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    Emerging Technologies in Distance Education -- Outstanding...
    blog entry posted September 7, 2010 by Richard E Lillie, last edited May 22, 2012, tagged research 
    18751 Views, 106 Comments
    title:
    Emerging Technologies in Distance Education -- Outstanding Resource
    intro text:

    In July, 2010 AU Press (Athabasca University, Canada) published a book that I think you will find is an excellent resource for ideas about using technology in teaching and learning.  The book entitled Emerging Technologies in Distance Education is edited by George Veletsianos.

    AU Press makes the book available for free in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.  You may download the entire publication or selected chapters.

    This book is worth exploring.  It may not turn you into a "pro from Dover" (to draw on the line from the movie Mash).  However, it should help you better understand how to use technology when you design course materials and share them with your students.

    Enjoy.

    Rick Lillie (Cal State, San Bernardino)

    Emerging Technologies in Distance Education

    Comment

    • Robert E Jensen

      Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States
      The Sloan Consortium and the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board, 2012
      http://babson.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_4SjGnHcStH5g9G5

      Some key report findings include:

      • Over 6.7 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2011 term, an increase of 570,000 students over the previous year.
      • Thirty-two percent of higher education students now take at least one course online.
      • Seventy-seven percent of academic leaders rate the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face.
      • Only 30.2 percent of chief academic officers believe that their faculty accept the value and legitimacy of online education - a rate that is lower than recorded in 2004

      Full Report Now Available.
      (PDF and several eBook formats)

      Bob Jensen's links to online training and education ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Southern Illinois University to Offer Online Accounting Degree," by Gail Perry, AccountingWeb, May 6, 2013 ---
      http://www.accountingweb.com/article/southern-illinois-university-offer-online-accounting-degree/221747?source=education

      A new program at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale, IL allows off-campus students to complete an accounting degree completely online. SIU is the only Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International-accredited public institution in Illinois to offer the online undergraduate accounting degree, according to College of Business officials. Earning the top-tier AACSB accreditation places SIU's in the top one percent of the nation's accounting programs.

      Beginning in the fall of 2013, students can complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting exclusively with online classes. The online program is open to off-campus students who have completed the initial core coursework typically covered during the first two years of college.

      Jill Gebke, assistant dean for the College of Business, explained the reasoning behind the new program. "We identified a large transfer population, All of the community colleges are at least an hour away. They told us there's a demand for the accounting program. This was the most convenient way to serve the community college students."

      "The program innovation happening right now in the College of Business is very exciting. Our online accounting degree completion option is just another example of that innovation and our continuing growth. This degree allows students the flexibility to blend their studies with work and family commitments and it is equal in quality, value, and accreditation with our on-campus program," said Dennis Cradit, dean of the College of Business.

      "What we have learned from our online MBA and our online undergraduate business administration degrees, we have used in designing this online accounting degree. Our number one priority is to provide an exceptional learning experience and this program is a clear reflection of our commitment to that goal," Cradit added.

      Typically, the new online accounting degree completion program will take about 24 months to finish over a six-semester time span. However, it is possible to complete the program in a minimum of 18 months.

      The online accounting program incorporates approximately 60 hours of coursework covering core areas of the business curriculum. The program is divided into 10 "course pairings," with each including two 3-credit-hour courses.  Each course runs eight weeks, allowing students to focus on two classes at a time while still completing four courses each semester.

      The same faculty members teach both the online and on-campus classes. However, the online option allows students the opportunity to complete their bachelor's degree through a nationally ranked, accredited institution from anywhere in the world and at their convenience, according to Jill Gebke, assistant dean for the College of Business. And while the face-to-face classroom setting is ideal for learning, Gebke told AccountingWEB that there are many students whose circumstances prevent them from attending on-campus. 

      Continued in article

      "'U.S. News' Sizes Up Online-Degree Programs, Without Specifying Which Is No. 1," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 10, 2012 ---
      http://chronicle.com/article/US-News-Sizes-Up/130274/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en
      Some, but not all, all of the online degree programs offer business and accounting degrees.

      Bob Jensen's threads about online education alternatives ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm#Education

    • Robert E Jensen

      Discovery Education: Teacher Resources --- http://www.discoveryeducation.com/teachers/

      Open (Free) Yale Courses --- http://oyc.yale.edu/

      Open Courses and Materials at MIT, Harvard, Yale, Rice, UC Berkeley, and Other Prestigious Universities ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

      "Rethinking the Digital Future:  In 1991 a Yale professor David Gelernter envisioned a lot of what we now do on the Internet. Future computing, he thinks, may be organized around a concept called 'lifestreams," by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2011 ---
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203833104577072162782422558.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_t

      Mr. Gelernter, a professor at Yale, is already destined to be remembered as the man nearly murdered by the Unabomber. After a painful recovery, he blossomed as a conservative social critic and continued to pursue his personal vocation of painting. He's also written books on subjects as diverse as the future of technology, the meaning of Judaism, and the 1939 World's Fair. Today, the still-revolutionary opportunities of computing are again taking a central place among his varied interests.

      To him, Facebook and Twitter are partial fulfillment of something he's been writing about and thinking about since the early 1990s, an evolution of the Internet into a form far less chaotic and more useful than today's. His preferred term is "lifestream." Whatever you call it, the cybersphere as it now exists is due for an overhaul.

      Prophecy comes naturally to Mr. Gelernter. He is credited in some circles for having coined the term "the cloud." But what preoccupies him is the inadequacy of our conventions and practices for organizing the wildly expanding array of digital objects that populate the cybersphere.

      On the desktop, he says, "The file system was already broken in the early '90s, the hierarchical system. Namespaces were saturated. I was sick of making up names like nsfproposal319. The file system got too crowded and people started crowding their desktops with icons."

      On top of this complexity soon arrived the complexity of the Web, the mass of digital objects we know today, connected by hyperlinks but organized in a way satisfying to no one, except possibly Google. "The current shape of the Web is the same shape as the Internet hardware," says Mr. Gelernter. "The Internet hardware is lots of computers wired together into a nothing-shaped cobweb. The Web itself is a lot of websites hyperlinked together into a nothing-shaped cobweb."

      The failure of the Internet to organize itself into a more useful metaphor is precisely what needs fixing. "It is impossible to picture the Web. It's a big fuzzy nothing. I sort of tiptoe around tiny areas of it shining a flashlight."

      We sit in his family's modest, woodsy home a few miles north of New Haven. Because the Unabomber experience has so colored the press's interest in him, Mr. Gelernter, in profiles, tends to come across as grim. He's anything but grim. He's a bit of a comedian, in a deadpan sort of way. He cites the "most talked about" part of one of his books, but quickly adds, "not that any part was greatly talked about."

      In that book, 1991's "Mirror Worlds," Mr. Gelernter described a future in which all our activities would be mirrored on the Web. Almost as soon as it was published he began thinking about a radical new way to organize our digital mirror world. He started a company to pursue his vision, but it was not well conceived and went out of business after a few years. Today its patents, now owned by an investor group, are at the center of a major lawsuit with Apple.

      The idea, though, of lifestreams has been catching on. A lifestream is a way of organizing digital objects—photos, emails, documents, Web links, music—in a time-ordered series. A timeline, in essence, that extends into the past but also the future (with appointments, to-do lists, etc.). Facebook, with its "wall" constantly updated with postings by you and your friends, is a lifestream. Twitter's feed is a lifestream. "Chatter," developed by Salesforce.com for internal use by client companies, is a lifestream.

      Mr. Gelernter believes streams are a more intuitive, useful way to organize our digital lives, not least because, as the past and future run off either side of our screen, at the center is now—and now is what the Internet really is about.

      Eventually business models based on streaming will dominate the Internet, he predicts. All the world's data will be presented as a "worldstream," some of it public, most of it proprietary, available only to authorized users. Web browsers will become stream browsers. Users will become comfortably accustomed to tracking and manipulating their digital objects as streams rather than as files in a file system. The stream will become a mirror of the unfolding story of their lives.

