Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Exporting Online - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

California’s Coastline Community College is set to create low-cost, online bachelor’s degree pathways where students can enroll simultaneously at one of three public universities, none of which are in California. The new partnership between Coastline and the University of Massachusetts Online, Penn State University’s World Campus and the University of Illinois-Springfield should go live next spring. Inside Higher Ed Under the project, students would attend Coastline full-time for their first year of course offerings, with a targeted haul of 30 credits. They would then be concurrently enrolled at the college and one of its three university partners for the next two years. The curriculum of that segment would be 60 credits. Then, the final year would be 30 credits of “capstone” courses at the online university. Students could complete their associate degree on their way to a bachelor’s. [ed note - this is the model that has been successfully implemented over the past dozen years at the University of Illinois Springfield]

UC Online courses now available to the public - Dean Mayorga, UC Riverside Highlander

The newly-implemented online program UC Online provides more students with the option of taking general education classes through a University of California campus. Initially reserved for UC-enrolled students, the program became accessible to the public in early October. The UC system is hoping to target undergraduate classes that may be overcrowded. First introduced in January at UC Merced, the program has gradually expanded to eight other UC campuses, with the current enrollment of 1,700 undergraduates. This fall, eight classes were offered, such as The Beauty and Joy of Computing (CS 10), Art, Science and Technology (DESMA 9) and Maps and Spatial Reasoning (Geog 12) throughout the UC system. There is only one available course at UCR, entitled Dance, Cultures and Contexts (Dance 7).

Online learning calls for new set of skills - Marcia Devlin, the Age

University teaching staff are ill-prepared for the challenges of the online world that higher education is fast becoming, partly because the necessary time and effort to prepare and support them has not yet been invested. The Horizon Report 2012 Higher Education Edition makes predictions about emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the next five years in education around the globe. One of the trends reported this year is that people increasingly expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to. As the report says, we live in an increasingly busy world where learners have to balance demands from home, work, school, and family.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ohio House Bill Requires Availability Of Three Year College Degrees - Taylor Mirfendereski, WOUB

Some incoming freshmen at Ohio University will now have an extra decision to make as they plan their college careers next year: to earn a bachelor's degree in four years or to shave a year off of that time. University officials say 50 percent of OU's majors are now achievable within three years, the result of a new provision included in the Ohio fiscal year 2012-2013 budget bill to lessen the amount of time it takes for students to complete their degrees and enter the job market. The state ordered Ohio's 13 public universities to make at least 10 percent of their programs achievable within three years by the beginning of last week; 60 percent must be completed by June 2014.

Proposition 30 In California Could Determine The Future Of Public Higher Education In The State - Tyler Kingkade, Huffington Post

The future of higher education in California may hinge on whether or not voters approve Proposition 30 on the November ballot, a measure that would increase taxes and prevent triggered cuts focused almost solely on public schools and universities. Depending on how voters decide, education in California could finally begin to see a restoration of funding, or at least the end of years of devastating budget cuts. When California passed its fiscal year 2013 budget, the numbers were predicated on the passing of Prop 30 on Nov. 6. A failure for the bill would trigger an array of cuts, mostly aimed at K-12 and higher education. If voters reject Prop 30, it is believed that the University of California will accelerate its course of privatization and spark further student protests that will make last year's tumultuous demonstrations look mild.

Colleges want Louisiana lawmakers to surrender control over tuition - The Associated Press

Higher education leaders are again asking Louisiana lawmakers to give tuition-setting authority to college trustees. State Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell asked legislators Thursday to consider ceding some control to the four management boards. He said $426 million in state budget cuts since 2008 make it difficult to maintain academic programs and retain faculty. Leaders asked the Legislature to surrender control over public college and university tuition, The Advocate reports. State Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell asked legislators Thursday to consider ceding some control to the four management boards. He said $426 million in state budget cuts since 2008 make it difficult to maintain academic programs and retain faculty.

Monday, October 29, 2012

President Capilouto hears from disgruntled University of Kentucky faculty for more than two hours - Linda B. Blackford, Herald-Leader

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto held a lengthy, sometimes contentious meeting with faculty members Monday, in which he promised to consider their concerns over upcoming cuts, a new budgeting system and overall angst about the future of Kentucky's flagship school. However, Capilouto did not accede to a list of recommendations the University Senate made two weeks ago that included halting the next round of budget cuts altogether and cutting administrative salaries. He did say he would stop certain retirement benefits for top administrators and pledged to add more faculty to committees working on budget cuts.

Once havens for jobless, for-profit colleges now face own downsizing - By Ben Wolfgang-The Washington Times

Already under constant fire from Capitol Hill Democrats screaming for tighter regulations, the for-profit college sector now has bigger problems on its hands. Plummeting enrollment and steep declines in stock values have begun to reverse years of growth for schools that fashion themselves as no-nonsense, career-education alternatives to traditional higher education. The latest example emerged this week when the University of Phoenix, the largest player in the for-profit world and the one with the greatest name recognition, announced that it would shutter 115 locations across the country, with at least one site in 30 states scheduled to close. For the second quarter of this year, the university reported a 13.7 percent decline in new degree-program students. Its overall student population now stands at about 328,000, down from its high of more than 400,000.

Budget cuts alarm higher education chief - Ry Rivard, Charleston Daily Mail

Budget cuts may force West Virginia colleges and universities to significantly raise student tuition, eliminate certain degree programs, lose key professors, furlough staff and reduce salaries, according to a letter from the head of the state's higher education system to state budget officials. Higher Education Policy Commission Chancellor Paul Hill warned budget officials about what would happen if he were forced to cut the higher education system budget by 7.5 percent, or about $34 million. To free up $85 million in next year's budget, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered agencies to prepare budget cuts. The commission has asked for an exemption from the cuts in August. But if the cuts go into effect, "public higher education institutions will continue to fall behind their peer institutions in other states," Hill warned in a previously unpublicized Sept. 4 letter to the head of the state Department of Revenue.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The 6 Hottest Teaching and Online Learning Trends (And How Teachers Are Adopting Them) - edudemic

From flipping your classroom to deploying digital textbooks, there’s a lot of disruption happening in the classroom. We talk about these trends every day on Edudemic and hope that helps you stay on the so-called bleeding edge of education innovation. But rather than talk about the latest trends, why not actually find out how (and if) teachers are adopting each trend? The below infographic details the 6 hottest teaching trends and looks at how they’re being adopted.

It’s Official: Using Twitter Makes Students More Engaged - Edudemic

Further affirming what you probably already know, Twitter is evidently one of the best tools for learning and becoming an engaged student. We’ve covered the benefits of the social network ad nauseum for teachers and administrators over the past few years … but a new study solidifies the worth of Twitter for students. Assistant Professor of Education at Michigan State University, Christine Greenhow, conducted a study titled “Twitteracy: Tweeting is a New Literary Practice.” In it, she found that college students who tweet as part of their instruction are more engaged with the course content, the teacher, other students, and they have higher grades.

Enrollment falling at for-profit colleges - ASSOCIATED PRESS

Then came last Tuesday's announcement by Apollo Group Inc., the University of Phoenix's parent company, that it would shutter roughly half its physical locations, though current students will be able to continue in their programs. The company couched the move in terms of growing interest from students taking online courses, and emphasized just 4 percent of students were affected (most of its students are online). But there's no hiding its decline in enrollment — it currently enrolls about 328,000 students in degree programs, down from 381,000 a year ago and a peak of more than 475,000 in 2010.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The college dream is still alive - Mary Lebens, Farmington Independent

As a college educator, I still believe in the dream of attending college on a shoestring, landing a good job, and buying a house. Not just because I did those things, and I see my students doing them, but because statistics buttress my belief. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year the unemployment rate for workers with a bachelor’s degree was only 4.9 percent while workers with only a high school diploma suffered an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent. In 2011 workers with a bachelor’s degree earned over $50,000 a year on average, around $20,000 more a year than workers with a high school diploma. College graduates definitely benefit from a higher employment rate and higher pay. Yet the news is filled with stories about the impending student loan crisis and scores of graduates burdened under crushing debt. What these stories rarely mention is the major students choose and the school they choose are both critical to graduating with minimal debt and finding a good job to repay that debt.

