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  • Robert E Jensen

    The Always-Popular Open Sharing Salmon Khan
    "An Outsider Calls for a Teaching Revolution," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2012 ---

    In just a few short years, Salman Khan has built a free online educational institution from scratch that has nudged major universities to offer free self-guided courses and inspired many professors to change their teaching methods.

    His creation is called Khan Academy, and its core is a library of thousands of 10-minute educational videos, most of them created by Mr. Khan himself. The format is simple but feels intimate: Mr. Khan's voice narrates as viewers watch him sketch out his thoughts on a digital whiteboard. He made the first videos for faraway cousins who asked for tutoring help. Encouraging feedback by others who watched the videos on YouTube led him to start the academy as a nonprofit.

    More recently Mr. Khan has begun adding what amounts to a robot tutor to the site that can quiz visitors on their knowledge and point them to either remedial video lessons if they fail or more-advanced video lessons if they pass. The site issues badges and online "challenge patches" that students can put on their Web résumés.

    He guesses that the demand for his service was one inspiration for his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to start MITx, its self-guided online courses that give students the option of taking automatically graded tests to earn a certificate.

    Mr. Khan also works the speaking circuit, calling on professors to move away from a straight lecture model by assigning prerecorded lectures as homework and using class time for more interactive exercises, or by having students use self-paced computer systems like Khan Academy during class while professors are available to answer questions. "It has made universities—and I can cite examples of this—say, Why should we be giving 300-person lectures anymore?" he said in a recent interview with The Chronicle.

    Mr. Khan, now 35, has no formal training in education, though he does have two undergraduate degrees and a master's from MIT, as well as an M.B.A. from Harvard. He spent most of his career as a hedge-fund analyst. Mr. Khan also has the personal endorsement of Bill Gates, as well as major financial support from Mr. Gates's foundation. That outside-the-academy status makes some traditional academics cool on his project.

    "Sometimes I get a little frustrated when people say, Oh, they're taking a Silicon Valley approach to education. I'm like, Yes, that's exactly right. Silicon Valley is where the most creativity, the most open-ended, the most pushing the envelope is happening," he says. "And Silicon Valley recognizes more than any part of the world that we're having trouble finding students capable of doing that."


    Khan Academy Home Page ---
    This site lists the course categories (none for accounting)

    2,300+ YouTube Free Educational Videos from Salman Khan
    "Salman Khan: The Messiah of Math:  Can an ex-hedge fund guy and his nonprofit Khan Academy make American school kids competitive again?" by Bryant Urstadt, Business Week, May 19, 2011 ---

    In August 2004, Salman Khan agreed to help his niece, Nadia, with her math homework. Nadia was headed into seventh grade in New Orleans, where Khan had grown up, but she hadn't been placed in her private school's advanced math track, which to a motivated parent these days is a little bit like hearing your child has just been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. In particular, Nadia was having trouble with unit conversion, turning gallons into liters and ounces into grams.

    Math was something Khan, then 28, understood. It was one of his majors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with computer science and electrical engineering. He had gone on to get a master's in computer science and electrical engineering, also at MIT, and then an MBA from Harvard. He was working in Boston at the time for Daniel Wohl, who ran a hedge fund called Wohl Capital Management. Khan, an analyst, was the only employee.

    Being a bit of a geek, Khan put Yahoo!'s (YHOO) Messenger to work to help Nadia, using the Doodle function to let him illustrate concepts for his niece as they spoke on the phone. Then he wrote some code that generated problems she could do on a website. With Khan's help, Nadia made it into the fast track, and her younger brothers Arman and Ali signed on for Khan's tutoring as well. Then they brought in some of their friends. Khan built his site out a little more, grouping the concepts into "modules" and creating a database that would keep track of how many problems the kids had tried and how they had fared, so he'd know how each of his charges was progressing.

