Cornell to add massive open online courses in 2015

November 14th, 2014

By: Priscilla Alvarez, USA Today

“We want to engage our faculty in efforts like this to want to continue to offer four each year,” says Joseph Burns, dean of the University Faculty at Cornell University. Cornell University offered their first four MOOCs last spring, serving more than 55,000 people worldwide, according to a university news release. While the courses are still available for viewing, the university is adding courses to go live in the spring. The response from faculty encouraged the addition of courses. Professor Marianne Krasny is preparing for her first MOOC at the university in the spring. Krasny is teaching Civic Ecology: Reclaiming Broken Places, which will cover human interaction with ecological systems as well as provide service learning opportunities.

http://college.usatoday.com/2014/11/05/cornell-to-add-massive-open-online-courses-in-2015/

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Professor’s online course delves into all things ‘Doctor Who’

November 14th, 2014

by Anthony Domanico, CNet

A new MOOC, short for massive open online course, from a Syracuse University professor will take “Doctor Who” fans on an epic journey. The course, titled “Doctor Who in the Digital Age,” will be taught by Professor Anthony Rotolo, director of the online masters in communications program at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. It will run from January through April and will explore the history, evolution and cultural impact of the long-running BBC series, Rotolo tells the Daily Orange. The free course will be offered both in-person to Syracuse students as an independent study class and online for Whovians across the universe.

http://www.cnet.com/news/a-new-mooc-dives-into-the-timey-wimey-world-of-doctor-who/

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Can Libraries Save the MOOC?

November 14th, 2014

By Irene Gashurov, Curtis Kendrick, Campus Technology

MOOCs are experiencing an existential crisis. They have demonstrated their capacity to spread learning beyond traditional populations and to make learning both less expensive and more efficient. On the other hand, MOOCs can suppress student engagement, compromise the educational mission with the profit motive, and raise hosts of unanswered questions about the integrity of data in the unpoliced realm of the Internet. At their essence, MOOCs are about the flow of information in digital form, not only confidential data about students but also the intellectual property that is the university’s stock in trade. And it is in this management of information flows that libraries can make their greatest contribution to the debate about the future of MOOCs, both in encouraging student engagement and managing the dissemination of knowledge.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/11/06/can-libraries-save-the-mooc.aspx

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6 reasons why institutions offer MOOCs—and whether or not they’re working

November 13th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

According to a new report, there are six main reasons why institutions are offering MOOCs, but only two of them are actually working. The report, conducted by Columbia University and Brown University, interviewed over 80 online learning and MOOC-knowledgeable administration and faculty from a wide range of colleges and universities to determine why institutions are offering MOOCs. What the researchers found was that many of the reasons institutions list as the motivators behind MOOC offerings aren’t accomplishing intended goals, and there are often logistical considerations as to why these goals are going unmet.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/why-offer-moocs-828/

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Changing demographics prompt changed tactics in higher ed

November 13th, 2014

by Sam Bonacci, Worcester Business Journal

The influence of declining freshman-age students in New England, increased use of technology and the importance of a continued commitment to the community were highlighted Wednesday morning during a discussion of the future of higher education as part of the Worcester Business Journal Power Breakfast Series. Worcester State University (WSU) President Barry Maloney says “Technology comes in and plays a key role for us moving forward … online learning and other forms of expanded course offerings will allow us to go into other parts of Massachusetts and other parts of New England in a way that we couldn’t afford to do otherwise.” Online courses, and the ability they have to reach different students, were highlighted throughout the discussion. In the case of edX, certificate courses are available in a multitude of areas and bring free education anywhere there is a computer. Johnson highlighted the value of Becker’s blended courses, where online and in-person teaching meld, saying that it can create a better benefit for the students than if there was only one of the components.

http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20141105/NEWS01/141109981/1002

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Levin grows Coursera’s presence in China

