Online learning update by Ray Schroeder

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Online Learning News and Research ~ Ray Schroeder, editor ~ University of Illinois at Springfield
Updated: 5 hours 59 min ago

Online students can’t help being sociable

Wed, 2014-04-16 02:09

By Sean Coughlan, BBC

It was a revolution moving higher education from bricks to clicks… and now it’s started to go back to bricks again. Online university providers, which offered people the chance to study from home, are turning full circle by creating a network of learning centres where students can meet and study together. Instead of demolishing the dusty old classrooms of academia, the online university revolution is responsible for opening some new ones. Coursera, a major California-based provider of online courses, is creating an international network of “learning hubs”, where students can follow these virtual courses in real-life, bricks and mortar settings. And there are thousands of meet-ups in cafes and libraries where students get together to talk about their online courses.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26925463

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What Recruiters Need to Know About EdTech–and the Expanding Talent Pool

Wed, 2014-04-16 02:06

By ADAM VACCARO, INC

Fresh takes on education aren’t just about disrupting an ancient industry or helping people grow their skill set. Most of the focus on innovations in education–MOOCs, for starters, but also less formal online learning communities like Codecademy or Lynda–tend to focus on two things: the looming disruption of traditional education and the opportunity for just about anybody to sharpen their skills. A sometimes overlooked element of the industry, however, is the access it affords employers and recruiters to the skills of the broader talent pool. That’s the driving force behind recruiting Aquent’s MOOC program, Aquent Gymnasium. The recruiting company launched the program in 2012 with a business model that puts companies at the center of the movement.

http://www.inc.com/adam-vaccaro/edtech-recruiting.html

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The Right Model for Live Online Classes

Wed, 2014-04-16 02:02

by James W. Pennebaker and Sam Gosling, Inside Higher Ed

In 2012, we started teaching our Introductory Psychology course as a live online course. It was like a MOOC but was broadcast to 1,000 students who saw it in real time. One challenge of building a SMOC (a synchronous massive online class) was how to define the nature of the relationship we would have with students. The choice was to teach the class as a regular stand-up lecture or to try something more akin to a TV show.

http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/higher-ed-beta/right-model-live-online-classes

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Employers like MOOCs — if they know what one is

Tue, 2014-04-15 02:05

By Jake New, Editor, eCampus News

MOOCs-employers-studentsEmployers are fans of massive open online courses (MOOCs), according to a new study by researchers at Duke University and RTI International. But many first had to have the concept explained to them. “We were interested in exploring how employers viewed MOOCs in terms of whether they would make a difference in hiring decisions or how they might be used for recruiting talent,” said Laura Horn, the RTI’s site principal investigator. The study, funded by the Gates Foundation, was based on a survey of more than 100 human resource professionals from North Carolina employers. About 70 percent of the respondents had never heard of a MOOC before. Once they had a working definition, however, the majority of participants said they were receptive to using MOOCs in hiring decisions. They especially liked the idea of using MOOCs for professional development training.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/employers-like-moocs-004/

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An E-Portfolio With No Limits

Tue, 2014-04-15 02:02

By David Raths, Campus Technology

Students at the University of Mary Washington build their academic identities on their own personal Web domain. As many universities look to certifications, badges and e-portfolios as vehicles to allow students to demonstrate their achievements and skills, another movement has begun to surface on campus: a personal web domain for each student. At the University of Mary Washington (Fredericksburg, VA), this academic year has seen the evolution of a blogging platform used by faculty and staff into a Web-hosting space where students can use an array of tools to build their own academic identities, with no limits. And the idea is catching on: Since UMW started its project, Davidson College (NC) has received a Mellon Grant to work on digital curriculum, including individual student domains, and Emory University (GA) is piloting the student domain concept in a writing program.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/04/02/an-e-portfolio-with-no-limits.aspx

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Is Google Eyeing a Satellite Startup? – Analyst Blog

Tue, 2014-04-15 02:01

By Zacks.com

Rumor has it that Google Inc. is looking to acquire Skybox Imaging, a startup that manufactures satellites and deploys data analytics services to companies. According to TechCrunch, this move follows Facebook ’s recent announcement regarding the acquisition of Connectivity Lab, a plan to connect the world with Internet access using drones and satellites.

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/is-google-eyeing-a-satellite-startup-analyst-blog-cm342411

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In conversation with: Sebastian Thrun, CEO, Udacity

Mon, 2014-04-14 02:10

By Adam Lashinsky, CNN Money

Sebastian Thrun wears many hats: Stanford professor. Google robotics tinkerer. And now, chief executive of online learning pioneer Udacity. The venture capital-backed company in Silicon Valley had a rough start trying to work with San Jose State University, a failed experiment that looked somewhat like higher education organ rejection. It has re-tooled with a “freemium” model of offering skills-based classes for free, working with engineering-oriented companies, and charging for mentoring services. The vast majority of students we have right now are young professionals. The vast majority are actually in jobs right now. That’s the demographics. We have about a third U.S., two-thirds international, and they find themselves in situations where they need specific job skills. These are people that just understand learning is important. These are life-long learners.

