news (external)

University of Alaska needs to focus on nontraditional students and online learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2015-11-10 01:09

by Kirk Wickersham, Alaska Dispatch News

During the Great Recession, no state was hit harder than Arizona. Arizona State University took successive double-digit budget cuts. They used that crisis as an opportunity to transform into a university of the 21st Century. Today, ASU advertises “70 bachelor’s and master’s degrees available entirely online” on the Anchorage NPR station. Why? Because they can, and because it works for them. They are apparently getting good Alaskan students. Similarly, the University of Alaska system needs to use our state budget crisis to transform itself into a 21st century university. With the smallest and most geographically dispersed student body in the nation, it needs to commit to standard course offerings, academic calendars, programs and degrees, and centralized, uniform, online delivery. Not in two years, but now.

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Why Ed Tech Is Currently ‘The Wild Wild West’

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2015-11-10 01:05

by Jennifer Reingold, Fortune

The massive disruption of the education industry is well underway, but the biggest tremors are yet to come—disruptions so dramatic that many universities will cease to exist in the next few years. That was the conclusion of the panelists at the Fortune Global Forum’s session on Ed Tech. Said Alan Arkatov, a professor in USC’s Rossier School of Education: “Think Jurassic Park,” he said. “I would say 500 to 1000 colleges across the country will not be around, or will have morphed into something else, because they do not have a sustainable business model. The market will annihilate those folks.” Two of the would-be annihilators—Dennis Yang, founder of Udemy, and Daphne Koller, founder of Coursera, weren’t disagreeing. Yang’s company, which allows anyone to offer a course and relies on the market to sort out the good from the bad, now offers 30,000 different classes in 80 languages. And Koller says Coursera has reached 4 million “learners,” with much of the company’s growth coming from outside the U.S.

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The Un-College That’s Training $100,000 App Developers

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2015-11-10 01:02

by Anya Kamenetz, NPR

As one of the biggest, most successful tech companies, Google can hire pretty much anyone it wants. Accordingly, the company tends to favor Ph.D.s from Stanford and MIT. But, it has just partnered with a for-profit company called General Assembly to offer a series of short, noncredit courses for people who want to learn how to build applications for Android, Google’s mobile platform. Short, as in just 12 weeks from novice to employable. This is just one of a slew of big announcements this fall coming out of a peculiar, fast-growing corner of the higher education world: the coder bootcamp. This is really an entire new industry within higher ed that’s grown up in about five years.

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Weltgedenktag für die Straßenverkehrsopfer am 15.11.2015

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Mon, 2015-11-09 23:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Weltgedenktag für die Straßenverkehrsopfer am 15.11.2015
Categories: Science News

Cheating in Online Classes Is Now Big Business

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2015-11-09 01:09

by DEREK NEWTON, the Atlantic

Today, entrepreneurs and freelancers openly advertise services designed to help students cheat their online educations. These digital cheaters for hire will even assume students’ identities and take entire online classes in their place. I reached out to one of these companies—the aptly named No Need to Study —asking, for the sake of journalism, if it could take an online English Literature class at Columbia University for me. I got an email response from someone on its customer-relations staff who told me that, not only could the company get a ringer to take my online class, it could also guarantee I’d earn a B or better. I was told the fee for such an arrangement was $1,225.15. When I asked for more information to be absolutely sure I understood the company’s services, the reply was crystal clear: “We offer the services of a pool of experienced academic tutors to take classes and complete course work for our clients.”

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Coursera is Apple TV’s first online learning partner

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2015-11-09 01:03

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

Apple TV is introducing online learning as an embedded element of its product for the first time, adding television to Coursera’s platform flexibility. Coursera announced the partnership on its blog, saying the TV compatibility will give people access to videos from top academics and industry experts from the comfort of their own living rooms. The company’s entire catalog of courses will be available through the new platform.

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Many Colleges Now See Centers for Teaching With Technology as Part of ‘Innovation Infrastructure’

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2015-11-09 01:02

by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Ed

In the past few years, many colleges have expanded the scale and scope of centers that support teaching and learning with technology, as part of an effort to build a new “innovation infrastructure” for instruction. That’s according to the results of a new survey of directors of academic-technology centers at 163 colleges and universities, released last week at the annual conference of Educause, an organization that supports technology on campuses. One key change has been the creation of new or redefined administrative jobs at colleges intended “to lead their academic-change initiatives.” And the survey found that several colleges have reconstructed their centers for teaching and learning to focus more on student success than just on faculty development, working more often across various departments such as student services and academic affairs.

