Thursday, December 18, 2014

10 Most Popular Teaching Tools Used This Year - Edudemic

Edudemic published a list of the most essential and popular educational tools used in modern classrooms across the globe. While many of 2013′s contenders retain top spots for 2014, there are a few new and noteworthy tools that made it onto this year’s list, and some of last year’s mentions have shifted in the rankings. We highly recommend taking a look at these “battle-tested” teaching tools; some of them may be a perfect fit for your modern classroom.

How to turn a traditional course into a unique online course - David Brooks, eCampus News

Turning a college course into an online course requires more than video-recording the lecture. Creating a college course may not be easy but at least it’s understood; people have been doing it since Socrates lectured in ancient Greece. Creating an online college course is another matter. There’s no Socratic judgement on the relative benefits of asynchronous videos, real-time discussion boards or e-books in the cloud. Those judgments are being created right now, by experience. “We’re trying not to just do old things with new technology,” said Fran Keefe, who as instructional designer for Rivier University works with professors and adjuncts to move existing “face-to-face” courses online, or create new courses entirely online. “I encourage faculty members not to lecture just because that’s what they’ve always done, then videotape it, put it online and make students watch it–but to consider new ways of presenting material.”

What if a college ditched lecture halls, sports and clubs? - Nichole Dobo, Hechinger Report

An experiment in higher education uses computers to give every student a virtual front-row seat in the classroom. Classes at Minerva Schools at KGI, a four-year undergraduate program, are conducted entirely through a software program created specifically for the school. During class, there is real-time interaction through the computer between professor and students. They can see each other through the screen. Each class has fewer than 20 students. Professors do not lecture. The virtual experience is recorded each day so it can be reviewed for purposes such as assessment of students and faculty performance. The first 28 students started their freshman year this fall in San Francisco, Calif. They are not required to attend class from any particular physical location, but they live together in buildings leased by the school.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Online Learning and the Doctorate - Alison Carr-Chellman, elearnmag

More and more universities are starting to turn their attention toward online doctorates. As the number of master's students from the initial flush of fully online degrees stabilizes, those interested in increased revenue streams have opened up the university gates wide and have started to look to doctoral-level education for the next big democratization of higher education.

Online Learning Is About Activities - Thomas De Praetere, eLearning Industry

My clients oten ask me what online learning means and what can be considered true online learning. Here is an attempt to define online learning the empirical way, proposing a table of possible online learning activities. The advantage of the behaviorist definition is that it focuses on activities and feedback, hence suggesting a method for e-learning design. Truth is seldom simple but only simple ideas are usable. Let's consider e-learning from the author's perspective. Publishing slides, PDF e-books, encyclopaedia articles does not mean I produce e-learning, as the criteria for e-learning does not lie in the resources I publish but in the activities I organize for the learners around these resources. E-learning starts when I switch from "I published my course online" to "my course takes place online".

Professor floats idea of three-year B.A. to cut college costs - JASON SONG, LA Times

In theory, it's a simple idea. With the cost of attending college rising, why not reduce the typical time for a bachelor's degree from four years to three? That's the proposal floated by Johns Hopkins University professor Paul Weinstein in the latest edition of the Progressive Policy Institute. In his paper, Weinstein found that a four-year degree at a public school costs, on average, $35,572 in 2013. A three-year degree at a similar institution would cost $26,679 — a 25% savings. Weinstein's idea isn't original. Some campuses, including Bates College in Maine and Wesleyan University in Connecticut, have instituted similar programs, but widespread implementation is rare, Weinstein said.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Small Favor Request from Ray

If you read my postings and live in/are from South Carolina, would you ping me?

I ask this as an informal poll to help me with an application. Thanks for following the blog, and I apologize for this tiny interruption. Best holiday wishes! @rayschroeder / -ray

Twenty-Five Institutions to Participate in ACE Alternative Credit Project - ACE

ACE announced today that 25 colleges and universities are joining an alternative credit consortium as part of an innovative initiative to create a more flexible pathway toward a college degree for millions of nontraditional learners. The 25 institutions serving in this pilot project have agreed to accept all or most of the transfer credit sought by students who successfully complete courses that are part of a selected pool of about 100 low-cost or no-cost lower division general education online courses. These institutions also will help identify the sources, criteria and quality of the courses.

