January 8, 2013, 5:00 am
Cornell University’s online spinoff is moving into MOOCs, with a free marketing course in its hospitality program starting on Tuesday. But the program will be designed to steer students toward a follow-up course for $1,200 to get a professional certificate.
The free online course, “Marketing the Hospitality Brand Through New Media: Social, Mobile, and Search,” is being offered by eCornell. It’s geared toward people working in sales, marketing, and financial positions in the hospitality industry, and is being taught by Robert J. Kwortnik and William Carroll, faculty members at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration.
The school has been offering online courses through eCornell since 2002, but this is the first one that is being pitched as a massive open online course, or MOOC. Cornell officials hope the class will attract thousands of students.
Students who finish the…
October 20, 2012, 12:27 pm
Princeton and Stanford can rest easy now that Minnesota higher-education officials have backed away from threats to track down dozens of universities like them for offering free online courses in their state without permission.
On Friday, just hours after an administrator in the Minnesota Office of Higher Education said the state planned to demand registration and fees from universities that were offering the noncredit classes through the online course provider Coursera, the director of his office struck a more conciliatory tone.
Technically, the dozens of universities offering courses through Coursera were violating a 20-year-old Minnesota law that requires universities to get permission from the state first, the director, Lawrence Pogemiller, said.
But after his office’s tough stance prompted a flurry of complaints and critical blog posts, Mr. Pogemiller said, essentially, …
October 18, 2012, 4:56 am
Coursera offers free, online courses to people around the world, but if you live in Minnesota, company officials are urging you to log off or head for the border.
The state’s Office of Higher Education has informed the popular provider of massive open online courses, or MOOC’s, that Coursera is unwelcome in the state because it never got permission to operate there. It’s unclear how the law could be enforced when the content is freely available on the Web, but Coursera updated its Terms of Service to include the following caution:
Notice for Minnesota Users:
Coursera has been informed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education that under Minnesota Statutes (136A.61 to 136A.71), a university cannot offer online courses to Minnesota residents unless the university has received authorization from the State of Minnesota to do so. If you are a resident of Minnesota, you agree that…
October 16, 2012, 8:53 pm
Pearson, a publishing and education company whose products include books, newspapers, and online services, announced a major acquisition on Tuesday that will deepen its commitment to becoming a major player in online education.
The company, which owns the Financial Times and the Penguin Group book publisher, shelled out $650-million in cash to buy EmbanetCompass, a business that provides support services to colleges and universities that are moving their programs online.
The announcement came on the heels of Pearson’s move last year to start a free, cloud-based learning-management system called OpenClass.
And it came less than a year after Pearson teamed up with a software company called Knewton to replace some of its software packages with programs that adapt to each learner with interactive tutors, quizzes, and explanatory videos.
“Pearson is deepening its bet on the…
September 24, 2012, 4:55 am
A group of professors who think that everyone should have free, direct access to the Modern Language Association’s job listings says it’s tired of waiting for the association to tear down its paywall.
So it has posted a site, called MLAjobleaks.com, that takes users directly to those lists, and it’s asking faculty members to keep the information flowing.
Leaders of the MLA say the group, whose members have remained anonymous, are misleading people. Everyone who completed a graduate degree in English or a foreign language can gain access to the job-information list by following the instructions on the MLA’s Web site, said Rosemary G. Feal, executive director of the association. “What you’re hearing out there is someone not knowing how to access the list or not agreeing with our model,” she said.
David Parry, an assistant professor of emerging media at the…
September 11, 2012, 5:00 am
Hundreds of thousands of students worldwide are flocking to free online courses in topics like artificial intelligence and data analysis. But what about the student who’s struggling with basic algebra or English composition?
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wants to find out whether the massive open online courses that have proved so popular in advanced and often highly technical fields offer the same promise for remedial and introductory courses.
On Tuesday the foundation is circulating to colleges and universities a request for proposals for MOOC’s that focus on the gateway courses that often trip up low-income and underprepared students. The foundation will award as many as 10 grants of up to $50,000 each for MOOC’s in “high-enrollment, low-success introductory-level courses.”
“We are cautiously optimistic that MOOC’s might be able to improve outcomes for…
June 22, 2012, 4:03 pm
In a puzzling about-face, a nonprofit library association that had announced the appointment of a new president just two weeks ago said this week that—never mind—the current president is sticking around.
The group is OCLC Online Computer Library Center, which released a statement Wednesday saying that its Board of Trustees had decided not to move ahead with the appointment of Jack B. Blount as president and chief executive. It didn’t say why, causing librarians to take to their blogs and Twitter feeds to try to figure out why the appointment, scheduled to take effect July 1, had been rescinded. It was also a topic of discussion between sessions at the American Library Association’s annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.
The OCLC’s statement said that Jay Jordan, who has served as president since 1998, had agreed to postpone his retirement to continue as president.
May 22, 2012, 6:04 pm
Washington — A computer gamer who struggles through a series of challenges to advance to the next level is demonstrating some of the characteristics that employers are seeking, particularly in technology-related fields where jobs are going unfilled, a White House official told about 250 education, government, and nonprofit representatives here on Tuesday.
“The game industry has done a good job of grabbing and maintaining the attention of both young people and adults,” said Thomas Kalil, deputy director for policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The industry has also managed to keep players on the “knife’s edge” as they persevere through tough challenges without getting frustrated and giving up, he said.
He delivered his comments at a forum, presented by The Atlantic, that examined how educational technology could help students land the…
May 22, 2012, 4:55 am
Students learn just as much in a course that’s taught partly online as they would in a traditional classroom, but such courses won’t reach their potential until they are both easier for faculty members to customize and more fun for students, according to a report released today.
The report, “Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence From Randomized Trials,” is based on a study conducted by Ithaka S+R, a consultancy on the use of technology in teaching.
The finding that hybrid courses are no better or worse than traditional ones isn’t, as it might appear, “a bland result,” said one of the co-authors, William G. Bowen, president emeritus of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
“One of the responses most frequently raised in efforts to experiment with this kind of teaching is that it will expose students to risk,” he said in an interview. “The results of this…
April 25, 2011, 6:42 pm
The council that administers the Law School Admission Test has agreed to make its entire Web site accessible to blind law-school applicants who use screen-reader software, the association announced on Monday. That move is part of a settlement of a lawsuit filed in 2009 by the National Federation of the Blind. Three blind students also joined in suing the association and four law schools that either encouraged or required applicants to apply through the admission council’s Web site. The council says its technology updates should help resolve those lawsuits as well.