Category Archives: Adult Learning

Link: More Colleges Turn to “Stackable” Degrees as Entries to Graduate Programs

The University of Illinois is rolling out an online master’s in data science, which will be offered in conjunction with Coursera. The new degree costs $19,200, and builds on the certificates of completion already associated with the university’s pre-existing Coursera MOOCs.

Students who have already received those certificates will have a head start toward finishing the new degree, since those certificates make up two of the four distinct areas of study. The others are data visualization and machine learning. If admitted into the program, students could trade in those certificates for course credit.

Ruff, Corinne. “More Colleges Turn to ‘Stackable’ Degrees as Entries to Graduate Programs.” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 30, 2016.

Link: MIT Expansion of Innovative Programs, Including Continuing Ed Online

Details are scant, but MIT is venturing more firmly into the world of online continuing education for professionals (including but not limited to their own alumni). They are beginning with a four-course (certificate?) systems engineering program in partnership with Boeing and NASA.

Given the pace of innovation, really, if you got a computer science degree 10 years ago, are you still prepared for the real world?

Read the press release (Feb. 2, 2016).

EQUIP Round-Up: Slides, Articles, and Links

EQUIP, or Educational Quality Through Innovative Partnerships, is a new program from the U.S. Department of Education. The department will provide access to Title IV funds to chosen partners (both traditional and non-traditional), while waiving the rules about the use of content from other entities.

The goal of this experimental program is to allow traditional schools to lower educational costs and increase access by partnering with nontraditional providers, such as MOOCs or code academies or boot camps, by creating hybrid programs that are eligible for enrolled students to access financial aid.

Introductory PowerPoint slides created by the Department of Education are embedded below:

Want to know more? Here are some starting points:

LINK: OSU opens research unit for online teaching, learning

“The OSU Extended Campus Research Unit is designed to create an accessible and inclusive online learning environment.”

“Oregon State is in a position to build a robust research pipeline that ultimately will improve the access and quality of online teaching and learning for our adult learners,” [Lisa L.] Templeton said. “It will allow the university to expand its reach even further and give students more opportunities to succeed.”

OSU opens research unit for online teaching, learning. Oregon State University news. January 6, 2016.

Link: Summiting by the Online Route

Excerpts from a conversation between Michael Rodgers (Southeast Missouri State) and Carl Lashley (UNC Greensboro), on Lashley’s experiences teaching in an online doctoral degree program.

UNCG’s doctoral program is attractive because it is sensitive to the needs of working professionals. The strong online component saves commuting time. From the relative comfort of home, students are fresher and more relaxed when it is time to log into the online course after a very busy day of work. Even so, most of Lashley’s students live relatively nearby (less than a 2 hour commute), which affords them the opportunity to come to campus from time to
time for face-to-face courses, meet with faculty, and attend advising sessions and seminars. Lashley’s awareness of his students’ need for a sense of belonging motivates him to use the on-campus events to establish relationships that Lashley characterizes as “accidental cohorts,” which create connections and lend authenticity to the virtual relationships born of online interactions within discussion boards and group activities.

Rodgers and Lashley. “Summiting by the Online Route.” Tomorrow’s Professor (Stanford), #1454. January 2016.

LINK: Big Names Don’t Trump Good Service When it Comes to Student Satisfaction

Interview with Diana Wu, Dean of Extension at UC Berkeley, about students’ choosing institutions based on level of support as much as (or more than) the institutional reputation.

While the higher education marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive, both analysts and leaders have suggested that elite, big-name universities are protected from the change. However, this is not necessarily the case. Although students still want to be aligned with big names, they have the same heightened expectations of the institution as learners industry-wide. In this interview, Diana Wu discusses these heightened expectations, and shares her thoughts on why big-name institutions are not immune from this industry shift.

Big Names Don’t Trump Good Service When it Comes to Student Satisfaction.  Evolllution. March 16, 2015.

8 Characteristics of Good Online Video

video-online-learningAccording to a report published in the MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, instructor-generated video can have a positive influence on student satisfaction with, and engagement in, online courses. But not all videos are created equal.

Research conducted by the American Academy of Neurology also reveals that “watching videos helps boost brain plasticity,” or the ability of the brain to undergo physical changes at any age. Learners who were trained to perform a particular task through videos performed better than those who learned through images and text, the researchers found—and they concluded that video has a “higher impact on the brain.”

 

Learn 8 high-impact strategies here.

Rubrics for Assignments in Online Courses

An important aspect of an online course is grading assignments and providing feedback. This is especially true in an asynchronous course where there is no real-time interaction between the instructors and students. Once a student completes a learning activity, the instructor teaches via the grading of the assignment and provides clear and helpful feedback to the student.

Read full article here.