TwitterChat: Balancing the Urgency of Revenue Performance with Mission and Quality Online – May 27

May 20th, 2015

by Ray Schroeder, Josh Kim (Dartmouth / Inside Higher Ed), Katie Blot (Blackboard), Debbie Cavalier (Berklee)

Challenged by complex and shifting funding models, higher education faces a growing urgency to balance mission and product mix to keep things afloat as enrollments and state funding decline. Adding to this complexity is the growing tension in the marketplace in which the value/currency of traditional degrees are challenged by micro-credentials and the emergence of CBE. How can institutions address these crises? Join UPCEA for this timely TweetChat by using the hashtag #HigherEdAhead on social media as online education leaders share experiences and resources and respond to your questions. A live question and answer session will occur on May 27th from 2-3PM EST.

http://upcea.edu/tweetchat

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American Universities Provide Laptops, Make Online Courses More Available

May 20th, 2015

BY DEJAN LESICAR, Plymouth Daily News

Having a laptop is especially crucial when it comes to online degrees – while having a laptop or desktop on campus makes a student’s life much easier, taking a distance course without one in our day and age is nigh impossible. Different online schools organize their laptop programs differently. Some, like Independence University, provide a new laptop on enrollment and allow the student to keep it in case he or she manages to successfully graduate. Some include laptops into their payment plans, aiming to help those students who are incapable to pay a rather hefty cost of a new laptop upfront.

http://plymouthdailynews.com/2015/05/13/american-universities-provide-laptops-make-online-courses-more-available/

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Lynn University, American College Dublin To Offer iPad-Powered Online MBA

May 20th, 2015

by University Herald

As soon as fall 2015, students earning their MBAs at American College Dublin (ACD) will be able to take up to half of their required credits through iLynn, Lynn University’s award-winning iPad-powered curriculum. The program will offer students the flexibility to learn online in addition to taking classes at ACD’s campus. “Students at American College Dublin will now have mobile access to Lynn’s MBA curriculum, which includes interactive course materials, videos and other rich content,” Gregg Cox, vice president for academic affairs at Lynn University, said in a statement. “It is a highly personalized education with small class sizes and unlimited use of next-generation collaboration tools.” Lynn has been using these mobile technologies on its campus for the past two years to improve student engagement and reduce the cost of traditional textbooks by up to 95 percent.

http://www.universityherald.com/articles/18725/20150506/lynn-university-american-college-dublin-to-offer-ipad-powered-online-mba.htm

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New Consortium’s Mission: Improve Liberal-Arts Teaching Online

May 20th, 2015

by Jeffrey Young, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Four liberal-arts colleges on Monday formed a consortium to share information about their experiments with online education, and more members may soon join in. The focus is not on bringing down the cost of education, but on improving online-teaching projects — whether all-online or hybrid courses — by sharing experiences and collaborating. The premise is that liberal-arts institutions have goals and methods for going online that are different from those of research institutions. “There’s a steep learning curve to figuring out how to use this technology with our students, and with our teaching style,” said Douglas Johnson, an associate professor of psychology and director of the Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research at Colgate University, a founding member of the group. By working together, he said, “we can save each other from reinventing wheels.”

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/new-consortiums-mission-improve-liberal-arts-teaching-online/56621

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The Online Paradox at Community Colleges

May 19th, 2015

by the Hechinger Report

Two weeks ago I wrote about the overwhelming research evidence that community college students aren’t doing as well in online classes as they are in face-to-face traditional classes. Students are failing in higher numbers and getting lower grades. That remains true, but it isn’t the whole story. Peter Shea, who is the associate provost of online learning at the University of Albany—SUNY, contacted me to share his research findings. Community college students who take online courses are more likely – 25 percent more likely to be exact – to complete their two-year associate degree or some sort of certificate than students who didn’t take any online classes. Not only are online course takers more likely to graduate, they’re more likely to graduate sooner than students who don’t take any online classes, Shea also found. He presented this research in a working paper at the American Education Research Association conference in Chicago in April 2015. “It’s a bit of a paradox,” said Shea. “They’re doing worse at the course level, but at the program level – despite lower grades – they’re finishing.”

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/05/11/the-online-paradox-at-community-colleges

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How to Dramatically Slash the Cost of College Education

May 19th, 2015

by Sramana Mitra, Huffington Post

The exorbitant cost of higher education is a recurrent topic of conversation, concern, and discontent these days. Against that backdrop, an announcement from edX and Arizona State University caught my attention last week. ASU and edX announced a program called Global Freshman Academy: The Global Freshman Academy (GFA) will give learners anywhere in the world the opportunity to earn freshman-level university credit after successfully completing a series of digital immersion courses hosted on edX, designed and taught by leading scholars from ASU. By allowing students to learn, explore and complete courses before applying or paying for credit, the Global Freshman Academy reimagines the freshman year and reduces academic and monetary stress while opening a new path to a college degree for many students.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sramana-mitra/how-to-dramatically-slash_b_7257134.html

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Human connections important for online courses

