Teaching with Technology

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    Jane Hart's Top 100 Tools for Learning 2015
    blog entry posted October 1, 2015 by Richard E Lillie, tagged technology, technology tools 
    858 Views, 2 Comments
    Jane Hart's Top 100 Tools for Learning 2015
    intro text:

    Each year, Jane Hart, founder of  C4LPT compiles her list of Top 100 Tools for Learning.  The 2015 list is now available.  I have followed Hart's work for many years and have always found the annual list to be a great resource.  I have incorporated several of the tools into my course designs.  I especially like tools like is a cloud-based, video-conferencing service.  It's great for collaboration.  Anyone can use it for free.  A "Pro" account is very inexpensive.  Many universities now have campus subscriptions.  LMS systems like Canvas integrate as an "app" with the LMS.

    Click the image below to access SlideShare version of the 2015 List.  Click your way through the presentation.  I'm sure you will recognize many teaching/learning tool resources.  You may find something new and exciting.






    • Robert E Jensen

      Massive Open Online Course ---

      By definition there are no admission standards to take a MOOC and admission is free, although fees may be charged for recognition (badges, completion credentials, or college credits) that have added academic standards. In general, MOOCs are video windows into advanced courses filmed live across the curriculum at prestigious universities. Although some universities provide MOOCs for introductory courses (undergraduate or graduate) MOOCs are not well suited to introductory students who need more hand holding and personalized supervision that are seldom, if ever, available in a MOOC taken by a "massive" number of students. At the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania introductory courses in the first-year MBA core can be taken for free as MOOCs. Students who are planning to go into MBA programs around the world often take these MOOCs in preparation when they will later be taking similar courses in accounting, finance, management, marketing, etc. for credit.

      Whereas the Wharton Business School offers core MBA courses as MOOCs, other programs have distance education courses that are not MOOCs because of fees and admission standards. For example, the Harvard Business School has an extension program for pre-MBA courses that are relatively expensive and capped regarding course size with competitive admission standards. Bob Jensen's threads on these and other free-based distance education courses are at

      The cumulative number of MOOCs didn’t break 100 until the end of 2012. But by the end of 2013 that number had grown to over 800. And today the number of registered MOOC students added in 2015 is nearly equal to the last three years combined.
      "MOOCs Are Still Rising, at Least in Numbers," by Ellen Wexler, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 19, 2015 ---

      When one of the first massive open online courses appeared at Stanford University, 160,000 students enrolled. It was 2011, and fewer than 10 MOOCs existed worldwide.

      It has been four years since then, and according to a new report, the cumulative number of MOOCs has reached nearly 4,000.

      Compiled earlier this month by Dhawal Shah, founder of the MOOC aggregator Class Central, the report summarizes data on MOOCs from the past four years. And the data show that even as the MOOC hype has started to die down, interest hasn’t tapered off.

      The cumulative number of MOOCs didn’t break 100 until the end of 2012. But by the end of 2013 that number had grown to over 800. And today the number of registered MOOC students added in 2015 is nearly equal to the last three years combined.

      Continued in article

      Jensen Comment
      Note the graph showing that the cumulative number of MOOCs to date is nearly 4,000 course, most of which are courses from prestigious universities like MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Penn, Rice, etc. Although MOOCs are free by definition they cannot usually be taken for transcript credit unless a fee is paid for competency-based testing. The two largest credit providers are Coursera and EdX. One of the more noted MOOCs available is from Arizona State University where the entire first year of courses can be taken for credit.

      Noncredit credentials (badges) for a fee are also available for most MOOCs that demonstrate completion of a MOOC and sometimes a level of competency that might be recognized by employers even though they do not qualify for transcript college credit.

      "Who Takes MOOCs?" by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, June 5, 2012 ---

      Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are popular. This much we know.

      But as investors and higher ed prognosticators squint into their crystal balls for hints of what this popularity could portend for the rest of higher education, two crucial questions remains largely unanswered: Who are these students, and what do they want?

      Some early inquiries into this by two major MOOC providers offer a few hints.

      Coursera, a company started by two Stanford University professors, originated with a course called Machine Learning, which co-founder Andrew Ng taught last fall to a virtual classroom of 104,000 students. Coursera surveyed a sample of those students to find out, among other things, their education and work backgrounds and why they decided to take the course.

      Among 14,045 students in the Machine Learning course who responded to a demographic survey, half were professionals who currently held jobs in the tech industry. The largest chunk, 41 percent, said they were professionals currently working in the software industry; another 9 percent said they were professionals working in non-software areas of the computing and information technology industries.

