Studying in 2014: could online courses become the new norm?

August 26th, 2014

By Marni Williams, Career FAQs

Come in. Sit down. Eyes to the front and no talking in the back please. Just kidding, this is online learning! No one cares where you are and you can talk all you like. It’s your course and you can study it however you want to. Chances are that by now you might know at least one person who has studied online (I’m finishing off a Certificate IV in Fitness this weekend). Or maybe you’re in the middle of a bit of online upskilling yourself. Over the past five years, the online learning sector has gone from being a possible disruptor of traditional learning to a serious challenger. It’s found itself on top of industry watchlists, and with more providers and more government-funded courses on offer every other month, it’s clear that it’s here to stay. So why is online education so hot right now?

http://www.careerfaqs.com.au/news/news-and-views/studying-in-2014-could-online-courses-become-the-new-norm/

Share on Facebook

Measuring the impact of a MOOC course can be complicated

August 26th, 2014

by Eric Schulzke, Deseret News

Brandon Alcorn, Gayle Christensen and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, all from the University of Pennsylvannia, argue in The Atlantic that critiques based on completion rate miss the point, and that MOOCs serve a valuable function even when the course is not completed. Using data from 1.8 million students enrolled in MOOCs offered by U. Penn, the authors conclude that “that students treat MOOCs like a buffet, sampling the material according to their interests and goals.” Some students, they find, are merely sampling out of curiosity, while others are primarily interested in discussion forums that link them to others with similar interests.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865609046/Measuring-the-impact-of-a-MOOC-course-can-be-complicated.html

Share on Facebook

Tulane’s ‘Trauma!’ course offers new approach to online learning

August 26th, 2014

By Jed Lipinski, The Times-Picayune

The Levees.org mini-course is part of a MOOC called Trauma! that will be offered this fall through Tulane. Charles Figley, director of the Traumatology Institute, said the Trauma! MOOC is structured differently than most MOOCs, which have drawn criticism for their high drop-out rates. While most MOOCs are simply online versions of classroom-style classes, Trauma! consists of 10 one-week mini-courses, or what Figley terms “knowledge blocks.” Four of the courses are required, but students are allowed to choose the remaining six. “We’re taking a Netflix approach,” he said. “All the knowledge blocks will be listed online with information about each one. Popular courses may be listed as ‘Trending,’ others as ‘Recommended for You.’” In another deviation from the typical MOOC format, students at Tulane are allowed to take the course for credit. Every week for 75 minutes, the students will meet in a classroom on campus to discuss the course material, Figley said.

http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2014/08/tulanes_trauma_offers_new_appr.html

Share on Facebook

Mobile technology lets students create their own classrooms

August 25th, 2014

BY GILLIAN SHAW, Vancouver Sun

Post-secondary students gearing up to return to the classroom will spend an increasing amount of their learning time online. A recent study by H+K Perspectives, Hill + Knowlton’s research arm, and yconic found that students report spending one third of their time doing schoolwork online. “Mobile technologies are changing the landscape of the classroom, of post-secondary education,” said Prof. Thierry Karsenti, Canada research chair on information technology and communications in education at the University of Montreal. “Simply put students are capable of creating their own classroom, a classroom they can access almost from anywhere, at anytime.”

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Mobile+technology+lets+students+create+their/10128650/story.html

Share on Facebook

Twitter Has the Research Chatter

August 25th, 2014

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Academia.edu, ResearchGate and other websites jostle for the title of go-to social network for researchers, but when faculty members go online to discuss their peers’ work, many of them turn to Twitter. That’s one takeaway from Richard Van Noorden’s study of social media use in higher education, published last week in the science journal Nature. Van Noorden, senior reporter for the journal, surveyed 3,509 scholars worldwide this summer about their online habits, and his results suggest many researchers only use the social networks designed specifically for academics to establish a presence, and not much else. When asked specifically about their use, two-thirds of the scholars said they registered Twitter “in case someone wishes to contact me about my research.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/08/19/study-scholars-are-present-professional-networks-engage-twitter

