Aug 13th

MIT Team Turns 6.9 Million Clicks Into Insights To Improve Online Education

MIT Team Turns 6.9 Million Clicks Into Insights To Improve Online Education
News from Forbes:

MIT Team Turns 6.9 Million Clicks Into Insights To Improve Online Education – Forbes continues on Forbes

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Online education push continues at CSUs
News from Sacramento Bee:

One year has passed since Julie Spitzer, professor of mathematics education at San Jose State University, taught her last online course to thousands of students across the country through a partnership between SJSU and Udacity.

The SJSU Plus pilot program, launched to great fanfare in the spring 2013 term, was put on hiatus and then scrapped altogether after pass rates for spring and summer courses lagged behind rates for face-to-face equivalents.

Though Spitzer said she would gladly teach another such class, known as a Massive Open Online Course, (MOOC), and still uses some of the course materials she developed with Udacity, the end of the pilot quieted voices that had been hailing affordable, massive-scale online courses as a solution to crowding woes and low graduation rates in the California State University system.

Administrators and state officials, however, say innovation in online education remains a priority for the country’s largest university system.

“Udacity was an experiment in a longer and much broader initiative of the CSU engaging in online materials for our students,” said Gerard Hanley, assistant vice chancellor for academic technology services.

What innovation will look like, who will control it and how much it will alter online teaching (which has been a part of CSU offerings for 20 years) remain…………… continues on Sacramento Bee

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Jun 6th

Working adults plug into online education

Working adults plug into online education
News from Star News:

Even with technology upgrades, students still need to manage their education to make certain they get the most out of it.

For the nearly half of working adults who are interested in taking an online course, plugging into online education is easier than ever before. Now you can receive real-time alerts when grades are posted or participate in a discussion forum with classmates around the world – all before that morning cup of coffee has finished brewing.

If you are unsure of online learning, consider some of the following benefits:

  1. You may experience reduced expenses.  Calculate your potential cost savings.
  2. Motivated and independent learners thrive in an online learning environment.
  3. Although you can save time taking an online course, you’ll still need to devote a sufficient number of hours each week.
  4. Online courses may fit better with your busy life because you can access your classes anytime, anywhere through the Internet.
  5. You can simultaneously take on-campus and online courses.
  6. Many students who aren’t comfortable partic…………… continues on Star News

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Reality or virtuality? Classroom learning trumps online education
News from Meadville Tribune:

I graduated from an unnamed liberal arts college founded in 1815 and located in a small city in northwest Pennsylvania. This past weekend was Alumni Weekend, and this year happened to mark an unspecified milestone year for our class. Now when it comes to registering for events and paying money, I tend to procrastinate a bit. But thanks to the Internet, I was able to register at the very last minute and make the payment online. It was very convenient, and a great time was had by all.

Technology makes life much easier in many ways. You can do your banking and make investments online. You can pay bills and make purchases electronically. I have two or three professional licenses with continuing education requirements, and I am now able to purchase the courses; complete the education requirements; print my certificates; and renew my licenses, all online.

Many legitimate colleges and universities offer online courses with academic credit. Students can complete much of their educational requirements from the comfort of home, and at times convenient to their schedules. At the high school level, charter schools enable students from one part of the state to complete their graduation requirements through schools located elsewhere. But I often wonder something: with the pervasiveness of electronic educational credentials, is it possible that our students are missing ou…………… continues on Meadville Tribune

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Jun 3rd

Working adults plug into online education

Working adults plug into online education
News from Coon Rapids Herald:

Even with technology upgrades, students still need to manage their education to make certain they get the most out of it.

For the nearly half of working adults who are interested in taking an online course, plugging into online education is easier than ever before. Now you can receive real-time alerts when grades are posted or participate in a discussion forum with classmates around the world – all before that morning cup of coffee has finished brewing.