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2014/04/10/in-conversation-with-sebastian-thrun-ceo-udacity/

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Interest in Wyoming online education increases

Mon, 2014-04-14 02:04

BY LEAH TODD, Casper Star-Tribune

Classes taught online or via video conferencing bring education to places in the state where a community college may be dozens of miles away. The increasing trend is due to colleges updating their technology infrastructure – new servers, monitors and cameras – and more students and teachers learning about the online option, Rose said. “More people, more educators, more faculty are seeing they can do this,” he said. “They can actually teach online.” The Wyoming Department of Enterprise Technology is working on a new bandwidth project to overhaul Wyoming’s Internet connections. A project like that can only benefit the community colleges’ online outreach, Rose said. Like Wyoming community colleges, the Casper-based UW Outreach School says online and distance education is important to expanding their reach across the state.

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2014/04/06/3587538/interest-in-wyoming-online-education.html

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Taught by the web: tomorrow’s doctors are being educated online

Mon, 2014-04-14 02:02

by Harry Slater, the Guardian

Online communities can be great resources and a means of communication to assist medical students and junior doctors. The internet can make studying to be a doctor easier, if you know where to access the right resources. More importantly, the internet is effectively addressing the flaws of traditional offline learning. Online learning adds variety, too. Medical students from all over the country who are taught in different ways can exchange methods. Similarly, it’s an opportunity to share clinical experience that some students – because of the way their course works – won’t always be familiar with. For example, you may have only a little GP contact and then, in your third year, be sent straight to work on wards. Sophie adds that there is the opportunity for follow-up when the scenario finishes. “There’s a chance to say ‘this is what you should have been thinking’ and ‘here’s where you could have saved the situation.’” Afterwards, tweets from the discussion are grouped together using Storify and depending on the case, additional notes are provided.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/feb/12/doctors-educated-online

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New trend: Students enrolling with no intention of graduating

Sun, 2014-04-13 02:10

by eCampus News

A student at Santa Rosa Junior College in Northern California, Kevin Floerke, 26, already graduated in 2010 from UCLA, where he majored in archaeology. This time, however, unlike many other people in his field, he’s not interested in getting yet another degree. He’s just trying to master a set of techniques and technologies that will help him verify the details he finds while doing fieldwork. “I’m really there to learn the program itself and be able to use it in a professional setting,” he said. Floerke, who leads tours for the National Geographic Society, is part of a group of students known as “skill builders,” who are using conventional colleges in an unconventional way: not to obtain degrees, but simply to learn specific kinds of expertise without spending time or money on courses they don’t think they need.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/students-skills-degrees-565/

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Online at Community Colleges

Sun, 2014-04-13 02:04

Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Online enrollment continued to grow at community colleges in 2013, even as many two-year institutions saw overall enrollment stagnate or drop, according to a report released Sunday by the Instructional Technology Council. The council released its annual report on online education at the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges, with which it is affiliated. In 2013, the 142 distance education officials who responded to the survey reported that their online enrollments were up by 5.2 percent over the previous year. That increase is smaller than those of the three previous years, going back chronologically, 6.5 percent, 8.2 percent, and 9 percent. But those increases came in years in which community colleges were reporting increases in both in-person and online enrollments, which is no longer the case this year.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/04/07/study-finds-slower-online-growth-community-colleges-growth-nonetheless

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MOOCs: the Next Evolution in (corporate) E-Learning?

Sun, 2014-04-13 02:03

by Gary Kranz, Workforce

Industry observers believe MOOCs will follow an adoption path similar to that of e-learning, which likewise germinated within universities before being embraced by corporations. “There could be a huge demand for MOOCs as the corporate content market gets consolidated. If companies are able to get low-cost to free learning content through a MOOC, they’ll be interested,” said Josh Bersin, president of research firm Bersin by Deloitte. Hall doesn’t speculate on when MOOCs might go mainstream. His focus is on the videos that should enable Marek Bros. to boost its bottom line. “It gives us a better idea of what our market share is and what it should be, which helps us change behavior to improve results,” Hall said. Which is what learning is all about.

http://www.workforce.com/articles/20358-moocs-the-next-evolution-in-e-learning

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1 million students to get free textbooks

Sat, 2014-04-12 02:02

By Jaccii Barmer, eCampus News

This fall, over 1 million students will have access to the free textbook, Principles of Economics, provided by OpenStax College. Founded in 2012, OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization developed by Rice University and supported by numerous foundations, which provides free textbooks and learning materials. The organization has produced six textbooks that have been downloaded over 480,000 times, estimating students have saved about $8 million. The organization, which has been adopted by hundreds of educational institutions, works with educators to write and peer-review each textbook.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/business-news/openstax-students-textbook-234/

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Innovation, online learning helping adults go back to school