Share on Facebook

Robo-readers aren’t as good as human readers — in some ways they’re better

August 25th, 2014

By Annie Murphy Paul, Hechinger Report

Instructors at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have been using a program called E-Rater in this fashion since 2009, and they’ve observed a striking change in student behavior as a result. Andrew Klobucar, associate professor of humanities at NJIT, notes that students almost universally resist going back over material they’ve written. But, Klobucar told Inside Higher Ed reporter Scott Jaschik, his students are willing to revise their essays, even multiple times, when their work is being reviewed by a computer and not by a human teacher. They end up writing nearly three times as many words in the course of revising as students who are not offered the services of E-Rater, and the quality of their writing improves as a result. Crucially, says Klobucar, students who feel that handing in successive drafts to an instructor wielding a red pen is “corrective, even punitive” do not seem to feel rebuked by similar feedback from a computer.

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

Share on Facebook

Why Online Education Is Good News for Australian Employers

August 24th, 2014

by Tristan Anwyn, Australia Business Review

Time was when the best graduates and brightest minds in any given field weren’t available to employers until after graduation. After graduation, students joined the workforce with a lot of ideas, but not much in the way of practical experience. Online education is changing that by offering much more flexibility not only to students but to the businesses that employ them. Australian businesses can find high-caliber employees who have used online learning to study while employed, combining the best of both worlds in terms of academic prowess and experience in their field. Online education offers employees the chance to engage with lifelong learning, constantly updating their skills and knowledge, which can only be good news for the businesses that employ them. Offering distance education to employees is also a strong selling point for employers who want to show commitment to staff development and well-being.

http://www.businessreviewaustralia.com/technology/1257/Why-Online-Education-Is-Good-News-for-Australian-Employers

Share on Facebook

What’s the best way to keep students on track in an online course?

August 24th, 2014

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

In 2013, 7.1 million higher education students took at least one online course — a 6.1 percent increase over the previous year, according to a report from the Online Learning Consortium (the recently renamed Sloan Consortium). While many colleges and universities do a good job offering faculty development programs for online teaching, they can’t possibly keep up with that kind of growth. The demand for tips and best practices for online instruction is seemingly insatiable. When we published online education specialist Paul Beaudoin’s “6 Ways to Be a Better Online Teacher” a few months ago, it quickly became one of the top three most-read articles on our Web site this year. For this month’s issue, we asked Paul to write a follow-up piece: “Motivate and Engage Online Learners All Semester Long.”

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/07/learning-to-teach-online.aspx

Share on Facebook

2 Great Techniques for the Flipped Classroom

August 24th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

When Julie Schell makes a presentation on innovation in teaching and learning, she likes to share a photograph of college classroom from the 1800s. Compared to a typical classroom today, it’s hard to see any substantial differences. The lesson: Educators “need to change how we teach students,” she believes. It’s not just about cranking out video lectures: Pedagogy, she said, “must drive classroom decisions.” To ensure that pedagogy stays at the forefront of innovation in the classroom, Schell shared two favorite techniques for flipping.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/13/2-great-techniques-for-the-flipped-classroom.aspx

Share on Facebook

This online school may replace modern liberal arts colleges

August 23rd, 2014

By Graeme Wood, The Atlantic

On a Friday morning in April, I strapped on a headset, leaned into a microphone, and experienced what had been described to me as a type of time travel to the future of higher education. I was on the ninth floor of a building in downtown San Francisco, in a neighborhood whose streets are heavily populated with winos and vagrants, and whose buildings host hip new businesses, many of them tech start-ups. In a small room, I was flanked by a publicist and a tech manager from an educational venture called the Minerva Project, whose founder and CEO, the 39-year-old entrepreneur Ben Nelson, aims to replace (or, when he is feeling less aggressive, “reform”) the modern liberal-arts college. Minerva is an accredited university with administrative offices and a dorm in San Francisco, and it plans to open locations in at least six other major world cities.

