Online Learning Update

July 11, 2014

New U Wisconsin MOOCs to Focus on Environmental and Community Themes

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by University of Wisconsin-Madison

It was Aldo Leopold — the 20th century conservationist, father of wildlife management and former University of Wisconsin faculty member, who once said, “There are two things that interest me: the relation of people to each other and the relation of people to the land.” Beginning in 2015, UW-Madison will take Leopold’s words to heart by offering six Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on topics ranging from Shakespeare’s dramas and the digital humanities, to understanding Leopold’s land ethic, to the relationship between climate change and public health. A shared theme of sustainability and the environment will connect the six courses, including the course on Virtual Shakespeare, which will explore four Shakespearean dramas and incorporate environmental readings of the plays.

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/620082/?sc=rsln

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July 10, 2014

Why you should embrace MOOCs with gusto

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by Michael Curry, Training Zone

MOOCs can reach mass markets at disruptive price-points where universities only need to charge for assessment, certification or value-added services. This also opens up new market segments for them, such as employers. In addition, technology pioneers such as Google and also mobile operators can contribute to educational infrastructure as part of their strategy to be omnipresent for all technology-enabled consumer interactions. Corporates and employers, including Barclays, Microsoft, O2, can also leverage the opportunity to sponsor, drive and fund initiatives that have a calculated return in terms of brand building and corporate social responsibility whilst professional bodies such as the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM), can extend into international markets. Here, these associations can encourage new recruits into a career-long professional journey of learning, development and support.

http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/feature/moocs-gusto/187174

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Academics call for guidelines on use of online learners’ data

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by Times Higher Ed

Guidelines to ensure the ethical use of data gathered from online learners need to be developed, to prevent the misuse of personal information, a group of academics has said. Delegates at the Asilomar Convention for Learning Research in Higher Education, which took place in California earlier this month, have produced a framework to promote the appropriate use of both learners’ personal information, and any research based on their activity. The document states that six principles should inform the collection, storage, distribution and analysis of information gathered from people who engage with online learning resources such as massive open online courses.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/academics-call-for-guidelines-on-use-of-online-learners-data/2014194.article

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Librarians: unsung heroes of the digital age

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am
by the Chicago Tribune
Libraries and the professionals who staff them have risen to meet the needs of a constantly changing digital environment, shifting from gatekeeper of information to educator, a role that extends well beyond the college campus.  Today’s librarians support users by providing access to electronic resources and instructing those who may be unfamiliar with how to use the varied formats in which these resources may exist.  As they experience more new forms of technology, librarians have to stay on the forefront of how these technologies work and how they impact the flow of information.  “Libraries continue to be epicenters of knowledge,” says Anita Norton, director of the online library at Excelsior College. “Online students, for example, rightfully expect and should have access to the same resources and services available as their peers at brick and mortar institutions.  It has always been a responsibility of librarians to ensure that everyone has equal access to information and in the digital age libraries have to be creative and proactive in their outreach to all users.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/special/adsections/aranet/chi-ara-8080820305-20140627,0,3077611.story
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July 9, 2014

How millennial culture is driving change in higher education

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

By Mike Matousek, eSchool News

Sparked by the generation’s need for constant collaboration – and convenience – the changes occurring today are unprecedented, but perhaps not all that surprising. The publishers, universities, faculty, and administration that have made up the last half-century of education are trying to adapt to this new generation of snapchatting, instagramming, show-me-this-instant students. When asked to define today’s college student, I believe they can be described by three cultural and personality traits outlined in the link below.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/business-news/millennial-higher-education-735/

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Armstrong expands online learning opportunities

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

By Charlsie Dewey, Grand Rapids Business Journal

Armstrong International has expanded its global online learning environment to offer open enrollment and continuing education credits for skilled tradespeople, professionals and students through Armstrong University. Armstrong University, based in Three Rivers, offers more than 100 courses across its 10 colleges of study. The courses span technical, industry specific and environmental health and safety subjects drawn from practical and theoretical expertise from around the world. Courses in HVAC, refrigeration, steam generation and hot water are just a few of the trade skills covered at the university. Company employees, representatives and leading technical experts bring hundreds of years of combined experience to the classroom and deliver a practical curriculum.

http://www.grbj.com/articles/79999-armstrong-expands-online-learning-opportunities

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July 8, 2014

Robots Learn Faster, Better with Online Learning Helpers

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:12 am

by Product Design & Development

Sometimes it takes a village to teach a robot. University of Washington computer researchers have shown that crowdsourcing can be a quick and effective way to teach a robot how to complete tasks. Instead of learning from just one human, robots could one day query the larger online community, asking for instructions or input on the best way to set the table or water the garden. The research team presented its results at the 2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Hong Kong in early June.The research team presented its results at the 2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Hong Kong in early June.

http://www.pddnet.com/news/2014/06/robots-learn-faster-better-online-helpers

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Sloan Consortium Picks a New Name

