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TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
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UNC exploring MOOCs

Using credit-bearing MOOCS may be one way the system reaches more people to increase degree attainment.
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MOOCs in Size Small, Please

Why not MOOCs in K–12 education, too—for the kids, not just their teachers? Why is this not another form of on-line or blended learning with huge potential to foster equity, acceleration, individualization, choice, and much else that we prize in the elementary-secondary sector?
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Future Learn, the British MOOC provider

Future Learn, the British MOOC provider | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
Even more MOOCs will be offered in 2013, as 12 UK universities are getting together to form a new company that will offer the online courses — under the brand name of FutureLearn Ltd. The universities are: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Exeter, King’s College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Southampton, St Andrews and Warwick, along with UK distance-learning organization The Open University (OU).
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Certifying Soft Skills?

I’ve been to more than my share of employer advisory boards over the last dozen years, at three different colleges. They’re remarkably consistent; every time, the feedback is that we’re doing well with the specific technical skills, but that many students arrive with serious gaps in communication, presentation, and general employee conduct.
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U of Phoenix Founder John Sperling to Retire

U of Phoenix Founder John Sperling to Retire | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
John Sperling, who founded the Apollo Group and its University of Phoenix in 1972, will retire as executive chairman of the company's board of directors at the end of this month, Apollo announced today.
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Debunking Myths: Why Is Higher Education So Expensive?

It's no secret that U.S. college tuition costs are rising dramatically, and the high cost of a college education burdens young people and their families. How can we make college more affordable? Many suggest that the best way to keep tuition affordable is by increasing government assistance through student loans, grants, and tax credits for education. Professor Daniel Lin shows in this video that doing so will actually lead to higher college costs, because loans/grants/tax credits are directly related to the increasing cost of education.
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MOOCs—Implications for Higher Education

MOOCs—Implications for Higher Education | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
MOOC denotes an important, possibly a revolutionary, development in education.
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When Trying Harder Doesn't Work

When Trying Harder Doesn't Work | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
Higher education seems to finally be realizing that a much bigger change is needed. Paying serious attention to change and looking outward are good starts, but the prevailing consumer culture has shifted over time. New audiences in new markets invited to college are pragmatic and hugely practical, and arrive with an underappreciation of classical academic values. And the words "liberal arts" probably create confusion, assuming they receive attention at all.
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Accrediting Individuals, Not Institutions

Accrediting Individuals, Not Institutions | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
Why do we need a university to look at our CV and say, yup, you have 18 credit hours! when students or parents or some other body can do it just as well, not to mention cut out the massive layer of administration? Of course, the problem is that the massive layer of administration would never allow itself to become obsolete, thus even if individual instructors were accredited, there’s no reason for a university to accept the credits.
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N.C. community college to issue grades, certificates for soft skills

N.C. community college to issue grades, certificates for soft skills | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
Community college in N.C. plans to evaluate "soft skills" and issue workplace readiness certificates for students who get passing marks.
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Harvard Faculty Debate Impact of edX

Harvard Faculty Debate Impact of edX | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
In less than a week, two more institutions of higher education—Wellesley College and Georgetown University—have partnered with edX, the rapidly growing online educational venture started by Harvard and MIT last May. But six months after the launch, Harvard faculty continue to express a spectrum of opinions on whether HarvardX—the subset of edX courses offered by Harvard—will enhance or detract from on-campus instruction.
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Majoring in Fun...

Majoring in Fun... | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
Although no college explicitly offer a major in fun, students may informally major in fun at college by taking an untaxing class schedule or by changing majors in order to prolong a leisurely stay at college.
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College Grads Taking Low Paying Jobs

College Grads Taking Low Paying Jobs | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
Throughout California, 260,000 recent college grads under the age of 30 are working on the front lines of food service and retail industries where historically those jobs have gone to workers without a degree. “We’re seeing graduates in humanities and some of the arts fields struggling because perhaps what their degree is in doesn’t translate well to the global current economy,” said Ian Moats, a staffing consultant. Currently, the healthcare and technology sectors are growing. This article comes from the Santa Barbara Key.
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Emphasizing Soft Skills in Higher Education Courses

