eLearning and Technology

Moving From 5% to 85% Completion Rates for Online Courses

By Amy Ahearn, EdSurge

At Acumen, where I design online courses, we’ve also been offering selective cohort-based programs for the past year that achieve completion rates of 85 percent. That’s a far cry from five years ago, when only 5 percent of the students were finishing the MOOCs I was designing. How have instructional designers collectively moved the needle so dramatically on completion rates? Unsurprisingly, some of the biggest drivers of these improved metrics include making people pay for online programs, increasing the selectivity of courses, and adding program managers and teaching assistants to follow up with learners. However, there are other meaningful interventions that help more students stick with online educational experiences. Here are seven practices for moving completion rates for online courses from 5 to 85 percent:

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-06-06-moving-from-5-to-85-completion-rates-for-online-courses

 

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Enrollment Declines and College Closures Will Get Worse Before they Get Better

Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside
Education Dive has been tracking college closures since 2016. Due largely to regulatory pressure, college closures have far and away been led by the for-profit sector. The publication reports that over 100 for-profits closed between 2016 and 2018, while 30 non-profits have shut their doors. In December, however, Fitch Ratings projected these closures to increase in 2019.

https://news.elearninginside.com/public-universities-bank-on-distance-learning-and-emerging-markets-to-offset-enrollment-declines/

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More than half of online learners want to change careers

James Paterson, Education Dive
More than half (53%) of college students enrolled online are doing so to change careers, while 18% are preparing for their first professional job, according to an annual survey from online program manager Learning House and Aslanian Market Research. The large majority (84%) of current and past students said their online programs were worth the cost, and 81% of online students said they felt confident they would graduate with the knowledge and skills needed in the job market. Nearly half (47%) of current students said they’d like to return to their alma mater to take additional courses. From 2014 to 2019, the share of undergraduates indicating their online courses were “better” than in-person classes fell from 50% to 39%, while the percentage who indicated they were “about the same” rose from 41% to 50%. More graduate students (52%) ranked online courses as better than in-person classes in 2019 than did in 2014 (43%).

https://www.educationdive.com/news/more-than-half-of-online-learners-want-to-change-careers/556307/

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What’s the Price of an Online Education?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2019-06-16 02:05

Mark Lieberman, Inside Higher Ed

How much students should pay for online programs varies widely from institution to institution.  We’re not breaking any revelatory news in saying that college and university pricing is … less than straightforward. But it can be instructive to examine how institutions make decisions about pricing. Luke Dowden arrived at Alamo last year after eight years at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. There, his bosses expected his online programs to be self-supporting, and cost and price were aggressively monitored. At Alamo, he has pushed to establish a financial model that will inform further pricing decisions.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2019/06/05/pricing-online-programs-involves-decisions-around-competition

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Is Your Workforce Large, Mobile, and in Need of Safety Training? Online Learning Could Help

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2019-06-16 02:04

By David Galt, EHS Daily Advisor
Do you believe the best employee learning occurs while on the job and within the context of the work? There are well-tested steps to follow for rolling out a training solution for a large, mobile workforce. Courtney Cordova, Director of Change Enablement at Whole Foods Market, presented 5 Steps to Implementing a Modern Mobile Learning Solution Across a Distributed Workforce and discussed how she implemented a form of mobile learning at the 2019 ATD International Conference and Exposition in Washington, DC.

https://ehsdailyadvisor.blr.com/2019/06/is-your-workforce-large-mobile-and-in-need-of-safety-training-online-learning-could-help/

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CONTINUOUS LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION – A CLOSER LOOK

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2019-06-16 02:03

BY LEO GIOSUÈ, Jerusalem Post

The traditional methods of imparting knowledge to other people are becoming less and less dominant, with the emphasis instead being on online platforms and social media to deliver the necessary information required for learners to succeed. If the education system wants to maintain high demand and a steady influx of learners, they need to change their methods to suit the new landscape. Some areas have chosen to introduce continuous learning into the digital world via the use of tools like micro-credentials. These types of courses and development seminars provide short, concentrated bursts of information and knowledge, which is potentially more suitable for the modern audience.

https://www.jpost.com/Special-Content/Continuous-Learning-in-Higher-Education-A-Closer-Look-591554

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Survey: Most Students Say Online Learning Is as Good or Better Than Face-to-Face

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2019-06-15 02:10

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
In a survey of 1,500 students who are seriously considering, currently enrolled in or recently graduated from a fully online program, most (86 percent) considered the value of their degree equal to or greater than the cost they paid to take it. Among those who have attended face-to-face and online courses, the majority (85 percent) said that online learning is as good as or better than attending courses on campus. In fact, two-thirds of online college students (67 percent) reported that they’d achieved the original goal that motivated them to enroll in their program; graduate students were more likely than undergraduates to feel that way (76 percent vs. 62 percent).

