Disrupting Higher Ed
12.0K views | +0 today
Follow
Disrupting Higher Ed
Innovations and Issues that are Disrupting U.S. and Global Higher Education
Curated by Smithstorian
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

Coursera Takes a Nuanced View of MOOC Dropout Rates - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Coursera Takes a Nuanced View of MOOC Dropout Rates - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

Philadelphia — Massive open online courses have gained renown among academics for their impressive enrollment figures and, conversely, their unimpressive completion rates.

 

What accounts for the high attrition in MOOCs, and what does it mean? Coursera and data researchers at several partner universities of the MOOC provider have begun trying to answer those questions by learning more about why students wash out of MOOCs—and what instructors and course designers could do to stem the tide.

Smithstorian's insight:

Some of that research was on display over the weekend at Coursera’s first-ever partners’ conference, where MOOC professors, instructional designers, and various invited guests spent two days talking shop.

 

The data so far are preliminary. But the company believes that the low completion rates in its early courses should not be read—as many critics have done—as an indictment of the MOOC format.

The registration figures in MOOCs have been massive indeed. A Chroniclesurvey of MOOC professors last month found a median of 33,000 registrants for the courses that have been offered so far. One course, offered by Duke University via Coursera, saw 180,000 students sign up.

 

The rhetorical counterpoint to those impressive figures, which often exceed the total enrollment of large state universities, has been the massive attrition. Although millions of students have registered for courses through Coursera, the company and its university partners have awarded only 280,000 certificates of completion. In general, the rate of completion in MOOCs is believed to be around 10 percent.

 

But most students who register for a MOOC have no intention of completing the course, said the company’s co-founders, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng. “Their intent is to explore, find out something about the content, and move on to something else,” said Ms. Koller.

 

The rates of completion for students who have given some indication that they plan to do the work is substantially higher. For example, for students who so much as submit the first assignment, the completion rate leaps to 45 percent.

 

For students who are paying $50 for the company’s new Signature Track program—which includes features designed as safeguards against identity fraud and cheating on examinations—the pass rates are even higher, at about 70 percent, Ms. Koller said.

 

That is even higher, she said, than the non-Signature Track students who profess in surveys to high levels of commitment to completing the course. This “suggests that having skin in the game is highly valuable,” Ms. Koller said.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Smithstorian from Mindfulness and Technology in Higher Education
Scoop.it!

I Don't Want to Be Mooc'd - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

I Don't Want to Be Mooc'd - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

CD's replaced cassettes, and they in turn have been replaced by MP3's. GPS's replaced printed maps, and they are now being replaced by cellphones, which also happened to have replaced pay phones and many other products. There are lots of examples, but the outcome is the same:

New products replace older products, and those older products become obsolete. The new products are better or cheaper or more appealing to consumers. It is not just how capitalism works; it is alsowhy it works.

 

That dynamic is the wheels on the metaphorical car of the market system. Sure, some people are made worse off as a result, but the benefits to consumers and other producers generally far exceed the costs to those who are hurt. In the end, society as a whole is better off, and the car keeps moving forward. As for those who lose their jobs, well, they can go back to school to get trained with new skills and eventually find another job that is more relevant to the current needs and desires of society.

 

That's a description of creative destruction, and basically how I have always taught the process to my students. More than that, I have always believed it to be true. But in the case of MOOCs (massive open online courses), I've allowed myself to hold onto some doubt.

 

No one knows for sure how popular MOOCs will become or exactly how they will alter higher education. However, given the current trajectory, it seems inevitable that, at some point, college students will have the option of taking a course with a person in a classroom or as a MOOC for an equivalent number of credits. The MOOC option will not offer the same experience, students may not find it as enjoyable, and they may not learn as much, but it will be available at a fraction of the cost of the in-person alternative. Many students will choose the MOOC, and no one should berate them for it. It is a very rational decision.

 

When the MOOC is a viable option, it will probably not significantly affect most large public research and elite private institutions. Those institutions sell more than an education or a degree; they offer a college experience and a level of prestige that will not diminish as a result of online courses. Some institutions will benefit from such courses.

 

But at smaller, lower-ranked institutions like mine—those typically with a city rather than a state in their names—MOOCs present a greater concern. Cost is a more important factor for our students in deciding whether and where to enroll. We would see decreased enrollment and tuition revenue, and without an unexpected increase in public support, we would be forced to further reduce the number of tenure-track faculty positions and/or compensation to current faculty members as a result.

 

Which is just another example of creative destruction: Something that is more appealing to consumers is offered that makes the older product obsolete. But this time,I am that older product. So I ask myself, will society as a whole be better off as a result? I know what the economics textbooks say, and I know what I have always told my students. But it is a lot easier to believe in a theory when it is about the world in general, rather than about your world in particular.

 

When I talk about creative destruction with my students now, I am not quite as dogmatic as I used to be. I tell them that there are exceptions to every theory. I do not tell them that I hope that I am one of them.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

Online Programs Reject Students to Avoid Costly State Approval, Report Says - Government - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Online Programs Reject Students to Avoid Costly State Approval, Report Says - Government - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

Although many colleges with distance-education programs are seeking authorization to operate in other states, a majority are turning away students in certain states as a way of avoiding the high cost of applying to operate in them, according to a report released on Wednesday.