Best Way for Professors to Get Good Student Evaluations? Be Male. - Amanda Marcotte, Slate

Many in academia have long known about how the practice of student evaluations of professors is inherently biased against female professors. Students, after all, are just as likely as the public in general to have the same ugly, if unconscious, biases about women in authority. Just as polling data continues to show that a majority of Americans think being a man automatically makes you better in the boss department, many professors worry that students just automatically rate male professors as smarter, more authoritative, and more awesome overall just because they are men. Now, a new study out North Carolina State University shows that there is good reason for that concern.

Online Education, With Great Investment, Can Provide Extraordinary Opportunities for Students and Faculty - James Goldgeier, Huffington Post

In recent months, news has emerged from universities around the country indicating that a significant level of skepticism remains about online education. When we first examined the possibility of working with an external provider to deliver graduate education three years ago at the School of International Service at American University, we shared the same instincts, alongside many of our faculty colleagues. After all, how could online education be as beneficial to students as being in the same room and on the same campus with one another and with their professors? Remarkably, we have found that it can be as beneficial, and that it has certain unique advantages. But this level of success requires a tremendous investment of resources, creativity and ambition to ensure that we meet our commitment as faculty and administrators to those students whose professional or family responsibilities or location do not allow them to enroll on campus.

Full-time third-level education for all is a luxury we can’t afford - Brian Mulligan, Irish Times

Could it be that sending our children to college is an extravagance? Something that would be nice to have, but we can’t really afford and do not really need? We are also told that it is in the interests of the economy that as many people as possible get a higher education; that, as a nation, we cannot afford not to send our children to college. Our distance learners seem to be able to cover material in less time than the full-time students and achieve better scores in examinations. How can this be so? Is it the teaching medium? Is it that they can replay difficult parts of lectures over and over again or post questions to their lecturers and classmates at any hour of the day or night? Perhaps, but I think it might be something else. Our distance learners seem to be very highly motivated.

Monday, December 15, 2014

MOOC student data privacy debatable - Keith Button, Education Dive

Massive open online course providers have differing opinions about whether people who take their courses are legally entitled to privacy protections under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports. The data in MOOCs is seldom protected by FERPA because MOOCs are rarely paid for with federally funded student aid, according to the chief privacy officer for the U.S. Department of Education, Kathleen Styles. Coursera and edX, the most well-known MOOC providers, disagree on whether FERPA applies to their students.

Local experts discuss impacts of technology on teaching and learning - Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville Tomorrow

In 2012, Michael Lenox was among the first UVa professors to start teaching what are known as a Massive Open Online Course on the Coursera platform. “We can think about online education as both simultaneously a substitute and a complement to existing educational structures and efforts,” Lenox said. Lenox, who teaches at UVa’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, said consumers will be scrutinizing the value of a residential four-year university experience. “I would argue that residential-based education at a university setting is superior and will continue to be superior for a lot of reasons we can imagine to online education,” said Lenox, “but there’s also a potential for a very large price differential.” “At some price differential, people will substitute to online education and online degrees over residential-based degrees,” Lenox said.

Future schools: Books to be replaced by online learning by 2030, global survey predicts - IAN WALKER, the Sunday Telegraph

Books will be a distant memory, social skills will trump academic knowledge, teachers will be guides rather than lecturers and set hours at school will be a thing of the past. This is the vision of what schools will be like in 2030 as seen by experts from across the world. If the predictions from the World Innovation Summit for Education’s global survey are right, then a student’s interpersonal skills will be their most valued asset, with 75 per cent of respondents ranking it number one compared to 42 per cent for academic knowledge. Books will be few and far between with nearly half of respondents saying online content will be king.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Five Psychology Principles That eLearning Professionals Should Know - Christopher Pappas, eLearning Industry

In this article, I'll highlight 5 psychology principles that you should use before you develop your next eLearning courses. Knowing how learners acquire information and why they need such information, is the key to becoming a successful eLearning professional. Using psychology principles in eLearning courses, offers eLearning professionals the chance to take full advantage of learning behaviors when creating their next eLearning deliverable.