    Messenger didn't make sense with multiple viewers, so he started creating videos that he could upload to YouTube. This required a Wacom tablet with an electronic pen, which cost about $80. The videos were each about 10 minutes long and contained two elements: his blackboard-style diagrams—Khan happens to be an excellent sketcher—and his voice-over explaining things like greatest common divisors and equivalent fractions. He posted the first video on Nov. 16, 2006; in it, he explained the basics of least common multiples. Soon other students, not all children, were checking out his videos, then watching them all, then sending him notes telling him that he had saved their math careers, too.

    Less than five years later, Khan's sideline has turned into more than just his profession. He's now a quasi-religious figure in a country desperate for a math Moses. His free website, dubbed the Khan Academy, may well be the most popular educational site in the world. Last month about 2 million students visited. MIT's OpenCourseWare site, by comparison, has been around since 2001 and averages 1 million visits each month. He has posted more than 2,300 videos, beginning with simple addition and going all the way to subjects such as Green's theorem, normally found in a college calculus syllabus. He's adding videos on accounting, the credit crisis, the French Revolution, and the SAT and GMAT, among other things. He masters the subjects himself and then teaches them. As of the end of April, he claims to have served up more than 54 million individual lessons.

    His program has also spread from the homes of online learners to classrooms around the world, to the point that, in at least a few classrooms, it has supplanted textbooks. (Students often write Khan that they aced a course without opening their texts, though Khan doesn't post these notes on his site.) Dan Meyer, a high school math teacher and Stanford University PhD candidate in education, puts it this way: "If you're teaching math in this country right now, then there's pretty much no way you haven't heard of Salman Khan."

    Continued in article

    "Video: Salman Khan @ Google 'Free World Class Virtual School(s)'," Simoleon Sense, March 28, 2011 ---

    Salman Khan is the founder and faculty of Khan Academy a not-for-profit educational organization. With the stated mission “of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere”, the Academy supplies a free online collection of over 2,000 videos on mathematics, history, finance, physics, chemistry, astronomy, and economics.

    In late 2004, Khan began tutoring his cousin in mathematics using Yahoo!’s Doodle notepad. When other relatives and friends sought his tutorial, he decided it would be more practical to distribute the tutorials on YouTube. Their popularity there and the testimonials of appreciative students prompted Khan to quit his job in finance in 2009 and focus on the Academy full-time.

    Khan Academy’s channel on YouTube has 45+ million views so far and it’s one of YouTube’s most successful academic partners.

    In September 2010, Google announced they would be providing the Khan Academy with $2 million to support the creation of more courses and to enable the Khan Academy to translate their core library into the world’s most widely spoken languages, as part of Project 10^100,

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing tutorials and videos ---




  • Robert E Jensen

    Harvard Presents Free Courses with the Open Learning Initiative --- Click Here

    Bob Jensen's threads on free courses, course certificates, lecture videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---

  • Robert E Jensen

    Because of the six-month time limits these are not like eBooks that you can purchase for a lifetime
    Harvard Business Review's Online Self-Paced Learning Programs in Accounting --- Click Here

    The Harvard Business School has not been as generous as MIT's Sloan School in open sharing free learning materials ---

    MIT's Open Sharing Courses in General ---

    MITx Opens Enrollment for First Interactive Online Course; For a Time MITx Certificates Will Be Free --- Click Here

    Jensen Comment
    The bad news is that MITx Certificates are in no way equivalent to MIT course credits. The good news is that there is open admission, free course video and other materials used in on-campus courses, and some prestige associated MIT's sponsorship of the MITx Certificate program. The MITx is an outreach program to students who really want to put the time and effort into learning on their own from outstanding materials provided by MIT. Only a small percentage of MITx students around the world may actually master the tough learning materials, but their numbers may dominate.

    The first prototype MITx course is “6.002x: Circuits and Electronics." If only a small percentage of MITx Certificate recipients superbly master this course, it could well be far more students than the total number of on-campus students who superbly master this course this term.