May 19th, 2015

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

New research into the most effective elements of massive open online courses and other digital learning models find the human elements to be critical. eCampus News reports peer interaction improves outcomes and instructor input, through course design or the actual teaching and facilitation of course concepts, is essential. The report also covers the evolution of online course technology, discussing the currently emerging “fourth generation,” which includes adaptive learning and competency-based models, according to the article.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/human-connections-important-for-online-courses/396232/

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Moodle Gets Redesigned Navigation, User Interface Upgrade

May 18th, 2015

By Rhea Kelly, THE Journal

Moodle has unveiled version 2.9 of the open source learning platform, featuring a navigation and user interface redesign focused on ease of use for students, educators and administrators. “Our core goal is to support and improve education by making our teachers and trainers more effective, and Moodle continues its evolution in Moodle 2.9 with enhancements for users at all levels” said Martin Dougiamas, Moodle founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Working from the navigation overhaul specification with the input of the HQ team and community over the past 12 months, the core interface has seen some solid progress in making Moodle simple and friendlier for educators and students.”

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/05/11/moodle-fine-tunes-navigation-user-interface.aspx

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The death of classroom learning: What got us here won’t get them there

May 18th, 2015

by ARINYA TALERNGSRI, Bangkok Post

In essence, the future of leadership development not only requires a shift in mindset, but also a transformation in approach to enhance speed, outcomes and effectiveness. In other words, it should be a development method that focuses on building capability — not just competence.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/557571/the-death-of-classroom-learning-what-got-us-here-won-t-get-them-there

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Creating a Culture Conducive to Integrative Learning

May 18th, 2015

by Louis E. Newman, et al; Tomorrow’s Professor

Our experience has reinforced one overriding lesson: integrative learning is as much about pedagogy as about curriculum, as much about the culture of learning and collegiality as about specific programs. At Carleton, integrative learning thrives when faculty and staff working collaboratively and with strong administrative support see themselves as collectively responsible for the learning of their students in ways that transcend specific courses, departments, or programs. The distinctive practices of integrative learning are not self-sufficient or easily transferable from one institutional setting to another. They thrive only in a context where collaboration, risk taking, and modeling are actively fostered and rewarded.

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/enewsletter.php?msgno=1411

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The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment: A Report on Research

May 17th, 2015

by Malcolm Brown, et al, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative

In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EDUCAUSE explored the gaps between current learning management tools and a digital learning environment that could meet the changing needs of higher education. Consultations with more than 70 community thought leaders brought into relief the contours of a next generation digital learning environment (NGDLE). Its principal functional domains are interoperability; personalization; analytics, advising, and learning assessment; collaboration; and accessibility and universal design. Since no single application can deliver in all those domains, we recommend a “Lego” approach to realizing the NGDLE, where NGDLE-conforming components are built that allow individuals and institutions the opportunity to construct learning environments tailored to their requirements and goals.

https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli3035.pdf

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How to Make Online Learning Accessible for Students with Learning Challenges

May 17th, 2015

by Brent Betit, EdSurge

We know that students with learning disabilities may learn best in a human-mediated environment that takes into account their highly specific individual learning profile. The very best special educators adapt to a student’s learning style on the fly–a capability that computers haven’t yet acquired. So it would seem logical to question whether online education is even appropriate for students with LD. Yet I believe that a well-designed learning platform that includes multiple learning modalities could very well be superior to in-person education for someone with an LD. Based on my 30 years of experience working with students who learn differently, here are six precepts for how one could build an online learning platform that works for students with LDs:

https://www.edsurge.com/n/2015-05-10-how-to-make-online-learning-accessible-for-students-with-learning-challenges

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Debt-Free College Catches On

May 17th, 2015

By Michael Stratford, Inside Higher Ed

After a concerted push over the past several months from liberals and progressive groups, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign appears to be on the cusp of embracing a debt-free college plan. The Democratic front-runner’s campaign manager promoted the idea last week during an interview on CNBC. “What voters are looking for is someone to be a champion for everyday people,” the campaign manager, Robby Mook, said. “For young people, that’s debt-free college.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/05/11/push-liberals-debt-free-college-gains-traction-2016-democratic-campaign

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Balancing Online Teaching Activities: Strategies for Optimizing Efficiency and Effectiveness

May 16th, 2015
by Deana M. Raffo et al, OJDLA

Increased demands in professional expectations have required online faculty to learn how to balance multiple roles in an open-ended, changing, and relatively unstructured job. In this paper, we argue that being strategic about one’s balance of the various facets of online teaching will improve one’s teaching efficiency and effectiveness. We discuss the balancing issues associated with four key online teaching facets: course design/development, delivery of the course content, assessments/feedback, and professional development. We conclude with a template for a strategic professional development plan that addresses these key facets.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring181/raffo_brinthaupt_gardner_fisher181.html

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An Investigation of Personality Traits in Relation to Job Performance of Online Instructors