If you are unsure of online learning, consider some of the following benefits:

  1. You may experience reduced expenses.  Calculate your potential cost savings.
  2. Motivated and independent learners thrive in an online learning environment.
  3. Although you can save time taking an online course, you’ll still need to devote a sufficient number of hours each week.
  4. Online courses may fit better with your busy life because you can access your classes anytime, anywhere through the Internet.
  5. You can simultaneously take on-campus and online courses.
  6. Many students who aren’t comfortable partic…………… continues on Coon Rapids Herald

… Read the full article
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May 24th

Pushed by Lawmakers, U. of Florida Dives Into Online Education

Pushed by Lawmakers, U. of Florida Dives Into Online Education
News from Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription):

A little more than a year after Florida lawmakers committed $ 35-million to the University of Florida to create a reduced-cost, online-only baccalaureate program, university officials say they are taking stock of the inaugural semester while preparing for the second.

UF Online began in January with 20 classes. About 565 students completed the first semester—95 percent of those enrolled, says W. Andrew McCollough, associate provost for teaching and technology, who oversees the program. All of them were transfer students because operations were not up and running until after the application deadline for first-time students had passed.

“The persistence acid test will come when we get a larger number of first-time-in-college kids,” Mr. McCollough says. “These transfer students, or degree-completer students, often are a little older. They are less interested in the college experience and more interested in college degrees.”

UF Online has received about 1,500 applications for the fall, says Mr. McCollough, who expects fall enrollment to be about 1,000. The application deadline is June 1.

If the online effort is to succeed, it will have to be an upward march from there—the

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Harvard goes all in for online courses – Boston Globe
News from Harvard goes all in for online courses – Boston Globe:

CAMBRIDGE — The discussion between two Harvard historians one recent morning was a little bit Ivory Tower, a little bit Hollywood.

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and Andrew Gordon, both preparing to teach a new breed of free online classes, met in the iconic Widener Library — bequeathed to Harvard University by the family of a Titanic victim — to discuss a topic in social history: the influence of the sewing machine on Japan’s modernization. They were surrounded not by leather-bound volumes but by a multimillion-dollar production studio and no fewer than five bustling staff members adjusting cameras and microphones and ensuring the scholars made their points clearly.

Continue reading below

The production values were taken at least as seriously as the scholarship. As the professors discussed the international impact of the ornate turn-of-the-century Singer sewing machine on display between them, the crew monitored three cameras and debated which lighting source would reflect off Gordon’s glasses or wash out Ulrich’s face.

When Gordon brushed…………… continues on Harvard goes all in for online courses – Boston Globe

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May 3rd

TEMECULA: Online education company expanding into Old Town

TEMECULA: Online education company expanding into Old Town
News from Press-Enterprise:

A Temecula-based online education company, ed2go, is expanding and moving into the new Truax Building in Old Town, a 67,000-square-foot, four-story structure at the corner of 2nd and Mercedes streets.

The building, which features three stories of office space and room for restaurants and retail on the ground floor, was dedicated this week after a lengthy construction period. The company, which places students in online continuing education classes for adults, will be taking over the third floor in the middle of May.

The building’s namesake, developer Bernie Truax, plans to make the fourth floor, a well-appointed space replete with multiple fireplaces, his new corporate home base.

Rick Mendoza, an admissions manager with ed2go, said the company, which was purchased by Boston-based Cengage Learning in the mid 2000s, had grown out of its current location: suites in a business park on County Center Drive in northern Temecula.

“Getting into this building will give us the space we need and it’s a high-tech, more modern facility with all the bells and whistles,” he said.

The company recently hired 20 people and plans to staff 75 positions in the new space in Old Town, said Lindsay Stanley, a Cengage Learning spokeswoman.

Mendoza said Cengage has put a lot of resources into ed2go and authorizing the move into the new facility.

“…………… continues on Press-Enterprise

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Online education a new frontier in China
News from ecns:

The online education market was valued by iResearch Group at 83.97 billion yuan ($ 13.6 billion) in 2013. Provided to China Daily

Experts predict content will be enriched to include vocational skills, personal interests

Xie Kan, a former TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) tutor at New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc, had never delivered a lesson to more than 200 students.

But in late April he set a personal record by teaching 1,500. And the venue was not your typical classroom but the 31 year-old’s apartment.