    "Will MITx Disrupt Higher Education?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 20, 2011 ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on the MITx Certificate program ---


  • Robert E Jensen

    MITx Opens Enrollment for First Interactive Online Course; For a Time MITx Certificates Will Be Free --- Click Here

    Jensen Comment
    The bad news is that MITx Certificates are in no way equivalent to MIT course credits. The good news is that there is open admission, free course video and other materials used in on-campus courses, and some prestige associated MIT's sponsorship of the MITx Certificate program. The MITx is an outreach program to students who really want to put the time and effort into learning on their own from outstanding materials provided by MIT. Only a small percentage of MITx students around the world may actually master the tough learning materials, but their numbers may dominate.

    The first prototype MITx course is “6.002x: Circuits and Electronics." If only a small percentage of MITx Certificate recipients superbly master this course, it could well be far more students than the total number of on-campus students who superbly master this course this term.

    Bob Jensen's threads on the MITx Certificate program ---

  • Robert E Jensen

    "MIT’s New Free Courses May Threaten (and Improve) the Traditional Model, Program’s Leader Says," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2012 --- Click Here

    The recent announcement that Massachusetts Institute of Technology would give certificates around free online course materials has fueled further debate about whether employers may soon welcome new kinds of low-cost credentials. Questions remain about how MIT’s new service will work, and what it means for traditional college programs.

    On Monday The Chronicle posed some of those questions to two leaders of the new project: L. Rafael Reif, MIT’s provost, and Anant Agarwal, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. They stressed that the new project, called MITx, will be run separately from the institute’s longstanding effort to put materials from its traditional courses online. That project, called OpenCourseWare, will continue just as before, while MITx will focus on creating new courses designed to be delivered entirely online. All MITx materials will be free, but those who want a certificate after passing a series of online tests will have to pay a “modest fee.”

    Q. I understand you held a forum late last month for professors at MIT to ask questions about the MITx effort. What were the hottest questions at that meeting?

    Mr. Agarwal: There were a few good questions. One was, How will you offer courses that involve more of a soft touch? More of humanities, where it may not be as clear how to grade answers?

    Mr. Reif: One particular faculty member said, How do I negotiate with my department head to get some time to be doing this? Another one is, Well, you want MIT to give you a certificate, how do we know who the learner is? How do we certify that?

    Q. That is a question I’ve heard on some blogs. How do you know that a person is who they say they are online? What is your answer to that?

    Mr. Agarwal: I could give a speech on this question. … In the very short term students will have to pledge an honor code that says that they’ll do the work honestly and things like that. In the medium term our plan is to work with testing companies that offer testing sites around the world, where they can do an identity check and they can also proctor tests and exams for us. For the longer term we have quite a few ideas, and I would say these are in the so-called R&D phase, in terms of how we can electronically check to see if the student is who they say they are, and this would use some combination of face recognition and other forms of technique, and also it could involve various forms of activity recognition.

    Q. You refer to what’s being given by MITx as a certificate. But there’s also this trend of educational badges, such as an effort by Mozilla, the people who make the Firefox Web browser, to build a framework to issue such badges. Is MIT planning to use that badge platform to offer these certificates?

    Mr. Agarwal: There are a lot of experiments around the Web as far as various ways of badging and various ways of giving points. Some sites call them “karma points.” Khan Academy has a way of giving badges to students who offer various levels of answering questions and things like that. Clearly this is a movement that is happening in our whole business. And we clearly want to leverage some of these ideas. But fundamentally at the end of the day we have to give a certificate with a grade that says the student took this course and here’s how they did—here’s their grade and we will give it to them. … But there are many, many ways the Internet is evolving to include some kind of badging and point systems, so we will certainly try to leverage these things. And that’s a work in progress.

    Q. So there will be letter grades?


    Mr. Agarwal: Correct.

    Q. So you’ve said you will release your learning software for free under an open-source license. Are you already hearing from institutions that are going to take you up on that?

    Mr. Agarwal: Yes, I think there’s a lot of interest. Our plan is to make the software available online, and there has been a lot of interest from a lot of sources. Many universities and other school systems have been thinking about making more of their content available online, and if they can find an open platform to go with I think that will be very interesting for a lot of people.

    Q. If you can get this low-cost certificate, could this be an alternative to the $40,000-plus per year tuition of MIT for enough people that this will really shake up higher education? That may not threaten MIT, but could it threaten and even force some colleges to close if they have to compete with a nearly free certificate from your online institution?

