eLearning and Technology

University of Iowa investigates claims of cheating by online students

by Vanessa Miller, the Gazette

Safeguards in place to prevent cheating among University of Iowa online students recently detected “potential irregularities” during an exam, prompting the institution to launch an academic misconduct investigation. The revelations came after ProctorU, a national proctoring service that the university partners with to provide identity verification for several online courses, alerted UI officials that at least 30 students enrolled in online courses might have tried to cheat by having other people take their tests. The proctoring service flagged potential instances of cheating through discrepancies in identification provided by test-takers in one or more exams and — in some cases — in multiple courses. A statement provided by UI spokeswoman Jeneane Beck says the institution is reviewing each case and will determine appropriate next steps.

http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/education/higher-education/university-of-iowa-investigating-cheating-among-online-students-20160520

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3 Ways Online Students Might Take Exams

By Bobbie Lynn Eicher, US News

Different programs have different test-taking requirements and might proctor exams in person or online. Some programs will require that students have the proper equipment needed to take tests online, such as a microphone and webcam. Few students would cite exams as their favorite part of being in school, but doing well on them is crucial to surviving most academic programs. Being an online student means never having to sit in a classroom overseen by a professor and surrounded by others taking the same test, but online programs have still found ways to examine what students know.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/articles/2016-05-20/3-ways-online-students-might-take-exams

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Role of CIO critical in higher ed’s future

By Roger Riddell, Education Dive

Citing an Educause and Jisc report that states future IT leaders in higher ed must bring strategic focus to the role, EdTech Magazine breaks down the importance of the position as campuses are increasingly required to adapt to the technological demands of the 21st Century. Strategy in the role must go beyond simply being a middle-man between a college or university’s top administrators and IT, addressing how IT fits into the campus overall in relation to its strengths and weaknesses. A survey from CIO magazine suggests this is a challenge those in the position (regardless of official title, which can vary) are more than up for as they increasingly tackle business strategy as part of their day-to-day responsibilities.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/role-of-cio-critical-in-higher-eds-future/419455/

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Continuing Education Divisions as Impact Agents in Online Initiatives

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2016-05-25 02:10
by Vickie Cook and Gayla Stoner, Evolllution Continuing Education divisions have an opportunity to work with their institutions to impact change through standalone centers focused on supporting campus-wide online program development. This article will look at seven key components that will benefit an institution’s centralized approach led by the CE Division as well as the impact of this standalone center approach on the long-term sustainability of a CE Division. http://evolllution.com/revenue-streams/distance_online_learning/continuing-education-divisions-as-impact-agents-in-online-initiatives/ Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_17556') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_17556') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_17556') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_17556'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php'); window.open(url,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if (button.id === 'facebook_share_button_17556') { button.onmouseover = function(){ this.style.color='#fff'; this.style.borderColor = '#295582'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ this.style.color = '#3b5998'; this.style.borderColor = '#d8dfea'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#fff'; } } }

What’s Your Type? Making Online Education Work #infographic

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2016-05-25 02:04

by Affordable Colleges

A useful collection of data by type of online student is provided in this infographic. This may be a good orientation to those who are unfamiliar with the growing importance of online learning.

http://www.affordable-online-colleges.net/online-education/

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Take Your Teaching Online: the Micro-Lecture

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2016-05-25 02:02

By Travis Grandy, Inside Higher Ed

Whether you want to supplement instruction for your in-person class or you teach a fully online course (like me), you’re probably looking for effective ways to deliver content and maintain student engagement. Online learning is a different landscape thanks to sites like Khan Academy, the rapid adoption of MOOCs, and digital pedagogies (including blended and flipped classrooms). While online lectures aren’t the only medium for online instruction, they can be a powerful one, and can play a strategic part in how you teach. Short, focused discussions of key concepts or ideas can be a great way to support student learning when they’re working independently or at a distance. For example, if you want to share content quickly in a condensed format, micro-lectures can help cut out excessive verbiage. Beyond creating a good learning experience for students, being conversant about effective online teaching can be a big help when you’re doing a job search.