The report, which was based on a survey conducted by three distance-education groups, says that about two-thirds of the nearly 200 colleges surveyed had applied for approval in at least one state, up from one-third in 2011. But the three organizations—the Sloan Consortium, the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, and the WCET-WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies—also found that only 10 percent of institutions had not turned away students in some states.


The U.S. Department of Education has required for decades that institutions receive authorization from the states in which they enroll students before they may receive federal student-aid funds. But for many years colleges assumed the requirement did not apply to online programs. And department officials looked the other way—until afederal rule, adopted in July 2011, explicitly extended the requirement to online and distance-education programs.

Though the rule was quickly overturned, many states proceeded with new regulationsfor institutions operating distance-education programs within their borders. Some states, like Maryland, passed laws that required out-of-state institutions to pay a $1,000 fee and to register. Others, like Minnesota, sent "cease and desist" letters to institutions that refused to comply with the process.


The chief obstacle for many colleges is the fees to apply for authorization in each state, which could cost an institution tens of thousands of dollars if it sought authorization in all 50 states. As a way to avoid such steep costs, some colleges have simply turned away students who apply from states with higher application prices, including Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

The Professors Behind the MOOC Hype - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Professors Behind the MOOC Hype - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
In the largest survey of instructors who have taught massive open online courses, The Chronicle heard from critics, converts, and the cautious.

 

What is it like to teach 10,000 or more students at once, and does it really work? The largest-ever survey of professors who have taught MOOCs, or massive open online courses, shows that the process is time-consuming, but, according to the instructors, often successful. Nearly half of the professors felt their online courses were as rigorous academically as the versions they taught in the classroom.

 

The survey, conducted by The Chronicle, attempted to reach every professor who has taught a MOOC. The online questionnaire was sent to 184 professors in late February, and 103 of them responded.

 

Hype around these new free online courses has grown louder and louder since a few professors at Stanford University drew hundreds of thousands of students to online computer-science courses in 2011. Since then MOOCs, which charge no tuition and are open to anybody with Internet access, have been touted by reformers as a way to transform higher education and expand college access. Many professors teaching MOOCs had a similarly positive outlook: Asked whether they believe MOOCs "are worth the hype," 79 percent said yes.

more...
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, March 18, 2013 12:40 PM

There is some synchroncity here that this article is showing up while I'm listening to a professor at UM talk about Harvard choosing a MOOC for accounting for their entry level accounting (Brigham Young) and outsourcing professors.

Can paths to efficiency and worker health co-exist?

Professor:  Wally Hopp, Associate Dean for Faculty and Research Herrick Professor of Manufacturing, Ross School of Business   Positively Lean: A Path to Efficiency and Energization?


Examples:  Henry Ford, Joe at GM Powertrain, FelPro (300% ROI on Employee Benefits, no turnover > sold to Federal Mogul)


Key themes in the blend:

  • Share the gain
  • Appeal to pride
  • Cultivate a community
  • Pursue a higher purpose <motivation>  (Sugar water or change the world)

 

Apple >> Change the world

Patagonia  >> Corporate responsibility  (Don't buy what you don't need)
University of Michigan  Uncommon education for the common man  (President James Burrill Angell) 


Questions:

  • Is the key challenge aligning organization & employee benefits from efficiency gains?
  • Or is it cultivating a sense of higher purpose?
  • Or something completely different?    
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, March 18, 2013 2:34 PM

Related posts by Deb:


      
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

A Bold Move Toward MOOCs Sends Shock Waves, but Details Are Scarce - Government - The Chronicle of Higher Education

A Bold Move Toward MOOCs Sends Shock Waves, but Details Are Scarce - Government - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Leaders agree on the urgent need to improve student access to courses. But some are wary of the hopes placed on new technology.
Smithstorian's insight:

Supporters of newly proposed legislation in California hope to reduce the number of students shut out of key courses by forging an unprecedented partnership between traditional public colleges and online-education upstarts. But on Wednesday specific details of how the deal would work were hard to pin down.

 

Senate Bill 520, sponsored by State Sen. Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat who is president pro tem of the Senate, calls for establishing a statewide platform through which students who have trouble getting into certain low-level, high-demand classes could take approved online courses offered by providers outside the state's higher-education system. If the bill is passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, state colleges and universities could be compelled to accept credits earned in massive open online courses, or MOOCs, bringing the controversial courses into the mainstream faster than even their proponents had predicted.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

California Bill Would Force Colleges to Honor Online Classes

California Bill Would Force Colleges to Honor Online Classes | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Legislation in California would require universities to honor faculty-approved online courses taken by those unable to register for classes on campus.
Smithstorian's insight:

Legislation will be introduced in the California Senate on Wednesday that could reshape higher education by requiring the state’s public colleges and universities to give credit for faculty-approved online courses taken by students unable to register for oversubscribed classes on campus.