Education economics: Investments in e-learning may signal shift from professors to programs - ksssann, all voices

Last year, Pearson made waves when it announced it has partnered with Google to launch OpenClass, a free, cloud-based learning system. And shortly thereafter, the New Jersey-based publisher announced it was partnering with a software start-up called Knewton that specializes in adaptive learning. In the tradition-bound world of education, adaptive learning has raised more than its share of hackles. Embraced by college administrators because of the potential to cut costs, in faculty circles there is concern that adaptive learning programs could have an impact on jobs. In an adaptive learning program, a student is first given an online test that is assessed by the program, and an immediate “diagnosis” is generated, giving a profile of the skill level of each student and areas that need reinforcement. Based on this assessment, an online curriculum is generated, including a series of exercises and problems that build on each individual student’s knowledge, helping to develop the skills to reach the next level.

Some people panic without their cell phone - Tahree Lane, The Toledo Blade

The growing 21st-century compulsion to be connected was propelled by the addition of the Internet to smart phones, and it didn't take long for the most avid users to become habitues. Indeed, there's a term, nomophobia, for the anxiety felt when one is without their phone and the sense of panic when it's lost. It's derived from "no-mobile" technology, coined in 2008 during a study of cell-phone use among Britons commissioned by the United Kingdom Post Office.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Deeper learning by design: what online learning platforms can do - the Conversation

\There are specific challenges that come with the design of an LMS or an online course site – its design can effect teaching practices and student engagement. We need to evaluate these systems in the context of a commitment to good teaching and “deep” learning – and that can’t just mean the ordinary student surveys. Universities and course providers must understand the needs of an increasingly diverse student cohort, so that they can design their online course sites and LMS accordingly. As Lindsay Tanner in a recent article in the Australian suggests there has been lots of tech(nology) and not much ped(agogy) in responses to rising student numbers and new ways of learning.

Cloud Computing Is Redefining Micro-Learning In Five Revolutionary - John, CloudTweaks

One of the great aspects of cloud computing is that it is quantifiable. It takes a challenge and accounts for it in hard figures. If it is software, one rents it and pays for the time he or she spends on it. If it is education, particularly, students come to know the time they spend in a remote learning environment will come back to them in the form of a certificate or degree. There are different ways in which the ubiquity and easy accessibility of otherwise expensive resources and data has affected micro-learning. Here are five such ways, beginning with the most quantifiable revolution.

Andrew Ng champions online education as ‘the great equalizer’ - Elise Johnson, Stanford Daily

“The world is a very unfair place today, where the circumstances you’re born in either give you or deny you the opportunity to have a good life. But the technology now exists to offer a high quality education to everyone at a very low cost.” Andrew Ng, associate professor of computer science and co-founder of the education technology company Coursera, is a leader in the world of online education. Working with fellow professor Daphne Koller Ph.D. ’93, Ng established the company in April 2012. Coursera has become the darling of the online education movement, with over 1.5 million students worldwide enrolled in at least one of 200 available courses. In under a year, 33 of the world’s top universities have partnered with Coursera to offer online classes from their course catalogues to the public for free. These massive online open courses, known as “MOOCs,” represent a model of online learning new to the world of higher education.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nine Louisiana universities offer online collaborative degree - the Louisiana University System

As early as February 2013, University of Louisiana System institutions will begin accepting applications for the Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership, a 100 percent online degree offered jointly by nine public universities. The accelerated degree completion program is designed for adults who stopped out of college. “According to the 2009 American Community Survey there are over 600,000 adults in Louisiana with some college credit and no degree. This pioneering program is a way to reach out to that market and entice former students to finish their degrees, while capitalizing on the unique strengths of nine public universities,” said UL System Interim President Tom Layzell.

Can College Students Have it All – Learn When, Where and How They Want? - Online Learning Insights

Apparently they can – at least at University of Central Florida where students can choose between different learning options: online, face-to-face, hybrid and more… The University of Central Florida (UCF) operates unconventionally in comparison to other public universities when it comes to student learning; UCF puts the students in charge by encouraging them to choose when, where and how they want to learn. Students select their learning path and customize it to their preferences and schedule. In keeping with this student focused approach, faculty training, pedagogy and selection of academic programs adapt and cater to the students, even to their demographic profiles (Hartman, Moskal & Dziuban, 2004).

Private colleges see boom as budget cuts cause stumbles in California's state universities - CHRISTINA HOAG, Associated Press

California's public higher education crisis has a flip side: swelling enrollment, expanding faculty, and state-of-the-art construction at the state's private colleges and universities. With five years of funding cuts causing stumbles in the state's public higher education systems, California students are increasingly turning to private institutions, as well as out-of-state schools, to get their degrees. California independent colleges report big upticks in enrollment of both freshmen and transferring students disillusioned with spiraling tuition for fewer classes at California State University, University of California, and community colleges.

In Victory for Common Sense, Minnesota Will Allow Free Online Courses After All - Will Oremus, Slate

In a win for common sense, Minnesota has decided to allow universities to offer free online courses to its residents after all. For one day, Minnesota's Office of Higher Education felt the Internet's indignation as word spread that it was cracking down on free online college courses offered through Coursera and other websites. The bizarre bureaucratic decision was first reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education on Thursday morning, and it became Internet-wide news after my blog post about it Thursday evening went viral, thanks in part to the user-generated news board Reddit. I've just gotten word that the state has reconsidered its stance. Here's the new statement from Larry Pogemiller, director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education: Obviously, our office encourages lifelong learning and wants Minnesotans to take advantage of educational materials available on the Internet, particularly if they’re free. No Minnesotan should hesitate to take advantage of free, online offerings from Coursera.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

HarvardX Marks the Spot - Tania DeLuzuriaga, Harvard Gazette

“I figure I’d have to teach another 200 years to reach that many students in person,” said Harvard Professor Marcello Pagano, after learning that more than 100,000 people worldwide had signed up for the two Harvard courses being taught on the edX platform. Harvard University’s first two courses on the new digital education platform edX launched this week, as more than 100,000 learners worldwide began taking dynamic online versions of CS50, the College’s popular introductory computer science class, and PH207, a Harvard School of Public Health course in epidemiology and biostatistics. For Marcello Pagano, a professor of statistical computing who is co-teaching PH207x, the potential to teach so many students at once is amazing. “I figure I’d have to teach another 200 years to reach that many students in person,” he said.

Penn State Enrollment Stays Same; Online Increases - the Pennsylvania State University

Penn State’s total enrollment has remained steady from 2011 to 2012, according to an annual snapshot count taken at the end of the sixth week of fall semester classes. The University saw a slight increase in total enrollment to 96,562, up from last year’s final total of 96,519. Notably, the number of students enrolled exclusively in online courses through Penn State’s World Campus rose by 1,670 to 11,984, an increase of more than 16 percent over 2011. This figure continues a recent trend of double-digit growth in World Campus enrollment at Penn State and reflects a wider national trend in the popularity of online learning.