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/gradhacker/take-your-teaching-online-micro-lecture

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A sense of wonder and discovery: in support of methodological pluralism

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-05-24 23:14


Keith Lyons, Clyde Street, May 24, 2016

Herodotus  is a terrific read, so if you haven't yet, you should. It's also an interesting backdrop against which to frame this discussion of George Siemens's recent talk (and mammoth slide deck) on the fragmentation and reassembly of knowledge. "Think about the parallels between ‘ historia’ (critical thinking) and...  flourishing in a world that welcomes diversity of views woven into new sense-making," writes Keith Lyons. This view resonates with me. My 'histories' consist of some 26,000 individual posts like this one. They can be combined and recombined to create any sort of narrative. Here's the secret: the narrative, and the way of making the narrative, is not sacrosanct. Any of a hundred ways of doing ti will work equally well. And the same applies ro science and enquiry (and, for that matter, literature and art).

[Link] [Comment]

Moodle Intros Full Support for Competency-Based Ed

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-05-24 17:13


Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology, May 24, 2016

I mentioned this in my talk at Moodle Connect  last week and think it is relevant to highlight here.  "Competency frameworks and learning plans can now be constructed within Moodle or imported from external sources using a plugin." These are used to create learning plans. "Administrators can create learning plan templates and apply them to individuals or entire cohorts of students." Here's a full list  of the new features. Competency-based learning plans have been on the Moodle roadmap for some time now and it's no surprise to see a full implementation rolled out. 

[Link] [Comment]

Blackboard’s Online Learning Trend Report

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-05-24 17:13


Jon Kolko, Blackboard Blog, May 24, 2016

Some startling but timely reading from Blackboard as their research points to unsettling conclusions about their (and probably other) LMSs. For example (quoted):

  • When students take a class online, they make a tacit agreement to a poorer experience which undermines their educational self worth.
  • Students take more pride in the skills they develop to cope with an online class than what they learn from it.
  • Online classes neglect the aspects of college that create a lasting perception of value.

The report (13 page PDF) says that these negative findings can be used "to craft positive changes for our products." I think that people working with the company would find it refreshing to work where these weaknesses are recognized and are being actively addressed.

 

[Link] [Comment]

Previous LMS For Schools Moving to Canvas in US and Canada

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-05-24 17:13


Phil Hill, e-Literate, May 24, 2016

Nice analysis of LMS migration (though limited as always to the U.S. and Canada - I wish e-literate would adopt a more international focus). Two major things are highlighted: first, a substantial portion of the the growth of Instructure's Canvas is coming from Blackboard Learn (and the bulk of the rest is from older LMSs such as WebCT and Angel). Canvas has also attracted some conversion from Moodle, but Moodle has grown so rapidly it doesn't really matter. Second, it is worth noting that D2L's Brightspace has a nearly 100% retention rate. Once people sign on with the platform, for the most part, they don't leave.

[Link] [Comment]

Reinventing Research

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-05-24 17:13


Michael B. Horn, EducationNext, May 24, 2016

Making the same point again (and I'm going to keep bringing it up until something changes): "The traditional gold-standard approach to research— a randomized control trial (RCT)— is not worth its weight as we move to a student-centered education system that personalizes for all students so that they succeed," writes  Michael B. Horn. As  AltSchool's  Max Ventilla says, "Something that’ s better for 70 percent of the kids and worse for 30 percent of the kids— that’ s an unacceptable outcome." Right now, in my opinion, reserachers don't even have a structure or mechanism for studying personal learning, much less any research base that is built upon that. 

[Link] [Comment]

Improvise for complexity

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-05-24 17:13


Harold Jarche, May 24, 2016

It's interesting how often metaphors from the world of performance and theatre creep into our dialogue about learning. The IMS Learning Design specification, for example, explicitly draws  on the metaphor, invoking roles and direction. We often read about the 'orchestration' of learning activities. In this post from Harold Jarche we read (and can view a video) about improvisation as an ensemble in order to adapt to complexity and change. It's a useful metaphor in that it speaks a lot about developing team skills and dynamics through a process of deliberate rehearsal along with processes that appear drawn from an agile methodology. As for myself, always the outlier in the group, I have turned repeatedly in the past to the metaphor of the stand-up comedian, easily my favourite form of theatre. 