November 13th, 2014

BY EMMA PLATOFF AND RACHEL SIEGEL, Yale Daily News

During his two decades as University President, Richard Levin focused much of his attention on China. Now, only eight months after taking over as the CEO of the online education platform Coursera, Levin is looking to expand the company’s user base in the country, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The effort continues Levin’s work at Yale, where he built a stronger relationship between the University and China, which he calls the world’s fastest growing educational market. Despite Levin’s vision for China as an academic frontier, Chinese education experts differ in their predictions for the success of Coursera’s planned expansion. “China is our fastest growing market, and our team is building initiatives and travels there all the time,” Levin told the China Daily in October.

http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2014/11/06/levin-grows-courseras-presence-in-china/

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With Inaugural Success, HBX Eyes Expansion

November 12th, 2014

By ALEXANDER H. PATEL, Harvard Crimson

The Business School’s HBX digital learning initiative is expanding to both international and corporate clients, following the success of its inaugural online business-oriented courses that saw an 85 percent completion rate, school leaders said. HBX, which was formally announced in March, is a virtual education platform derivative of the case-study teaching method used in classrooms at the Business School. Among other features, the platform emphasizes peer collaboration and social interactivity alongside videos and other learning materials to adapt the discussion-oriented pedagogy employed in the school’s physical classrooms to an online environment.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/11/4/hbx-expansion-completion-rate/

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Social Media Gains Momentum in Online Education

November 12th, 2014

By Jordan Friedman, US News

Results from one survey suggest online instructors are more likely than on-campus instructors to use social media for both personal and professional reasons. In his University of Hawaii online course, Introduction to e-Learning, associate professor Michael Menchaca requires his students to introduce themselves to each other by creating 15-second videos on Instagram. Later in the semester, students “meet” to discuss their group projects using Google Hangouts. Twitter is popular in his classes, too, enabling students to share resources and engage in discussions, Menchaca says. These are just two examples of the social media tools Menchaca uses to foster communication among his students. “We’ve had online learning for quite a long time – since the 1990s, when it started to become popular – but the inclusion of social media is something that’s relatively new,” Menchaca says. “A lot of us are starting to use it more. I guess we’re still tinkering around and trying things.”

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2014/11/05/social-media-gains-momentum-in-online-education

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Competency, Texas Style

November 12th, 2014

by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Much of the new course content will be “mobile-first” — meaning online and designed to be delivered on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, system officials said. The online content will be adaptive, and respond to individual students. There will also be hybrid courses, which will feature classroom instruction.  The goal is to customize the learning experience for students while also creating a path that is “cross-institutional,” said Steve Mintz, executive director of the Institute for Transformational Learning, which is leading the work.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/11/06/competency-based-health-profession-credentials-university-texas-system

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Faculty aren’t using OER—here’s why

November 11th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

Faculty across institutions aren’t using OER—and the few who are often don’t know it, says a new industry report; leading to concerns about definition and copyright understanding. This data comes from a new Babson Survey Research report that aimed to determine whether or not faculty (who chief academic officers, and faculty themselves, say are the main adopters of classroom materials) are using OER. After surveying a national sample of over 2,000 faculty members, the report highlights that 75 percent of faculty are unaware of OER.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/faculty-oer-report-494/

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Federal Rulemaking: The Challenges of Gainful Employment

November 11th, 2014

By Jim Farmer, Campus Technology

The newly released Gainful Employment regulations affect both public and private colleges and universities, in addition to for-profit vocational training institutions. It’s estimated that implementation will cost institutions an average of $51.55 per student per year and will place a substantial burden on campus IT departments. Barmack Nassirian, American Association of State Universities and Colleges, from his experience at the AACRAO (American Association of Colleges Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers) knew the magnitude of the tasks to implement the GE rules. Detailed data from the Federal Register confirmed his fears. Though no totals were published, the individual cost components were included in the text. Aggregated, the department’s cost estimate was $205 million per year; $51.55 per student (computed from data on pages 64993-65005). Nassirian also expressed the fears of many of the negotiators: With minor changes the rules could be applied to all sectors and all programs.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/11/04/federal-rulemaking-the-challenges-of-gainful-employment.aspx

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Will Google Glass Bring Augmented Reality into the Classroom?