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Isolation - Mon, 2015-11-09 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Affordable Learning at Scale With OER

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2015-11-08 01:09

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Gerry Hanley has a vision. He wants to plant a big thermometer on California State University Web sites to show how much money students are saving by not having to buy traditionally published textbooks or ancillary resources. His rough estimate: As of a few years ago, learners at the 23-campus, 460,200-student university system were spending $300 million a year on course materials — about $651 per student per school year. His goal is to cut that in half, and he believes the result will be higher graduation rates and better quality of education. “If I could save 50 percent for students, that’d be great,” said Hanley, Cal State’s assistant vice chancellor for academic technology services and executive director of MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching).

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UMUC president reimagines analytics with dramatic success

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2015-11-08 01:05

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

It’s called the Office of Analytics at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), and it began with the vision of President Javier Miyares, who wanted to not only unlock the potential of institutional data across multiple areas, but turn the data into a profit for the college. “The problem is most presidents have heard the word but don’t know how to execute,” explained Miyares during a session at last week’s EDUCAUSE 2015. “We have less than 10 percent of revenue coming from the state and had a 50 percent decline in enrollments in 2012. We had to cut 60 million from the budget and fire 300 people, and that’s when we knew we had to take what we had left and invest in the priority: analytics.” Darren Catalano, the Vice President of Analytics for UMUC, says “Our approach is to demonstrate the “art of possible” to the institution,” said Catalano; “in other words, to make complex data simple.” According to Miyares, there are 5 lessons in leveraging analytics to deliver what’s possible.

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Audaciously yours – Udacity scripts a new story for skill makeovers

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2015-11-08 01:02

by Udacity

Fact – India has the largest population of software developers, outside of the US, at 3 million. By 2018, this number is estimated to increase to 4 million – making India a country with the largest number of software developers. Fact – And yet, with such large numbers of software developers, there are only 2% of apps developed in India that make it to the top 1000 Google apps and none to the top 100. Industry Experts in India believe the reason behind this seems to be due to the options available in the ecosystem of upgrading skills once a student finishes his basic degree and enters the job market. As a first in India, Udacity has collaborated with the tech giant Google. The company believes this service model of job training can be scaled up to teach coding to millions of people. For India, additionally, there is a definitive price advantage as well. The discounted price for India is Rs. 9,800 per month. This compares favorably with the US where it costs $200 a month.

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C@SScot 15: Using SOLAR for Unit and Assignment Verification

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sun, 2015-11-08 00:19
Raymond Simpson: Using SOLAR for Unit and Assignment Verification
Live capture

Unit assessments already on SOLAR. Pupils complete answers in screen, or can upload documents that demonstrate they have completed the outcomes.

Pupils can be given an assessment record, when the pupil has the evidence, they upload it. However, don't assume SQA have access to all kinds of software - better to take and submit screenshots. {Or PDF?} Unit and course assessments for Nat 5, Higher and Advanced Higher all there on SOLAR.

Location:Old Hawkhill,Dundee,United Kingdom

C@SScot 15: A Deep analysis of N5 and H Computing Science

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sun, 2015-11-08 00:09
A Deep analysis of N5 and H Computing Science - Bill Buchanan
Live capture

 Most science graduates go into software engineering... eventually! {Stated as fact - I would be interested to see some evideence to support it! - DDM}

 The Internet of things means that the Internet is going to get bigger.

 Looking at the Bright Red Digital Zone site. Ask pupils which subjects they are studying: Computing is 6th most popular - behind French. In terms of engagement, Computing is 2nd - after Business Studies. Most logins from pupils are in January. Site designed in Visual Studio. Uses cloud services (e.g. French area uses Microsoft translation services).

C@SScot 15: Opening Keynote

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sun, 2015-11-08 00:06
C@SScotland Conference - Keynote: Dr Iain Martin, University of Dundee
How Can You Test an Autonomous Planetary Lander?
Live captured

{Biggest attendance at C@SS conference so far. Reflecting a growing interest in Computing or confidence in our subject?}

University of Dundee has a space technology centre which collects and archives loads of data. Among other things, they have a space systems research group which looks at designing autonomous planetary landers. Computational Thinking underpins their work.

Problem Analysis:
Major task and very difficult to prove you can do it. Very high stakes, many possible reasons it can fail and very expensive to try. The lander has to be able to land autonomously (time delays and limited knowledge of what you are landing on!). You have to balance amount of fuel needed for manoeuvring and landing with the sensors and science stuff you want the lander to carry. The lander will need ”a whole bunch of sensors" to detect position and hazards. Cameras are a low cost, lightweight sensor (with no moving parts - a good thing!). Need to process the images. Difficult to prove the tech works. Best Mars landing so far is MSL which still had a 6km landing eclipse - would really like to get better! One way of testing is to create simulated data. This is difficult. Comparison was made with Apollo 11 mission. Landing site was Boulder strewn but Armstrong was able to steer to a plain just beyond the crater with seconds of fuel left!

