 2015, from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is intended to provide a more evidenced-based depiction of the health of the humanities on college and university campuses.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/humanities-higher-education-742/

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Gen Ed Discounting or Devaluing?

April 24th, 2015

By Kellie Woodhouse, Inside Higher Ed

University of Akron plans to cut the cost of its general education courses by 86 percent and begin delivering them primarily online in an effort to both increase enrollment and respond to calls from the state’s governor to make college more affordable for Ohioans. The university is publicizing that by charging $50 per credit hour — down from $359 per credit hour for an in-person general education class on the college’s main campus — students who enroll in the GenEd Core Pilot Program will pay half as much as they would for a general education class at a community college.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/04/17/university-akron-offers-introductory-courses-online-86-percent-discount

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Ivy League schools key into online courses

April 24th, 2015

by Nancy Marshall-Genzer, Marketplace

Yale University’s School of Medicine is deciding whether to create an online version of its physician’s assistant master’s program. Its first attempt failed because it couldn’t get accreditation. Yale says it’s “reviewing the matter” and may try again. Yale’s partner in all this is the education technology company 2U, which has plenty of other customers, many of them Ivy League schools. “There’s a lot of demand for us right now,” says Chip Paucek, CEO of 2U. He says universities want to enroll students online to address shortages of workers in some fields. But online degrees also bring in more tuition dollars. “A university needs to figure out how to pay its bills and be sustainable,” he says. “Just like any enterprise.” But some degrees lend themselves more to online learning than others.

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/education/learning-curve/ivy-league-schools-key-online-courses

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Wharton online director: We want to help shape the future of learning

April 23rd, 2015

By Roger Riddell, Education Dive

An early adopter in the space among its peers, Wharton was among the first to embrace MOOCs upon Coursera’s launch in 2012. A Wharton Business Foundations course track is among the “Specializations” offered on the platform, with a paid certificate and capstone project — which applies knowledge gained to a problem presented by Snapdeal or Shazam — available to students. “The future’s coming, and we want to help shape it,” said Anne Trumbore, director of Wharton’s online learning initiatives. “That’s really one of the reason why we have jumped online and jumped online very early. Certainly, we want to bring what we’ve learned in online ed back to enhance the experience of the students in our degree programs. We don’t know what that looks like yet, but this is not separate from our core mission.”

http://www.educationdive.com/news/wharton-online-director-we-want-to-help-shape-the-future-of-learning/387279/

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Three Reasons LinkedIn Broke the Bank for Lynda.com

April 23rd, 2015

by Kurt Wagner, Re/Code

LinkedIn is keen on getting college students onto its platform, especially college seniors about to enter the job market. Roslansky said the Lynda.com acquisition further promotes this focus, and could help get LinkedIn’s foot in the door of some of these classrooms. Lynda already works with 40 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities, including all of the Ivy League schools. “Colleges are [using] this platform to help students learn skills they need before they take a class or during a class or to augment some of the materials these institutions are using in their day-to-day,” Roslansky explained. “This platform reaches students.”

http://recode.net/2015/04/09/three-reasons-linkedin-broke-the-bank-for-lynda-com/

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The College Degrees And Skills Employers Most Want In 2015

April 23rd, 2015

by Susan Adams, Forbes

The hiring picture keeps getting better for college graduates. According to a new survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers are planning to hire 9.6% more graduates for their U.S. operations than they did from the class of 2014. That’s a one percent hike from the 8.6% gain a year ago and a significant jump from 2013, when employers said they would boost hiring by just 2.1% over the previous year. A non-profit group in Bethlehem, PA, NACE links college placement offices with employers. NACE’s questionnaire asked employers to rate the academic disciplines they target for their college hires. At the top of the list: engineering degrees. Some 72% of companies said they want to hire students set to graduate in that discipline. Sixty eight percent are looking for business majors and 58% want computer science majors. At the bottom of the list: health sciences, education and agriculture. Here is a chart showing employers’ hiring expectations by major:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2015/04/15/the-college-degrees-and-skills-employers-most-want-in-2015/

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School powers online learning platform with relationships

April 22nd, 2015

by eCampus News

Acton School of Business’ “Acton On Demand” goes public with completion data that reveals student success depends on relationships. Acton On Demand (AOD)–a platform for immersive online learning–launched publicly today with powerful student completion data, which the school says is due to peer and mentor relationship building tools. AOD was launched, says the school, to bring practical and transformative entrepreneurial training beyond the walls of Acton School of Business. Through the On Demand platform, users can enroll in graduate-level online courses covering the strategies, skills, and step-by-step frameworks that explore what it means to be a successful entrepreneur. However, what makes the online platform so successful, says the school, with completion rates that dwarf those of MOOCs, is the ability for students to interact with guides and mentors.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/acton-relationship-business-364/

