Disrupting Higher Ed
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Disrupting Higher Ed
Innovations and Issues that are Disrupting U.S. and Global Higher Education
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Gates will fund $1.4 million research project to study MOOC-powered courses at U. of Maryland | Inside Higher Ed

Gates will fund $1.4 million research project to study MOOC-powered courses at U. of Maryland | Inside Higher Ed | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

The new agreement between Coursera and the American Council on Education (ACE) was not the only project unveiled on Tuesday that will aim to scrutinize the viability of massive open online courses (MOOCs) as part of a traditional college curriculum.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving Ithaka S+R, the nonprofit research group, $1.4 million to conduct a multicampus study of MOOCs as a deeply integrated instructional resource at an array of public universities in Maryland.

 

“Over the next 18 months, the University System of Maryland will serve as a test bed for various online or hybrid courses, including Coursera, edX, and possibly other MOOCs, in a variety of subject areas on different campuses,” wrote Debbie Robinson, a spokeswoman for the Gates Foundation, in an e-mail to Inside Higher Ed.

 

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Are MOOCs hyped?

Are MOOCs hyped? | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
If you haven’t heard of MOOCs, you no doubt will, because these Massive Open Online course are becoming all the rage, tagged as the biggest thing in public education since, well, the dawn of public education. (It wasn’t long ago that the Khan Academy was). My colleague Nick Anderson reported about the emergence of the MOOCs movement as a disruptive force in higher education. But there are reasons to think MOOCs are being hyped, and below, former schools superintendent Larry Cuban explains why. Cuban is a former high school social studies teacher (14 years, including seven at Cardozo and Roosevelt high schools in the District), district superintendent (seven years in Arlington, VA) and professor emeritus of education at Stanford University, where he has taught for more than 20 years. His latest book is “As Good As It Gets: What School Reform Brought to Austin.” This appeared on his blog.
Via Ana Cristina Pratas, Smithstorian
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A Dot-Com Entrepreneur's Ambition: Drive Education Costs to Zero - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education

A Dot-Com Entrepreneur's Ambition: Drive Education Costs to Zero - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
With lots of money, a businessman offers a new virtual university that aggregates what is already online.

 

Michael J. Saylor was early to the free online-education market. In 2000, Mr. Saylor, then a dot-com billionaire as chief executive of a business-intelligence company called MicroStrategy, promised to give $100-million to open a new Web portal that would provide quality education for the masses at no charge.

 

That plan got derailed, though, when he lost $6-billion of his fortune in a single day of stock trading during a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. The online-university project was sidelined.

These days, Mr. Saylor is back. Not only has he rebuilt Micro­Strategy, but in the past few years he has also channeled his still-prodigious wealth into changing higher education.

 

He compares traditional teaching to "giving people thousands of rubber mallets and asking them to drill a hole through a mountain." He said, "We need nitroglycerine."

 

His "nitroglycerine" is Saylor.org, a nonprofit online university he backs as sole trustee of the Saylor Foundation. Saylor's model is to offer students a free, one-stop shop for self-paced college courses. Saylor.org aggregates free content offered by open-source providers like MIT OpenCourseWare and Open Yale Courses, and groups it so that students can pursue a continuous sequence of courses in a major.

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Welcome to Star Scholar U. - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Welcome to Star Scholar U. - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

A new kind of university has begun to emerge: Call it Star Scholar U.

Professors with large followings and technical prowess are breaking off to start their own online institutions, delivering courses with little or no backing from traditional campuses.

 

Founding a university may sound dramatic, but in an era of easy-to-use online tools it can be done as a side project—akin to blogging or writing a textbook. Soon there could be hundreds of Star Scholar U's.

 

Two recent examples are Marginal Revolution University, started by two economics professors at George Mason University, and Rheingold U, run by the author and Internet pioneer Howard Rheingold. To be clear, these professors are using the word "university" loosely—they award no credit and claim no spot on any college ranking. And they probably won't become rich through their teaching. But the gambit gives them full control over the content and delivery methods. And it offers their personal brands as a kind of credential.

