University of Illinois Announces All-MOOC M.B.A.

May 5th, 2015

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

The program, known as iMBA, will deliver most of its course content through Specializations, Coursera’s term for course sequences. Students will be able to take those sequences in four different ways — two that award credit and two that don’t. As with any MOOC, the content is available for free. Learners who wish to earn a credential but have no need for academic credit can pay a small fee, $79 a course, for an identity-verified certificate. Students can also apply to the College of Business and, if accepted, pursue the full M.B.A. degree. “That’s why we call it fractional learning,” said Rajagopal Echambadi, associate dean of outreach and engagement. The university plans to price the 18 courses at about $1,000 each. With the added cost of the identity verification fee, the total cost of the degree will be about $20,000. The university does not have an existing online M.B.A. program, but it charges in-state students in the part-time M.B.A. program about $9,000 a semester and full-time students about $22,000 a year for tuition.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/05/05/u-illinois-urbana-champaign-offer-online-mba-through-coursera

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CMU’s Tepper Online Hybrid MBA: Equivalent to Onsite

May 5th, 2015

By Mary Grush, Campus Technology

Can an institution’s new online offerings match the quality it has established over the years in its onsite programs? At CMU’s Tepper School of Business, the Online Hybrid MBA is designed to be equivalent to its on-campus MBA programs. CT talked with Bob Monroe, Director of the Online Hybrid MBA, to find out how Tepper crafts its Online Hybrid MBA to offer the same education as its highly regarded onsite MBA programs. Monroe says “Identical” is a bit of a tricky word. There are things that really are identical: the core curriculum — the classes that you need to take are the same across any of the formats in which we offer our MBA; the professors teaching — typically the person that is teaching the online hybrid class will also be teaching an onsite version of the same class; the material covered and the mastery expected — the standards to pass or to get an ‘A’ are the same from one delivery format of the class to the other.  But we like to think of the online hybrid format as “equivalent” to the onsite formats — or possibly “interchangeable” would be a better term.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/21/tepper-online-hybrid-mba-equivalent-to-onsite.aspx

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Research: Short Online Interventions Can Improve Student Achievement

May 5th, 2015

By Leila Meyer, THE Journal

Researchers at Stanford University and the University of Texas, Austin studied the effect of short, online interventions on high school students at risk of dropping out and found that students’ grade point averages increased after only two 45-minute sessions. The researchers used two types of online interventions, one involving the development of a “growth mindset” and the other involving the development of a “sense of purpose.” The growth mindset is the belief that intelligence can be developed rather than being fixed at birth, and that struggling through challenging tasks is an opportunity to improve intelligence. In the study, researchers asked the students to read an article about the brain’s ability to grow intellectually through hard work and effective academic strategies.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/04/29/research-brief-online-interventions-can-improve-student-achievement.aspx

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Is Learning Increasingly Self-Directed in the Digital Era?

May 5th, 2015

by Suren Ramasubbu, Huffington Post

It is vital that educators be trained to recognize and nurture self-directed learning using technology and be capable of creating learning environments that support it. A teacher who encourages freedom of learning and is open to it can accelerate the transition of learning from being teacher-centric to student centric. According to Roger Hiemstra, a scholar of adult learning and self-directed learning, a teacher plays six roles in self-directed learning – she is “content resource, resource locator, interest stimulator, positive attitude generator, creativity and critical thinking stimulator, and evaluation stimulator.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suren-ramasubbu/is-learning-increasingly-_b_7154164.html

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China advocates online open courses

May 4th, 2015

by Shanghai Daily

China’s Ministry of Education issued a document supporting further application of online open courses in college education on Tuesday. Colleges have been encouraged to adopt a teaching mode combining the increasingly popular Massive Open Online Course with traditional methods, the ministry said in the concise document. Chinese colleges should develop their own high-quality open courses and promote the courses abroad. Meanwhile, they should also introduce more excellent foreign open course projects, especially those on natural sciences, engineering and technology, according to the document.

