Coursera’s MOOCs Go To Work: What MasterCard Is Learning

August 28th, 2014

by George Anders, Forbes

An intriguing strategy tweak is taking shape at Coursera, the pioneer of massively open online courses, or MOOCs. While Coursera still opens its (virtual) doors wide to anyone who wants to take a free course for the fun of it, the company also is welcoming big firms such as MasterCard, BNY Mellon, AT&T and Shell, as they seek new content for employee training and development. The business case is obvious.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2014/08/20/courseras-new-goal-teaching-at-firms-such-as-mastercard/

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CAPS goes digital with new online tutoring

August 28th, 2014

By Matt Reisen, New Mexico Daily Lobo

This semester a new program will help students bring tutors into the comfort of their own home — electronically. Anne Compton, associate director of the Center for Academic Program Support, said CAPS will debut its new Online Learning Center on Monday, which allows students to receive tutoring from their own computer. The Online Learning Center, a combined effort of CAPS, Extended University and New Media and Extended Learning, will give tutoring to students who may be too busy, or too far removed, to physically go to the CAPS office, but still need assistance, she said.

http://www.dailylobo.com/article/2014/08/caps-online

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Study examines online, face-to-face courses

August 28th, 2014

by Phys.org

“The study reveals students actually see online classes as more challenging,” Professor Platt said. “Part of that is the students have to do more to manage their own time and schedule because online courses do not meet at a set point each week and some self-paced courses don’t have regular deadlines.” Students also perceived online classes as having less interaction than face-to-face classes, which Platt said could make the course more challenging for students who rely on extra help from their instructor or their peers. “The main reason the students took online courses was the flexibility of scheduling,” Platt said, noting online courses don’t conflict with scheduled courses in the classroom. “Online courses also can fit in if a student has a part-time job.”

http://phys.org/news/2014-08-online-face-to-face-courses.html

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Awarding Badges in Moodle

August 27th, 2014

By Tim States, Emmett Dulaney, Campus Technology

Organizations like Boys and Girl Scouts have long modeled the significance of having a common language to describe an accomplishment through earning physical badges for completion of preset tasks. The idea of creating a common language for noting student achievement has been embraced by the educational community through the next generation of badging known as digital badges. Moodle offers a central repository to manage and distribute digital badges for an institution. Badges can be awarded at the site level or course level. Site-level badges allow for institutional collaboration on a set of common standards for awarding badges, while course level badges can allow individual instructors to set their own standards for acknowledgment. In this article, we’ll first take a look at why you might want to do this and outline the user experience as an instructor and student.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/20/awarding-badges-in-moodle.aspx

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This Flipped Class Is Studying Biology with a $10 Microscope and a Smart Phone

August 27th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Take a smartphone, add $10 worth of plywood and Plexiglas, a bit of hardware, laser pointer lenses and LED click lights from a keychain flashlight and you have a DIY microscope worthy of use in college classes. At least, that’s the idea of an instructor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology who is adding the do-it-yourself technology in her biology lab courses. The project is part of a larger research endeavor at the university to explore the design of instructional labs for science and engineering courses that can be delivered in a blended or online format. The goal of a research is to develop e-learning models to redesign traditional lab courses to work in a hybrid format and to create a handbook for use by instructors that explains how to apply the new models.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/19/this-flipped-class-is-studying-biology-with-a-$10-microscope-and-a-smart-phone.aspx

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Why you should care about gamification in higher education

August 27th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

gGaming in education has, for the most part, been a K-12 trend, with its popularity relegated to supplemental learning for elementary school students. But gamification, from its implementation at MIT to its praise from the job industry, has much more serious implications for college students—and perhaps it’s time higher education got serious about incorporating game design. Today’s course design is under incredible pressure from popular practices favored by students—practices like the inclusion of interactive mobile technology, blended learning, Flipped Learning, and the integration of peer community forums—and according to experts, understanding the reasons why students prefer these methods of instruction can be gleaned from taking part in gaming.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/gamification-higher-education-028/

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Studying in 2014: could online courses become the new norm?

August 26th, 2014

By Marni Williams, Career FAQs

Come in. Sit down. Eyes to the front and no talking in the back please. Just kidding, this is online learning! No one cares where you are and you can talk all you like. It’s your course and you can study it however you want to. Chances are that by now you might know at least one person who has studied online (I’m finishing off a Certificate IV in Fitness this weekend). Or maybe you’re in the middle of a bit of online upskilling yourself. Over the past five years, the online learning sector has gone from being a possible disruptor of traditional learning to a serious challenger. It’s found itself on top of industry watchlists, and with more providers and more government-funded courses on offer every other month, it’s clear that it’s here to stay. So why is online education so hot right now?

http://www.careerfaqs.com.au/news/news-and-views/studying-in-2014-could-online-courses-become-the-new-norm/

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Measuring the impact of a MOOC course can be complicated

