Online Learning Update

April 21, 2018

What is the future of online learning in higher education?

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

by Matthew Lynch, TechEdvocate

With over six million students currently enrolled in online learning programs, there is no future in higher education except in online education. As universities adapt to better serve a growing population of digital learners, there will no doubt continue to be monumental progress made in educating all students, everywhere. Online learning is the future of education–at all levels, but especially in higher education. As the concept of distance learning evolves from cassette tape and telephone learning to high-speed, interactive Internet lessons, more doors are opened for students for whom traditional classroom learning simply does not work. The following trends will likely take hold in the next five years, allowing more students access to high-quality education from any location.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/future-online-learning-higher-education/

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College Wasn’t Designed Around Student Success. Here’s How to Fix It.

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:04 am

By Bridget Burns, EdSurge

Half of the students who walk through the doors of a college or university leave without a degree. Half. Most of those students are bright and energetic, highly capable students—they may even be extra motivated to succeed because of the hurdles they’ve had to overcome just to get into college. But they lack resources. That’s just what the University Innovation Alliance has been working on for the past three years. The Alliance is a consortium of 11 major public research universities enrolling 400,000 students, 120,000 of whom are low-income.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-04-02-college-wasn-t-designed-to-help-students-succeed-here-s-how-to-fix-it

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Amid speculation, Amazon continues to inch its way into e-learning

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

by Riia O’Donnell, Education Dive
Following the hire of a Stanford University leader in learning science, Candace Thille, speculation rose that e-tail giant Amazon was moving into the e-learning space. A new report by CNBC suggests the company is looking at its cloud to build a corporate training service. Although the company denies any move into the online education space, job postings from Amazon since April 2017 have advertised for people who could help build a “learning platform.” As recently as December, an ad for a solution architect cited an opportunity to “enable hundreds of thousands of businesses in 190 countries around the world to transform and scale their learning initiatives.” Representatives for the company told HR Dive recently, “[Thille] is serving as the Director of Learning Science and Engineering within our Global Learning and Development team. Her remit is to help scale and innovate workplace learning at Amazon.”

https://www.hrdive.com/news/amid-speculation-amazon-continues-to-inch-its-way-into-e-learning/519891/

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April 20, 2018

Comparing the Factors That Predict Completion and Grades Among For-Credit and Open/MOOC Students in Online Learning

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

by Ma. Victoria Almeda, et al, Online Learning Journal

Online education continues to become an increasingly prominent part of higher education, but many students struggle in distance courses. For this reasonFor this reason, there has been considerable interest in predicting which students will succeed in online courses , achieving poor grades or dropping out prior to course completionn). Effective intervention depends on understanding which students are at-risk in terms of actionable factors, and behavior within an online course is one key potential factor for intervention. In recent years, many have suggested that Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) are a particularly useful place to conduct research into behavior and interventions, given both their size and the relatively low consequences/costs of experimentation

https://olj.onlinelearningconsortium.org/index.php/olj/article/view/1060

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As Education Civil Rights Office Gets More Money, It Limits Investigations

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:04 am

By Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed

Department of Education has narrowed scope of civil rights inquiries — a necessary step, it says, to deliver speedier resolutions to students and colleges. The omnibus spending package passed by Congress last week will give a serious boost to the Department of Education’s civil rights enforcement arm, even as that office narrows the scope of its investigative work. OCR, however, has taken steps recently to streamline its investigation of civil rights complaints, limiting its use of broad systemic reviews and mandating that cases be automatically dismissed under a range of circumstances.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/03/30/more-money-civil-rights-office-comes-it-narrows-its-investigative-work

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With FCC approval, all systems are go for Starlink global internet

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

by Mark Austin, Digital Trends
Not satisfied with merely ferrying cargo to and from the International Space Station (and putting a red Tesla into orbit around Mars), SpaceX now wants to provide high-speed internet to everyone in the world. SpaceX CEO and flamethrower enthusiast Elon Musk envisions Starlink as a network of thousands of satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) that will provide broadband internet access to the entire planet. That plan took a big step forward this week when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the company’s request to provide broadband satellite services.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/spacex-starlink-gets-fcc-approval/

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April 19, 2018

How Teaching Online Can Improve Your Face-to-Face Classes

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

By: Lolita Paff, Faculty Focus

When teachers are tasked with developing an online course, their thinking often follows along these lines: This is what I do in class. How can that be translated online? What if we reversed our thinking? Instead of assuming what’s done on ground is ideal, what if we looked at teaching online as a means of improving our face-to-face teaching skills? The process of developing an online course, starting with a clean slate instead of converting resident instruction via technology, leads to an examination of our classroom-based course design, assumptions about learning, and ultimately improves instructional practice in both settings along several dimensions: teaching persona, power distance, instructional clarity, student interaction, and learning assessment.

https://www.facultyfocus.com/resources/online-learning/course-design-online-learning/how-teaching-online-can-improve-your-f2f-classes/

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How Can I Facilitate Online Discussions?

