Texas university finalizes major partnership to expand access

December 16th, 2014

by eCampus News

Pearson to provide online learning services for baccalaureate, graduate and certificate programs at University of Texas at El Paso. The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is partnering with Pearson to expand access to an estimated 5,000 under-served students regionally and nationwide through UTEP Connect, a suite of fully online baccalaureate, graduate and certificate programs. The first eight programs, including health, criminal justice, communication, and education, will launch in May 2015.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/business-news/texas-access-pearson-377/

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Online Learning and the Doctorate

December 15th, 2014

By Alison Carr-Chellman, elearnmag

More and more universities are starting to turn their attention toward online doctorates. As the number of master’s students from the initial flush of fully online degrees stabilizes, those interested in increased revenue streams have opened up the university gates wide and have started to look to doctoral-level education for the next big democratization of higher education.

http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=2694729&rss=true

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Online Learning Is About Activities

December 15th, 2014

by Thomas De Praetere, eLearning Industry

My clients oten ask me what online learning means and what can be considered true online learning. Here is an attempt to define online learning the empirical way, proposing a table of possible online learning activities. The advantage of the behaviorist definition is that it focuses on activities and feedback, hence suggesting a method for e-learning design. Truth is seldom simple but only simple ideas are usable. Let’s consider e-learning from the author’s perspective. Publishing slides, PDF e-books, encyclopaedia articles does not mean I produce e-learning, as the criteria for e-learning does not lie in the resources I publish but in the activities I organize for the learners around these resources. E-learning starts when I switch from “I published my course online” to “my course takes place online”.

http://elearningindustry.com/online-learning-activities

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Course Completion Rates Don’t Really Matter When It Comes to Open Online Learning: What does? Students’ intentions.

December 15th, 2014

by Lauren Landry, BostonInno

Completion rates are the bane of massive open online courses. No matter how often critics are told focusing on them is “too simplistic,” naysayers harp on the average four percent rates anyway, rarely considering learners’ intentions. A new study, published in Educause, by Harvard University researcher Justin Reich suggests a new method of calculating course completion.

http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2014/12/09/mooc-course-completion-rates-harvard-study-on-online-learning/

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Best Way for Professors to Get Good Student Evaluations? Be Male.

December 14th, 2014

Many in academia have long known about how the practice of student evaluations of professors is inherently biased against female professors. Students, after all, are just as likely as the public in general to have the same ugly, if unconscious, biases about women in authority. Just as polling data continues to show that a majority of Americans think being a man automatically makes you better in the boss department, many professors worry that students just automatically rate male professors as smarter, more authoritative, and more awesome overall just because they are men. Now, a new study out North Carolina State University shows that there is good reason for that concern.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/12/09/gender_bias_in_student_evaluations_professors_of_online_courses_who_present.html

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Online Education, With Great Investment, Can Provide Extraordinary Opportunities for Students and Faculty

December 14th, 2014

by James Goldgeier, Huffington Post

In recent months, news has emerged from universities around the country indicating that a significant level of skepticism remains about online education. When we first examined the possibility of working with an external provider to deliver graduate education three years ago at the School of International Service at American University, we shared the same instincts, alongside many of our faculty colleagues. After all, how could online education be as beneficial to students as being in the same room and on the same campus with one another and with their professors? Remarkably, we have found that it can be as beneficial, and that it has certain unique advantages. But this level of success requires a tremendous investment of resources, creativity and ambition to ensure that we meet our commitment as faculty and administrators to those students whose professional or family responsibilities or location do not allow them to enroll on campus.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-james-goldgeier/online-education-with-gre_b_6288764.html

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Full-time third-level education for all is a luxury we can’t afford

December 14th, 2014

by Brian Mulligan, Irish Times

Could it be that sending our children to college is an extravagance? Something that would be nice to have, but we can’t really afford and do not really need? We are also told that it is in the interests of the economy that as many people as possible get a higher education; that, as a nation, we cannot afford not to send our children to college. Our distance learners seem to be able to cover material in less time than the full-time students and achieve better scores in examinations. How can this be so? Is it the teaching medium? Is it that they can replay difficult parts of lectures over and over again or post questions to their lecturers and classmates at any hour of the day or night? Perhaps, but I think it might be something else. Our distance learners seem to be very highly motivated.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/full-time-third-level-education-for-all-is-a-luxury-we-can-t-afford-1.2025807

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Local experts discuss impacts of technology on teaching and learning

December 13th, 2014

by Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville Tomorrow

In 2012, Michael Lenox was among the first UVa professors to start teaching what are known as a Massive Open Online Course on the Coursera platform. “We can think about online education as both simultaneously a substitute and a complement to existing educational structures and efforts,” Lenox said. Lenox, who teaches at UVa’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, said consumers will be scrutinizing the value of a residential four-year university experience. “I would argue that residential-based education at a university setting is superior and will continue to be superior for a lot of reasons we can imagine to online education,” said Lenox, “but there’s also a potential for a very large price differential.” “At some price differential, people will substitute to online education and online degrees over residential-based degrees,” Lenox said.