What Are the 10 myths of Online Learning? - the Michigan Community College Association

This is a useful site which answers some of the common misconceptions of prospective students. For each of the myths, a written and a video clarification is offered.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Average debt up again for new college grads - JUSTIN POPE, AP

It’s the latest snapshot of the growing burden of student debt and it’s another discouraging one: Two-thirds of the national college class of 2011 finished school with loan debt, and those who borrowed walked off the graduation stage owing on average $26,600 — up about 5 percent from the class before. The latest figures are calculated in a report out Thursday by the California-based Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) and likely underestimate the problem in some ways because they don’t include most graduates of for-profit colleges, who typically borrow more than their counterparts elsewhere.

Overall enrollment steady in 2012; online learning continues growth at Penn State - the Pennsylvania State University

Penn State’s total enrollment has remained steady from 2011 to 2012, according to an annual snapshot count taken at the end of the sixth week of fall semester classes. The University saw a slight increase in total enrollment to 96,562, up from last year’s final total of 96,519. Notably, the number of students enrolled exclusively in online courses through Penn State’s World Campus rose by 1,670 to 11,984, an increase of more than 16 percent over 2011. This figure continues a recent trend of double-digit growth in World Campus enrollment at Penn State and reflects a wider national trend in the popularity of online learning.

San Jose State U. Says Replacing Live Lectures With Videos Increased Test Scores - Alisha Azevedo, Chronicle of Higher Ed

In an effort to raise student performance in a difficult course, San Jose State University has turned to a “flipped classroom” format, requiring students to watch lecture videos produced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and using class time for discussion. And initial data show the method is leading to higher test scores, university officials announced this week.The midterm-examination scores of students in the flipped section were higher than those in the traditional sections, said Mr. Ghadiri. Although the midterm questions were more difficult for the flipped students, their median score was 10 to 11 points higher.

Monday, October 22, 2012

UT System touts plan for free online courses - Jennifer R. Lloyd, Houston Chronicle

The pace toward online college courses open to anyone with Internet access just reached full tilt in Texas. In a meeting Monday, University of Texas System regents approved a $10 million investment in "massive open online courses," informally known as MOOCs, becoming the first public university system to join edX, the nonprofit partnership started by Harvard and MIT. The goal is for UT institutions - led by the University of Texas at Austin - to launch four yet-to-be-determined courses through edX by the fall of 2013, UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said. The courses will be free. Learners will not earn college credit, though the system intends, eventually, to offer that and may charge some form of tuition when it does, he said.

University of Akron, Kent State announce programs with three-year options for graduation - Carol Biliczky, Beacon

Want to get out of college in three years? Students might have a better chance to do that at Ohio’s tax-supported universities. The Ohio budget bill required all public universities to provide three-year plans for 10 percent of their baccalaureate programs by Tuesday and 60 percent by 2014. The University of Akron announced three-year options for 30 programs, and Kent State selected 22, on Tuesday to meet the requirement. “Time can be the enemy of many students,” Jim Petro, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, said in a media release. “A shortened time frame to obtain the credit hours ... will make these students available to employers more quickly.”

Pearson Moves Deeper Into Online Education With $650-Million Purchase - Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Pearson, a publishing and education company whose products include books, newspapers, and online services, announced a major acquisition on Tuesday that will deepen its commitment to becoming a major player in online education. The company, which owns the Financial Times and the Penguin Group book publisher, shelled out $650-million in cash to buy EmbanetCompass, a business that provides support services to colleges and universities that are moving their programs online. The announcement came on the heels of Pearson’s move last year to start a free, cloud-based learning-management system called OpenClass.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bowen pressures top universities to fix increasing education costs - Dominica Wambold, Stanford Daily

William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton University, discussed how online education could help fix crippling student debt in a two-part lecture held on Wednesday and Thursday. (MEHMET INONU/The Stanford Daily)William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton University, drew attention to the crippling debt burden placed on students by universities in his two-part talk on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Emphasizing the power of institutions like Stanford and Princeton, he argued that a cooperative and immediate effort by elite universities could pull America’s national higher education system back from the brink of disaster. His presentation, part of the annual Tanner Lectures on Human Values hosted at nine universities across the world, set out to explain causes and present solutions for what he considers the dire economic threats stemming from the increasing costs of higher education.

SC governor wants to fund colleges based on merit - ANDREW SHAIN, the State

South Carolina should fund its colleges with a merit system that rewards schools for their graduation rates and job placements, Gov. Nikki Haley told a gathering of political, academic and business leaders Wednesday. “Colleges will not get everything they want,” Haley he said at a higher education conference that she called to encourage the colleges to better prepare students for the work force. “They will get what they earn.” Haley wants the Legislature to get away from its standard funding formulas that have given the schools the same percentages of state money year after year.

Unis to face high degree of change in mobile era - Sydney Morning Herald

The era of the ''rock star professor'' has arrived with the explosion in popularity of Massive Online Open Courses offered free on the internet by the world's best universities. The development has left Australian higher education agape - and nervous. A senior lecturer at RMIT University, Mark Gregory, pondered on The Conversation website this week whether the advent of the courses was the start of ''a perfect storm where technology will provide a means to centralise courseware and provide for automated assessment for undergraduate courses''. Richard Buckland, who has more than 1.5 million views of his University of NSW computer science courses, likens it to a tsunami: we have felt the earthquake but the wave is yet to come. But he disagrees with the ''rock star professor'' vision because it puts teachers, not students, centre stage.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

How people are using e-learning and crowdlearning to change education - Jacques Coetzee, Memeburn

Author and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has said that “big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary.” Then it would be no surprise pointing out the exciting ventures trying out to improve the struggle we have with education. Though the implementation and execution have always been under scrutiny, some have come up with interesting experimental solutions. Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy has recently published a book, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined, in which he is re-imagining and rethinking the current education system. He notes that society’s current idea of education is of “state-mandated calendars” for example, and is a primitive afterthought of 18th century Prussia’s education mentality. He argues that this method of implementing education should be re-imagined and that students together with the teachers should be liberated.

KY trustees talk online learning at annual retreat - Becca Clemons, the KY Kernal

UK Chief Information Officer Vince Kellen led a discussion about MOOCs — massive online open courses — which are growing quickly but haven’t yet figured out how to make money. Student Government President Stephen Bilas said he sees online courses as a teaching aid rather than a replacement to getting a degree on campus. “While we have to adapt to survive, take into consideration how we are adapting and if it’s in the best interest of students,” Bilas said. “Can we trust students to be accountable to use these as primary sources of education?” he asked. “Do they need that personal interaction with peers and teachers?” Trustee Bill Britton tasked the president with making a plan. “What’s going to be here five years from now?” Britton asked Capilouto. “Do we have a plan for the next three years, five years for what we are going to do with online education? It’s here. We can either embrace it or get run over by it. But we’re not going to get more dollars.”

Federal budget cuts may threaten U. funding - Alexa Pugh, Brown Daily Herald

Though the possibility that the sequester will take effect is still uncertain, the University’s research funding could take a serious hit if cuts do occur, said Beppie Huidekoper, executive vice president for finance and administration. The University currently receives approximately $160 to $170 million in federal research funding annually. Of that figure, $40 million goes toward indirect cost recovery for things like lab space, utility fees and administrative costs, while $130 million covers direct costs such as lab equipment and stipends and salaries for graduate students and professors. Assuming a worst-case scenario in which the cuts take place immediately and across-the-board, the University would face a $13 to $15 million reduction in annual federal research funding that would be distributed between direct and indirect costs, Huidekoper said.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Global On Line Education: Proposed Governmental Role - Michael Kirst, Stanford University

In spite of this richness of opportunities, students find it difficult to aggregate or “stack up” their personal array of courses from various providers so as to obtain a degree/certificate in recognition of their overall attainment. An array of perfectly solid courses taken online may have less labor market value than courses offered by a recognized traditional college. It is difficult for students to transfer online courses taken at one institution to another one. Articulation agreements for course transfer between postsecondary institutions are haphazard and incoherent. Governments should therefore create and enable systems to help students aggregate online courses and programs obtained from different providers. At the same time, nations need to collaborate in establishing quality assurance for combinations of online and traditional courses from multiple suppliers as well as appropriate metrics for the mutual recognition and transfer of credit (as in the case of the European Credit Transfer System [ECTS]). One alternative would be for governments to establish criteria and standards for exams that students must take after the completion of online courses and programs of study, and to make those criteria nationally and internationally known. Two examples are the Collegiate Learning Assessment in the USA and the UK Open University.