Instead of standing at the front of a classroom at New Oriental’s Hangzhou branch, Xie taught from his bedroom via a computer, camera and microphone.

“It was a very productive session. The Internet can help bring the teacher’s power to the next level by giving lessons to a great number of students at the same time wherever they are,” he told China Daily. It was the main driver for him to take part in online education.

Xie, had eight years experience at New Oriental, a provider of private educational services in China. He is one of the first teachers to establish…………… continues on ecns

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Feb 17th

Alibaba & others sink $100M into Asia’s language-learning service TutorGroup …

Alibaba & others sink $ 100M into Asia’s language-learning service TutorGroup …
News from VentureBeat:

TutorGroup

TutorGroup CEO Dr. Eric Yang

Online education provider TutorGroup has closed a massive $ 100 million in second round funding from Asia-based investors.

VentureBeat has exclusively learned that online shopping juggernaut Alibaba, Temasek and Qiming Venture Partners participated in the round. The company strategically raised its funds from investors in China and Singapore, as it’s building a strong brand in the region. Most of the TutorGroup offices are spread across Asia, although the company has a research and development group based in Silicon Valley.

TutorGroup got its start in 2004 and quickly became one of the fastest-growing English language learning services. It now also offers Mandarin Chinese language learning on a new site, Tutorming.org. To commemorate the funding, TutorGroup is launching a scholarship f…………… continues on VentureBeat

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Online Education Has a Loneliness Problem. Can Harvard Fix It?
News from Businessweek:

As business schools tiptoe into the world of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, Harvard has a plan to sidestep the isolation of online learning—a problem that keeps most students from sticking with the classes.

Business education at Harvard will go online with “Innovating in Health Care,” a course beginning March 31 on HarvardX, the university’s online learning platform. More than 10,000 students have already registered, according to the school.

It will be the first HarvardX class taught by a dedicated business school instructor: Regina Herzlinger, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. (Herzlinger is no stranger to firsts at the institution: She was also the first woman to be tenured and chaired at the business school.)

Herzlinger has taught innovation and health care at Harvard in person for 43 years. The main goal of her online class is to spur collaboration, interaction, and networking, but that’s difficult when crowded classrooms are replaced with the solitary glow of a home computer monitor.

To overcome the separation factor, she’ll employ a clever collaboration of her own: Herzlinger worked with Svetlana Dostenko to integrate Project Lever, a “sort of…………… continues on Businessweek

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Dec 14th

New online learning tool brings ‘the crowd’ into homework assignments

New online learning tool brings ‘the crowd’ into homework assignments
News from MIT News:

Professor Rob Miller
Photo courtesy of EECS

December 14, 2012

In an effort to bring a more human dimension to the online-education experience, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Associate Professor Rob Miller has developed a new computer system that will help provide students with feedback on their homework assignments and create more interaction bet…………… continues on MIT News

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UNC looks to boost online education
News from News – NewsObserver.com – News & Observer:

CHAPEL HILL — The UNC system wants to extend degree programs to different types of students in more efficient ways, but the trick will be to accomplish that while ensuring quality.

A panel of business and education leaders on Wednesday heard about what other states are doing to measure the quality of education at their universities.

The UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions is giving input to UNC system leaders on how the state’s public universities should graduate more students while better preparing them for jobs of the future. The work is expected to conclude early next year with a recommendation to ratchet up degree attainment among North Carolina’s adult population.

On Wednesday, Peter Ewell of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems told the panel that many states are setting similarly aggressive targets for an educated citizenry.

With those goals comes a responsibility, he said.

“There’s plenty of ways to get to that target – you just print degrees,” he said. “So if you want to avoid being the degree mill, you really have to think about how you’re going to ensure these are degrees of quality.”