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/06/18/most-students-say-online-learning-is-as-good-or-better-than-face-to-face.aspx

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Survey: Students Choosing Online Programs Closer to Home

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2019-06-15 02:05

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
In spite of the notion that students could conceivably take online courses from an institution anywhere in the world, two-thirds stick close to home — choosing a college or university within 50 miles of where they live. In fact, 44 percent selected a school within 25 miles of their homes. And the share of students enrolling in a school more than 100 miles from home fell from 37 percent in 2014 to 15 percent in 2019.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2019/06/04/survey-students-choosing-online-programs-closer-to-home.aspx

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Wharton establishes new online courses at the intersection of finance and technology

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2019-06-15 02:03

By Jason Yan, Daily Pennsylvanian
Wharton professors will teach ‘fintech’ — a cross between finance and technology — to students around the world in a new online program. Wharton Online released the fintech specialization on Coursera, an online learning platform, on May 30. The program, titled “Fintech: Foundations and Applications of Financial Technology,” contains four courses and covers subjects from cryptocurrency and blockchain to crowdfunding and robo-advising. The courses will each cost a monthly fee of $79 and will be taught by Wharton finance and Penn Law professors.

https://www.thedp.com/article/2019/06/penn-wharton-fintech-finance-online-tech

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Leading Without an OPM in the Age of ‘Bigger Is Better’

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2019-06-14 02:05

Evangeline J. Tsibris Cummings and Vincent J. Del Casino Jr., Inside Higher Ed

Building and managing their own online programs helps institutions transform themselves and prepare for the future, Vin Del Casino and Evie Cummings argue. To survive and prosper in this moment of massive change in higher education and the noise of “mega-universities” and to lead higher education into its next quarter century, it will take great courage, clarity of vision and purpose, and the empowerment and high expectations for impact among our faculty and staff. We must be mindful that while it requires leadership at your university, building an effective and integrated online experience also demands partnership with external stakeholders — state officials, university boards and accrediting agencies — whose focus on student completion and success must be geared toward the long game of a sustainable future.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/views/2019/06/05/universities-can-go-online-without-corporate-partner-even-age

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The 4 Things Every Digital Learning Leader Should Know

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2019-06-14 02:03

Edward J. Maloney and Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

The answer always depends on the individual asking, but anyone who claims that there is a single route to a career in digital learning has not spent much time with leaders in the profession. A strength of the field is the range of diverse perspectives and training that practitioners bring to the work. Whatever one’s educational background, and independent of the decision to study for a Ph.D., there are a number of areas that everyone working in digital learning should know. These are subjects that neither of us learned anything about in our own traditional Ph.D. programs, but they have proven vital navigating our careers in higher education digital learning.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/technology-and-learning/4-things-every-digital-learning-leader-should-know

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Universities try to catch up to their growing Latinx populations

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2019-06-14 02:02

by AARON CANTÚ, The Hechinger Report

Across the country, many universities are seeing increases in Latinx populations. Between 2000 and 2015, the number of Latinx college students more than doubled, to 3 million. Their share of overall college enrollment rose between 1996 and 2016 from 8 to 19 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In response, some universities are starting to cater to their growing Latinx populations. They’re adding more faculty who reflect the school’s increasing diversity, introducing cultural programming and establishing counseling and mentoring programs to help Latinx students overcome stubborn academic resource gaps.

https://hechingerreport.org/universities-try-to-catch-up-to-their-growing-latinx-populations/

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To Catch a Fake: Machine learning sniffs out its own machine-written propaganda

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2019-06-13 02:05

Tiernan Ray, ZD Net
The “Era of neural disinformation” is upon us, a future in which machines can generate fake news articles in enormous volume that humans will get suckered into believing is real.  The only hope for society lies with … another machine.  Researchers at Allen Institute and the Paul Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington have tuned the “GPT-2” neural network to create “Grover,” a program that both creates convincing fake articles but also is able to detect those fakes, pointing to a way to combat propaganda.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/to-catch-a-fake-machine-learning-sniffs-out-its-own-machine-written-propaganda/

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In the future, will we acquire skills, not degrees?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2019-06-13 02:03

