Online Learning Update

September 11, 2020

By the Numbers: MOOCs During the Pandemic

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

Dhawal Shah, Class Central

The ongoing pandemic has increased interest in online education. MOOC providers, in particular, have all seen drastic growth, which reminded me of the Year of the MOOC. On March 15th, Class Central noticed a big rise in learners visiting our website. Since then, 15 million learners (and maybe even a few celebrities) visited Class Central to look for courses, sending 8.5 million clicks to MOOC providers.  This is more than twice the number of people who visited Class Central in 2019. We also found that these users were more engaged than before, possibly due to many people finding themselves with extra time during quarantine. In this article, I will share stats and numbers collected from different providers and Class Central. I will also update the article when new information is available.

https://www.classcentral.com/report/mooc-stats-pandemic/

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No, Running Online Classes Isn’t Cheaper

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

Matt Reed, Inside Higher Ed

This weekend Kim Weeden tweeted that the most common myth about higher ed that she runs into is that teaching online is cheaper. It isn’t. Most of a college’s budget is labor. When a physical campus moves to online teaching, it doesn’t save much labor at all. Grading an online student’s paper takes the same amount of time as grading an on-site student’s paper.  Yes, technology allows a single presentation to be shared with many more people at once, but viewing a presentation isn’t education. Actual learning occurs in the engagement with the material, and that still requires human interaction.

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/no-running-online-classes-isnt-cheaper

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COVID-19 pandemic – Years of potential intellectual life lost

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

John Richard Schrock, University World News

During the coronavirus pandemic, teachers, professors and parents worldwide have realised that we are falling behind in education, research and intellectual progress. How much will the pandemic slow the academic progress of each country and of the world? We could borrow and modify a parallel measurement from the medical field to measure the slowdown. ‘Years of potential life lost’ or YPLL is an important calculation in medical epidemiology. Save the life of a baby in a developed country today and you have potentially saved 60 or more years of life. Save the life of an elderly person and you have perhaps given them a few more years to live.

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200807090836187

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September 10, 2020

Hands-on Classes at a Distance and the Emerging Virtual Future

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

 

Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed

Even if the essential content remained the same, the shift to online provided the opportunity to optimize use of video, audio, animation, simulation and other online technologies to promote engagement and interaction by the students, resulting in deeper understanding and retention. In each of the instances where there seems to be no substitute for actual hands-on, we would do well to begin with a deep dive into current professional practice and emerging trends in that field. Where is current practice and how will it be changing in the near future? We must not only follow those trends, but also anticipate where our associated fields are going. Hands-on is becoming “goggles-on” and face-to-face is becoming “face-to-screen” in many fields.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-now/hands-classes-distance-and-emerging-virtual-future

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How Hands-on Majors Take on Virtual Learning

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

Juliana Walter, University of Tampa Minaret

“It is a little worrisome thinking about the concept of modifying a film degree to be online. But with all the resources we’ve been given, I think it’ll be a challenge to our creativity to modify films to fit the circumstances,” said Simpson. “It’s a scary time but also an exciting one.” Plays also believes that another transition to online learning will provide students with more opportunities to test their creativity. “Many of the animation, film and new media lend themselves to creative problem solving and students working and learning through virtual means,” said Plays. “We will continue to use the pandemic as a means to a creative end. Students are very willing to adapt necessary parameters and find solutions.”

https://theminaretonline.com/2020/08/28/how-hands-on-majors-take-on-virtual-learning/

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GU Professors Teaching Classes On China Take Online Learning Precautions in Light of Possible Security Threats

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

Hansen Lian, the Hoya

Some Georgetown University professors teaching classes about China are taking precautionary measures to protect students and faculty from possible security threats during online learning in the fall. Some faculty worry lecture recordings and other technical vulnerabilities in Zoom may endanger students and instructors who criticize the Chinese government. Faculty who spoke with The Hoya are particularly concerned some sensitive course material may violate the broad and vague stipulations of the latest Chinese national security law. The law, enacted by the Chinese government June 30 in response to ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, is an open-ended prohibition of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers against the Chinese government.

https://thehoya.com/gu-professors-teaching-classes-on-china-take-online-learning-precautions-in-light-of-possible-security-threats/

