Studies: Online Ed Not Better or Worse Than Traditional Classes

April 1st, 2015

By The Hechinger Report

Does online learning work? Do college students learn better, or at least as well, from computer instruction as they do from a human teacher? That’s a question asked over and over by not only students, parents and professors, but also by academic researchers. It’s especially important because universities are offering more and more of their courses online. A new paper sheds some light on this question. The author sorted through the best studies on online university courses published in the past couple years, and concluded that online education, or partial online instruction, is neither worse nor better than traditional face-to-face instruction.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/03/23/studies-online-instruction-neither-harms-nor-benefits-average-university-student

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Crowdsourcing Drives Latest Disruptive Tech in Online Language Learning

April 1st, 2015

by Ava Seaves, Forbes

“I’ve logged over 2 million miles. I have developed a very deep appreciation for not only languages but the culture that is behind the language and what it takes to be successful,” said Mike Elchik, co-founder of free online language learning platform WeSpeke, in a recent interview. Elchik formed a business by generalizing from his own experience. “As I was traveling the world, I saw that there was a way to take what I had experienced every day, whether I was on the street of Paris, Tokyo or Shanghai. I was envisioning that you could move the exchange that might happen on the street on line. And have two highly compatible people help each other to learn a language.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/avaseave/2015/03/24/crowd-sourcing-drives-latest-disruptive-tech-in-online-language-learning/

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Massive open online courses better depict student potential

April 1st, 2015

by The Pitt News Editorial Board

Students should be aware of the alternative resources available to them for free — such as massive open online courses (MOOCs) — because standardized tests just don’t tell the whole story. Open source textbooks have gained popularity in the growing market for free higher education materials, but MOOCs aim to boost students’ access to college in an even more pivotal way. One nonprofit consortium called EdX offers students video lectures and discussion forums to engage with one another. EdX’s MOOCs are a gateway for students of all income levels to prove their ability to excel in a college environment. Universities such as Harvard, MIT, the University of Texas and Caltech offer complete online versions of their prestigious classes — for free. Universities sometimes directly accept a student that excels in one of their MOOCs. “Given that we know how rigorous MITx classes are, seeing a student’s performance in that class can help calibrate us to their readiness for an MIT education,” says Stuart Schmill, MIT’s Dean of Admissions.

http://www.pittnews.com/opinions/article_3ea28354-d1d5-11e4-8c03-4fe81c53d6d9.html

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What Can Happen If I Don’t Follow State Authorization Regulations?

March 31st, 2015

by WCET Frontiers

A public university in the Midwest recently discovered what can happen in a relatively straightforward situation in which the institution failed to get authorization. Institution X enrolled an online student in a state in which state authorization is required, but did not get that authorization. When the institution contacted the appropriate agency in the student’s state of residence, state officials there indicated that not only was the tuition debt uncollectable, but all of the student’s tuition that had been collected had to be refunded in order to avoid formal action against the provider, which could have included a ban on operating in that state, as the institution had no authority to charge tuition to a resident of that state. Yes, states really do take action, it just rarely appears in the headlines.  (see the URL for more details on non-compliance)

https://wcetblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/what-can-happen/

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Why Are You Teaching That?

March 31st, 2015

by Richard M. Felder, Tomorrow’s Professor

How about the courses you teach? If you went to some of your alumni and asked them what in their college education turned out to be really useful after graduation, what do you suppose they’d tell you? I did that a few years ago. I surveyed 72 chemical engineering alumni I had taught, asking them to reflect on their college experience and tell me what about it was helpful in preparing them for their current careers, and 50 of them responded. Practically none of the curriculum content made their lists. Skills, yes, especially the problem-solving skills they learned from those endless assignments (25) and the communication and time management skills they got from team projects (23). Only one specific course was nominated by more than two people, however-material and energy balances, naturally (8). As far as the students were concerned, the content of those 4-5 years of math and science and engineering and general education courses was mostly irrelevant to their post-graduation careers and lives.

