Online learning update by Ray Schroeder

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Online Learning News and Research ~ Ray Schroeder, editor ~ University of Illinois at Springfield
Updated: 52 min 49 sec ago

EdX CEO: LaunchCode’s ‘St. Louis experiment’ a wild success

17 hours 29 min ago

by Brian Feldt, St. Louis Business Journal

Anant Agarwal, CEO of EdX, the online learning platform founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, refers to what LaunchCode is doing here as the “St. Louis experiment.” And he said results of the pilot have far exceeded his expectations. That’s why Agarwal is ready to assist LaunchCode in its efforts to expand outside of St. Louis. LaunchCode is the paired-programming initiative founded by Jim McKelvey that is placing up-and-coming computer programmers with 100 of St. Louis’ most notable corporations. McKelvey said the company is eying a national expansion into places including Miami, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Denver and a location somewhere on the West Coast.

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/blog/biznext/2014/04/edx-ceo-launchcode-s-st-louis-experiment-a-wild.html

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Controversial Mooc nearly costs professor his job

17 hours 34 min ago

BY CHRIS PARR, Times Higher Education

The course, Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World, was taught by Ebrahim Afsah, associate professor of public international law at the University of Copenhagen. It ran for 10 weeks, from December 2013, on the US Mooc platform Coursera. “If you are teaching a controversial course, there is a risk of physical and reputational damage to you,” he told a conference for partners of Coursera, held in London last month, adding that he had “almost” lost his job because of the controversy his Mooc attracted. On a recent trip to Iran, Professor Afsah continued, he had a “nice friendly chat, for four hours, with the Iranian secret service”, who knew everything about his Mooc and wanted to talk about it in a little more detail. “If you want to touch the hornets’ nest you need to be prepared for the repercussions,” he told delegates.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/controversial-mooc-nearly-costs-professor-his-job/2012647.article

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Teaching Center pushes for online training

17 hours 37 min ago

by HAILEY WINSTON, Yale Daily News

As online education gains momentum across the nation, the Yale Teaching Center is looking to help more graduate students learn online teaching skills. Around 50 percent of academic job positions now require or suggest online teaching experience, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. But Yale currently provides opportunities for fewer than 30 graduate students to gain online teaching experience each year, said Sara Ronis GRD ’15, a fellow at the Teaching Center and a member of the University Committee on Online Education. To address the issue, the Yale Teaching Center has applied for funding from the newly established Rosenkranz Fund for Pedagogical Innovation to organize workshops for graduate students about how to teach online courses. The center’s proposal will be evaluated by the University-wide Committee on Online Education, which will then make recommendations to Provost Benjamin Polak about whether the project should get financial backing from the fund.

http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2014/04/17/teaching-center-pushes-for-online-training/

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Moore’s Law Touches Education At Last — To Techies’ Delight

Wed, 2014-04-23 02:10

by George Anders, Huffington Post

During an ed-tech panel discussion in San Francisco Tuesday evening, led by renowned venture capitalist John Doerr, the consensus was that Moore’s Law is finally making its presence felt in education, too. The showcase example of bolder/faster/cheaper involves companies that operate massive, open, online courses, or MOOCs. The fastest moving of them is Coursera, a Mountain View, Calif., company founded just two years ago. It now has partnerships with more than 100 universities world-wide and it has processed nearly seven million enrollments for its online classes to date. Thanks to “very cheap bandwidth and a lot of machine learning, we can finally do Moore’s Law in education,” said Coursera’s president and cofounder, Daphne Koller, who is also a Stanford professor of computer science. “A single teacher can reach hundreds of thousands of students. That completely changes the economics of everything. The marginal cost of an extra student reaches zero.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2014/04/16/moores-law-touches-education-at-last-to-techies-delight/?ss=game-changers/

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MOOCs: What’s a Great College Class Worth When It’s Free?

