Category Archives: Technology

Tech trends on campus.


After Low Enrollment, U. of Florida Cancels Online Partnership With Pearson

[Updated (10/23/2015, 5:08 p.m.) with more detail from Pearson's statement.]

The University of Florida is canceling its contract with Pearson Embanet to administer its online degree-granting arm, UF Online, after attracting low enrollment. Politico Florida cites an email from Evangeline J. Cummings, the university’s assistant provost and director of UF Online, saying the contract would be terminated in late December.

“In accordance with this shift to integrate UF Online more fully into core univ…


Google Gets Another Win in Book-Scanning Court Challenge

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit handed Google another victory on Friday in a high-profile case about copyright infringement, declaring that its scanning of books as part of the Google Books project constitutes fair use. In its ruling, a unanimous three-judge panel of the court upheld a federal judge’s 2013 ruling against the Authors Guild, which sued the tech giant in 2005.

However, the court noted that individual libraries could “incur liability by negligent mishandling” of cop…


MIT Unveils ‘MicroMaster’s,’ Allowing Students to Get Half Their Degree From MOOCs

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will begin allowing students to earn half of a master’s degree through online courses, then cap it off with a single semester on the campus. The university’s president, L. Rafael Reif, announced the pilot program on Wednesday.

Under the program, any online student who completes the first semester’s worth of courses in MIT’s supply-chain-management master’s program, earning good grades and passing a “comprehensive proctored examination,” will have a leg u…


U. of Kansas Can’t Expel Student Over Derogatory Tweets, Court Rules

The University of Kansas must reinstate a student it expelled for derogatory tweets he posted about his ex-girlfriend, the Lawrence Journal-World reports.

The Kansas Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that Navid Yeasin, who was expelled in 2013, couldn’t be held responsible under the university’s code of student conduct because there was “no proof in the record that Yeasin posted the tweets while he was on campus,” and the code governs only behavior on the campus or at university-sponsored events…


5 College Rankings Based on the White House’s New College Scorecard Data

The White House this weekend released a new consumer tool, the College Scorecard, aimed at helping students and their parents compare colleges. To the great delight of higher-ed wonks, the Obama administration also released the troves of data underlying the tool — including previously unavailable figures on student debt, loan repayment, and graduate earnings.

Caveats abound. Most notably, the earnings data — which is based on tax records — includes only students who received federal loans or…


Technology Chief at Minnesota Resigns Following Misconduct Allegations

The chief information officer at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Scott Studham, resigned this month following accusations of misconduct related to contracts, hiring, and spending, the Star-Tribune reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Mr. Studham had left to focus on training for an Ironman triathlon. But the Star-Tribune said Mr. Studham had resigned on September 4 at the request of the university’s president, Eric W. Kaler.

The news of Mr. Studham’s exit followed t…


Historians’ Group Issues Guidelines on Digital Scholarship, Tenure, and Promotion

The American Historical Association has published guidelines for how historians’ digital scholarship should be counted toward tenure and promotion.

According to the guidelines, scholars should be encouraged to experiment with digital scholarship, but must be prepared to explain the benefits of the digital medium to their departments. Meanwhile, departments are advised to make explicit which modes of digital scholarship will count toward tenure and promotion, among other things.

Read the associat…


Lawrence Lessig, Professor at Harvard, Is Running for President

Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor, announced on Sunday that he was running for president. Mr. Lessig, a leading copyright scholar and Internet-law expert, said last month that he would enter the 2016 presidential race if he could raise $1 million by Labor Day. Speaking on the ABC News program This Week, Mr. Lessig said he had exceeded that goal in a crowdfunding effort.

Mr. Lessig, who plans to run for the Democratic nomination, said that, if elected, he would serve as a “referendu…


This Is How Students Cheat in MOOCs

Researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have identified a way students are cheating to earn credit in MOOCs. The method is the subject of a working paper, “Detecting and Preventing ‘Multiple-Account’ Cheating in Massive Open Online Courses,” published online on Monday.

According to the researchers, some students are creating at least two accounts in a MOOC — one or more with which to purposely fail assignments in order to discover the correct answers, wh…


Faculty Union Wins New Protection From Student Abuse After Yik Yak Incident

The faculty union at Eastern Michigan University, where the anonymous online harassment of instructors last year threw a freshman honors class into disarray, has won at least some protection from such student abuse.

The union, the Eastern Michigan University chapter of the American Association of University Professors, had made ensuring the classroom safety of faculty members a top priority in contract talks undertaken after the honors-class meltdown, which involved students’ using the online sm…