      "I can visualize the worldstream," says Mr. Gelernter, explaining its advantages. "I know what it looks like. I know what my chunk of it looks like. When I focus on my stuff, I get a stream that is a subset of the worldstream. So when I focus the stream, by doing a search on Sam Schwartz"—a hypothetical student—"I do stream subtraction. Everything that isn't related to Schwartz that I'm allowed to see vanishes. And then the stream moves much more slowly. Because Sam Schwartz documents are being added at a much slower rate than all the documents in the world. So now I have a manageable trickle of stuff."

      A stream is any stream you care to describe. "These very simple operations, which correspond to physical intuitions, are going to give people a much more transparent feeling about the Net. People will understand it better, and the Net itself will support what is clearly emerging as its most important function, which is to present relevant information in time."

      His son Daniel, a recent Yale graduate, sits in on our interview. His apparent dual mission is to tout the inevitable triumph of a new company the two are working on while making sure Mr. Gelernter doesn't say anything to queer his former company's pending lawsuit against Apple.

      Mr. Gelernter himself grew up in the suburbs of New York, visiting Brooklyn regularly where both sets of grandparents lived. He believes America, and especially its educational system, has gone downhill in some ways since then. He recalls a time, in the 1960s, when poets like Robert Frost and painters like Jackson Pollock were as closely followed by the "educated middle class" as TV celebrities are today.

      Mr. Gelernter's father studied physics and became a pioneering researcher in artificial intelligence at IBM, so growing up Mr. Gelernter was "familiar with software and found it a comfortable topic." His ambition, from a very early age, was to be an important painter, but at Yale he pursued computing "as a path to supporting a family, which is a very important obligation in Judaism. Computing in the 70s and early 80s," he adds, "was not a path to absurd wealth. It was a path to well-paying jobs, compared to people in the English department."

      There followed happy days and nights in the computing lab, which might have come straight from the memoirs of Bill Gates or other computing superstars. His early work on parallel computing—in which many computers cooperate on tasks—made him a superstar too.

      His targeting by Theodore Kaczynski, living in a shack in Montana and waging his deranged war against modernity, has been told often enough. Mr. Gelernter was lucky to survive a mail bomb that tore open his chest and abdomen, mangled his right hand and eye. His blood pressure is said to have been undetectable by the time he stumbled from his office to a Yale clinic nearby. Today the glove on his right hand, mentioned in every media account, I learn is not a concession to those around him, but a prosthesis. "It allows me to get some use out of the hand. It's all ripped up and stuff, patched together."

      He takes medicine for pain and visits a pain specialist regularly, but he has come to see himself as lucky compared to other chronic pain sufferers—able to "operate in the world, and do the things you want to do. It could have been a lot worse," he says.

      The question posed at the top was meant whimsically. Mr. Gelernter, by any measure, is living a rich life. He has been making paintings since childhood. Lately he has allowed his work to be sold and next year will bring what he calls "an important event for me," his first museum show at Yeshiva University Art Gallery. He sees his work building on the "discoveries" of the New York abstract expressionists as well as the flat panels of Medieval devotional art. Interestingly, he also sees a similar new-old artistic potential in the high-definition video display: "Since the richness of stained glass emerged in the late 12th century, for the first time there is a new luminous art medium—a medium for creating glowing art."

      Mr. Gelernter sold his first company, Mirror Worlds Technologies, and its intellectual property to an investor group years ago. The buyer insisted on giving him a small stake in the outcome of its patent lawsuits, and last year a jury handed down an eye-popping $625 million verdict against Apple for infringing lifestream-related patents in its Macintosh and iPhone operating systems. In April, the judge in the case overruled the jury and tossed out the award. The matter is now under appeal.

      Mr. Gelernter says the former company has no relation to a new venture he and Daniel are working on—though Daniel is quick to note that they will be obtaining a license for the Mirror Worlds technology, as Apple supposedly should have done.

      The new venture, for which Mr. Gelernter is just beginning to seek funding, will focus on developing a lifestream product for the Apple iPad. "We like the pad," he says. "A particular goal is to create a lifestream which aggregates the most popular social network streams, and includes email and stuff like that. It will generate revenues the way Twitter and Facebook do—by getting huge numbers of users, beginning at the place we know, Yale University undergraduates, who love glitzy new software. They tell their parents, who are big shots because their kids are students at Yale." The new product will spread virally, forming a vast audience that can be sold to advertisers.

      If this sounds familiar, it should. Facebook started at Harvard and branched out to other universities before conquering the world. Facebook, which has evolved into a stream by which users tell their own stories and read each other's stories, is "plugging a very important gap in the cybersphere, but I don't think it's plugging it in an elegant way," says Mr. Gelernter. "I don't think Facebook will be around forever."

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's technology updates ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

       

      Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

      Bob Jensen's bookmarks for multiple disciplines ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm

    • Robert E Jensen

      2U Distance Education Course Provider --- http://www.study2u.com/
      2U (The Anti-MOOC Provider) ---  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_technology

      "3 Universities (Baylor, Southern Methodist, and Temple Universities) Will Grant Credit for 2U’s Online Courses," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 30, 2013 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/3-universities-will-grant-credit-for-2us-online-courses/45143?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      Bob Jensen's Threads on Pricey Online Courses and Degrees ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm
      These do not help global low income students other than by allowing students  to learn at home and accumulate transcript credits toward degrees. Sometimes the credits are accepted only by the college or university providing distance education courses. Some universities like the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee that offer both onsite and online sections of the same course will charge higher fees for the online sections. Distance education for come colleges and universities are cash cows.

      Bob Jensen's Threads on Free Online Courses, Videos, Tutorials, and Course Materials ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
      These help low income students by providing totally free courses and learning materials, often from the best professors in the world at prestigious universities. However, if students want transcript credit there will be fees to take competency-based examinations. And those credits are not always accepted by other colleges and universities. The free alternatives are mainly for students who just want to learn.

       

    • Robert E Jensen

      The Washington Post Co did not sell its struggling for-profit distance education provider
      "Kaplan 2.0 August 15, 2013," by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, August 15, 2013 ---
      http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/08/15/profit-kaplan-branches-out-learning-science-projects

      Bob Jensen's threads on for-profit universities ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

    • Robert E Jensen

      Jensen Caution
      Don't treat distance education courses and MOOC courses as synonyms. President Obama is suggesting priority for distance education courses and online degree programs that are neither free nor "massive" in size. Smaller distance education courses can have intense communications between students and an instructor plus intense communications between students in a course (including team projects). Grading in these distance education courses is very similar to onsite course grading.

      MOOCs present an entire new dimension to student communications and grading. I don't think President Obama was thinking in terms of MOOCs in his latest proposal. However, MOOCs are on the horizon, especially for very specialized courses that colleges cannot afford to teach on campus. Credit in such courses may be given on the basis of competency testing.

       

      "Obama Proposals for Colleges Highlight Online Courses," by Megan O'Neil, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 22, 2013 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/obama-proposals-for-colleges-highlight-online-courses/45595?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      Developing online classes and other nontraditional teaching approaches could earn colleges money under new federal financing priorities proposed on Thursday by President Obama.

      More colleges should be encouraged “to embrace innovative new ways to prepare our students for a 21st-century economy and maintain a high level of quality without breaking the bank,” the president said in a speech at the University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York.

      The financial rewards for such innovation would be part of a larger retooling of financing priorities, Mr. Obama said. Under his proposal, the Department of Education would have two years to create a college-rating system to help students and their parents determine the value of an institution. Criteria would include graduation rates, graduates’ competitiveness in the work force, and their debt load upon graduation, among others.

      As one example of innovation in online learning that meets students’ needs, Mr. Obama cited an online master’s program in computer science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The program will make its debut in January and cost a fraction of a traditional on-campus degree.

