Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Finding a Way to Operationalize Credit for MOOCs - David Raths, Campus Technology

When the University System of Georgia announced a partnership with Coursera last year, officials at Kennesaw State saw it as an opportunity to give more learners a pathway to higher education as well as drive enrollment for the university. To establish a process that would operationalize credit awards for MOOC participants, in March 2014 KSU created a Virtual Assessment Center (VAC), which processes fee-based portfolio submissions from MOOC students and routes them to departments for evaluation. The university can now offer courses that are open to the public, but also give professionals a clearly defined pathway to credit and potential entry into degree programs. http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/07/10/finding-a-way-to-operationalize-credit-for-moocs.aspx

Online MBA Learning Gathers Pace As Specialist Programs Go Cyber - Seb Murray, Business Because

Of the world’s leading 50 business schools, few immediately jumped on the online MBA bandwagon. Some of the early movers are seen as second-tier schools. Harvard, MIT Sloan, the University of Virginia’s Darden School and other big-brand US schools have only relatively recently begun experimenting with Moocs. Wharton was one of the first. There are as much as 10% of its two-year MBA core courses online for free access. One enrolled more than 130,000 students. But online MBA programs are not the free courses lambasted as marketing gimmicks or brand-building exercises. Moocs are just one example of the explosion of distance learning enabled over the past few years by leaps in technological advancement. The top business schools have begun spinning their MBA curriculums online by giving students video recordings in a traditional format, but also by providing interactive learning through debates and seminars. Some are even incorporating social media into their online offering. http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/2659/online-mba-learning-gathers-pace-specialist-programs-go-cyber

Report: Smartphone Surge Continues as PC Decline Slows - Joshua Bolkan, Campus Technology

Worldwide device shipments, including mobile phones, PCs, tablets and unltramobiles, are on pace to increase 4.2 percent this year over last to reach 2.4 billion units, according to the latest forecast from market research firm Gartner. That growth will be enabled, in part, "by a relative revival of the global PC market," according to Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. PC shipments, which include desktop, notebook and premium ultramobile devices, declined 9.5 percent in 2013, but are on pace to contract by only 2.9 percent this year, according to the company. Traditional PCs, which include desktops and notebooks, will continue to drop more quickly, declining 6.7 percent this year and 5.3 percent in 2015, according to the company. http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/07/07/report-smartphones-continue-to-surge-as-pc-decline-slows.aspx

Monday, July 21, 2014

University of Missouri campuses to test online course sharing - ASHLEY JOST, Columbia Daily Tribune

The University of Missouri System is implementing a new course-sharing program this fall in an effort to expand access for students at each of the four campuses. The effort serves multiple purposes: to create an online alternative for classes that typically have low enrollment, to broaden access to unique classes and to give partnering faculty members time to work on other projects, such as research, because they’re ideally alternating semesters of teaching their online courses. Through course-sharing, faculty members from two or more campuses partner up on their ideas for unique courses, said Steve Graham, UM senior associate vice president for academic affairs. http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/education/university-of-missouri-campuses-to-test-online-course-sharing/article_29b8be53-d80b-53f4-9ab4-534e2b3feefe.html

Sustainability, Divestment and Debt: a Survey of Business Officers - Ry Rivard, Inside Higher Ed

The survey, which will be released in conjunction with the upcoming annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers, is based on the responses of chief financial officers at 438 colleges and universities. Techniques that got the most support: reducing administrative positions (37 percent agreed they would do this in the coming year), eliminating underperforming academic programs (37 percent), have part-time faculty teach more undergraduates (35 percent), giving full-time faculty more classes (30 percent), promoting early retirement for faculty (28 percent), outsourcing administrative services (30 percent), and shifting to a web-based model (35 percent). A majority looked to collaboration to control costs. Over half (55 percent) said they wanted to work with other institutions to provide academic programs. A smaller number (37 percent) wanted to collaborate on administrative services with other colleges. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/survey/sustainability-divestment-and-debt-survey-business-officers#sthash.fr0lR6dD.dpbs

Closing the Technology Skills Gap: Can E-Learning Save the Day? - Kristi Essick, Cisco

Everyone from kindergarten teachers and university professors, to CEOs and government leaders seem worried about the "technology skills gap." It's become commonplace to decry that we're not equipping students with the STEM skills they need to succeed in a tech-centric economy. Companies complain they have thousands of open tech jobs, but can't find qualified candidates to fill them. From San Francisco and Austin, to Sydney and London, companies say they could grow faster and boost hiring across teams, if only they could fill their open IT positions. A recent study by the Brookings Institution reported STEM job skills are in huge demand by employers, and job openings in high tech fields take much longer to fill because candidates with STEM skills are in short supply. A Manpower study also showed IT workers and engineers were among the hardest positions to fill in the U.S. in 2013. http://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1450825

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Shape of Higher Ed Yet to Come - Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed

What might higher education look like a decade from now? Will it be pretty much as it is today? Or will cost pressures, debt burdens, shifting student demographics, and demands for accountability, affordability, and access produce fundamental transformations in how higher education is structured and delivered? Here's a thought-filled vision. http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/higher-ed-beta/shape-higher-ed-yet-come

