Online Learning Update

June 18, 2018

Take that leukemia: Andrew Jones cleared to take online classes, move into dorm

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

BY WILLIAM WILKERSON, Star-Telegram

Longhorns sophomore guard Andrew Jones, who is battling leukemia, has been cleared to enroll in online classes this summer and will move into a dorm room on campus, the university announced Thursday. “We’re really happy that Andrew Jones has been approved to enroll in web-based coursework for the first session of summer school today,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said. “Andrew continues to receive treatment, but this is another positive step in his recovery. He will move into a dorm room, which will allow him to have a home base here during the times he is on campus. It will be great to have him around more, as he continues his fight.”

http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/college/big-12/university-of-texas/article212810319.html

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Online learning improves retention, graduation rates – Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

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

A new study from Arizona State University suggests that online courses may be better equipped to help retain students and to keep them on the path to graduation, according to a report from Campus Technology. The university examined digital learning trends and outcomes from two public universities, two community colleges and a community college system. It found that three out of four institutions that offered in-person and online courses had higher retention and graduation rates for students who at least enrolled in some digital learning classes. At Houston Community College, for example, first-time freshman retention rates were at least nine points higher among students in exclusively online or blended courses. At the University of Central Florida, students who took between 40% and 60% of their courses online finished their degrees earlier than students who took no online classes. They completed their degrees in 3.9 years compared with 4.3 years for learners who only took in-person courses.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/study-online-learning-improves-retention-graduation-rates/521271/

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June 17, 2018

Google’s AI Manifesto: Accountability, Privacy, and No Killer Robots

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

By Ryan Whitwam, Extreme Tech

We are still in the very early days of useful artificial intelligence, so there aren’t a lot of specifics in Google’s new guidelines. Google’s general objectives for AI include being socially beneficial, avoiding creating or reinforcing unfair bias, being built and tested for safety, being accountable to people, incorporating privacy design principles, upholding high standards of scientific excellence, and being made available for uses that accord with these principles.

Google’s AI Manifesto: Accountability, Privacy, and No Killer Robots

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In the digital age, the standard lecture may not be enough

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

By Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive
For the time being the traditional lecture format still works for higher education, but as “other organizations can create credentials of equal or greater value, universities, as they are currently structured, are in trouble,” wrote Steven Murphy, the president of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, in a guest post for The Globe and Mail.   Murphy contends that while most institutions are trying to experiment, the industry as a whole is lagging behind with innovation, especially as pressure mounts to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs.  To confront this challenge, Murphy offered three pieces of advice. First, institutions should partner with the private sector “to enhance experiential learning.” Second, they should turn risk management into an opportunity for embracing change, where disruptive technological advances can be beneficially leveraged; and, finally, institutions ought to educate administrators and boards of governors on how to prepare for disruption, setting “benchmarks to measure innovation outcomes.”

https://www.educationdive.com/news/in-the-digital-age-the-standard-lecture-may-not-be-enough/524499/

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The growth of digital learning

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

by IT News Africa

Most universities and colleges now offer online academic qualifications, making it easier for the career-committed to juggle a full-time job with an education. While some would bring into question the quality and effectiveness of online courses (especially considering that they might need to take out a Personal Loan to fund their lessons), the truth is that it has become a popular option for those looking to study part-time or unable to apply to a traditional learning institution. Technological advancement has made education accessible for people of all ages, and by incorporating different media including video tutorials and slideshows, arguably offers the same quality of learning as a physical classroom. In fact, there is debate around whether the virtual classroom will eventually replace the traditional school day (read what the forecasters are saying here).

http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2018/06/the-growth-of-digital-learning/

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June 16, 2018

Virtual lab to extend reach of science education

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

by Harvard Gazette

“There are many millions of students who, as a result of economic or geographic limitations, simply do not have access to one of the most central aspects of being a scientist, which is working in a laboratory,” said Robert Lue, principal investigator of LabXchange and professor of the practice of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard. “LabXchange addresses this issue with a platform that integrates dynamic experimental simulations with background curriculum and social networking — all created to more effectively expose students of varying backgrounds to the authentic and engaging experience of scientific discovery.”

