Online learning: the UK’s scepticism is holding it back

September 12th, 2014

by Nancy Coleman, the Guardian

The UK has a long tradition of online learning, but regulation and a shift in attitudes are needed to stay top on the international stage. Online learning is still seen as the poor relation in the UK – but it’s time for attitudes to change. As the student cap is lifted, and opportunities for expansion increase, online education offers a way for UK universities to compete internationally without struggling to meet capacity. It’s a different story in the US. There, online degree courses have turned a corner. No more lurking in the shadows as the lesser option, the fallback. If it wants to make the most of those opportunities for expansion, the UK can learn some useful lessons from the US experience of learning to love online education.

http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2014/sep/07/online-learning-uk-scepticism-holding-it-back

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Students give Swinburne Online the thumbs up

September 12th, 2014

by the Courier (Australia)

Swinburne Online students have rated their learning experience as good or excellent, according to the results of a recent Student Voice survey. The survey initiative looked at the overall experience of all online students. Swinburne Online academic director Sue Kokonis said feedback from the survey was essential to providing students with an optimised online learning experience. “We launched the Student Voice survey as a way to keep in touch with the needs of our students and to ensure we continue to provide the very best in online study,” Ms Kokonis said.

http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/2356353/students-give-swinburne-online-the-thumbs-up/

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Retired Ann Arbor physician and professor wields new media to teach health science

September 12th, 2014

by Ann Arbor Journal

If Dr. Lawrence Power has his way, the innovative new online learning program he has just launched at HealthYourself101.com will expand people’s understanding of the causes, consequences and management of visceral obesity. He hass set out to provide a health education platform on this modern epidemic and its ill effects. “The program aims to engage the remote learner — the solitary individual signing on from a desktop, laptop, or smart phone,” Lawrence said. “Its content addresses the obesity epidemic through interactive options like social media, a playfully simulated rocket launch and game play.” “Who knows? This could serve as a model for the online learning methodology that higher education has been seeking.”

http://heritage.com/articles/2014/09/05/ann_arbor_journal/news/doc540486c136d95111031039.txt

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Battle brewing over online community college classes and local control

September 11th, 2014

by Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, KPCC

A proposal to make it easier for students to take online community college classes offered by any California campus is running into opposition from local faculty. As students seek classes to accommodate busy schedules and campuses look to expand without constructing new buildings, virtual courses have been multiplying in the state’s massive community college system. The latest idea from Sacramento would create one portal for community college online classes and establish phone and online support for students, regardless of which campus offers the courses. “The goal is to create one online education ecosystem that is used for the entire state, fully supported, faculty-run and driven,” said California Community College Vice Chancellor Patrick Perry.

http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2014/09/05/17253/battle-brewing-over-online-community-college-class/

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Forcing a generation to code is unprecedented, says Codecademy chief

September 11th, 2014

by Stuart Dredge, the Guardian

The training company claims the school coding curriculum will improve England’s digital literacy – but it all depends on the skill of teachers. When US-based website Codecademy was founded in 2011, its emphasis was on adults taking online courses to learn programming skills. Three years and 25m users later, the company has found that it is not just useful for adults. In fact, one of its big pushes in 2014 is around children and coding. That is partly because it realised lots of children were taking its existing courses but also through partnerships with schools. Particularly in England, where from this month, coding is part of the new computing curriculum for children as young as five. “What’s going on here is unprecedented. It hasn’t happened in any other G8 or major economy: forcing an entire country to learn programming,” says Zach Sims, Codecademy’s chief executive.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/05/codecademy-coding-schools-education-apps

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The rush to online education requires a learning curve

September 11th, 2014

by the Times and Democrat

Distance learning here to stay, but establishing effectiveness is ongoing process. In an online world, the news is cause for at least a pause. In a nutshell, the teacher has as much to learn about teaching in the online world as students have to learn from the courses they are being taught. While studies such as the one referenced here are important as evaluation on a large scale, the most important key to successful online education, which is here to stay, is continuous dialogue between faculty and students as courses unfold. Educators’ willingness to make adjustments is imperative. As noted, even the most experienced educator must learn in the brave new world of online teaching.

http://thetandd.com/news/opinion/the-rush-to-online-education-requires-a-learning-curve/article_4ff928bc-34a3-11e4-8505-001a4bcf887a.html

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Phablet Sales To Top Mobile PCs This Year, Tablets in 2015

September 10th, 2014

By Joshua Bolkan, Campus Technology

Global sales of phablets, smartphones with screens between 5.5 and 7 inches, will top sales of portable PCs in 2014 and surpass sales of tablets in the next year, according to a new forecast from market research company International Data Corp. (IDC). The company predicted that 175 million of the large smartphones will be sold this year, topping sales of portable PCs by about 5 million units. IDC predicted that next year 318 million of the devices will be shipped, outperforming the 233 million sales forecast for tablets in 2015 by a significant margin. Strong growth will continue throughout the forecast period, according to IDC, as phablet shipments increase from 14 percent of smartphone sales in 2014 to 32.2 percent in 2018.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/09/04/phablet-sales-to-top-mobile-laptops-this-year-tablets-in-2015.aspx

