University centers struggle for students, while online courses grow in popularity

October 16th, 2014

by Bob Mercer, Sioux City Journal

When they were built in Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Pierre, South Dakota’s public university centers seemed to meet a vexing need. But those centers aren’t drawing students as well as education officials hoped, while Internet courses and other distance-education classes offered by the six traditional state universities set records again in the past year. The state Board of Regents received reports Wednesday that suggested distance education is competing against the centers for enrollment. The centers concept was developed a decade ago as a mechanism to deliver courses in cities with large populations of adults. That was before Internet courses swept the nation. The university centers show the effect. Unduplicated headcounts decreased at two of the university centers from fall 2009 to fall 2013. Sioux Falls dropped from 2,275 to 1,859; Pierre slid from 133 to 81.

http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/university-centers-struggle-for-students-while-online-courses-grow-in/article_bdcc562d-7f7b-579f-bc9f-bf88c951aee6.html

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More part-time students taking online courses in South Dakota

October 16th, 2014

by Associated Press

The Board of Regents says more older students in South Dakota are taking online college courses while they complete their degrees part time. The regents say more than 22,500 students enrolled in distance courses at the state’s six public universities last year. University data show about 63 percent of all distance course learners are part-time students and the average age of students is nearly 27 years old. About 63 percent of students are female. The majority of students take courses using the Internet but many also use off-campus sites.

http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/education/2014/10/09/part-time-students-taking-online-courses/16966229/

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Adaptive Learning: Online and In Control

October 16th, 2014

by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

The spread of adaptive learning technology in high education, to some, is the rise of the machines — replacing professors with software and an automated, cheapened form of instruction. To Ariel Anbar it’s a tool that helps him teach in new ways. Anbar is a professor in Arizona State University’s department of chemistry and biochemistry. Four years ago he began a collaboration with Smart Sparrow, an education-technology company based in Australia and San Francisco. “I was trying to create an interactive, game-like science course for non-science majors,” said Anbar, who this year was named ASU’s first Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, an honor that comes with a $1 million research grant.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/10/10/emerging-adaptive-software-puts-faculty-members-charge-course-creation

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The Top Eight Things You Need To Know About Online Education

October 15th, 2014

by Tom Lindsay, Forbes

There is a variety of opinions in the media these days regarding online learning. Depending on what you read, online education can appear to be either a cure-all or cancer. In an effort to cut through the smoke, here are the top eight established facts you need to know.

1) Online learning is here to stay. Since 1986, when the first online degree program from an accredited institution was offered (by John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California), growth has been exponential. Today, one-third of America’s 21 million enrolled students are taking some or all of their instruction online. The eleven-year study by the Babson Survey Research Group shows over seven million online enrollments in the fall semester of 2013.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomlindsay/2014/10/08/the-top-eight-things-you-need-to-know-about-online-education/

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SIUE to offer online classes over winter break

October 15th, 2014
by SCOTT WUERZ, BND
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will offer new winter session courses to begin Dec. 15, the school announced. The four-week courses will be taught online so students can go home for winter break and still earn credits. SIUE provides financial incentive for students interested in winter session. Students, who enroll and complete winter courses, will be eligible to waive the $50 per credit off-campus fee. They also may be awarded up to $150 in scholarship to use toward the winter session. The total savings adds up to $300 for a three-credit course.

http://www.bnd.com/2014/10/08/3444234/siue-to-offer-online-classes-over.html

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Online Mooc courses deliver Ebola health advice

October 15th, 2014

By Sean Coughlan, BBC

Online courses are delivering health advice about preventing the spread of Ebola to thousands of people in West Africa. The so-called Mooc providers – massive open online courses – are using their reach to provide information about the deadly virus. So far, 10,000 people have completed a free online course, Understanding the Ebola Virus and How You Can Avoid It. The provider, Alison, has 250,000 students using courses in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak has caused 3,400 deaths, mostly in West Africa, and the online course teaches about the signs and symptoms of infection and how to avoid getting infected. The course, which can be accessed on a mobile phone, is aimed at people living in regions affected by the virus and there are assessments on how the virus can be transmitted and treated.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-29521360

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Experts offer new resources for competency-based education

October 14th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

Competency-based education (CBE) is making the rounds in higher education as colleges and universities eager to explore alternative pathways discuss the model’s potential. However, many initiatives have already laid extensive groundwork, offering multiple resources covering everything from CBE’s basic definition to implementation best practices. According to Michael Offerman of Offerman Consulting, during an EDUCAUSE 2014 panel, a number of national initiatives dedicated specifically to CBE have partnered together to provide as many diverse resources as possible for institutions ranging from the simply curious to those in final implementation stages.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/competency-resources-cbe-467/

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XPrize focuses on open adaptive learning, but will it succeed or fail?