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Antioch University Becomes First US Institution to Offer Credit for MOOC Learning Through Coursera | Antioch University Los Angeles

Antioch University Becomes First US Institution to Offer Credit for MOOC Learning Through Coursera | Antioch University Los Angeles | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

New offering will allow Antioch University to reduce the cost of degree completion

 

Culver City, October 29, 2012– Antioch University is the first US institution to receive approval from Coursera to offer college credit for specified Coursera MOOCs (massive open online courses). Through this new partnership, Antioch University and the Antioch University Los Angeles campus can reduce student costs to complete a four-year degree and expand course offerings through free online courses offered by the highly respected universities that have partnered with Coursera. This course access will directly benefit learners that Antioch University serves and is a demonstration of Antioch University’s long commitment to innovation, experiential learning and student engagement through high-quality education.

 

For adult learners, the facilitated MOOC program helps meet the needs of those who have put off completing their college degree due to the high cost of higher education or the demands of work and family. For high school students, the program provides an opportunity to learn from exemplary faculty regardless of where the student lives and helps them get an early start on college through a combination of MOOC and Antioch University courses.

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Coursera strikes MOOC licensing deal with Antioch University | Inside Higher Ed

Coursera strikes MOOC licensing deal with Antioch University | Inside Higher Ed | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

Coursera, the largest provider of massive open online courses (MOOCs), has entered into a contract to license several of the courses it has built with its university partners to Antioch University, which would offer versions of the MOOCs for credit as part of a bachelor’s degree program.

 

The deal represents one of the first instances of a third-party institution buying permission to incorporate a MOOC into its curriculum -- and awarding credit for the MOOC -- in an effort to lower the full cost of a degree for students. It is also a first step for Coursera and its partners toward developing a revenue stream from licensing its courses.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/29/coursera-strikes-mooc-licensing-deal-antioch-university#ixzz2AhU8bwDa
Inside Higher Ed

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Rethink College: 3 Takeaways from the TIME Summit on Higher Education | TIME.com

Rethink College: 3 Takeaways from the TIME Summit on Higher Education | TIME.com | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
For a room full of academics talking about the future of higher education, the conversation was surprisingly blunt. Yesterday TIME gathered more than 100 college presidents and other experts from across the U.S.

 

For a room full of academics talking about the future of higher education, the conversation was surprisingly blunt. Yesterday TIME gathered more than 100 college presidents and other experts from across the U.S. to talk about the biggest problems facing higher education, which U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan summed up for the room as “high prices, low completion rates, and too little accountability.”

 

The day-long summit in New York City, co-sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, brought together the leaders of some of the country’s biggest colleges and universities

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Harvard launches two free online courses, more than 100,000 sign up worldwide | KurzweilAI

Harvard launches two free online courses, more than 100,000 sign up worldwide | KurzweilAI | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Rather than just broadcasting full lectures on the Internet, the HarvardX classes incorporate short video-lesson segments, along with embedded quizzes,...

 

Harvard University’s first two courses on the new edX digital education platform 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.

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The Vanishing American Professor

The Vanishing American Professor | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Among the fears and myths of online learning is that students will now become detached from their faculty and fellow students -- that technology will further isolate and fragment the academic community.

Via Mark Smithers, Smithstorian
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Pearson buys EmbanetCompass to expand its online learning business | Inside Higher Ed

Pearson buys EmbanetCompass to expand its online learning business | Inside Higher Ed | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

Pearson, which two years began tiptoeing into the market of helping colleges and universities take their academic programs online, jumped in with both feet Tuesday by purchasing EmbanetCompass, the biggest player in that space. The deal, which awaits regulatory approval, is worth $650 million, officials of the companies said.

 

The publisher-turned-learning company's expansion is the third major development this week in an increasingly crowded market place, following Blackboard's announcement that it too would begin offering “online program management services” and the purchase of Deltak by John Wiley & Sons.

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Grades Out, Badges In - College, Reinvented - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Grades Out, Badges In - College, Reinvented - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
College grades are inflated to the point of meaninglessness, especially to employers. An alternative is to recognize students' specific achievements.

 

Grades are broken. Students grub for them, pick classes where good ones come easily, and otherwise hustle to win the highest scores for the least learning. As a result, college grades are inflated to the point of meaninglessness—especially to employers who want to know which diploma-holder is best qualified for their jobs.

 

That's a viewpoint driving experiments in education badges. Offered mostly by online start-ups, the badges are modeled on the brightly colored patches on Boy Scout uniforms but are inspired primarily by video games: Just as most video games offer ways for players to "level up" frequently, to keep them excited, most education-badge projects involve rewarding achievements more fine-tuned than passing (or acing) a course. In a remedial math course, for instance, a badge might be awarded for mastering a concept, whether "surface area" or "median and mode." Or badges might certify soft skills not usually measured at all in college courses, like teamwork or asking good questions.