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

by Torria Davis, Visual Design for Online Learning via Tomorrow’s Professor

Providing opportunities for asynchronous and synchronous communication between learners in the course is an important part of creating a sense of presence and building a learning community in an online course. Learning to work with others across time and distance is a new skill for many taking online courses. Although learners may use social media to communicate with family and friends who are not in close proximity, they are not always cognizant of how to do this for academic purposes. Therefore the skill of interacting and collaborating with peers online must be taught and purposefully planned by the instructor.

https://tomprof.stanford.edu/posting/1634

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AI Hive Mind Chooses Clean Water Over Education as Top World Priority

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Universal access to clean water should be the world’s highest priority, according to a recent pronouncement by a “swarm artificial intelligence” system that connected 70 people in real time via AI algorithms designed to turn them into a “hive mind.” Participants in the swarm were attendees of the South by Southwest conference this month in Austin, who were gathered by AI company Unanimous AI to “think together” on a variety of topics and provide “optimized insights.”  “With the rise of AI, it’s important to keep human knowledge and wisdom in the loop, especially when weighing complex social priorities,” commented Louis Rosenberg, CEO of Unanimous AI, in a statement.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/03/21/ai-hive-mind-chooses-clean-water-over-education-as-top-world-priority.aspx

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April 18, 2018

The textbook market exploits students. We shouldn’t accept that.

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

by Gaurav Dahal, Diamondback (student opinion)

Traditional textbooks — the ones we are assigned in most of our classes — are unnecessarily expensive. The high cost of textbooks can be attributed to the textbook market, which is structured to victimize students. AEI.org reports that textbook prices have increased 812 percent since 1978, which is a greater increase than both medical and home prices. This astronomical increase has led to students spending an average of $1,250 a year on books and supplies, according to the College Board. That $1,250 is on top of the cost of tuition, mandatory fees and housing associated with going to college. It’s the textbook market and the publishers profiting off students that are to blame.

http://www.dbknews.com/2018/04/01/college-affordable-textbooks-open-source-copyright-openstax/

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University of Akron to lift the curtain on new esports program at forum in April

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

By Joey Morona, cleveland.com
The University of Akron will unveil more details about its new esports program at a forum next month. The purpose of the event is “to discuss how the esports varsity teams and club will function, and how the program will contribute to the greater Akron area through community involvement,” a university spokesperson said in a release. Akron’s esports — or competitive video gaming — program is scheduled to launch this fall with both varsity and club teams. The varsity team will field between 50 to 55 players competing against other universities in games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, CS:GO, Hearthstone and Rocket League. Like other student-athletes, varsity esports players will be eligible for scholarships.

http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2018/03/university_of_akron_esports.html

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Beyond Vocational: Adult Education Confronts the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am
by Tommy Perkins, Evolllution
As technology advances, the needs of the labor market and employers change as well. And while traditional-age students are enrolled in programs that help them adapt to these changes, adults are unfortunately being left behind. Advanced applications for big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence can take us to new heights, or plunge us into a dystopian future where robots absorb jobs, unemployment soars and precious few humans are qualified to guide the machines ethically. Of course, they’ll create some new jobs, but the projections of how much of our economy automation will consume are daunting.

Beyond Vocational: Adult Education Confronts the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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April 17, 2018

Report: Adaptive Learning, Learning Analytics Are Most Wanted Tech for Online Programs

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

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

When asked what tools and technologies they would most like to adopt for their online programs, online education leaders cited adaptive learning and learning analytics as their most wanted tech, according to a recent survey. The second annual Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE 2) report, a joint initiative of nonprofit Quality Matters and Eduventures Research, the research and advisory services division of the National Research Center for College & University Admissions, surveyed 182 chief online officers (COOs) at U.S. colleges and universities about policies, practices and plans around online education. Researchers defined “chief online officer” as any position that manages online education for an institution — with responsibilities spanning course and program development, training, technology selection, support and oversight, budgeting, quality assurance, planning and policy.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/03/29/report-adaptive-learning-and-learning-analytics-are-most-wanted-tech-for-online-programs.aspx