Georgetown University Eyes Tech Expansion - Ted Murphy, the Hoya

Last week, six students graduated from Georgetown’s first-ever online-only offering, a master’s nursing program that lets participants take classes through video chats and submit assignments over the Internet without ever leaving their clinical posts. But the nursing program — which has grown to an enrollment of over 600 since it was launched in March 2011 — is only the first in a series of efforts to integrate technology into the Georgetown education. Building off the success of this early foray into online learning, Provost Robert Groves recently announced an initiative to bring a new wave of technological innovation to the rest of campus. According to an Oct. 5 email Groves wrote to the campus community, the university’s Georgetown Technology-Enhanced Learning initiative will aim to expand Georgetown’s online presence and the use of technology in on-campus programs.

Why College May Be Totally Free Within 10 Years - DAN KADLEC, Time

Higher education is in transition and with a coming proliferation in online courses could be totally free for many within a decade. The status quo won't yield easily. But this is looking like a real answer to runaway student debt. As few as 10 years from now, quality higher education will be largely free—unless, of course, nothing much has changed. It all depends on whom you believe. But one thing is clear: The debate about financing education grows louder by the day. Experts with a wide range of views on the subject, including the always-interesting Harvard professor and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, weighed in last weekend at the Nantucket Project, a big-think conference in the spirit of TED and Aspen Ideas Festival. The most provocative, though, were hedge fund billionaire Peter Thiel and the author and entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

UC online learning program gains momentum - Nicole Freeling, University of California

This spring, students enrolling in UCLA professor Susanne Lohmann's popular course on Diversity, Disagreement and Democracy — usually taught in a lecture hall — had another option: an online format that allowed them to explore key concepts through multi-player gaming. Students explored the dynamics of decision-making in situations where individuals' real identities are unknown. The online environment enabled the students to complete more exercises, and to do so in larger groups, than was possible in a face-to-face environment, according to Lohmann. "It was a great class," said Judson Aiken, who graduated from UCLA in June and now works in risk advisory at Ernst & Young. "It was really interesting to play these games and get these tangible, real-world results."

Columbia University Senate task force exploring online learning - Emma Cheng, Columbia Daily Spectator

A University Senate task force is wading into one of the hottest topics in higher ed: the question of online education. The task force will explore Columbia’s current online offerings and examine its options going forward. Columbia is offering its first two massive open online courses next semester. The task force, which was established by the senate last year, will explore Columbia’s current online offerings and examine its options going forward. The committee met for the first time the day before the University opened registration for its first two massive open online courses.

Purdue Board of Trustees examine online learning courses, other items - the Purdue Exponent

At the stated Board of Trustees meeting Friday, the trustees approved items such as new department heads, the 2013 faculty health plans and the construction of a new softball facility. After the approval of such items, acting president Tim Sands gave a report about topics ranging from the need for online courses in Purdue's future to the current environment of higher education. Sands spoke about the benefits of Mass Open Online Courses being incorporated into the Purdue education, and the need to "put stakes in the ground." Sands was asked by Board of Trustees chairman Keith Krach, whether there was a date or strategic plan set for such courses yet. "No, not yet," Sands responded. "Right now, what we're doing is a lot of experiments, but we're going to be pushing on all fronts."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

University Endowments Face a Hard Landing - James B. Stewart, NY Times

College and university endowment returns for the most recent fiscal year, which ended June 30, are starting to roll in. And in many cases, they warrant a grade of C at best, and in some cases, an F. Harvard reported a 0.05 percent loss and a drop in its endowment of over $1 billion in the same period, even as a simple Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fund gained about 5.5 percent. Harvard’s endowment decline is more than the entire endowments of roughly 90 percent of all colleges and universities. Even more startling, data compiled by the National Association of College and University Business Officers for the 2011 fiscal year (the most recent available) show that large, medium and small endowments all underperformed a simple mix of 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bonds over one-, three- and five-year periods. The 91 percent of endowments with less than $1 billion in assets underperformed in every time period since records have been maintained. Given the weak results being reported this year, that underperformance is likely to be even more pronounced when the fiscal year 2012 results are included.

Big Data – Avalanche? Flood? Tsunami? What does big data mean for educators? - Karen Cator, U.S. Department of Education

We are pleased to announce that the final version of this issue brief on improving teaching and learning using new big data methods is now available. Back in April, we released a draft of the report for public comment and had excellent and thoughtful input. The final report, now available on the Department’s website, was able to address some of this input and, for the rest, the Department is taking note for future projects. The report recommends that educators continue to become smart consumers and be more “data curious,” that researchers and developers balance automated decision-making against “human in the loop,” and that meaningful collaborations across sectors be created and sustained. A common thread across all recommendations is careful consideration of educator and student privacy and an overall effort to increase institutional capacity to gather, analyze, research, and act upon big data to improve teaching and learning.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

U. of Texas System Is Latest to Sign Up With edX for Online Courses - Alisha Azevedo, Chronicle of Higher Ed

The University of Texas system will join Harvard, MIT, and Berkeley to offer massive open online courses through edX, university officials announced on Monday. The system’s Board of Regents voted unanimously on Monday morning to put $5-million into the nonprofit partnership, which was formed by Harvard and MIT in May to provide free online college courses, known as MOOC’s, on a global scale. The University of Texas system will offer at least four edX courses by next fall, beginning with general-education courses in the spring. The addition of the University of Texas system, which includes nine university campuses and six health institutions, will expand edX considerably. Meanwhile, the for-profit online course provider Coursera continues to race ahead, striking deals with 33 universities so far.

Trend: masses are embracing online learning faster -

From the subway’s of New York City to the underground of London there is a noticeable trend and behavioural change amongst the masses yet to be fully accepted by those catching up with global culture and that is almost everyone seems fully engaged albeit not with fellow commuters but with electronic devices such as iPhones, Galaxy Tab’s and as far as Asia is concerned, a range of other popular devices that has hit the market. The days when the world’s elite Universities were able to downplay the value of an online degree for the sake of persuading learners to physically attend mainstream universities in person seems a distant memory when we take into account just how many Universities are now offering free online courses. There is a wealth of information now flowing from MIT opencoursesware, Yale, Harvard, Berkeley and Stanford Universities, also across the atlantic, universities in London are piling up to match what their US counterparts are offering the world.

50 shades of cheating: Defining right and wrong in the digital age - Cameron Steele, Anneston Star

Cheating among students has been a hot topic in recent months with proof of widespread dishonest behavior surfacing at well-known institutions like Harvard and the Air Force Academy. Also contributing to the conversation are several recent studies that show students across the country are cheating more than ever before — especially as new technology becomes increasingly available. Administrators and teachers in Calhoun County say they haven’t seen a significant increase in cheating in recent years. And education officials think their institutions have clear “academic honesty” policies in place. Still, some local and national experts say cheating isn’t always a black-and-white issue, especially with the prevalence of new technology. “Just like in sports, you have to define the rules on what you’re able to do,” said Mark Jones, judicial coordinator for Jacksonville State University.