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September 9, 2020

The competitive edge virtual learning provides during a downturn

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

AYTEKIN TANK, Fast Company
With so much time being spent at home, many of us are taking advantage of the benefits of e-learning. And why not? It’s a convenient, cost-effective way of burnishing our skills or developing new ones, all while safely quarantined at home. Even before the pandemic, e-learning was on the rise. Marketing research reports predicted that the online education market would hit $350 billion by 2025—and that was before COVID-19 forced everyone indoors.  Now, the many learning platforms spawned in recent years are seeing massive upticks in users: Coursera, which focuses on academic offerings, added 10 million new users between mid-March and mid-May.https://www.fastcompany.com/90544546/the-competitive-edge-virtual-learning-provides-during-a-downturn

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How to Declutter Your PCs, Phones, and Tablets

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

Jill Duffy, PC Mag

Organizing and purging your documents, photos, and inboxes can help reduce stress and improve productivity. Our five simple steps help you start cleaning up your digital life. Whether it’s spring cleaning or taking a moment to archive last year’s emails, I find it incredibly gratifying to dump (or sometimes simply put away) stuff I don’t need. There’s a whole lot of hippie rhetoric about how clutter-free environments lead to clarity of mind, and I’m not necessarily saying it works for everyone, nor is it guaranteed to improve your productivity, but I sure do feel less stressed and more able to focus when the junk is gone.

https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/get-organized-how-to-start-purging-your-digital-life

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How universities are innovating to tackle higher education’s affordability crisis

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

NICOLE ENGELBERT AND STEVE HAHN, eCampus News

Many institutions are already shifting toward nontraditional revenue streams, with an eye toward sustainability. For example, some universities are beefing up pathway programs to court international students, as well as establishing partnerships with the corporate sector to provide continuing education programs for businesses. Of course, the biggest shift has been towards online learning, with schools forced to make the transition – ready or not – amid the pandemic. One of the key factors in higher education’s ability to shift toward more affordable tuition and sustainable, alternative revenue sources is technology. Data will play a huge role in helping institutions determine which approaches don’t work and executing on the ones that do.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2020/08/27/how-universities-are-innovating-to-tackle-higher-educations-affordability-crisis/

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September 8, 2020

Moody’s: Coronavirus is accelerating shift to online education

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

Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive
The pandemic will hasten a transformation of higher education business models, according to a new Moody’s Investors Service report. The crisis will accelerate many colleges’ plans to grow their online footprints, though not all schools have the resources to invest in digital infrastructure, the report notes. They will also likely expand nondegree and certificate programs. Analysts predict that once the pandemic subsides, some colleges will struggle if they haven’t established a strong online presence.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/moodys-coronavirus-is-accelerating-shift-to-online-education/584299/

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Betsy DeVos Weakens Protections For Online Learning In Higher Education

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

Wesley Whistle, Forbes

In a press release, DeVos said, “These regulations are a true ‘rethink’ of what is possible for students so that they can learn in the ways and places that work best for them.” But many worry these regulations put innovation and institutional burden reduction interests ahead of quality and consumer protection needs. In fact, some version of the word ‘burden’ appears 52 times in the final rule; the word ‘safeguard’ only appears 9 times.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/wesleywhistle/2020/08/25/betsy-devos-weakens-protections-for-online-learning-in-higher-education/#4ca83b7a2f5a

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Alternative Credentials on the Rise

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

Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Interest is growing in short-term, online credentials amid the pandemic. Will they become viable alternative pathways to well-paying jobs?  Few have more experience monitoring alternative credentials and consumer interest in online learning than Sean Gallagher, an executive professor of education policy at Northeastern University. “This looks to be a catalytic moment,” said Gallagher, who is the founder and executive director of Northeastern’s Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy. “Like what’s happened with the rapid digitization of so many other areas of our daily lives, we’ve probably gained in a few months a level of interest and participation in online education that would have steadily played out over years.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/08/27/interest-spikes-short-term-online-credentials-will-it-be-sustained

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September 7, 2020

Not ‘Glorified Skype’

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:07 am

Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Education

The spring semester and its full-throttle move to remote instruction proved brutal for many if not most faculty members. The summer offered little relief, as professors used the time to transition their fall courses to a fully online format or, more time-consumingly, to multiple formats for a range of reopening scenarios. In light of these ongoing demands, faculty members say they’re working harder than ever to be effective instructors. Many have taken online teaching courses, gotten comfortable with new technology, revamped syllabi and course content, and been more available to students. So it’s disheartening that critics inside and outside academe are questioning the value of a remote education, these professors say.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/08/27/teaching-fall-not-glorified-skype

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Ex-Google employees form virtual tech ‘school’ for gap year students amid college closures

