3,118 applicants accepted as freshmen by University of Florida, Gainesville required to take first year online

April 12th, 2015

By SOPHIE JANE EVANS, Daily Mail

More than 3,000 students are facing an unexpected decision after they received acceptance notices from the University of Florida – only to find they would have to spend a year taking online classes. The 3,118 unidentified applicants were presumably delighted when they were accepted as freshmen by the university in Gainesville for the fall after sending in applications for traditional first-year slots. But after reading their congratulations notices, they apparently realized they would need to agree to spend their entire first year taking classes on the Internet in order to attend the public college. The classes are part of a new program – the Pathway to Campus Enrollment (PaCE) – which started in 2015 and aims to accommodate a higher number of students, The Washington Post reported.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3028025/Thousands-student-receive-acceptance-notices-University-Florida-spend-entire-year-taking-ONLINE-classes.html

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Adult education models change; needs, passions remain

April 12th, 2015

by Mitch LeClair, St. Cloud Times

Options for adult education have adjusted to modern needs throughout history, but technological advancements of the last few decades have accelerated the pace. It’s happening in European countries, India, China — and Minnesota. New methods of teaching are drawing learners away from traditional models, affecting how employers and students view degrees, other certifications and education in general.

http://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local/2015/04/05/adult-education-models-change-needs-passions-remain/25337183/

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From MOOCs To Minerva: Higher Education And Beyond

April 12th, 2015

BY Calvin Lemley, Forbes

The Minerva format focuses on seminar-based lessons, with instructors implementing methods such as pop quizzes, cold calls, and asking questions that students are required to answer, then called on to defend those answers. This would also cut down on time-wasting in class, with the instructor able to immediately quiz students on course material and just as quickly be able to receive and tabulate student responses, as well as streamlining the process for separating students into groups for cooperative assignments.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/berlinschoolofcreativeleadership/2015/04/06/from-moocs-to-minerva-higher-education-and-beyond/

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Interactive learning: ASU Online to pilot environmental science games

April 11th, 2015

by Carrie Lingenfelter, Yuma News Now

Arizona State University is piloting a series of environmental science games at ASU Online. Within each of the five story-based games, students will take on several leadership roles, with increasing responsibility, to help a community address challenging environmental and sustainability issues. Tahnja Wilson, senior manager for EdPlus at ASU, will guide the project. Wilson has taught online for more than 10 years. Her instructional design interests include gaming best practices and student/instructor engagement.

http://www.yumanewsnow.com/index.php/news/arizona-news/688-interactive-learning-asu-online-to-pilot-environmental-science-games

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Engaging Students with a Mobile App

April 11th, 2015

by Joe Hoff, EDUCAUSE Review

Engaging first-year students in positive experiences can set the tone for the remainder of their educational careers. A major element of engagement is the social side — meeting other students virtually, learning about campus before the first day of classes, keeping up on events, communicating on specific topics, and asking questions quickly and conveniently. A mobile app that facilitates social engagement while letting administrators measure levels of use and track emotional trends and potential problems among the student body serves both communities.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/engaging-students-mobile-app

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Online Test-Takers Feel Anti-Cheating Software’s Uneasy Glare

April 11th, 2015

By NATASHA SINGER, NY Times

As universities and colleges around the country expand their online course offerings, many administrators are introducing new technologies to deter cheating. The oversight, administrators say, is crucial to demonstrating the legitimacy of an online degree to students and their prospective employers. Some schools use software that prevents students from opening apps or web browsers during online exams. Others employ services with live exam proctors who monitor students remotely over webcams. But the rise of Proctortrack and other automated student analysis services like it have raised questions about where to draw the line, and whether the new systems are fair and accurate. The University of North Texas Health Science Center, for instance, is partway through a two-year pilot test of Proctortrack involving the 160 students enrolled in its online public health master’s degree program.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/06/technology/online-test-takers-feel-anti-cheating-softwares-uneasy-glare.html

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Wake Forest University will offer online classes this summer

April 10th, 2015

by Alana Harrison, Old Gold & Black

Wake Forest University has developed its first online courses and will begin offering them during summer 2015. These online courses are an alternative for summer school, as they can be taken from home, rather than require the student to be on campus.This greatly decreases the price for summer courses, because students will not have to pay for housing. Brenda Knox, director of online education, says this is a major reason why Wake Forest has developed some online courses. “The university would like to offer some alternatives to students who can’t stay on campus in the summer,” she said.

http://oldgoldandblack.com/?p=45108

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Online courses prep tomorrow’s leaders

April 10th, 2015

By Valerie Sweeten, Houston Chronicle

According to www.onlinecolleges.org, students looking to pursue degrees online can find courses at every level, from an associate to a doctorate degree at both private and public institutions. Jeff Morgan, associate provost for education innovation and technology at the University of Houston, said that the campus has had a year-over-year increase in online student credit hours. In fall 2014 there was a 23 percent increase, with a 17 percent increase in spring 2015. Across their entire University of Houston System, there has been a year-over-year increase in both fall 2014 and spring 2015.