{Loads more stuff showing how Computational Thinking underpins major engineering projects like this but I occidentally deleted it. Oops!}

IMS Caliper published – we now have a clearer picture how activity streams should be described

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2015-11-07 20:32

Tore Hoel, Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE), Nov 07, 2015

Discussion of the recently published IMS Caliper specification. Caliper describes the method to encode and transfer clickstream data - that is, a recording of each action taken by a user (click of a mouse, press of a keyboard). This data iss especially useful for user interface design. Note that this is not the same as the IMS Caliper RAM (Real-time Analytics Messaging) specification “ to implement real-time, actionable messaging alerts” . which has changed its name to IMS HED Analytics group. The article also raises questions about the interoperability between IMS Caliper and ADL's xAPI (Experience API). "One of the first tweets   with the #imscaliper hash tag after the publications read 'consider current disparity between #xapi & #imscaliper, interoperability standards that don’ t interoperate'."

[Link] [Comment]

Playing with Trinket

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sat, 2015-11-07 17:25
Trinket is an online code development environment. You can create and run python programs, html/css, blocks (Scratch-like programming environment), music, and something called Glow-script (creates 3D stuff). I can't see how to save html stuff, but it says you can embed them. If that's right, here's a knock, knock joke:

You can save python programs... and this might embed a simple ASCII art example:

Will need to play more with Trinket to see what else it can do.

Online classes bringing U of I money during budget crisis

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2015-11-07 01:07

By Amanda Porterfield, Illinois Home Page

The University of Illinois is making cuts as the state continues to operate without a budget. They’re also making additions that will help bring in more money. It’s typical for U of I students to cram as many credits into two semesters as they can. University officials say it was such a success this year they’re offering 17 credits, predicting the online semester will bring in about a million dollars.

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The quest for demonstrable outcomes

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2015-11-07 01:03
by  David Schejbal, e-Mentor There is a buzz, even a frenzy, about competency-based education (CBE). Brought together by the Lumina Foundation-sponsored organization C-BEN (the Competency-Based Education Network), 30 institutions and 4 university systems have developed or are developing competency-based programs. About another 600 schools have claimed to be developing CBE programs, though there is no accurate data to substantiate that number. Why and why now? To understand the reasons for the interest in CBE in the U.S., it is important to understand the broader context that is significantly impacting higher education1. As with most things, one primary driver is money. Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_15815') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_15815') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_15815') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_15815'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php');,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if ( === 'facebook_share_button_15815') { button.onmouseover = function(){'#fff'; = '#295582'; = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ = '#3b5998'; = '#d8dfea'; = '#fff'; } } }

The user as network

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2015-11-06 23:25

Karen E.C. Levy, First Monday, Nov 06, 2015

Karen Levy argues for "conceptualizing users as networks: as constellations of power relations and institutional entanglements, mediated through technologies." She argues that a model regarding people merely as users or non-users is too simplistic (I have to agree). As an example, she writes, "The market for Nexafed seems nonexistent in traditional use/non-use terms, but when we construe the user more broadly — as a network of interpersonal, legal, and institutional relationships, consisting of multiple modes of relation between people and technology — not only does the drug’ s market make sense, but we also understand how new motivations (social shame, mistrust, robbery, gossip) can act as salient drivers of technology use." It's not just the person who uses the drug that is implicated in the drug's use. "We have considered the user as a network of power relations that includes parents and children, pharmacies and pharmacists, neighbors and communities, regulators and legislators, police and thieves. Comparatively, conceptualizing the user or non-user in social and institutional isolation yields a thin and unnuanced understanding of Nexafed’ s use."

[Link] [Comment]

Adjust course fees so that those who will earn more will pay more

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2015-11-06 23:25

Dean Machin, Times Higher Education, Nov 06, 2015

I've heard this silly argument about tuition fees on numerous occasions before, and the practice - known as 'differential fees' or a 'differential fee structure' - is actually in place in some colleges and universities. The proposal is that "Fee caps that reflect the relative economic returns of different course choices would help students make more informed decisions." The intuition here is that students should pay a fee based on a percentage of the benefit they receive. But the argument is also place in a context of risk: the university should assume some of the risk inherent in teaching low-value programs, like philosophy and dramatic arts.

But of course this is ridiculous (and not only because of the 'institutional conservatism' that is the author's straw man objection). It presumes that future earnings are the only benefit the institution and society receive from offering a course, which is absurd. And why would 'risk' be segmented according to course and program. Many other factors effect earnings. Maybe women should be charged lower fees because they earn only two thirds of what men earn. Perhaps people from  Nottingham should pay almost nothing. Perhaps left-wingers should receive lower fees because they're much more likely to join non-profits like Medecins Sans Frontiers. Let's represent this proposal for what it really is: yet another scheme to increase tuition fees (and incidentally, to favour the upper class white men who already dominate access to the higher-paying professions).

[Link] [Comment]


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