If it passes, as seems likely, it would be the first time that state legislators have instructed public universities to grant credit for courses that were not their own — including those taught by a private vendor, not by a college or university.

 

“We want to be the first state in the nation to make this promise: No college student in California will be denied the right to move through their education because they couldn’t get a seat in the course they needed,” said Darrell Steinberg, the president pro tem of the Senate, who will introduce the bill. “That’s the motivation for this.”


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

At South by Southwest Education Event, Tensions Divide Entrepreneurs and Educators - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

At South by Southwest Education Event, Tensions Divide Entrepreneurs and Educators - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Smithstorian's insight:

Austin, Tex. — Who should lead innovation in education—teachers or entrepreneurs? That key question was in the air here at this year’s South by Southwest Edu conference, which brought together a mix of entrepreneurs and educators for four days of panels and a competition for education start-ups.

 

In the keynote address on Thursday, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, made the case for why more venture capitalists and businesses should invest in building education products and services to kick-start new ways of teaching with technology. He displayed a chart showing a recent rise in such investment but noted that education still accounts for only 1 percent of all venture-capital investment.

 

“If you’d have to say what is the sector of the economy you’d like to see the most R&D, you’d think that education would be a very high R&D sector. But it never has been,” Mr. Gates said. “We’re going to have to grow this.”

He said the key would be developing a “gold standard of proving that something works,” and finding better ways for schools and colleges to share real-time data on student performance.

 

Then Mr. Gates, who is one of the world’s richest men and whose foundation gives hundreds of millions of dollars each year to education projects, brought onstage a school-system leader and two chief executives of education companies to talk about their efforts.

 

The companies, DreamBox Learning and InBloom, focus on secondary-school students, but Mr. Gates also mentioned MOOCs, or massive open online courses, as an important innovation at the college level.

 

During the talk, some participants tweeted their frustration with the strong focus on business: “Is he really interviewing CEOs?! Why not educators?” wrote one school principal.

 

Some sessions led by professors at the conference also expressed a skepticism of businesses’ heightened interests in profiting from education.

In a colorful session just before Mr. Gates spoke, two professors who have taught MOOCs presented what was billed as a “cage match” debate about key issues facing developers of free online courses. It was full of theatrics: Both men donned boxing gloves and protective headgear at times, and the winner pretended to punch the loser after each round, based on voting by audience members, who held up red or blue index cards to signal which of the two professors they thought had made the best arguments.

 

The professors, who were clearly enjoying themselves, presented an antidote to the button-down manner of the business leaders Mr. Gates brought onstage.

One of the dueling professors, Charles Severance, a clinical associate professor of information at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, said he gets a “creepy feeling” when he senses someone is trying primarily to make money from online education. The other debater, Curtis J. Bonk, a professor of education at Indiana University at Bloomington, said he worries that MOOC providers could end up selling student data to companies that are “soliciting things you didn’t mean to be getting.”

 

That sentiment was echoed by some attendees as well.

 

“This whole conference has been about technology and all these great entrepreneurs and start-ups. But who said let’s get the students fired up?” asked John Boyer, whoteaches large classes at Virginia Tech, in an interview as the event was ending. “We’re all starting to lose sight of what education is all about, which is inspiring students.”

 

Such tensions didn’t bother the event’s organizers, though. “Frankly, we like that tension,” said Ron Reed, executive producer of the conference. About 30 percent of this year’s 5,000 attendees came from colleges, 30 percent from elementary and secondary education, and 30 percent from businesses and policy groups, he said. “By mixing it up, inevitably you get that tension.”

Many participants applauded the interest of companies, it should be noted, and some said that at a time when many state governments are cutting spending on education, new players will need to find ways to support their efforts. “Even nonprofits have to pay their employees,” noted Alexei V. Filippenko, a professor of astronomy at the University of California at Berkeley who spoke on how to teach large classes and who said he had come to the conference to learn more about MOOCs.

 

This is the third year of the education event, which has doubled in size each year. It comes just before the larger and longer-running South by Southwest music, film, and interactive festival, which starts on Friday.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

Beyond the Buzz, Where Are MOOCs Really Going? | Wired Opinion | Wired.com

Beyond the Buzz, Where Are MOOCs Really Going? | Wired Opinion | Wired.com | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Everyone’s going MOOC-crazy these days. The question is not just whether MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are going to disrupt traditional education, but how.
Smithstorian's insight:

Everyone’s going MOOC-crazy these days. From frequent media coverage of online courses and platforms like Coursera, edX, Udacity, and Udemy to discussions about the complexities and business models of online education, the excitement around MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) has finally “bubbled” over.

 

The question is not just whether MOOCs are going to disrupt traditional education, but how. Is it just about lower costs and access? Is it really going to be a Napster-like moment with entrenched “Teamsters in tweed” worried about the erosion of their research, publishing, and teaching?

 

This is where we can leave the realm of hype and commentary to draw on our own years of research into disruption theory. Because the curious thing about the MOOC wave of disruption is that the market leaders — not just upstarts from the edges — are the ones pioneering it. And that rarely happens.

more...
Carolyn Wiberg's curator insight, March 6, 2013 4:34 PM

To paraphrase a recent blog post by @AudreyWatters ... MOOC MOOC MOOC MOOC MOOC MOOC MOOC MOOC MOOC...

Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

Students and States Near a 50-50 Split on the Cost of Public Higher Education - Government - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Students and States Near a 50-50 Split on the Cost of Public Higher Education - Government - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Net tuition revenue made up 47 percent of public colleges' educational costs in 2012, an increase of six percentage points in one year, a report says.
Smithstorian's insight:

Public higher education is about to cross a historic threshold, in which students pay a higher percentage than do states of the operating costs of colleges.

 

Net tuition revenue made up 47 percent of public colleges' educational costs in 2012, an increase of more than six percentage points from the previous year, according to an annual report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers.

 

In 1987, the report says, net tuition revenue accounted for just 23 percent of those costs. In 2001 tuition was a little more than a third of the costs.

 

uition has already amounted to more than half of the educational revenue in some individual systems, ranging from the University of California to the community colleges in Iowa and in South Carolina. But surpassing that threshold nationally is a gloomy milestone that reflects the deep state budget cuts that have hit public higher education since the beginning of the economic downturn and, at the same time, steady increases in enrollment.

 

Per-student spending on education from state and local sources fell to less than $5,900 in the 2012 fiscal year, a 9.1-percent decrease from 2011 and a quarter-century low for the third consecutive year.

 

Paul E. Lingenfelter, president of the executive-officers association, said the figures were unprecedented in his 40 years in higher education.

 

"Tuition revenues are up substantially due to higher prices and more enrollments, but not enough to offset losses of public funding," he said in a news release accompanying the report. "Students are paying more, while public institutions are receiving substantially less money to educate them."

 

The increasing costs to students have gotten significant attention, the report says, but rising tuition bills are not the fault of excessive spending. "Per-student spending in public institutions has been flat or declining since 2000. Recent tuition increases are driven primarily by the failure of public support to keep pace with enrollment growth and inflation," the report concludes.

 

he growing burden on students and the cuts in spending to educate them will undermine the nation's economic competitiveness, said Marshall A. Hill, chairman of the executive-officers association's executive committee and executive director of Nebraska's Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education.

 

"Other countries are rapidly improving the postsecondary education of their citizens," Mr. Hill was quoted as saying in the news release. "If the United States falls further behind in either quality or the number of students who enroll and graduate, it will not be easy to catch up."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

Big (MOOC) Data | Inside Higher Ed

Big (MOOC) Data | Inside Higher Ed | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Smithstorian's insight:

By now it seems clear that MOOCs can generate vast quantities of data, from course completion rates, to assessments, to student experiences. 

 

Duke University recently shared comprehensive data about its first MOOC, Bioelectricity: A Quantitative Approach.  This was one of the five courses deemed worthy of undergraduate credit by the ACE, announced earlier this month.

 

Course completion rates have gotten a lot of attention and Duke reported those in various ways:

 

One interesting data point presented within this persistence data was that, “25% of students who answered at least one question correctly on the quizzes during Week 1 were successful in completing the course requirements.” This represented 313 students from at least 37 countries, most of whom already held a bachelor’s degree or higher.

 

Duke also reported video views and downloads, which are one indication of student engagement. Throughout the 8-week course, there were 156,000 total streaming views and 179,000 video downloads, while views were ~1,000/week by around week 5.

 

The rest of the 16-page report details student motivations for enrolling, expectations and experiences. Although one interesting aspect of MOOCs is how many people drop out of them, it seems more worthwhile to focus on the hundreds who complete them and what their data teaches us about how people learn.

 

The promise of data that MOOCs could provide around learning outcomes and assessment could certainly help us all learn, and we’re only at the beginning of this journey. 

more...
João Greno Brogueira's curator insight, February 26, 2013 10:27 PM

"

Smithstorian's insight:

By now it seems clear that MOOCs can generate vast quantities of data, from course completion rates, to assessments, to student experiences. 

 

Duke University recently shared comprehensive data about its first MOOC, Bioelectricity: A Quantitative Approach.  This was one of the five courses deemed worthy of undergraduate credit by the ACE, announced earlier this month.

 

Course completion rates have gotten a lot of attention and Duke reported those in various ways:

 

One interesting data point presented within this persistence data was that, “25% of students who answered at least one question correctly on the quizzes during Week 1 were successful in completing the course requirements.” This represented 313 students from at least 37 countries, most of whom already held a bachelor’s degree or higher.

 

Duke also reported video views and downloads, which are one indication of student engagement. Throughout the 8-week course, there were 156,000 total streaming views and 179,000 video downloads, while views were ~1,000/week by around week 5.

 

The rest of the 16-page report details student motivations for enrolling, expectations and experiences. Although one interesting aspect of MOOCs is how many people drop out of them, it seems more worthwhile to focus on the hundreds who complete them and what their data teaches us about how people learn.