      Continued in article

      A Ranking of Online MBA  Programs from AACSB-accredited universities (there are no such online accounting doctoral programs) ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm#MBA

      Bob Jensen's threads on distance education and training alternatives ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm

      "Obama Vows Action on College Costs, but Will It Work?" by Kelly Field, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 21, 2013 --- |
      http://chronicle.com/article/Obama-Vows-Action-on-College/141203/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

      In a speech at Knox College last month, President Obama said he would "shake up higher education" with an "aggressive strategy" aimed at making college more affordable.

      On Thursday, the president embarks on a two-state, three-campus tour where he'll lay out what he has in mind. In a letter sent to his supporters this week, he promises "real reforms that would bring lasting change."

      "Just tinkering around the edges won't be enough," he says in the letter. "To create a better bargain for the middle class, we have to fundamentally rethink about how higher education is paid for in this country."

      The plan, he continues, "won't be popular with everyone—including some who've made higher education their business—but it's past time that more of our colleges work better for the students they exist to serve."

      But it's hard to see how the president will tackle two of the root causes of tuition growth: labor costs and state budget cuts. Despite productivity gains, and a move toward self-guided, "competency-based" learning, higher-education remains an industry that's highly dependent on skilled labor. At the same time, many states have slashed their spending on higher-education, forcing public colleges to raise tuition to cover costs.

      Taking Colleges to Task

      Over the past year-and-a-half, Mr. Obama has become a frequent critic of colleges, taking them to task over rising tuition and warning that the government won't continue to pour money into an "undisciplined system." He has threatened to withhold some federal aid from colleges that fail to hold down tuition growth, and has proposed grants for states and colleges that adopt cost-saving measures.

      So far, those ideas have fallen flat, largely because of federal budget constraints. The president has had better luck increasing aid to students and making debt more manageable, through expanded income-based repayment options and lower interest rates on student loans.

      His administration has also made information about college costs and student debt more transparent, through the use of an online College Scorecard and a standardized financial-aid award letter, or "shopping sheet."

      This week's college tour is the latest in a string of campaign-style events the White House is using to promote its economic policies in the run-up to debates in Congress over the federal budget and the debt ceiling. It includes stops on Thursday and Friday at two State University of New York campuses—the University at Buffalo and Binghamton University—and at Lackawanna College, in Scranton, Pa.

      Details of the president's proposals aren't yet available, but some observers expect Mr. Obama to recycle a plan that would tie some money from the campus-based aid programs to efforts to rein in tuition growth, and to repeat his call for a "Race to the Top"-style grant program for colleges and states that take steps to control costs.

      He might also propose an expansion of his signature Pay-as-You-Earn student-loan repayment plan, or declare use of the financial-aid shopping sheet mandatory for all colleges.

      To address state budget cuts, he might propose requiring states to sustain their spending on higher education to receive certain federal funds. But past maintenance-of-effort provisions haven't proven particularly effective, and some members of Congress oppose their expansion. Tackling labor costs would be even trickier.

      "When it comes down to it, there's not all that much the president can do, besides using the bully pulpit" to exhort states and colleges to do more, said Daniel T. Madzelan, a longtime Education Department official who retired last year. "It just comes down to the price of labor."

      From Benefactor to Critic

      During his first years in office, President Obama focused on expanding student aid, pushing for increases in the maximum Pell Grant and the creation of a more generous tuition tax credit. Those changes helped make college more affordable for current students, but they didn't do anything to slow tuition growth, and skeptics say they may have even fueled it.

      In 2010, the administration turned its attention to for-profit colleges, proposing to cut off federal student aid to institutions where borrowers struggle to repay their debt. The resulting "gainful employment" regulation was overturned by the courts, and the Education Department is opening negotiations to rewrite the rule this fall.

      But it was not until 2012, in his State of the Union address, that the president began to apply pressure to all of higher education, putting colleges "on notice" that his administration would not continue to subsidize "skyrocketing tuition."

      "If you can't stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down," he said.

      Three days later, in a speech at the University of Michigan, he issued a "blueprint for keeping college affordable," repeating proposals to shift more money from the campus-based student-aid programs to colleges that "do their fair share to keep tuition affordable," and create new incentive programs for colleges and states. The plan also included a call for the College Scorecard that would provide families with "essential information" for choosing a college, including data on institutions' costs, graduation rates, and the potential earnings of graduates.

      He returned to those themes in his 2013 State of the Union address, calling on colleges to "do their part to keep costs down," and urging Congress to consider "affordability and value" when awarding federal aid. In a policy plan that accompanied the speech, he suggested incorporating measures of value and affordability into the existing accreditation system or establishing a new, alternative system of accreditation "based on performance and results."

      Sidestepping Congress

      Getting Congress to agree to any of those ideas will be difficult, given budget realities and competing priorities—not to mention the partisan gridlock currently gripping Washington. Recognizing this, Mr. Obama has vowed to use the powers of his office to get things done.

      Continued in article

      It's troubling enough to study one university's financial reports. It's a nightmare to compare universities.
      "So You Want to Examine Your University's Financial Reports?"  by Charles Schwartz, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 7, 2012 ---
      http://chronicle.com/article/So-You-Want-to-Examine-Your/130672/

      Issues in Computing a College's Cost of Degrees Awarded and "Worth" of Professors ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#CostAccounting

      "Treating Higher Ed's 'Cost Disease' With Supersize Online Courses," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2012 ---
      http://chronicle.com/article/Treating-Higher-Eds-Cost/130934/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      "A Policy Wonk Brings Data on College Costs to the Table," by Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 5, 2012 ---
      http://chronicle.com/article/A-College-Cost-Policy-Wonk/130662/

      "U. of Texas Regents Publish Data on Faculty 'Productivity'," Inside Higher Ed, May 6, 2011 ---
      http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/05/06/qt#259013

      The University of Texas System released data Thursday designed to help the system's regents gauge the productivity of faculty members, The Texas Tribune reported -- one part of an accountability push that has concerned many professors and troubled some lawmakers. The massive spreadsheet -- which system officials insisted was raw and unverified, and should be treated as a draft -- contained numerous data points about all individual professors, including their total compensation, tenure status, total course enrollments, and information about research awards. A similar effort this spring at Texas A&M University -- also undertaken in response to pressure from Gov. Rick Perry -- created a stir there.

      "Release of Faculty-Productivity Data Roils U. of Texas," by Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 6, 2011 ---
      http://chronicle.com/article/Release-of/127439/

      Issues in Computing a College's Cost of Degrees Awarded and "Worth" of Professors (including discussions of the Texas A&M cost allocation study) --- See below

       

    • Robert E Jensen

      An Anecdote:  Once Upon a Time When Live Lectures Were Wasted Time on the Stanford University Campus

      Live synchronous lectures are often wastes of time for students, especially when the subject matter is very technical with precise right and wrong answers. Fast-learning students who prepared before class daydream because they already know the lecture material. Slow-learners who are not prepared for class daydream because the lecture is over their heads. They learn asynchronously after class by memorizing the textbook and course handouts. Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learning are at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm

      Sometimes, however, synchronous live classes are not wastes of time for students, especially Socratic-method classes on rhetorical issues having no precise right and wrong answers such as Socratic questions concerning President Obama's plan for the future of higher education in the USA. Of course some might argue that Socratic-method classes are not really lectures, but I will ignore this issue for the moment because even synchronous Socratic-method courses captured on video can be studied asynchronously over and over after class.

      The Purpose of This Tidbit
      The purpose of this tidbit is to review an anecdote embedded in a plenary session by Jeffry Selingo at the August 2013 Annual Meetings of the American Accounting Association (AAA) in Anaheim.  I did not attend those meetings, but I was able to view Selingo's presentation on the wonderful and very professional video at
      http://commons.aaahq.org/posts/36ef3fc3f3
      Only AAA members may view this video. However, I suspect the anecdote in question is probably reported in Mr. Selingo's new book:
      College Unbound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students 
      Jeffrey Salingo is a full-time Editor with the Chronicle of Higher Education

      An Anecdote Embedded in the Presentation of Jeffrey Selingo

      1. Once upon a time two gifted professors in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University dreamed up the idea that they would video each lecture in the course they normally deliver live to about 300 students each year on campus. The idea was then to provide these videos freely to the world as a Web course. The subject matter in the course was Artificial Intelligence.
         