[Link] [Comment]

Course Evaluations: How Can/Should We Improve Response Rates?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-05-24 02:09

By: Maryellen Weimer, Faculty Focus

A 2008 review of nine comparison studies reported that online response rates averaged 23% lower than traditional formats. What percentage of students in a course need to respond for the results to be representative? The answer depends on a number of variables, most notably class size. For a class of 20 students, one expert puts the minimum at 58%. As class size increases, the percentage drops. Despite some disagreement as to the percentages, there is consensus that online response rates should be higher than they are right now. Perhaps we all can agree that offering incentives to complete the evaluations doesn’t get students doing ratings for the right reason. Students should offer assessments because their instructors benefit from student feedback the same way students learn from teacher feedback. They should be doing ratings because reflecting about courses and teachers enables students to better understand themselves as learners. They should be doing these end-of-course evaluations because they believe the quality of their experiences in courses matters to the institution. The bottom line question: Is there any way to get students doing ratings for the right reasons?

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/course-evaluations-can-improve-response-rates/

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Celebrate International Month of Creative Coding by Taking Online Courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-05-24 02:05

by CATY MCCARTHY, Kill Screen

Everything we know and love virtually is the source of meticulous coding. Coding is the backbone of videogames. Coding is in the DNA of the websites we visit daily. In fact, coding can be the reason why some of our favorite creative endeavors exist at all. Coding all too often makes the impossible possible. And that’s why the for-profit online course provider Kadenze has officially dubbed May as the “International Month of Creative Coding.” But what makes coding creative?

https://killscreen.com/articles/celebrate-international-month-creative-coding/

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9 Free Online Courses To Pump Up Your Big Data, Analytics Skills

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-05-24 02:02

by Jessica Davis, Information Week

Analytics, big data, and data science are hot areas in the industry, and professionals who have these skills are in high demand. Some reports put annual salaries for data scientists at above the $200,000 mark. Career site Glass Door rated data scientist as the top job for work-life balance, which is not anything that’s easy to come by these days. The demand for data scientists, analysts, and big data experts is strong, and educational institutions are scrambling to meet the demand. But do you really need to go back to school to get another degree in order to establish yourself in a career as a data scientist? Maybe not. There are plenty of other ways for aspiring data scientists and analytics experts to prove their worth to potential employers. For instance, Kaggle offers competitions that enable new data scientists to show off their knowledge and expertise. This site is a common hunting ground for recruiters looking to hire the best and the brightest in data science.

http://www.informationweek.com/big-data/big-data-analytics/9-free-online-courses-to-pump-up-your-big-data-analytics-skills/d/d-id/1325521

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What does it mean to be human in a digital age?

elearnspace by George Siemens - Mon, 2016-05-23 02:53

It has been about 30 months now since I took on the role to lead the LINK Research Lab at UTA. (I have retained a cross appointment with Athabasca University and continue to teach and supervise doctoral students there).

It has taken a few years to get fully up and running – hardly surprising. I’ve heard explanations that a lab takes at least three years to move from creation to research identification to data collection to analysis to publication. This post summarizes some of our current research and other activities in the lab.

We, as a lab, have had a busy few years in terms of events. We’ve hosted numerous conferences and workshops and engaged in (too) many research talks and conference presentations. We’ve also grown significantly – from an early staff base of four people to expected twenty three within a few months. Most of these are doctoral or post doctoral students and we have a terrific core of administrative and support staff.

Finding our Identity

In trying to find our identity and focus our efforts, we’ve engaged in numerous activities including book clubs, writing retreats, innovation planning meetings, long slack/email exchanges, and a few testy conversations. We’ve brought in well over 20 established academics and passionate advocates as speakers to help us shape our mission/vision/goals. Members of our team have attended conferences globally, on topics as far ranging as economics, psychology, neuroscience, data science, mindfulness, and education. We’ve engaged with state, national, and international agencies, corporations, as well as the leadership of grant funding agencies and major foundations. Overall, an incredible period of learning as well as deepening existing relationships and building new ones. I love the intersections of knowledge domains. It’s where all the fun stuff happens.

As with many things in life, the most important things aren’t taught. In the past, I’ve owned businesses that have had an employee base of 100+ personnel. There are some lessons that I learned as a business owner that translate well into running a research lab, but with numerous caveats. Running a lab is an entrepreneurial activity. It’s the equivalent of creating a startup. The intent is to identify a key opportunity and then, driven by personal values and passion, meaningfully enact that opportunity through publications, grants, research projects, and collaborative networks. Success, rather than being measured in profits and VC funds, is measured by impact with the proxies being research funds and artifacts (papers, presentations, conferences, workshops). I find it odd when I hear about the need for universities to be more entrepreneurial as the lab culture is essentially a startup environment.

