Sebastian Thrun Steps Down As Udacity’s CEO

April 25th, 2016

by Leena Rao, Fortune

Udacity’s founder Sebastian Thrun is stepping down as chief executive officer, the company announced on Friday. Vishal Makhijani, the company’s chief operating officer, will be Udacity’s new CEO. Thrun, who will remain as president and chairman of Udacity, said that he will continue to work full-time at Udacity, but he will take on a role focused on what he is passionate about—innovation. Thrun added that he has taken inspiration from his former employer when restructuring his role at Udacity. “While at Google, I was impressed with the way Larry and Sergey organized Google. Eric [Schmidt] was the CEO, but Larry and Sergey enjoyed the freedom of focusing on innovating within the company,” he said.

http://fortune.com/2016/04/22/sebastian-thrun-udacity/

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Higher Ed Needs Major Disruption

April 25th, 2016

By Froma Harrop, Real Clear Politics

Happily, there exists an alternative to four bankrupting years on campus. There’s almost no learning, be it liberal arts or STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), that can’t be had free — or close to it — online. MOOCs (massive open online courses) are perfectly suited to disrupt the campus model. As suggested above, expense isn’t the only thing powering this revolution. It’s the sense that the people running the universities have lost their minds. Either that or they’ll say almost anything to get protesting students off their backs. (In doing so, they’re also softly egging the students on to say absurd things that could haunt them when prospective employers Google their names.)

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/04/19/higher_ed_needs_major_disruption_130318.html

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Udacity Brings Its Nanodegree Programs to China

April 25th, 2016

by Leena Rao, Fortune

Similar to the Indian expansion, Udacity has localized many of its most popular nanodegree certifications to China, including courses in iOS, Android, and machine learning development. Udacity has a local team in China that is providing in-person reviews and coaching in Mandarin. Udacity said it is working with Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, and ride-sharing company Didi Kuadi to build customized courses for students. Udacity previously partnered with Google to create coursework targeted at Indian students.

http://fortune.com/2016/04/18/udacity-expands-to-china/

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IBM, Coursera Team Up on IoT Developer Course

April 24th, 2016

By Darryl K. Taft. eWeek

IBM and Coursera next month will begin teaching a new online course for developers to learn how to create applications for the Internet of things. Starting next month, Coursera, the education platform that forms partnerships with top universities and organizations worldwide to offer courses online, is teaming up with IBM to develop an online course to teach programming for the Internet of things (IoT). The new course, “A developer’s guide to the Internet of Things (IoT),” is aimed at providing instruction on how to build IoT applications and will cost $79. Although it is an entry-level course, the assignments use both the Python and JavaScript programming languages, so basic skills in these languages are required.

http://www.eweek.com/developer/ibm-coursera-team-up-on-iot-developer-course.html

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Online degrees could make universities redundant, historian warns

April 24th, 2016

by Richard Adams, the Guardian

Oxford, along with all other universities, faces an “uncomfortable future” unless it embraces online degrees and draws up plans for raising billions of pounds to go private, according to the university’s new official history. The book, to be launched by Oxford University Press this week, says new technology has the potential to make universities such as Oxford “redundant” and that it is “only a matter of time” before virtual learning transforms higher education. Laurence Brockliss, the historian and author, argues that Oxford itself should offer undergraduate degrees via online learning, and in doing so could solve the controversies it faces over student access. “I would like Oxford to pilot something, and say we are going to offer 1,000 18-year-olds online courses in different subjects, to experiment and see how it works and how it can be improved,” Brockliss said.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/apr/17/oxford-university-online-degree-historian-laurence-brockliss

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UNL should make course syllabi public

April 24th, 2016

The opinion of Kayla Simon, Daily Nebraskan

When you’re standing in the ocean and a wave begins to descend upon you, you have two choices. You can churn the water trying to get away or you can ride it back to shore. The advent of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has started a trend — one that spells disaster for some universities. If students can access information, videos and even accreditation without paying for it, they very well may. To compete, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln needs to adapt. Instead of fighting the riptide of the information age, UNL should expand its horizons and appreciate the broader education these measures can offer. UNL can prove its worth compared to MOOCs by making all course syllabi public information.

http://www.dailynebraskan.com/opinion/simon-unl-should-make-course-syllabi-public/article_a68b0ef0-050f-11e6-9548-afe697c502c4.html

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U.S. Promotes Plan to Get 1.5 Billion More People Online

April 23rd, 2016

by David Z. Morris, Fortune

And commits nowhere near enough money to make it happen. On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking at a World Bank event, urged world governments to build better Internet connectivity. He was specifically promoting a U.S. plan to bring 1.5 billion people who currently lack Internet access online by 2020. Kerry said 3 out of 5 people worldwide are now without access, which he called “unacceptable.” It’s an urgent problem, because Internet access can have profound transformative effects even at the far margins of the global economy. Subsistence farmers can find better prices for crops, banking becomes more accessible, and of course educational opportunity multiplies. The World Bank has said that for every 10% rise in high-speed Internet access, a country’s GDP grows by up to 2%.