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Disrupting Higher Education

April 22nd, 2015

By John K. Waters, Campus Technology

Technology driven disruptive innovation in higher education “Disruption” is one of the most overused buzzwords in education today, according to education industry watcher Michelle R. Weise, and yet most people don’t really know what it means. “There is this tendency for pundits, policy makers and institutional leaders to take any kind of technological advancement, call it a ‘disruptive innovation,’ cram it into the classroom experience and then hope that somehow efficiencies are going to magically appear,” Weise said during her keynote presentation at the recent CT Forum conference in Long Beach, CA. “Obviously, it’s not that simple.”

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/16/disrupting-higher-education.aspx

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The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program

April 22nd, 2015

by Rebecca Klein-Collins and Kathleen Glancey, EDUCAUSE Review

A targeted collaboration among higher education entities in Texas addressed a key problem for would-be students and their families: affordability. In January 2014 the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), South Texas College (STC), and Texas A&M University–Commerce (A&M–Commerce) launched the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate (TAB) Program, the state’s first competency-based bachelor degree. The program’s inaugural degree, an applied baccalaureate in organizational leadership, offers a low-cost alternative to a traditional postsecondary degree. The degree is also designed to provide students with employer-identified 21st-century competencies. While gaining or demonstrating these competencies, students have the opportunity to accelerate their time to completion, reducing costs further. The program features a blended model that combines competency-based courses and more traditionally formatted courses. Students earn the first 90 credit hours required for the degree through self-paced, online, competency-based modules, and the last 30 credit hours in either a hybrid or online format.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/texas-affordable-baccalaureate-program

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MIT creates new Online Education Policy Initiative

April 21st, 2015

by MIT

Through its newly created Online Education Policy Initiative (OEPI), made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, MIT aims to catalyze the national conversation on the future of education and online learning. Led jointly by Professor Karen Willcox and Dean of Digital Learning Sanjay Sarma, the initiative’s broad objectives are: to explore teaching pedagogy and efficacy, institutional business models, and global educational engagement strategies — and to present a cohesive report on these issues that can be used by policymakers and leaders in education; to engage in the public discourse surrounding online learning and to encourage productive discussion; and to aid policymakers in creating a welcoming environment for educational innovation. “There’s been much written about online education recently,” Sarma says. “OEPI is an opportunity to pause and have a thoughtful, scholarly discussion about everything from the cognitive psychology of learning to the policy implications of online courses.”

https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/mit-creates-new-online-education-policy-initiative-0414

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What Harvard Business School Has Learned About Online Collaboration From HBX

April 21st, 2015

by Bharat N. AnandJanice H. HammondV.G. Narayanan, Harvard Business Review

In June 2014, Harvard Business School launched HBX, to focus on solving real-world business problems. Videos capturing real managers discussing real problems would anchor the course offerings, to help students understand the applicability of even the most abstract and esoteric concepts. Encourage active learning. Students would engage with the material in “lean forward” mode, rather than passively watching video lectures. Students would not spend more than 3-5 minutes on the platform before being required to interact with the material. Foster social and collaborative learning. Students would engage meaningfully and regularly with others on the platform. We believed that such collaborative learning would not only make it more engaging, but would draw participants more deeply into a process of discovery. Here are some of the most important things we’ve learned since launching HBX, as it relates to creating a social, collaborative experience online.

https://hbr.org/2015/04/what-harvard-business-school-has-learned-about-online-collaboration-from-hbx

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Online Course Offers N.H. Primary Experience To Political Junkies Across Globe

April 21st, 2015

By MICHAEL BRINDLEY, New Hampshire Public Radio

A free online course this fall focused on the New Hampshire Primary is likely to attract political junkies from the Granite State and beyond. “FIRST! Understanding New Hampshire Presidential Primary” is the University of New Hampshire’s first Massive Open Online Course. It’s open to anyone, anywhere. It will explore the history of the First-in-the-Nation primary, and follow the 2016 primary as it unfolds. The course will be taught by UNH political science professors Andrew Smith and Dante Scala.

http://nhpr.org/post/online-course-offers-nh-primary-experience-political-junkies-across-globe

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