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=279025

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UI may extend winter-break classes for two years

May 4th, 2015

by Johnathan Hettinger, Champaign News Gazette

After receiving strong positive responses to online courses offered over winter break, the University of Illinois is considering extending the period for two more years. The educational policy committee of the academic senate passed a proposal at its meetings on Monday, calling the 2014-15 classes “a generally positive undertaking for the campus.” The university offered eight four-week online classes as a part of a pilot program for the first-ever Winter Session. The classes were largely popular electives and had an enrollment of 764 students — 71 percent of the 1,070 capacity — which the proposal called “particularly remarkable.” According to the proposal, the courses would be offered during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 winter break periods. There would be a formal review of the effectiveness of the classes after that.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2015-04-27/ui-may-extend-winter-break-classes-two-years.html

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Studies: Online Courses Unsuccessful at Community Colleges

May 4th, 2015

by the Hechinger Report

Online instruction at community colleges isn’t working. Yet policymakers are continuing to fund programs to expand online courses at these schools, which primarily serve low-income minority students, and community college administrators are planning to offer more and more of them. The latest salvo comes from researchers at the University of California—Davis, who found that community college students throughout California were 11 percent less likely to finish and pass a course if they opted to take the online version instead of the traditional face-to-face version of the same class. The still-unpublished paper, titled “Online Course-taking and Student Outcomes in California Community Colleges,” was presented on April 18, 2015, at the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference in Chicago.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/04/27/studies-online-courses-unsuccessful-at-community-colleges

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Digital Tech Helps Budding Entrepreneurs Prosper In Online Business Courses

May 3rd, 2015

by Seb Murray, Business Because

The rise of distance learning has put courses onto the web that are designed for those who want to run their own companies, and has paved the way for business owners to gain a business education. Courses once received a lukewarm welcome from entrepreneurs but top business schools, from Stanford to Copenhagen and digital upstarts like edX and Udacity, are gaining favour with founders. Gerard Grech, chief executive officer at Tech City UK, the government-funded group promoting the sector, says: “Campus life and entrepreneurship are not mutually exclusive.” By putting content online, even traditional educational institutions are seeing growth. UCLA Anderson, MIT and Haas School of Business, which has a campus in Silicon Valley, all offer online programs which are designed for entrepreneurs.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/3226/entrepreneurs-prosper-in-online-business-courses

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What If Students Could Fire Their Professors?

May 3rd, 2015

by Anya Kamenetz, NPR

A bill circulating in the Iowa state Senate would rate professors’ performance based on student evaluations. Just student evaluations. Low-rated professors would be automatically fired — no tenure, no appeals. The bill’s author, state Sen. Mark Chelgren, a Republican, argues that too many students are taking on student loan debt but not getting their money’s worth in the classroom. “Professors need to understand that their customers are those students,” Chelgren told the Chronicle of Higher Education.Though the bill appears unlikely to pass, it has made national news because of the broader debate around student debt, the cost of college and what, exactly, students are getting for their money.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2015/04/26/401953167/what-if-students-could-fire-their-professors

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Hybrid law school program allows far-away students to earn degrees

May 3rd, 2015

BY G.M. FILISKO, ABA Journal

“The ABA was already allowing schools to provide one-third of their program through online learning,” explains Eric Janus, Mitchell’s president and dean. “We asked for a variance to 50 percent. That little bit of extra leeway gave us the flexibility to arrange the instructional time in a radical way.” The program is experimental, notes Barry Currier, the ABA’s managing director of accreditation and legal education, and the association will track it closely. The school must report back on students’ performance, their integration into the school and attrition. The ABA hopes to learn whether the program can maintain quality while complying with ABA standards, Currier says. It also seeks insight on changes to standards that would give schools more discretion in distance learning. Only time will tell the value employers will place on a degree from a hybrid program. Black says he doesn’t plan to seek a law firm job.

