news (external)

Recognizing Online Degree Programs Across State Lines

by the American Council on Education

A More Uniform Way of Recognizing Online Degree Programs Across State Lines, with SARA as a Focus (PDF) 1 MB (

The process for regulating postsecondary online courses and programs needs to become more uniform nationally in order to safeguard students and ensure that institutions can provide quality education at a reasonable cost. Learn more about recognizing online degree programs in this “Quick Hit” paper.

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Anytime and Anywhere: A Case Study for Blended Learning

by Rachael Hains-Wesson, Sophie McKenzie, and Shaun Bangay; EDUCAUSE Review Online

Using live streaming with blended learning helps engage off- and on-campus students in real time and enhances the off-campus experience by incorporating synchronous activities in addition to the usual asynchronous interactions. Research into the effective use of blended learning frameworks offers opportunities to create course experiences that are personal, relevant, and engaging. Challenges include integrating appropriate technology and managing it effectively throughout the course. Results from practical experiments will likely guide future learning and teaching endeavors using technology for inclusive, interactive, and collaborative learning for on- and off-campus students.

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7 Common Mistakes About Open Online Education

Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

There is huge excitement on our campuses about the research in how people learn, in new methods to improve learning, in the use of data to bring evidence to our teaching designs, and in new technologies to support teaching. The scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) is taking off in a big way. Learning is hot. Educators are cool. And MOOCs deserve some of the credit. The hype around MOOCs played the same role as the dot com bubble. MOOCs helped lay the groundwork for a sustained conversation about how people learn and how we teach

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New Registry Will Demystify Badges, Credentials and Degrees

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-07-30 02:10

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

George Washington University, Southern Illinois University and Workcred, a nonprofit affiliate of the American National Standards Institute, are teaming up to build a “credential registry” that would increase the transparency and value of industry credentials and degrees. The registry “will allow users to easily compare the quality and value of workforce credentials, such as college degrees and industry certifications, using a Web-based system with information provided directly by the institutions issuing the credentials,” according to a press release. The work recently received a $2.25 million grant from the Lumina Foundation. The credential registry project aims to create a coherent credentialing marketplace with information on what the credentials mean, what stands behind them and how they relate, that all users can understand and use effectively.

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Purdue Faculty Help Each Other Learn Steps of Tech Transfer

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-07-30 02:05

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

To help innovators at Purdue University convert their technology ideas into commercial endeavors, the university is running a mentoring program where faculty help other faculty. Deliberate Innovation for Faculty (DIFF) is a team of faculty members who have already had success in moving an invention into commercialization. The seven DIFF mentors come from all over the institution — the college of technology; the school of management; the schools of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering; the college of engineering; and the Homeland Security Institute. Help may include guiding research proposals or collaborations from the beginning of new projects, providing early stage discovery or startup direction and proposing funding sources, market research and business planning.

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How online education could narrow the global skills gap

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-07-30 02:03

by Anant Agarwal, Fortune

While the primary mission of our colleges and universities should remain focused on education, rather than skills training, many influencers in both higher education and the private sector have acknowledged the skills gap and are experimenting with new approaches—sometimes teaming up on initiatives to augment the college experience. Business leaders and educators alike are turning to new technologies, and skills-based assessment practices, to find and train the workforce needed today. The skills gap is a real threat to productivity in the U.S. The education world and the professional world can address this issue by finding ways to work together with the help of online education, opening up more avenues to learners and employees alike based on skill and ability.

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Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Thu, 2015-07-30 00:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherte gestaltbare Tabelle aus dem Bereich "Berufsbildungsstatistik" des Statistischen Bundesamtes wurde um das Jahr 2014 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

Five Ways Online Learning is Enabling Change in Post-Secondary Education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-07-29 14:45

Contact North, Jul 29, 2015

Short report from Contact North emphasizing the affordances enabled by online learning. Here they are:

  • Access to knowledge, ideas and information
  • Community of learners
  • Mobile mentoring
  • Adaptive curriculum
  • Differentiated teaching

It's interesting, because some of these have to do with the enhanced communications capacity, while others have to do with the inherent capability of computers to process data.