Ewell said states are making concerted efforts to assess learning outcomes among college students. Some use standardized tests, while many cond…………… continues on News – NewsObserver.com – News & Observer

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Nov 7th

Trunity Expands Into India with Trunity India

Trunity Expands Into India with Trunity India
News from NASDAQ:

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Asia eLearning Market to Reach $ 11.5 billion by 2016
News from The Herald | HeraldOnline.com:

— /PRNewswire-iReach/ — The Asia region has the highest growth rate for eLearning on the planet at 17.3% and the growth in some countries is nothing short of remarkable.  Revenues reached $ 5.2 billion in 2011 and will more than double to $ 11.5 billion by 2016, according to a new Ambient Insight report called, “The Asia Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2011-2016 Forecast and Analysis.”

Forecasts for sixteen countries are included in this regional report: Australia, Bangladesh, China (including Hong Kong and Macao), India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The two countries with the highest growth rates in the world are Vietnam and Malaysia, at an amazing 44.3% and 39.4%, respectively. Asia is now a vibrant and rapidly evolving market.

“The vast majority of revenues will be generated from the sales of packaged content. The demand for content is rising so rapidly in many countries in the region that suppliers are scrambling to meet the demand,” reports Sam S. Adkins, Chief Research Officer. “There is a surge in the number of reseller agreements, mergers, and acquisitions.”

The free Abstract is available at:

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Oct 26th

Udacity Raises $15 Million as Money Pours into Online Education

Udacity Raises $ 15 Million as Money Pours into Online Education
News from Bloomberg:

Courtesy of Udacity

More than 753,000 students worldwide have signed up for Udacity since January.

Udacity, the digital university co-founded by artificial intelligence and robotics pioneer Sebastian Thrun, has raised $ 15 million, joining a crop of online education startups to attract venture capital this year.

The financing was led by Andreessen Horowitz and included existing investors Charles River Ventures and Steve Blank, the startup guru who teaches at Stanford University. Udacity, based in Palo Alto, California, has raised $ 21.1 million in the past year.

Thrun, who invented Google’s self-driving car and is a professor at Stanford, started Udacity last year to offer free courses in computer science, math and sciences. More than 753,000 students worldwide have signed up…………… continues on Bloomberg

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The Long and Controversial History of For-Profit Colleges
News from Bloomberg:

Advertisements touting for-profit universities are everywhere. Schools such as Apollo Group Inc. (APOL)’s University of Phoenix peddle instruction in person and online, promising that students can earn their degrees on their own time, in their own homes — even in their pajamas.

The growth of such institutions has sparked controversy, partly because of their reliance on federal financial aid and the high default rates of their students.

A recent congressional report found “exorbitant tuition, aggressive student recruiting and abysmal student outcomes,” all subsidized by taxpayers. Current regulations allow for-profits to collect as much as 90 percent of their revenue from federal financial aid, and many come close. In 2009-2010, the University of Phoenix

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Aug 19th

Con: Online learning turns college into assembly line

Con: Online learning turns college into assembly line
News from The Seattle Times:

THE brave, not-so-new world of online higher education, so breathlessly advancing via Coursera and other so-called content providers, is being heralded as a game-changer for higher education. The University of Washington recently said it would start offering free online courses through Coursera, a startup led by two Stanford professors.

Commodified, one-size-fits-all education is indeed a solution to many problems, including crushingly high tuition, college selectivity, state budget problems and the mania for credentialing. Unfortunately, it is not a solution to the major problem facing America today: teaching people how to think for themselves.

It also is a one-way ticket to undermining one of America’s universally admired crown jewels: research universities. Online degree and certificate programs are the right answer to the wrong questions, and could end up killing America’s research engine, the goose that laid the golden eggs.

Stand-alone, self-paced, peer-graded online courses are epistemologically naive insofar as they assume that learning is a noun but never a verb — that knowledge arrives pre-measured and pre-cut, and isn’t construed or constructed by an actual, unique person, aka a student. It turns education into an instrumentalist assembly line rather than a customized, highly personal developmental process, composed of equal parts of pr…………… continues on The Seattle Times

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Education’s next wave: ‘Deeper’ learning, online grading, (eventual) end of FCAT
News from Daytona Beach News-Journal:

At their home in Palm Coast on Thursday, Jacqueline Throne and daughter Alana go over school supplies for Alana’s first day of kindergarten on Monday. (N-J | David Massey)

Ryan Intriago

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