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/hybrid_law_school_program_allows_far_away_students_to_earn_degrees

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New report suggests universities could save money with blended learning

May 2nd, 2015

By Nichole Dobo, Hechinger Report

Older students who don’t want the full on-campus experience — and the costs associated with it — might be served effectively through high-quality online college degree programs, according to a new report. And that might reduce the carbon footprint, too, saving money for both college and student. The typical student pursuing an online degree through Arizona State University is a 31-year-old woman with a job who started college elsewhere and is seeking a place to complete it, according to a report the university released this week at the annual ASU+GSV Summit, a conference for people interested in education innovation. “The boundaries between online and face-to-face are crumbling,” Dan O’Neill, general manager for the Walton Sustainability Solutions Services at Arizona State University, said in an interview Tuesday.

http://www.mvariety.com/special-features/education-first/76202-new-report-suggests-universities-could-save-money-with-blended-learning

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The Future of College: It’s Online

May 2nd, 2015

by Daphne Koller of Coursera, Wall Street Journal

Online education, by reducing cost and removing physical barriers, can open doors of opportunity to millions of people who otherwise might not have access to postsecondary education. The “sage on the stage” at a university will no longer be a common mode of delivery. In the classroom—whether physical or virtual—we will see more attention given to group projects, conversations and applied learning, with lecture content going the way of textbooks as something experienced in preparing for class. At the same time, universities will devote considerably more effort to activities that occur outside the classroom, be it research, individual mentoring by faculty or senior students, team activities, volunteering, internships, study abroad, and many more types of work and experience. Universities will largely distinguish themselves not by the content they deliver, but by the activities that support and enhance core learning activities.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-future-of-college-its-online-1430105057

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Tools That Limit Distraction May Raise Student Performance in Online Classes

May 2nd, 2015

by Casey Fabris, Chronicle of Higher Ed

For students taking courses online, the endless distractions of the Internet can be a hindrance to success. But using software to limit those diversions can make a big difference. That’s the takeaway from a new study, which found that limiting distractions can help students perform better and also improve course completion. A paper describing the study, “Can Behavioral Tools Improve Online Student Outcomes? Experimental Evidence From a Massive Open Online Course,” was published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute this month.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/tools-that-limit-distraction-may-raise-student-performance-in-online-classes/56413

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OLC and MERLOT merge scholarly journals

May 1st, 2015

by Stefanie Botelho, University Business

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) community of the California State University are pleased to announce that they will combine efforts to expand scholarly research in the field of online education, with the merger of the journal Online Learning (formerly JALN) and the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT). Currently OLC and MERLOT jointly sponsor the annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium (ET4Online). The planned merger of the two journals will broaden the cooperative efforts between the two organizations. “We are delighted to be able to continue to grow our collaboration with MERLOT through this merger,” said Kathleen Ives, chief executive officer, OLC. “The merger of these two highly respected journals will draw upon the synergy of our missions and enable us to fulfill the needs and expectations of our readers with an enhanced depth, diligence and efficiency.”

http://www.universitybusiness.com/news/olc-and-merlot-merge-scholarly-journals

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LinkedIn’s big bet may pay off

May 1st, 2015

by BLAYNE SLABBERT, Stuff NZ

Online learning is a booming business, and now one of the top tech companies has hooked into the industry. LinkedIn is buying the online education company, Lynda.com for about US$1.5 billion (NZ$1.96b), the first big aqusition of this scale. Lynda.com specialises in video courses in technology, creative and business skills which makes it a good fit for LinkedIn’s 347 million users, especially those looking to upskill for career advancement. This is backed by a report from Deloitte which shows the No 1 aspiration of members is to learn more about a subject area, not to complete a prescribed subject curriculum. It’s a canny move by LinkedIn as the workplace gets more competitive and more technology focused. It also gets it a foothold into the online learning market which is worth about US$30b.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/business/67950607/LinkedIns-big-bet-may-pay-off

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$2.4 million grant will help UCLA to make undergrad STEM courses more interactive, more effective

May 1st, 2015

by Stuart Wolpert, UCLA

A new four-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation will help UCLA redesign some undergraduate courses to make them more interactive and more interdisciplinary. The multipronged initiative, which is already underway and under the auspices of UCLA’s division of life sciences, could transform key courses for thousands of UCLA undergraduates. It is part of a campus-wide goal for all science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses to implement teaching methods that have been proven in peer-reviewed studies to help motivate and engage students. The projects should help students in the STEM fields achieve a deeper level of learning and a richer classroom experience, said Blaire Van Valkenburgh, UCLA’s associate dean of life sciences, who heads the initiative.

