Saturday, November 28, 2015

Number of Americans with college degrees growing ... slowly - JON MARCUS, Hechinger Report

Seven years after setting out to significantly increase the proportion of the population with degrees, the nation is making very slow progress, according to new figures. The percentage of Americans who have earned college and university degrees rose from 40 percent to 40.4 percent last year toward a goal of 60 percent by 2025, the Lumina Foundation, which is backing the effort, announced at a conference here to update policymakers and advocates. The topic: Whether or not the nation is succeeding in increasing the proportion of people with higher educations Why it matters: Economists say more degree-holders are needed to compete with international rivals.

U.S. Colleges See A Big Bump In International Students - Cory Turner, NPR

The number of international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities jumped last year — in a big way. It's up 10 percent, to roughly 975,000, according to a new report by the Institute of International Education and backed by the State Department. In 2014-15, China was still the largest source of students with 31 percent of the total. India was in second place with nearly 14 percent. And Indian students were a big reason for the overall jump.

Could "Nanodegrees" Be the Solution to the Student Debt Crisis? - GEORGE LORENZO, Fast Company

What if you could earn a technology-centric credential at a similar level to a postgraduate for less than $1,000? And what if earning that high-level credential took about six to nine months? What if, after earning this credential, you went into a job interview with solid evidence revealing your skills, backed by several relevant projects you created that very clearly disclosed your innovativeness and creativity, along with showing how advanced you were in relation to the latest developments in your field of study?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Who Would Have Predicted: BLACK FRIDAY DEALS FOR ONLINE COURSES? - IAIN ALEXANDER, Film Industry Network

Filmmakers, digital marketers and entrepreneurs can benefit from incredible Black Friday deals and access online courses for a fraction of their usual price. Whether you are looking to study film, learn about acting or improve your social media game, there are some fantastic deals being offered over the next few hours that will get you high quality training at incredible discounts. Udemyicon are offering 17,000 online courses to all their new subscribers that select a program before midnight Friday with discounts of up to 97%. You can check out some of the most popular courses here and also our recommended selection of online classes that you can book with this deal.

More Machine Learning From Udacity - Sue Gee, Iprogrammer

Udacity has opened a new Nanodegree in Machine Learning. At advanced level it prepares you to apply predictive models to massive data sets in fields like education, finance, healthcare or robotics. The curriculum for the Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree has been developed with Google and in his email announcement Sebastian Thrun played up this selling point: If you followed the news, you saw that our partner, Google, just open-sourced TensorFlow, its deep learning software. And get this: our program already has a class on deep learning in TensorFlow in development, overseen by Vincent Vanhoucke, technical lead and manager in Google's deep learning infrastructure team.

Rubrics for Assignments in Online Courses - Touro College

An important aspect of an online course is grading assignments and providing feedback. This is especially true in an asynchronous course where there is no real-time interaction between the instructors and students. Once a student completes a learning activity, the instructor teaches via the grading of the assignment and provides clear and helpful feedback to the student. A rubric is one of the most popular grading and assessment tools. Here are five benefits to having rubrics as a central part of an online course

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The high cost of not investing in U.S. colleges - Dave Marcotte, Baltimore Sun

Unless we want students to pay a larger and larger share of their education and many to get less for it, we cannot circumvent the need to increase the level of public subsidy for higher education. And we need to go beyond means-tested strategies like Pell Grants to achieve this end. Public higher education has historically been a springboard of opportunity to the children of the middle class. Indeed, the foundation of the American Century was laid by a massive investment in secondary education. Nearly three quarters of children born at the dawn of the 20th Century didn't start high school. By mid-century, more than three quarters finished high school. In this century, it is starting and finishing college that is the sine qua non for the welfare of young Americans and integral for the nation's economic growth. While recent developments help clarify the costs of investing in college for prospective students, it is not at all clear if we as a nation understand the costs of not investing in public colleges and universities.

Udacity and Google team up for new Senior Web Developer Nanodegree program - NATE SWANNER, The Next Web

Udacity has partnered with Google to bring another Nanodegree program to the fold: Senior Web Developer. The program builds on the Front End Web Developer Nanodegree curriculum, much like Udacity’s duo of iOS Developer degree programs do. Here’s how a Udacity spokesperson explained it to us: The Senior Web Developer Nanodegree program is a natural progression from the Front-End Web Developer Nanodegree program. Like all Nanodegree programs, The Senior Web Developer degree will cost $200 per month, which Udacity says can be achieved in 10-12 months’ time.