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/enewsletter.php?msgno=1397

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Mooc Makers Disrupt Business Education With Careers Focus

March 31st, 2015

by Seb Murray, Business Because

The business school as we know it is ripe for innovation by new technologies. For the liquid Mooc developers disrupting the market, employment is increasingly the priority. In an office complex in California’s Mountain View on the fringes of Silicon Valley is Coursera — a $300 million+ start-up trying to bring about a new age in education. The university as we know it is ripe for innovation by the disruptive use of new technologies. Online learning groups like edX and Udacity emerged as providers of free education to the masses but have evolved into colossal entities that are on the cusp of rivalling the traditional degree and providing the same boost to careers. As they scramble to understand emerging threats, universities and business schools are being forced to evolve their content to be delivered in blended forms – accessible from both classrooms and smart devices. Wharton, Stanford and INSEAD have all invested heavily digital tech.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/3176/mooc-developers-hone-careers-focus

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20 Facts About the Impact of E-Learning [#Infographic]

March 30th, 2015

by Frank Smith, EdTech Magazine

The online-learning market is on track to reach $37.8B globally by 2020. With the cheaper rates at which mobile broadband data is available, 74 percent of eLearners will be mobile learners,” according to a March 2 blog post from TalentLMS. Online learning is also changing the culture of learning itself. An introductory course in computer science at Harvard College, Computer Science 50, broke course registration records in the fall when 819 undergraduates signed up for the class. In the previous year, the same course had 153 students enrolled. Part of the success behind that course’s enrollment is the online aspect. CS50 was exempted from a newly instated Harvard regulation that prohibits students from enrolling in classes that have overlapping times, according to The Harvard Crimson. This means that students can review lessons from the course through videos instead of attending class in person. The full infographic is linked below:

http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2015/03/20-facts-about-e-learning-todays-colleges-infographic

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The End of College?

March 30th, 2015

By Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

The End of College takes the long view in diagnosing a higher education business model that Carey says is desperately flawed. He goes back centuries to describe how colleges developed scattered and disjointed missions. Carey also looks forward, to how information technology could help birth a more affordable and meritocratic form of higher education. His book has generated loads of coverage in the news media, including a somewhat positive review in The Washington Post by Janet Napolitano, the University of California system’s president. And several of Inside Higher Ed’s bloggers have been critical about his assertions. We sent some questions about the book to Carey via email. The exchange is linked below.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/03/23/kevin-carey-talks-about-his-new-book-end-college

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Gamification Harnesses the Power of Games to Motivate

March 30th, 2015

By Kevin Werbach, Epoch Times

Walk through any public area and you’ll see people glued to their phones, playing mobile games like Game of War and Candy Crush Saga. They aren’t alone. 59 percent of Americans play video games, and contrary to stereotypes, 48 percent of gamers are women. The US$100 billion video game industry is among the least-appreciated business phenomena in the world today. But this isn’t an article about video games. It’s about where innovative organizations are applying the techniques that make those games so powerfully engaging: everywhere else. Gamification is the perhaps-unfortunate name for the growing practice of applying structural elements, design patterns, and psychological insights from game design to business, education, health, marketing, crowdsourcing and other fields. Over the past four years, gamification has gone through a cycle of (over-)hype and (overblown) disappointment common for technological trends. Yet if you look carefully, you’ll see it everywhere.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1292755-gamification-harnesses-the-power-of-games-to-motivate/

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Instructor Time Requirements to Develop and Teach Online Courses

March 29th, 2015

by Lee A. Freeman, Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

Developing online courses is more time consuming than developing face-to-face courses, but the development of each subsequent online course is not as time consuming as the previous online course development. In addition, teaching online is more time consuming than teaching face-to-face, but this is only the case for the first time and perhaps the second time teaching the course. After the second time, teaching a course online or face-to-face is relatively the same in terms of time. In addition, the Technology learning curve is shorter than the Online Pedagogical learning curve. While the data from this study can be used by instructors, administrators, and instructional designers to create higher quality course development processes, training processes, and overall communication, there is still much to be learned through further data analysis as well as additional data collection. Instructor time commitment is an issue, and now a more clear understanding is available.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring181/freeman181.html