August 26th, 2014

by Eric Schulzke, Deseret News

Brandon Alcorn, Gayle Christensen and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, all from the University of Pennsylvannia, argue in The Atlantic that critiques based on completion rate miss the point, and that MOOCs serve a valuable function even when the course is not completed. Using data from 1.8 million students enrolled in MOOCs offered by U. Penn, the authors conclude that “that students treat MOOCs like a buffet, sampling the material according to their interests and goals.” Some students, they find, are merely sampling out of curiosity, while others are primarily interested in discussion forums that link them to others with similar interests.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865609046/Measuring-the-impact-of-a-MOOC-course-can-be-complicated.html

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Tulane’s ‘Trauma!’ course offers new approach to online learning

August 26th, 2014

By Jed Lipinski, The Times-Picayune

The Levees.org mini-course is part of a MOOC called Trauma! that will be offered this fall through Tulane. Charles Figley, director of the Traumatology Institute, said the Trauma! MOOC is structured differently than most MOOCs, which have drawn criticism for their high drop-out rates. While most MOOCs are simply online versions of classroom-style classes, Trauma! consists of 10 one-week mini-courses, or what Figley terms “knowledge blocks.” Four of the courses are required, but students are allowed to choose the remaining six. “We’re taking a Netflix approach,” he said. “All the knowledge blocks will be listed online with information about each one. Popular courses may be listed as ‘Trending,’ others as ‘Recommended for You.’” In another deviation from the typical MOOC format, students at Tulane are allowed to take the course for credit. Every week for 75 minutes, the students will meet in a classroom on campus to discuss the course material, Figley said.

http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2014/08/tulanes_trauma_offers_new_appr.html

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Mobile technology lets students create their own classrooms

August 25th, 2014

BY GILLIAN SHAW, Vancouver Sun

Post-secondary students gearing up to return to the classroom will spend an increasing amount of their learning time online. A recent study by H+K Perspectives, Hill + Knowlton’s research arm, and yconic found that students report spending one third of their time doing schoolwork online. “Mobile technologies are changing the landscape of the classroom, of post-secondary education,” said Prof. Thierry Karsenti, Canada research chair on information technology and communications in education at the University of Montreal. “Simply put students are capable of creating their own classroom, a classroom they can access almost from anywhere, at anytime.”

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Mobile+technology+lets+students+create+their/10128650/story.html

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Twitter Has the Research Chatter

August 25th, 2014

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Academia.edu, ResearchGate and other websites jostle for the title of go-to social network for researchers, but when faculty members go online to discuss their peers’ work, many of them turn to Twitter. That’s one takeaway from Richard Van Noorden’s study of social media use in higher education, published last week in the science journal Nature. Van Noorden, senior reporter for the journal, surveyed 3,509 scholars worldwide this summer about their online habits, and his results suggest many researchers only use the social networks designed specifically for academics to establish a presence, and not much else. When asked specifically about their use, two-thirds of the scholars said they registered Twitter “in case someone wishes to contact me about my research.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/08/19/study-scholars-are-present-professional-networks-engage-twitter

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Robo-readers aren’t as good as human readers — in some ways they’re better

August 25th, 2014

By Annie Murphy Paul, Hechinger Report

Instructors at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have been using a program called E-Rater in this fashion since 2009, and they’ve observed a striking change in student behavior as a result. Andrew Klobucar, associate professor of humanities at NJIT, notes that students almost universally resist going back over material they’ve written. But, Klobucar told Inside Higher Ed reporter Scott Jaschik, his students are willing to revise their essays, even multiple times, when their work is being reviewed by a computer and not by a human teacher. They end up writing nearly three times as many words in the course of revising as students who are not offered the services of E-Rater, and the quality of their writing improves as a result. Crucially, says Klobucar, students who feel that handing in successive drafts to an instructor wielding a red pen is “corrective, even punitive” do not seem to feel rebuked by similar feedback from a computer.

https://people.uis.edu/rschr1/onlinelearning/wp-admin/post-new.php

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Why Online Education Is Good News for Australian Employers

August 24th, 2014

by Tristan Anwyn, Australia Business Review

Time was when the best graduates and brightest minds in any given field weren’t available to employers until after graduation. After graduation, students joined the workforce with a lot of ideas, but not much in the way of practical experience. Online education is changing that by offering much more flexibility not only to students but to the businesses that employ them. Australian businesses can find high-caliber employees who have used online learning to study while employed, combining the best of both worlds in terms of academic prowess and experience in their field. Online education offers employees the chance to engage with lifelong learning, constantly updating their skills and knowledge, which can only be good news for the businesses that employ them. Offering distance education to employees is also a strong selling point for employers who want to show commitment to staff development and well-being.

http://www.businessreviewaustralia.com/technology/1257/Why-Online-Education-Is-Good-News-for-Australian-Employers

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What’s the best way to keep students on track in an online course?