Nanodegree Scholarship Program Expanded to an Additional 1,000 Students - Sustainable Brands

Nanodegrees, a new category of online degrees launched by AT&T and Udacity this fall, provide affordable and accessible training for jobs in the tech industry. As a company that relies on a highly skilled tech workforce, we believe that new educational pathways such as nanodegrees will help more people gain industry-relevant skills to fuel the 21st century workforce. This is also why, together with Udacity, we created the nanodegree scholarship program. Through AT&T Aspire, we are committed to helping students — regardless of age, gender, income or zip code — make their biggest dreams a reality. Sustainable Brands is joining Udacity to announce an expansion of our nanodegree scholarship program from 200 students to an additional 1,000 students.

The University of Texas at Austin Introduces Online Business Courses for Professionals Worldwide - McCombs School, UT

McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, one of the top ten undergraduate business programs in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report, today opened virtual doors to the Texas Business Foundations Program (BFP) Online providing working professionals everywhere with greater access to a world-class business education. This online educational experience delivers comprehensive business essentials, an accelerated pace of courses, and an immersive and interactive curriculum. The program fills the business fundamentals gap between having a non-business degree and advanced programs like an MBA. Starting today professionals may enroll in three-credit courses for $600 each or pre-purchase all six courses for a 10 percent discount. Students will earn the Texas BFP Online Certificate from the McCombs School of Business upon completion of all six courses.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

2014 Innovating Pedagogy Report - the Open University

The annual Innovating Pedagogy report explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation. Produced by the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University, the report identifies ten educational terms, theories and practices that have the potential to provoke major shifts in educational practice in the near future. Featured in 2014's annual report: Massive open social learning; Learning design informed by analytics; Flipped classrooms; Bring your own devices; Learning to learn; Dynamic assessment; Event-based learning; Learning through storytelling; Threshold concepts; Bricolage. While MOOCs and other theories covered in this year's report are not necessarily new, we aim to examine how they can gather momentum and have a greater influence on education. For each of the ten practices featured within the report, we have identified the potential impact they could have, as well as the predicted timescale for each.

Are MOOC-Takers 'Students'? Not When It Comes to the Feds Protecting Their Data - Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Ed

The U.S. Education Department wants to encourage colleges and the tech companies they work with to protect student data from misuse. But the agency’s power to protect the privacy of people taking free, online courses is essentially nonexistent. "Data in the higher-education context for MOOCs is seldom Ferpa-protected," Kathleen Styles, the Education Department’s chief privacy officer, said on Tuesday at a symposium on student privacy. In other words, people who take free online courses known as MOOCs, or massive open online courses, are not covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, known as Ferpa, which stipulates how colleges must protect the "education records" of their students.

Online Courses in High School Could Help with College Prep - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Could online courses help prepare students for the transition from high school to college? A recent study in the United Kingdom suggested that taking online classes especially benefits students' "self-regulatory behaviors," which are important for success in higher education. Most of the students were based in the United States, the United Kingdom and India. Virtually all of the students said that learning how to find academic resources online before attending a college is valuable. Nearly eight out of 10 respondents recognized the importance for their college careers of being able to plan and coordinate group tasks using calendars, scheduling and discussion applications. Seven of 10 reported that building relationships with other learners using social networks was an important pre-college learning experience. A similar number found it important to go into college knowing how to use wikis and other online editing tools such as Google Docs for creating shared material.

Friday, December 12, 2014

MOOC learning’s fast evolution makes it a work in progress - Bernard Lane, the Australian

Professor Armando Fox, the computer scientist who helped launch the first MOOC for the University of California at Berkeley, reaches back to the staid early history of movies to explain where online education is today. “When the first motion picture camera was invented, they pointed it at a stage with live actors,” he says. “It took people a while to realise that it was actually a medium that allowed you to do things quite differently. “That’s a little bit like where we are with MOOCs now. We’re taking elements that are familiar from residential education — such as lectures, homework assignments, and syllabi that stretch out several weeks — and we’re sort of trying to reproduce those elements online.” The radical possibility of MOOCs is hard to imagine.