      2. When Stanford administrators got wind of this idea they had some serious discussions with these two professors concerning presenting an entire course free to the world, a course that Stanford students pay a high price for to attend live on campus. The two professors were eventually given the green light to offer this Web course provided there were no certificates of completion, no examinations or grading, and no transcript credit given to students who completed the Web course. The most that students who completed the course could get was a letter of congratulations for completing the Web course.
         
      3. The Birth of the MOOC
        Given some publicity about the course, especially in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed, the two professors anticipated about 1,000 students (mostly curiosity seekers) would sign up for the Web course. They received a shock when over 160,000 students from over 100 nations signed up for the Web course. This was the birth of MOOC courses that now are available free on over 1,000 specialized topics from mostly highly prestigious universities around the world.

        MOOC stands for a "Massive Open Online Course." By definition a MOOC course must be free of charge without any restrictions on who can take the Web course. Some MOOC providers now charge a small amount for students who additionally want an official certificate of attendance. Students may sometimes, but not always, elect to pay considerably more to take written or oral competency examinations of the subject matter for transcript credit. However, institutions vary as to what if any MOOC credits they will accept for degree programs. MOOC credits have a long way to go before being accepted by universities other than universities who are delivering the MOOC credits. They are gaining ground since some highly respected universiteis like the University of Wisconsin and the University of Akron are now giving competency-based examinations and course credits to students who have not taken any particular courses.
         
      4. Only about 35,000 students completed Stanford's  MOOC course which is a miserable completion rate that is common in nearly all MOOC courses. Virtually all MOOC courses to date have been intense and difficult to master. Curiosity seekers soon discover that to really focus on a MOOC course it will take a lot of time and concentrated self-study. Richard Campbell reported that he signed up for a MOOC and soon thereafter dropped out. He reported that learning from that MOOC was like drinking from a high-pressure fire hose. Others, even professors, who finished taking the courses reported being totally exhausted.
         
      5. For examples of hundreds of MOOC courses now available on the Web from prestigious universities and instructions on how to sign up, go to
        http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
         
      6. Most MOOC courses are not typical of smaller-sized online education courses that are seldom free (i.e., online but not open-shared) and have much more frequent and often intense communications between an instructor and each of the students in the online class. Really dedicated and highly professional distance education teachers like tax professor Amy Dunbar at the University of Connecticut make themselves available to their online students ten hours a day via instant messaging ---
        http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/Dunbar2002.htm  
        Secondly, most distance education courses these days have student-to-student communications, chat rooms, and even team projects. There have been some experimental MOOC courses where teams of students have been formed to monitor the progress of each team member, but these are still very experimental at this point in time in the evolution of MOOCs.
         
      7. The first really interesting part of this anecdote about the first MOOC course is that about 300 students taking the course live for credit on Stanford's campus were given the option of attending all live classes or viewing the MOOC videos of those classes or both. Eventually, about 90% of those 300 students stopped attending the live classes. Of course they still had to take the examinations and do whatever else was required for transcript grades.
         
      8. The second really interesting part of this anecdote is that all 300 students that term taking the course for grades did significantly better when the MOOC choice was available to them --- better relative to prior semesters when the course was taught without having a MOOC option.
         
      9. It is not clear that the course videos of live classes would have been as good if there were no live students in the classroom. Although 90% of the students eventually stopped attending class, it's important to note that the instructors still faced live students face-to-face in every class. They could ask questions and have some interactive feedback. The videos may not have been as good if the professors faced totally empty classrooms. The same thing happens with live television performers like Johnny Carson who performed better with live audiences

       

      Jensen Comment
      This Stanford anecdote performance outcome is consistent with the much more formalized SCALE experiments that were conducted years ago for 30 undergraduate courses across five years at the University of Illinois. In that experiment resident full-time students were divided between those that took only live sections versus those that took online sections from the same instructors using the same assignments and examinations in those sections of each course. In the SCALE experiments there was a higher proportion of A-grade outcomes in the online sections. More C students tended to become B students in the online sections. Unmotivated D and F students tended to be poor students whether onsite or online ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#Illinois

      One has to be very cautious when making extrapolations from either the Stanford MOOC anecdote or the SCALE experiments. The improvements in learning due to online teaching in the SCALE experiments varied by course. Also the professors teaching those courses tended to be very enthused about the potential of online learning at a time when there was very little online learning in the world. It may well be that these professors had more intense communications with their online students than is normally the case these days for distance education courses in general. Instant messaging had not yet been invented for the SCALE experiments such that most of the online communication was via regular email. Course instructors had to spend a lot of time adapting onsite learning materials for online learning.

      The improvements in learning in the above Stanford anecdote are harder to explain.
      Stanford's first Artificial Intelligence online MOOC was not a distance education course with communications between the professors and their online students. In general, MOOC courses are no tests of what we think of as good distance education courses because MOOC courses have so many more students making such communications impractical. Remember the first letter in the MOOC acronym stands for "Massive."

      One thing about a MOOC video is that it can be repeated over and over and over until slower learning students master the technical explanations in the video. This appears to be the main comparative advantage in the 2,000+ technical video modules available from the Khan Academy. This is also a comparative advantage in MOOC courses since the quality videos can be repeated over and over and over 24/7.

      We may also question how well the 35,000 students who completed Stanford's MOOC Artificial Intelligence course would've performed on competency-based examinations. In doing so we should probably factor out those online "students" who were also themselves artificial intelligence experts (e.g., computer science professors) who were taking the MOOC simply out of curiosity on how this subject matter is taught at Stanford. We would expect those experts to pass a competency-based examination before they took this MOOC course.

      Among the remaining students who completed the course, I surmise that over 90% would've failed the course if they took the same competency-based examinations as the 300 on-campus students who received grades for the course on their transcripts. For most students the grade on a transcript is the primary motivator for time and sweat devoted to a course. We would expect passage rates to increase if students intended to take competency-based examinations (oral or written) and understood what was to be required in terms of learning in the MOOC course.

      The Unsolved Mystery of the Stanford MOOC Anecdote
      The unsolved mystery of this anecdote is why the 300 students on campus who were taking this Artificial Intelligence course for a grade on a transcript tended to do better when the MOOC option was available versus when the only option was to attend live lectures. Those that dropped out of live classes and viewed the MOOC classes could have done worse --- which many educators would've expected when students can no longer ask their questions in a live class..

      Keep in mind that this is only the outcome for one course in one semester. My hunch, however, is that it would be the same for virtually all live courses where a MOOC option is also made available on a voluntary basis. I assume that the synchronous in-class experience in each MOOC course can be viewed over and over and over asynchronously on video.

      By the way, individual top students in a course tend to rank the same under order under various pedagogy alternatives for that course. This became known as the famous "No-Significant-Differences Hypothesis" in the literature of teaching and learning for motivated students ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#AssessmentIssues
      I think pedagogy matters more to students with low motivation and/or learning disorders.

      Sometimes traditionalist educators who have not studied the "No-Significant-Differences Hypothesis" research tend to make statements inconsistent with that research --- especially when putting down online education. Nobody argues that onsite education, especially among students who live and learn on campus, is not usually better than online education, especially in some performance courses like music, speech, and theater. But much of the advantages of onsite education comes from the learning and maturing that takes place on campus outside the classrooms.

      In his plenary address, Jeffry Selingo points out that less than 20% of USA higher education students live and learn on campus. For them the costs of this on-campus living and learning keeps outpacing inflation. And the living in learning experience varies greatly. Living and learning at Trinity University where nearly all students live on campus and never have a course with more than 40 students is entirely different than living and learning at the University of Texas where one dormitory complex (Jestor Hall) is so huge it has two zip codes and students frequently sit in classrooms holding more than 500 students.

      I don't think President Obama is focusing on the 20% nearly as much as he's focusing on the 80% who need lower cost and higher quality education alternatives. He wants that 80% to have access to the best teachers in the world when possible. His main problem lies in how to motivate that 80% to want to learn (even from the world's best subject matter experts) and to bring those least prepared for college up to speed. The present model for the 80% in higher education is pretty much a failure. Our K-12 schools vary more, but for most of the urban K-12 schools and it's pretty much a gangland horror story.