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Asynchronous Discussions, Group Projects Still Dominate in Online Courses

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

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Asynchronous discussions and group projects are the most important techniques currently used for online learning, according to a new survey of online education leaders from Quality Matters and Eduventures Research. When asked which online learning methods were most important at their institutions, respondents pointed to those two activities first, followed by problem-based learning, quizzes and research projects.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/03/30/asynchronous-discussions-group-projects-still-dominate-in-online-courses.aspx

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Working the Online Crowd: Humor and Teaching with Tech

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

by Joe Barnhart, Campus Technology

Humor is a tough nut to crack. In the face-to-face classroom, it works great to keep the troops awake and actively breathing. Effective techniques include goofy activities, oddball writing assignments and witty comments. Prodding students into a laugh proved to be a viable strategy and I was very successful at it. What really helped was reading the class’s body language: those subtle shifts in attitude where I could deliver one of my dry zingers, producing the desired jovial results. Those experiences proved to me that humor was a dominating factor when creating an interactive classroom. So, moving to the online format was a little disconcerting. Could humor achieve the same responses online as in real life? Well, I’ve come to find out the answer is, “Absolutely!”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/03/28/working-the-online-crowd-humor-and-teaching-with-tech.aspx

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April 16, 2018

What “The Right to Disconnect” Could Mean for Online Training

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

By Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside

Last week, New York City Councilor Rafael Espinal proposed a law that would make it illegal for employers to expect employees to log-on to their work email accounts outside official work hours. If Espinal’s The Right to Disconnect bill passes, New York City will become the first North American jurisdiction but not the first jurisdiction worldwide to put the kibosh on after-hours work-related communications. Notably, similar legislation has been in place in France since late 2016.

What “The Right to Disconnect” Could Mean for Online Training

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What does the average online college student look like?

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

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Demanding work schedules and inflexible routines make returning to college more difficult with every passing year. It should come as no surprise that online degree programs are surging in popularity. After all, they offer a high degree of customization and a flexible schedule that doesn’t interfere with your daily responsibilities. The online classroom is the new home for hard-working individuals who don’t want to take a four-year break from their career. The growing trend has many individuals wondering whether an online degree could be the right choice for them. After all, what does the average online college student really look like? Because these students are hidden behind their brightly-lit computer screens, it has been an elusive figure at best. Now, the statistics are starting to show us exactly who are enrolled in these online programs.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/average-online-college-student-look-like/

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Telepresence Robots Give Online Students Better Way to Connect

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

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Distance and online learning are becoming major trends in higher education, as well as in the mandatory years of K12 schooling. When students are unable to make it into the physical classroom setting, they miss out on some of the most important aspects of academics, including making connections with other students through socialization. Connecting via social media or online message forums simply isn’t the same as having face-to-face interactions with like-minded peers. To solve this growing dilemma, developers started to create the basis for telepresence robots. The robots can take multiple forms depending on the model and manufacturer. Some allow for distance learners to show their face but are unable to maneuver themselves from place to place. More expensive models come standard with Segway wheels that can cart these “digital students” from one classroom to the next.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/telepresence-robots-give-online-students-better-way-connect/

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April 15, 2018

Poor grades tied to class times that don’t match our biological clocks

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

by Science Daily
Schedules of night owls, morning larks and daytime finches may predict their educational outcomes. It may be time to tailor students’ class schedules to their natural biological rhythms. A study shows that students whose circadian rhythms were out of sync with their class schedules received lower grades due to ‘social jet lag,’ a condition in which peak alertness times are at odds with work, school or other demands.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180329190847.htm

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Research is the Key to Building a High-Achieving Online School

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

By Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside

At least some online schools are not only meeting but far exceeding the achievement levels of students in traditional on-premise schools. Davidson Academy is one of the online K-12 schools demonstrating the potential online schools have to offer an outstanding education to high-achieving students. This week eLearning Inside News talked to Stacy Hawthorne, Director of Online Learning at the Davidson Academy in Nevada, to learn how they have built a high-achieving online school for profoundly gifted students. This is the second part of a two-part series (we published the first part of this interview on March 29).

Research is the Key to Building a High-Achieving Online School

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Online fee sits in surplus accounts

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

By Logan Garrett, UT Echo

For every online class at UTC, students are charged a $56 online support fee per credit hour, but it may surprise students and faculty alike with how this money is actually spent. Considering UTC offered 332 online courses in the Spring semester alone, this fee has generated a substantial amount of money for online courses; however, the university has amassed a surplus from this fund.

http://www.theutcecho.com/online-fee-sits-in-surplus-accounts/

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