October 14th, 2014

By Julia Freeland, eCampusNews

The Global Learning XPrize is aiming to spur the design of software that can serve students in as direct, unmediated manner as possible. The goal: to handsomely reward the team that develops the best open source, scalable adaptive software to help children in developing countries teach themselves basic literacy and math. As I’ve written about before, prizes are effective pull mechanisms to expedite R&D across a field and to in turn fill a gap that the market is currently failing to supply at scale. Unlike so-called push mechanisms that reduce the cost of R&D by directly funding research upfront, pull mechanisms incentivize private sector engagement and competition by creating viable market demand for specific products to solve specific problems. The XPrize is a good example of a pull mechanism, as are government Challenge Grants and social impact bonds.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/xprize-succeed-fail-423/

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The digital divide with online learning

October 14th, 2014

by Daytona Beach News Journal

The future is now for the Class of 2015. Unfortunately, many Florida high school students, including at least half the graduating seniors in Volusia and Flagler counties, are stuck in the past trying to catch up. It’s another lesson in the gap between what Tallahassee mandates for education and how school districts execute them. In 2011, state lawmakers passed the Digital Learning Act requiring students to pass one online course to graduate. This year’s seniors are the first class that must fulfill that requirement.

http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20141006/OPINION/141009741

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An MBA Your Way: Flexible And Online Programs Beat The Clock

October 13th, 2014

by Seb Murray, Business Because

The business education market has had to adapt to meet the needs of today’s business world, according to Federico Frattini, director of the Flex EMBA program at MIP Politecnico di Milano, the Italian business school. “These factors together conspire to make it extremely difficult to attend face-to-face MBAs and executive MBAs,” he says. An obvious alternative is the EMBA, designed for more senior workers and spread out over a longer period. But these programs are also risky. “In the case of our EMBA participants, leaving their job carries a risk, given their seniority and what they have accomplished in their careers,” says Paula Robles associate director of marketing at INSEAD. The rise of flexible and distance learning, where students use online platforms to study from the comfort of their work desks or even at home on the sofa, means there is now a wealth of choice available.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/2825/an-mba-your-way-flexible-online-programs-beat-clock

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Arizona State U. Accepts 1,800 Starbucks Employees

October 13th, 2014

by Inside Higher Ed

Both Arizona State University and Starbucks are reporting a rush of new applicants after the coffee giant announced it would reimburse employees who took their junior and senior years through the institution’s online arm. The university has already accepted 1,800 Starbucks employees (whom it referred to as “partners” in a press release), among whom about 1,000 have enrolled in the second fall session. The university noted the applicants, who represent every state and every retail role at Starbucks, are scattered across its 40 degree programs, although psychology, lifestyle coaching, mass communication and media studies and English ranked as the most popular. About 70 percent of the students will enroll as juniors or seniors, meaning they will be covered by Starbucks’ tuition reimbursement plan.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/10/07/arizona-state-u-accepts-1800-starbucks-employees

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Ello and Academic Social Networks

October 13th, 2014

by Anastasia Salter, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Ello is being billed as the new alternative to Facebook, but if anything, it reminds me more of Tumblr. Currently, much of the action is in the idea of “Noise”–the equivalent of following someone on Tumblr or Twitter, without necessarily having any reciprocal relationship with them–and the variety of content there is just that. With no real-name identity association (which definitely has its benefits, ala Tumblr), it does have some potential as a space for emergent conversations and random discovery. I’ve used Tumblr for research, and I could potentially see Ello working similarly if it catches on.

<br>

Visit Ray’s ello page http://ello.co/rayschroeder

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http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/ello-and-academic-social-networks/58211

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Online Learning: Outcomes and Satisfaction among Underprepared Students in an Upper-Level Psychology Course

October 12th, 2014

by Colleen McDonough, Ramona Palmerio Roberts, Jessamy Hummel; OJDLA

This research suggests that outcomes and student satisfaction do not differ in any meaningful ways in traditional, online, and hybrid college courses. These findings underscore the quality and value of the online learning platform for institutions of higher learning, educators, parents, students, and the general public – not only is student performance similar to traditional courses, but students enjoy it as well. Given that the scholarship of online learning seems to be here to stay, it is reassuring to know that its effectiveness is similar to traditional courses at the undergraduate level. Student engagement and course involvement online may play a role in their outcomes, however, so students who tend to procrastinate or who lack intrinsic motivation might be better suited to traditional courses.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/fall173/mcdonough_roberts_hummel173.html

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Professors teach online from Keys underwater habitat

October 12th, 2014

by Associated Press

Two Tennessee college educators have submerged in an underwater habitat in a Florida Keys lagoon to teach online classes and attempt to break a record for the longest human underwater habitation. Roane State Community College associate professor Bruce Cantrell, 63, and adjunct professor Jessica Fain, 25, dove 25 feet to Jules Undersea Lodge Friday. While underwater, they are to host a weekly live online program about marine science open to all students via YouTube. In addition, Cantrell is to teach a college credit class online for Roane State students.While underwater, they are to host a weekly live online program about marine science open to all students via YouTube. In addition, Cantrell is to teach a college credit class online for Roane State students.

http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/weird/2014/10/04/professors-teach-underwater-habitat-key-largo/16710533/

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Keeping up with classes when you’re half way around the world