    • Robert E Jensen

      "U. of Florida Online Bachelor’s Programs Win State Approval," by Lawrence Biemiller, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 29, 2013 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/u-of-florida-online-bachelors-programs-win-state-approval/46883?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      'Honor Roll' From 'U.S. News' of Online Graduate Programs in Business

      Institution Teaching Practices and Student Engagement Student Services and Technology Faculty Credentials and Training Admissions Selectivity
      Arizona State U., W.P. Carey School of Business 24 32 37 11
      Arkansas State U. 9 21 1 36
      Brandman U. (Part of the Chapman U. system) 40 24 29 n/a
      Central Michigan U. 11 3 56 9
      Clarkson U. 4 24 2 23
      Florida Institute of Technology 43 16 23 n/a
      Gardner-Webb U. 27 1 15 n/a
      George Washington U. 20 9 7 n/a
      Indiana U. at Bloomington, Kelley School of Business 29 19 40 3
      Marist College 67 23 6 5
      Quinnipiac U. 6 4 13 16
      Temple U., Fox School of Business 39 8 17 34
      U. of Houston-Clear Lake 8 21 18 n/a
      U. of Mississippi 37 44 20 n/a

      Source: U.S. News & World Report

      US News Comparisons of Top Online Graduate MBA (Business) Programs ---
      http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba

      Bob Jensen's threads for respected online training and education (not MOOCs) ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Harvard Business School Will Venture Into Online Teaching," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10. 2013 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/harvard-business-school-will-venture-into-online-teaching/47345?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


      "NYU (Law School) to Offer Online Masters in Tax for Non-Lawyers," by Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, October 7, 2013 ---
      http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/10/nyu-to-offer-.html

    • Robert E Jensen

      Education could well see major changes to how it's able to deliver learning content to students with this week's ruling by a federal court on the Open Internet (Net Neutrality) Order.

      "Will Net Neutrality Ruling Doom Education to Second-Class Status?" by Dian Schaffhauser. T.H.E. Journal, January 16, 2014 ---
      http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/01/16/net-neutrality-ruling-impact-on-education.aspx

      The ruling this week by a federal court on the Open Internet (Net Neutrality) Order may turn out to be, as one commenter called it, "a terrible idea," or, as another observer put it, a source of "a lot of overheated rhetoric." Education, for its part, could well see major changes to how it's able to deliver learning content to students online while at the same time positioning itself to become a major alternative supplier of broadband in this country.

      Net neutrality is the idea that all data on the Internet should be treated equally, no matter who's providing it, where it's coming from, what it consists of, what devices it touches, or who it's going to. A YouTube video from Khan Academy, for example, should receive the same treatment by an Internet service provider (ISP) as a movie from Netflix or a commercial from Procter & Gamble.

      Verizon, one of the largest ISPs in the United States, took on the Federal Communications Commission to call into question the idea that Internet service is a utility that needs close regulation, akin to electricity or the telephone. The seeds of the case were planted 12 years ago when the FCC declared that Internet service shouldn't be subject to the same rules as those other kinds of services. As Time magazine laid it out in a recent article, "The FCC made the fateful decision to classify broadband as an 'information service' not a 'telecommunications service,' which would have allowed the agency to impose 'common carrier' regulations prohibiting discrimination by the broadband companies."

      In 2010, the FCC turned around and established "Open Internet Rules," which, as Time explained, "boils down to three rules": 1) ISPs need to be transparent about how they manage network congestion; 2) they can't block traffic on wired networks, no matter what the source; and 3) they can't put competing services into an "Internet 'slow lane" to benefit their own offerings. It's those last two rules that crumbled this week in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

      In a statement Verizon noted that the ruling confirms FCC's jurisdiction over broadband access and maintains the transparency requirements. But now, the company added, "The court's decision will allow more room for innovation, and consumers will have more choices to determine for themselves how they access and experience the Internet."


      Read more at http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/01/16/net-neutrality-ruling-impact-on-education.aspx#5I7VlHOgosMA8CB2.99

      The ruling this week by a federal court on the Open Internet (Net Neutrality) Order may turn out to be, as one commenter called it, "a terrible idea," or, as another observer put it, a source of "a lot of overheated rhetoric." Education, for its part, could well see major changes to how it's able to deliver learning content to students online while at the same time positioning itself to become a major alternative supplier of broadband in this country.

      Net neutrality is the idea that all data on the Internet should be treated equally, no matter who's providing it, where it's coming from, what it consists of, what devices it touches, or who it's going to. A YouTube video from Khan Academy, for example, should receive the same treatment by an Internet service provider (ISP) as a movie from Netflix or a commercial from Procter & Gamble.

      Verizon, one of the largest ISPs in the United States, took on the Federal Communications Commission to call into question the idea that Internet service is a utility that needs close regulation, akin to electricity or the telephone. The seeds of the case were planted 12 years ago when the FCC declared that Internet service shouldn't be subject to the same rules as those other kinds of services. As Time magazine laid it out in a recent article, "The FCC made the fateful decision to classify broadband as an 'information service' not a 'telecommunications service,' which would have allowed the agency to impose 'common carrier' regulations prohibiting discrimination by the broadband companies."

      In 2010, the FCC turned around and established "Open Internet Rules," which, as Time explained, "boils down to three rules": 1) ISPs need to be transparent about how they manage network congestion; 2) they can't block traffic on wired networks, no matter what the source; and 3) they can't put competing services into an "Internet 'slow lane" to benefit their own offerings. It's those last two rules that crumbled this week in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

      In a statement Verizon noted that the ruling confirms FCC's jurisdiction over broadband access and maintains the transparency requirements. But now, the company added, "The court's decision will allow more room for innovation, and consumers will have more choices to determine for themselves how they access and experience the Internet."

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology are at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

    • Robert E Jensen

      Find your online degree with the SUNY Learning Network --- http://sln.suny.edu/

      Online SUNY Graduate Programs

      Online Master Degree Programs

      MBA | MS | MA | MLS | M.Ed. * denotes SLN Affiliated campus

      Online Master of Business Degree Programs

      Online Master of Science Degree Programs

      Online Master of Arts Degree Programs

      Online Master of Library Science

      Online Master of Education

      Online Doctoral Degree Programs

      DNP * DENOTES SLN AFFILIATED CAMPUS

      Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

      The SUNY Learning Network program is administered by the Office of the Provost.

       

      "Open SUNY Unites Online Ed Offerings Across 64 Institutions," by Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, January 21, 2014 ---
      http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/01/21/open-suny-unites-online-ed-offerings-across-64-institutions.aspx?=CT21

      The State University of New York (SUNY) has formally introduced a new online program that allows students to access courses, degrees, professors and academic resources from any of SUNY's 64 campuses. Open SUNY, as it's called, is a mix-and-match service that offers access to 400 "online-enabled" degrees, 12,000 course sections and eight full degrees. The system's expectation is that people from inside and outside the state will attend courses, including international students.

      Students can use the program to start a degree, finish a degree or just take a single course. The Open SUNY Navigator allows a potential student to specify what type of program he or she wants in categories such as entirely online or hybrid, synchronous or asynchronous, experiential, accelerated and so on — and the navigation tool provides potential online offerings to fit the criteria.

      "Open SUNY will provide our students with the nation's leading online learning experience, drawing on the power of SUNY to expand access, improve completion, and prepare more students for success," said Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. "In addition to these new, fully-online degree programs, Open SUNY will take every online course we offer at every SUNY campus...and make them easy to find and accessible for every SUNY student and prospective learners around the globe."

      Along with providing a central application through which to locate course offerings, SUNY is offering Open SUNY+, which adds additional layers of support for online students and instructors. Specific additions include a 24/7 help desk for technical support, a "concierge" service to act as a single source for getting all program questions answered, and extended hour tutoring services. Faculty will have access to training programs and online forums where they can broaden their knowledge about developing effective online courses or share best practices.