Investment in higher ed still pays in today’s economy - Jay Fitzgerald,

On average, those with bachelor’s degrees or higher earn more and enjoy far more job security than workers with only high school or even associate’s degrees, according to several national and local studies. And the demand for highly educated workers is only expected to grow in coming years as US and Massachusetts companies increasingly demand brains over brawn when it comes to job skills, economists and other workforce experts say. “The economic and financial rewards of having a college degree are very clear,” said Michael Goodman, chairman of the department of public policy at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. “There’s no guarantee that a college degree will bring everyone success. But on average, college is still the best career choice for most people.”

Monday, October 15, 2012

Deadline looms for major higher education cuts - Alison Moodie, World University News

Although some key funding streams, like Pell grants, will be exempt from the cuts, many financial aid packages will see 8.2% reductions, including work-study funds and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, both of which would fall to pre-2000 levels. "The potential for sequestration will not only undermine our national completion goals, but it will disrupt federal programmes such as TRIO and GEAR Up that serve our nation's most needy students,” Michelle Asha Cooper, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, told University World News. “We encourage Congress to find long-term solutions that don't directly conflict with America's education priorities, as well as our nation's global competitiveness." Research institutions such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation would fall victim to the same cuts. That means the NIH, for instance, would lose more than $2.5 billion in funding.

Online teaching can educate millions and improve on-campus learning, says MIT president - Charles Day, Physics Today

Wall Street Journal: In an op-ed, L. Rafael Reif, an electrical engineer and president of MIT, ranks the technological “upheaval” posed by online education with the one that the printing press caused. Citing edX, Coursera, Udacity, and “other online-learning platforms” that “offer the teaching of great universities” inexpensively, he predicts that “we haven’t seen anything yet” and observes that this is happening just when “residential education’s long-simmering financial problem is reaching a crisis point.” In the soon-to-arrive future that Reif envisions, information technology, thanks to its possible scale, can make “residential education better and less expensive even as it promises to offer education to many millions more people.” He summarizes: “The positive development in online learning and the negative trend in residential-education costs came about independently, but it’s now impossible to consider the future of higher education without thinking of both.”

Faced With Rising Costs, Wesleyan University Drops 'Need-Blind' Financial Aid Policy - Kathleen Megan, Hartford Courant

For decades, Wesleyan University has been one of a few dozen elite colleges that pledged to consider applicants while remaining "blind" to financial need, and promising to meet the financial need of any student admitted. But pressed by fiscal realities and a desire to maintain educational quality, the university is backing away from its blanket "need-blind" policy. In a small percentage of cases, qualified applicants will be refused admission because they need scholarship money the university can't afford to hand out. The move reflects powerful economic forces that are reshaping higher education institutions across the land. Colleges and universities are quietly reassessing generous financial aid policies that were developed before the recession.,0,1957928.story

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Harvard ready to launch its first free online learning courses Monday - Brock Parker,

America’s oldest college will make a leap into cyberspace Monday as Harvard University will begin offering its first free online courses through a joint venture called edX that the school established with MIT in the spring. According to the university a total of about 100,000 students have already signed up for the first two Harvard courses, an introduction to computer science and another online course adapted from materials from the Harvard School of Public Health’s courses in epidemiology and biostatics. Harvard University Provost Alan Garber said Friday that the courses are being offered for free in effort to teach the world by making education materials and Harvard courses available online, as well as improving education on its own campus and researching how people learn and how the university teaches.

In Online Learning, Vive L'Evolution - Francis Mulgrew, Campus Technology

The truth, however, is that online higher education is not undergoing a revolution--it's undergoing an evolution that has been well under way for a number of years. The evolution we are seeing today has been--and continues to be--led by smaller, less well-known institutions, for-profit universities, and community colleges. At these institutions in particular, online learning has been on a hyper-accelerated pace of change and improvement. Those who have been involved in these changes know it. Students in quality online degree programs know it. Technology departments know it. And while faculty and administrators at elite universities sense it, they have not had much to do with it. To best understand these changes, we need to pay less attention to the elite institutions that are bringing up the rear of the movement and pay more attention to what the leaders in online education are doing.

The digital revolution: E-texts gain powerful endorsement - ksssann, All Voices

Education Secretary Arne Duncan is never one to mince word, and a recent appearance at the National Press Club was no exception. “Over the next few years, textbooks should be obsolete,” Duncan said, calling for our nations schools to begin moving from traditional printed texts to digital textbooks ASAP. “The world is changing,” Duncan said. “This has to be where we go as a country.”And the outspoken secretary has some solid data on his side. There is the irrefutable fact that U.S. students are being academically outperformed. In a global economy where all signals point to a pressing need for well-educated, trained workers, this is not good news. Take the example of South Korea. South Korean students consistently top their U.S. counterparts in educational outcomes. While there is no one single factor in the success, South Korea is one of the most ‘wired’ countries in the world and is a leader in embracing digital learning environments. South Korean policymakers have set 2015 as the target date to go fully text-digital.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Online learning initiative reinventing medical school - Brian Tobin, Stanford University

Andrew Patterson, MD, associate professor of anesthesia, is convinced that the only way forward in medical education is what he calls a revolutionary path. No more of the old way — professors lecture, students listen. Instead, the time for online learning for medical students has arrived, said Patterson, and a core group of Stanford medical professors, education technology specialists and collaborators from the Khan Academy who are working toward that future.

Anonymous Group Hackers Claim Top Universities are Easy Targets - Robert Lemos, eWeek

Hackers allied with the Anonymous movement say they stole files from more than 100,000 accounts stored in poorly secured databases at high profile international universities. But security experts report the claims are exaggerated and the data losses limited. Universities and colleges are not known for their discipline in locking down computer systems. Good schools want debate to thrive and research to be unfettered. That means that academic departments frequently skirt the rules around information security. No wonder, then, that a group of hackers aligning themselves with the Anonymous movement had little trouble in compromising dozens of databases spread across more than 50 universities worldwide. On Oct. 1, the group, calling themselves Team GhostShell, published a list on PasteBin of archives of data allegedly stolen from major universities, such as Stanford University, Cambridge University, the University of Michigan, Tokyo University and the University of Zurich. The hackers claimed that they breached the servers to protest against the rising costs and declining standards of higher education.

UK Faculty Blasts University President In Memo - Associated Press

The University of Kentucky Senate Council says UK President Eli Capilouto has created a budget crisis. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported the faculty group sent a memo to Capilouto on Thursday in which members said they recognized dwindling state financial support was part of a cutback, but said the current budget crisis is largely due to presidential priorities that include more than $50 million in new spending. Those initiatives include $15 million in a new debt service fund to aid with construction projects, more scholarships, a pool for 5 percent merit raises and other strategic investments. "He talks about how important undergraduate education is, but on the other hand, we're facing very large cuts, some of which are not due to the state budget, but are due to decisions that he made," said chemistry professor Bob Grossman, who is vice chairman of the Senate Council.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Higher ed should be high priority, says UGA's Adams - LEE SHEARER, Online Athens

Higher education should be a high priority for the state, but state funding for higher education is lower than it’s been in more than a decade, according to University of Georgia President Michael Adams. The amount of money UGA gets from the state budget was about $500 million 10 years ago, but is about $380 million now, he said. The university system has made up for much of the cuts by raising student tuition, but the cuts have hurt, Adams said in a Friday meeting with the Athens Banner-Herald/OnlineAthens editorial board. “We’re down something between 600 and 700 (employees) right now,” he said. Adams said the university has been able to keep quality up despite the cuts. The university has reached a point where it doesn’t need to worry about whether it’s ranked No. 17 or No. 19 on any particular list, he said — “As long as we don’t disappear.”