    Mr. Reif: First of all this is not a degree, this is a certificate that MITx is providing. The second important point is it’s a completely different educational environment. The real question is, What do employers want? I think that for a while MITx or activities like MITx—and there is quite a bit of buzz going on around things like that—will augment the education students get in college today. It’s not intended to replace it. But of course one can think of, “What if in a few years, I only take two MITx-like courses for free and that’s enough to get me a job?” Well, let’s see how well all this is received and how well or how badly the traditional college model gets threatened.

    In my personal view, I think the best education that can be provided is that in a college environment. There are many things that you cannot teach very well online. Let me give you, for instance, an example of something that is important: ethics and integrity and things like that. You walk on the MIT campus and by taking a course with Anant Agarwal and meeting him and other professors like him you get the sense of ethics and integrity. Is it easy to transfer that online in a community? Maybe it is, but it’s going to take a bit of research to figure out how to do that.

    Continued in article

    The Game Changer
    More on Porsches versus Volkswagens versus Competency Based Learning
    Bringing Low Cost Education and Training to the Masses
    Both a 1950 VW bug and a 1950 Porsche can be driven from Munich to Berlin. A Porsche (MIT degree) can make the trip faster, more comfortable (the VW didn't even have a heater), and safer on the autobahn.  But the VW can achieve the same goal at a lower cost to own and drive.

    As fate would have it, the day after I wrote about Hitler's Volkswagen versus Porsche analogy with meeting higher education needs of the masses at very low cost, the following article appeared the next day of February 3. Ryan Craig and I went about make the same point from two different angles.

    Part of my February 2, 2012 message read as follows:

    . . .

    But the MITx design is not yet a Volkswagen since MIT provides high quality lectures, videos, and course materials without yet setting academic standards. MIT is instead passing along the academic standard setting to the stakeholders. For example, when an engineering student at Texas A&M graduates with a 3.96 grade average, the Texas A&M system has designed and implemented the academic quality controls. In the MITx certificate program, the quality controls must be designed by the employers or graduate school admissions officers not part of the Texas A&M system..

    My earlier example is that a student in the MITx program may learn a great deal about Bessel functions --- 
    But obtaining a MITx certificate for completing a Bessel function module says absolutely nothing about whether the certificate holder really mastered Bessel functions. It's up to employers and graduate school admissions officers to introduce filters to test the certificate holder's mastery of the subject.

    I hope that one day the MITx program will also have competency-based testing of its MITx certificate holders --- that would be the second stage of a free MITx Volkswagen model.

    Bob Jensen

    For all the hubbub about massive online classes offered by elite universities, the real potential game-changer in higher education is competency-based learning.
    Ryan Craig. February 3, 2012

    "Adventures in Wonderland, by Ryan Craig, Inside Higher Ed, February 3, 2012 ---

    "Will MITx Disrupt Higher Education?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 20, 2011 ---

    "MIT Expands 'Open' Courses, Adds Completion Certificates," Inside Higher Ed, December 19, 2011 ---

    "MIT’s New Free Courses May Threaten (and Improve) the Traditional Model, Program’s Leader Says," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2012 --- Click Here


    Bob Jensen's threads on open source video and course materials from prestigious universities ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on education technology in general ---


    Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives ---




  • Robert E Jensen

    "So you want to learn to program?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 16, 2012 ---

    Jensen Comment
    Having taught both Fortran and COBOL at one point in my career, I will pass on this opportunity to upgrade my programming skills. However, these sound like valuable free resources for the younger generation headed for college or that generation of unemployable history majors seeking new skills.

    Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade are at

  • Robert E Jensen

    "MIT Expands 'Open' Courses, Adds Completion Certificates," Inside Higher Ed, December 19, 2011 ---

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- which pioneered the idea of making course materials free online -- today announced a major expansion of the idea, with the creation of MITx, which will provide for interaction among students, assessment and the awarding of certificates of completion to students who have no connection to MIT.