Early stages of establishing a lab are chaotic. Who are we? What do we care about? How do we intersect with the university? With external partners? What are our values? What is the future that we are trying to create through research? Who can we partner with? It took us a long time to identify our key research areas and our over-arching research mandate. We settled on these four areas: new knowledge processes, success for all learners, the future of employment, and new knowledge institutions. While technologies are often touted as equalizers that change the existing power structure by giving everyone a voice, the reality is different. In our society today, a degree is needed to get a job. In the USA, degrees are prohibitively expensive to many learners and the result is a type of poverty lock-in that essentially guarantees growing inequality. While it’s painful to think about, I expect a future of greater racial violence, public protests, and radicalized politicians and religious leaders and institutions. Essentially the economic makeup of our society is one where higher education now prevents, rather than enables, improving one’s lot in life.

What does it mean to be human in a digital age?

Last year, we settled on a defining question: What does it mean to be human in a digital age? So much of the discussion in society today is founded in a fetish to talk about change. The narrative in media is one of “look what’s changing”. Rarely is the surface level assessment explored to begin looking at “what are we becoming?”. It’s clear that there is much that is changing today: technology, religious upheaval, radicalization, social/ethnic/gender tensions, climate, and emerging super powers. It is an exciting and a terrifying time. The greatest generation created the most selfish generation. Public debt, failing social and health systems, and an eroding social fabric suggest humanity is entering a conflicted era of both turmoil and promise.

We can better heal than any other generation. We can also better kill, now from the comfort of a console. Globally, less people live in poverty than ever before. But income inequality is also approaching historical levels. This inequality will explode as automated technologies provide the wealthiest with a means to use capital without needing to pay for human labour. Technology is becoming a destroyer, not enabler, of jobs. The consequences to society will be enormous, reflective of the “spine of the implicit social contract” being snapped due to economic upheaval. The effects of uncertainty, anxiety, and fear are now being felt politically as reasonably sane electorates turn to solutionism founded in desire rather than reality (Middle East, Austria, Trump in the US to highlight only a few).

In this milieu of social, technology, and economic transitions, I’m interested in understanding our humanity and what we are becoming. It is more than technology alone. While I often rant about this through the perspective of educational technology, the challenge has a scope that requires thinking integratively and across boundaries. It’s impossible to explore intractable problems meaningfully through many of the traditional research approaches where the emphasis is on reducing to variables and trying to identify interactions. Instead, a complex and connected view of both the problem space and the research space is required. Trying to explore phenomena through single variable relationships is not going to be effective in planning

Complex and connected explorations are often seen to be too grandiose. As a result, it takes time for individuals to see the value of integrative, connected, and complex answers to problems that also possess those attributes. Too many researchers are accustomed to working only within their lab or institutions. Coupled with the sound-bite narrative in media, sustained and nuanced exploration of complex social challenges seems almost unattainable. At LINK we’ve been actively trying to distribute research much like content and teaching has become distributed. For example, we have doctoral and post-doctoral students at Stanford, Columbia, and U of Edinburgh. Like teaching, learning, and living, knowledge is also networked and the walls of research need the same thinning that is happening to many classrooms. Learning to think in networks is critical and it takes time, especially for established academics and administrators. What I am most proud of with LINK is the progress we have made in modelling and enacting complex approaches to apprehending complex problems.

In the process of this work, we’ve had many successes, detailed below, but we’ve also encountered failures. I’m comfortable with that. Any attempt to innovate will produce failure. At LINK, we tried creating a grant writing network with faculty identified by deans. That bombed. We’ve put in hundreds of hours writing grants. Many of which were not funded. We were involved in a Texas state liberal arts consortium. That didn’t work so well. We’ve cancelled workshops because they didn’t find the resonance we were expecting. And hosted conferences that didn’t work out so well financially. Each failure though, produced valuable insight in sharpening our focus as a lab. While the first few years were primarily marked by exploration and expansion, we are now narrowing and focusing on those things that are most important to our central emphasis on understanding being human in a digital age.