As founding sponsor, Amgen has awarded $6.5 million in grant funding to Harvard to develop, launch, and grow LabXchange. Amgen will be engaged throughout the development, and its scientists with industry experience will play key advisory roles.

Virtual lab to extend reach of science education

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Facebook, Google offering tech, career courses

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

By Jean Dimeo, Education Dive
Facebook is partnering with community colleges to share curriculum for digital advertising and media training, skills that a growing number of small business owners and staff say they lack, according to Inside Higher Ed.  Facebook recently announced partnerships with two-year institutions Des Moines Area Community College, Greenville Technical College and Central New Mexico Community College, and more partnerships are expected to be announced this week, Inside Higher Ed reported. Meanwhile, Google announced this week that it partnered with Udacity to offer free career and tech courses to recent graduates and mid-career professionals, according to Tech Crunch. Udacity and Google tested an online course in March; they now will together launch 12 free courses.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/facebook-google-offering-tech-career-courses/525069/

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Andrew Ng Is Probably Teaching More Students Than Anyone Else on the Planet. (Without a University Involved.)

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

By Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

In fact, three of the 10 most popular courses on Coursera aren’t produced by a college or university at all, but by a company. That company—called Deeplearning.ai—is a unique provider of higher education. It is essentially built on the reputation of its founder, Andrew Ng, who teaches all five of the courses it offers so far. Ng is seen as one of the leading figures in artificial intelligence, having founded and directed the Google Brain project and served as the chief scientist at the Chinese search giant Baidu, as well as having directed the artificial intelligence laboratory at Stanford University. He also happens to be the co-founder of Coursera itself, and it was his Stanford course on machine learning that helped launch the MOOC craze in the first place.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-06-07-andrew-ng-is-probably-teaching-more-students-than-anyone-else-on-the-planet-without-a-university-involved

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June 15, 2018

Scepticism over Google plan to replace labs with virtual reality

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

By David Matthews, Times Higher Ed
Google and a Danish technology firm claim that they have removed the need for biology students to set foot in a laboratory by creating virtual reality simulations of experiments, clearing the way for the world’s first online-only biology degree. Arizona State is to be first university adopter of new technology, launching fully online biology degrees. The partnership is a sign that VR is beginning to change how the physical sciences are taught, although there is scepticism over whether the technology can entirely replace hands-on lab experience. Announcing the initiative at Google’s I/O developers conference, Jennifer Holland, a programme manager at the company, said that using VR labs, universities “will now be able to truly offer an online biology degree”.

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/scepticism-over-google-plan-replace-labs-virtual-reality

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An Inside Look at Online Carding Courses for Cybercriminals

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

Digital Shadows, Bank Info Security
As customers spend more and more money online each year, the opportunities for fraud increase in parallel; experts project a loss of $24 billion to payment card fraud by the end of 2018. Payment card fraudsters rely on a sophisticated ecosystem and support network that provides a wide range of credit card details, fraud tools and online tutorials. This whitepaper lifts the lid on e-learning credit card fraud courses. These programs coach aspiring criminals to make $12,000 in monthly earnings and point to the increased sophistication of the professional cybercriminal ecosystem as fraudsters seek to up-skill themselves. Think: High-paying job with a degree in cybercrime and membership to Bad Actor Fraternity from Fraudster University.

https://www.bankinfosecurity.com/whitepapers/inside-look-at-online-carding-courses-for-cybercriminals-w-4397

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UC should make changes to its course evaluation process to prevent bias

