“Mark Bradbury has brought along plenty of apprehension to a summer workshop here on how to teach an online course. Mr. Bradbury, who directs a master’s program in public administration at Appalachian State University, prides himself on drawing out students in his face-to-face courses and feeding off their questions and interests. He worries that he won’t be able to replicate that spirit if he’s making lecture videos and posting on discussion boards.”
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.
Stanford’s CS + X joint major program allows undergraduate students to marry computer science skills with an interest in the humanities. The CS +X degrees include specialized courses that involve both aspects of the student’s chosen educational path.
CS+X degrees may not be meant for students who want to do deeply technical work as programmers, but rather for those who want to use data collection to analyze topics such as politics, society, and the environment, says Jim Kurose, assistant director for computer and information science and engineering at the National Science Foundation.
What if you could start a university from scratch for today’s needs and with today’s technology? MIT Dean Christine Ortiz is hoping to answer this question through a new venture–but unlike other efforts, hers will be not-for-profit.
Ms. Ortiz says she plans to create a nonprofit institution so that “all of the revenue can be reinvested in the enterprise to serve the public.”
Excellent reflections by UCONN professor Gregory Semenza, who taught an online course for the first time this year, over on the Chronicle’s Vitae site.
Now that I’ve completed this first course, I feel strongly that Edmundson and other critics — however well-intended — are simply misguided about online learning being too impersonal. I got to know my group of 30 online students as well as, or better, than any undergraduate course I’ve taught in recent years.
Boot camps have become the activities of choice to build new skills through intensive, engaged training, especially in tech and information management fields, for individuals who do not want to commit to the longer – and often more expensive – graduate degree programs. Until recently, these have not been associated with formal colleges and universities. Northeastern University is deploying one of the first boot camp programs from a traditional university, called “Level”, as a non-credit, two-month long program on data analytics. Northeastern’s boot camp will run alongside of its existing graduate degree programs in urban informatics and information design and visualization.
Sherry Turkle, professor of social studies of science and technology at MIT, argues against a technologically integrated classroom and cautions against the widespread use of digital technologies in the service of learning, asserting that these technologies lead to unimaginative (if efficient) multitasking. Turkle argues that “unitasking,” focusing on one topic at a time, allows for a deep engagement with curriculum content and peers, which is necessary to a quality education. In addition to degrading the in-class experience by constant checking of mobile devices, Turkle argues, outside of class students use tools like GChat and Google Docs to complete their assignments, avoiding in-person collaboration. Further, they miss the “serendipity” of spontaneous ideas that occur when people talk in person (but not digitally?).
“[A tool like GChat] doesn’t leave room for what I want my students to experience when they collaborate. I call it intellectual serendipity. It may happen when someone tells a story or a joke. Or when someone daydreams and comes back with an idea that goes in a new direction. None of this is necessarily efficient. But so many of our best ideas are born this way, in conversations that take a turn.”
Gardner Campbell, vice provost for learning innovation and student success at Virginia Commonwealth University, says he’s seen an increase in the last five years in what he calls “self-service production facilities” — on-campus studios that require minimal setup and are easy for any faculty member to use. Indeed, those facilities seem to be appearing more and more frequently; Ohio State University’s studio opened just last fall, and one at Dartmouth College, called the “Innovation Studio,” opened in May.
The article examines the increasing efforts on college campuses to provide video production support for online and hybrid course instruction.
This article introduces the Global Freshman Academy partnership of Arizona State University and edX that “reimagines the freshman year.” The program offers eight courses meeting the general education requirements of ASU. All courses are offered as MOOCs, with an option to take a final examination and pay a fee for credit.