 

The promise of data that MOOCs could provide around learning outcomes and assessment could certainly help us all learn, and we’re only at the beginning of this journey. "

Régis Faubet's comment, February 27, 2013 4:20 AM
Also interesting : more data on MOOC Completion Rates
http://www.katyjordan.com/MOOCproject.html
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

Stop Requiring College Degrees

Stop Requiring College Degrees | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
When will employers start valuing signals other than college degrees?
Smithstorian's insight:

If you're an employer, there are lots of signals about a young person's suitability for the job you're offering. If you're looking for someone who can write, do they have a blog, or are they a prolific Wikipedia editor? For programmers, what are their TopCoder or GitHub scores? For salespeople, what have they sold before? If you want general hustle, do they have a track record of entrepreneurship, or at least holding a series of jobs?

 

These days, there are also a range of tests you can administer to prospective employees to see if they're right for the job. Some of them are pretty straightforward. Others, like Knack, seek to test for attributes that might seem unrelated, but have been shown by prior experience to be associated with good on-the-job performance.

 

And there's been a recent explosion in MOOCs — massive, open, online courses, many of them free — on a wide range of subjects. Many of these evaluate their students via a final exam or other means, and so provide a signal about how well someone mastered the material. MOOCs are still quite young so it's not clear how accurate their evaluations are, but I'm encouraged by what I've seen so far. I'd give serious consideration to a job seeker who had taken a bunch of MOOCs and done well in all of them.

 

You've noticed by now that 'a college degree' is not in this list of signals. That's because I think it's a pretty lousy one, and getting worse all the time. In fact, I think one of the most productive things an employer could do, both for themselves and for society at large, is to stop placing so much emphasis on standard undergraduate and graduate degrees.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

The Dissertation Can No Longer Be Defended - Graduate Students - The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Dissertation Can No Longer Be Defended - Graduate Students - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Sentiment is growing to move beyond the traditional, book-length monograph to something that might actually help graduate students in their careers.
Smithstorian's insight:

The dissertation is broken, many scholars agree. So now what?

 

Rethinking the academic centerpiece of a graduate education is an obvious place to start if, as many people believe, Ph.D. programs are in a state of crisis. Universities face urgent calls to reduce the time it takes to complete degrees, reduce attrition, and do more to prepare doctoral candidates for nonacademic careers, as students face rising debt and increased competition for a shrinking number of tenure-track jobs.

 

As a result, many faculty and administrators wonder if now may finally be the time for graduate programs to begin to modernize on a large scale and move beyond the traditional, book-length dissertation.

 

That scholarly opus, some say, lingers on as a stubborn relic that has limited value to many scholars' careers and, ultimately, might just be a big waste of time.

 

"It takes too long. It's too isolating," says William Pannapacker, an associate professor of English at Hope College and a critic of graduate education who writes frequently for The Chronicle. Producing a dissertation is particularly poor preparation, he adds, for graduates whose first jobs are outside of academe—now roughly half of new Ph.D.'s with postgraduation employment commitments. "It's a hazing ritual passed down from another era, retained because the Ph.D.'s before us had to do it."

 

Scholars cite numerous reasons for why the dissertation is outdated and should no longer be a one-size-fits-all model for Ph.D. students.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

MOOCs and Tablet Computing Are Top Tech Trends in 'Horizon Report' - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

MOOCs and Tablet Computing Are Top Tech Trends in 'Horizon Report' - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Smithstorian's insight:

MOOCs and tablet computers top the list of emerging higher-education technologies in this year’s “Horizon Report,” by the New Media Consortium.

 

The report, which has been released each year since 2004, describes six technologies that are expected to influence learning and teaching during the next five years. The technologies are divided into three tiers of varying time horizons: near term, midterm, and far term.

 

MOOCs and tablet computing are both expected to enter mainstream use within the next year, the report says. Learning analytics, and the ideas of “game and gamification,” are listed in the second tier, of two to three years. Three-dimensional printing and wearable technology are classified in the third tier, of four to five years.

 

Surprisingly, MOOCs have never before appeared in a “Horizon Report,” though the technology was mentioned last September as a far-term technology in a separate report from the consortium, said Larry Johnson, its chief executive officer. Nearly six months later, MOOCs have moved to the forefront of emerging higher-education technology, according to the report.

 

“It’s unprecedented,” Mr. Johnson said, noting that the closest parallel he can remember was the rise in interest in virtual worlds in 2006. “But even those didn’t catch on as fast as this is,” he added.

 

3D printing’s reappearance in the far-term tier, after being absent from the report since 2004, was also a surprise. While the consortium stands by its original prediction that 3D printing would achieve widespread adoption at universities by 2009, Mr. Johnson said, the printers didn’t stray far from engineering departments. That is expected to change now, he said.

 

Also discussed in the report are challenges and trends expected to emerge soon. One challenge the report mentions is finding the right business model for MOOCs and other types of online learning versus the traditional college-course model.

 

“Everything’s on the table,” Mr. Johnson said. “It’s making it a very interesting time to be in academics.”

