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Free MOOCs Face the Music, Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed, Jun 14, 2018

Inside Higher Ed reports very sympathetically on the new EdX subscription fee (covered here yesterday). It interviews Adam Medrox, edX COO and president, who says " here is a lot of evidence showing that having some ‘skin in the game’ is beneficial in online learning." It also interviews Phil Hill, who "doesn’t think edX will have a problem finding students to pay the support fee." And it quotes Class Central's Dhawal Shah writing that "the ... [Direct Link]

MOOC Expert Fiona Hollands Makes A Suggestion and a Prediction, Henry Kronk, eLearningInside News, Jun 01, 2018

The suggestion is to change the name MOOC because "they might be small, they might not be open, and they might be wholly different from the MOOCs first offered by Stanford professors in 2011, not to mention the earlier iterations in 2008." One prediction is actually a directive:colleges saving money using MOOCs should "invest in experiential learning for the students who don’t fare well in online learning experiences." The second prediction is a prediction: "... [Direct Link]

Commission on Creating the Next in Education (CNE), Office of the Provost, Georgia Tech, May 11, 2018

This report "is an effort to draw with broad strokes the nature of education that defines the technological research university of the year 2040 and beyond." The core outcome, I think, is in the initiatives section (here are the links, because the page deign obscures them: Whole-Person Education, New Products and Services, Advising for a New Era, A.I. and Personalization, A Distributed Worldwide Presence). Just as interesting (maybe more so) are the seven trends outlined on the ... [Direct Link]

MOOCs Are Global. So Where Do They Stand With New European Privacy Laws?, Sydney Johnson, EdSurge, May 09, 2018

One of the happy side-effects of Europe's new privacy law is that it impacts companies that are not European. Among these are MOOC providers who, whether or not they are based in Europe, want to do business in Europe, and so need to comply with the regulations. Coursera, for example, is "overhauling its terms of use, privacy policies, and creating a new cookies policy to let learners know how we are using their data. This also meant introducing new product features including consent ... [Direct Link]

The Good Life and Open Online Learning, Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, May 07, 2018

As I commented to the author of this article: First, don't say "Those of us who are actually involved..." It's fine to speak for yourself, but you should not position yourself as representative of the people who build, developed or taught MOOCs. There's a wide range of opinion in the community, and a lot of it will disagree with yours. Second, I don't see how this can be true: "The real value comes in the active and experiential learning that can only occur at a ... [Direct Link]

Exploring the Open Knowledge Landscape, Lorna M Campbell, Open World, May 02, 2018

There's a lot going on in this post from Lorna Campbell consisting of the transcript and slides from her keynote at the FLOSS UK Spring Conference in Edinburgh. It's a pretty good overview of open education and open educational resources (OER). Some quibbles: she says "the principles of open education were first outlined in the 2007 Cape Town Declaration," which can't be true (especially given that OER themselves were defined by UNESCO in 2002). Also, she describes ... [Direct Link]

Moocs are a solution in search of a problem, Chris Fellingham, Times Higher Education, May 01, 2018

According to Chris Fellingham, MOOCs " arose from the boredom of Stanford University computer science professors fed up with teaching the same lectures each year. Out of idle curiosity, they wanted to see what would happen if they dumped their courses, lectures and all, online for anyone to take." According to this story, OOCs then searched for a problem to solve - providinbg new skills to university graduates, say, or offering new kinds of certificates. None of that is my experience,... [Direct Link]

Conceptualising OEP: A review of theoretical and empirical literature in Open Educational Practices, Catherine Cronin, Iain MacLaren, Open Praxis, Apr 30, 2018

This is a taxonomy more than anything but also "aims to provide a useful synthesis of OEP literature for education researchers and practitioners." The authors assert "one or more of the following bodies of work were cited in all subsequent academic literature in the area of OEP: OLCOS (Open eLearning Content Observatory Services) project (2006-2007) OPAL (Open Education Quality) initiative (2010-2011) UKOER programme (2009-2012) CILT (Centre for Innovation in Learning ... [Direct Link]

What Do Google, Microsoft Stand To Gain From Launching Free MOOCs In AI, Richa Bhatia, Analytics India, Apr 11, 2018

Here's what the article says: "According to Susan Dumais, distinguished scientist and assistant director of Microsoft Research AI, the most important reason for launching free, publicly available AI training courses is to lend a broader push throughout the technology industry to fill a gap in workers with skills in artificial intelligence. 'AI is increasingly important in how our products and services are designed and delivered and that is true for our customers as well. ... [Direct Link]

Design of a Personalized Massive Open Online Course Platform, Junfu Xi, Yehua Chen, Gang Wang, International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, Apr 09, 2018

You might think (as I did) that this has to do with personalized access to MOOCs, but the article is in fact about building an analytics engine into a MOOC platform. It's still an interesting article. "Through the analysis of learning behaviours on the MOOC platform, the model digs deep into the pattern of learning behaviours, and lays the basis for personalized intervention in the learning process." [Direct Link]

