news (external)

Arizona State University: Starbucks Deal Is Not Meant To Replace State Budget Cuts

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-06-28 02:05

by Tyler Kingkade, Huffington Post

Representatives from Arizona State University insist that the school’s new partnership with Starbucks was not struck to make up for budget cuts from the state legislature. Starbucks named ASU its exclusive partner in a new initiative in which the coffee giant will pay the entire cost of tuition for junior and senior years of online education with the university. Starbucks employees who work 20 hours or more a week are eligible. ASU Foundation Chief Executive Officer Rick Shangraw Jr. acknowledged the deal would raise revenue for the school, but it is not meant to compensate for state funding cuts.

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How Students Are Choosing Online Degree Programs

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-06-28 02:02

by the Digital Journal

According to the third annual Online College Students report from The Learning House, Inc. and Aslanian Market Research, a large majority of students are earning their degree to improve their employment situation, and 80% of them have transfer credit to help them finish faster. “For institutions looking to expand their online footprint, it’s critical to communicate the right message to students,” said Dr. David Clinefelter, Chief Academic Officer at Learning House and coauthor of the report. “While overall college enrollment is declining, the growth of online degrees continues,” said Carol Aslanian, Senior Vice President of Aslanian Market Research and coauthor of the report. “Offering the degrees students want, accepting transfer credits and streamlining the enrollment process are all key indicators for students when choosing an online degree program.”

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Principles for Rhizomatic Thinking

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-06-27 15:21

Jenny Mackness, Jun 27, 2014

"Deleuze and Guattari   (D & G) enumerate 6 approximate characteristics of the rhizome.  The principles are: 1. Connections – a rhizome ceaselessly establishes connections. 2. Heterogeneity - any point of a rhizome can be connected to any other and must be. 3. Multiplicity – A multiplicity is, in the most basic sense, a complex structure that does not reference a prior unity. Asignifying rupture. If you break a rhizome it can start growing again on its old line or on a new line. 5 & 6. Cartography and decalcomania – the rhizome is like a map and not a tracing."


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5 Things Researchers Have Discovered About MOOCs

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-06-27 12:20

Steve Kolowich, The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog, Jun 27, 2014

I think we've learned a lot about MOOCs. And as one of the academics gathered during the Texas snowstorm, I think I can say confidently that these five things are not among them. The five:

  • If you are isolated, poor, and enamored of the prestigious university offering the MOOC you’ re taking, you are less likely to complete it.
  • Coaching students to have a healthier mindset about learning may not help in a MOOC.
  • Paired with the right incentives, MOOCs can help prepare at-risk students for college-level work.
  • Discussion forums in MOOCs are healthy places for the few students who use them.
  • We still do not know if doing well in MOOCs will help underprivileged learners become upwardly mobile.

Where does the Chronicle say this nonsense comes from?  From an organization that should know better. It's not simply that these statements are false (though no doubt some of them are). It's that they're misplaced and emphasized the wrong things. Note that not one of them has anything to do with whether people learn, form communities, or make their lives better.



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Mean Tweets, Academic Style

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-06-27 12:20

Charlie Tyson, Inside Higher Ed, Jun 27, 2014

Professors read Twitter reviews of their courses in thsi video, a take-off on the mean tweets meme. "One professor read a review saying, 'She will mock your aspirations then cackle over the remains of your spirit.' Another comment was: 'Good lecturer, ugly shoes.' The camera panned to take in a row of Crocs." I would never wear Crocs while teaching. I would, however, wear ugly shoes.

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College Libraries Push Back as Publishers Raise Some E-Book Prices

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-06-27 12:20

Avi Wolfman-Arent, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jun 27, 2014

11 publishers are raising their prices all at the same time. "Publishers insist, however, that there was no conspiracy to raise prices and that the previous cost model for e-books wasn’ t sustainable. 'We had absolutely no knowledge and we weren’ t advised by the aggregator at all that other publishers were making a change at the same time,' says Rebecca Seger, director of institutional sales for the Americas at Oxford University Press." Not surprisingly, there is tension and mistrust between academic libraries and publishers.

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Online learning gains ground in companies

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-06-27 02:06

by Think-Act

As e-learning becomes more affordable and more accessible, education expert Dr. Katrin Vernau talks about how companies can support online learning among employees. The recent years have been a fertile time for online learning. It is steadily transforming education, and this phenomenon has now spilled over to businesses. Today many e-learning enrollees are mid-career professionals who want to sharpen specific skills. “Online education has the potential to significantly change the way we learn. Online technologies combined with social media influence demand and supply in the education sector. This gives rise to new business models and new opportunities for life-long learning within the company,” said Dr. Katrin Vernau, a Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Take, for example, the German software corporation SAP, which recently expanded its massive open online course that formerly focused on software development to now include courses for business learners.