 

Previous technology trends that have appeared on the annual report include gesture-based computing, mobile devices, and the open-content movement.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

U. of Akron to Offer Tutorials for Credit-Bearing Exams - Students - The Chronicle of Higher Education

U. of Akron to Offer Tutorials for Credit-Bearing Exams - Students - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
"Save money and graduate early," the new program promises. It publicizes Akron's existing for-credit exams and, for a fee, helps students prepare for them.
Smithstorian's insight:

For many colleges, it isn't easy to figure out how—or whether—to award academic credit for learning that occurs outside the classroom. But as institutions look to raise completion rates, be more responsive to the needs of adult learners, and deal with pressing questions about competencies and cost, solving the prior-learning puzzle has taken on new urgency.

 

With that challenge in mind, the University of Akron next month will roll out a new tutorial-based program aimed at helping more students earn credit for course material they've already mastered. "Save money and graduate early," promises the Web site forExpress to Success, as Akron's new program is called.

 

The university has long offered students the option to request for-credit examinations in subjects they've studied elsewhere, but the tests weren't always available and many students weren't aware of the policy. The new tutorials are designed to give students a chance to refresh their knowledge in certain areas before deciding whether to take the tests.

 

"Test-prep tutorials" will be offered this summer in mathematics, statistics, sociology, psychology, and communications. They will include 10 hours of instruction, cost $100 each, and be taught by graduate assistants. The university at first will offer the tutorials in nine courses—including introductory sociology and psychology—and may expand the offerings if they're successful.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

SUNY Signals Major Push Toward MOOCs and Other New Educational Models - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

SUNY Signals Major Push Toward MOOCs and Other New Educational Models - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

The State University of New York’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday endorsed an ambitious vision for how SUNY might use prior-learning assessment, competency-based programs, and massive open online courses to help students finish their degrees in less time, for less money.

 

The plan calls for “new and expanded online programs” that “include options for time-shortened degree completion.” In particular, the board proposed a huge expansion the prior-learning assessment programs offered by SUNY’s Empire State College.

 

The system will also push its top faculty members to build MOOCs designed so that certain students who do well in the courses might be eligible for SUNY credit.

 

Ultimately, the system wants to add 100,000 enrollments within three years, according to a news release.

 

Even before the SUNY announcement, it had already been a big week for nontraditional models for awarding college credit. The U.S. Education Department on Monday said it had no problem with spending federal student aid on college programs that give credit based on “competency,” not the number of hours students spend in class.

 

Empire State College’s prior-learning assessment programs operate on a similar principle. Students who can demonstrate that they have acquired certain skills can get college credit, even if they did not acquire those skills in a college classroom.

 

The new SUNY effort will aim to copy the Empire State model across the system, said Nancy L. Zimpher, the chancellor.

 

“This resolution opens the door to assurances to our students that this kind of prior-learning assessment will be available eventually on all our campuses,” said Ms. Zimpher in an interview.

 

SUNY is just the latest state system to use novel teaching and assessment methods to deal with the problem of enrolling, and graduating, more students.

 

Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington have enlisted Western Governors University, a nonprofit online institution that uses the “competency” method, to help working adults in those states earn degrees.Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are building programs aimed at helping their own adult students redeem their on-the-job skills and knowledge for credit toward degrees. And California may soon use MOOCs to deal with overcrowding in some courses at its public colleges and universities.

 

Ms. Zimpher said the prior-learning expertise at Empire State would make it possible for the New York system to undertake the new effort without calling in outsiders.

 

“Usually when you have an outside vendor, it’s to deliver something that you don’t know how to do,” she said. “In our case we actually know how to do this, and we know how to do it well.”

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

EdX Releases Open Source Tool For Building Interactive MOOC Courseware -- Campus Technology

EdX Releases Open Source Tool For Building Interactive MOOC Courseware -- Campus Technology | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

EdX has released source code to the general public that supports interactive learning built specifically for the Internet.

 

The nonprofit online learning platform founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has released XBlock SDK, the underlying architecture supporting EdX course content.

 

XBlocks are a prototype second-generation application programming interface for hierarchically combined EdX courseware components such as video players and learning sequences. The XBlock source code allows course developers to combine independent XBlocks to create engaging online courses such as wiki-based collaborative learning environments and online laboratories, or create integrated education tools such as a circuit simulator for an electronics course or a molecular manipulator for teaching biology.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

California Shifts the Ground Under Higher Education - The Conversation - The Chronicle of Higher Education

California Shifts the Ground Under Higher Education - The Conversation - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Smithstorian's insight:

California is home to two of the most important things happening in higher education, one good, one bad. The good thing is the rapid advancement of cheap and free online courses offered by companies like Udacity and Coursera. The bad thing is the catastrophic failure of California lawmakers to provide enough money to support basic access to foundational courses at community colleges. Today the state Senate’s president pro tem, Darrell Steinberg, will announce a bill that essentially tries to use the one to fix the other. This groundbreaking initiative has broad implications for the nature, financing, and regulation of higher education.

 

Nearly half a million students are on waiting lists for basic courses in California’s public colleges, increasing the cost and duration of college and reducing the number of students who go on to earn degrees. This is a human tragedy and a policy failure on an enormous scale.

 

Under the proposed plan, wait-listed students would be able to take online classes that have been approved by California’s Open Education Resources Council, a faculty-led body that was created by recent Steinberg-sponsored legislation (which also authorized free, open textbooks). Students would have to take proctored, in-person exams to pass the courses. Public colleges and universities in California would be required to accept those courses for credit.