Grants and Projects

It’s been hectic. And productive. And fun. It has required a growing team of exceptionally talented people – we’ll update bios and images on our site in the near future, but for now I want to emphasize the contributions of many members of LINK. It’s certainly not a solo task. Here’s what we’ve been doing:

1. Digital Learning Research Network. This $1.6m grant (Gates Foundation) best reflects my thinking on knowing at intersections and addressing complex problems through complex and nuanced solutions. Our goal here is to create research teams with R1 and state systems and to identify the most urgent research needs in helping under-represented students succeed.

2. Inspark Education. This $5.2m grant (Gates Foundation) involves multiple partners. LINK is researching the support system and adaptive feedback models required to help students become successful in studying science. The platform and model is the inspiration of the good people at Smart Sparrow (also the PIs) and the BEST Network (medical education) in Australia and the Habworlds project at ASU.

3. Intel Education. This grant ($120k annually) funds several post doctoral students and evaluates effectiveness of adaptive learning as well as the research evidence that supports algorithms that drive adaptive learning.

4. Language in conflict. This project is being conducted with several universities in Israel and looks at how legacy conflict is reflected in current discourse. The goal is to create a model for discourse that enables boundary crossing. Currently, the pilot involves dialogue in highly contentious settings (Israeli and Palestinian students) and builds dialogue models in order to reduce legacy dialogue on impacting current understanding. Sadly, I believe this work will have growing relevance in the US as race discourse continues to polarize rather than build shared spaces of understanding and respect.

5. Educational Discourse Research. This NSF grant ($254k) is conducted together with University of Michigan. The project is concerned with evaluating the current state of discourse research and to determine where this research is trending and what is needed to support this community.

6. Big Data: Collaborative Research. This NSF grant ($1.6m), together with CMU, evaluates the impact of how different architectures of knowledge spaces impacts how individuals interact with one another and build knowledge. We are looking at spaces like wikipedia, moocs, and stack overflow. Space drives knowledge production, even (or especially) when that space is digital.

7. aWEAR Project. This project will evaluate the use of wearables and technologies that collect physiological data as learners learn and live life. We’ll provide more information on this soon, in particular a conference that we are organizing at Stanford on this in November.

8. Predictive models for anticipating K-12 challenges. We are working with several school systems in Texas to share data and model challenges related to school violence, drop out, failure, and related emotional and social challenges. This project is still early stages, but holds promise in moving the mindset from one of addressing problems after they have occurred to one of creating positive, developmental, and supportive skillsets with learners and teachers.

9. A large initiative at University of Texas Arlington is the formation of a new department called University Analytics (UA). This department is lead by Prof Pete Smith and is a sister organization to LINK. UA will be the central data and learning analytics department at UTA. SIS, LMS, graduate attributes, employment, etc. will be analyzed by UA. The integration between UA and LINK is one of improving the practice-research-back to practice pipeline. Collaborations with SAS, Civitas, and other vendors are ongoing and will provide important research opportunities for LINK.

10. Personal Learning/Knowledge Graphs and Learner profiles. PLeG is about understanding learners and giving them control over their profiles and their learning history. We’ve made progress on this over the past year, but are still not at a point to release a “prototype” of PLeG for others to test/engage with.

11. Additional projects:
- InterLab – a distributed research lab, we’ll announce more about this in a few weeks.
- CIRTL – teaching in STEM disciplines
- Coh-Metrix – improving usability of the language analysis tool

Going forward

I know I’ve missed several projects, but at least the above list provides an overview of what we’ve been doing. Our focus going forward is very much on the social and affective attributes of being human in our technological age.

Human history is marked by periods of explosive growth in knowledge. Alexandria, the Academy, the printing press, the scientific method, industrial revolution, knowledge classification systems, and so on. The rumoured robotics era seems to be at our doorstep. We are the last generation that will be smarter than our technology. Work will be very different in the future. The prospect of mass unemployment due to automation is real. Technology is changing faster than we can evolve individually and faster than we can re-organize socially. Our future lies not in our intelligence but in our being.

But.

Sometimes when I let myself get a bit optimistic, I’m encouraged by the prospect of what can become of humanity when our lives aren’t defined by work. Perhaps this generation of technology will have the interesting effect of making us more human. Perhaps the next explosion of innovation will be a return to art, culture, music. Perhaps a more compassionate, kinder, and peaceful human being will emerge. At minimum, what it means to be human in a digital age has not been set in stone. The stunning scope of change before us provides a rare window to remake what it means to be human. The only approach that I can envision that will help us to understand our humanness in a technological age is one that recognizes nuance, complexity, and connectedness and that attempts to match solution to problem based on the intractability of the phenomena before us.