http://fortune.com/2016/04/16/u-s-promotes-plan-to-get-1-5-billion-more-people-online/

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Learning Differences MOOC might help educators target instruction

April 23rd, 2016

by eCampus News

A new report suggests that the Learning Differences Massive Open Online Course for Educators (MOOC-Ed), provided by the Friday Institute for Education Innovation at NC State University, may help teachers around the world advance their knowledge of learning differences and better meet the learning needs of their students. Written by researchers on the Friday Institute’s evaluation team, What’s the Value of a Learning Differences MOOC-Ed? analyzes how participants found value in the course using a “value creation framework” developed by Etienne Wenger, Beverly Trayner, and Maarten De Laat (2011). They suggest that, in order to appreciate the richness of the value created by learning communities or networks such as MOOC-Eds, it is helpful to think about value creation in terms of cycles.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/online-learning/moocs/learning-differences-mooc/

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OLC Maps the Online Learning Landscape – Edsurge

April 23rd, 2016

Today the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) released an # infographic depicting the state of online learning in higher education. Drawing from over 15 public, private, and self-sponsored sources, the graphic presents the increase in online enrollment and the implications on access and affordability for low-income and non-traditional students.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-04-13-olc-maps-the-online-learning-landscape

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Optimizing Student Learning with Online Formative Feedback

April 22nd, 2016

by Doris Cheung, EDUCAUSE Review

Online formative feedback using Google Forms and Sheets combined with FormMule facilitated instant data collection and structured feedback for a course at the University of Colorado Law School to optimize learning outcomes. By giving and receiving ongoing, timely feedback, students can practice and modify their behavior during the learning experience, which stimulates motivation and deeper learning. Adopting a low- or no-cost approach can make formative feedback easy to implement. Investing time and effort to give and receive feedback benefits both instructors and students by providing valuable information to adjust teaching and learning and helps ensure shared goals.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/4/optimizing-student-learning-with-online-formative-feedback

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Community in the Telepresence Classroom

April 22nd, 2016

by Jason A. Kaufman and David McNay, EDUCAUSE Review

Telepresence courses help colleges and universities serve geographically distributed students and thus achieve their goals of helping all students succeed. An annual survey at Minnesota State University, Mankato of telepresence students has shed light on their experiences with telepresence learning compared with learning in traditional classrooms. Findings from these surveys suggest that focusing on building community and connecting with students on both sides of the classroom can help mitigate the technological limitations of telepresence courses today.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/4/community-in-the-telepresence-classroom

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Research Reveals Student-Instructor Relationships Shape Online Learning Success

April 22nd, 2016

BY ELIANA OSBORN, Good Call

Taking courses online is a great way to meet the demands of work and family while still pursuing higher education. The problem is that too many students don’t have a great experience with online classes, leading to low pass rates and academic consequences. New research published in the journal Computers and Education reveals some design features that lead to greater student success. Shanna Smith Jaggars with the Community College Research Center at Columbia University and Di Xu of the University of California-Irvine looked at different elements of online courses to see which ones were related to higher grades. The biggest factor leading to student success? Quality interpersonal interaction.

https://www.goodcall.com/news/research-reveals-student-instructor-relationships-shape-online-learning-success-06004

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Redefining Student Success in a Digital Ecosystem

April 21st, 2016

By David Raths, Campus Technology

Retention and graduation rates may be good indicators of a college or university’s success, but they have little to do with students’ personal development as connected learners and contributors to the digital commons. What does student success mean in a digital ecosystem? The most prevalent measures involve retention and graduation rates — students pass their classes, move through the curriculum and ideally graduate in four years — but those “institutional outputs” are the lowest-common-denominator definition, according to Gardner Campbell, vice provost for learning innovation and student success, dean of University College and associate professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Campbell took part in a recent Future Trends Forum video chat to share his thoughts about how higher education might rethink ideas of student success in a digital age.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/04/11/redefining-student-success-in-a-digital-ecosystem.aspx

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A Digital Badge Initiative: Two Years Later

April 21st, 2016

by Alan J. Reid, Denise Paster, Campus Technology

The CCC initiative has positively impacted Coastal Carolina’s first-year composition program by providing a programmatic framework for teaching and assessing academic literacy skills central to students’ development and success. This is not to say that the initiative was implemented flawlessly; as the program evolved both technically and conceptually, faculty and student populations had to adjust to a new format for teaching and learning in first-year composition courses. As we reflect on this initiative two years later, we would like to share our insights on designing and building an entirely organic digital badge program in the hopes that others might embrace a similar model that recognizes and rewards student achievement.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/04/06/a-digital-badge-initiative-two-years-later.aspx

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People in developing countries use MOOCs differently

April 21st, 2016

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

A new study by researchers at the University of Washington has found significant differences in the types of people who take massive open online courses in developing countries, as compared to users in the United States — and they have different outcomes. In the U.S., MOOC users are disproportionately wealthy and already well-educated, and they more often take MOOCs for personal, rather than professional, reasons. But in developing countries, less than half of survey respondents had completed college, and they reported taking the courses to advance their education or career. Perhaps because of the motivations behind taking MOOCs, completion and certification rates are higher, and 49% of respondents said they had received certification for a course while 79% said they completed a course.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/people-in-developing-countries-use-moocs-differently-1/417358/