 

It seems common-sensical, and it is. But the bill represents a big departure from standard policy arrangements in two important ways.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

Mozilla Releases Long-Discussed Software to Offer 'Badges' for Learning - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Mozilla Releases Long-Discussed Software to Offer 'Badges' for Learning - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Smithstorian's insight:

A good grade in a class or a degree on a wall can’t always tell the whole story of what a student has learned. A journalism degree denotes that a student graduated from a journalism program, but not necessarily that she excels at finding sources through social media, for example.

 

Now, after two years of development, Mozilla has released Open Badges 1.0, free software that allows for a new way to recognize learning: digital badges.

 

Similar to Boy Scout badges that represent pitching a tent or riding a horse, the digital badges denote specific skills that employers might look for, like community service, social networking, or experience with HTML. Some professors at institutions such as Indiana University at Bloomington and

 

Purdue University have already beenexperimenting with badges, awarding them to students for class participation or for mastering certain sections of a course.

With Open Badges 1.0 software, developed through a partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla hopes to offer an open standard for using those kinds of badges to verify and recognize skills students can learn that may not always be obvious with a degree.

 

Such badges could come in handy with massive open online courses or other forms of open education in which providing evidence of what students learn remains difficult without class credit, as well as for skills learned on a job after graduation.

 

The badges are issued by participating organizations and have built-in information showing employers why each badge was issued, by whom, and what projects enabled the holder to earn it. The badges can be stored in a digital “backpack” that can be displayed on résumés, job sites, and social-networking profiles.

 

More than 600 organizations are already participating in Open Badges, according to Mozilla. Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Empire State College of the State University of New York all offer badges through the software, as do organizations like NASA and the Smithsonian Institution.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

Do You Really Have to Go to College?

Do You Really Have to Go to College? | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Dale J. Stephens, an author and vocal proponent of self-directed learning, challenges the notion that college is the only way to become successful.
Smithstorian's insight:

Many valid points in the comments section as well.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

Getting Down to the Reality of a $10,000 Bachelor's Degree - Administration - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Getting Down to the Reality of a $10,000 Bachelor's Degree - Administration - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
With a YouTube comment and a governor's challenge, the idea has grown into a kind of Rorschach test for how Americans view higher education.
Smithstorian's insight:

It's one of those YouTube clips that probably would have evaporated if it had featured anyone other than Bill Gates.

 

In August 2010, Mr. Gates, founder of Microsoft, speaking informally at a technology conference, said technological innovations should be able to lower the cost of college to $2,000 a year.

 

Mr. Gates's comments reportedly caught the attention of Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican of Texas, who came up with his own back-of-the-envelope estimate of how much college should cost: Multiplying $2,000 times four and adding $2,000 for the cost of books or other learning materials, the governor decided that a bachelor's degree should cost $10,000.

 

....

 

To those who see it as a good idea, the $10,000 degree amounts to an indictment of higher education: Traditional colleges are elitist institutions that cater to the affluent and produce graduates with little practical work-force knowledge.

 

Governors including Tom Corbett, of Pennsylvania; Rick Scott, of Florida; and Scott Walker, of Wisconsin, have endorsed policies to encourage more job-training skills while questioning the value of the humanities and social sciences in academe.

 

The public's views about the value and direction of higher education are more ambivalent. Nearly 70 percent of those who responded to the annual Gallup/Lumina Foundation poll released in February think a college degree is essential for getting a good job, but nearly three-quarters said higher education was not affordable to "everyone who needs it."

 

Thomas Lindsay, director of the Center for Higher Education Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative-leaning group, says the $10,000 degree is in part a response to "the growing contempt that students and parents have for higher education."

 

The college degree is now seen by many solely as a way to earn the commonly cited million-dollar salary differential between college graduates and those without a degree. Those extra earnings have been touted by higher education for at least a decade as colleges tried to preserve state appropriations.

 

But in doing so, higher education has been promoting its economic value at the expense of the liberal arts and humanities, says Mr. Lindsay, a former political-science instructor. If colleges made clearer the value of education itself, "the dignity of that pursuit would have impressed itself on lawmakers and the public," he says. "For me, the tragedy of higher education is not that it was forced out of this role, but that it walked away."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

The Professors’ Big Stage

The Professors’ Big Stage | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
The MOOCs revolution will go through many growing pains, but it is here and it is real.
Smithstorian's insight:

Friedman's op-ed is so filled with good quotes I don't know where to start!

 

I just spent the last two days at a great conference convened by M.I.T. and Harvard on “Online Learning and the Future of Residential Education” — a k a “How can colleges charge $50,000 a year if my kid can learn it all free from massive open online courses?”


-- We demand that plumbers and kindergarten teachers be certified to do what they do, but there is no requirement that college professors know how to teach. No more. The world of MOOCs is creating a competition that will force every professor to improve his or her pedagogy or face an online competitor.