      Many were enrolled in some kind of traditional postsecondary education. Nearly 20 percent were graduate students, and another 11.6 percent were undergraduates. The remaining registrants were either unemployed (3.5 percent), employed somewhere other than the tech industry (2.5 percent), enrolled in a K-12 school (1 percent), or “other” (11.5 percent).

      A subset (11,686 registrants) also answered a question about why they chose to take the course. The most common response, given by 39 percent of the respondents, was that they were “just curious about the topic.” Another 30.5 percent said they wanted to “sharpen the skills” they use in their current job. The smallest proportion, 18 percent, said they wanted to “position [themselves] for a better job.”

      Udacity, another for-profit MOOC provider founded by (erstwhile) Stanford professors, has also conducted some initial probes into the make-up of its early registrants. While the company did not share any data tables with Inside Higher Ed, chief executive officer David Stavens said more than 75 percent of the students who took the company’s first course, Artificial Intelligence, last fall were looking to “improve their skills relevant for either current or future employment.”

      That is a broad category, encompassing both professionals and students, so it does not lend much nuance to the questions of who the students are or what they want. And even the more detailed breakdown of the students who registered for Ng’s Machine Learning course cannot offer very much upon which to build a sweeping thesis on how MOOCs might fit into the large and diverse landscape of higher education.

      Coursera has since completed the first iterations of seven additional courses and opened registration for 32 more beyond that. Many of those courses — which cover poetry, world music, finance, and behavioral neurology — are likely to attract different sorts of people, with different goals, than Machine Learning did. “I'm expecting that the demographics for some of our upcoming classes (Stats One, Soc 101, Pharmacology, etc.) will be very different,” said Daphne Koller, one of Coursera’s founders, in an e-mail.

      Continued in article

      "Coursera Tops 1 Million Students," Inside Higher Ed, August 10, 2012 ---

      Coursera, the company that provides support and Web hosting for massive open online courses at top universities, announced Thursday that more than 1 million students have registered for its courses. The company now serves as a MOOC platform for 16 universities and lists 116 courses, most of which have not started yet. The students registering for the courses are increasingly from the United States. Coursera told Inside Higher Ed earlier this summer that about 25 percent of its students hailed from the United States; that figure now stands at 38.5 percent, or about 385,000 students. Brazil, India and China follow, with between 40,000 to 60,000 registrants each. U.S. students cannot easily get formal credit through Coursera or its partners institutions, but some universities abroad reportedly have awarded credit to students who have taken the free courses.

      Educating the Masses:  Coursera doubles the number of university partners
      "MOOC Host Expands," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, September 19, 2012 --- 

      "The 12 Most Popular Free Online Courses (MOOCs) For Professionals," by Maggie Zhang, Business Insider, July 8, 2014 ---

      01. Wesleyan University's "Social Psychology"

      02. University of Maryland's "Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems"

      03. Duke University's "Think Again: How to Reason and Argue"

      04. Duke University's "A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior"

      05. University of Toronto's "Learn to Program: The Fundamentals"

      06. Stanford University's "Startup Engineering"

      07. Yale University's "Financial Markets"

      08. The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School's "An Introduction to Financial Accounting"

      09. University of Washington's "Introduction to Public Speaking"

      10. University of Michigan's "Introduction to Finance"

      11. The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School's "An Introduction to Marketing"

      12. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's "Data Analysis"

      Read more:

      "MOOCs haven't lived up to the hopes and the hype, Stanford participants say," by Dan Stober, Stanford Report, October 15, 2015 ---
      Thank you Glen Gray for the heads up.

      October 17, 2015 reply from Bob Jensen

      Hi Glen,

      Is the message that learning from Stanford professors is not worth the price of $0?

      Actually I think the message is that for many folks who try MOOCs the work of learning is too intense and time consuming given their lack of commitment to keeping up with the class.

      Richard Campbell once revealed to the AECM that when he tried to learn from a MOOC it was like "trying to drink from a firehose." I dropped out of a C++ programming course because my heart just was not in keeping up with the class. Ruth Bender revealed to the AECM that completing a MOOC was one of the hardest things she ever tried.

      In my viewpoint MOOCs are not good models for introductory students where more hand holding is generally needed. MOOCs are better suited to highly specialized advanced courses for learners who are way above average in terms of aptitude and prior learning.

      Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs are at

      Bob Jensen's Threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---

    • Robert E Jensen