Wed, 2014-04-23 02:05

by Annalisa Kraft-Linder, Daily Finance

For the last two months, I’ve been studying at Yale online with noted economist Robert Schiller. There were online office hours, graded quizzes, peer-reviewed papers, a final exam and notable guest speakers like billionaire investor Carl Icahn. If I wanted it, a verified certificate of study was $50. Online forums took the place of study groups. My Financial Markets course consisted of the professor’s in-class lectures and guest speakers on video. It took 20 to 30 hours — whenever I wanted — with quizzes and papers on a grading deadline. Had I taken it for a certificate, I would have barely squeaked by with a “Gentleman’s C.”

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/04/16/mooc-great-college-classes-free/

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2014: The year of e-learning?

Wed, 2014-04-23 02:02

by Cornerstone, Civil Service World

Employees now use high quality technology – smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks or netbooks – in their everyday lives and also expect to be able to use them at work. Many HR departments have begun to embrace this shift, but many are still catching up – training, learning and development need to reflect the trend to online and mobile not simply because it is the ‘next big thing’ but because it can have genuine and measurable benefits. For example, e-learning provides organisations with a great opportunity to develop their employees, whilst giving them the flexibility to learn at their own pace. This not only benefits employees but also the organisation as a whole, ensuring members of staff have more of an opportunity to develop their talents, review the learning and apply it.

http://www.civilserviceworld.com/articles/sponsored_article/2014-year-e-learning

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Proactive on Prior Learning

Tue, 2014-04-22 02:10
by Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed Florida’s public institutions are anxiously watching this spring’s legislative session, which rounded the halfway point last week. Regardless of what dies on the floor or is signed into law, the universities are still waiting for clarification on the fallout of last year’s session, including the proposed mandate to offer credit for MOOCs. Some universities aren’t waiting around. Florida International University is in the early stages of creating a pilot for prior learning assessment, which could be used to determine if students have learned enough from an outside course — whether of the high school, online or massive open online variety — to qualify for credit. The experiment will begin in in the university’s introduction to psychology course, and if the intended spring 2015 pilot is a success, the model may expand to other disciplines, said Kristin Nichols-Lopez, associate chair of the department.  The university’s plan — which faculty will vote on during an April 24 meeting — involves creating a challenge exam that tests students on a series of core psychology concepts to be determined by the department. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/04/15/accept-moocs-credit-florida-international-u-may-set-prior-learning-assessment#sthash.NNS1oT8p.dpbs Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_10786') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_10786') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_10786') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_10786'); 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_10786') { 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'; } } }

Out in Front, and Optimistic, About Online Education

Tue, 2014-04-22 02:06

By D. D. GUTTENPLAN, NY Times

Coursera’s new president, former Yale President Rick Levin, says “I think the principal investors in Coursera understand that this is a long term play. We’re fortunate to have patient investors; and as Andrew said, we’re quite adequately capitalized. I think we can become financially viable certainly within that five-year framework.” Q. You’re an economist. How do you get from here to there? A. Right now courses are free and we’re charging for certification. We think that as the idea of using Coursera courses for professional advancement grows, the numbers seeking certificates will grow. And the price we charge probably can grow, too. A move from $50 or $60 for Signature Track to $100 is certainly imaginable. At $100 a pop, if you had two or three, or five million people. …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/14/education/out-in-front-and-optimistic-about-online-education.html

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Stanford K-12 Online Learning Program’s Effectiveness Confirmed by New York U

Tue, 2014-04-22 02:01

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

New York University has confirmed the effectiveness of a Stanford University-run online program designed to accelerate learning for students K-12 schools. This confirmation comes just as the program is being officially handed over to a for-profit company to offer expanded service. The project by the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools at New York U examined research on the work done by Stanford’s Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY). “The findings in the report are clear and unequivocal: EPGY is a powerful tool with enormous potential for assisting schools in meeting the needs of individual students,” the New York U report stated.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/04/09/new-york-u-confirms-value-of-stanford-k12-online-learning-program.aspx?admgarea=news

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Desperately Seeking Linux Programmers