-- Harvard Business School doesn’t teach entry-level accounting anymore, because there is a professor out at Brigham Young University whose online accounting course “is just so good” that Harvard students use that instead. When outstanding becomes so easily available, average is over.


READ THE WHOLE OP-ED!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

Aaron Swartz Was Right - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Aaron Swartz Was Right - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
The current academic publishing system is prettied-up extortion. He defied it, and the rest of us should too.
Smithstorian's insight:

NOTE: Be sure to read the lively discussion in the COMMENTS section below the article. Also, The Chronicle says that even though the "Premium Content" key shows in the top of the article it should be open and available to all so if it isn't just write to them for access (this came out in the comments).

 

 

The suicide of the Internet wunderkind Aaron Swartz has given rise to a great deal of discussion, much of it centered on whether the penalty sought against him by the prosecutor was proportional to his "crime."

 

The consensus so far has been that Swartz did something wrong by accessing and releasing millions of academic papers from the JSTOR archive. But perhaps it is time to ask whether Swartz did in fact act wrongly. We might entertain the possibility that Swartz's act of civil disobedience was an attempt to help rectify a harm that began long ago. Perhaps he was not only justified in his actions but morally impelled to act as he did. Moreover, we too might be morally impelled to take action.

 

To put it bluntly, the current state of academic publishing is the result of a series of strong-arm tactics enabling publishers to pry copyrights from authors, and then charge exorbitant fees to university libraries for access to that work. The publishers have inverted their role as disseminators of knowledge and become bottlers of knowledge, releasing it exclusively to the highest bidders. Swartz simply decided it was time to take action.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

Envisioning the Future of Education Technology

Envisioning the Future of Education Technology | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

“A comprehensive visualization that explores the future trends in emerging technology and the ways it will potentially impact education. ”

Smithstorian's insight:

Why look at education?

 

Education lies at a peculiar crossroad in society. On one hand it has the responsibility of anticipating real-life skills by preparing us for an increasingly complex world – but education methodologies can only be formalized after practices have been defined. This dichotomy is particularly aggravated when it comes to technology, where fast-paced innovation and perpetual change is the only constant.

 

This visualization attempts to organize a series of emerging technologies that are likely to influence education in the upcoming decades. Despite its inherently speculative nature, the driving trends behind the technologies can already be observed, meaning it’s a matter of time before these scenarios start panning out in learning environments around the world.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

How EdX Plans to Earn, and Share, Revenue From Free Online Courses - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education

How EdX Plans to Earn, and Share, Revenue From Free Online Courses - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
The nonprofit is giving university partners two options for sharing in the money its MOOCs bring in. But first, they have to bring it in.
Smithstorian's insight:

How can a nonprofit organization that gives away courses bring in enough revenue to at least cover its costs?

 

That's the dilemma facing edX, a project led by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that is bringing in a growing number of high-profile university partners to offer massive open online courses, or MOOCs.

 

Two other major providers of MOOCs, Coursera and Udacity, are for-profit companies. While edX has cast itself as the more contemplative, academically oriented player in the field, it remains under pressure to generate revenue.

 

"Even though we are a nonprofit, we have to become self-sustaining," said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. And developing MOOCs, especially ones that aspire to emulate the quality and rigor of traditional courses at top universities, is expensive. Harvard and MIT made an initial investment of $30-million each last year to start the edX effort.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Smithstorian
Scoop.it!

A More-Radical Online Revolution - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

A More-Radical Online Revolution - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
"Generative scholarship" spurs new questions, evidence, conclusions, and audiences. The Web could be a particularly fertile home for it.
Smithstorian's insight:

Breathless talk of innovation and deep skepticism about its promises charge the atmosphere of higher education. Major universities and new consortia promote massive open online courses, TED talks dazzle with possibilities, and investors dream of enormous profits. For others on our campuses, however, excited references to "disruption" evoke memories of other recent innovations: the imposition of external assessment, the turn to adjunct faculty, the intrusion of boards into the educational mission, the retreat of public investment.

 

Both sides have a point. The new technologies do, in fact, promise a great leveraging of what our universities have to offer. And the plans offered so far do, in fact, risk diminishing the full impact of what universities can provide. The two sides thus far are largely talking past one another, even as MOOCs gather momentum.

 

ronically, the advocates and skeptics of online teaching might find common ground by thinking more boldly, beyond the terms of the current debate. The skeptics might ask whether the new technologies cannot offer useful amplification to our scholarly work of discovery; the advocates of the new technologies need to think more directly about how to reach broad audiences while also fostering meaningful conversations across the disciplines and bridging a division between teaching and scholarship.

 

Two crucial parts of higher education that have received little attention in the debates thus far—the humanities and the creation of new knowledge—can help advance those conversations.

 

Two examples from my own field, history, illustrate the possibilities. The History Harvest project, begun by William G. Thomas at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and now also including James Madison University, plans to use a MOOC to create an online community to gather original research on local history, with undergraduate students leading the history harvest. This is an ingenious way to tap into the power of large audiences, often across broad spaces, to create new knowledge.

more...
Gerol Petruzella's curator insight, February 7, 2013 12:31 PM

Thanks to Smithstorian for this one.