      Eight Open SUNY+ degree programs debuting this month were chosen based on a number of factors, including student interest, accreditation, and their capacity to meet current and future workforce demand throughout New York State.

      Among the institutions involved are:

      "We are proud of our collaboration and success in serving a qualified student population that may not otherwise be able to pursue a degree in electrical engineering," said Stony Brook President Samuel Stanley Jr. "We are joining forces with our colleagues at Binghamton University and the University at Buffalo to make a difference. We look forward to implementation of Open SUNY. This is truly an exciting time to be involved in higher education in New York State."

      Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education programs ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm

    • Robert E Jensen

      Asynchronous Learning and the Flipped Classroom
      "The inverted calculus course and self-regulated learning," by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 3, 2014 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2014/03/03/the-inverted-calculus-course-and-self-regulated-learning/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

      A few weeks ago I began a series to review the Calculus course that Marcia Frobish and I taught using the inverted/flipped class design, back in the Fall. I want to pick up the thread here about the unifying principle behind the course, which is the concept of self-regulated learning.

      Self-regulated learning is what it sounds like: Learning that is initiated, managed, and assessed by the learners themselves. An instructor can play a role in this process, so it’s not the same thing as teaching yourself a subject (although all successful autodidacts are self-regulating learners), but it refers to how the individual learner approaches learning tasks.

      For example, take someone learning about optimization problems in calculus. Four things describe how a self-regulating learner approaches this topic.

      1. The learner works actively on optimization problems as the primary form of learning. Note that I said “primary”; some passive listening might take place, but the primary mode of learning optimization problems for this learner is doing optimization problems.
      2. As the learner works actively, she is monitoring many different things. What’s the process for solving an optimization problem in general? Have I set up my objective function correctly? How is this problem like the other ones I have seen or done? Does a computer-generated graph agree with the answer I got by hand? Am I too tired to work on this right now? How can I prevent myself from checking Facebook every two minutes instead of working on the problem? She’s not just thinking about these but monitoring them, like an airplane pilot would be monitoring the many dials and gauges on his dashboard during a flight, tweaking this and adjusting that as needed.
      3. As the learner monitors all this, she operates with two very important questions in mind: What is the criteria in this case for knowing whether I’ve truly learned the topic?, and Am I there yet? She has a clearly-defined goal state and the means of checking her progress toward that goal state. For example, the self-regulating learner will take the initiative to check her answer on the optimization problem using a graph, or using Wolfram|Alpha to make sure the derivative computation is correct.
      4. Finally, the self-regulating learner doesn’t let external circumstances prevent learning. She selects learning activities that serve as a buffer zone between her progress toward the goal and the items in her life around her. If she’s got to be at work in an hour, she’ll select some activities or a subset of the tasks in a problem at hand that she can do in 45 minutes. If she doesn’t have access to a computer at home, she will select learning activities that she can do at home and save the others for when she can study at a friend’s house or at school with more technology around; or work over the phone with a friend who does have the technology; or something, anything other than I couldn’t work because I didn’t have a computer.

      Even before I started working with the inverted/flipped classroom, what I just described is a picture of what I envisioned for my students. It’s a picture of a confident, inquisitive, independent problem-solver who takes a can-do attitude towards her work, and who is set up well to learn new things for the rest of her life. Because in real life, all learning basically looks like this.

      The theoretical framework for self-regulated learning was developed by Paul Pintrich throughout the 1990’s and culminated in a paper in Educational Psychology Review in 2004. In that paper, Pintrich describes four features of self-regulated learning that correspond to the four items I described above. But of course the idea of self-regulated learning is as old as humanity itself. And it’s worth pointing out that there’s a close relationship between self-regulated learning and the popular admissions-office concept of lifelong learning. When we talk about students becoming “lifelong learners”, what we really mean is “self-regulating learners”.

      Back to the story about calculus. I’ve taught calculus dozens of times since 1994, and what I’ve been seeing more and more, and tolerating less and less, is an environment where students tend toward the opposite of self-regulated learning. This is a state where students do not learn, and come to believe that they cannot learn, without the strong intervention of a third party. There’s no activity, no monitoring, no self-assessment, no persistence – only the repeated cries to tell them how to start, how to proceed, and what the right answer is. A professor can make a career out of catering to these cries and simply giving students what they ask for. But I don’t think that’s in the students’ best interests, or anybody else’s, and by the time July 2013 rolled around I decided I was done with enabling a generation of smart young men and women to enter into a perpetual state of learned helplessness when it came to their learning.

      Continued in article

      "Getting student buy-in for the inverted calculus class,"  by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 3, 2014 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2014/03/06/getting-student-buy-in-for-the-inverted-calculus-class/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      So far, regarding the inverted/flipped calculus course, we’ve discussed why I flipped the calculus class in the first place, the role of self-regulated learning as a framework and organizing principle for the class, how to design pre-class activities that support self-regulated  learning, and how to make learning objectives that get pre-class activities started on a good note. This is all “design thinking”. Now it’s time to focus on the hard part: Students, and getting them to buy into this notion of a flipped classroom.

      I certainly do not have a perfect track record with getting students on board with an inverted/flipped classroom structure. In fact the first time I did it, it was a miserable flop among my students (even though they learned a lot). It took that failure to make me start thinking that getting student buy-in has to be as organized, systematic, and well-planned as the course itself.

      Here are three big “don’ts” and “dos” that I’ve learned about getting students to buy in to the flipped classroom, mostly through cringe-worthy teaching performances of my own in the past, along with some examples of how we built these into the calculus course.

      DON’T: Make a production out of your use of the flipped classroom to your students.
      DO: Explain the workflow of the class to students in a clear way on Day 1 and remind students of that workflow on Days 2, 3, 4, …

      You go into the first day of class and enthusiastically explain to students that they will be participating in a new, exciting, and innovative class method called the “flipped classroom”, that they may have heard about on 60 Minutes or elsewhere in the news. There won’t be any boring lectures in this class! Instead they’ll be watching lectures on video at home, and then working on challenging activities in the class, under your supervision. It’s exciting, it’s the latest thing, and it’s going to be awesome.

      None of this is false. But it turns out that when many students hear “innovative” and “new”, their brains translate it as “experimental” and “unproven”. And it turns out that students don’t like being part of an experiment, especially when their grade is the outcome of the experiment.

      In the flipped calculus class, I included a brief but substantial overview of the flipped course design structure in the class syllabus. To summarize, it tells students that:

      • You learn better when you are working actively as opposed to listening passively.
      • In order to make as much time and space as possible for active work in class, we’ve pre-recorded many of the lectures and put them on YouTube.
      • You’ll be expected to prepare for class by watching the videos, doing the reading, and working through the Guided Practice exercises. This should take you roughly 3 hours a week (about one hour per class meeting).
      • By the way, this is sometimes called the “flipped classroom” design.

      So we communicate in the syllabus what we are doing, why we are doing it, and what students are expected to do on a day-to-day basis. As the class got ramped up through the first and second weeks of the term, every day I would take a few minutes in class to explain what students needed to do for the next class and how long they should expect it to take. What I did not drill in every day was how awesome the flipped classroom is. Students don’t want to hear this, and they don’t need to. They want, and need, to know what it is they are supposed to do, and it’s helpful to know why. But leave it at that.

      (Exception: If you have a lot of pre-service teachers in the class, it might be interesting to talk with them about the flipped class, since they may be practitioners of it themselves before long.)

      DON’T: Assume that the benefits of the flipped classroom will be obvious, or even easily grasped, by students.
      DO: Take every opportunity to point to specific examples of student performance in the flipped class that illustrate those benefits.

      The benefits of the flipped class are numerous. The research is showing that students in a flipped class learn at least as much content as their counterparts in a traditional classroom, if not more, plus flipped class students are getting explicit instruction on self-regulated learning behaviors that are useful everywhere. But don’t expect this to be obvious, and don’t expect it to sink in if you put it in the syllabus or make a big deal out of it on the first day. Instead, expect a lot of cognitive dissonance among students as they try to reconcile this new way of “doing school” with what they are used to.

