State of the MOOC

MOOCs not the answer for everyone

Online courses can be effective, but “massive” is another ballgame

In the fall semester of 2001, I taught an online course for the first time. Sept. 11, 2001 was traumatic and life changing for millions of people worldwide. But for students, staff, and faculty at Borough of Manhattan Community College, the events of 9/11 were visceral.

Seven students working in the Twin Towers were killed, the newly renovated Fiterman Hall was destroyed when 7 World Trade Center collapsed, and many students and faculty witnessed the destruction from a very close range.

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.

New MIT “XSeries” MOOCs cover more content

Students will get several courses-worth of instruction in computer science, logistics

Participants in MIT’s about-to-launch “XSeries” MOOCs on computer science will get about three courses-worth of instruction that should give them a strong jump start on future studies or prepare them for a summer internship, senior lecturer Chris Terman says.

At-Large: Staff development presentation essentials

Effective recommendations for getting your staff up to speed on online technologies

While digital technologies have become central to our society and our lives in higher education, the continuing development of the internet, mobile phone applications, and social media brings the need for up-to-date professional development. Indeed, standing still with digital technology means we are falling behind, and your staff needs continuing opportunities to evaluate and implement new online options.

Former Barnard president stresses importance of liberal arts

A Q&A with Judith Shapiro.

Judith Shapiro, former president and professor of anthropology at Barnard College in New York City from 1994 to 2008, had been “happily retired” before assuming the leadership role at the Teagle Foundation in July. The New York-based foundation’s grant-making is focused on improving undergraduate student learning in the arts and sciences.

Networking supports MOOC success

Where to turn for ideas and inspiration in launching and managing MOOCs

Michigan State University’s first massive open online course—Metropolitan Agriculture Value Creation—attracted 400 people from around the globe interested in learning about new ways to produce food in urban areas. Launched in March 2012, the course was built on a WordPress website and students communicated with one another via Facebook and Twitter.

Colleges and universities begin to assess the benefits of MOOCs

Higher educatioin finds that a primary benefit of MOOCs is data that can be used to improve teaching methods

When Cornell University joined the edX consortium last May, the impetus came not only from professors who wanted to offer MOOCs but also from prospective students who were asking admissions officers about whether the university provided these courses.

“They were hearing from high school students that if you are going to be a modern university, you have to participate in this,” says Joe Burns, Cornell’s dean of faculty and member of a committee that considered whether the university should affiliate with a consortium.

Who’s going to pay for MOOCs? Anyone?

Free MOOC platforms still have operating costs and providers will one day hope to turn a profit. How much will these courses be worth?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have undeniable appeal: they can support hundreds of thousands of students, are accessible to all, are taught by top faculty at prestigious universities, and, of course, are free…at least for now.

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.

Schools Saying No Thanks to External Online Course Design Help

Although the in-house work in preparing traditional classes to be taught online can be overwhelming, the vast majority of colleges and universities do not to use third-party vendors for online course development. Ottawa University, based in Kansas but with locations across the country, has its own curriculum design studio, says Brian Messer, vice president of online.

World Education University: MOOC on Demand

Is it time for MOOC 2.0? Those behind World Education University (WEU) think so. The free online university opened its virtual doors worldwide on February 1.

Scott Hines, WEU’s chief operating officer, doesn’t mind the comparison to MOOC providers such as Coursera, which he sees as great trail blazers. But he sees WEU as the next step in the evolutionary process of online learning.

The Rights Question

Who owns intellectual property in the brave new world of MOOCs?

Disputes over intellectual property (IP) rights have been around as long as faculty members have been producing ideas. Whether it’s a cure for a disease, a textbook, or even a syllabus, ownership and IP rights are dictated by a policy at every college and university in the United States.

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