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/2-4-million-grant-will-help-ucla-to-make-undergrad-stem-courses-more-interactive-more-effective

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Students want better digital credentials

April 30th, 2015

by Ron Bethke, eCampus News

Innovation in online credentialing can help students better display learning outcomes and the value of their education to employers on social sites. According to a new whitepaper revealed by ed-tech company Parchment at Baltimore’s AACRAO conference on April 13th, a majority of students believe it would be useful to display official credentials on a social site. However, the report suggests their is a lot of room for innovation on the part of institutions. The ideas generated in Parchment’s whitepaper, titled “Extending the Credential; Empowering the Learner,” stem from the results of two surveys which polled over 500 recent college graduates and 100 registrars.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/students-digital-credentials-422/

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DeVry University will close Wisconsin campus, offer online classes only

April 30th, 2015

By Karen Herzog, Journal Sentinel

DeVry University, a for-profit college that has had a presence in downtown Milwaukee since 1983, announced Thursday it will close its only Wisconsin campus Dec. 31 and move to offering only online courses. The closing will affect 247 graduate and undergraduate students, according to spokeswoman Melanie Wright. Half of the university’s students assigned to the Milwaukee campus — a suite at 411 E. Wisconsin Ave. — take online courses, while 80% take a combination online and campus-based courses, Wright said. Students will be offered the options of completing their program through DeVry’s online courses, transferring to another DeVry University campus outside of Wisconsin, or transferring to a local college or university with a comparable program, Wright said.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/devry-university-will-close-campus-offer-online-classes-only-b99487482z1-301149851.html

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At this college, you only pay if you pass (Arizona State Global Freshman Academy)

April 30th, 2015

by Emily DeRuy, Fusion

Arizona State University plans to offer a freshman year of college to anyone in the world with an internet connection – no application required. Even better? You only pay if you pass. In its latest effort to distinguish itself in a crowded higher education field, ASU announced Thursday it will partner with edX, a popular online course provider founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, to create the Global Freshman Academy. The program will offer 12 online courses and students will only owe tuition – $200 per credit – if they get a passing grade. Students will be able to complete courses on their own time, so everyone from people with day jobs to high school students looking to get an early start on their degrees could enroll.

http://fusion.net/story/125256/at-this-college-you-only-pay-if-you-pass/

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Total production time for online courses expected to fall

April 29th, 2015

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

New research finds the idea that online courses take longer to develop to be true but breaks with common rhetoric when it comes to future offerings. A study by University of Michigan-Dearborn assistant professor Lee Freeman shows future iterations of the same online courses require about the same amount of time as traditional courses, eCampus News reports. While many attribute the need for extra time to technology, Freeman found it was more about adapting to the pedagogy of offering online courses, according to the article.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/total-production-time-for-online-courses-expected-to-fall/389031/

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With online learning for feds, OPM sees narrowed skills gap

April 29th, 2015

By Jory Heckman, Federal News Radio

Federal employees and their families can now add online college to the list of benefits offered by the government. Following up on the success of its first continuing education program, the Office of Personnel Management on Monday announced its partnership with Champlain College, a 137-year-old private college based in Burlington, Vermont. Federal workers and their spouses will be able to enroll in degree or certificate programs before the start of the summer 2015 semester. The admission deadline is June 5. In a conference call to the press, Sydney Smith-Heimbrock, OPM’s strategic workforce planning and chief learning officer said the program focuses on providing continuing education to mid-career federal workers at a discounted rate.

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/520/3843186/With-online-learning-for-feds-OPM-sees-narrowed-skills-gap

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