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Balancing Online Teaching Activities: Strategies for Optimizing Efficiency and Effectiveness

March 29th, 2015

Deana M. Raffo, Thomas M. Brinthaupt, Justin G. Gardner, Lawanna S. Fisher; OJDLA

Increased demands in professional expectations have required online faculty to learn how to balance multiple roles in an open-ended, changing, and relatively unstructured job. In this paper, we argue that being strategic about one’s balance of the various facets of online teaching will improve one’s teaching efficiency and effectiveness. We discuss the balancing issues associated with four key online teaching facets: course design/development, delivery of the course content, assessments/feedback, and professional development. We conclude with a template for a strategic professional development plan that addresses these key facets.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring181/raffo_brinthaupt_gardner_fisher181.html

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Competency-Based Education: A Framework for Measuring Quality Courses

March 29th, 2015

by Jackie Krause, Laura Portolese Dias, Chris Schedler; OJDLA

The growth of competency-based education in an online environment requires the development and measurement of quality competency-based courses. While quality measures for online courses have been developed and standardized, they do not directly align with emerging best practices and principles in the design of quality competency-based online courses. The purpose of this paper is to provide background and research for a proposed rubric to measure quality in competency-based online courses.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring181/krause_dias_schedler181.html

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Online college wins over students in Missouri

March 28th, 2015

by Koran Addo, St. Louis Today

Two years ago, it might have seemed strange when Gov. Jay Nixon starting pushing for Missouri to create its own branch of Western Governors University. After all, WGU is a bit of an oddity. It’s a nonprofit online university that doesn’t use teachers. Students work at their own pace and are assigned course mentors who offer tutoring, advice or pep talks as needed. Students can also skip large sections of the curriculum if they can demonstrate command of the subject. After two years and a state investment of $4 million, WGU-Missouri leaders say the school is doing what it’s supposed to do: providing access to students who don’t fit the mold of a traditional student.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/online-college-wins-over-students-in-missouri/article_ab774237-d266-5074-9f32-df7b95369ea1.html

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From Disruptor to Bestie: How Instructors are Learning to Leverage MOOCs

March 28th, 2015

by Charlie Chung, EdSurge

Only a handful of sessions at SXSWedu this year used “MOOC” in their titles or descriptions, but those four letters were still mentioned quite a bit. It is safe to say, MOOCs have been passed over as the disruptor du jour of higher education. But this is a good thing, because now we can get on with the real work to figure out how to best study, utilize and improve their role in education. Here are a few of the takeaways I gathered about MOOCs during the conference.

https://www.edsurge.com/n/2015-03-20-from-disruptor-to-bestie-how-instructors-are-learning-to-leverage-moocs

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Learning How to Practice Medicine—Virtually

March 28th, 2015

by Alia Wong, the Atlantic

Soon, an aspiring Physician’s Assistant might be able to complete nearly all this coursework online—and through an Ivy League to boot: Yale. Yale announced earlier this month that it’s partnering with 2U, Inc.—a firm that helps selective nonprofit universities develop virtual degree programs—to launch its online PA initiative. The project is still pending approval by the accrediting commission for PA schools and from various state licensing agencies. But if it gets the green light, it would likely be the country’s first fully online PA degree. (Some programs are considered “hybrid” and entail a combination of on-campus and online coursework.) It would also become Yale’s first fully online master’s program and join the university’s existing on-campus PA program, which was launched in the early 1970s.