http://qz.com/249771/this-online-school-may-replace-modern-literal-arts-colleges/

Share on Facebook

Don’t Let Your Education End at Graduation

August 23rd, 2014

By LINDSAY GELLMAN, Wall Street Journal

Then there are online courses, which come in many flavors. iTunes U offers free educational content, including lectures, from colleges and universities. Khan Academy (Khanacademy.org), a nonprofit, is a free platform for original tutorial videos and assessments, and users earn virtual badges for mastering a given subject. Codecademy (Codecademy.com) offers free, hands-on online programming courses and exercises. Coursera (Coursera.org), a for-profit online educator, partners with colleges, universities and other institutions to offer courses that are free to take, but there is typically associated course work—graded via machine or by peers—and there might be a charge for an optional course-end certificate. Know your industry—and know when you need to have a skill officially certified, or when informal learning might be sufficient or even preferable.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/dont-let-your-education-end-at-graduation-1408234349

Share on Facebook

NMSU Works To Elevate Online Courses

August 23rd, 2014

By KRWG NEWS

With more and more college courses transitioning into online formats, New Mexico State University is working to ensure the quality of its online classes matches the quality of those delivered inside the classroom. To reach this goal, NMSU’s Online Course Improvement Program (OCIP) began in 2009 as a partnership between the Associated Students of New Mexico State University/Student Technology Advisory Committee and the College of Extended Learning.

http://krwg.org/post/nmsu-works-elevate-online-courses

Share on Facebook

3 ways online courses could become more like iTunes

August 22nd, 2014

By Denny Carter, eCampus News

Thanks to MIT, modularization could soon be an oft-repeated phrase in online education. Members of the MIT task force, who were asked to examine ways a college education could become more accessible, more affordable, and more effective, pointed to the concept of “modularization” as a key to improving the traditional web-based class model and the nontraditional massive open online course (MOOC). The task force suggested breaking courses into modules — or learning units meant to be studied in sequence but separately. This approach would mimic a person’s ability to purchase bits and pieces of an artist’s music from Apple iTunes, they said.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/online-courses-itunes/

Share on Facebook

Is this the “dark horse” of online education?

August 22nd, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

It’s a perfect storm of economic factors and available technology that’s making competency-cased online education the real disruptive innovation for colleges and universities, say Michelle Weise, senior research fellow of Higher Education for the Clayton Christensen Institute, and Clayton Christensen, co-founder of the Institute and the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. “Workforce training, competency-based learning, and online learning are clearly not new phenomena,” explains Weise. “But online competency-based education is revolutionary because it marks the critical convergence of multiple vectors: the right learning model, the right technologies, the right customers, and the right business model.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/online-competency-college-587/

Share on Facebook

Which massive online courses are women taking?

August 22nd, 2014

By Denny Carter, eCampus News

Coursera recently sought to answer that question, drilling down into enrollment data to see which classes, exactly, women were taking on the popular Coursera platform. Food and nutrition topped the list of Coursera classes women prefer, with more than 60 percent of enrollees in those classes identifying as female. Teacher professional development ranked second with almost 60 percent female enrollment. Medicine, arts, and health and society came in a close third with more than 50 percent female enrollment. But again, it was STEM courses and related fields that saw low levels of female enrollment and participation, according to Coursera’s findings.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/women-online-890/

Share on Facebook

8 tips for creating video in online learning

August 21st, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

To use or not to use faculty and admin created video in online learning has been a hot topic of debate in higher education, for many reasons. However, thanks to new research on video’s efficacy, best practices compiled over the last five years, and abundant technology resources, successfully creating and using video for online learning has never been easier to execute. According to a new report about instructor-generated video on student satisfaction in online classes, recently published in the MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, instructor-generated video (when created through YouTube) can have a positive and moderate influence on student satisfaction with, and engagement in, online courses.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/video-online-learning-991/