      The best way to have that reconciliation is to point to and celebrate specific student successes. When a class gets all correct answers on an entrance quiz, make much out of it: “Isn’t it great how you can learn this stuff without me?” or, “See? You guys are smart and don’t need some professor telling you what to do.” When a student improves their grade on an assessment from a previous assessment, say, “Look at how your hard work is paying off” and “You know what I think is really great? The fact that you learned most of this without a lot of help.” There wasn’t any formal system for doing this in the flipped calculus class – just a habit of mind that I adopted and deployed on a daily basis to be generous with praise whenever it was merited.

      DON’T: Hide from student opinions on the flipped design of the course.
      DO: Solicit student feedback early and often.

      I’ve blogged before about the value of frequent course evaluations and not waiting until the end of the semester to get student feedback. This is especially so when you are doing something out of your and the students’ comfort zones like a flipped classroom. I recommend having at least one mid-term course evaluation done in addition to the usual end-of-term evaluations and being prepared to make halftime adjustments to meet student concerns.

      Continued in article

       

      "Creating learning objectives, flipped classroom style," by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 5, 2014 --- Click Here
      http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2014/03/05/creating-learning-objectives-flipped-classroom-style/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

      In my last post about the inverted/flipped calculus class, I stressed the importance of Guided Practice as a way of structuring students’ pre-class activities and as a means of teaching self-regulated learning behaviors. I mentioned there was one important difference between the way I described Guided Practice and the way I’ve described it before, and it focuses on the learning objectives.

      A clear set of learning objectives is at the heart of any successful learning experience, and it’s an essential ingredient for self-regulated learning since self-regulating learners have a clear set of criteria against which to judge their learning progress. And yet, many instructors – myself included in the early years of my career – never map out learning objectives either for themselves or for their students. Or, they do, and they’re so mushy that they can’t be measured – like any so-called objective beginning with the words “understand” or “appreciate”.

      Coming up with good learning objectives is something of an art form, and I have a lot of room for improvement in the way I do it. However, I’ve been working with the following workflow for generating learning objectives that works particularly well for my students and fits the ethos of the flipped classroom. Here it is step-by-step.

      STEP ONE: Comb through the unit you’re going to cover in class and write down all the things you’d like students to be able to do, at some point in the near future. Very importantly, use action verbs for these things and avoid anything that cannot be measured. In particular avoid the words know, understand, and appreciate.

      For example, here’s the list of objectives that I came up with when I was planning out the unit on the chain rule in the calculus class. These are roughly in the same order in which they appear in the text, and I threw on a couple of additional objectives that address some review items:

      • Identify composite functions (that is, functions of the form (y = f(g(x)))) and identify the “inner” and “outer” functions.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a simple composite function, for example a composition of a polynomial and a power function (e.g., f(x) = (x2 + x + 1)^{1/2}).
      • State the Chain Rule and explain how it works in English.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a composite function involving two functions.
      • Use the Chain Rule in combination with other rules from earlier in this chapter.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a composite function in which at least one of the functions in the composite is given as a graph or a table of values.
      • Identify situations where the Chain Rule should be used when taking a derivative.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a composite function involving three or more functions.

      In the past when I’d taught the chain rule, my only learning objective was something like “Know and use the chain rule”. That’s too vague! There is a lot of nuance in what it means to “know and use” this rule and it’s on me, as the instructor/course designer, to communicate clearly what I intend to assess.

      We’re not done with this list.

      STEP TWO: You’ll immediately see that some of the actions in your list from Step One are more cognitively complicated than others. So step two is: Go back to your list and reorder the items in it, putting them in order from least complex to most complex. A handy tool for doing this is Bloom’s Taxonomy:

      This is a standard means of categorizing cognitive tasks by complexity, with the simplest (“Understanding”) at the bottom and the most complicated (“Creating”) at the top. Go through each of your learning objectives and decide what level of Bloom they most closely correspond to. Then shuffle them around so that the higher up the list you go, the more complex the task is.

      Applying this idea to the above list of objectives about the chain rule, I ended up with this ordered list. Here the objectives start with the simplest and end with the most complex:

      • Identify composite functions (that is, functions of the form (y = f(g(x)))) and identify the “inner” and “outer” functions.
      • State the Chain Rule and explain how it works in English.
      • Identify situations where the Chain Rule should be used when taking a derivative.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a simple composite function, for example a composition of a polynomial and a power function (e.g., ( f(x) = (x2 + x + 1)^{1/2})).
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a composite function involving two functions.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a composite function involving three or more functions.
      • Use the Chain Rule in combination with other rules from earlier in this chapter.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a composite function in which at least one of the functions in the composite is given as a graph or a table of values.

      Most of the time, the order of appearance of topics in the textbook mirrors the order of complexity – easier stuff at the beginning, harder stuff at the end – but not always. For example in our book, there are some preliminary examples of the Chain Rule that precede the formal definition, but stating a definition is a less complex task (“Remembering”) than doing an example (“Applying”), so stating the definition appears before any instance of actually performing a computation.

      STEP THREE: This is a really important step for the flipped classroom. Look at your ordered list of learning objectives and ask: What is the most complex task that I reasonable expect students to be able to master prior to class, given the resources that they have? Find that task and draw a line between it and the ones above it (that are more complex). The objectives below the line are your Basic learning objectives, and students will be expected to demonstrate fluency, if not mastery, on those items when they arrive at class. The others are your Advanced learning objectives; students will not be expected to master these before class (although if they do, that’s awesome!) but rather they’ll use the class meeting time and follow-up study to master these over time and with the help of others. Put BOTH sets of learning objectives on the Guided Practice assignment.

      Continued in article

      "Study: Little Difference in Learning in Online and In-Class Science Courses," Inside Higher Ed, October 22, 2012 ---
      http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/10/22/study-little-difference-learning-online-and-class-science-courses

      A study in Colorado has found little difference in the learning of students in online or in-person introductory science courses. The study tracked community college students who took science courses online and in traditional classes, and who then went on to four-year universities in the state. Upon transferring, the students in the two groups performed equally well. Some science faculty members have expressed skepticism about the ability of online students in science, due to the lack of group laboratory opportunities, but the programs in Colorado work with companies to provide home kits so that online students can have a lab experience.
       

       

      Jensen Comment
      Firstly, note that online courses are not necessarily mass education (MOOC) styled courses. The student-student and student-faculty interactions can be greater online than onsite. For example, my daughter's introductory chemistry class at the University of Texas had over 600 students. On the date of the final examination he'd never met her and had zero control over her final grade. On the other hand, her microbiology instructor in a graduate course at the University of Maine became her husband over 20 years ago.

      Another factor is networking. For example, Harvard Business School students meeting face-to-face in courses bond in life-long networks that may be stronger than for students who've never established networks via classes, dining halls, volley ball games, softball games, rowing on the Charles River, etc. There's more to lerning than is typically tested in competency examinations.

      My point is that there are many externalities to both onsite and online learning. And concluding that there's "little difference in learning" depends upon what you mean by learning. The SCALE experiments at the University of Illinois found that students having the same instructor tended to do slightly better than onsite students. This is partly because there are fewer logistical time wasters in online learning. The effect becomes larger for off-campus students where commuting time (as in Mexico City) can take hours going to and from campus.
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm

      Bob Jensen's threads on flipped classrooms ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Ideas

      Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm

      Bob Jensen's long-time threads on asynchronous learning are at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm
      This pedagogy depends a great deal on the quality of learning materials provided or not provided to students.

      What's more important to long-term memory and metacognition is probably how much the students have to struggle to find answers on their own ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm
      This pedagogy, however, is risky in terms of teacher evaluations and burnout.

    • Robert E Jensen

      Asynchronous Learning and the Flipped Classroom
      "The inverted calculus course and self-regulated learning," by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 3, 2014 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2014/03/03/the-inverted-calculus-course-and-self-regulated-learning/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

      A few weeks ago I began a series to review the Calculus course that Marcia Frobish and I taught using the inverted/flipped class design, back in the Fall. I want to pick up the thread here about the unifying principle behind the course, which is the concept of self-regulated learning.