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A Platform for All Purposes

September 10th, 2014

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

In simple terms, EdCast is a service provider built on top of Open edX, the Cambridge, Mass.-based MOOC provider’s open-source initiative. The company will help institutions — and particularly groups of institutions working together — build their own online education platforms where they can run multiple instances of the same courses, removing the need for institutions to do the coding themselves. On Wednesday, the United Nations-backed Sustainable Development Solutions Network unveiled one example of what an EdCast-powered platform may look like. The network, which has more than 200 university and organizational members, now has its own online education portal: SDSN.edu.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/09/04/online-education-platform-edcast-puts-universities-charge-their-content

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5 Accessible Design Tips for Blended Courses

September 10th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Revamping a course to be accessible to students with physical or learning disabilities can help make it more accessible to everybody else too. Blended learning typically involves an element of student control over when, where and how learning takes place. But what happens if a student isn’t very good with “self-direction, self-pacing and self-motivation”? As Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki, a senior academic researcher and associate professor at Landmark College in Vermont, expressed it, those are “critical areas of weakness” for students with learning disabilities — and they can be problems for mainstream students as well.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/09/03/5-accessible-design-tips-for-blended-courses.aspx

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MIT’s Unique Experiment in Blended Learning Leads to the Birth of 50 Startups in 5 Days

September 9th, 2014

by Lauren Landry, BostInno

Fifty startups were launched at MIT in five days, courtesy of a unique experiment “that could reshape existing educational paradigms.” Nearly 55,000 individuals are enrolled in the MITx on edX massive open online course, “Entrepreneurship 101: Who is Your Customer?” Of the thousands, the school welcomed 47 to campus on August 18 to participate in a five-day bootcamp-turned-blended-learning-experiment. The MITx Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp was an experiment by MIT to help students studying online via edX further their education. The event allowed the highly selective group to learn from faculty, as well as from like-minded people worldwide, who were all enrolled in the same course, yet likely would have never met face-to-face otherwise.

http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2014/09/02/recap-of-mitx-global-entrepreneurship-bootcamp-mit-blended-learning-experiment/

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Financial aid now available in UW flex option degree program

September 9th, 2014

By Dan Simmons, Wisconsin State Journal

After initially being denied, the University of Wisconsin has gotten approval for federal financial aid to some students in its new “show what you know” flexible option degree program. Students have been enrolled in a small number of programs since January but couldn’t access financial aid available to peers in traditional campus programs. The situation changed last week when the U.S. Department of Education sent word that students earning associates degrees through UW Colleges in the flexible degree program are eligible for aid. It’s the first such approval given to a public college system for what it terms are competency-based degrees, according to the university. Students in other UW degree programs through flexible option still can’t access aid, which in the interim is being provided by UW.

http://host.madison.com/news/local/education/on_campus/financial-aid-now-available-in-uw-flex-option-degree-program/article_e2be9521-21ac-51cf-bc68-ec5b9a602fa1.html#ixzz3CH8×3e5s

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Abbott Lays Out Full Higher Ed Plan for more online classes

September 9th, 2014

by Reeve Hamilton, Texas Tribune

Implementing outcomes-based funding for universities, establishing block scheduling at community colleges and requiring all public institutions to give college credit for scores of 3 or higher on AP exams were among the proposals included in the higher education plan laid out by Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott on Tuesday. Abbott unveiled his plan, which also included a call for expanding online education options and ensuring that students are granted college credit for completing online courses, at an event at the University of Texas at Dallas.

http://www.texastribune.org/2014/09/02/abbott-call-credit-massive-online-courses/

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A New Twist in Online Learning at Stanford

September 8th, 2014

By JOHN B. TAYLOR, Wall Street Journal

Econ 1v was offered to Stanford undergraduates, including matriculated students and incoming freshmen, and visiting students from other universities who were willing to pay Stanford’s tuition. For Stanford students the credit would count for their degree. For non-Stanford students the credit could be used at their colleges. The course was also offered online free to anyone. The video lectures and the platform for the open online and the for-credit track were identical, but students in the for-credit course had additional interactive sessions and more comprehensive assessments with grades at the end. We gave the open online students the option of taking only key parts of the course—such as the supply and demand model or basic monetary and fiscal policy. People in the open online course could earn a Statement of Accomplishment issued by Stanford.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/john-taylor-a-new-twist-in-online-learning-at-stanford-1409610594

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Quality: The Real Benchmark of Value in Technology-Enhanced Learning (Part 2)

September 8th, 2014

By Susan Aldridge, Evolllution

Authentic learning has always been a critical component of professional studies in such fields as healthcare and education, law and engineering — where internships and practicums are routine academic requirements. And with interactive technologies such as virtual reality and videoconferencing, we’re now able to reinforce, and in some cases reproduce, these site-based learning experiences by creating high-quality, digital teaching tools that can be incorporated into any learning environment.

