Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Optimism About MOOCs Fades in Campus IT Offices

MOOC fever is cooling, at least among campus information-technology administrators, according to the 2014 edition of the Campus Computing Survey, an annual report on technology in higher education.

While a little more than half of last year’s respondents thought MOOCs “offer a viable model for the effective delivery of online instruction,” just 38 percent of this year’s participants agreed with that statement. And only 19 percent of respondents in 2014 said MOOCs could generate new reven…

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Your Cybertutor Wants to Confuse You—for Your Own Good

Picture this: You’re seated across the table from your organic-chemistry tutor. She presents you with a particularly tough problem. Exasperated, you force a thin half-smile. The tutor reads your facial cues, senses your frustration, and offers reassurance.

Now imagine this: Your tutor is a camera-equipped computer capable of reading, analyzing, and reacting to your emotions.

The concept is called affect-aware cyberlearning, and it isn’t entirely new. Sidney D’Mello, an assistant professor of…

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QuickWire: Educause President Will Retire Next Year

Diana G. Oblinger, president and chief executive officer of the education-technology consortium Educause, will retire in March 2015, the organization said on Thursday. Ms. Oblinger, who has been president of the 2,400-member group since 2008, oversaw the creation of Educause’s first online events and its program of Next Generation Learning Challenges grants, which has distributed nearly $55-million to date. The organization said she was retiring “to focus on her family.”

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2 Texas Colleges Will Offer Competency-Based Hybrid Degree

Texas A&M University at Commerce and South Texas College said Thursday that they are working with Pearson Education to open a competency-based, affordable hybrid degree for Texas students by next spring.

The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program is set to offer a 90-credit-hour online program that relies on a competency-based curriculum, according to a news release. Students will earn a degree in organizational leadership. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the nonprofit College …

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U. of Michigan Researchers Speed Up Internet Scans

Computer scientists at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor have made a big technological advance for researchers who study the Internet and how people use it, cutting the time necessary to survey the whole of the network from two or three months to just 44 minutes—and cutting the cost accordingly. That means it’s possible to take meaningful snapshots of the Internet at various points in time and compare them in ways that may reveal behavioral trends, security problems, and other information.

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LinkedIn Enters the College-Marketing Fray

The business-networking behemoth LinkedIn said on Monday morning that it was making a play in global college admissions, unveiling LinkedIn University Pages and welcoming school students as young as 14 as members.

The company said the new pages could help colleges build their brands and recruit students who fit what they offer. It said the pages can also help students choose colleges on the basis of the students’ intended careers and, subsequently, help with job searches. The pages take advantag…

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Universities Must Encourage Researchers to Share Data, Panel Says

A panel of experts convened by the publishing giant Thomson Reuters recommends that researchers, universities, and publishers come up with ways to make a researcher’s data available to other scholars even if the researcher doesn’t have a journal article ready for publication.

The panel was assembled to look at “the obstacles to unlocking the value” of the vast quantities of data that cascade out of faculty labs and offices every year, a trove that is projected to grow to the “unfathomable” amoun…

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Coursera Takes a Nuanced View of MOOC Dropout Rates

Philadelphia — Massive open online courses have gained renown among academics for their impressive enrollment figures and, conversely, their unimpressive completion rates.

What accounts for the high attrition in MOOCs, and what does it mean? Coursera and data researchers at several partner universities of the MOOC provider have begun trying to answer those questions by learning more about why students wash out of MOOCs—and what instructors and course designers could do to stem the tide.

Some of …

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Professor Leaves a MOOC in Mid-Course in Dispute Over Teaching

Students regularly drop out of massive open online courses before they come to term. For a professor to drop out is less common.

But that is what happened on Saturday in “Microeconomics for Managers,” a MOOC offered by the University of California at Irvine through Coursera. Richard A. McKenzie, an emeritus professor of enterprise and society at the university’s business school, sent a note to his students announcing that he would no longer be teaching the course, which was about to enter its fi…

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Amidst a ‘Revolution,’ Publishers Are Told, Know Your ‘End Users’

Washington — Scholarly publishers that want to flourish in the 21st century can’t just keep producing content and selling it to customers. They have to understand how those “end users” work and come up with solutions to help them do their work better.

That advice dominated the annual meeting of the Association of American Publishers’ Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division, which concluded here on Friday. The meeting brings together commercial academic publishers, including Elsevier and …