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Chat with Andrew Ng, Co-Founder, Coursera; Director, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-06-27 02:04

by Stephen Ibaraki, Canadian IT Managers Blog

What are some controversies in your field and why?

“….Deep learning is very exciting and one of the confusions in the discipline is that the term ‘deep learning’ encompasses really two ideas. The first idea is called Supervised Learning in which if you have a lot of labeled data, these algorithms are fantastic at soaking up the labels to make accurate predictions….But there’s a second, not really unrelated body of ideas that also goes by the term deep learning that is very different, which is: ‘can you get a piece of software to watch YouTube or read text on the internet or listen to audio for hours on end and without you telling it anything or tagging or labeling any data and have it figure it out for itself?’….I think the second unsupervised learning, learning from unlabeled or untagged data is maybe most human-like. I think most humans learn primarily from unlabeled data and I think that this unsupervised learning idea has tremendous potential for letting us make a lot of progress in machine perception….”

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It’s Andragogy, Not Pedagogy

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-06-27 02:03

By Andrew Joseph Pegoda, Inside Higher Ed

Some will immediately say this is nothing more than a semantics debate.

Pedagogy: the methods and practice of teaching children.

Andragogy: the methods and practice of teaching adults.

So the question becomes: at what point is a student no longer a child, but an adult? There is no hard-and-fast rule, but for our purposes here, any college student is an adult. Andragogy, a concept dating to the 1960s and Malcolm Knowles, is important because it recognizes that adult learners are different and that these differences are extremely important. And its importance, as a body of knowledge and approach in and of itself, is profound and vastly under-recognized.

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Clumsy Foreshadowing - Fri, 2014-06-27 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Who is using LRMI metadata?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-06-27 00:15

Phil Barket, Sharing, Learning, Jun 26, 2014

You may have heard of LRMI (Learning Resource Metadata Initiative) but you may not know who is using it. This post offers a short selection of sites where it can be found. Despite Barker's qualification ("there are others using LRMI properties in their webpages that I happened not to find (t.b.h. I didn’ t spend very long looking) ") this seems to me to be a very short list.

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ALT issues first Open Badges as part of ocTEL and releases plugin to the community

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-06-26 21:15

Unattributed, ALT Online Newsletter, Jun 26, 2014

Nice. "Badges designed and awarded using BadgeOS are now exposed as  Open Badges compliant Assertion  - Assertions are the DNA of Open Badges. They are data files which describe the badge and identify who it has been awarded to." P.S. The headline writers should note the difference in meaning between saying "issue first badges" and "issue our first badges" or "issue their first badges." English: it definitely needs to be clear. Related: Alan Levine writes, "But to me badging, nanodegreeing, calculating massive course dropouts remains overweighted on one side of the system."

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What is the problem for which MOOCs are the solution?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-06-26 21:15

Diana Laurillard, ALT Online Newsletter, Jun 26, 2014

Diana Laurillard offers the answer to the question in terms of what problems MOOCs have solved, which seems to be a bit of an odd way to address a nascent technology. "The problem MOOCs succeed in solving is: to provide free university teaching for highly qualified professionals." Well, yes. And that's the problem the internet had solved by 1990, and the web by 1999. But surely that's not the extent of the problem-solving being does by open online content and services. I have always intended open online learning so address issues of access. Laurillard writes, "by 2015 there will still be 53m children out of school... UNESCO estimates that we need 1,600,000 teachers to achieve universal primary education." At $10K per teacher, that's an additional $16 billion in salaries; at $100K that's $160 billion. I see no sign anyone is prepared to pay this kind of money. So we need to address access in some other way than simply hiring teachers. Can MOOCs help here? Maybe. As Laurillard says, "If we are to have any hope of reaching our most ambitious educational goal of universal primary education, we have to find innovative ways of teaching." (p.s. - if you charge "even the modest cost of $49"  it's not a MOOC).  (p.p.s. this was posted on the ALT newsletter today; previously posted at IOE London blog May 14).

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The History of Ed-Tech via Patent Applications

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-06-26 21:15

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Jun 26, 2014

I once did a quick survey of how long it would take me to get completely caught up reading patent applications in just one area of ed tech. It would be, I discovered, several lifetimes. Calling it a 'patent thicket' is an understatement, by far. But this article is a fun read, picking up nine or so influential patents over the years, from the Skinner apparatus for teaching spelling (1866) to Blackboard's Internet-based education support system and methods (1999).

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Core communication competencies in patient-centered care.

NLM - Nursing Informatics - Thu, 2014-06-26 15:14
Related Articles

Core communication competencies in patient-centered care.

