MOOCs transform learning experience

February 23rd, 2015

by Steven Mintz, Daily Texan

Established by the Board of Regents in 2012, the University of Texas System’s Institute for Transformational Learning has a bold mandate: to leverage technology to make a UT quality education more accessible, affordable and successful, especially among populations that higher education has too often failed. The ITL has supported a number of initiatives at UT Austin including innovative online delivery of a large number of “gateway” classes and development of nine massive online courses, or MOOCs, that have reached nearly a quarter of a million students globally. Right now, ITL’s energies focus on ways to better serve non-traditional students: low-income students, first-generation college students, part-time students, commuting students, working adults, family caregivers and students with some college and no degree.

http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2015/02/15/moocs-transform-learning-experience

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Medical students complete online course after proposing its creation

February 23rd, 2015

by Huy Nguyen, News Record

As they prepare to graduate from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine, medical students now have the opportunity to reinforce doctor-patient relationships through the college’s first online class. Senior medical students have a lot on their plate as they prepare to enter the medical workforce. Most of their time is spent in research, clinical rotations at hospitals and preparing for their internships after graduation. “That travel time for them is quite extensive,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, associate professor and chair of UC’s medical student education, and one of the instructors in charge of the pilot course. “Many of them take two months off to do all of that – at least a month off. So they’re not getting credit for any work.”

http://www.newsrecord.org/news/medical-students-complete-online-course-after-proposing-its-creation/article_fc51f6f2-b572-11e4-84de-6702e44ba9ad.html

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Can online courses address India’s rising university demand?

February 23rd, 2015

By Rob O’Brien, Enterprise Innovation

With student numbers rising and a shortage of faculty, massive open online courses (MOOCs) and small private online courses (SPOCS) are being viewed as a possible panacea in India. “There are more and more students wanting to study at college or university… it could almost double,” says Bijendra Nath Jain, Vice-Chancellor at Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani in Rajasthan, India. “There aren’t people wanting to become teachers [in India] – the only solution to the problem is technology. But who is going to embrace technology to solve these problems?”

http://enterpriseinnovation.net/article/can-online-courses-address-indias-rising-university-demand-1688794921

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A Manual for Flipping Your Classroom

February 22nd, 2015

by the Innovative Instructor Blog

The Innovative Instructor has featured several posts on flipping your classroom (see here, here, here, and here) a technique that has students learning content on their own time and using class time to work on problems, discuss materials, or engage in collaborative activities. Text reading flipping the classroom with the classroom upside downJust in time for the upcoming semester, the Chronicle of Higher Education has published A Guide to the Flipped Classroom, available for free download. The manual, in PDF form, collects seven case studies and articles on the process of flipping the classroom that appeared in the CHE over the past three years. Faculty teaching evolutionary biology, chemistry, mathematics, and business topics weigh in on their experiences.

http://ii.library.jhu.edu/2015/01/14/a-manual-for-flipping-your-classroom/

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7 Best Practices for Creating a Completely Mobile Campus

February 22nd, 2015

by Toni Fuhrman, Campus Technology

At the University of Central Florida, students and faculty can now connect to the software they need anywhere, anytime, from any computing device — laptop, tablet, desktop or smartphone. The recently launched UCF Apps application-streaming initiative aims to turn the second largest university in the nation into a completely mobile campus, giving users ubiquitous access to software as if it were locally installed. CT asked project leaders JP Peters, IT and communications director, and Craig Froehlich, director of information technology, how they approached the initiative’s design, build and adoption.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/02/10/7-best-practices-for-creating-a-completely-mobile-campus.aspx

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Do Your Students Have Harmful Expectations?

February 22nd, 2015

by Richard Buckland, Open Learning Blog

There is often a mismatch between how we want our students to be changed in our courses, and their expectations of those courses. This tension can be particularly acute for first year university students or high school graduates taking a MOOC whose expectations about education are based on how they experienced high school which privileges marks over deep learning and individual performance over working collaboratively. This article considers the expectations high school graduates might have about education and then suggests some strategies to alter student expectations so that they become more focused on deep learning and the true objectives of the courses they undertake.

https://www.openlearning.com/blog/DoYourStudentsHaveHarmfulExpectations0

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What Employers Think of Your Online Master’s in Education

February 21st, 2015

by Devon Haynie, US News

As online programs have grown in popularity, online master’s in education degrees have become more acceptable, experts say. But some programs are more respected than others. As a result, prospective students looking to use the credential for a pay bump or career switch should do some investigating before they enroll. When it comes to choosing the right online master’s degree in education, experts say the reputation of the program matters more than the mode of instruction, regardless of specialty. “I think we’re still in a space where the institution granting the online degree continues to have some sway in at least its perceived value,” says Catherine Horn, associate education professor at the University of Houston, ranked the No. 1 online graduate education program by U.S. News in 2015.

http://news.yahoo.com/employers-think-online-masters-education-140000758.html

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Techniques for Unleashing Student Work from Learning Management Systems

February 21st, 2015

by Justin Reich, KQED Mind/Shift

Since these are institutionally managed spaces, students can lose control over what they submit to the LMS. At many universities, after three or six months, the sites are deleted, and all of the intellectual contributions that students are asked to make to forums or assessments are washed away. While LMS offer certain advantages for scaling standard experiences, these spaces are homogenized, transient and disempowering. As Jim Groom and Brian Lamb argue in “Reclaiming Innovation,” their critique of learning management systems, the fundamental problem is that learning management systems are ultimately about serving the needs of institutions, not individual students.