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

Daily Bruin Editorial

Evaluations are written into the University of California’s decision-making process when it comes to academic employees. But given the lack of standardization and the heavy presence of bias in conventional course evaluations methods, it’s high time the University changed its policies to use evaluations exclusively for feedback purposes, not for its personnel matters…. A 2014 study found that when online instructors disguised a woman as a man and a man as a woman, the female identity received lower performance reviews. A 2015 study looking at student reviews on the website RateMyProfessors.com found that instructors with Asian last names were rated lower on “clarity” and “helpfulness” than instructors with Western names. And in January, former UCLA psychology professor David Jentsch tweeted about an evaluation that complains about not the content of his course or teaching style, but that “It’s disgusting that UCLA allows gay people to teach our courses.” This demonstrates that students don’t see instructors in a vacuum. Identity politics, not to mention other nonacademic factors, can play a role in how they evaluate a course.

http://dailybruin.com/2018/06/06/editorial-uc-should-make-changes-to-its-course-evaluation-process-to-prevent-bias/

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June 14, 2018

Harvard Hosts 60-Year Curriculum Symposium

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

By Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside

In a 2017 interview with the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, Dean Hunt Lambert, who leads Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education, emphasized that the 60-year curriculum recognizes that people begin their learning careers in earnest in their teens, continue learning throughout their work years, and even continue their educations during their retirements. Continuing education programs evidently play an integral part in the learning lives of most adults, but this will expand as the need to reskill increases over the coming decades. As several recent studies have found, in today’s disrupted economy, life-long learning is no longer just for ambitious upskillers. To survive in today’s economy, everyone needs to commit to reskilling on a constant basis. The idea of 60-year curriculum captures this shift, and this weekend’s symposium is a chance for thought leaders to begin exploring its far-reaching implications on higher education.

Harvard Hosts 60-Year Curriculum Symposium

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Ideas for Creating an Effective Syllabus for Online Learning

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

By: Danielle Geary, Faculty Focus

Online students need to feel an instructor presence in their classes. Thorough explanations and effective communication help fulfill this need and can transform a mediocre online course into a great one—and it all starts with the syllabus. Structure and communication. That’s what I’ve found to be the keys to an effective online course syllabus. Well, that, and something I call a chapter checklist, to go along with the syllabus. I’ve discovered both to be essential to my asynchronous online foreign language course.

https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/ideas-for-creating-an-effective-syllabus-for-online-learning/

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India’s top universities can now offer full degree programmes online – but there are concerns

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

by Scroll India

On May 24, the University Grants Commission, India’s higher education regulator, approved new regulations for online education. The regulations are yet to be formally notified but the commission said they “will be made applicable from the academic session 2018-19”. The regulations clear the way for universities that rank high in the government’s ranking and rating systems to offer even degree programmes online. In theory at least, a student will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree without attending college. Lectures will be recorded or delivered through video-conferencing and discussed in an online discussion forum; e-content will replace textbooks and there will be a provision for self-assessment.

https://scroll.in/article/880977/indias-top-universities-can-now-offer-full-degree-programmes-online-but-there-are-reservations

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June 13, 2018

Bill Gates wants everyone to take this free online course because it explains origin and future of humans

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

by Shweta Ganjoo, India Today

We all know that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is an avid reader. Over the years the business manganate has shared numerous book recommendations on his blog. The list of his recommended books include Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo Da Vinci, Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens For A Reason and Neal Stephenson’s Sebeneves among others. And now Gates in his blog has listed another recommendation. But this time it’s not a book but an online course. Gates, in a recent post on his blog, recommended an course online titled “Big History” by an Australian historian Christian David. Interestingly, unlike most online courses this one is absolutely free. “As the creator of Big History- my favorite course of all time- David is well-suited to write about how we came to be,” he wrote in his blog praising the author.

https://www.indiatoday.in/technology/news/story/bill-gates-wants-everyone-to-take-this-free-online-course-because-it-explains-origin-and-future-of-humans-1247768-2018-06-01

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California Universities and CCs Launch Online Course Finder with 10,000 Classes