    MIT is also starting a major initiative -- led by Provost L. Rafael Reif -- to study online teaching and learning.

    The first course through MITx is expected this spring. While the institute will not charge for the courses, it will charge what it calls "a modest fee" for the assessment that would lead to a credential. The credential will be awarded by MITx and will not constitute MIT credit. The university also plans to continue MIT OpenCourseWare, the program through which it makes course materials available online.

    An FAQ from MIT offers more details on the new program.

    While MIT has been widely praised for OpenCourseWare, much of the attention in the last year from the "open" educational movement has shifted to programs like the Khan Academy (through which there is direct instruction provided, if not yet assessment) and an initiative at Stanford University that makes courses available -- courses for which some German universities are providing academic credit. The new initiative would appear to provide some of the features (instruction such as offered by Khan, and certification that some are creating for the Stanford courses) that have been lacking in OpenCourseWare.

    Video:  Open Education for an Open World
    45-minute Video from the Long-Time President of MIT ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on open-share courses, lectures, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---

  • Robert E Jensen

    A Case About Cash Flow Versus Accrual Accounting

    From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on December 16, 2011

    Diamond Payments Questioned By Growers
    by: Hannah Karp
    Dec 12, 2011
    Click here to view the full article on

    TOPICS: Auditing, Cash Flow, Fiscal Year, Inventory Systems, Mergers and Acquisitions

    SUMMARY: Diamond Foods, Inc., may have been attempting to reduce its 2010 costs for nut purchases and shift them into 2011 in order to maintain a sufficient stock price for use in purchasing the Pringles chips product line from Procter & Gamble. The related article indicates that Investigating the payments has led to a delay in filing the company's fiscal quarterly financial statements with the SEC.

    CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The article is useful in discussing cash versus accrual based accounting and when cash payments subsequent to a fiscal period may indicate that liabilities were in existence at a financial statement date. The discussion also can be used to discuss the impact of purchases of direct materials on the calculation of cost of goods sold.

    1. (Introductory) What is the discrepancy between Diamond Foods, Inc.'s description of payments to walnut growers and what the farmers themselves say the payments are for?

    2. (Advanced) In this case, how does shifting the timing of cash payments help to shift the period in which costs are expensed by Diamond Foods, Inc.? In your answer, explain what item of cost is being paid for by Diamond.

    3. (Advanced) Does the time period for cash payouts always match the period in which expenses for the item in question are recorded? Explain your answer

    4. (Advanced) How have questions about these payments impacted Diamond Foods planned acquisition of Pringles snack chips from Procter and Gamble? In your answer, address how reducing Diamond's 2010 costs would impact the planned transaction given its structure as described in the WSJ article.

    Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

    Probe Delays Diamond Foods' Report
    by Hannah Karp
    Dec 13, 2011
    Online Exclusive

    "Diamond Payments Questioned By Growers,"  by: Hannah Karp, The Wall Street Journal, December 12, 2011 ---

    Some walnut growers have challenged Diamond Foods Inc.'s explanation of mysterious payments to them, further tangling an accounting question that has delayed the snack maker's planned $2.35 billion acquisition of Pringles from Procter & Gamble Co.

    Diamond Foods has said a sizable payment to its walnut growers in September was an advance on their 2011 crop.

    But three growers said they told the company that they didn't intend to deliver their 2011 crops to Diamond, yet were assured by company representatives that they could cash the checks anyway. The three said they were told the checks were to top up payments for their 2010 crops.

    The company is the subject of shareholder suits that claim Diamond may have used the payments to shift costs from the fiscal year that ended July 31 into the current year, padding earnings for the previous year.

    The checks to the growers, what the company called momentum payments, are the subject of an investigation by Diamond's board and have become a sticking point in the company's deal to buy the Pringles snack brand. Diamond plans to pay in part with its stock, which has dropped 56% since late September, shortly after the company reported fiscal-year results.

    Diamond said its agreements with growers are confidential.

    Many growers, who harvested their 2011 crops last month, said they had never seen momentum payments before. Some growers also had grumbled over what they said were insufficient payments from Diamond for their 2010 crops.

