news (external)

All Things in Modulation

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-08-15 02:02

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Massive open online courses will return to the University of Wisconsin at Madison next year — or something that looks like them will, anyway. Having reviewed the results from its first round of MOOCs, the institution will offer new courses that are shorter, cover fewer topics and target Wisconsinites. It’s a concept known as modularity. Instead of reassembling a face-to-face course, lecture by lecture, institutions are urging faculty members creating online courses (and not just MOOCs) to split coursework into modules. For example, a 15-week course on Shakespeare could be transformed into modules on his poetry, comedies, tragedies and historical plays.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/08/07/its-second-round-moocs-u-wisconsin-madison-embraces-modularity

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March of the Penguins

xkcd.com - Fri, 2014-08-15 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Desire2Learn Raises $85M to Deliver ‘Personalized Education’

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-08-14 20:20
Display


Lora Kolodny, Wall Street Journal, Aug 14, 2014

It sounds good, but is (according to the article, at least) essentially about catching up: "For university students, the technology functions like a “ Netflix for education,” recommending courses based on their skills, interests and aptitude ... Ultimately, Desire2Learn is helping educators deliver personalized learning the way that Amazon.com delivered a personalized shopping experience." Though I do wonder how much of it is based on more forward-looking concepts such as the personal learning environment.

[Link] [Comment]

Geschwätziger Parasitismus

ScienceTicker.Info - Thu, 2014-08-14 20:00
Hat eine parasitische Pflanze an ihren Wirt angedockt, übernimmt sie nicht nur Wasser und Nährstoffe. Am Beispiel des Teufelszwirns haben amerikanische Forscher ermittelt, dass auch genetische Information in erheblichem Maß ausgetauscht wird. Im Extremfall lässt sich fast die Hälfte aller Wirtsgene im Gewebe des Parasiten nachweisen.
Categories: Science News

First-Ever Alumni Coursera Course

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-08-14 02:10

by Alyssa D’Alconzo, Frankly Penn

500 lucky UPenn alumni will join Stephanie McCurry from Penn’s history department for a four-week online version of her “History of the Slave South” course. Beginning October 6, view fascinating lectures, engage, and learn with Dr. McCurry and other intellectually curious alumni through interactive discussion forums and a screen side chat. McCurry is a specialist in 19th-century American history. Her class, taught annually in College Hall 200, is consistently popular with undergraduates and this online version is sure to fill quickly.

http://franklypenn.com/2014/08/04/first-ever-alumni-coursera-course/

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The new honor code: Testing under online eye

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-08-14 02:05

By Jennifer Brown, Gainesville Times

When Gainesville college student Rachel Henderson learned a test for her online class was administered 20 miles away in Dahlonega, she opted instead to use a fee-based mobile proctoring service called ProctorU. The result, she said, was “pretty easy and kind of strange.” The service allows students to take their tests from any computer that has a webcam and meets minimum system requirements. It also allows a proctor to view students over the webcam and access student computers remotely. Students pay a fee of $15 or more using their credit cards, and then take the test online while a proctor watches them work and monitors activity on their computers using remote access screen-sharing software. “It was really convenient not to have to drive to Dahlonega from Gainesville,” said Henderson, a senior at the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus, “but it felt really strange to have them watching you the whole time.” Still, Henderson said she’d use the service again in the same situation because of its ease and convenience.

http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/m/section/6/article/102854/

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Three Myths about Hybrid and Online College Courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-08-14 02:02

By Janet Michello, Evolllution

There are a number of misconceptions facing online and hybrid education programming, but if done right, the classes can be rewarding and meaningful both for educators and students. As many educators recognize, hybrid and online courses are increasing in higher learning institutions. Yet in spite of this, lack of encouragement among some professors and administrators for this type of instruction means the supply is not necessarily keeping up with the demand. Some colleges are reluctant to increase the number of online and hybrid courses because of misconceptions about their utility. Why such restrictions and, in many cases, lack of support for this type of instruction? In discussing this with some college faculty, there seem to be three dominant misconceptions about online or hybrid instruction.

http://www.evolllution.com/research/myths-hybrid-online-college-courses/

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Colleges: Federal sign up available for competency experiments