August 24th, 2014

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

In 2013, 7.1 million higher education students took at least one online course — a 6.1 percent increase over the previous year, according to a report from the Online Learning Consortium (the recently renamed Sloan Consortium). While many colleges and universities do a good job offering faculty development programs for online teaching, they can’t possibly keep up with that kind of growth. The demand for tips and best practices for online instruction is seemingly insatiable. When we published online education specialist Paul Beaudoin’s “6 Ways to Be a Better Online Teacher” a few months ago, it quickly became one of the top three most-read articles on our Web site this year. For this month’s issue, we asked Paul to write a follow-up piece: “Motivate and Engage Online Learners All Semester Long.”

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/07/learning-to-teach-online.aspx

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2 Great Techniques for the Flipped Classroom

August 24th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

When Julie Schell makes a presentation on innovation in teaching and learning, she likes to share a photograph of college classroom from the 1800s. Compared to a typical classroom today, it’s hard to see any substantial differences. The lesson: Educators “need to change how we teach students,” she believes. It’s not just about cranking out video lectures: Pedagogy, she said, “must drive classroom decisions.” To ensure that pedagogy stays at the forefront of innovation in the classroom, Schell shared two favorite techniques for flipping.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/13/2-great-techniques-for-the-flipped-classroom.aspx

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This online school may replace modern liberal arts colleges

August 23rd, 2014

By Graeme Wood, The Atlantic

On a Friday morning in April, I strapped on a headset, leaned into a microphone, and experienced what had been described to me as a type of time travel to the future of higher education. I was on the ninth floor of a building in downtown San Francisco, in a neighborhood whose streets are heavily populated with winos and vagrants, and whose buildings host hip new businesses, many of them tech start-ups. In a small room, I was flanked by a publicist and a tech manager from an educational venture called the Minerva Project, whose founder and CEO, the 39-year-old entrepreneur Ben Nelson, aims to replace (or, when he is feeling less aggressive, “reform”) the modern liberal-arts college. Minerva is an accredited university with administrative offices and a dorm in San Francisco, and it plans to open locations in at least six other major world cities.

http://qz.com/249771/this-online-school-may-replace-modern-literal-arts-colleges/

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Don’t Let Your Education End at Graduation

August 23rd, 2014

By LINDSAY GELLMAN, Wall Street Journal

Then there are online courses, which come in many flavors. iTunes U offers free educational content, including lectures, from colleges and universities. Khan Academy (Khanacademy.org), a nonprofit, is a free platform for original tutorial videos and assessments, and users earn virtual badges for mastering a given subject. Codecademy (Codecademy.com) offers free, hands-on online programming courses and exercises. Coursera (Coursera.org), a for-profit online educator, partners with colleges, universities and other institutions to offer courses that are free to take, but there is typically associated course work—graded via machine or by peers—and there might be a charge for an optional course-end certificate. Know your industry—and know when you need to have a skill officially certified, or when informal learning might be sufficient or even preferable.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/dont-let-your-education-end-at-graduation-1408234349

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NMSU Works To Elevate Online Courses

August 23rd, 2014

By KRWG NEWS

With more and more college courses transitioning into online formats, New Mexico State University is working to ensure the quality of its online classes matches the quality of those delivered inside the classroom. To reach this goal, NMSU’s Online Course Improvement Program (OCIP) began in 2009 as a partnership between the Associated Students of New Mexico State University/Student Technology Advisory Committee and the College of Extended Learning.

http://krwg.org/post/nmsu-works-elevate-online-courses

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3 ways online courses could become more like iTunes

August 22nd, 2014

By Denny Carter, eCampus News

Thanks to MIT, modularization could soon be an oft-repeated phrase in online education. Members of the MIT task force, who were asked to examine ways a college education could become more accessible, more affordable, and more effective, pointed to the concept of “modularization” as a key to improving the traditional web-based class model and the nontraditional massive open online course (MOOC). The task force suggested breaking courses into modules — or learning units meant to be studied in sequence but separately. This approach would mimic a person’s ability to purchase bits and pieces of an artist’s music from Apple iTunes, they said.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/online-courses-itunes/

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Is this the “dark horse” of online education?

August 22nd, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

It’s a perfect storm of economic factors and available technology that’s making competency-cased online education the real disruptive innovation for colleges and universities, say Michelle Weise, senior research fellow of Higher Education for the Clayton Christensen Institute, and Clayton Christensen, co-founder of the Institute and the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. “Workforce training, competency-based learning, and online learning are clearly not new phenomena,” explains Weise. “But online competency-based education is revolutionary because it marks the critical convergence of multiple vectors: the right learning model, the right technologies, the right customers, and the right business model.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/online-competency-college-587/

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Which massive online courses are women taking?

August 22nd, 2014

By Denny Carter, eCampus News

Coursera recently sought to answer that question, drilling down into enrollment data to see which classes, exactly, women were taking on the popular Coursera platform. Food and nutrition topped the list of Coursera classes women prefer, with more than 60 percent of enrollees in those classes identifying as female. Teacher professional development ranked second with almost 60 percent female enrollment. Medicine, arts, and health and society came in a close third with more than 50 percent female enrollment. But again, it was STEM courses and related fields that saw low levels of female enrollment and participation, according to Coursera’s findings.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/women-online-890/

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