May 16th, 2015

by Charles P. Holmes et al, OJDLA

This quantitative study examined the relationship between the Big 5 personality traits and how they relate to online teacher effectiveness. The primary method of data collection for this study was through the use of surveys primarily building upon the Personality Style Inventory (PSI) (Lounsbury & Gibson, 2010), a work-based personality measure, was the instrument used to assess personality measures. In addition an evaluation instrument was developed by the researchers to evaluate classroom performance across a 10-point scale. In total 115 instructors from a large predominantly online university were surveyed through Qualtrics for personality traits and then had their courses evaluated for effectiveness and quality utilizing measures based on the Quality Matters program. Using a Pearson product moment correlation coefficient, it was found that 9 personality traits were significantly correlated with online teaching performance. While the results of this study can only be seen at this point as preliminary, it does open the door to further studies to determine if online teacher training or professional development interventions should take a different approach. Ultimately, the findings of this study demonstrated that personality does play a significant role in the effectiveness of online teaching performance.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring181/holmes_kirwan_bova_belcher181.html

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5 Free (or Low-Cost) Tools for Flipped Learning

May 16th, 2015

By Dennis Pierce, Campus Technology

From screencasting to interactive presentations, here are some resources to get a flipped class off the ground. Flipping the classroom typically requires the use of certain technology tools, whether for recording lecture content or for orchestrating classroom discussion. Jon Bergmann, a pioneer of the flipped classroom and co-creator of FlippedClass.com, categorizes these tools into four different groups: video creation tools, like screencasting software; video hosting tools; interactive tools that help professors check for understanding and foster discussion among students; and learning management systems for tying all of this together. Some products and services perform more than one of these functions — and a few do all four.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/05/06/5-free-or-low-cost-tools-for-flipped-learning.aspx

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Do Employers Value Online Degrees?

May 15th, 2015

by Heather Brown, CBS Minnesota

Do employers look at degrees from an online university differently? Good Question. “I think they’re still trying to figure out what online degrees mean,” Paul DeBettignies, principal of Minnesota Headhunter, LLC, said. A survey by Public Agenda, a non-profit that works on education issues, found 45 percent of employers think online classes require more discipline, but 56 percent still say they’d rather have an applicant who learned in the classroom. “It comes down to the company and the manager,” Perry Wedum, Regional Vice-President of Experis, said. Mary Massad, division president of recruiting services for Insperity, a recruiting firm, says about 75 percent of her clients embrace online degrees. “My sense is that the value of a degree is still more closely tied to the reputation of the school itself, rather than the delivery method used,” Carleen Kerttula, head of program innovation at University of St. Thomas’s Opus School of Business, said.

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/05/07/good-questions-do-employers-value-online-degrees/

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Future of Online Learning at Indiana State University

May 15th, 2015

by Lauren Minor, Wasbash Valley

“We definitely are seeing growth in our online programs,” says Dean of Extended Ken Brauchle. In 2014 more than 7000 students at ISU took one or more online courses. “It allows us to serve more people without having to build more infrastructure. Having to have more residence halls, and classroom buildings and so on,” says Brauchle. More than 2000 students attend exclusively online, but most of them are considered non-traditional students who have family and/or job responsibilities.

http://www.mywabashvalley.com/story/d/story/future-of-online-learning/12922/CK6ZDyq8Ek-Sz7R1en7jrA

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Coursera CEO: Colleges will survive the online education revolution

May 15th, 2015

by John A. Byrne, Fortune

His first year on the job has been a whirlwind, putting the 68-year-old educator at the forefront of a revolution in higher education. Just this week, Coursera announced the first MOOC-based MBA degree with the University of Illinois College of Business. In February, Coursera launched a series of “specializations” in which a school offers a sequence of courses along with a capstone project. True disruption to higher education, believes Levin, will take many years and largely affect commuter colleges not known for deep engagement between students and faculty. For universities that sit on the sidelines, there could be significant consequences. Levin predicts that global rankings of universities are likely to take into account the number of people in the world touched by a university’s professors. That would make a global university’s status and prestige partly dependent on a school’s reach, which can be expanded significantly through online learning.

https://fortune.com/2015/05/07/coursera-ceo-colleges-will-survive-the-online-education-revolution/

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New Mexico, Vermont and Wyoming join SARA; National SARA board meets

May 14th, 2015

by NC-SARA

New Mexico and Wyoming have been approved by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) to become members of the WICHE State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (W-SARA). In addition, Vermont has been approved by the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) as the second state in the region to join the New England State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (N-SARA). These states join 20 others (Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia) as members of SARA. SARA is a nationwide initiative of states that will make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines and make it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education. The effort is funded by a $3 million grant from Lumina Foundation, $200,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and fees paid by institutions.

http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=d33f013c3412cbcac1e8ae453&id=8d4f78e3da&e=7e8a4b699b

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Online learning is here to stay

May 14th, 2015

By Ruth Watkins,senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Utah, Deseret News

Today, three in four undergrads are considered “nontraditional” students. They may work while taking classes. They may have started families or served in the military. Or, as is often the case at my institution, the University of Utah, they may have done missionary work for as long as two years after high school. The on-campus model doesn’t work for this growing group of students. They can’t raise families in dorms. And morning classes aren’t compatible with full-time jobs.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865628125/Online-learning-is-here-to-stay.html

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