Uncertainty brews as potential federal budget cuts loom - NICOLE CLARK, South Maryland News

Unless Congress acts to forestall across-the-board federal budget cuts currently scheduled to go into effect in January, the impact could be severe for St. Mary’s County, which is dependent on federal defense dollars. One congressional adviser says the implementation of what is called sequestration is unlikely. But for now community leaders in St. Mary’s can only play a waiting game, wondering whether Congress will allow the reductions to occur and what the consequences would be.

The Final Chapter in the University of Missouri Press Saga - Aimee Levitt, Riverfront Times

Clair Willcox, the editor-in-chief whose layoff inspired a vigorous social media campaign among Missouri Press authors, many of whom he had edited, has his job back, the university announced this morning. Willcox has taken possession of his office again and is calling up authors with the good news. "We're very excited to have Clair returning to the press as we move forward with this transition," Mizzou provost Brian Foster said in a statement. "He will provide continuity and help maintain the foundation that the press has built throughout its strong history. This is an important step in getting the press fully up to speed in the new campus environment." Willcox's main task now will be repairing the damage that the events of the past five months have done to the Press's reputation, and to the Press itself. Currently, the Press lacks editors (aside from Willcox), a director and a catalog for next year. In addition, 58 authors have demanded the reversion of rights to 138 titles. Several of them have begun negotiations to take their work to other university presses. It's a mess Willcox will have to sort out.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Other Side to Technology in Higher Education - Brian C. Mitchell, Huffington Post

It's not enough to drive system change through pedagogy and educational practices. System change is systemic. It starts with how we conduct our business, how nimble, creative and adaptive we choose to be, and how quickly we are able to modify what we do to take advantage of how to do what we do better. If the educational ship of state creaks along dragged down by the weight of outmoded business practices, then the result will be a weakened, badly positioned American higher education system. That outcome will diminish our productivity as citizens, workers and liberally educated thinkers. It will be bad economics, worse politics and a missed opportunity.

Princeton extends learning through online Coursera classes - Emily Aronson, Princeton

Historian Jeremy Adelman is spending this fall teaching "A History of the World since 1300" to more than 50 students at Princeton University — and 80,000 students across the globe. Adelman is among seven professors debuting classes on the educational website Coursera as the University explores online technology to enhance learning at Princeton and extend its educational resources beyond campus. "We can learn a lot from experiments in online learning, not just about the potential and limits of the online medium itself, but also about the practice of teaching more generally," Provost Christopher Eisgruber said following the launch of Princeton's first massive open online course (MOOC) this summer.

EdX: Harvard's New Domain - DELPHINE RODRIK and KEVIN SUN, Harvard Crimson

In the spring, MIT took on 155,000 more students. In two weeks, Harvard could do the same. The edX initiative stands to join the ranks of major MOOCs like Coursera and Udacity. Like its competitors, edX intends to make knowledge available to more people. But unlike these, edX is a not-for-profit, designed with the hopes of acquiring and employing data and research about effective teaching and learning methods. Students of edX will split their class time between watching short lecture modules (around 10 minutes or so in length), performing interactive activities, and asking questions to each other and TFs in online forums.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The future of credentials - Salman Khan, CNN

Let’s try a simple thought experiment: What if we were to separate the teaching and credentialing roles of universities? What would happen if regardless of where (or whether) you went to college, you could take rigorous, internationally recognized assessments that measured your understanding and proficiency in various fields – anything from art history to software engineering. With our hypothetical assessments - microcredentials, if you will - people could prove that they know just as much in a specific domain as those with an exclusive diploma. Even more, they wouldn’t have had to go into debt and attend university to prove it. They could prepare through textbooks, the Khan Academy or life experience. Because even name-brand diplomas give employers limited information, it would be a way for elite college graduates to differentiate themselves from their peers, to show that they have retained deep, useful knowledge. In short, it would make the credential that most students and parents need cheaper (since it is an assessment that is not predicated on seat time in lecture halls) and more powerful - it would tell employers who is best ready to contribute at their organizations based on metrics that they find important. College would become optional even for students pursuing prestigious and selective career tracks.

UC Online Strives to Compete in an Era of Free Courses - Alisha Azevedo, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Online education was going to revolutionize the University of California system, drawing thousands to the selective institution's online courses and bringing in new revenue to help allay budget cuts. That was the pitch for UC Online, started two years ago with the belief that millions in seed money could easily be raised from foundations or other private sources to get the bold effort off the ground. But UC Online now appears to be struggling, even as other highly selective colleges rush to offer their courses online at no charge (and, unlike the University of California, with no credit).

Learning Online: "The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined" - Diane Rehm Show

Salman Khan is the founder of Khan Academy - a nonprofit that offers free online educational videos. In 2004, Khan was working at a hedge fund in Boston when he began tutoring his cousin Nadia in math. When other relatives and friends sought his help, he started recording videos and putting them on YouTube. Soon his growing popularity prompted him to quit his job and dedicate his time to the Academy. Today, the website offers more than 3,000 videos and practice exercises on everything from algebra to physics. Khan believes this technology can help empower teachers and allow students to learn at their own pace. Diane talks with Salman Khan on the current state of education and the power of online learning.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Beyond the Hype: Faculty Hear Plans for Duke's Ventures in Online Learning - Geoffry Mock, Duke Today

For the MOOC companies such as Coursera, edX and others, the business model for how they will produce revenue is still unknown. Provost Peter Lange said Duke officials were waiting for the companies to settle on a business model before the university made its own decision about potential revenues. There are other more pressing issues, he added, such as: Supporting faculty time for MOOC course design and materials development; Negotiating complicated copyright approvals; Assessing MOOC courses; Staying abreast of fast-changing technology platforms; Adapting MOOC courses to in-person classrooms. Lange praised Lynne O'Brien, director of the Center for Instructional Technology, and others for leading Duke's first steps into MOOCs. He said the initial financial cost hasn't been great, but it has required "an enormous amount of work and level of commitment from staff that has been exemplary."

MOOC Brigade: With Free Online Learning Classes, Guilt Is Part of the Bargain - Brad Tuttle, Time

By the time the seventh e-mail about coursework and assignments arrives in my in-box, the guilt is too much to take. The online class I signed up for started on Sept. 17, and as the unopened emails pile up from Coursera, I haven’t watched a single lecture or done any work. But hey, having the flexibility to take in lectures at whatever pace you please is one of the attractions of such courses. The fact they’re free is another. In any event, it’s time to buckle down. Everyone in higher education is obsessed with MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) these days, and taking one sounded like a good idea. Whenever the local community college mails out the latest list of classes that are open to the public, I always find something that is not only interesting but also somehow “good” for me—maybe Woodworking, Web Design Basics, or Advanced Gardening. I should take that, I find myself saying.