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/03/learning-how-to-practice-medicinevirtually/388276/

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Local college to let students decide on-the-fly to go to class in-person or online

March 27th, 2015

by Lauren Hertzler, Philadelphia Business Journal

Peirce College has a new program that takes its historically flexible schedule to the next level. For the past year, the college has been testing a model where students can decide on-the-fly to attend class in person or online. It’s aimed at the students that primarily make up Peirce’s population — the working adults that are often hit with last-minute tasks for a job or for their family. If they can’t make it to class due to a sudden engagement, they can read up on all the lecture notes at a later date and even, in some cases, receive audio feedback on assignments and turn in assignments online. For online students, it allows them the opportunity to go to class for that extra in-person interaction if need be.

http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2015/03/19/on-the-fly-college-class-in-person-or-online.html?page=all

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Masters Level Computer Science From Udacity

March 27th, 2015

by Sue Gee, i-programmer

Applications for the Fall 2015 admission to Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMS CS) are due before April 17, 2015. But if you don’t want to wait you can follow along for free with Udacity. President Obama visited Georgia Tech last week and pointed to the OMS CS as an example of the kind of innovation needed by the United States to address the rising costs of higher education. This is because, with tuition entirely online, students are charged as little as $6,600, less than one-sixth of the cost of an on-campus equivalent at $45,000.

http://www.i-programmer.info/news/150-training-a-education/8400-udacity-masters.html

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Anyone Can Be a Teacher in This Online School

March 27th, 2015

By JONAH BROMWICHMARCH, NY Times

Susan Orlean was considering giving up teaching. She had taught courses at New York University and at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College but was finding it difficult to maintain a consistent class schedule while fulfilling her obligations as a staff writer for The New Yorker. “I just started thinking, well, maybe there’s a different way to do this that doesn’t tie me to a physical location,” she said. “And right around that time, Skillshare contacted me.” Skillshare is an online video platform that allows anyone to sign up and teach a class. The company has proved adept at recruiting experts to teach on its website. Aside from Ms. Orlean’s class on creative nonfiction, the website has a class on visual storytelling from the design maven Debbie Millman and a marketing course taught by the entrepreneur Seth Godin. The company allows users to determine the courses they want to teach and take. A thousand courses are available for $10 a month.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/20/education/anyone-can-be-a-teacher-in-this-online-school.html?_r=0

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For Online to Really Matter in Education, We Need to Re-Define Competency

March 26th, 2015

by Ryan Craig, Wired

In a decade, online education may be recognized not for making higher education accessible to anyone with a smartphone—but as the midwife who delivered competency-based learning into the world. Like so many other technology-driven advances, competency-based learning is theoretically possible in a paper-pencil world. Global positioning is, after all, feasible without a handheld GPS. But it’s not nearly as appealing, and a long way from a mass-market product. Competency-based learning turns higher education on its head – starting not with the curriculum, but rather the competencies one should exhibit upon completion (according to, say, employers).

http://www.wired.com/2015/03/online-really-matter-education-need-redefine-competency/

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How to Use Online Learning as Part of Your Test Prep

March 26th, 2015

by Chuck Cohn, Huffington Post

In recent years, online learning has become an increasingly popular option for many students. Because online learning shatters the traditional borders of education, students can immediately access many benefits that were previously unavailable to them. Resources like MOOCs, OCW, and OERs can help with classes, employment skills, and even test prep. If you’d like to strengthen your test prep with these tools, here is everything you need to know:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chuck-cohn/how-to-use-online-learnin_b_6880340.html

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Online Course Provision Grows As Three University of London Colleges Sign Up To Digital Partnership

March 26th, 2015

by Shannon Greenhalgh, MISCO

The move to online course provision by UK universities is under way, as three University of London colleges, including Goldsmiths, enter a partnership that will enable their students to participate in massive open online courses (MOOCs), Government Computing has reported. The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and St George’s, alongside Goldsmiths, have announced an agreement to offer MOOCs through the FutureLearn platform – joining a network of 51 other higher and specialist education institutions globally which are using the service to offer courses online. FutureLearn (owned by the Open University) has already been adopted by other universities in the UK, with industry experts predicting that MOOCs will play a “complementary” role in higher education.

http://www.misco.co.uk/blog/news/02804/online-course-provision-grows-as-three-university-of-london-colleges-sign-up-to-digital-partnership

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