Emphasizing Soft Skills in Higher Education Courses | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
Together with the traditional credits involving the academic side paired with the non-traditional grades of particular soft skills, the Asheville-Buncombe Technical College can develop an excellent reputation of cultivating more well-rounded students that will demonstrate soft skills in the workplace. Olesiuk told Fain that the program comes with inherent risks, though, as the institution is guaranteeing that graduates and certificate holders will be model employees, and the success or failure of that claim will have an impact on the reputation of the institution.
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UK universities to launch free degree-style online courses

UK universities to launch free degree-style online courses | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
Twelve top British universities have signed up to Futurelearn, a new programme offering free degree-style online courses to the public in direct competition with US-led rivals Coursera and edX.
Alberto Acereda, Ph.D.'s insight:

Note that The Telegraph´s article by Andrew Marszal stresses that this new company, Futurelearn, is being launched by the Open University and that it will operate "in direct rivalry with established American course platforms such as Coursera and Harvard-based edX".

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Finally, alternatives to prominent MOOCs

After the announcement of Open University, we can say again that higher education is facing a changed landscape. Even if MOOCs disappear from the landscape in the next few years, the change drivers that gave birth to them will continue to exert pressure and render slow plodding systems obsolete (or, perhaps more accurately, less relevant). If MOOCs are eventually revealed to be a fad, the universities that experiment with them today will have acquired experience and insight into the role of technology in teaching and learning that their conservative peers won’t have. It’s not only about being right, it’s about experimenting and playing in the front line of knowledge. Researchers do this in their labs regularly. Unfortunately, the logic of being leading edge experimenters doesn’t seem to translate into the university system / model itself.
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Freelance Professors and MOOCs


Udemy and StraighterLine offer a different path for the entrepreneurial professor. For one thing, there’s money involved, maybe even a substantial amount.
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Open University launches British Mooc platform to rival US providers

A UK-based platform for massive open online courses (Moocs) to rival established providers in the US has been launched by The Open University.
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Report from Washington: The Economic Case for Higher Ed

Report from Washington: The Economic Case for Higher Ed | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
The U.S. Treasury Department has released a report prepared in conjunction with the Education Department. It shows that investing in education expands job opportunities, boosts America’s competitiveness, and supports the kind of income mobility that is fundamental to a growing economy.
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Higher Ed Predictions

Higher Ed Predictions | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
MOOCs will morph into MOCCs (Mid-Sized Online Closed Courses). We believe that universities and companies will begin to create and license online courses and use them in a smaller, contained/closed environment. MOOCs won’t go away, but the real traction will be the use of teaching technologies brought down to smaller groups of people that will more closely mimic the current classroom environment.
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An insider's guide: what it's really like to study a MOOC. Assessments

An insider's guide: what it's really like to study a MOOC. Assessments | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
The platform suggests that the marks are “calculated based on a combination of the grade you received from your peers and the grade you gave yourself”, but fairness should dictate that my own assessment has little influence on these marks.
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What is Brain-based Learning and What Does It Offer Higher Ed?

What is Brain-based Learning and What Does It Offer Higher Ed? | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
We will eventually understand the inner workings of the human brain to such a degree that we will be able to quantify the effects of every interaction and learning experience.
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Humor: Mini MOOC

Humor: Mini MOOC | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
Once MOOCs get tired of being so massive and unweildy, they will implode and emerge as “mini-moocs”.
Alberto Acereda, Ph.D.'s insight:
With the holidays coming, I thought it would not hurt to post this funny idea from Alan Levine and laugh a little bit after so many serious posts. Enjoy!
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Who Will Hold Colleges Accountable?

Who Will Hold Colleges Accountable? | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
The most promising solution would be to replace the anachronistic credit hour with common standards for what college students actually need to know and to be able to do. There are many routes to doing this. In the arts and sciences, scholarly associations could define and update what it means to be proficient in a field. So could professional organizations and employers in vocational and technical fields.
Alberto Acereda, Ph.D.'s insight:

Another great article by Kevin Carey and an important and necessary call for standardized testing.

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New Platform Lets Professors Set Prices for Their Online Courses

New Platform Lets Professors Set Prices for Their Online Courses | TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION | Scoop.it
What's your course really worth to students? A new online platform lets professors determine what services to offer and how much to charge. The new service is run by StraighterLine, a company that offers online, self-paced introductory courses. StraighterLine's courses aren't free. But tuition is lower than what traditional colleges typically charge—the company calls its pricing "ultra-affordable." Another company already trying a similar approach is Udemy, also running a platform that lets professors teach courses for personal profit—though at this point none of the company's courses are approved for college credit.
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