Sat, 2014-04-12 02:02

By Austen Smith, Ann Arbor Journal

As the work force in Michigan has evolved since the manufacturing and housing crash in 2008, more adults are finding their way back to the classroom and they’re finding more flexibility in learning. The average age of students at Washtenaw Community College has been driven upwards to around 27 in recent years as the college has seen more enrollment from adult students than tradtional students coming from high school. President Dr. Rose Bellenaca says WCC is the perfect place for adults retraining in a new field. “This is the absolute best place you can retrain,” says Bellanca. “We’re an economic driver for the region. We work hand in hand with business and industry, we are able to train for a variety of jobs…this is the best place to learn for an adult.”

http://www.heritage.com/articles/2014/04/05/ann_arbor_journal/news/doc533f356843847099215608.txt

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Google Glass journalism course coming to USC

Sat, 2014-04-12 02:01

By Jake New, eCampus News

A new course to be taught at the University of Southern California will ask students to find ways for journalists to take advantage of Google Glass. The course, which is called Glass Journalism, will begin this fall. “In this class we’re not talking about the future of journalism,” Robert Hernandez, the course’s professor, wrote on his Tumblr blog. “We’re building it.” Glass is a type of wearable computer developed by Google. A head-mounted display sits in front of the user’s right eye, allowing for voice-commanded access to the internet, a camera, and other applications. Hernandez, a well-known digital journalist, is one of a select few who were allowed to purchase an early version of the device through a Google Glass Explorer program.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/google-glass-usc-journalism-025/

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Americans’ Trust in Online Higher Ed Rising

Fri, 2014-04-11 02:11

by Valerie J. Calderon and Susan Sorenson, Gallup

Online colleges and universities continue to evolve, as do Americans’ and business leaders’ opinions about them. While perceptions about the quality of education at these institutions appear to be improving, attitudes toward community colleges and traditional universities remain far more positive at this point. And although more than half of business leaders and Americans in general say companies might be somewhat more likely to hire an online graduate over an equally qualified traditional college graduate, only about one in eight business leaders and one in seven U.S. adults overall say it is very likely. This represents room for improvement in the online education business.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/168416/americans-trust-online-higher-education-rising.aspx

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How to make an online lab successful

Fri, 2014-04-11 02:10

By Crystal Sands, eCampus News

The secret to the OWL’s success lies in its ability to bridge pedagogy with multimedia that engages, not just entertains. When the team at Excelsior College set out to build a new kind of Online Writing Lab, the team focused on using multimedia to reinforce key writing concepts for students. The OWL targets beginning writers who might have little experience with writing or experience so distant the writing process and vocabulary of writing felt foreign to them. The goal was to make writing instruction simple, clear, and more memorable for these students.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/excelsior-writing-lab-523/

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5 must-haves for online assessments

Fri, 2014-04-11 02:05

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

“Assessments are the lynchpins of MOOCs,” said David Smetters, CEO of Respondus, a Windows exam creation tool. “If you go to a college campus and sit in the back of a lecture hall, it’s certainly possible to learn things. But when you actually register for the course and take the assessments designed for it, you can demonstrate mastery of the content. An instructor then feels comfortable providing a grade, and likewise the institution is comfortable granting a certificate, a degree or some type of badge. Assessments are the engine of this credibility cycle,” he continued. Smetters also argues that if students are effectively assessed during a MOOC, the credibility of MOOCs goes up.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/must-online-assessments-912/

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Clemson invests to expand online platform

Thu, 2014-04-10 02:50

By Don Fujiwara, South Carolina Business News

Online education is the future.” So says Clemson University’s Witt Salley. This future holds no classroom desks whose consoles, rocket fins and banks of brightly blinking buttons place them closer to cockpits than actual seating. There will be no matronly robot teachers with extensible pointing sticks in this future. No, in this future we’ll see an increasing numbers of pushes for a tablet in every book bag, like the one in Gov. Nikki Haley’s K-12 Education Reform Initiative. This future is agleam with the prospect of attending precalculus in your pajamas. Witt Salley is director of Clemson Online. The school brought him on board to ramp up its online education program in July 2012, a time when Clemson University “had no collective vision or strategy” for its online program. It didn’t even have a centralized office for its online offering.

http://www.gsabusiness.com/news/51023-clemson-invests-to-expand-online-platform

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Is It Time To Dismantle the Lecture Hall?

Thu, 2014-04-10 02:10

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

In this debate, the question might not be so much about whether online education is effective, but whether it could be any worse than the existing model.  Before the debate — titled, “More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: The Lecture Hall is Obsolete” — began, the audience was definitely on the side of tradition. Fifty-nine percent were against the motion; 18 percent were for the motion; and 23 percent were undecided. Before the debate — titled, “More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: The Lecture Hall is Obsolete” — began, the audience was definitely on the side of tradition. Fifty-nine percent were against the motion; 18 percent were for the motion; and 23 percent were undecided.   People pondering the fate of higher education, concluded Nelson, “don’t need much more data than that to realize that the future of the university won’t be without bricks, won’t be all clicks, but will certainly be far more clicks than bricks.”  By the end of the debate, the number of people who agreed with Nelson and Agarwal grew from 18 percent to 44 percent. And the motion carried.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/04/03/is-it-time-to-dismantle-the-lecture-hall.aspx

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