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:11 am

by the Chronicle of Higher Ed

The Sloan Consortium, an influential champion of online learning that grew out of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s early interest in the topic, is changing its name and will now be known as the Online Learning Consortium. The consortium was founded in 1992 and published the first issue of its Journal of Asynchronous Learning in 1997. It has been a stand-alone membership organization since 2009, when its parent foundation shut down its online-education program after spending some $80-million on various undertakings and playing a leading role in the growth of online courses, particularly under the leadership of A. Frank Mayadas, a program director at the foundation.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/quickwire-sloan-consortium-picks-a-new-name/53707

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Francis Marion MBA goes online

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:06 am

by Associated Press

Francis Marion University in Florence says the university’s master of business administration program is going online. The Morning News of Florence reports (http://bit.ly/1lrNyVE ) that students in the program have had to attend two classes a week on campus since 1987. Beginning this fall, students will be able to study at their convenience online. They will still need to meet face-to-face with professors on up to three Saturdays during the semester. The university says the change comes after nearly two years of studying the needs of MBA students.

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140626/APN/306269820

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July 7, 2014

Libraries will lend out WiFi hotspots to foster online learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

BY JON FINGAS, Engadget

For the less fortunate, a library may be the only reliable way to get online. But what do they do after hours, or when they can’t make the trek? That’s where a pair of Knight Foundation grants may prove vital. Both the Chicago Public Library and New York Public Library are starting up large-scale projects that lend WiFi hotspots to households with little to no internet access, giving them a chance to pursue internet education programs that would otherwise be off-limits. Chicago’s approach will let those in six broadband-deprived neighborhoods borrow a hotspot for up to three weeks; in New York, the library will offer mobile routers for up to a year as part of existing learning initiatives.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/06/25/libraries-lending-out-wifi-hotspots/

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The revolution in online learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:04 am

by the Telegraph

Technology has revolutionised learning. From the rise of MOOCs to apps on iPads designed for children who can often navigate iOS before being able to walk, it is clear that technology is providing new education platforms for all levels. According to UNESCO, 6 billion people around the world now have access to mobile phones and digital devices. This astronomic growth of cheap technology presents a huge opportunity for learners, especially in emerging countries. Mobile Moocs: a new way of learning The wider and technologically advanced provision of education tries to satisfy the demands of a fast-growing student population – from 20 million in 1970 to 164 million in 2000 to an eye-watering projected 260 million students globally by 2020.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/10924788/The-revolution-in-online-learning.html

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How Higher Ed Is Using Cloud Computing

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

I set up my mom’s new iPhone recently, while she sat alongside me and watched. At some point in the setup process, it asks if you want to enable Cloud backup. She looked totally confused and asked ‘what’s a cloud’? While I’m willing to bet that most of Edudemic’s readers are way ahead of my mom in understanding what the cloud is, I’m also willing to guess that most readers can’t talk about what the cloud is being used for aside from a general description of ‘data storage’. That is, in fact, correct. The handy infographic linked below takes it a step further – investigating today’s top cloud innovations in post-secondary education.

http://www.edudemic.com/higher-ed-cloud/

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July 6, 2014

Why (And How) Teachers Are Using Twitter

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:11 am

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Oh, Twitter. You’re so useful for teachers. You connect educators so that they can share tools, tips and tricks, offer insight, and support one another. You bring your sexy social media-ness into the classroom to keep kids interested in what they’re learning when they think they’re actually (sort of) having fun instead. That said, there are still skeptics. How can 140 characters be so effective? Does anyone even care what I have to say? How do teachers really use it? These questions and more are explored in the handy infographic linked below.

http://www.edudemic.com/teachers-are-using-twitter/

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Students, Colleges are Embracing Online Learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By Vanessa Denice, US News

The growing rates of enrolling in online courses signal that many institutions in higher education are embracing new technology, according to a report from Moody’s Investors Service titled “Moody’s Weekly Credit Outlook: U.S. Public Finance Edition.” Research noted that many colleges were responding to the needs and preferences of students by expanding online offerings, and this is a positive move for the world of academia. By offering flexible online courses, schools have ultimately improved retention, attracted nontraditional students, loosened classroom capacity limits and made a postsecondary degree more accessible to a wide range of individuals.

http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com/articles/students-colleges-are-embracing-online-learning_14084.aspx#.U6qznJRdVp0

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Google Will Finance Carnegie Mellon’s MOOC Research

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by Avi Wolfman-Arent, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Google will give Carnegie Mellon $300,000 in each of the next two years through the Google Focused Research Award program. The university’s research will focus on “data driven” approaches to research on massive open online courses, including “techniques for automatically analyzing and providing feedback on student work,” according to a news release. The goal, it said, is to develop platforms intelligent enough to mimic the traditional classroom experience. “Unless the MOOCs pay attention to how people actually learn, they will not be able to improve effectiveness, and will end up as just a passing fad,” said Justine Cassell, associate vice provost for technology strategy and impact.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/google-will-finance-carnegie-mellons-mooc-research/53521

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July 5, 2014

Interview: Andrew Ng, chairman and co-founder of Coursera

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by Stephen Ibaraki, IT World Canada