Try Convincing an Employer to Pay for an Online Degree - Devon Haynie, US News

When prospective online students approach an employer about tuition assistance, they should do so with confidence in the value of their online degree, Slayter says. "If you come in thinking that there is something that you need to apologize for, you are setting yourself up not to get a 'yes,'" she says. Most employers will warm up to the idea of online learning, though it may take a bit of extra explanation on part of the prospective student to get them there, says Pamela Tate, president and CEO of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, a group committed to expanding lifelong opportunities for adults. http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2014/07/08/try-convincing-an-employer-to-pay-for-an-online-degree

Study: Women, Blacks Most Likely to Leave STEM Careers - Inside Higher Ed

One in five women and one in five black Ph.D. recipients in science, technology, engineering or math leave those fields for careers outside STEM, according to a new report from the American Institutes for Research. That's compared to one in six STEM Ph.D.s over all who leave the sciences for other careers. Women of all races are also significantly less likely to report research and development as a primary work activity. Lori Turk-Bicakci, lead author, said such "brain drain" restricts the potential advantages gained from diverse perspectives in STEM. Data was drawn from the National Science Foundation's longitudinal Survey of Doctorate Recipients; most of those surveyed have had their degrees for 10 years or more. http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/07/09/study-women-blacks-most-likely-leave-stem-careers#sthash.nAurGTar.dpbs

Saturday, July 19, 2014

5 gaming dynamics that truly engage students - Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Students frequently walk away from homework when it is too difficult, but difficult games are another matter–kids walk away from games when they’re too easy. Difficult games present a positive challenge for students. A challenging task “stretches” a student’s brain, and the more a person expects his or her brain to do different things, the more pathways that person’s brain will develop. “Choice is a really important part of this equation, and gaming embodies choice–games are open-ended, and that’s part of the reason they’re so engaging for kids,” Kiang said. http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/07/07/gaming-engaging-students-365/

Arizona State University in Talks to Take Over Thunderbird School - MELISSA KORN, Wall Street Journal

Arizona State University is in talks to take over the Thunderbird School of Global Management, in a deal that would keep the financially fragile Glendale, Ariz. business school alive, but in a radically different capacity. Arizona State and Thunderbird confirmed in a written statement late Thursday that they are in discussions to have Thunderbird join "the collection of colleges, schools and institutes which constitute ASU." The schools confirmed that both parties have agreed to a letter of intent laying out terms of the proposed "integration." Under the proposal, Thunderbird would remain an independent entity within Arizona State and wouldn't be folded into the university's W.P. Carey School of Business. http://online.wsj.com/articles/arizona-state-in-talks-to-take-over-thunderbird-school-1404416849

What "open learning" looks like when it's for kids who need it most - Mimi Ito, boingboing

We've heard a lot of talk these days about open educational resources and online courses and how these platforms can make high-quality learning available for all. The code.org campaign has been touting the potential of online courses to teach kids how to code. Khan Academy has been the darling of the tech industry because of its potential to disrupt existing models of educational content delivery. It turns out, though, that these offerings are mostly serving already wired, well off, and highly educated families. True "disruption" and access beyond the echo chamber of the digital elites requires more than creating sophisticated educational content and building high-end online learning platforms. We need to spend less effort escalating the tech and bandwidth intensiveness of these platforms and more on meeting diverse kids where they are in their local communities with the resources they have on hand. http://boingboing.net/2014/07/07/what-open-learning-looks-l.html

Friday, July 18, 2014

State Authorization: Dept Education Pauses, Dept Defense Follows, and WCET, UPCEA, OLC, and MHEC Webcasts - Russ Poulin, WCET Frontiers

There have been important developments in state authorization and progress in state reciprocity. WCET partners with the Online learning Consortium, the University Professional & Continuing Education Association, and the Midwest Higher Education Compact’s State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement to offer two informational webcasts - Registration required - these will fill soon:

August 14: State Authorization for Distance Education: The Future for REGULATIONS Covers the latest on the state, federal, and military regulations. It also advises colleges on what to do next. (2:00 PM Eastern / 1:00 PM Central / Noon Mountain / 11:00 AM Pacific)

August 19: State Authorization for Distance Education: The Future for RECIPROCITY Everything you ever wanted to know about the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). (2:00 PM Eastern / 1:00 PM Central / Noon Mountain / 11:00 AM Pacific)


Higher Education Outlook for U.S. Still Negative, Moody’s Says - Kelly Blessing, Bloomberg

Moody’s Investors Service repeated its negative outlook for U.S. higher education amid declining revenue and stagnant or falling enrollment. The prospect for revenue growth and controlling expenses is restrained because of concerns about college affordability, a “highly competitive environment” for students and limits on colleges’ ability to raise prices, Moody’s reports. In fiscal 2013, net tuition revenue dropped for 25 percent of regional public universities, compared with 4 percent for flagship public schools and public systems as a whole, Moody’s said. More than half of all public institutions reported no growth in enrollment or a decline in the fall of 2013, the ratings company said. “Longer-term demand for higher education is strong, and the earnings premium for having a college degree over a high school diploma continues to rise,” Dennis Gephardt, a vice president at Moody’s, said in the statement. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-14/higher-education-outlook-for-u-s-still-negative-moody-s-says.html

