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Jolanda Westerhof

The MOOC Survivors - 2 views

    Looking past massive pool of registrants, edX probes tiny subgroup of MOOC students who actually stuck around to the end of its pilot course.
George Mehaffy

How an Upstart Company Might Profit From Free Courses - College 2.0 - The Chronicle of ... - 1 views

    "July 19, 2012
    Inside the Coursera Contract: How an Upstart Company Might Profit From Free Courses
    How an Upstart Company Might Profit From Free Courses 1

    Jim Wilson, The New York Times, Redux

    Andrew Ng, a co-founder of the company and a professor of computer science at Stanford U.: "We have a lot of white boards up around the office where these ideas are being written down and erased and written down and erased."
    Enlarge Image

    By Jeffrey R. Young

    Coursera has been operating for only a few months, but the company has already persuaded some of the world's best-known universities to offer free courses through its online platform. Colleges that usually move at a glacial pace are rushing into deals with the upstart company. But what exactly have they signed up for? And if the courses are free, how will the company-and the universities involved-make money to sustain them?

    Some clues can be found in the contract the institutions signed. The Chronicle obtained the agreement between Coursera and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the first public university to make such a deal, under a Freedom of Information Act request, and Coursera officials say that the arrangement is similar to those with the other partners.

    The contract reveals that even Coursera isn't yet sure how it will bring in revenue. A section at the end of the agreement, titled "Possible Company Monetization Strategies," lists eight potential business models, including having companies sponsor courses. That means students taking a free course from Stanford University may eventually be barraged by banner ads or promotional messages. But the universities have the opportunity to veto any revenue-generating idea on a course-by-course basis, so very little is set in stone.

    Andrew Ng, a co-founder of the company and a professor of computer science at Stanford, describes the list as an act of "brainstorming" rather than a set plan. "We have a lot of white boards up around the office where these ideas
George Mehaffy

The Single Most Important Experiment in Higher Education - Jordan Weissmann - The Atlantic - 0 views

    "The Single Most Important Experiment in Higher Education
    By Jordan Weissmann

    Jul 18 2012, 8:00 AM ET 130

    Online education platform Coursera wants to drag elite education into the 21st century. Now, it's getting buy-in from the academy. 615_Harvard_Student_Online_Computers_Reuters.jpg

    As of yesterday, a year-old startup may well have become the most important experiment yet aimed at remaking higher education for the Internet age.

    At the very least, it became the biggest.

    A dozen major universities announced that they would begin providing content to Coursera, an innovative platform that makes interactive college classes available to the public free on the web. Next fall, it will offer at least 100 massive open online courses -- otherwise known as MOOCs*-- designed by professors from schools such as Princeton, CalTech, and Duke that will be capable of delivering lessons to more than 100,000 students at a time.

    Founded by Stanford computer scientists Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, Coursera is one of a handful of efforts aimed at using the web's cost savings to bring Ivy League-quality courses to the masses. Its peers include the joint Harvard-MIT project edX and Udacity, a free online university created by Google executive and former Stanford professor Sebstian Thrun. (Another high-profile startup, Minerva, is attempting to create an actual "online Ivy" that students will pay to attend.)

    But the deals Coursera announced Tuesday may well prove to be an inflection point for online education, a sector that has traditionally been dominated by for-profit colleges known mostly for their noxious recruitment practices and poor results. That's because the new partnerships represent an embrace of web-based learning from across the top tier of U.S. universities. And where the elite colleges go, so goes the rest of academia.

    Coursera has previously teamed with Stanford, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Michigan to offer 43 courses,
George Mehaffy

Is Stanford Too Close to Silicon Valley? : The New Yorker - 0 views

    "Annals of Higher Education
    Get Rich U.
    There are no walls between Stanford and Silicon Valley. Should there be?
    by Ken Auletta April 30, 2012
    Students at the Institute of Design at Stanford, or, work this spring on an irrigation project for farmers in Burma. The work is part of the university

    Students at the Institute of Design at Stanford, or, work this spring on an irrigation project for farmers in Burma. The work is part of the university's focus on interdisciplinary education. Photograph by Aaron Huey.


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    Audio: Ken Auletta on Silicon Valley and Stanford University.