 

So what if colleges replaced grades with badges?

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University of Texas Joining Harvard, MIT Online Venture - Businessweek

University of Texas Joining Harvard, MIT Online Venture - Businessweek | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
University of Texas Joining Harvard, MIT Online VentureBusinessweekThe Texas system, based in Austin and overseeing nine universities, will quadruple the number of schools involved in the venture, which offers free online courses to anyone on the...
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Universities Are Vast Copy Machines—and That's a Good Thing - The Conversation - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Universities Are Vast Copy Machines—and That's a Good Thing - The Conversation - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

Universities are and have always been vast copy machines. Evolved from medieval monasteries and their vast libraries and scriptoria, universities have always had as central functions of their mission the copying, transforming, and preserving works of art, thought, and science and making them available to their patrons.

 

More recently, universities have found cause to make copies of books, articles, films, photographs, maps, and other materials in forms easily accessible to students through electronic reserves or course-management systems. In one of the most exciting recent copying projects, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has led a consortium called HathiTrust Digital Library that includes Cornell and Indiana Universities and the Universities of California, and Wisconsin at Madison. The consortium provides a vast online catalog of works scanned via Google Books, with full-text search capabilities. Most important, it allows sight-impaired readers to access and search the entire text of millions of works.

 

On Wednesday a federal judge ruled in favor of the trust and its university partners in a copyright-infringement lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild and other groups. In his ruling, the judge said that the trust’s handling of the scanned works falls “safely within the provision of fair use.” And, he wrote: “I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses made” by the project.

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Gates foundation and ACE go big on MOOC-related grants | Inside Higher Ed

Gates foundation and ACE go big on MOOC-related grants | Inside Higher Ed | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

The clearest path to college credit for massive open online courses may soon be through credit recommendations from the American Council of Education (ACE), which announced Tuesday that it will work with Coursera to determine whether as many as 8-10 MOOCs should be worth credit. The council is also working on a similar arrangement with EdX, a MOOC-provider created by elite universities.

 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding that effort as part of $3 million in new, wide-reaching MOOC-related grants, including research projects to be led by ACE, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and Ithaka S+R, a research group that will team up with the University System of Maryland to test and study the use of massive open online courses across the system. (See related article on the latter effort here.)

 

Until now, MOOCs have been a source of fascination mostly because they make teaching by top-notch professors at prestigious universities free and available on the Internet to students anywhere, including in developing countries. Most MOOCs from high-profile providers such as Coursera, EdX, Udacity and Udemy feature upper-division material aimed at students looking to hone their skills or who are merely curious.

 

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An Idea Too Sensible to Try, Until Now - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education

An Idea Too Sensible to Try, Until Now - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
An entrepreneur is running with the idea that a brand-new, technology-fueled, for-profit university can predefine itself as "elite."...

 

Most of the tech entrepreneurs I've met are in their 20s and seem younger, animated by the idea of a limitless future. Most of the college presidents I've met are in their 50s or 60s and seem older, as if they'd emerged from the womb with a conservative haircut, dark suit, and stentorian voice given to proclamations about the noble mission of academe. Ben Nelson is in his late 30s and seems to be neither a tech entrepreneur nor a college president, which may be why he is actually both, having recently founded the Minerva Project, billed as the "first elite American university to be launched in a century."

 

Minerva, based in San Francisco, has not yet enrolled any students. It currently consists of Nelson, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and former chief executive of the online-photo company Snapfish, and his ideas about what a technology-fueled global university could be. That combination was enough for Benchmark Capital, an early investor in eBay and Twitter, to give Nelson $25-million this year to make his vision real.

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Warming Up to MOOC's - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Warming Up to MOOC's - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

In Fall 2011, Stanford announced three, free massively open online courses, or MOOCs. Two of these courses, database and machine learning, corresponded to spring 2012 courses that I would be teaching at Vanderbilt University. I recognized that I could use the lecture materials from these classes to “flip” my own classes by having students view lectures before the class meeting, which then could be used for other learning activities. Shortly after this, I had two affective impulses – an inspiration to create and post my own content online, and a hesitation at using lecture material from other faculty, and from other institutions, even when that material was very high quality. This latter hesitation stemmed from concern about what students, faculty, and Vanderbilt might think about my “outsourcing” lectures; and uncertainty over what I might do with class time if not lecture!