Share on Facebook

Education: Online course allows early childhhood teacher to keep learning

August 21st, 2014

by Kristie Kellahan, Sydney Morning Herald

Erin Foo, 24, is a student of Torrens University’s master of education (early childhood) program. She studies online and is building on her previous bachelor’s qualification. ‘‘The online nature of the course allows me to work and improve my qualifications simultaneously,’’ she says. ‘‘The small class sizes have allowed me to really connect with my peers and create a network of professionals that have a shared, common goal of revolutionising the early childhood industry.’’ Torrens’ online learning portal, LENS (Learn, Evolve, Network, Socialise), enables students to connect online with other education professionals in a simple and convenient way. ‘‘The connectedness between LENS, the modules, the online library and discussion boards provides an environment where I want to contribute to the learning and experiences of others,’’ Foo says.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/education-online-course-allows-early-childhhood-teacher-to-keep-learning-20140811-101yeb.html

Share on Facebook

Online college courses making the grade

August 21st, 2014

by Paula Ann Mitchell, Daily Freeman

Not surprisingly, the number of colleges and universities offering online study, or distance learning, is growing. The website www.collegeatlas.org, in fact, reports that three-fourths of them now provide that option, leaving one to wonder what that might mean for the future of traditional “brick and mortar” university study. the State University of New York at New Paltz has watched its onlne programs grow. “Our summer online enrollments have averaged about 1,800-plus students and our winter enrollments are 300-plus,” said Philip Mauceri, provost and vice president for academic affairs at SUNY New Paltz. “The enrollments are mostly SUNY New Paltz students, but several non-matriculated students from other states have enrolled in select courses. Our students also have the opportunity of taking online courses from other SUNY schools through Open SUNY, easily transferring them into our college.”

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-news/20140816/online-college-courses-making-the-grade

Share on Facebook

Remote Learning: The Lay of the Land

August 20th, 2014

By Andrew Binstock, Dr. Dobb’s

If I were obliged to choose industries that are susceptible to significant disruption in the next few years, I would have to point to education as being the most obvious and most important. In a generation and a half, education has gone from being an expense that most families bore manageably or with some difficulty to an extraordinary cost that can plunge students and their parents into deep, long-lasting debt. Rather than being the path of upward mobility that it was for generations, education has evolved into the principal barrier between the wealthy and the rest of us. Education costs have risen far faster than inflation and can be accommodated mostly by parents who begin saving towards the expense the day their child is born. The current model cannot continue along its present trajectory. It is ripe for disruption, particularly in the programming field where developers are always partially self-taught and demonstrated skill, rather than coursework completion, is the defining hiring criterion.

http://www.drdobbs.com/tools/remote-learning-the-lay-of-the-land/240168860

Share on Facebook

‘It Takes Time’

August 20th, 2014

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

The University of California System, after five years and millions of dollars spent, is asking for more time and money to get its systemwide online education initiative off the ground. The 10-campus university system began to seriously consider a centralized approach to online education in 2009, as California faced a multibillion-dollar deficit that led to budget cuts, layoffs and tuition hikes across the state. Online for-credit courses, administrators believed — and to some extent still believe — could alleviate some the system’s access issues and create a new source of tuition revenue. But five years later, California’s economy has rebounded, and the exigency to go online and do so quickly has diminished.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/08/13/changing-economy-changes-online-education-priorities-u-california

Share on Facebook

Online Learning and Digital Books

August 20th, 2014

By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

Tomorrow’s student may prefer mobile learning over stationary learning.

Tomorrow’s higher ed student may decide that paying for a traditional campus based residential experience makes about as much sense as paying for a new hardcover book.

Tomorrow’s student may find the lecture format as attractive as digital book enthusiasts finds the hardcover.

Are existing higher ed institutions (the incumbents) moving fast enough today to be ready for tomorrow’s learner?

Share on Facebook