Announcement: Spectrum goes Open Source!, Max Stoiber, Spectrum, Apr 05, 2018

I love rabbit-holes. Here's one. This post announces that Spectrum has gone open source. "Spectrum makes it easy to grow safe, successful online communities that are built to last." There's definitely a need for this, so I logged in, created my account, and started exploring. I created a community for MOOCs and joined a one-member community for e-learning. That member, Justin Mutchell, linked to a GitHub repository for something called the Adapt framework, which is supports ... [Direct Link]

The For-Profit Education Old Guard Has More to Worry About Than Government Regulation, Henry Kronk, eLearningInside News, Mar 23, 2018

The point of this article is to argue that the greatest threat to for-profit education is the for-profit industry itself. This became clear when regulations were drafted to weed out bad actors. "At this point, there are ample data that suggest the for-profit education sector in the U.S. doesn’t just have a few bad apples; it’s primarily comprised of them." Recently, we've seen two major incursions from the for-profit sector into the educational technology space: for-... [Direct Link]

16 Years of Web Hosting Changes with WordPress and Other Web Platforms: The Lessons Continue, Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, Mar 19, 2018

Because I host my own website (as well as a half a dozen MOOCs and some other stuff) I'm always attentive to discussion of issues around web hosting. I've had good service providers and bad. This article recounts the lessons Wes Fryer has learned over almost two decades of hosting web sites. Mostly his advice makes sense to me (and one day I wish to start following it). [Direct Link]

Will these four technology trends change education in India?, Shweta Sharan, LiveMint, Mar 11, 2018

The four technologies under discussion are virtual reality, learning communities (including MOOCs), AI tutors and big data. The four are obviously interrelated. “Today, the MOOC ecosystem has come a long way. We have active discussion groups, community meetups by the course, local hackathons, and hackathon tours by the course staff.” [Direct Link]

Reflecting on the Original Big Idea for MOOCs, James DeVaney, Inside Higher Ed, Mar 07, 2018

The announcements yesterday from Michigan and Rice have actually been in the works for a long time. The three-year "Credits for MOOCs" program "allows students from the participating schools to enroll in specific free online courses from the other member schools and receive transfer credits for passing them." In this post James DeVaney, associate vice provost for academic innovation at the University of Michigan, describes the thinking behind the program. "MOOCs and ... [Direct Link]

What are the expectations of disabled learners when participating in a MOOC?, Paul Feldman, JISC, Mar 06, 2018

I think this is a good question to ask but I'm really not sure it was asked properly in this report. We read, for example, that " disabled learners appear to be more interested in these subject areas: Society, History and Arts and Nature and Environment." Does that have anything to do with their self-identification as disabled learners? Or is it just a reflection of a small number of survey participants (which is not disclosed)? Do we really know that "disabled learners are ... [Direct Link]

ACE and Credly Building Transcript for Digital Credentials, Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, Campus Technology, Feb 28, 2018

According to this short article, "a new initiative from the American Council on Education (ACE) and Credly has built on its digital credential program plans by announcing the intention to create a digital 'working transcript.'" This seems to be related to a $1.5 million Lumina Foundation gran to fund "creation of a process for recording the outcomes of training programs as discrete competencies." The model of non-traditional credentials has been a cornerstone for ... [Direct Link]

MOOCs are not dead, but evolving, Diane Peters, University Affairs, Feb 23, 2018

“The numbers suggest MOOCs are, in fact, here to stay,” said Arshad Ahmad, vice-provost, teaching and learning, at McMaster University. As Diane Peters notes, " There are more MOOCs than ever, and some courses are indeed massive, with enrolments in the hundreds of thousands." No, they did not replace universities in ten years, but nobody seriously expected that. And MOOCs bring other things to the table. “It’s a collaboration, it’s a partnership. It&... [Direct Link]

Return of the MOOCs, Mene Ukueberuwa, City Journal, Feb 02, 2018

This article offers a bit of a history of MOOCs but is mostly (starting about a third of the way in ) an article about the Modern States "freshman year for free" project (no explanation why they couldn't use the long-established gender-neutral term 'frosh', as in 'frosh year for free', or even 'first year for free'). It's marketing. “'We want to be an on-ramp into the traditional system,' he (founder Steven Klinsky) tells me (author Mene ... [Direct Link]

Don’t Let Bad Journalism Get in the Way of a Good Online Education, Henry Kronk, eLearningInside News, Feb 01, 2018

I am often critical of traditional media in these pages (a tough sell in the age of fake news on social media) but my scepticism of what I read and view in supposedly trustworthy sources is well founded. This article makes a case. It cites as an example a Vox article from a few days ago that states that " virtual students statistically perform much worse than traditional students" based on a single study from 2015 looking at statistics from only 17 states. Now I'm no fan of ... [Direct Link]

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