[Link] [Comment]

Reuters Exclusive: Education company Blackboard seeks $3 billion sale – sources – LIANA B. BAKER, GREG ROUMELIOTIS AND MIKE STONE, Reuters

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2015-07-29 13:25
Blackboard Inc, a U.S. software company that provides learning tools for high school and university classrooms, is exploring a sale that it hopes could value it at as much as $3 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.  Blackboard’s majority owner, private equity firm Providence Equity Partners LLC, has hired Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) to run an auction for the company, the people said this week. Blackboard has annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of around $200 million, some of the people added. Two of the people said that Blackboard could fetch a valuation between 14 times to 17 times EBITDA, up to $3.4 billion, based on current multiples of subscription-based software companies. Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_14983') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_14983') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_14983') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_14983'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php');,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if ( === 'facebook_share_button_14983') { button.onmouseover = function(){'#fff'; = '#295582'; = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ = '#3b5998'; = '#d8dfea'; = '#fff'; } } }

Tablets in education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-07-29 02:44

Michael Trucano, EduTech, Jul 28, 2015

This post contains links to 14 tablet initiatives in countries around the world (and another three in which the governments are taking them back). The article is generally sceptical in tone: "the evidence base when it comes to tablet use in schools and to support student learning is rather weak, and can be used in support of or against pretty much whatever scheme is being considered." Well, true. Because it's hard to have an evidence base for national tablet initiatives in developing nations based on "research to date (which) comes from schools in 'highly developed' (OECD) countries, relies on projects with small sample sizes, are of short duration and/or rely heavily on self-reported and/or qualitative data." The only way to know is to try, and to their credit, these nations are trying. Goodness knows, the developed world isn't stepping forth to meet the need. And it wasn't very long ago that the World Bank's answer was  high-end videoconferencing facilities for business and small  mobile phones for everyone else.

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On Labor, Learning Conditions, and Affordable Education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-07-29 02:44

Tiffany Kraft, Hybrid Pedagogy, Jul 28, 2015

"Here are three takeaways," writes Tiffany Kraft. "1) Students cannot afford the price we pay for higher education. 2) The debt-for-diploma exchange is gutting our Millennials. 3) The antidote for corporate academe is student activism." These have been true since I was a student in the 1980s (and hence, a student activist). Student activism was probably necessary, but certainly not sufficient. I'm not sure, after these 35 years, what would be sufficient.

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Online Classes on the Rise

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2015-07-29 02:10

By Jim Anderson – Illinois Radio Network

The University of Illinois is heavily invested in offering courses online, but the president doesn’t want the on-campus environment to suffer. But President Timothy L. Killeen says the college campus should not be seen as an anachronism. “Learning in group settings, learning through access to experts who are providing tutorial information, explanatory information, looking at case studies, the discourse that takes place on a campus, just the vibrant atmosphere of a campus, including things such as athletics and clubs and events and so forth, makes for a rounded citizen,” he said. But he’s all-in on distance education, saying it’s good for real people with real lives, including members of the military. However, he says it’s important that the U. of I. maintain the same standards for quality online that it keeps on campus. Killeen insists there is not competition between on-campus and online education, at least within the University of Illinois, which has been offering online courses since 1997.

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Carts Before Horses: Growth in Online Learning for Students, but Who Will Teach Their Instructors?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2015-07-29 02:05

by Barbara Kurshan, Forbes

By 2003, 81% of colleges had at least one online class, and from 2002 to 2008 there was a 187% increase of students taking online classes. In 2010, 83% of CEOs and small business owners considered an online degree to be as credible as one earned traditionally, and today, 96% of traditional universities offer online courses. In 2013, President Obama pledged over $500 million for the creation of online course materials as part of his commitment through ConnectED. We contend that the real issue — and the one that largely goes unaddressed — is that the majority of people who teach online are given virtually no assistance in learning how to teach online. Professional development for these instructors is limited to lunch ‘n’ learns, basic learning platform support, and other technology-related resources, but generally fails to expose instructors to the best techniques for online instruction.