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

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
The California State University and California Community Colleges systems have teamed up to launch a new online course finder that will provide students enrolled at either set of institutions access to more than 10,000 online, transferable classes. The program is live in time for students to take summer 2018 classes. “Finish Faster,” as it’s called, is part of the Online Education Initiative, a collaborative effort among several community colleges in the state to push students to finish their educational goals faster. Besides the online courses, the project incorporates resources to help online students succeed, including counseling, tutoring and access to library services.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/05/31/california-universities-and-ccs-launch-online-course-finder-with-10000-classes.aspx

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What 6 Colleges Learned About Improving Their Online Courses

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

What 6 Colleges Learned About Improving Their Online Courses

Chronicle of Higher Ed

“Making Digital Learning Work: Success Strategies From Six Leading Universities and Community Colleges” wades into those waters with a study of three community colleges and three public research universities, all of which have at least 20,000 students, and enroll significant percentages of Pell-eligible students and students who take online classes. The authors crunched a lot of data to determine how digital technologies affect access, student outcomes, and return on investment. First, the good news. Researchers from Arizona State University and the Boston Consulting Group found that online education can boost retention and graduation rates, while saving students time and money. But — and this is a big one — to be successful, colleges need to develop a variety of delivery models to match students’ needs, and make significant investments in things like instructional design and student support services. In other words, don’t expect a series of videotaped lectures to get the job done.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/What-6-Colleges-Learned-About/243540

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June 12, 2018

The importance of online learning for Hispanic students

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

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) assistant nursing professor Jaime Hannans, Jill Leafstedt, CSU’s executive director of Teaching and Learning Innovations, and Michelle Pacansky-Brock,​ faculty mentor, Digital Innovation for the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative write in EdSurge about the value of online learning as an important element of the school’s mission as a Hispanic Serving Institution. With more than 54% of its student body comprised of first-generation students and more than half having transferred from community colleges, they write about online learning as a tool to defray the invisible college costs of transportation and time away from family and work.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/the-importance-of-online-learning-for-hispanic-students/524559/

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370 Online Courses With Real College Credit That You Can Access For Free

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

by Dhawal Shah, Class Central

These days, more and more universities are offering for-credit programs via MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses. What started with a small number of degree programs, such as the iMBA from the University of Illinois (Coursera) and Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science (Udacity), has given way to dozens of MOOC-based programs that can confer university credit. Many of these new programs are essentially partial degrees, for example, edX’s MicroMasters, which can result in credit amounting to around one semester of a master’s degree. A small number of courses are also the same courses used by on-campus students.

370 Online Courses With Real College Credit That You Can Access For Free

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A Tipping Point for OPM?

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

by Lindsay MacKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

Is a shakeout in the offing? Most analysts and observers say yes, given the number of providers, the lack of differentiation among many of them and growing qualms from some college officials about the industry’s traditional business model of revenue shares and long-term lock-ins. The latter has spawned even more competition, from a new set of companies charging fees for specific services, rather than the bundles that the OPMs have historically used. “I think there is a roll-up coming in the OPM industry,” said Joshua Kim, director of digital learning initiatives at the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (and an Inside Higher Ed blogger). “There are just too many players.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2018/06/04/shakeout-coming-online-program-management-companies

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June 11, 2018

MOOC Expert Fiona Hollands Makes A Suggestion and a Prediction

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

By Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside

Delivering a keynote address at this week’s Open edX 2018 conference, MOOC expert Fiona Hollands made two predictions about the future of her research subject.  Hollands’ first prediction was more of a directive and a call to action. She began by describing the students for whom MOOCs work quite well and compared them with others who don’t thrive on the format. She then applied that to the cost-saving some universities have begun to see with replacing entry-level courses with MOOCs. “If you can save money by offering education at scale to highly motivated students by replacing some introductory materials with some NDLEs,” Hollands said, “then take those savings and invest in experiential learning for the students who don’t fare well in online learning experiences. So far, MOOCs have made more of a dent in how business provide employee training than in how higher education operates.”

MOOC Expert Fiona Hollands Makes A Suggestion and a Prediction

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