 

Nonetheless, I decided that not using these high quality materials because of insecurity was silly. I was also excited about what I might do in a flipped class, and I didn’t have time and other resources to produce this material myself. So in spring 2012, I plunged in and used the online lectures from the earlier Stanford courses to flip my classes.

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Course-Management Companies Challenge MOOC Providers - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Course-Management Companies Challenge MOOC Providers - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

Two software companies that sell course-management systems, Blackboard and Instructure, have entered the race to provide free online courses for the masses.

 

On Thursday both companies plan to announce partnerships with universities that will use their software to teach massive open online courses, or MOOC’s. The companies hope to pull in their own college clients to compete with online-education players like Udacity and Coursera.

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UAlberta, Udacity team up for online learning - University of Alberta

UAlberta, Udacity team up for online learning - University of Alberta | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

(Edmonton) Education and machine learning researchers at the University of Alberta are joining forces with leading online education provider Udacity to further develop and refine methods for delivering academic courses online.

 

The U of A and Udacity signed a memorandum of understanding today that begins a research partnership for the collaborative development of systems for delivery, measurement and assessment of online learning courses and experiences.

 

Researchers from the university’s Alberta Innovates Centre for Machine Learning—one of the world’s top five machine learning institutes—and from the faculties of education and science will join others across campus with expertise in online learning technologies and pedagogy to work with Udacity.

 

“This is an opportunity for us to explore and better understand online learning for the benefit of our students,” said Martin Ferguson-Pell, acting provost and vice-president (academic). “This is also an opportunity for our researchers to be part of building advanced learning solutions, based on their expertise in machine learning, pedagogy and assessment, that advances the field of online learning. This is not the University of Alberta jumping on the online bandwagon. It’s University of Alberta researchers helping build the bandwagon.”

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Google's Open Course Builder: A Giant Leap into 21st-Century Online Learning

Google's Open Course Builder: A Giant Leap into 21st-Century Online Learning | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." -- About Google

Google is the most powerful nonhuman teacher ever known to actual humans. Implicitly and ceaselessly, Google performs formative assessments by collecting the following data: the content, genre and media that interests you most; when and for how long you access your external cloud brain; what your hobbies and routines are; with whom you work and communicate; who will get your November vote; and whether you prefer invigorating clean mint or enamel renewal toothpaste. By continuously refining the nuance of your sociogram, Google has already customized your next web exploration and taught itself to teach.

 

You Are Now Entering the Learning Management System

 

Months ago, Google entered the massive open online course (MOOC) space by introducing the free Power Searching with Google course to 150 thousand self-enrolled students (shocker: Google is not particularly concerned with enhancing your use of dozens of alternative search engines). More recently, Google gave away Open Course Builder -- tools that were used to construct its popular course -- and further disrupted traditional notions of who gets to play teacher (anyone) and how many students can take a class for free (1 or 100,000).

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College Is Dead. Long Live College! | TIME.com

College Is Dead. Long Live College! | TIME.com | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

On Sept. 17, the Pakistani government shut down access to YouTube. The purported reason was to block the anti-Muslim film trailer that was inciting protests around the world.

 

One little-noticed consequence of this decision was that 215 people in Pakistan suddenly lost their seats in a massive, open online physics course. The free college-level class, created by a Silicon Valley start-up called Udacity, included hundreds of short YouTube videos embedded on its website. Some 23,000 students worldwide had enrolled, including Khadijah Niazi, a pigtailed 11-year-old in Lahore. She was on question six of the final exam when she encountered a curt message saying “this site is unavailable.”

 

Niazi was devastated. She’d worked hard to master this physics class before her 12th birthday, just one week away. Now what? Niazi posted a lament on the class discussion board: “I am very angry, but I will not quit.”

 

In every country, education changes so slowly that it can be hard to detect progress. But what happened next was truly different. Within an hour, Maziar Kosarifar, a young man taking the class in Malaysia, began posting detailed descriptions for Niazi of the test questions in each video. Rosa Brigída, a novice physics professor taking the class from Portugal, tried to create a workaround so Niazi could bypass YouTube; it didn’t work. From England, William, 12, promised to help and warned Niazi not to write anything too negative about her government online.