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

Jennifer Elias, CNBC
Current and former Google employees are forming an online program aimed at preparing students for the workforce if they’re taking time off school due to the coronavirus pandemic. It comes as many college students defer school as universities shift learning models to mostly online amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Google execs past and present have volunteered to mentor college students on topics ranging from career trajectory to how to stand out in virtual Zoom interviews.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/24/ex-google-employees-form-virtual-tech-school-for-gap-year-students.html

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Digital Transformation: It’s Time

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

Diana Oblinger, Educause Review

Digital transformation (Dx) may sound like a distraction in today’s environment, but it may also be essential. Of the many challenges already facing higher education, three have become unavoidable since the onset of COVID-19. Digital transformation can help higher education meet three unavoidable challenges ahead: mounting financial pressures, changes in the college experience, and ongoing uncertainty. It’s time to think differently.

https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/8/digital-transformation-its-time%E2%80%8C

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September 6, 2020

Blockchain Training: How and Where to Start

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

Nate Swanner, Dice

As companies consider how blockchain fits into their overall tech stack, the common belief is that blockchain will become the next frontier for managing data. This alone drives interest in blockchain, and encourages many seasoned technologists to begin a quest towards adding blockchain to their repertoire. But how should you go about learning blockchain? Can you teach yourself, or should you pay for a course? We queried experts to find out the best ways to learn blockchain.

https://insights.dice.com/2020/08/25/blockchain-training-how-where-start/

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As Colleges Move Classes Online, Families Rebel Against the Cost

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

Shawn Hubler, NY Times

After Southern California’s soaring coronavirus caseload forced Chapman University this month to abruptly abandon plans to reopen its campus and shift to an autumn of all-remote instruction, the school promised that students would still get a “robust Chapman experience.” “What about a robust refund?” retorted Christopher Moore, a spring graduate, on Facebook. A parent chimed in. “We are paying a lot of money for tuition, and our students are not getting what we paid for,” wrote Shannon Carducci, whose youngest child, Ally, is a sophomore at Chapman, in Orange County, where the cost of attendance averages $65,000 a year.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/15/us/covid-college-tuition.html

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The Impact of OER Initiatives on Faculty Selection of Classroom Materials

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

Tanya Spilovoy, Jeff Seaman, and Nate Ralph

WCET and Bay View Analytics

The adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) is on the rise, driven in part by increasing awareness of OER. But while faculty and institutions have shown increasing awareness and acceptance of OER, many remain unfamiliar with what they are, or how to utilize them.

http://onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/impactofoerinitiatives.pdf

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September 5, 2020

7 Things You Should Know About Virtual Labs

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

EDUCAUSE ELI

Virtual labs are interactive, digital simulations of activities that typically take place in physical laboratory settings. Virtual labs simulate the tools, equipment, tests, and procedures used in chemistry, biochemistry, physics, biology, and other disciplines. Virtual labs allow students to participate in lab-based learning exercises without the costs and limitations of a physical lab. Virtual labs can be an important element in institutional efforts to expand access to lab-based courses to more and different groups of students, as well as efforts to establish contingency plans for natural disasters or other interruptions of campus activities.

https://library.educause.edu/resources/2020/8/7-things-you-should-know-about-virtual-labs

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Tuition discounts don’t make sense, increased funding for financial aid does

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

Martin Skladany, Brookings

Given the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 shutdowns, it might seem justifiable to slash tuition by 10% or more, but it will backfire. With well-off families paying less, college will have less revenue to redistribute as aid in the future to those who are financially struggling. Many universities are already projecting deficits of tens to hundreds of millions of dollars because their costs have not gone down. In fact, they are spending millions more in attempting to make campuses safe through buying COVID-19 tests, reconfiguring classrooms for social distancing, paying for technology for hybrid and remote classes, etc. This new, temporary reality is less pleasant for students; it is as well for faculty and staff. But it is not costing the university less.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2020/08/24/tuition-discounts-dont-make-sense-increased-funding-for-financial-aid-does/

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TEACHING EFFECTIVELY ONLINE

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

Adam S. Kamras, UD Daily

Since the spring, thousands of faculty and professionals across all disciplines at the University have been working hard, reviewing course content, evaluating methods of instruction and sharing best practices to ensure that the University’s high standards are not compromised by the shift online. While this change inevitably means that the learning experience will be different, the University’s commitment to academic excellence remains strong, and the work to provide top-notch online courses is guided by more than 25 years of experience at UD in this field, and by extensive research on how people learn.

https://www.udel.edu/udaily/2020/august/online-teaching-best-practices/

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