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/02/techniques-for-unleashing-student-work-from-learning-management-systems/

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How Stanford is incorporating touch for online learning

February 21st, 2015

By Ron Bethke, eCampus News

A new MOOC on haptics, the science of touch, brings a hands-on element to the world of online learning thanks to a device called the Hapkit. Perhaps the largest criticism leveled at online learning is that it can be difficult for students to shake hands with, talk to, and form relationships with their peers or instructors in the way that on-campus students can. It’s also difficult for online students to participate in hands-on experiments or exercises considered critical for skill-building. In defiance of these drawbacks to online learning, Stanford University Professor Allison Okamura has created a new MOOC that teaches students about haptics, or the science of touch, and gives them hands-on experience in the field by showing how to build a programmable device as a platform for haptics experiments: the Hapkit.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/hapkit-touch-online-323/

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Coursera partners with Google, Snapdeal to develop online courses

February 20th, 2015

by First Post

Snapdeal and Shazam have partnered with The Wharton School, while Instagram will work with University of California, San Diego and 500 Startups with University of Maryland. Google has partnered with University of Maryland and Vanderbilt University, Johns Hopkins University and iHeartMedia with Berklee College of Music have already conducted pilots. “In a job market that is increasingly filled with job descriptions that didn’t exist a decade ago or less, workers and employers alike are recognising the value of online certificates,” Coursera CEO Rick Levin told PTI. “Approximately half of Coursera’s learners come to us seeking knowledge to boost their careers, and that ratio is even higher in places like India where online learning certificates have gained early acceptance,” he said.

http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/coursera-partners-with-google-snapdeal-to-develop-online-courses-254403.html

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Online courses can help your career (#infographic)

February 20th, 2015

by Silicon Republic

Online courses can help your career Online courses can help your career. More and more people are looking at online courses to help further their career, with research showing it’s not a lesser approach to traditional college. Historically, online courses were considered second-rate learning experiences, producing sub-standard results with people basically ‘buying their degree’. As society has changed, that is no longer the case. This infographic, featured on Tech Infographics, highlights some of the myths surrounding online learning.

http://www.siliconrepublic.com/careers/item/40659-online-courses-can-help/

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Bill Gates envisions a future with `world-class education` centres accessible online to `developing world`

February 20th, 2015

by DNA India

In his foundation’s 2015 annual letter, Bill Gates has envisioned a future where “world-class education” would be just a few clicks away, and online classes would not merely help a few exceptional students, but the developing world at large, a report said. In his foundation’s 2015 annual letter, Bill Gates has envisioned a future where “world-class education” would be just a few clicks away, and online classes would not merely help a few exceptional students, but the developing world at large, a report said. Stressing on the role that technology could play in future, in improving the rate of literacy in developing countries, Gates said that if a child has access to a smartphone, even before they get enrolled in a primary school, they could learn letters and number,s which would give them “a big headstart,” reported The Verge.

http://www.dnaindia.com/scitech/report-bill-gates-envisions-a-future-with-world-class-education-centres-accessible-online-to-developing-world-2060387

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8 Best Practices for Moving Courses Online

February 19th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

While a lot of schools are teaming up with third-party companies to launch online versions of long-standing degree programs, USC’s business school is doing the work in-house. Here’s why. “I had no clue how to envision it differently than the way we had always been doing it, which is getting up in front of the classroom, teaching from a textbook and Internal Revenue code and regulations, going through numbers and calculations and writing things on the board,” she recalled. On top of that, she had always assumed the students needed her presence and her lectures in order to learn the material. The proposed online format made her question the role of the instructor in the classroom. And she was concerned that somehow the USC “brand” might be watered down. Now, Mills unequivocally states that going through the process of converting her course to an online format has made her a better instructor. Here’s how USC Marshall works its magic.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/02/11/8-best-practices-for-moving-courses-online.aspx

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Harvard, MIT sued over lack of captioning on video courses

February 19th, 2015

By Michael Levenson and Steve Annear, Boston Globe

A national advocacy group filed federal lawsuits against Harvard and MIT on Thursday, accusing the universities of discriminating against people who are deaf and hard of hearing by failing to caption their vastly expanding array of online courses.“Just as buildings without ramps bar people who use wheelchairs, online content without captions excludes individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing,” said the lawsuits filed in US District Court in Massachusetts by the National Association of the Deaf. The class-action suits accuse the universities of violating the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and the 1973 Rehabilitation Act by denying people who are deaf and hard of hearing access to thousands of videos and audio recordings that the universities make available free to the public.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/02/12/advocates-for-deaf-sue-harvard-mit-over-lack-captioning-free-online-courses/kRyh3K7VNje9vhOSvjro6N/story.html