    Stanford University;
    Silicon Valley;
    John Hennessy;
    Distance Learning;

    Stanford University is so startlingly paradisial, so fragrant and sunny, it's as if you could eat from the trees and live happily forever. Students ride their bikes through manicured quads, past blooming flowers and statues by Rodin, to buildings named for benefactors like Gates, Hewlett, and Packard. Everyone seems happy, though there is a well-known phenomenon called the "Stanford duck syndrome": students seem cheerful, but all the while they are furiously paddling their legs to stay afloat. What they are generally paddling toward are careers of the sort that could get their names on those buildings. The campus has its jocks, stoners, and poets, but what it is famous for are budding entrepreneurs, engineers, and computer aces hoping to make their fortune in one crevasse or another of Silicon Valley.

    Innovation comes from myriad sources, including the bastions of East Coast learning, but Stanford has established itself as the intellectual nexus of the information economy. In early April, Facebook acquired the photo-sharing service Instagram, for a billion dollars; naturally, the co-founders of the two-year-old company are Stanford graduates in their late twe
George Mehaffy

The Campus Tsunami - - 0 views

    "The Campus Tsunami
    Published: May 3, 2012
    Online education is not new. The University of Phoenix started its online degree program in 1989. Four million college students took at least one online class during the fall of 2007.

    But, over the past few months, something has changed. The elite, pace-setting universities have embraced the Internet. Not long ago, online courses were interesting experiments. Now online activity is at the core of how these schools envision their futures.

    This week, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology committed $60 million to offer free online courses from both universities. Two Stanford professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, have formed a company, Coursera, which offers interactive courses in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics and engineering. Their partners include Stanford, Michigan, Penn and Princeton. Many other elite universities, including Yale and Carnegie Mellon, are moving aggressively online. President John Hennessy of Stanford summed up the emerging view in an article by Ken Auletta in The New Yorker, "There's a tsunami coming."

    What happened to the newspaper and magazine business is about to happen to higher education: a rescrambling around the Web.

    Many of us view the coming change with trepidation. Will online learning diminish the face-to-face community that is the heart of the college experience? Will it elevate functional courses in business and marginalize subjects that are harder to digest in an online format, like philosophy? Will fast online browsing replace deep reading?

    If a few star professors can lecture to millions, what happens to the rest of the faculty? Will academic standards be as rigorous? What happens to the students who don't have enough intrinsic motivation to stay glued to their laptop hour after hour? How much communication is lost - gesture, mood, eye contact - when you are not actually in a room with a passionate teacher and students?

Jen Domagal-Goldman

At UNT-Dallas, Consultants Propose a Reinvention - Administration - The Chronicle of Hi... - 1 views

    At the U. of North Texas at Dallas, 'disruptive innovation' raises hopes and fears The University of North Texas at Dallas was conceived 10 years ago as a public institution along tried-and-true lines-a comprehensive metropolitan university meant to serve a diverse student population and to improve the economic outlook of a part of the city that prosperity has left behind.
Jolanda Westerhof

How could MITx change MIT? | Inside Higher Ed - 1 views

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ended 2011 with a grand announcement: It would broadcast massive, open online courses - equal in rigor to its on-campus offerings - to tens of thousands of non-enrolled, non-paying learners around the world. Eventually, the university would offer these students a pathway to some sort of credential.
Jolanda Westerhof

Pentagon Pushes Crowdsourced Manufacturing - 0 views

    Designing and building things for the United States military is a notoriously slow-moving and costly endeavor. The time from idea to manufacturing for a new armored personnel carrier or a tank is typically 10 to 20 years. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to change that, and drastically so.It seeks to cut the design-to-production cycle to two to four years.

    So how are they going to do it? Crowdsourcing and prize contests are crucial ingredients in the speed-up recipe.

    The crowdsourcing effort will rely on a software initiative, called, which will be a Web portal for gathering, sharing and testing ideas.
Jolanda Westerhof

MERISOTIS: Higher education's Kodak moment - 0 views

    The recent bankruptcy declaration by Kodak, one of the nation's most trusted brands for consumers, which once held a market share in excess of 90 percent, is stunning. Kodak mistook America's century-long love affair with its products as a sign of market permanency, missing the fact that camera phones, flip cameras and online sharing would erode its brand and render it irrelevant.American higher education should take heed because it is facing a similar challenge, with implications far more important than the loss of a major corporation
Jolanda Westerhof

Boston Professor Uses Frequent Feedback From Class as Teaching Aide - 0 views

    Every other Monday, right before class ends, Muhammad Zaman, a Boston University biomedical engineering professor, hands out a one-page form asking students to anonymously rate him and the course on a scale of one to five.

    Enlarge This Image
    Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times
    Muhammad Zaman, who teaches biomedical engineering at Boston University, graphs the results of his evaluations and e-mails to explain how he will make changes.
    News, data and conversation about education in New York.