President Sands and panel discuss online courses at President's Forum - ELENA SPARGER Staff Reporter, Purdue Exponent

Acting president Tim Sands introduced a discussion on online learning on Tuesday, revealing that federal support for research at the University is down, a loss that the University plans to recover with revenues from online courses. Sands said that federal support has dropped 26 percent, and awards are down 24 percent overall. The event in Fowler Hall was attended by about 150 of the University’s faculty and staff members. It was paneled by Dale Harris from the College of Engineering Timothy Newby from the College of Education Ananth Iyer, associate dean of graduate studies from the School of Management, and Mary Sadowski, dean of Purdue’s extended campus. “We’ve got to find other ways to find the revenue to replace what has been essentially lost from the state,” Sands said. According to Sands and the panelists, online courses are a viable option for creating a source of revenue for the University without creating too much in expenditures.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Reflections on the First Year of a New-Model University - Mark David Milliron, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Western Governors University Texas, where I am chancellor, is not an easy institution to describe to your mother—or even your hip sister. It just doesn't fit the profile of most traditional universities, even the newer for-profit and online ones. It brings the work of a national, online, nonprofit university into a state, and it embraces a competency-based education model that is rarely found on an institutionwide level. Even for seasoned educators, WGU Texas feels different. And in a year that has seen flat or declining enrollments at many traditional colleges, reports critical of for-profit institutions, and continuing debate over the perils and promise of online learning, our story, and our growth, has been unique.

Distance Learning for Personal Enrichment - Jason Carr, Wired Cosmos

The great thing about distance learning for personal enrichment activities is that you can choose the level to which you want to commit yourself. You may find classes offered through prestigious universities that come with an equally prestigious charge per credit. You are just as likely to find a course offering at a minimal charge or even at no cost to you. You can simply audit a class just to get an overview of a subject you’re interested in or you can devote time and money to deep diving into a subject to the extent that you become somewhat of an expert in your own right. When you’re doing it for yourself, the choices and the commitments are yours alone. Personal enrichment isn’t just about what distance learning and the Internet can do for you. It can also be about what you can give back to the world around you.

5 Ways That edX Could Change Education - Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Can community-college students benefit from a new form of hybrid learning, based on a mix of local instruction and edX content? Can colleges tap alumni as teaching volunteers? Can labs be reinvented in the style of online video games? EdX and its collaborators are developing tools and teaching models to answer those questions. And they view the project as a means to study even deeper problems, like understanding how people forget—and creating strategies to prevent it. "It's a live laboratory for studying how people learn, how the mind works, and how to improve education, both residential and online," says Piotr Mitros, edX's chief scientist.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Princeton extends learning through online Coursera classes - Emily Aronson, Princeton University

Historian Jeremy Adelman is spending this fall teaching "A History of the World since 1300" to more than 50 students at Princeton University — and 80,000 students across the globe. Adelman is among seven professors debuting classes on the educational website Coursera as the University explores online technology to enhance learning at Princeton and extend its educational resources beyond campus. "We can learn a lot from experiments in online learning, not just about the potential and limits of the online medium itself, but also about the practice of teaching more generally," Provost Christopher Eisgruber said following the launch of Princeton's first massive open online course (MOOC) this summer.

University of Wisconsin-Madison unveils plan for sweeping overhaul of personnel policies - Wisconsin State Journal

Performance-based pay bumps for faculty and academic staff. A loss of some protections in case you're laid off. A guarantee all employees would be paid a living wage. Those are some provisions in a sweeping overhaul proposed for how UW-Madison's 20,000 employees are classified, recruited, paid and evaluated. The plan, developed from a series of campus-wide meetings during the last nine months, was released Friday by university officials and could take effect next July, pending approval by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and the state Legislature. "We really tried extremely hard to ensure that the plan represented all the views of our campus community," said Robert Lavigna, director of UW-Madison's Office of Human Resources.

Ohio Statewide college enrollment steadily declines - Meagan Pant, Dayton Daily News

College enrollment statewide dropped nearly 5.9 percent since last year, falling closer to the pre-recession level of 2008, according to a preliminary report released Monday by the Ohio Board of Regents. The number of students fell more than 31,600 at the state’s 61 public colleges and university main and regional campuses — a decline that was expected, but still hurt some financially and forced the layoff of 23 people at one community college. The enrollment decline is attributed to record number of students graduating last year ahead of the semester conversion completed by 17 institutions, changes to federal financial aid that mean fewer students are eligible, and an economy that has some choosing to work instead of attending school.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Public research universities in peril - Associated Press

They're the pride and backbone of American higher education, doing essential research and educating the next generations of scientists and engineers. But a new report argues the mission of the country's 101 major public research universities is imperiled by budget cuts amounting to one-fifth of their state funding over the past decade. State support for public research universities fell 20 percent between 2002 and 2010, after accounting for inflation and increased enrollment of 320,000 students nationally, according to the report published Tuesday by the National Science Board. Ten states saw support fall 30 percent or more, and in two -- Colorado and Rhode Island -- the drop was nearly 50 percent. Only seven states increased support.

Online Learning: Maturing? Perhaps. Improving? Always. - John Ebersole, Forbes

Online education isn’t what it was thirty years ago. Heck, it isn’t what it was three years ago. I bring up these examples not to argue that online education is perfect – but rather to underscore its immense progress and the innovations that have both occurred and will continue to occur over the decades to come. I can’t wait to see where it will be a decade from now, though MOOCs provide a glimpse.We may not be there yet, but to contemporary critics I’ll just say: “You’ll see.”

In Colleges’ Rush to Try MOOC’s, Faculty Are Not Always in the Conversation - Alisha Azevedo, Chronicle of Higher Ed

As soon as University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Phyllis M. Wise, the university's chancellor, heard about Coursera from other administrators who had signed on, she wanted to follow suit. She asked the executive committee of the university's Academic Senate for a recommendation on whether to work toward a Coursera deal, and a faculty task force quickly issued a report giving a green light for such a partnership. The task force devised a list of questions about how a Coursera partnership would work, said Nicholas C. Burbules, a former chair of the Academic Senate and a professor of educational-policy studies. For example, how would potential revenues from Coursera be divided within the university, and how would faculty members be compensated for teaching Coursera courses? "I don't think anyone knows exactly where this is going," Mr. Burbules said. "We're on a very fast train right now, and we're jumping on board and seeing where it ends up."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Reading the MOOC Tea Leaves - Ray Schroeder, Evolllution

Three seemingly disconnected announcements in September are key indicators of the future of Massive Open Online Courses. The quiet announcement that Google's first MOOC - Power Searching with Google - is “an experimental early step for us in the world of online education… an indication of our future direction.” This announcement hints at the expanded involvement of Google in offering online learning. Colorado State's announcement that they will grant transfer credit for a Udacity class (upon successful completion and an $89 exam administered by Pearson VUE). And, the analysis by Moody's Investment Services about the future impact of MOOCs on higher education.

Learning Online: Top college courses, for free? - Daphne Koller, CNN

One of the greatest opportunities of this technology, one that is yet untapped, is the window that it opens into understanding human learning. The data that one can measure is unprecedented in both the level of detail and in its scale. Thus, we can apply data analytics in entirely new ways to understand what works and what doesn't, ranging from general educational strategies to specific design choices for a given course. This transformation from a hypothesis-driven to a data-driven mode has revolutionized other disciplines, such as biology, and may now allow us to systematically improve the quality of education. This paradigm, which combines meaningful work that can be graded at scale with peer-teaching among students, allows us to offer some of our best educational content to students around the world, at a negligible marginal cost of pennies per student. It therefore makes feasible the notion of universal education, with the potential of some remarkable consequence.