Why Google Daydream matters — and how it could change virtual reality

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2016-05-23 02:04

By Adi Robertson, the Verge

For Clay Bavor, a longtime Googler who became the company’s first head of virtual reality this year, Cardboard was also a Trojan horse — a low-stakes project that could one day evolve into something bigger. “We knew that Cardboard would only go so far,” says Bavor. After two years, Google wants a mobile VR platform that doesn’t just introduce people to virtual reality but makes them want to stay there. That is called Daydream, an Android-based virtual reality initiative announced yesterday at I/O. Unlike Cardboard, Daydream’s apps will run only on new phones that have been certified by Google, a process that requires various VR-friendly components — like high-quality sensors for head tracking or screens that can reduce blurring by showing images in extremely short bursts. Partners will sell what Google promises will be incredibly comfortable, ergonomic Daydream headsets — designed with the help of unnamed clothing and accessory companies — alongside a small motion controller.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/19/11713498/google-daydream-mobile-vr-virtual-reality-cardboard

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With recent deals, Capella moves into job-skills training, particularly software coding

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2016-05-23 02:03

by Evan Ramstad, STAR TRIBUNE

Last month, Capella spent $18 million to buy Hackbright, one of three deals this year that have pushed the Minneapolis-based for-profit education firm into a new business. Capella in the early 1990s was one of the first companies to offer accredited college degrees via online courses and has grown into one of the biggest, with about 38,000 active students and $430 million in annual revenue. Now, it is teaching job-ready skills that will get people into today’s most in-demand professions. “Employers can’t find the right skilled workers and academia isn’t keeping up,” said Kevin Gilligan, Capella’s chief executive. “We recognize a big opportunity to be an institution that can upskill and reskill 21st century workers.” In addition to Hackbright, Capella bought DevMountain, a Provo, Utah, firm that teaches even more specific tech skills, such as creating apps, in classrooms in the Salt Lake and Dallas metro areas.

http://www.startribune.com/with-recent-deals-capella-moves-into-job-skills-training-particularly-software-coding/379452701/

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Online Courses Just Got Personal

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2016-05-23 02:02

by Aly Laube, the Runner

Kwantlen Polytechnic University instructor David Burns is aiming to make higher education easier for full-time workers, parents, and students travelling abroad. He created his own Small Private Online Course (SPOC) to teach his Education 1100 classes. Where most current online courses are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) that are often based on a series of video lectures, the SPOC is “tailored to students needs, applied and responsive.” Burns keeps his courses personal by “making more of the course material responsive,” and using his free time to have “a lot of lectures and activities online [and] more office hours,” than he ever had while teaching in classrooms. He created all of the materials from scratch, whether they were podcasts, videos, or more traditional mediums, to make them as interesting as possible.

http://runnermag.ca/2016/05/online-courses-just-got-personal/

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Competency-Based Education and Extended Transcripts: IMS Global Learning Consortium Enabling Better Digital Credentialing

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2016-05-22 20:05


Deborah Everhart, Lea, Jeff Grann, Mark Leuba, Joellen Shendy, IMS Global, May 22, 2016

In a nutshell: "IMS initiatives in digital credentialing enable interoperable competency  ecosystems and empower institutions to award credentials beyond the traditional transcript." In addition, "The prevalence of informal and community learning on the web, a renewed appreciation for the value of service learning, and recognition of workplace and experiential learning are all expanding conceptions of what could/should be included in a person’ s learning record." Organizations working with IMS on this include collegiate registrars and  AACRAO, the Competency Based Education Network C-BEN, and the  Badge Alliance. The competency  data model itself includes four key data elements:

  • competency hierarchy - these "help institutions sustain coherent programming across many technology tools."
  • competency type - these "empower institutions to control and clearly communicate their curricular models."
  • competency code - this "is a logical reference to the full competency statement."
  • competency scores - this "enables institutions to report student-level competency scores based on the institution’ s assessment strategy."

The idea is "to support an extended transcript for CBE as well as general interoperability among higher education institutional systems." There is a working prototype showing  how an extended transcript might be displayed in a web browser. The next task to to see widespread adoption, implementation in learning technology, testing and evaluation. 9 page PDF.

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