Link: Research in Action Podcast from OSU Ecampus

OSU Ecampus has just launched Research in Action, a weekly podcast about topics and issues related to research in higher education. The podcast features a range of guest experts from colleges and universities across the country and internationally. Each Research in Action episode also has show notes and a transcript on the website.

You can find the podcast on iTunesStitcher, and Soundcloud.  There is also a websiteTwitter account (@RIA_podcast), voicemail line (541-737-1111), and email address (riapodcast@oregonstate.edu). You can also subscribe via the RSS feed. If you want monthly updates about episodes, you can add yourself to an email list on the website.

Link: 6 Universities Partner on Credentialing Initiative

Continuing education units at Wisconsin, Washington, Georgia Tech, UCLA, UC Davis, and UC Irvine are collaborating on low-cost micro credentials offered via a common storefront, the University Learning Store. Individual courses address topics common to the needs of many working professionals, cost between $50 and $150 apiece, include a digital badge as proof of competency, and can be stacked into certificates. Current certificates include:

  • Workplace Writing
  • Effective Business Writing Skills
  • Business Communications
  • Global Business Communication

Bolkan, Joshua. “6 Universities Partner on Credentialing Initiative.” Campus Technology, March 22, 2016.

Link: UMassOnline Launches Badge Program

UMassOnline, the University of Massachusetts’ online consortium, has announced the first non-credit badge program, in Project Risk Management, offered through the College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS) at UMass Boston. …

The Project Risk Management badge is a self-paced online sequence of modules that covers the six steps of project risk management as prescribed by the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

“UMassOnline Launches Badge Program,” eCampus News, March 31, 2016.

Link: 3 Online Education Trends That Will Shape How You Hire in 2016

The CEO of Coursera shares three trends that he thinks will shape the relationship between education and employment in the near future:

  • Job Seekers Will Build Portfolios of Online Certificates, the New Currency for Skills
  • Learning Will Become the Most Coveted Perk at Hot Employers
  • The World Will Become Your Hiring Pool

Levin, Rick. “3 Online Education Trends That Will Shape How You Hire in 2016.” Forbes. February 25, 2016.

Link: How Faculty Learn To Teach Online: What Administrators Need to Know

Research shows most teachers teach as they were taught.  However, distance educators lack a model or benchmark for online teaching because many of them have not taken online courses as students.  Indeed, many studies on teaching online point to the importance of training for online instructors.  Few studies go into specifics about exactly what that training should look like.  The purpose of this study is to examine best practices in professional development for instructors learning to teach online.

Schmidt, S., Tschida, C. and Hodge, E. “How Faculty Learn to Teach Online: What Administrators Need to Know.” Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume XIX, Number 1, Spring 2016.

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: Competency For The Traditional Age Student

Purdue University is launching a competency-based interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree, which will combine technical and humanities fields. It was recently approved by Purdue’s regional accreditor.

Purdue’s degree track is based on the credit-hour standard, in which the demonstration of competencies is linked to corresponding college credit. This approach differs from relatively new competency-based offerings from a handful of other institutions, which use a method called direct assessment. That model is completely untethered from the credit hour, and students can move on as soon as they demonstrate mastery of required concepts.

At Purdue, however, studio and seminar-style “learning environments” will account for 35 percent of students’ plan of study.

Fain, Paul. “Competency for the Traditional Age Student.” Inside Higher Ed, March 30, 2016.

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