October 12th, 2014

By Doug Feinberg, Hamilton Spectator

UConn star Breanna Stewart and her freshman teammate, Hamilton’s Kia Nurse, have had more than basketball to focus on at the women’s world championship. They also have to keep up with school work from nearly 8,000 kilometres away. Both will have missed about a month of college to play for their national teams — Stewart with the U.S., Nurse with Canada. Nurse, who helped Canada reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1994 before losing Friday to Australia, agreed with Stewart that the key to success is time management. “That’s the big part of being an elite athlete,” Nurse said. “Even though I’m the only one studying on the team, I find time every day. I’ve got an agenda all planned out, with what needs to be done each day for each class so that I can keep up and transition back to the classroom easily when I return.” Nurse said she’s taking one freshmen class online and missing the others.

http://www.thespec.com/sports-story/4896715-keeping-up-with-classes-when-you-re-half-way-around-the-world/

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E-learning in an Ebola environment: A practical way forward

October 11th, 2014

by Rashid Dumbuya ESQ, Sierra Express Media

As I resume classes on Monday here in the UK, I am so unhappy and broken in spirit especially when I consider the fact that thousands of students in my country are presently not attending school and formal lectures because of the outbreak of the Ebola virus and its attendant consequences. The entire educational system in Sierra Leone is currently on hold for over 3 months now. But as I sat and ponder over this demagogue, something interesting dropped on my mind and I feel a deep sense of responsibility to share it to all and sundry. QUESTION- Assuming E-learning had been encouraged and prioritized in the University of Sierra Leone, would it have made some positive difference during this challenging period?

http://www.sierraexpressmedia.com/?p=70886

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Using Quick Prototyping to Develop Online Courses

October 11th, 2014

By Jessica Falkenthal, Blog UP

Eric Ries, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, popularized the idea of a minimum viable product, also known as quick prototyping. The concept is akin to writing an outline and getting it reviewed by your audience before you do hours of research and build your argument. When you get early feedback, you are able to develop a more effective paper. We named our prototype the “MOOC survivor tool.” While developing a prototype, I learned that there were a few things this approach could offer to the field of online learning. When applied to online learning, the idea is simple: create a prototype in increments and test it with customers to validate its effectiveness with real life users. This allows you to learn about what your users need and want while investing little time in going down unnecessary paths. It is essentially a fast process to nullify or accept your hypotheses and assumptions. The process tells you from an early stage if your idea or hypothesis is useful and worth building. The formula is simple: build, test, learn and repeat.

http://blog.up.co/2014/10/01/using-quick-prototyping-develop-online-courses/

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Assess Students’ Readiness to be Online Learners

October 11th, 2014

by eLearning Industry

Many universities assume that because their students are part of the Facebook and Instagram generation, that they have the skills to be automatically successful online learners. This is a dangerous assumption as the high rates of attrition in online courses and MOOCs (as high as 90 percent in some cases) attest. Education institutions also assume that because students are eager online learners that they will understand and accept the new models of instruction and ways of working online or in blended environments. This is also dangerous assumption. Many students, though they may appear to be eager online learners, will often resist new models of teaching and learning and the increased responsibility they will need to be pushed and supported to learn differently. And many university students will take online courses because of the perception that it is easier, and they will need to be pushed and supported to work harder (especially when they see that an online course often involves more work than a face-to-face course.)

http://elearningindustry.com/helping-online-learners-succeed-part-1

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With Online Video, the Classroom Becomes a Laboratory

October 10th, 2014

By Paul Riismandel, Streaming Media

With thousands of courses and hundreds of thousands of students, MOOCs have the potential to be an enormous laboratory in which to study online learning. Compared to the traditional classroom, most MOOC platforms track significantly more analytic data about how students use materials and proceed through courses. This should be important to Streaming Media readers, because most MOOCs rely on video to deliver instructional content. That makes them a prime source of data about how students consume videos, as well as how consuming those videos correlates with performance.

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/With-Online-Video-the-Classroom-Becomes-a-Laboratory-99686.aspx

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Higher education: It’s all about the user experience

October 10th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but higher education is in the user experience industry right now,” said one big-name vendor during EDUCAUSE’s annual conference in Orlando. “It’s the first time anyone’s ever really seen this level of dedication to the ‘customer,’ as they like to call it.” It was only in hearing this statement out loud that I realized this is what’s different about the conference sessions this year: everyone’s talking about what’s best for their customers.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/education-user-experience-287/

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Poland creates free online courses for Polish and Ukrainian languages

October 10th, 2014

by Euromaiden

Polish Internet portal Port Europa organized free online courses for Ukrainians to learn Polish and for Poles to learn Ukrainian. According to the author of the course, Port Europa Editor Jakub Loginov, they are trying to encourage further closeness between Ukrainians and Polish people this way. “As Euromaidan has shown, our nations should stay together. We want to encourage Poles to learn the Ukrainian language and Ukrainians to learn Polish. The Polish language is very similar to Ukrainian, therefore there is no need to use English as a mediator in mutual communication, and mastering at least the basics of a language from a neighboring country is always interesting and useful,” porteuropa.eu cites him.

http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/10/02/poland-creates-free-online-courses-for-polish-and-ukrainian-languages/

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