Mon, 2014-04-21 02:10

By Jack M. Germain, LinuxInsider

Few people know just how pervasive Linux has become, and that is causing a big problem for companies that increasingly rely on it. “There is a shortage of software developers in the U.S. The employment rate for these jobs is down to 2.3 percent in the last quarter. The opportunity for jobs is now there for people who come in to get this training,” said Dice President Shravan Goli. The Linux operating system and Linux servers are so widely used today that not enough Linux-trained coders and system techs exist. Software developers and enterprise IT departments have jobs but no takers. To fill this shortage, the Linux Foundation has partnered with edX to offer a free online course to help computer engineers learn Linux.

http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/Desperately-Seeking-Linux-Programmers-80290.html

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Minority Students Should Weigh Pros, Cons of Online Education

Mon, 2014-04-21 02:05

By Devon Haynie, US News

Trina Jordan, a 49-year-old single mom from Nashville, Tenn., was always aware of her race in college. As an African-American undergraduate at Tennessee State University, a historically black school, she felt like other students were judging her for her dark skin. But that all changed when she signed up for an online master’s degree in professional studies at Middle Tennessee State University. There, Jordan was comfortable with her virtual classmates — and her skin color — in ways she never was in an on-campus setting. “With an online course, nobody knows who you really are,” says Jordan, who works for the Tennessee Board of Regents, the state’s higher education system. “They don’t know your ethnicity unless you have a picture on your profile. I felt like, ‘I can do this. There is no one stereotyping me.’”

http://news.yahoo.com/minority-students-weigh-pros-cons-online-education-130000307.html

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Group considers future of online classes at KU

Mon, 2014-04-21 02:02

By Ben Unglesbee, Lincoln Journal World

A group of Kansas University faculty, staff and students delving into the rise of online education recommends that the university keep watch over the quality of digital courses and online learning while making sure that faculty are fairly compensated for their time developing courses. Instructors and administrators have pushed for the development of more online coursework to ensure KU keeps up with its peers in the field. But trying to translate centuries-old instruction methods into online technology is tough. So is trying to determine how online classes can or should fit in at KU, with its dozens of departments and schools and thousands of individual instructors and students.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2014/apr/12/group-considers-future-online-classes-ku/

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Don’t give up on online education

Sun, 2014-04-20 02:05

by Bill Lowry, Michael Wysession and Scott Krummenacher, WU Student Life

Recently, the faculty of Arts & Sciences voted to terminate the Semester Online program for undergraduates. We are the three Washington University professors who actually taught courses in this program. We write not to restart the debate over this program but rather to continue the discussion of online teaching in general. Hopefully, such discussion will continue. Indeed, some of the critics of the Semester Online program stated at the last ArtSci faculty meeting that their criticisms were not directed at online education per se but rather at the current arrangement with Semester Online. Given that, we thought it would be useful to offer the lessons we learned from teaching in this program.

http://www.studlife.com/forum/op-ed-submission/2014/04/10/dont-give-up-on-online-education/

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LaunchCode may expand beyond St. Louis

Sun, 2014-04-20 02:04

By David Nicklaus, Post-Dispatch

LaunchCode, which began last year as an effort to increase the amount of computer programming talent in St. Louis, is looking at expanding to other cities. LaunchCode founder Jim McKelvey said this morning that he already has office space in Miami and will move there temporarily in June to work on a Miami version of the training and job-placement program. Baltimore, Philadelphia and Denver also are likely destinations for LaunchCode, he said. McKelvey, speaking at an Innovation St. Louis forum at the Missouri Botanical Garden, said officials of EdX, an education joint venture between Harvard and MIT, encouraged him to expand LaunchCode. In St. Louis, LaunchCode is using a free EdX computer science class to train programmers. The class is offered online, but LaunchCode is offering hands-on sessions to augment the coursework.

http://www.stltoday.com/business/columns/david-nicklaus/launchcode-may-expand-beyond-st-louis/article_d3335341-b8d9-5b51-ab04-ac185dbc5645.html

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UW-Madison expanding online course offerings for summer term