November 11th, 2014

By eduglasses, Edudemic

Adam Winkle, who earned the Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence and science educator, is a pioneer user of Google Glass, which enables users to access infinite amounts of information with voice commands and touches via a head mounted display (HUD). He believes the future of augmented reality (AR) is extremely bright and explains how Google Glass can lead the way for a whole new type of learning experiences in the classroom.

http://www.edudemic.com/google-glass-augmented-reality/

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News Analysis: Potential CS50 Partnership Could Model Future Collaboration

November 10th, 2014

By MEG P. BERNHARD and MICHAEL V. ROTHBERG, Harvard Crimson

Yale faculty will vote on a proposal to adopt a version of Computer Science 50: “Introduction to Computer Science I” for the fall of 2015, potentially bringing to New Haven the intellectual content of Harvard’s most popular undergraduate course. But the arrangement, if approved, could also lay the foundation for a new model of inter-university curricular partnerships in an era of institutional experimentation with online education, faculty and experts in the field say. Ray Schroeder, the associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois at Springfield and an expert in online education, said the development may lead to emulation by other universities. “I expect that we are going see quite a bit more of this at all levels of education,” Schroeder said. “Now, one would hope that there would be reciprocity and that there would be a Yale course or two that would have interest at Harvard, and it would be great to see several courses going in each direction in this kind of agreement.”

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/11/4/yale-cs50-analysis-partnership/

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The University of Texas System makes bold move into competency-based education

November 10th, 2014

by the University of Texas System

The University of Texas System will be the first in the nation to launch a personalized, competency-based education program system-wide aimed at learners from high school through post-graduate studies. What sets the UT System approach apart from other competency-based programs is a focus on offering personalized and adaptive degrees and certificates that are industry-aligned and – via technology developed by the UT System – can systematically improve success, access and completion rates in areas of high employment demand. “Competency-based programs allow students to advance through courses, certifications and degrees based on their ability to master knowledge and skills rather than time spent in a classroom,” said Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D. “All students are held to clearly defined and rigorous expectations, but each follows a customized path to success that responds and adapts based on individual learning strengths, challenges and goals. And students can earn credit for prior learning and move at their own speed.”

http://www.utsystem.edu/news/2014/11/03/university-texas-system-makes-bold-move-competency-based-education

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History Channel, University of Oklahoma Team Up to Launch Online Course

November 10th, 2014

by J. Baulkman, University Herald

The University of Oklahoma is collaborating with A&E Network’s History Channel to offer the first television network-branded online course for credit. The “United States, 1865 to the Present” course will involve professionally produced video lectures, discussion groups and social interactions, as well as integrated assets from the History Channel, Variety.com reported. The 16-week class will be taught by University of Oklahoma professor and historian Steve Gillon. “This course, combining the best in education and entertainment, brings together the resources and talents of a flagship state university and a national television network to present new ways of learning about the past,” Gillon told Variety. “With this course, we hope to spark the imagination of a new generation of students, ignite their interest in the study of history, and inspire them to learn more about how the past shapes the world we live in today.”

http://www.universityherald.com/articles/12603/20141101/history-channel-university-of-oklahoma-team-up-to-launch-online-course.htm

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Harvard Management Legend Clay Christensen Defends His ‘Disruption’ Theory

November 9th, 2014

by Henry Blodget, Australia Business Insider

You have predicted — which is staggering — that half of universities will go bankrupt in the next 15 years.

