Feature

Accessibility from a distance in higher education

Today’s digital learning platforms come with varying degrees of accessibility for students with disabilities

The technological revolution sweeping higher education may not be carrying all students with it equally. MOOCs, lecture capture, and other digital platforms are being designed with varying degrees of accessibility for students with mobility restrictions, hearing and visual impairments, and learning disabilities.

Accessibility features embedded in lecture capture

Lecture capture platforms can accommodate human-generated closed captions, and are compatible with screen-reading software

Unlike MOOCs, lecture capture platforms are used widely in for-credit courses. Providers of the technology have built in many accessibility features in the past several years.

Lecture capture platforms designed by Echo360, Panopto, and Sonic Foundry, for instance, can all accommodate human-generated closed captions, and are compatible with screen-reading software used by students with visual impairments. Students who cannot use a mouse can use keyboard commands to navigate the platforms.

Data mining the MOOCs

The massive enrollment in MOOCs is yielding a treasure-trove of information for everything from marketing to course development

The exploding popularity of MOOCs is beginning to open up a mother lode of data about prospective students that colleges and universities can use for marketing and recruitment purposes.

MOOCs are still in their infancy stages, and the concept of leveraging their reach as a data-rich marketing vehicle for the institution is even newer. But it’s beginning to gain a foothold.

MOOC data dig: What to track

There’s no shortage of options for administrators to consider when looking to make decisions from MOOC enrollment data. Here are some ideas suggested by Sam Burgio and Rick Tomlinson, of Jenzabar; Katie Blot and Jarl Jonas, of Blackboard; and Caitlin Garrett, of Rapid Insight:

MOOC data gathering at Syracuse University

Syracuse data science MOOC was designed principally to showcase the school’s new certificate of advanced study in the field

Syracuse University, which has offered MOOCs in data science and librarianship, has used CourseSites to download user information and export it into Excel.

The Syracuse data science MOOC was designed principally to showcase the school’s new certificate of advanced study in the field, says Peggy M. Brown, director of instructional design and an adjunct professor in the School of Information Studies.

MOOC data analysis for remedial education

A case study of Cuyahoga Community College

Officials at Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio have developed a MOOC consistent with its mission as a two-year school that provides developmental education, particularly in math, to get prospective students up to speed.

Colleges breaking new ground in distance learning

Students benefits when state systems integrate online education programs, report says

Before 2012, students who wanted to pursue an online degree at one of Florida’s public colleges or universities would have to navigate through a maze of websites, trying to cobble together a set of classes that would meet the requirements for their program.

SPOCs may provide what MOOCs can’t

The acronym may be new, but the SPOC concept isn’t

It’s hard to follow higher education news these days without seeing a reference to MOOCs. The online learning platforms from edX, Coursera, Udacity, and others were launched to great fanfare over the last two years. Proponents praise them for their potential to change education, while critics chalk them up as more hype than hope.

Colleges Finding Partners for Online Course Development

Making digital course development work

Higher ed institutions driving courses online to meet increasing demand sometimes need outside help in developing or designing their digital curriculum. Of more than 2,000 colleges and universities with online programs, about 10 percent have used third-party vendors for any course development, estimates Richard Garrett, vice president and principal analyst for online higher education at the consulting firm Eduventures.

The Collaborative Campus

How instructor-inspired mobile apps are promoting interactive learning

Sharing information on the go is second nature to today’s college student. That reality is pushing higher ed leaders to leverage that connectivity to build a more interactive learning environment. Smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and other mobile devices offer flexibility in extending the learning space beyond the classroom and getting students more engaged.

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