California's community colleges staggering during hard times - Carla Rivera, LA Times

This is the new reality for about 2.4 million students in the nation's largest community college system. The system is the workhorse of California's 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education, which promised affordability, quality and access to all. In reality, the state's two-year colleges are buckling under the stress of funding cuts, increased demand and a weak record of student success. The situation can be seen on all 112 campuses — students on long waiting lists, those who take years to graduate or transfer and others so frustrated that they drop out. Most of them enter ill-prepared for college-level work. Eighty-five percent need remedial English, 73% remedial math. Only about a third of remedial students transfer to a four-year school or graduate with a community college associate's degree. "We're at the breaking point," said Jack Scott, who served as chancellor of the California Community College system for three years until retiring this month.,0,3310236.story

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Online learning organizations create a national e-learning alliance

Funded on a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), a task force comprised of representatives of leading national organizations in online and e-learning in higher education, has issued a report on the future of online learning in higher education. The Task Force includes representatives from the American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC), the Association of Continuing Higher Education (ACHE), EDUCAUSE, the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C), UPCEA and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). The Summit on the Future of Online Learning held in Chicago in September 2011 addressed many of the issues facing online learning in higher education today. An outcome of the Summit was a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to convene an Inter-Organizational Task Force on Online Learning. "Each of these organizations is deeply engaged in the development, delivery and support of high quality online education," said Robert Hansen, CEO of UPCEA. "This report lays the foundation for working together with the goal of advancing the interests of the students and institutions we serve through quality online learning." The report, issued October 3rd, 2012, calls for several action steps to achieve that goal

Free Speech in the Age of YouTube - SOMINI SENGUPTA, NY Times

“We are just awakening to the need for some scrutiny or oversight or public attention to the decisions of the most powerful private speech controllers,” said Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor who briefly advised the Obama administration on consumer protection regulations online. Google was right, Mr. Wu believes, to selectively restrict access to the crude anti-Islam video in light of the extraordinary violence that broke out. But he said the public deserved to know more about how private firms made those decisions in the first place, every day, all over the world. After all, he added, they are setting case law, just as courts do in sovereign countries. Mr. Wu offered some unsolicited advice: Why not set up an oversight board of regional experts or serious YouTube users from around the world to make the especially tough decisions?

Why some of the best universities are giving away their courses - Katherine Long, Seattle Times

Why would any university — especially now, when so many are straining to pay the bills — give away the store? Each has answers. But basically it comes down to these: To serve the greater good. To win a public-relations race. And, most especially, to enhance reputations. "One of the great drivers in higher education is reputation — who's the most innovative, which encourages people to push the envelope in what is a slow-moving field," says Josh Jarrett, deputy director of postsecondary success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation is watching all of this closely. In May, Harvard University and MIT announced a $60 million collaboration to offer free online courses; it's called edX, and the Gates Foundation has awarded several million-dollar grants to discover how these classes might best help boost learning, especially by marrying those courses to community-college classes. With top-tier universities offering free courses, "it became easy for others to follow," Jarrett says, "and hard for others not to follow."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Online Learning at Harvard - Harvard University

Harvard has produced online courses and other forms of digital learning for several decades with the goal of making educational content available to a global audience. On this page, you will find links to a selection of Harvard's publicly available online learning content. Experience courses, public lectures, and other unique examples of Harvard's learning content on the web.

Flipping The Higher Ed Classroom - TopHatMonocle

Flipping the classroom has many teachers doing cartwheels. The “flipped classroom” model is a restructuring of the traditional classroom dynamic. Instead of listening to a teacher-centric lecture, students watch instructional videos at home in order to increase active participation in the classroom. In this post, we’ll dive into the flipped classroom and discuss how it can be applied in a higher education setting.

Welsh college launches Facebook e-learning course - Virtual College (UK)

A college in north Wales has claimed to have developed the world's first ever online learning course, to be delivered via Facebook. The Coleg Harlech Workers' Educational Association has launched a new online photography course, providing an overview of photographic techniques and compositional rules while encouraging students to post their own work on the social networking site, Western Mail reports. Developed by IT and innovation consultant Chris Headleand, lecture in creative technologies at the college, the course will go ahead following the success of its pilot scheme. According to Mr Headleand, all feedback has been positive, with students claiming that they felt more comfortable communicating with each other over Facebook.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tech showcases virtual education - Lauren Brett, Technique

Creating an education style that fits today’s high tech environment is nothing new to the world of higher education. Talks of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and their potential has been topic of discussion on several college campuses, including Tech. Provost Rafael Bras formally introduced the idea of MOOCs to the Tech community at a Town Hall forum. The forum featured a panel of faculty who are teaching courses through Coursera, which Tech partnered with earlier this year. Partnerships between universities and online education programs similar to Tech’s with Coursera are a trend on the rise. Stanford and Princeton have also partnered with Coursera, and MIT and Harvard have joined together to create edX. Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE), another Tech online education enterprise, has been working to develop online education options for the past 35 years and has online students in every continent both for credit and non-credit.

Online education threatens traditional colleges, IdeaFestival speaker says - Jere Downs, Courier-Journal

Colleges and universities that don’t have the stature of the 60 most prestigious research and Ivy League institutions are fast headed for “irrelevance and marginalization,” said Richard A. DeMillo, an expert in online learning who spoke at the IdeaFestival conference downtown Thursday. The proliferation of knowledge via online courses presents unparalleled challenges to colleges and universities, said DeMillo, an author and director of the Center for 21st Century Universities at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Senator Dick Durbin Tries Online Poetry Class - Daniel Luzer, Washington Monthly

Some technology enthusiasts have become very excited about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), free, non-credit classes that an unlimited number of people can take over the Internet. One of those people is apparently U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois (D), the Senate Majority Whip. Durbin, who has called the existing financial model of American higher education “unsustainable,” is a severe critic of for-profit colleges. Earlier this year he introduced a bill in the senate to prevent for-profit colleges from exploiting veterans’ benefits. But he’s not opposed to education innovation. He’s apparently taking a poetry class online.

Monday, October 1, 2012

With dramatic plan, Nevada asks battered universities to solve its economic crisis - John Marcus, the Hechinger Report

Nevada is now proposing a dramatic turnaround under which it hopes battered public higher-education system will help lead it out of economic crisis. By changing the formula under which colleges and universities are funded, policymakers plan to reward institutions for turning out graduates and research that can build new industries in a state that has proven far too vulnerable to downturns in the dominant areas of gaming and construction. A Brookings Institution report last year found Nevada overly dependent on a consumption economy acutely prone to booms and busts, with “substantial” shortages of skilled workers and too little investment in innovation. Six of the top 10 employers are casinos.

Paying for an A - Alexandra Tilsley, Inside Higher Ed

The growth of the online education market appears to have spun off another, more surreptitious market – one that goes beyond the paper-writing services long available to less than honest students – and online educators are taking note. A handful of websites have sprung up recently offering to take a student’s entire online class for them, handling assignments, quizzes, and tests, for a fee. Prices for a “tutor” vary. advertises a $695 rate for graduate classes, $495 for an algebra class, or $95 for an essay. When Inside Higher Ed, posing as a potential customer, asked for a quote for an introductory microeconomics class offered by Penn State World Campus, offered to complete the entire course for $900, with payment upon completion, and asked for $775, paid up front. Most sites promise at least a B in the course.

Khan Academy online learning translations two year journey - Khan Academy

In October 2010, Khan Academy began a volunteer driven effort to translate its video library into the world’s widely spoken languages. This involved both text translations (captions) and voice translations (dubbing/re-doing videos). In early 2011 Ben Kamens and Dean Brettle (one of KA’s passionate volunteers) integrated the Universal Subtitles widget to enable crowdsourced subtitling of videos on Khan Academy. Today we have 14,000+ subtitles in 50+ languages. For voice translations, we needed to find individuals who could not only be Khan Academy’s voice in another language, but also have the commitment to translate an entire topic’s playlist. The latter was key to ensuring consistency in voice within a topic. Khan Academy relies on an amazing group of “Advocates” for each of the languages it is supporting, to ensure the effectiveness and quality of the translations. Currently we have 7,500+ voice translations in over 23 languages.