Clay Christensen: Yes. Everybody else thinks that it’s absolutely crazy. But I think I’ll be right. I have made an observation that relates to this. It is as follows: Many of society’s most important and vexing problems were created by unnamed people in the past who decided unilaterally to combine things that should be separate and to separate things that should be together…. In the universities, we teach you what we decide you need to know. And the employers find out when they hire people that students didn’t learn what we needed them to learn. Online learning offerings, like the University of Phoenix, have relationships with employers and teach what you need to know.

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/clay-christensen-on-disruption-theory-apple-2014-11

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Can Twitter Bots Improve Online Learning?

November 9th, 2014

BY SOPHIA STUART, PC Magazine

A MOOC out of The University of Edinburgh will experiment with Twitter bots. For those of us who can’t quite afford to go back to school, services like Coursera offer free online classes in everything from languages and chemistry to nutrition and law. One such session is the E-learning and Digital Cultures class, which will be led by Dr. Jeremy Knox, a Lecturer for the MSc in Digital Education program at The University of Edinburgh. Knox’s background is in teaching, special education needs, and software design. For this year’s course we wanted to see if it was possible to automate some of the process, so we’ve developed an artificially intelligent bot – within Twitter – to attempt to answer students’ FAQs. It’s something of a move towards robot teaching, in a way. Its intelligence is limited right now, but it raises a question – can we consider automation as a fully fledged teaching tool?”

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2471267,00.asp
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Class Notes: Some UNG students to get free e-textbooks

November 9th, 2014

By Jennifer Brown, Gainesville Times

Students in three University of North Georgia courses will get their textbooks free in electronic format thanks to a grant from Affordable Learning Georgia, a University System of Georgia initiative to provide affordable textbooks. Textbooks for the courses — introductory, intermediate and college algebra — would normally cost $188 to $206 when bought new. The University System of Georgia estimates each student spends an average of $1,200 per year on textbooks. The classes will begin using the textbooks in the upcoming spring semester. The $10,800 grants were awarded to 30 USG programs out of 48 that applied.

http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/105703/

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What MOOCs Are Teaching Universities About Active Learning

November 8th, 2014

by KQED MindShift

In his TED talk, Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX describes how MOOCs are inspiring university and high school teachers to try assigning video lectures for homework so class time can be used for asking questions and hands-on assignments. He’s fired up at how engaged students have been and at the power of immediate feedback the online platform offers. Even more impressive, students from around the world are discussing concepts together online, eventually finding answers to questions on their own. MOOCs may not have upended the university system as predicted, but they may have done something better, Agarwal says — force inert institutions to rethink their practices.

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/10/what-moocs-are-teaching-universities-about-active-learning/

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Statistician explores how faculty can excel in blended learning environments

November 8th, 2014

By Leslie King, Emory Report

Want to be rated an excellent instructor by your students? Facilitate learning, show respect for students and communicate well and you are virtually guaranteed to get an overall rating of excellent, irrespective of anything else. The University of Central Florida’s Chuck Dziuban said this unbreakable rule is based on data mined from 1.2 million end-of-course student evaluations of their professors and instructors. If the students rate them excellent in all three of those categories, they will inevitably be rated as excellent overall.

http://news.emory.edu/stories/2014/10/er_blended_learning_talk/campus.html

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Coursera May Soon Add Videochats With Professors

November 8th, 2014

BY CADE METZ, Wired

Coursera is one of the driving forces behind the MOOC, the massive open online course, a way for enormous numbers of people to experience university courses over the internet. Rick Levin, the former president of Yale University who now serves as CEO of Coursera, says the Silicon Valley startup is exploring the possibility of offering intimate online discussions with university professors who teach its MOOCs. “Down the road, we’ll probably go to a premium layer that you could pay for that would give you live interaction with a professor by video or something like that—a seminar within a MOOC,” Levin told WIRED at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJD conference here in Southern California. He compares this to a Google Hangout with a professor, and he indicated that such a thing could arrive in the coming year.

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/king-free-online-courses-may-soon-add-videochats-professors/

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