    Mark Royer, who has grown walnuts for Diamond for the past 10 years, said he hadn't decide whether to deliver his 2011 crop to the company when he received his momentum check in September. He said he called his Diamond field representative to explain "what the mysterious payment represented."

    "I made the assumption it would have to be 2010 compensation, because the delivery-to-date pricing was almost 40% under market," Mr. Royer said.

    He said the representative told him Diamond executives "were not committing" about which crop the payment was for. "He simply said that he knew that certain growers were cashing their momentum-payment check with the understanding that they didn't intend to deliver in 2011."

    Mr. Royer said he then decided it was safe to deposit his check.

    He said he won't deliver this year's crop to Diamond. "I've kind of washed my hands of the matter," he says.

    A grower from Sacramento, Calif., said he was unsatisfied with his final official payment this summer for his 2010 crop. "It was grossly under what other growers had received," he said.

    He was pleased to get another check, for $90,000, several days later, he said.

    But he said he had been concerned that accepting the payment would require him to deliver his fall harvest to Diamond. He said field-service representative Eric Heidman, in Stockton, Calif., assured him that the check was the last payment for the 2010 crop.

    Mr. Heidman didn't return calls seeking comment.

    Another grower in Northern California said his field representative told him the momentum check was for 2010, and that he had told Diamond he wouldn't deliver this year's crop to the company. He said he had his lawyer send Diamond a letter, confirming that the grower wouldn't deliver this year's crop and would cash the check.

    Diamond began an investigation into its accounting practices last month after the chairman of the board's audit committee, Edward Blechschmidt, received complaints about the payments from someone outside the company.

    The investigation delayed Diamond's cash-and-stock purchase of Pringles from P&G.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on cash flow versus accrual accounting analysis ---

  • Robert E Jensen

    Open Sharing Tool Library and Networking for Multiple Nations
    "OpenScout supports the collaborative reuse and adaptation of Portuguese and Brazilian OER," by Alexander Mikroyannidis, The Financial Education Daily, November 16, 2011 ---

    The OpenScout Tool Library is a social network of individuals and collectives who are developing or using learning resources and want to share their stories and resources from different countries.

    The OpenScout Tool Library is currently hosting the activities of the COLEARN community of research in collaborative learning and educational technologies in the Portuguese language. This group is run by Alexandra Okada (The Open University UK) and consists of learners, educators and researchers from academic institutions in Brazil, Portugal and Spain. Their interests focus on collaborative participation through social media, colearning (collaborative open learning) using Open Educational Resources (OER), Social Media and Web 2.0 research. There are 26 research groups from Brazilian and Portugal universities - 115 people currently registered in the Tool Library.

    At the moment, this community is developing a book project called "Web 2.0: Open Educational Resources in Learning and Professional Development". From January to February 2012, three workshops will be run in the Tool Library for improving OER skills: image, presentation and audio/visual material. These collaborative activities and workshops aim at engaging people in developing their skills and discussing concepts as well as preparing themselves to be OER users who are able to produce, remix and share open resources and open ideas.


    Related Links:

    Bob Jensen's threads on tools and tricks of the trade ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing ---

  • Robert E Jensen

    Stanford Opens Seven New Online Courses for Enrollment (Free) --- Click Here

    Starting in January and February 2012, Stanford will offer seven new courses, and they’re all open for enrollment today. Here’s the new list (and don’t forget to browse through our collection of 400 Free Online Courses):

    Computer Science 101
    Software Engineering for SaaS
    Human Computer Interfaces
    Natural Language Processing
    Game Theory
    Probabilistic Graphical Models

    Related Content:

    Create iPhone/iPad Apps in iOS 5 with Free Stanford Course

    Bob Jensen's threads on free courses, video lectures, and course materials from prestigious universities ---

    Bob Jensen's many links to free learning materials in various academic disciplines ---


  • Pam Rouse

    The banner that was posted provides an overview of the two experiential learning techniques used in the study. Additional detail can be provided during the presentation.

  • Carol A Hartley

     This is the video file to accompany the above ELS Session - one short example.