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Harvard B-school opens the flood gates with online courses

February 19th, 2015

by John A. Byrne, Fortune

After a pair of highly successful pilot runs, Harvard Business School is now opening its online program in business basics to students worldwide. The school is also inviting admitted MBA students to enroll in the program as a pre-MBA boot camp experience, particularly for non-traditional admits or those who need more basic quantitative work before showing up on campus. All told, slightly more than 1,100 students have now taken the primer on the fundamentals of business called CORe (Credential of Readiness) program. In the first beta starting last June, the trio of courses—Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting—were open to only undergraduate students attending colleges in Massachusetts and alumni.

http://fortune.com/2015/02/10/harvard-business-school-expects-3000-online-students-this-summer/

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NAD Sues Harvard and MIT for Discrimination in Public Online Content

February 18th, 2015
by the National Association of the Deaf
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and four deaf and hard of hearing individuals filed two federal class action lawsuits today against Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), charging that the schools discriminate against deaf and hard of hearing people by failing to caption the vast and varied array of online content they make available to the general public, including massive open online courses (MOOCs). The cases, filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, assert that these universities violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act by denying deaf and hard of hearing people access to thousands of videos and audio tracks that each university makes publicly available, for free, on broad-ranging topics of general interest.  These include, for example, campus talks by luminaries such as President Barack Obama and Microsoft founder Bill Gates; educational videos made by MIT students for use by K-12 students; “self-help” talks; entire semesters’-worth of courses; and regular podcasts such as the “HBR IdeaCast” by the Harvard Business Review.  The universities boast that their content is available free to anyone with an Internet connection.  Millions of people have visited the websites.
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Professors Know About High-Tech Teaching Methods, but Few Use Them

February 18th, 2015
by  Casey Fabris, Chronicle of Higher Ed
Innovation is sweeping the world of higher education, but not all faculty members are embracing it in their classrooms.  A new survey from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has found that 40 percent of the professors surveyed use or are interested in using innovative techniques and technologies. But of that 40 percent, only half—or 20 percent of the overall survey sample—have actually used them.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/professors-know-about-high-tech-teaching-methods-but-few-use-them/55777

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Darpa Is Developing a Search Engine for the Dark Web

February 18th, 2015
By Kim Zetter, Wired

The project, dubbed Memex, has been in the works for a year and is being developed by 17 different contractor teams who are working with the military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Google and Bing, with search results influenced by popularity and ranking, are only able to capture approximately five percent of the internet. The goal of Memex is to build a better map of more internet content.

http://www.wired.com/2015/02/darpa-memex-dark-web/

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Distance Learning: Moocs May Be Key To Pay Rise And Promotion

February 17th, 2015

by Seb Murray, Business Because

Additional qualifications such as MBA and masters degrees may be the key to unlocking a pay rise and promotion. Nearly half of employers surveyed by the Open University say work-related qualifications gained through additional education are the number one reason they would offer a salary increase or a higher-level position. The OU, a distance learning specialist, polled 1,000 UK employers and 1,000 employees last year. Completing work-related training programs was the second most desired attribute among these employers when offering pay rises and promotions, flagged by 33% of poll respondents. In a fillip for the OU, gaining work-related knowledge through free online courses or by reading relevant books or articles was the third most common thing employers looked for when offering salary increases and career advancements.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/3085/moocs-may-be-key-to-payrise-and-promotion

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The 6 Major Barriers Standing in the Way of Educational Change

February 17th, 2015

By David Nagel, Campus Technology

As college and university administrators shift their priorities away from the mission of education, the role of faculty-as-teacher is diminishing, and the consequences for the profession — and for students — look to be getting rapidly more severe. In 2009, just half of faculty members in higher education were part-timers. But now, owing in part to resources moving away from classroom instruction and toward student services, research and other areas, adjuncts make up 76.4 percent of the total across all institution types in the United States. That’s an issue identified by researchers in a new report as one of the “wicked challenges” facing higher education right now. The report — the NMC Horizon Report, from the New Media Consortium and the Educause Learning Initiative — identifies significant barriers facing education, as well as major trends in education technology and technological trends that will help shape teaching and learning in the near future.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/02/10/the-6-major-challenges-standing-in-the-way-of-educational-change.aspx

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5 Tech Tools That Help Personalize PD

February 17th, 2015
by David Raths, THE Journal

Students aren’t the only ones who can benefit from differentiated instruction. Teachers, too, have individual strengths and weaknesses, and they need different types of professional development at specific points of their careers. So why clump them all together in the same PD courses? Some school districts around the country are finding new ways to use social media and online offerings in combination with professional learning communities to empower teachers to develop their own personalized PD plans and reflect on how that PD is affecting the work they do in class. THE Journalspoke with leaders in several of these districts about the role of technology in personalizing the PD process.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/02/04/5-tech-tools-that-help-personalize-pd.aspx

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