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Revealed: The Chinese forums offering hacking courses for just US$100

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2015-07-29 02:02

by Tim Chen, South China Morning Post

Amid increasing cyber attacks on both political and commercial targets by groups linked to China, the barriers to entering this potentially lucrative black market industry are close to non-existent as hackers share tips and best practices online. On the Chinese internet, websites and forums dedicated to teaching hacking proliferate. Techniques on offer can be used by both criminal “black hat” hackers and “white hat” cybersecurity researchers. On HDHacker, a forum which claims more than 465,000 members, one training programme for “black hat” hackers promises tutors with six years of experience who will guide students through a curriculum that includes “dozens of security and remote control methods” and “site penetration and analysis of source code” for a one off fee of 650 yuan (US$105).

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Ozymandias - Wed, 2015-07-29 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

PNBHS Haka for Mr. Dawson Tamatea's Funeral Service

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2015-07-28 23:43

PNBHS, YouTube, Jul 28, 2015

A brilliant tribute to a fallen teacher. I especially liked Megan Brown's comment: "I think what it is, at least from my perspective, is that haka requires the performer to cast aside any societal bonds that prevent men from expressing emotion, especially grief, as these boys would have been experiencing. Haka therefore permits and actively encourages men to be emotional. Whether that's angry, proud, respectful, or affected by sadness, it doesn't really matter. It allows men (and women, there are haka for women and women often back up men performing haka as well) to reach right down into their guts and voice what's in there with no fear of being shamed by others. There's something primal about it, it's visceral, and it's incredibly powerful. Very seldom do any of us, especially those of us living in predominantly Western societies, allow ourselves the chance to express emotion in this way. That is why it connects. Because it is raw and we don't let ourselves be raw."

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Rethinking 'What Counts'

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2015-07-28 17:42

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Jul 28, 2015

This is a reprint of an Audrey Watters article that appeared in a paywall site back in April. She writes: "Learning is not a counting noun," says Dave Cormier, "so what should we count?" I first want to say that 'learning' is a verb :) but that the question is nonetheless valid: with walking we count steps or distance, with writing we count words or arguments, but what of learning? What is counted? What counts? Even if we do away with the language that leads us toward quantification, writes Watters, "how do we identify what matters?" My own answer to this question is at once simple and complex. What counts? Stillness. Balance. Harmony. Resilience. To me, the answer is a lot more about what we become, rather than what we acquire, which is why measurement is a challenge, if not impossible. It is, nonetheless, something  we can recognize when we see it.

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Here's How 20,000 Reddit Volunteers Fight Trolls, Spammers, And Played-Out Memes

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2015-07-28 17:42

Steven Melendez, Fast Company, Jul 28, 2015

Interesting article not only because it describes how Reddit's community of volunteers manages to filter the discussion forums, but also because it makes it clear the impact of unmoderated speech. "There are Chicago newspaper websites that have comment sections that are full of hate speech, and we wanted the Reddit community to be something different. We banned them. We silenced them. We removed their comments. We told them to go away... They can wreak havoc on our threads and really mess with people's heads. I don't think most people realize what little it takes to seriously damage someone" (I've combined a couple of quotes here). If you do not have 20,000 volunteers in a massive course, you have limited options: do without forums (the xMOOC approach), pay a lot of money for moderators, allow nasty and vile comments, or break into a network of multiple communities (the cMOOC approach).

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H1 2015 International Learning Technology Investment Patterns

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2015-07-28 14:42

Sam Adkins, Ambient Insight, Jul 28, 2015

Ambient Insight has released a report describing a huge increase in investments in ed tech. "In the six month period between January and June 2015, $2.51 billion was invested in learning technology companies across the globe. This is astonishing considering that the total global investments made to learning technology companies for the entire year of 2014 was $2.42 billion, which set a record in the industry." 19 page PDF. See also Inside Higher Ed.

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New center to stress active learning, technology in course design

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2015-07-28 02:06

by Cassie Lipp, News Record

In response to the University of Cincinnati’s emphasis on online and technology-based learning, the university will open its Center for Engagement in eLearning in the beginning of fall semester. The center’s design, technology and creative teams will allow faculty members to innovate learning. “We’ve got people who are professionals in graphic and video design and professionals in supporting faculty with technology,” said Pat Reid, director of the center’s design team. “So we can provide a lot more services and help the faculty with a more professional look to their courses.” Reid said the center’s main goal, however, is to help professors find more effective methods to engage students. “The pedagogy side of technology is more important than the technology they actually use,” Reid said.

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