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Learning online? You’re not alone: Returning to university and switching career at 45

April 20th, 2016

by Women’s Agenda

So, say for example I’m a 45-year-old woman considering a new career and want to develop my skills through online learning. What advice would you give me or what questions should I ask myself before starting? Start with believing in yourself. Ask yourself, what do I really want? Focus on the area of study that you are interested in. If you’re afraid, embrace it and break the fear. Go with it anyway. Online education does scare some people because of the technology – it certainly did for me. But it’s not that hard. It’s so user-friendly and is not something to be afraid of. All the support systems at CSU are there to help you. Even with the time difference, I have a live librarian and professors I can ask questions. You need to also ask yourself whether you can you block off some time from your family, your friends and your work for yourself to benefit your career. Don’t dwell on the long-term. The time is going to pass regardless.

http://www.womensagenda.com.au/partner-content/item/6929-learning-online-you-re-not-alone-returning-to-university-and-switching-career-at-48

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Stopping Stop-Outs – Online Enrollments in Community Colleges

April 20th, 2016

by Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Improving economy leads to lower enrollments at community colleges, report shows. Can online programs help stanch the flow? Online courses have for years driven enrollment growth at community colleges, but as more students take their chances in the job market, institutions face new challenges to retain them, a new study found. During the height of the recent recession, community colleges saw double-digit percentage growth in their online courses, according to the Instructional Technology Council, which is affiliated with the American Association of Community Colleges. But the ITC’s most recent survey of trends in online education at two-year colleges shows growth last academic year sat at 4.7 percent — the lowest in about a decade.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/04/13/study-explores-online-learning-trends-community-colleges

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Online courses’ metadata helps NCAA catch cheating coaches red-handed

April 20th, 2016

by Megan Geuss, Ars Technica

NCAA’s report said that “after the enforcement staff confronted [the graduate assistant] with computer metadata, he admitted doing ’some assignments’ and knowing that his actions constituted NCAA rules violations. An IP address “associated with graduate assistant B’s Pennsylvania hometown” was found to have submitted online coursework for a student in the town where one student-athlete was living, during a period in which graduate assistant B was traveling to that town. The metadata also apparently showed that graduate assistant B’s mother had completed some of the online math coursework, and then graduate assistant B modified it. And his mom wasn’t the only person in on the gig—the metadata for the online coursework also showed that a friend of the two graduate assistants had been completing and modifying psychology and English coursework as well.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/04/online-courses-metadata-helps-ncaa-catch-cheating-coaches-red-handed/

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Philanthropist’s global vision for free degrees via the internet

April 19th, 2016

by Stephen Corrigan, Connacht Tribune

ALISON began ten years ago when Mike Feerick spotted the opportunity of providing free education in the form of a sustainable, for-profit social enterprise, made easier with the decline in broadband and server costs and the growth of online advertising. “I guess that said two things to me; firstly, what an interesting financial business, but also what an exceptional social impact you could have by making education free,” he said. ALISON diplomas and certificates are not accredited in the traditional sense, but that is something that Mike sees as a positive. “We want to get away from traditional accrediting because it is too expensive. We want learning to be free and if we were to be traditionally accredited, we would have to be paying some other organisation, whether it’s Harvard, Cambridge or NUI, to use their brand – but we don’t need their brand, we are smart people and we stand by the quality of our courses,” said Mike.

http://connachttribune.ie/philanthropists-global-vision-for-free-degrees-via-the-internet-201/

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When Students Are Skeptics

April 19th, 2016

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

At hybrid learning conference sponsored by the Teagle Foundation, participants discuss how to get students who signed up for a traditional liberal arts experience excited about online education. Rui Cao, instructor of Chinese at Schreiner University, was one of several participants who said faculty members need to be aware that blended learning may clash with student expectations. Instead of in a hierarchical model where faculty members lecture and students listen, the blended learning model challenges students to assume a more active role, she said, adding that there should be ample training opportunities both for faculty members and students. “The reason that we see sometimes resistance both from our students and from faculty to this kind of learning is neither of us are fully prepared for this new era,” Cao said. “If both students and teachers are realizing this changing dynamic in our classrooms, that’s going to prepare us better.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/04/11/teagle-foundation-grant-recipients-discuss-how-get-liberal-arts-students-excited

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Stanford launches new online courses in computer security

April 19th, 2016

by Stanford

Staying ahead in the cyber security game is critical to defending against new threats. To protect against cybercrime, corporations, business and government must continuously update their security measures and keep employees properly trained. Since 2005, Stanford has provided professionals around the world with the opportunity to learn the latest real-world applications of computer security through the Stanford Advanced Computer Security Certificate Program. The six-course online program provides participants with the advanced skills needed to learn how to protect networks, secure electronic assets, prevent attacks, and build secure infrastructures.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/stanford-launches-new-online-courses-in-computer-security-300248957.html

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