http://www.chron.com/jobs/article/Online-courses-prep-tomorrow-s-leaders-6177143.php

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Learning online offers many financial benefits

April 10th, 2015
By Jan Burns, Houston Chronicle
Though not all online programs have less expensive tuition than traditional schools, the associated costs can be lower. “The financial benefits of enrolling in online programs at universities is that students do not have to pay commuting expenses, may not need additional child care, and most likely will be able to continue in their current employment while in school as they can manage their own schedule and do their coursework around their families and work obligations,” said Vickie S. Cook, Ph.D., director, Center for Online Learning, research and service/research associate professor, University of Illinois at Springfield.

http://www.chron.com/jobs/article/Learning-online-offers-many-financial-benefits-6177193.php

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Starbucks and Arizona State U. Will Expand Tuition-Discount Partnership

April 9th, 2015
By Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Ed
Starbucks and Arizona State University announced on Monday that they will expand the full benefits of their tuition-discounting partnership to include Starbucks employees who have not yet accrued 60 college credits. ASU’s president, Michael M. Crow, said they were doing so because of continuing demand and the success of the initial program — since the summer, about 3,400 Starbucks employees submitted completed applications, 3,000 were accepted, and nearly 2,000 enrolled. Under the arrangement, the university provides a guaranteed scholarship — effectively a tuition discount — to all Starbucks students who attend ASU Online. The students are also eligible for federal Pell Grants and need-based financial aid from the university. Starbucks reimburses employees for the remaining amounts not covered by the discounts and federal financial aid. (Initially it did so every time students finished 21 credits. It now will provide the reimbursements after each semester.)

http://chronicle.com/article/StarbucksArizona-State-U/229127/

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3 Ways You Can Use Nontraditional Education to Win the War for talent

April 9th, 2015
by  Barry Salzberg,  Fast Company
Approximately 70% of those currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in the U.S. are not doing so in what is thought of as the “traditional” college experience, according to the U.S. Education Department. Rather than studying full-time while living on a college campus and earning a degree after four years, they are studying part-time, withdrawing from college to work, and then returning later in life. Because of these changes, businesses need to expand how they approach finding future employees, hiring them, retaining them, and developing them. Here are some approaches they should consider:

http://www.fastcompany.com/3044622/3-ways-you-can-use-nontraditional-education-to-win-the-war-for-talent

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PAR Framework Partners with American Institutes for Research

April 9th, 2015
By Leila Meyer, Campus Technology
The Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework has partnered with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in an effort to develop new metrics and measurements to help guide national policies related to higher education outcomes. The PAR Framework is an independent, non-profit provider of learner analytics as a service, and AIR is a behavioral and social science research and evaluation organization. According to the PAR Framework, the metrics currently used to compare higher education institutions in the United States are based on traditional models of education and don’t reflect the current reality of non-traditional students and changing instructional models and business practices. Through this partnership, the PAR Framework and AIR plan to develop new benchmarks for measuring the performance of for-profit and alternative delivery models of education, such as online learning, and to identify ways to improve “federal data collections, statutory disclosure and reporting requirements, especially with regards to transfer students and adult learners,” according to information from PAR.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/01/par-framework-partners-with-american-institutes-for-research.aspx

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5 Ways to Ace Discussion Board Assignments in an Online Class

April 8th, 2015
by Devon Haynie, US News
If online students want to have a real conversation about class material, they have one place to do it: the discussion board, a major component of most online courses.
“They are the best part of the classes,” says Paulina Erices, who is earning her online bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pennsylvania State University—World Campus. “The interaction on the discussion boards allows me to hear other people’s opinions. They have life experiences related to what we are studying and it is really interesting because it goes beyond what we are studying to what is happening in the field.” When online discussion boards come together well, students can actually learn more from them than from other parts of class, instructors say. But getting the most out of a discussion board – and earning the high marks to show for it – isn’t easy. Below, experts share tips for how to ace the discussion board component of online class.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2015/04/03/5-ways-to-ace-discussion-board-assignments-in-an-online-class

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First accredited online school, Jones University, to shutter in 2016

April 8th, 2015

By Tamara Chuang, The Denver Post

Jones International University, the first online-only university, is winding down and will close next year because of declining enrollment and competition, the school said Thursday. The Centennial-based school notified students and faculty this week and said it won’t close until it has helped every student graduate or transfer to a new school. “We examined a number of operational strategies and determined that none would be sufficient to turn around the market dynamics,” chief operating officer Bryan Wallace said. Jones faced competition not only from startup schools but traditional universities moving courses online. There was also the economy.