Comprehensive research and case study analysis reveals 20 new facts about Flipped Learning - Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

As with all types of popular learning models that have the potential to be nothing more than a flash in the pan, it’s important to conduct thorough research on the model’s real potential. And according to a 2014 research and case study review, there are roughly 20 new things higher education faculty and leaders should know about Flipped Learning. The report, “2014: Extension of a Review of Flipped Learning [2],” conducted by George Mason University with the support of Pearson and the Flipped Learning Network [3](FLN), reviews current relevant research—both theory and empirical evidence—to learn more about Flipped Learning’s growth in education, and its effects on student learning faculty teaching. http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/20-new-facts-flipped-learning-higher-ed/

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lehigh Valley liberal arts colleges warm up to online education - Meghan Moravcik Walbert, The Morning Call

This summer, Muhlenberg is offering its first fully online course — in astronomy — and educators are working to create blended versions of two other courses, in religion and art history. Moravian just landed a spot in a consortium of colleges that got an $800,000 grant to explore and compare online teaching methods. All six of the Lehigh Valley's private colleges, including Cedar Crest College, Lehigh University and DeSales University, will spend the summer creating a plan to develop ways to incorporate digital technology in the classroom. "This is a timely moment," Lafayette President Alison Byerly said in announcing a $25,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation that will fund the effort. Private colleges' foray into online learning world has been slow in coming. http://articles.mcall.com/2014-07-04/news/mc-liberal-arts-colleges-online-courses-20140704_1_arts-colleges-private-colleges-online-education

Apps vs Web Tools: Key Factoids To Know About Both Options - Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Using smartphones and tablets in the classroom isn’t necessarily innovative anymore. For some schools it is the norm, still others are just jumping on the bandwagon of using mobile devices (both in BYOD environments and in scenarios where schools supply the technology). That isn’t to say that a lot of classrooms aren’t using desktop and laptop computers anymore, but a lot of data is pointing to the fact that apps are the future, not the web. The handy infographic linked below takes a look at some interesting statistics on apps vs. web tools. http://www.edudemic.com/apps-graphic/

How to Overcome Challenges to Complete an Online Degree - Dawn Reiss, US News

Completion rates for online students are tough to track, since the U.S. Department of Education only began looking at the issue recently, but many instructors and school leaders say the numbers are low. A 2013 study by Babson Survey Research Group found that that 41 percent of chief academic officers reported "that retaining students was a greater problem for online courses than for face-to-face courses." That’s because many students who start their online degree drop out in the first two or three weeks, says Betty Vandenbosch, provost for Kaplan University, which allows its students to come to school for the first three weeks for free. "Online education is fabulous, but it’s not for everybody," Vandenbosch says. "Some people don’t realize how much effort it takes. Many of the people who don’t finish barely start." http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2014/07/04/how-to-overcome-challenges-to-complete-an-online-degree

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Udacity’s Nanodegrees: Edtech’s Challenge To College Credentials? - BERNADETTE TANSEY, Xconomy

Sometime next year, an AT&T executive may be sitting at a desk, trying to decide whether to hire that computer science major from a good college—or a whip-smart high school graduate who just passed five or six courses on mobile iOS development from an online catalog. The value of the college grad’s four-year degree will be backed up by a longstanding higher education establishment that includes universities themselves, as well as the independent accrediting agencies that oversee the quality of their instruction. The high school grad will hold a new kind of credential called a nanodegree, whose value has been vouched for by AT&T itself; the company designed the online coursework in partnership with educational technology startup Udacity. http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2014/07/02/udacitys-nanodegrees-edtechs-challenge-to-college-credentials/

Disruptive Innovation And Education - Michael Horn, Forbes

What’s exciting here though is that through disruption, we have the opportunity to make a quality higher education fundamentally affordable and thereby allow many more people access to its benefits. The disruptions happening throughout education more generally afford us an opportunity to revisit how we cultivate children’s learning and futures—and hopefully allow us to do it in a way that is even better, given what we now know today. That’s not preordained either, of course, but we have the opportunity. It’s now all of our turn to shape it appropriately. http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelhorn/2014/07/02/disruptive-innovation-and-education/

Google Will Finance Carnegie Mellon’s MOOC Research - Avi Wolfman-Arent, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Google will give Carnegie Mellon $300,000 in each of the next two years through the Google Focused Research Award program. The university’s research will focus on “data driven” approaches to research on massive open online courses, including “techniques for automatically analyzing and providing feedback on student work,” according to a news release. The goal, it said, is to develop platforms intelligent enough to mimic the traditional classroom experience. “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,” said Justine Cassell, associate vice provost for technology strategy and impact. http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/google-will-finance-carnegie-mellons-mooc-research/53521