Sun, 2014-04-20 02:02

By Karen Herzog, the Journal Sentinel

The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced this week it has expanded summer online course offerings so students who return to their hometowns for jobs or who have internships elsewhere can stay on track to complete a degree without disrupting other summer activities. “The students asked for flexibility and we responded,” said Jeffrey Russell, vice provost of lifelong learning and dean of continuing studies. “One benefit of studying during the summer is students then can move toward their graduation goal faster and ultimately join the workforce sooner. Making that transition from student to salary-earning professional is an important goal.” UW-Madison is offering 100 online courses this summer, up from 64 last summer and 49 the summer before.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/254600311.html

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Universities See Regional Broadband as Critical to Success

Sat, 2014-04-19 02:10

By John Pulley, Campus Technology

Scattered throughout the country are technological oases where data-thirsty Internet users can access blindingly fast, affordable broadband service. These super-connected communities are engines of innovation and economic progress. They are, of course, our nation’s universities. Forward-looking institutions are investing in broadband infrastructure both for themselves and for the regions they serve. Beyond the brick-walled perimeters and filigreed iron gates of campuses, the Internet service available to neighborhoods that ring our universities tends to be comparatively slow and considerably more costly. “Students expect and need broadband, especially WiFi, in class, in their residence and in outside areas. In other words, everywhere,” said Joanna Young, chief information officer at the University of New Hampshire. “Universities have a vested interest in broadband for themselves and their communities, as well as the regions they serve.”

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/04/10/universities-see-regional-broadband-as-critical-to-success.aspx

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Utah State University lowers tuition for online classes

Sat, 2014-04-19 02:05

By Morgan Jacobsen, Deseret News

Utah State University recently announced its plan to lower tuition for in-state students taking online courses starting in summer semester this year. The university’s tuition plateau level was also lowered from 13 credits to 12 credits. That means students can take up to 18 credit hours per semester, but they only pay for 12. Previously, USU students were charged as much as 60 percent more per credit for online classes than traditional on-campus classes. Online credits weren’t included in the tuition plateau for traditional courses.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865600631/Utah-State-University-lowers-tuition-for-online-classes.html

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UC Berkeley School of Law to offer its first interactive online course

Sat, 2014-04-19 02:02

By BECCA BENHAM, Daily Cal

Starting this summer, the UC Berkeley School of Law will be offering its first interactive online course specifically aimed at an international audience of both current law students and practicing attorneys. Championed as an “anti-massive open online course,” campus law lecturer Bill Fernholz’s “Fundamentals of U.S. Law” class is designed to create a tight-knit community despite the students’ diverse geographical locations. This online opportunity allows both international law students and lawyers with international caseloads to master U.S. law from their homes.

http://www.dailycal.org/2014/04/08/uc-berkeley-school-law-offer-first-interactive-online-course/

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Udacity Will No Longer Offer Free Certificates

Fri, 2014-04-18 02:08
by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Ed Udacity hopes the certificates it offers to people who complete its massive open online courses are worth something. Now the company plans to charge students accordingly. “Discontinuing the ‘free’ certificates has been one of the most difficult decisions we’ve made,” wrote Sebastian Thrun, Udacity’s founder, in a blog post about the policy change. So far Udacity has given students who complete a MOOC the option of downloading a free certificate. But lately the company has been designing courses that combine the promise of instructional rigor with premium services to create tuition-based offerings. Those “full” courses cost $150 per month and include contact with human coaches, project-based assignments, and job-placement services. http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/?p=51757 Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_10781') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_10781') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_10781') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_10781'); 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_10781') { 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'; } } }

Online speech therapy meets a number of schools’ and students’ needs

Fri, 2014-04-18 02:05

by Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Speech-therapyOnline learning extends educational opportunities to a number of different student groups, and those needing special interventions are able to benefit from expanded learning opportunities, too. One fast-growing online intervention is online speech therapy, which connects students with highly-qualified speech therapists who might not otherwise be accessible to students, whether due to geographical limitations or funding issues.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/04/09/online-speech-therapy-745/

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