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Jen Domagal-Goldman

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

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    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

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

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    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.
George Mehaffy

Rice University announces open-source textbooks | Inside Higher Ed - 1 views

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    "Why Pay for Intro Textbooks?
    February 7, 2012 - 3:00am
    By Mitch Smith

    If ramen noodle sales spike at the start of every semester, here's one possible reason: textbooks can cost as much as a class itself; materials for an introductory physics course can easily top $300.

    Cost-conscious students can of course save money with used or online books and recoup some of their cash come buyback time. Still, it's a steep price for most 18-year-olds.

    But soon, introductory physics texts will have a new competitor, developed at Rice University. A free online physics book, peer-reviewed and designed to compete with major publishers' offerings, will debut next month through the non-profit publisher OpenStax College.

    Using Rice's Connexions platform, OpenStax will offer free course materials for five common introductory classes. The textbooks are open to classes anywhere and organizers believe the programs could save students $90 million in the next five years if the books capture 10 percent of the national market. OpenStax is funded by grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the 20 Million Minds Foundation and the Maxfield Foundation.

    Traditional publishers are quick to note that the new offerings will face competition. J. Bruce Hildebrand, executive director for higher education of the Association of American Publishers, said any textbook's use is ultimately determined by its academic value. "Free would appear to be difficult to compete with," Hildebrand said. "The issue always, however, is the quality of the materials and whether they enable students to learn, pass their course and get their degree. Nothing else really counts."

    In the past, open-source materials have failed to gain traction among some professors; their accuracy could be difficult to confirm because they hadn't been peer-reviewed, and supplementary materials were often nonexistent or lacking because they weren't organized for large-scale
George Mehaffy

Online course start-ups offer virtually free college - The Washington Post - 0 views

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    "Online course start-ups offer virtually free college
    By Jon Marcus, Published: January 21

    An emerging group of entrepreneurs with influential backing is seeking to lower the cost of higher education from as much as tens of thousands of dollars a year to nearly nothing.

    These new arrivals are harnessing the Internet to offer online courses, which isn't new. But their classes are free, or almost free. Most traditional universities have refused to award academic credit for such online studies.

    Now the start-ups are discovering a way around that monopoly, by inventing credentials that "graduates" can take directly to employers instead of university degrees.

    "If I were the universities, I might be a little nervous," said Alana Harrington, director of Saylor.
    org, a nonprofit organization based in the District. Established by entrepreneur Michael Saylor, it offers 200 free online college courses in 12 majors.

    Another nonprofit initiative is Peer-to-Peer University, based in California. Known as P2PU, it offers free online courses and is supported by the Hewlett Foundation and Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox Web browser.

    A third is University of the People, also based in California, which offers more than 40 online courses. It charges students a one-time $10 to $50 application fee. Among its backers is the Clinton Global Initiative.

    The content these providers supply comes from top universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, Tufts University and the University of Michigan. Those are among about 250 institutions worldwide that have put a collective 15,000 courses online in what has become known as the open-courseware movement.

    The universities aim to widen access to course content for prospective students and others. At MIT, a pioneer of open courseware, half of incoming freshmen report that they've looked at MIT online courses and a third say it influenced their decision to go the
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