101 e-Learning Tips from the Experts - Scott Hawksworth and Sarah Bass, Best Online Universities

Educational technology, and more specifically e-Learning, offers tremendous value to both students and teachers. Both are constantly evolving, and as such, challenges are inevitable. To that end, we surveyed hundreds of e-Learning experts in search of useful tips for teaching and learning online. Our search generated 101 amazing tips, which are presented below. For the first timer to the seasoned e-Learner, you’re likely to find many valuable tips to help you succeed online.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

College Completion Rates Decline More Rapidly - Inside Higher Ed

Fewer students are earning a college credential within six years of first enrolling in college, according to new data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The nonprofit clearinghouse is able to track 96 percent of students nationwide. It found an overall national completion rate of 52.9 percent for students who enrolled in the fall of 2009. That rate was down 2.1 percentage points from that of the previous year's cohort of students, according to the clearinghouse, and the rate of decline is accelerating. The declines were across the board, the report found. Completion rates sagged for students regardless of their age, whether or not they attended college full-time or not, and across the various sectors of higher education. For example, 38.1 percent of students who first enrolled at a two-college earned a credential (either at a two- or four-year college) within six years, a decline of one percentage point.

Democrat Seeks Review of Federal Oversight of Colleges - Inside Higher Ed

The top Democrat on a Senate investigatory panel is calling on Congress’s investigative arm to look into how the U.S. Department of Education oversees colleges and universities. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri on Monday sent a letter asking the Government Accountability Office to review how the Education Department green-lights colleges to participate in federal student aid programs as well as how effectively department regulators uncover problems with colleges. The GAO last year issued a report that recommended the Education Department step up its oversight of colleges and accrediting agencies. It found, among other things, that national accreditors were no more likely to sanction poor-performing colleges than they were those with strong student outcomes.

Major Study Finds OER Students Do Just as Well — or Better - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The study involved 5,000 students using OER and more than 11,000 "control" students using standard textbooks in courses at 10 different institutions around the country enrolled in 15 different undergraduate courses. It focused on five measures of student success. In the area of course completion, the researchers found "almost no significant differences" between the two groups with a couple of exceptions. In Business 110 and Biology 111 students in the OER group showed higher rates of completion than students in the control. For example, in the business class, 21 percent of commercial textbook users withdrew; in the OER group only six percent withdrew. In the area of student achievement (passing with a C- or better grade), the outcome was mixed. In nine courses researchers saw no significant differences. In five courses, the OER users were more likely to pass the course than those in the control group. In one course, Business 110, students in the control group surpassed students using OER.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Are online adjunct faculty doing any better than those on campus? - Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

“The Coalition on the Academic Workforce (2012) reported that 75.5 percent of faculty members at two- and four-year institutions were in ‘contingent positions’ off of the tenure track,” write the report’s authors. “Of this large group, 70 percent were part-time or adjunct faculty members, making roughly half of all instructors in higher education in 2011 an adjunct or part-time faculty member.” The authors cite research that predicts this population will only continue to grow in size and proportion. The survey similarly found that more than half of institutions reported that their adjunct population that teaches online has grown over the last year. It’s a one-size-fits all: Policies that were designed for on-campus adjuncts were frequently applied to those who are teaching online, notes the report.

Growing proportion of university grads overqualified for their jobs: study - ANDY BLATCHFORD, Globe and Mail

A growing proportion of recent university graduates – as much as 40 per cent – face the potential frustration of being overqualified for their jobs, a new report has revealed. An analysis, released Thursday by the federal parliamentary budget office, also found the rate of young graduates holding down jobs that match their education level had dropped. The report warned that these numbers can have real-life consequences for the job market. “There are costs associated with a rising number of overqualified workers,” the budget watchdog said. “These workers may face lower levels of job satisfaction and attachment, which could increase turnover rates for employers.”