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    .It asks more, too: "How can the professor improve your learning of the material?" "Has he improved his teaching since the last evaluation? In particular, has he incorporated your suggestions?" "How can the material be altered to improve your understanding of the material?" "Anything else you would like to convey to the professor?"

    College learning assessments and professorial ratings come in many forms, with new ones popping up all the time. has been going strong for years, and almost everywhere, colleges ask students to fill out end-of-term evaluations - and increasingly, midterm evaluations as well.

    Many professors with large lecture classes swear by clickers that help them keep tabs on how well their students are following the material. Some online courses include dashboards that let professors see which students are stuck, and where. And thousands of professors use some variation of K. Patricia Cross's "One-Minute Paper" approach, in which, at the end of each class, students write down the most important thing they learned that day - and the biggest question left unanswered.

    But even in an era when teacher evaluations and learning assessments are a hot topic in education, Dr. Zaman stands out in his constant re-engineering of his teaching: He graphs the results the day he collects them (an upward trend is visible), sends out an e-mail telling the class abo
Jolanda Westerhof

Answering the Big Question on New Technology in Schools: Does It Work? (Part 1) - 0 views

    What drives many district and state technology leaders bonkers is being asked time and again by their school boards, superintendents, parents, and media: What does the research say about whether we should invest in iPads, tablets, and 1:1 laptops? What they really want to know is: does the new technology work?
Jolanda Westerhof

Dilemmas in Researching Technology in Schools (Part 2) - 0 views

    If you are a technology advocate, that is, someone who believes in his or her heart-of-hearts that new devices, new procedures, and new ways of using these devices will deliver better forms of teaching and learning, past and contemporary research findings are, to put it in a word-disappointing. How come?
Jolanda Westerhof

The Higher Education Monopoly is Crumbling As We Speak - 1 views

    In the last years of the nineteenth century, Charles Dow created an index of 12 leading industrial companies. Almost none of them exist today. While General Electric remains an industrial giant, the U.S. Leather Company, American Cotton Oil, and others have long since disappeared into bankruptcy or consolidation.
Jolanda Westerhof

University builds 'course recommendation engine' to steer students toward completion | ... - 0 views

    Completing assignments and sitting through exams can be stressful. But when it comes to being graded the waiting is often the hardest part. This is perhaps most true at the end of a semester, as students wait for their instructors to reduce months of work into a series of letter grades that will stay on the books forever.

    But at Austin Peay State University, students do not have to wait for the end of a semester to learn their grade averages. Thanks to a new technology, pioneered by the university's provost, they do not even have to wait for the semester to start.

    Tristan Denley, the provost, has built software, called Degree Compass, that analyzes an individual student's academic record, along with the past grades of hundreds of Austin Peay State students in various courses, and predicts how well a particular student is likely to do in a particular course long before the first day of class. (That includes first-year students; the software draws on their high school transcripts and standardized test scores.)
Jolanda Westerhof

SXSW: Venture Capitalists on Future of Tech in Education | Education News - 0 views

    A venture capitalist panel at SXSW interactive conference has discussed the future of education technology. The panelists, Mitch Kapor, Phillip Bronner and Rob Hutter claimed to have a broad vision of investing that looked for technology to be more than just successful but that also created social value.
Jolanda Westerhof

A Tech-Happy Professor Reboots After Hearing His Teaching Advice Isn't Working - Colleg... - 1 views

    Michael Wesch has been on the lecture circuit for years touting new models of active teaching with technology. The associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University has given TED talks. Wired magazine gave him a Rave Award. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching once named him a national professor of the year.
Jolanda Westerhof

MOOCs, Large Courses Open to All, Topple Campus Walls - 1 views

    But this course, Building a Search Engine, is taught by two prominent computer scientists, Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford research professor and Google fellow, and David Evans, a professor on leave from the University of Virginia. The big names have been a big draw. Since Udacity, the for-profit startup running the course, opened registration on Jan.
Jolanda Westerhof

Beyond the College Degree, Online Educational Badges - 1 views

    What's so special about a diploma? With the advent of Massive Open Online Courses and other online programs offering informal credentials, the race is on for alternative forms of certification that would be widely accepted by employers. "Who needs a university anymore?"
Jolanda Westerhof

Feds Aim to Spark Fresh Thinking on Schooling - 0 views

    As the private sector works faster and more boldly to churn out next-generation technology and embrace cutting-edge practices, the U.S. Department of Education and its partner federal agencies are ramping up their efforts to bring more spark and innovation into elementary and secondary schools.
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