ABNF J. 2014;25(2):40-5

Authors: Boykins AD

Effective communication between the patient and nurse is an essential requirement for nursing practice and for patient-centered care. Nursing faculty that teach in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs play a significant role in preparing the nursing workforce to communicate effectively and provide patient-centered care. Patient-centered care, interprofessional collaboration, and informatics are necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes for nurses across educational levels in order to meet the needs of patients, and improve the quality and safety of the health care system environment. The focus of this article is to provide information on core nursing competencies for effective communication and to discuss communication tools used in patient-centered care, interprofessional collaboration, and informatics.

PMID: 24855804 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: nursing informatics

More money won’t fix need for change in education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-06-26 15:14

Kevin G. Lynch, Globe, Mail, Jun 26, 2014

Kevin G. Lynch, vice-chairman of the BMO Financial Group, writes in the Globe and Mail: "When discussing the challenges facing the education system in Canada, we often seem to accept the false premise that the only problem is funding...  This challenge is much more than an incremental program here or some fine-tuning there; it involves a culture change in how we all take more accountability for educational outcomes." It may be true that more money  alone won't improve our educational system, but it would be wrong to infer that the system can be improved without making the investment up front. As bankers well know, it takes money to save money.

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Education Department Will ‘Pause’ on State Authorization Rule – Inside Higher Ed

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-06-26 12:21
The Obama administration is delaying its plan to develop a controversial rule that would require online programs to obtain approval from each and every state in which they enroll students, a top Education Department official said Wednesday. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell said that the administration would not develop a new “state authorization” regulation for distance education programs before its November 1 deadline. “We, for all intents and purposes, are pausing on state authorization,” Mitchell said during remarks at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation conference. “It’s complicated, and we want to get it right.” Mitchell said he wanted make sure the regulation was addressing a “specific problem” as opposed to a general one. The goal, he said, should be to promote consumer protection while also allowing for innovation and recognizing that “we do live in the 21st century and boundaries don’t matter that much.” Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_11487') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_11487') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_11487') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_11487'); 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_11487') { button.onmouseover = function(){'#fff'; = '#295582'; = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ = '#3b5998'; = '#d8dfea'; = '#fff'; } } }

The case for collaborative learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-06-26 02:04

by Michael Moran, HR Magazine

The way we design and structure training courses is in a state of flux as we move into the e-learning era and L&D professionals add “social” to the blend. Today a training course is likely to be a sophisticated, self-managed online programme and when we add a social element we enable a collaborative learning platform. Learning is most effective when students are encouraged to think and talk together, to discuss ideas, question, analyse and solve problems, without the mediation of a teacher. So ‘collaborative learning’ is an umbrella phrase covering a range of approaches involving input from students and tutor. The tutor seeks to create an environment where learners are able to work collaboratively with opportunities to share emerging ideas and understandings. The aim is to stimulate the development of autonomy, responsibility and creativity by engendering meaningful communication and co-operative effort.

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Laboratory as a Service (LaaS): a Novel Paradigm for Developing and Implementing Modular Remote Laboratories

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-06-26 02:02

by Mohamed Tawfik, et al; International Journal of Online Engineering

The increasing adoption of remote laboratories in education along with the shift from eLearning 2.0 towards eLearning 3.0, have demanded several considerations in their implementation and delivery format. In response to these needs, this contribution introduces a novel model, Laboratory as a Service (LaaS), for developing remote laboratories as independent component modules and implementing them as a set of loosely-coupled services to be consumed with a high level of abstraction and virtualization. LaaS aims to tackle the common concurrent challenges in remote laboratories developing and implementation such as inter-institutional sharing, interoperability with other heterogeneous systems, coupling with heterogeneous services and learning objects, difficulty of developing, and standardization. Beyond the academic context, LaaS will facilitate the incorporation of remote laboratories in the ecosystem of the ubiquitous smart things surrounding us, which increases everyday with the approaching Web of Things (WoT) and artificial intelligence era. This, in turn, will create a breeding ground for online control, experimentation, and discovery—in either formal or informal context and with neither temporal nor geographical constraints.

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A Goal for Google and Carnegie Mellon´s MOOC Research?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-06-26 00:13

Unattributed (UNESCO Chair in e-Learning), Education & Technology for Social Change, Jun 25, 2014

This post summarizes: "Under the Google  Focused Research Award  program, Carnegie Melon University received a two-year grant for research on and development of MOOCs platforms 'intelligent enough to mimic the traditional classroom experience'." He then comments, "It remains unclear if the word choice was a mishap or the concept was fuzzy." There has been a lot of back-pedalling but I think the original statement was probably the most accurate expression of the intent, as educational institutions continue to resist any redefinition of learning. See also coverage in the Chronicle: "Unless the MOOCs pay attention to how people actually learn, they will not be able to improve effectiveness, and will end up as just a passing fad." Oooo, burn. I'm sure we all looked at the  list of Google funded focused research awards.

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