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-08-13 02:10

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

Competency-based experiments, once buried, get new life and could be huge opportunity for colleges and universities. From badges to skills pathways, more higher ed institutions are not only feeling the pressure to accept, but realizing the benefits of implementing, alternative credentials for a broad range of students. And in an initiative once slowly decaying, the Department of Education (DOE) is now offering volunteer institutions a chance to sign up for the Experimental Sites Initiative for some regulatory perks. And in what could be a great boon for colleges and universities, those that participate can have waived regulatory and/or statutory financial aid requirements. The perk for Congress is taking what works and implementing those practices on a large scale for future policies.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/colleges-experiment-competency-092/

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How to Develop Good Online Learning Habits

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-08-13 02:04

By Devon Haynie, US News

Here’s a look at some highlights of a recent U.S. News Education Twitter chat in which online education experts shared tips for how online students could develop good habits for success. The chat included Ray Schroeder (@rayschroeder), associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois—Springfield; academic staff from Pennsylvania State University—World Campus (@PSUWorldCampus) and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University—Bloomington (@KelleySchool); and Devon Haynie (@DevonHaynie), online education reporter for U.S. News.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2014/07/31/twitter-chat-how-to-develop-good-online-learning-habits

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The 21st Century Graduate: Lessons to Stay Ahead

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-08-13 02:02

by Rajeeb Dey, Huffington Post

Darwin said that the survival of the fittest does not rely on the strongest but those that are most able to adapt to change. When it comes to graduate employment the wise words from the godfather of modern day science still ring true. With the rise of online-learning you can learn to code for free; do a Stanford Machine Learning course from your bedroom or be inspired by the world leading authority on Motivation. A successful 21st century graduate must remember that their degree is only the start of their journey and professional development. Learning never stops.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/rajeeb-dey/graduate-advice_b_5638113.html

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Worst Hurricane

xkcd.com - Wed, 2014-08-13 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

OER and the Future of Publishing

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-12 20:15


Jose Ferreira, The Knewton Blog, Aug 12, 2014

George Siemens  points to this article on Twitter and suggests that "open is not enough any more." Maybe, maybe not, but the reasons in this article are not convincing. Siemens's new friend lists things like production values, instructional design, and enterprise grade services as things that will keep commercial publishers in business. Well, maybe - you know what they say about one being born every minute. I personally don't see why open content producers can't meet these objectives, especially if they're independently funded. Ferreira makes the classic error of confusing open and amateur.

[Link] [Comment]

Active players in a network tell the story: Parsimony in modeling huge networks

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-12 20:15


Amit Rechavi, Sheizaf Rafaeli, First Monday, Aug 12, 2014

One problem with studying networks is the huge amount of data generated. But what if you just studied the active members of a network, thus reducing significanty the data that hs to be crunched? Would it be reliable? In some cases, yes. "The partial network has several basic topological parameters that correlate with activity parameters of the entire social network and, hence, make it suitable for depicting the dynamic parameters of the huge network." There's a risk, though. By definition, for example, dropouts would no longer be counted in, say, MOOC statistics, effectively eliminating dropout rates as a measure. But then again, that might not be a bad thing.

[Link] [Comment]

There’s no place for lulz on LOLCats

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-12 20:15


Kate M. Miltner, First Monday, Aug 12, 2014

I've written and commented on LOLcats on numerous occasions in the past and so this study, though unfortunately narrow in scope, is of interest to me. "A qualitative audience study of 36 LOLCat enthusiasts indicates that individual memes can be used by multiple (and vastly different) groups for identity work as well as in– group boundary establishment and policing." This is validation of the idea that a LOLcat image is a 'word' in a suprasymbolic language.

[Link] [Comment]

EdX CEO says there’s much to be learned — and copied — from the MOOC platform.