Coursera co-founder talks impact of online courses - Becca Solberg, Michigan Daily

Daphne Koller, president and co-founder of Coursera, gives a talk as a part of the Academic Innovation at Michigan series at the Michigan League on Thursday. Koller’s presentation, hosted by the Office of Digital Education and Innovation, discussed the impacts of Coursera, a platform for hosting the massive open online courses, or MOOCs, offered by a variety of universities. Koller, who is also a professor of computer science at Stanford University, began by describing the impacts of Coursera both on the universities that offer courses and the professors who teach them. In particular, she emphasized how online courses encourage professors to alter and improve their teaching techniques to best serve their students, who have the option of walking away from an online site at any moment compared to the more captive audience of a classroom.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Coursera enrolment in Singapore soars - Amelia Teng, Straits Times

The number of Singaporeans enrolling in Coursera courses has almost tripled in the last three years - from 52,000 in 2013 to 140,000 so far this year. They are among the 10 million people worldwide plugged into the online learning channel, which took off about three years ago. Coursera offers 1,400 courses with 134 university partners including Brown and Princeton. These mostly free courses consist of video lectures, interactive quizzes and peer-graded assignments. Coursera has also started about 80 specialisation programmes, which are a series of bundled modules. Users may pay up to US$500 (S$710) to earn certification for these programmes.

Online Education Company Udacity Is Tech's Latest Unicorn - Leena Rao, Fortune

Online education startup Udacity has raised a huge new round of funding that, according to a source close to the company, values the business at around $1 billion.With nanodegrees that come with feedback and mentoring, the completion rate is 90%, Thrun has said. Under the latest strategy, Thrun said that Udacity’s revenue is growing nearly 30% month over month and is profitable. He declined to disclose any more detailed financial information but one source pegged the company’s revenue annual revenue run rate at around $24 million.

8 characteristics of good online video - Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

Instructor-led video is a must in online learning, but not all videos are successes. Here are eight tips to help educators create effective online videos for their courses. video-online-learningAccording to a report published in the MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, instructor-generated video can have a positive influence on student satisfaction with, and engagement in, online courses. But not all videos are created equal. Research conducted by the American Academy of Neurology also reveals that “watching videos helps boost brain plasticity,” or the ability of the brain to undergo physical changes at any age. Learners who were trained to perform a particular task through videos performed better than those who learned through images and text, the researchers found—and they concluded that video has a “higher impact on the brain.”

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Online pioneer Udacity lands $105 million round and a $1 billion valuation - Marco della Cava, USA TODAY

Udacity has 11,000 students. It has some 1,000 graduates bearing its so-called “nanodegrees” who paid $200 a month per course. Most courses require a minimum of 10 hours of work a week, and last between three to six months. Makhijani says the company is profitable with its existing model, even when taking into account the fact that it refunds 50% of tuition to anyone successfully passing a course. “We found we could offer that enticement financially, and we wanted to do because the work isn’t easy,” he says, adding that some 90% of Udacity students have full-time jobs.

Better Residential Learning Is The True Innovation of MOOCs - Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

This week the edX community is being graciously hosted by Georgetown University to discuss our initiatives in open online learning. EdX is, at its heart, a non-profit consortium of educational providers. This is not what I think folks normally think of when they think of edX. Say "edX" and most people will talk about MOOCs and the technological platform, (in the case of edX an open source platform), that enables teaching and learning at scale. The evolution of open online education, and the technologies and methodologies that we use to teach open online courses at scale, are certainly part of the edX and MOOC story. I’d argue, however, that the true innovations of MOOCs are not those found inside the open online courses.

5 major trends in higher education’s use of social media - Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

A new report studies close to a thousand different institutions to provide a detailed snapshot of 2015’s dynamic college and university social media use. If you want to know how other colleges and universities are using social media today, know this: they’re using it like any other media-savvy millennial. From a spike in “giving days” and crowdfunding campaigns to a heavy focus on multimedia, higher education has become a social media heavy-hitter. But measuring success is another issue. The findings are part of a yearly report (currently in its sixth year) conducted by CASE, Huron Education, and mStoner, Inc.—written by Jennifer Mack, senior researcher at Huron Education and Michael Stoner, co-founder and president of mStoner—on higher education’s refinement, prioritization and expansion of their social media habits.