http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/19654-impacts-of-technology-on-teaching-and-learning/

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MOOC student data privacy debatable

December 13th, 2014

By Keith Button, Education Dive

Massive open online course providers have differing opinions about whether people who take their courses are legally entitled to privacy protections under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports. The data in MOOCs is seldom protected by FERPA because MOOCs are rarely paid for with federally funded student aid, according to the chief privacy officer for the U.S. Department of Education, Kathleen Styles. Coursera and edX, the most well-known MOOC providers, disagree on whether FERPA applies to their students.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/mooc-student-data-privacy-debatable/340496/

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Stanford forms new Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning

December 13th, 2014

By KATHLEEN J. SULLIVAN, Stanford

By combining resources of the Center for Teaching and Learning, parts of Academic Computing Services, the CourseWork engineering team and the Office of the Vice Provost for Online Learning, the new organization will provide better coordination between groups that support teaching, learning and reaching learners online.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/december/faculty-senate-online-120514.html

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Five Psychology Principles That eLearning Professionals Should Know

December 12th, 2014

by Christopher Pappas, eLearning Industry

In this article, I’ll highlight 5 psychology principles that you should use before you develop your next eLearning courses. Knowing how learners acquire information and why they need such information, is the key to becoming a successful eLearning professional. Using psychology principles in eLearning courses, offers eLearning professionals the chance to take full advantage of learning behaviors when creating their next eLearning deliverable.

http://elearningindustry.com/5-psychology-principles-elearning-professionals-know

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Nanodegree Scholarship Program Expanded to an Additional 1,000 Students

December 12th, 2014

by Sustainable Brands

Nanodegrees, a new category of online degrees launched by AT&T and Udacity this fall, provide affordable and accessible training for jobs in the tech industry. As a company that relies on a highly skilled tech workforce, we believe that new educational pathways such as nanodegrees will help more people gain industry-relevant skills to fuel the 21st century workforce. This is also why, together with Udacity, we created the nanodegree scholarship program. Through AT&T Aspire, we are committed to helping students — regardless of age, gender, income or zip code — make their biggest dreams a reality.  Sustainable Brands is joining Udacity to announce an expansion of our nanodegree scholarship program from 200 students to an additional 1,000 students.

http://www.sustainablebrands.com/press/nanodegree_scholarship_program_expanded_additional_1000_students

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The University of Texas at Austin Introduces Online Business Courses for Professionals Worldwide

December 12th, 2014

by McCombs School, UT

McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, one of the top ten undergraduate business programs in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report, today opened virtual doors to the Texas Business Foundations Program (BFP) Online providing working professionals everywhere with greater access to a world-class business education. This online educational experience delivers comprehensive business essentials, an accelerated pace of courses, and an immersive and interactive curriculum. The program fills the business fundamentals gap between having a non-business degree and advanced programs like an MBA. Starting today professionals may enroll in three-credit courses for $600 each or pre-purchase all six courses for a 10 percent discount. Students will earn the Texas BFP Online Certificate from the McCombs School of Business upon completion of all six courses.

http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwgeeks/article/The-University-of-Texas-at-Austin-Introduces-Online-Business-Courses-for-Professionals-Worldwide-20141203

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What’s Next for E-Textbooks?

December 11th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The digital textbook of tomorrow probably doesn’t look like a book at all. Imagine, instead, an online service that remixes itself on the fly for consumption via any device, with concepts tailored to a specific student’s knowledge gaps and learning style — and examples and problems updated to immerse the learner in timely, compelling content. Nobody is delivering that particular experience yet. In fact, most digital textbooks look just like their printed brethren with extra features tacked on, such as the ability to highlight text, insert sticky notes, look up the meaning of a word and bookmark pages. “Glorified PDFs,” as Boundless CEO Ariel Diaz called them.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/12/03/whats-next-for-e-textbooks.aspx

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MOOC Evolution and One Poetry MOOC’s Hybrid Approach

December 11th, 2014

by David Poplar, EDUCAUSE Review

Based on the theory of connectivism, MOOCs originally sought to leverage the Internet as a collaborative communications platform to facilitate connections among learners and dissolve traditional ideas of “knowledge giver” and “knowledge receiver.” Today’s MOOCs have drifted far from this vision and typically treat the communications platform as simply a new tool for delivering the same old content rather than as inseparable from pedagogy itself. The University of Pennsylvania’s ModPo MOOC takes a hybrid approach, adopting contemporary MOOC structures — such as a detailed course syllabus and discussion forums — while also taking advantage of the platform’s ability to create a massive global community of interacting learners and incorporating this dynamic into the pedagogical approach.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/mooc-evolution-and-one-poetry-mooc%E2%80%99s-hybrid-approach