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-08-12 02:09

by TARA E. BUCK, Education Technology

Anant Agarwal is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he taught the first edX course in circuits and electronics, in May 2012. Since that time, the nonprofit, massive open online course (MOOC) provider has attracted more than 50 institutions as partners and 2.5 million students from every country in the world, Agarwal said in his morning keynote. The edX platform itself is free and open and is seeing rapid adoption by many countries looking to host free and open courses in local languages. France, China and Jordan are among those nations now offering open education opportunities through sites built on the edX platform. “Already, in the space of a year, the open-source platforms around the world have more than 1 million students on them,” Agarwal said. “This federated, decentralized approach is really spreading education all over the world.”

http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2014/07/campus-tech-2014-reinventing-higher-education

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More Nebraska students logging on to courses online

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-08-12 02:05

by CHRIS DUNKER, Lincoln Journal Star

Online-only students in the program — both Nebraska residents and nonresidents — increased by 16 percent in 2013-14, to roughly 7,600 students. In all, more than 28,000 of NU’s approximately 50,000 students, including 75 percent of undergraduate students, took at least one class online last year, said Mary Niemiec, associate vice president for distance learning and director of Online Worldwide. Many see the program as way to custom-tailor their higher education experience, Niemiec told the NU Board of Regents last week.

http://journalstar.com/news/local/education/more-students-logging-on-to-courses-online/article_3ee163a8-6328-5dfd-8345-370d03d99db0.html

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Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-08-12 02:02

By Michelle R. Weise and Clayton M. Christensen

The economic urgency around higher education is undeniable: the price of tuition has soared; student loan debt now exceeds $1 trillion and is greater than credit card debt; the dollars available from government sources for colleges are expected to shrink in the years to come; and the costs for traditional institutions to stay competitive continue to rise. At the same time, more education does not necessarily lead to better outcomes. Employers are demanding more academic credentials for every kind of job yet are at the same time increasingly vocal about their dissatisfaction with the variance in quality of degree holders. An examination of online competency-based education unveils the tectonic shifts to come in higher education. Over time, the industry-validated experiences that emerge from the strong partnerships between online competency-based providers and employers will ultimately have the power to override the importance of college rankings and accreditation.

http://www.christenseninstitute.org/publications/hire/

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MOOCs Are No Longer A Cultural Export Of The West

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-08-11 02:10

by Jessica Lieber, Fast Company

A much wider array of nations are now become MOOC adopters and providers. On edX, a non-profit founded at MIT and Harvard in May 2012, a total of 1.2 million students from non-Western nations have signed up, and now non-English language courses are offered from universities in 20 countries, including as India, Mexico, France, and Hong Kong. Using edX’s open-source codebase, 12 Chinese institutions launched their own platform, XuetangX, which Agarwal says has already signed up some 300,000 users since last year. When the Queen Rania Foundation in Jordan opened up a similar portal, Edraak, to provide Arabic language content from three Middle Eastern schools, it adapted the edX code base so it could display text from right to left. Currently there are almost a dozen other countries working to launch their own versions of edX, according to Agarwal.

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3033132/moocs-are-no-longer-a-cultural-export-of-the-west

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Growth in UK demand for online education ‘outstripping universities’

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-08-11 02:02

by Education Investor

Demand for online education has grown faster than it has for traditional UK universities over the last three years, a report from Google claims. Google used internal search data to analyse queries made about education based on predefined search terms. Its findings are an indication of growth rather than of absolute search volume. The report says that between 2011 and 2014, growth in global searches for online courses, degrees and distance learning outpaced growth in searches for ‘bricks and mortar’ institutions in the UK. In fact, global searches this year-to-date have climbed by 11% while those for traditional UK universities are down 5%.

http://www.educationinvestor.co.uk/(X(1)A(yuysPfDdzwEkAAAANzRjM2VlOTQtODA0NS00NzViLWE0OGMtZDA1MTI4ZGU1YmUwxymUixi-my1GpACcuebWYI1txVE1)S(eomrywjppxvdie45dwsqki45))/showarticle.aspx?ID=4005

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Motivate and Engage Online Learners All Semester Long

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-08-11 02:02

By Paul Beaudoin, Campus Technology

For many learners, taking an online course can be like diving into the pool. They may feel they require a whole new skill set to stay afloat, and it’s important that you help guide and motivate them from that first splash to the finish line. How will you encourage them to continue achieving the goals that they may think are too challenging? Here is a set of techniques and strategies that can be used all semester long to get your learners swimming with ease.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/07/30/motivate-and-engage-online-learners-all-semester-long.aspx

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