http://www.evolllution.com/opinions/quality-real-benchmark-technology-enhanced-learning-part-2/

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Playing In The Classroom With The Ivanhoe Game

September 8th, 2014

by Stephanie Kingsley, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Built as a WordPress Theme, Ivanhoe is simple to install and easy to learn and use. Rather than have students in your course on Gothic fiction write a paper after reading Dracula, why not have them assume their theoretical stances in the forms of roles and experiment with them — and thus better develop them — by playing an Ivanhoe Game on the novel first? Give your game a title and description/prompt, and you’re ready to go! Even create rules for your game if you like — although none are required! Ivanhoe can be played in any discipline, with a variety of media, and with players of all ages and educational backgrounds. Players develop roles related to any topic and then make comments from their assumed roles.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/playing-in-the-classroom-with-the-ivanhoe-game/57713

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Top universities’ new platform helps with retention, post-grad careers

September 7th, 2014

by Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

It’s called an LRM (Learning Relationship Management) platform, and as its founder told me, does for learning what CRM did for sales: It boosts collaborative relationships, yields return-on-investment, and ultimately bolsters performance for all involved. Now, colleges and universities are saying one of the most helpful, and innovative, aspects of the LRM is the ability for admin to track student progress of goals throughout their education and receive actionable data on student interactions with communities, businesses, and micro-credentialing opportunities…an incredible tool not just for all institutions, but especially for liberal arts.   “Fewer than 50 percent of students who start college graduate; fewer than one-third of those who graduate have jobs within 6 months of graduation,” said Counselman.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/lrm-platform-institutions-387/

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Reinventing Teaching and Learning Centers for the 21st Century with W. Gardner Campbell

September 7th, 2014

by Mary Grush, Campus Technology

We wanted to form something devoted to ideals of learner-centered pedagogies that are digitally empowered. We wanted to create the kind of place where we would see a commitment to what we think of as the four pillars of our center’s work with learning innovation and student success: faculty development, student engagement, communities of practice and technology-enhanced active learning. We were fortunate at VCU that we never quite split into teaching and learning with technology on one side, and purely pedagogical faculty development on the other side. There was always an attempt to find a unity between both of those. The Center for Teaching Excellence got started here in 2000, so there’s a long tradition of that kind of work here.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/27/reinventing-teaching-and-learning-centers-for-the-21st-century.aspx

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A Flipped Classroom? Or Should It Be Sideways?

September 7th, 2014

By Emily Ko, Edudemic

The sideways classroom utilizes online interactive teacher resources like a flipped classroom, but melds group tutoring and typical classroom discussion with after-school learning. Since it is a less radical departure from what students and parents expect, there’s less stress and uncertainty. If you fear that students may not have access to video lectures or get distracted from learning while on their own time, then teacher resources and equipment available in most schools solve this logistics problem. Wealth and home situation do not become a barrier to learning.

http://www.edudemic.com/flipped-classroom-or-sideways/

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Get An MBA-Equivalent Education With These Free Courses

September 6th, 2014

by MELANIE PINOLA, LifeHacker Australia

Want to learn everything you might in an MBA program — without having to pay for the expensive classes? Online learning hub SlideRule has gathered free online courses from top schools such as Wharton and Harvard Business School into a well-rounded curriculum. The MBA Essentials learning path covers six core MBA subjects — Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Operations Management and Strategy — plus secondary subjects such as Data Analysis. For each subject, they picked what they thought were the best available classes from sites including edX and MIT Open Courseware, as well as alternative courses if the first choice isn’t available or for a different perspective.

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/08/get-an-mba-equivalent-education-with-these-free-courses/

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The Truth about Online College Classes Revealed

September 6th, 2014

by Clark Conner, The College Fix

When I graduate in a few months with a degree in political science from North Carolina State University, I will have completed roughly one-third of my required hours over the Internet within the comfort of my own home. My experiences with distance education have made me rather skeptical of some in the academic community who label distance education as the incestuous offspring of trend and convenience. It’s not. For one, participation, exams and papers—they are all part of the distance education model. You don’t get out of them because you’re taking the class online. But participation and human interaction (or the lack thereof) is often the go-to criticism for distance ed detractors.

http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/19049/

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How Blended Learning Fits into the Future of Education

September 6th, 2014

by Fannie Cohen, PBS Mediatwits

Blended learning is a hybrid mix of online and in-class teaching intended to boost student engagement and bring learning into the 21st century. This method encourages collaboration, discussion and in-person learning in lieu of the traditional lecture format. Teachers integrate technology into the course with online management systems such as Blackboard or Moodle, which provide video lectures, supporting materials, peer messaging and real-time tracking of student progress. Advocates claim the mix of face-to-face and virtual learning better prepares students for their post-collegiate careers. But not all educators are on-board, and not all platforms work as intended. On this week’s podcast, which is part of EdShift’s larger Special Series, we’ll discuss blending learning and where it fits into the future of education.

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

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