An article in Evolllution by Vickie Cook and Gayla Stoner enumerates the value that a continuing ed unit can provide an institution as a centralized resource supporting online initiatives.
· CE units are ideally positioned to initiate and manage interdisciplinary collaborations in service of institutional strategic plans/goals
· Faculty and student satisfaction increase when centralized and specialized support is provided for online/hybrid education
· Quality and consistency across programs/courses is best managed by one unit
o continuous improvement and quality control processes already existing in CE units are well suited to managing online/hybrid education
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.
This fall the University of Illinois will open a space for collaborative repair of consumer technologies called the “Illini Gadget Garage.” Students and faculty who bring in broken devices will work alongside Gadget Garage staff to repair them, ideally learning a set of transferrable skills. This effort is part of a sustainability initiative that includes a focus on extending the life of consumer electronics.
Bethke, Ron. “College Reinvents ‘Shop’ Class for the Digital Era.” eCampus News, October 13, 2015.
Also see the University’s article on the Illini Gadget Garage.