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"Today, Google took another big step into the open courseware game, announcing a new partnership with edX — the Harvard and MIT-backed, non-profit organization that currently stands as one of the Big Three MOOC Providers, along with Udacity and Coursera. Together, the two companies plan to launch MOOC.org, a site that will allow teachers, businesses — and really anyone — to create their own digital course and share it with the world. As of now, the site is slated for launch in the first half of 2014....
"Certainly, Udacity, edX and Google seem hellbent on recalibrating the focus of higher education and learning content, focusing on content that will help students learn how to become part of a modern, and increasingly more technical, global workforce. Whether the increasing role of Google and other tech companies in the educational landscape will be welcomed by academia is one thing, however, at the very least, these two experiments could serve to boost the profile of MOOC-style education, particularly of edX itself. It also seems to indicate the increasing likelihood that, whoever should win the battle to become the world’s largest open course platform, Google will be there to lend a hand — and share a piece of the pie."
by Tony Bates
"The initial courses subject to ACE review were selected by Coursera in consultation with their partner universities (which included the University of California at Irvine, and Duke). Coursera and the partner universities chose courses that were already offered on campus or were using content similar to an on-campus course.
"All five courses reviewed received credit recommendations based on ACE’s review criteria. The five courses received math and science recommendations, one at the developmental math level, that is, three-credits of pre-college, three at the lower division baccalaureate level, all three credits, and one two-credit recommendation at the upper division baccalaureate level. Faculty reviewed all course exhibits including learning outcomes, competencies, and assessment methods. Faculty made suggestions regarding perquisites and offered other notes. While ACE has recommended academic credit, it is up to each university or college to review these credit recommendations and determine how they may align with their general education requirements or degree programs. There is no guarantee that any university of college will accept the ACE credit recommendations."
by Carl Staumsheim
summary by Carnegie Perspectives
"San Jose State University on Wednesday quietly released the full research report on the for-credit online courses it offered this spring through the online education company Udacity. The report, marked by delays and procedural setbacks, suggests it may be difficult for the university to deliver online education in this format to the students who need it most. The report's release lands on the opposite end of the spectrum from the hype generated in January, when university officials, flanked by the Udacity CEO Sebastian Thrun and California Governor Jerry Brown, unveiled the project during a 45-minute press conference. The pilot project, featuring two math courses and one statistics course, aimed to bring high-quality education to students for a fraction of the cost of the university's normal tuition. Wednesday's report went live on the university’s website sometime before noon Pacific time, appearing with little fanfare on the research page of the principal investigator for the project, Elaine D. Collins. Collins serves as associate dean in the College of Science. The article is in Inside Higher Ed."
by Justin Pope
"As with so many innovations — from the light bulb to the Internet — the technology is bubbling up mostly from the United States, fueled by American capital chasing profitable solutions to American problems. But as with those past innovations, the impact will be global. In this case, it may be even more consequential in developing countries, where mass higher education is new and the changes could be built into emerging systems."
Jim Lerman's insight:
An interesting and wide-ranging overview of the current state of technology's impact on higher education. An even-handed view that supports technology, has a positive view of MOOCs, but sees that there is considerable worth in saving what works best in brick and mortar universities.
By Richard Holmgren
"Consider, for example the implications of Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative. More than 10 years ago, Herb Simon, the Carnegie Mellon University professor and Nobel laureate, declared, "Improvement in postsecondary education will require converting teaching from a solo sport to a community-based research activity." The Open Learning Initiative (OLI) is an outgrowth of that vision and has been striving to realize it for more than a decade.
Via Mark Smithers, Amy Cross