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Are MOOC-Takers ‘Students’? Not When It Comes to the Feds Protecting Their Data

December 11th, 2014

By Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Ed

The U.S. Education Department wants to encourage colleges and the tech companies they work with to protect student data from misuse. But the agency’s power to protect the privacy of people taking free, online courses is essentially nonexistent. “Data in the higher-education context for MOOCs is seldom Ferpa-protected,” Kathleen Styles, the Education Department’s chief privacy officer, said on Tuesday at a symposium on student privacy. In other words, people who take free online courses known as MOOCs, or massive open online courses, are not covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, known as Ferpa, which stipulates how colleges must protect the “education records” of their students.

http://chronicle.com/article/Are-MOOC-Takers-Students-/150325/

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MOOC learning’s fast evolution makes it a work in progress

December 10th, 2014

by Bernard Lane, the Australian

Professor Armando Fox, the computer scientist who helped launch the first MOOC for the University of California at Berkeley, reaches back to the staid early history of movies to explain where online education is today. “When the first motion picture camera was invented, they pointed it at a stage with live actors,” he says. “It took people a while to realise that it was actually a medium that allowed you to do things quite differently. “That’s a little bit like where we are with MOOCs now. We’re taking elements that are familiar from residential education — such as lectures, homework assignments, and syllabi that stretch out several weeks — and we’re sort of trying to reproduce those elements online.” The radical possibility of MOOCs is hard to imagine.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/mooc-learnings-fast-evolution-makes-it-a-work-in-progress/story-e6frgcjx-1227142463746?nk=03d0b7a2bea6ff8eefc95b96fdea0f5d

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A world-class business education for free? Here’s how.

December 10th, 2014

by SAM WOOD, PHILLY.COM

Laurie Pickard wanted an education from a world-class business school. She didn’t want to pay the $168,000 for a degree from Wharton. So she found a way to get the education — though minus the sheepskin — for next to nothing. Pickard is the creator of the No Pay MBA, and she is perhaps the first person to ever pursue a complete business education through massive open online courses (MOOCs) on the Internet. During the past year, she’s taken free courses from Harvard, Yale, MIT, the Darden School — and Wharton.

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/A_world-class_business_education_for_free_No_Pay_MBA.html

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The Adaptive Advantage: How E-Learning Will Change Higher Ed

December 10th, 2014

by CCAP, Forbes

Higher education has seen a proliferation of new models in response to growing market demands. For-profit universities, massive open online courses, and competency-based pedagogies have all vied for a piece of the pie. Adaptive learning – a personalized, technology- and data-driven approach which responds and adapts to both teachers and learners – could provide the answer, and Smart Sparrow, an Australia-based adaptive “eLearning” platform, is leading the way. Within Smart Sparrow’s eLearning Platform, analytic dashboards are provided to help instructors evaluate student performance and progress. Knowledge Analytics™, as it is called, gives instructors the opportunity to identify difficult concepts through specific data points.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2014/12/01/the-adaptive-advantage-how-e-learning-will-change-higher-ed/

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Technology vital for accessible education says expert

December 9th, 2014
by Open Polytechnic
Technology holds the key to lowering the cost of quality higher education in both developed and developing countries, says international open and distance learning expert, Sir John Daniel. Visiting New Zealand at the invitation of Open Polytechnic and speaking at a hosted event in Wellington last night, the former Vice-Chancellor of the UK Open University described the “Iron Triangle” of cost, quality and access which he said had created in people’s minds an “insidious” link between quality and exclusivity in education. “Pack more students into the classroom to raise access and you will be accused of damaging quality. Try to raise the quality with more or better teachers and learning resources and the cost will go up. Cut costs directly and you may threaten both access and quality,” he said. “To stretch the triangle and achieve, simultaneously, wider access, higher quality and lower cost, you need technology.”

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1412/S00021/technology-vital-for-accessible-education-says-expert.htm

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Shift to online learning beneficial

December 9th, 2014

by Laura Gonzalez, the Toreador

According to an article in The New York Times, “The analysis for the Department of Education found that, on average, students doing some or all of the course online would rank in the 59th percentile in tested performance, compared with the average classroom student scoring in the 50th percentile. That is a modest but statistically meaningful difference.” Students are not the only audience affected by online learning. Teachers are also beneficiaries from all that online classroom settings present. However, it is school districts that gain the most from these special learning environments in cases when Mother Nature is disruptive during ongoing school sessions.

http://www.dailytoreador.com/opinion/opinion-gonzalez-shift-to-online-learning-beneficial/article_e2a2632e-79d4-11e4-8163-278661837ace.html

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