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_27839174/first-accredited-online-school-jones-university-shutter-2016

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Comcast leapfrogs Google Fiber with new 2Gbps internet service

April 8th, 2015

By Vlad Savov, the Verge

Rollout begins in Atlanta next month and will reach 18 million American homes by the end of the year. The US cable giant, Comcast, is today announcing a new 2Gbps broadband service, which it will start rolling out in Atlanta from next month. There’s no price yet, but Comcast says it will be symmetrical — meaning you’ll upload just as quickly as you can download — and it won’t be limited “just to certain neighborhoods.” Doug Guthrie, Senior VP of Comcast Cable’s South Region, explains that the company’s “approach is to offer the most comprehensive rollout of multi-gigabit service to the most homes as quickly as possible.” That’s in stark contrast to what Comcast was saying just a couple of years ago, when it dismissed Google’s Fiber efforts as being excessive for most people’s needs.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/2/8330267/comcast-2gbps-gigabit-pro-broadband

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MIT Professional Education Offers Two New Sessions of Online Big Data Course for Professionals

April 7th, 2015
by Business Wire
In response to continuing and growing demand for expert insight on big data, MIT Professional Education will offer two new sessions of its popular online professional course, Tackling the Challenges of Big Data. The new sessions will be available again to a global audience, and are scheduled to begin May 5, 2015 and July 7, 2015 respectively. MIT Professional Education’s big data courses have drawn approximately 7,000 professionals from over 100 countries, and over 3,000 organizations worldwide in the past year. Participants, most of whom would otherwise not be able to access world-renowned educational resources of MIT, have benefitted from this comprehensive online course addressing a priority learning area for working professionals.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150331005182/en/MIT-Professional-Education-Offers-Sessions-Online-Big#.VR3e4vzF-Rs

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A Flexible Future for Higher Education

April 7th, 2015

by Carl Straumsheim, Tomorrow’s Professor

Some of the country’s most rigorous research universities have a new obsession: flexibility. As the institutions contemplate a more modular future, experiments with blended learning may provide an early glimpse at their plans. Through strategic visions and partnerships, institutions such as Duke and Harvard Universities and the Georgia and Massachusetts Institutes of Technology are laying the groundwork for curriculums that will be delivered through a combination of face-to-face instruction, blended courses and distance education. A common goal is to offer students “flexibility” — a word several administrators used to summarize their institutions’ aspirations. The word has many definitions. For one institution, flexibility means giving students the freedom to race through core concepts on their own schedule, freeing up face-to-face time for more in-depth work; for another, it means giving students the opportunity to continue their studies whether they are on campus or not — and beyond graduation.

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/enewsletter.php?msgno=1400

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Texas Tech online learning continues to grow

April 7th, 2015
By Kaitlin Bain, Daily Toreador
Many institutions have seen the growth in their online programs plateau, but with more than 50 online degrees, certifications and certification preparation programs, Texas Tech’s online enrollment is growing at a rapid pace. Justin Louder, assistant vice provost for Tech eLearning, said within online learning there are generally two main types, which are synchronous and asynchronous.
http://www.dailytoreador.com/news/tech-online-learning-continues-to-grow/article_e192b86a-d8e5-11e4-b7a1-df7170553076.html
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Who’s Taking MOOCs? Teachers

April 6th, 2015
by Casey Fabris, Chronicle of Higher Ed
In free online courses offered by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teachers are increasingly the students. A study by the two universities has found that teachers are enrolling in their MOOCs in high numbers. The study examines data from some one million MOOC students who enrolled in courses at edX, the nonprofit learning platform started by Harvard and MIT. Some one-fifth of participants answered a survey about their background in teaching, and 39 percent of them said they were current or former teachers.
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/whos-taking-moocs-teachers/56305
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Mind the Gap: Connecting K–12 and Higher Education Educators to Improve the Student Experience

April 6th, 2015
by Matthew W. Stoltzfus, Ben Scragg, and Cory Tressler, EDUCAUSE Review
Each fall, over 7,000 recent high school graduates enroll in courses at The Ohio State University. With each incoming class comes a group of students with increasingly higher composite ACT/SAT scores and, unsurprisingly, increasingly higher expectations for an engaging, world-class education. As students transition from a high school to a college/university setting, the role of the teacher in their educational experience changes as well. In some cases, particularly at Ohio State, students step into a classroom comprising more students than were in their entire graduating high school class. Many students go from high school teacher to college professor with little preparation for this shift.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/mind-gap-connecting-k12-and-higher-education-educators-improve-student-experience

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Much More about MOOCs

April 6th, 2015
by John S. Rosenberg, Harvard Magazine
A newly published, two-year assessment of the massive open online courses (MOOCs) created by HarvardX and MITx through their edX online-learning partnership describes in depth the evolving features of 68 courses offered by the two institutions. The analysis, conducted by the HarvardX Research Committee and MIT’s Office of Digital Learning, delivers three distinct, valuable kinds of insights into the field:
a fuller, enriched characterization of MOOCs, whose users have evolved significantly as more courses have become available; hints of emerging advanced research that may provide insights into the effectiveness of different teaching approaches and the actual learning achieved by MOOC users; and the applications of these inquiries and their insights to on-campus, classroom courses.
http://harvardmagazine.com/2015/04/harvard-mooc-online-learning-lessons-from-edx
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