There is an impending digital tsunami — or D-Quake — that can drive enterprises to destruction if they don’t continually update their business model canvas for competitive advantage. Massive open online classes (MOOCs) will reduce training costs by over 80 per cent. Robots and off-shoring are changing labour roles, Google is testing self-driving cars and Amazon is testing drones for package delivery. There are the new wearable / embedded devices with more than 10 sensors and the ubiquitous Internet of Things forming a planetary nervous system. Virtual reality systems (Oculus Rift/Facebook, Sony, Microsoft), glasses (Google), Amazon’s dynamic perspective providing 3-D-like capabilities in their new smart phones are already here. Big data will be smart data with machine learning, deep learning where computers grow brain-like capabilities. At the root of much of this is Andrew Ng, whose efforts are recognized by magazines, fellowships and awards.

http://www.itworldcanada.com/blog/interview-andrew-ng-chairman-and-co-founder-of-coursera/94863

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Study finds MOOC engagement varies from offline courses

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by Stefanie Botelho, University Business

The paper is based on quantitative investigations of more than 300,000 students’ behavior in several large Stanford University courses offered on Coursera, one of the major MOOC platforms. It identifies five distinct types of engagement with MOOCs:

Viewers, who primarily watch lectures but don’t hand in many assignments

Solvers, who hand in assignments for a grade but view few if any lectures

All-rounders, who watch most lectures and hand in most assignments, behaving more like a student in a traditional course

Collectors, who primarily download lectures and may or may not be watching them immediately or in the future

Bystanders, who register for a course but whose total activity is below a very low threshold

http://www.universitybusiness.com/news/study-finds-mooc-engagement-varies-offline-courses

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A National Study of Theories and Their Importance for Faculty Development for Online Teaching

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by Katrina A. Meyer, Vicki S. Murrell, OJDLA

This article presents the results of a national study of 39 higher education institutions that collected information about their practices for faculty development for online teaching and particularly the content and training activities used during 2011-2012. An instrument of 26 items was developed based on a review of literature on faculty development for online teaching and analyzed in Meyer (in press). The study found that 72% (n=29) organizations used learning style theory as a basis for their training activities, followed by 69% that used adult learning (Merriam, 2001) and self-directed learning (Knowles, 1975), 64% that used Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning model, 59% that used Knowles’ (1975) andragogy theories, and 54% that used various instructional design models. Models of good practice were strongly favored (79%) over research on online learning (31%) or theories of learning (23%) in faculty training. Pedagogies of online learning were most important to 92% of the respondents, while research about online learning was most important to only 23% of those who completed the survey. Differences based on Carnegie classification were also found.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer172/Meyer_Murrell172.html

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July 4, 2014

Online Faculty Perceptions on Effective Faculty Mentoring: A Qualitative Study

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:08 am

by Teresa Williams, Melissa Layne, Phil Ice; OJDLA

When higher education leaders give little thought or offer little mentoring to their faculty members, there is risk of driving faculty members from teaching online and of them having a poor experience in online teaching. Without mentoring support, faculty members may feel disconnected and unsupported. The purpose of the study was to examine the mentoring processes reported by faculty members teaching at online institutions of higher education in order to understand the processes of mentoring that these educators purport to be most beneficial to them in their faculty roles. Data from exploratory, opened-ended, and anonymous survey items completed by 26 faculty members generated a vivid picture of the needs of mentoring faculty members. Results of the survey indicated that faculty members need and want mentoring. The participants reported that they value communication as a critical component on a number of levels.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer172/Williams_Layne_Ice172.html

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What Online Students Want Compared to What Institutions Expect

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:06 am

by Jeffrey L. Bailie, OJDLA

The purpose of this study was to examine whether a set of instructional practices commonly prescribed to online faculty in the higher education setting were consistent with the expectations of a group of experienced online student participants. Online faculty performance conventions were collected from 20 institutions of higher learning located in the United States. The collective practices yielded three primary domains related to administrative faculty performance expectations in online instruction: Communication, Presence/Engagement, and Timeliness/Responsiveness. Undergraduate participants representing a cross section of colleges and universities in the United States were surveyed to determine their expectations for online faculty as compared to scaled items derived from the lists of participating institutions. The results of this investigation offer practitioners insight into how administrative instructional guidelines relate to the user demands of an informed group of undergraduate online students.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer172/bailie172.html

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Strategies for Increasing Faculty Participation & Retention in Online & Blended Education

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by Kristen Betts and Amy Heaston, OJDLA

The need for online and blended programs within higher education continues to grow as the student population in the United States becomes increasingly non-traditional. As administrators strategically offer and expand online and blended programs, faculty recruitment and retention will be key. This case study highlights how a public comprehensive university utilized the results of a 2012 institutional study to design faculty development initiatives, an online course development process, and an online course review process to support faculty participation and retention in online and blended programs. Recommendations based on this case study include replicable strategies on how to increase faculty participation and retention in online and blended programs using collaboration, support, and ongoing assessment. This case study is a compendium to the 2012 Armstrong institutional study highlighted in the article “Factors Influencing Faculty Participation & Retention In Online & Blended Education.”

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer172/betts_heaston172.html

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