MIKE COLAGROSSI, Big Think

Nontraditional education options are on the rise.  U.S. college enrollment has declined for the eighth consecutive year.  A recent survey found that a majority of freelancers found skills training to be more important than having a degree. It’s becoming harder for universities to keep up with a rapidly changing workforce.  It should come as no surprise to mostly anyone who is paying attention, that we’re in a seriously fast moving and complex technology-driven economy. One of the likes we’ve never seen before and one that’s only going to get wilder.

https://bigthink.com/personal-growth/skills-degrees

 

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College grads still earn more than workers with no university degree

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2019-06-13 02:00

Allana Akhtar and Andy Kiersz, Business Insider

College is more expensive than ever, leading many business leaders and experts to offer ways to get good jobs without needing a degree. Yet college graduates still earn more than non-college graduates in every state in the US, according to data from the 2017 American Consumer Survey. Here’s how much more college graduates make in every state.

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-more-college-graduates-earn-than-non-graduates-in-every-state-2019-5

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Why does Beijing suddenly care about AI ethics?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2019-06-12 02:10

 

by Will Knight, MIT Technology Review

New guidelines on freedom and privacy protection signal that the Chinese state is open to dialogue about how it uses technology. And while China’s government is widely criticized for using AI as a way to monitor citizens, the newly published guidelines seem remarkably similar to ethical frameworks laid out by Western companies and governments.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613610/why-does-china-suddenly-care-about-ai-ethics-and-privacy/

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4 Ways Algorithms Can Boost Diversity in Hiring

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2019-06-12 02:05

ANNE FISHER, Fortune
Artificial intelligence can be a “black box”—mysterious and more than a little intimidating. Meanwhile, new permutations of the tech are sprouting up like mushrooms, especially for recruiting and hiring. Yet as employers have increasingly tried to make their workforces more diverse and inclusive, the A.I. industry itself has taken some flak for being almost exclusively white and male. The irony there is that A.I., used correctly, has “a shot at being better at decision-making than we humans are, particularly in hiring,” says Aleksandra Mojsilovic. A research fellow in A.I. at IBM, Mojsilovic holds 16 patents in machine learning, and helped develop algorithms that can check other algorithms for unintended bias. An essential part of using A.I. to encourage diversity, she notes, is making sure the teams that build what goes into the black box are themselves a diverse group, with a variety of backgrounds and points of view.

http://fortune.com/2019/06/01/ai-artificial-intelligence-diversity-hiring/

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Criminals learning how to commit card fraud from dark web

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2019-06-12 02:03

Miles Brignall, the Guardian

Tutorials available online showing how to get details of stolen cards, says tech firm. Want to use stolen credit card details to buy online? There’s a class for that. Card fraud is evolving, with amateur fraudsters able to “enrol” in online “classes” where they can learn how to use stolen card details to buy smaller-value items. That’s the claim from a UK tech firm, which says a new breed of opportunistic fraudster is learning how to commit crime via online tutorials and guides available on the so-called “dark web”. Featurespace, a Cambridge-based artificial intelligence (AI) firm, showed Guardian Money examples and screengrabs of these tutorials, many of which will point people towards specific “carding” sites that sell people’s details.

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/jun/01/now-there-are-online-classes-in-how-to-use-stolen-cards

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Learning Crypto and Blockchain is Now Made Easy by an Ivy League University

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2019-06-11 02:10

Abeer Anwaar, Block Publisher

According to the press release published on May 30, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has officially introduced a new online program focusing on fintech in general, which also includes digital currencies and the distributed ledger technology (DLT). As the acceptance and popularity of cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology increases, the need to study it in more detail also becomes necessary. In light of that necessity, several universities around the globe are offering courses on the new technology. Among them is an Ivy League university from United States, the University of Pennsylvania.

https://blockpublisher.com/learning-crypto-and-blockchain-is-now-made-easy-by-an-ivy-league-university/

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Improving academic success through service-learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2019-06-11 02:05

Patrick Blessinger, Enakshi Sengupta and Taisir Subhi Yamin; University World News

In short, service-learning is a curricula-based approach to teaching and learning that allows students to directly put academic theory into real-world practice. The specifics of a service-learning project will depend on the institutional mission, the academic discipline and programme, the grade level and course type and the specific learning objectives. The research knowledge base on service-learning shows that it can have a positive impact on student engagement, retention and graduation rates. Service-learning is an approach that complements and enhances traditional classroom (face-to-face, hybrid or online) courses through civic engagement and community development.

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20190526153905418

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