 

None of these students had met one another in person. The class directory included people from 125 countries. But after weeks in the class, helping one another with Newton’s laws, friction and simple harmonic motion, they’d started to feel as if they shared the same carrel in the library. Together, they’d found a passageway into a rigorous, free, college-level class, and they weren’t about to let anyone lock it up

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Universities are failing at teaching social media - Fortune Tech

Universities are failing at teaching social media - Fortune Tech | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Social networking may have been born in a dorm room.  But when it comes to equipping students with the social media skills demanded by today’s jobs, colleges are failing miserably.

Via Hybrid Pedagogy, Smithstorian
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Google's Open Course Builder: A Giant Leap into 21st Century Online Learning

Google's Open Course Builder: A Giant Leap into 21st Century Online Learning | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." -- About Google

Google is the most powerful nonhuman teacher ever known to actual humans.

Via Mark Smithers, Smithstorian
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15 Ways to Build a Better University - College, Reinvented - The Chronicle of Higher Education

15 Ways to Build a Better University - College, Reinvented - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
Here are 15 ideas. Got some of your own? Let's hear them.

 

Last month you could see who was lining up against higher education just by looking at the local magazine rack. It seemed to be pretty much everyone.

 

Newsweek ran a provocative cover story—"Is College a Lousy Investment?"—which suggested that we might be better off sending kids into jobs and apprenticeships. The conservatives at The Weekly Standard were bemoaning the death of Western literature, blaming its demise on "the general crisis of higher education," which was "the next big bubble to burst." And Utne Reader, the lefty digest, used a scornful image to push its cover story about "indentured students": a cartoon of Albert Einstein flipping burgers.

"What's a college degree really worth these days?" the magazine asked.

 

That is the tone of the national conversation right now. It's not just experts, lawmakers, and disgruntled academics who see problems in the industry. Now parents, students, employers, and pundits say higher education is fundamentally broken—inefficient, ineffective, overpriced, outdated, out of touch.

 

What would it take to reinvent college? The following articles, and more in coming issues of The Chronicle, will begin to imagine a different higher-education landscape.

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Degrees With a Price Tag - College, Reinvented - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Degrees With a Price Tag - College, Reinvented - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it
It's not just one year's price times four. Tuition and fees will probably go up. Aid levels will change. It's hard to know how much a student is likely to have to borrow.

 

For the typical family, college is one of life's big-ticket purchases. But figuring out how much it will cost can be difficult. Finding out a particular college's sticker price is easy, but the amount a particular family will actually pay is revealed only after students are admitted and receive their financial-aid awards. Even then the numbers can be confusing.

 

Recently the federal government has required colleges to post net-price calculators on their Web sites, estimating personalized prices. It has encouraged them to use a standard "Financial Aid Shopping Sheet" to display students' actual out-of-pocket costs. Whether these efforts to promote transparency are making much of a difference is not yet clear.

 

But either way, they have a glaring limitation: They all focus on what students will have to fork over for a single year of college when, presumably, they plan to complete an entire degree. "We talk about net price," says Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management and marketing at the University of Dayton, "but we don't talk about four-year net price."

 

It's not just one year's price times four. Tuition and fees will probably go up. Students' level of aid can change because of their financial circumstances or grades—or because their state runs out of money in its grant program, or the federal government changes a policy, or the college has front-loaded its grant aid. College administrators know all of that; the average family probably does not.

 

That uncertainty makes it especially hard to know how much a student is likely to borrow. In many cases, students and their parents are scraping things together one year at a time—a mistake encouraged by the way colleges communicate with them. "The lack of sophistication about how you are going to pay for college is breathtaking," says David W. Strauss, a principal with the Art & Science group, a consulting firm. What if students were told upfront how much they would have to pay for their entire degree?

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What Campus Leaders Need to Know About MOOCs | EDUCAUSE.edu

What Campus Leaders Need to Know About MOOCs | EDUCAUSE.edu | Disrupting Higher Ed | Scoop.it

Abstract


MOOCs (massive open online courses) are courses delivered over the web to potentially thousands of students at a time. In a MOOC, lectures are typically “canned,” quizzes and testing are automated, and student participation is voluntary. They attain large scale by reducing instructor contact with individual students, though some models allow student feedback to partly guide discussion. Initial MOOCs have often been from disciplines that lend themselves to quantitative assessment, such as engineering, computer science, and math. However, MOOCs are becoming applicable to all fields as the platforms enable assessment methods such as peer review. MOOCs present an opportunity for institutions to experiment with extending their brand or to diversify their instructional portfolio, and they might also catalyze new approaches to credentialing.

 

by Educause Publications


Via Volkmar Langer
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