      Self-regulated learning is what it sounds like: Learning that is initiated, managed, and assessed by the learners themselves. An instructor can play a role in this process, so it’s not the same thing as teaching yourself a subject (although all successful autodidacts are self-regulating learners), but it refers to how the individual learner approaches learning tasks.

      For example, take someone learning about optimization problems in calculus. Four things describe how a self-regulating learner approaches this topic.

      1. The learner works actively on optimization problems as the primary form of learning. Note that I said “primary”; some passive listening might take place, but the primary mode of learning optimization problems for this learner is doing optimization problems.
      2. As the learner works actively, she is monitoring many different things. What’s the process for solving an optimization problem in general? Have I set up my objective function correctly? How is this problem like the other ones I have seen or done? Does a computer-generated graph agree with the answer I got by hand? Am I too tired to work on this right now? How can I prevent myself from checking Facebook every two minutes instead of working on the problem? She’s not just thinking about these but monitoring them, like an airplane pilot would be monitoring the many dials and gauges on his dashboard during a flight, tweaking this and adjusting that as needed.
      3. As the learner monitors all this, she operates with two very important questions in mind: What is the criteria in this case for knowing whether I’ve truly learned the topic?, and Am I there yet? She has a clearly-defined goal state and the means of checking her progress toward that goal state. For example, the self-regulating learner will take the initiative to check her answer on the optimization problem using a graph, or using Wolfram|Alpha to make sure the derivative computation is correct.
      4. Finally, the self-regulating learner doesn’t let external circumstances prevent learning. She selects learning activities that serve as a buffer zone between her progress toward the goal and the items in her life around her. If she’s got to be at work in an hour, she’ll select some activities or a subset of the tasks in a problem at hand that she can do in 45 minutes. If she doesn’t have access to a computer at home, she will select learning activities that she can do at home and save the others for when she can study at a friend’s house or at school with more technology around; or work over the phone with a friend who does have the technology; or something, anything other than I couldn’t work because I didn’t have a computer.

      Even before I started working with the inverted/flipped classroom, what I just described is a picture of what I envisioned for my students. It’s a picture of a confident, inquisitive, independent problem-solver who takes a can-do attitude towards her work, and who is set up well to learn new things for the rest of her life. Because in real life, all learning basically looks like this.

      The theoretical framework for self-regulated learning was developed by Paul Pintrich throughout the 1990’s and culminated in a paper in Educational Psychology Review in 2004. In that paper, Pintrich describes four features of self-regulated learning that correspond to the four items I described above. But of course the idea of self-regulated learning is as old as humanity itself. And it’s worth pointing out that there’s a close relationship between self-regulated learning and the popular admissions-office concept of lifelong learning. When we talk about students becoming “lifelong learners”, what we really mean is “self-regulating learners”.

      Back to the story about calculus. I’ve taught calculus dozens of times since 1994, and what I’ve been seeing more and more, and tolerating less and less, is an environment where students tend toward the opposite of self-regulated learning. This is a state where students do not learn, and come to believe that they cannot learn, without the strong intervention of a third party. There’s no activity, no monitoring, no self-assessment, no persistence – only the repeated cries to tell them how to start, how to proceed, and what the right answer is. A professor can make a career out of catering to these cries and simply giving students what they ask for. But I don’t think that’s in the students’ best interests, or anybody else’s, and by the time July 2013 rolled around I decided I was done with enabling a generation of smart young men and women to enter into a perpetual state of learned helplessness when it came to their learning.

      Continued in article

      "Getting student buy-in for the inverted calculus class,"  by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 3, 2014 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2014/03/06/getting-student-buy-in-for-the-inverted-calculus-class/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      So far, regarding the inverted/flipped calculus course, we’ve discussed why I flipped the calculus class in the first place, the role of self-regulated learning as a framework and organizing principle for the class, how to design pre-class activities that support self-regulated  learning, and how to make learning objectives that get pre-class activities started on a good note. This is all “design thinking”. Now it’s time to focus on the hard part: Students, and getting them to buy into this notion of a flipped classroom.

      I certainly do not have a perfect track record with getting students on board with an inverted/flipped classroom structure. In fact the first time I did it, it was a miserable flop among my students (even though they learned a lot). It took that failure to make me start thinking that getting student buy-in has to be as organized, systematic, and well-planned as the course itself.

      Here are three big “don’ts” and “dos” that I’ve learned about getting students to buy in to the flipped classroom, mostly through cringe-worthy teaching performances of my own in the past, along with some examples of how we built these into the calculus course.

      DON’T: Make a production out of your use of the flipped classroom to your students.
      DO: Explain the workflow of the class to students in a clear way on Day 1 and remind students of that workflow on Days 2, 3, 4, …

      You go into the first day of class and enthusiastically explain to students that they will be participating in a new, exciting, and innovative class method called the “flipped classroom”, that they may have heard about on 60 Minutes or elsewhere in the news. There won’t be any boring lectures in this class! Instead they’ll be watching lectures on video at home, and then working on challenging activities in the class, under your supervision. It’s exciting, it’s the latest thing, and it’s going to be awesome.

      None of this is false. But it turns out that when many students hear “innovative” and “new”, their brains translate it as “experimental” and “unproven”. And it turns out that students don’t like being part of an experiment, especially when their grade is the outcome of the experiment.

      In the flipped calculus class, I included a brief but substantial overview of the flipped course design structure in the class syllabus. To summarize, it tells students that:

      • You learn better when you are working actively as opposed to listening passively.
      • In order to make as much time and space as possible for active work in class, we’ve pre-recorded many of the lectures and put them on YouTube.
      • You’ll be expected to prepare for class by watching the videos, doing the reading, and working through the Guided Practice exercises. This should take you roughly 3 hours a week (about one hour per class meeting).
      • By the way, this is sometimes called the “flipped classroom” design.

      So we communicate in the syllabus what we are doing, why we are doing it, and what students are expected to do on a day-to-day basis. As the class got ramped up through the first and second weeks of the term, every day I would take a few minutes in class to explain what students needed to do for the next class and how long they should expect it to take. What I did not drill in every day was how awesome the flipped classroom is. Students don’t want to hear this, and they don’t need to. They want, and need, to know what it is they are supposed to do, and it’s helpful to know why. But leave it at that.

      (Exception: If you have a lot of pre-service teachers in the class, it might be interesting to talk with them about the flipped class, since they may be practitioners of it themselves before long.)

      DON’T: Assume that the benefits of the flipped classroom will be obvious, or even easily grasped, by students.
      DO: Take every opportunity to point to specific examples of student performance in the flipped class that illustrate those benefits.

      The benefits of the flipped class are numerous. The research is showing that students in a flipped class learn at least as much content as their counterparts in a traditional classroom, if not more, plus flipped class students are getting explicit instruction on self-regulated learning behaviors that are useful everywhere. But don’t expect this to be obvious, and don’t expect it to sink in if you put it in the syllabus or make a big deal out of it on the first day. Instead, expect a lot of cognitive dissonance among students as they try to reconcile this new way of “doing school” with what they are used to.

      The best way to have that reconciliation is to point to and celebrate specific student successes. When a class gets all correct answers on an entrance quiz, make much out of it: “Isn’t it great how you can learn this stuff without me?” or, “See? You guys are smart and don’t need some professor telling you what to do.” When a student improves their grade on an assessment from a previous assessment, say, “Look at how your hard work is paying off” and “You know what I think is really great? The fact that you learned most of this without a lot of help.” There wasn’t any formal system for doing this in the flipped calculus class – just a habit of mind that I adopted and deployed on a daily basis to be generous with praise whenever it was merited.

      DON’T: Hide from student opinions on the flipped design of the course.
      DO: Solicit student feedback early and often.

      I’ve blogged before about the value of frequent course evaluations and not waiting until the end of the semester to get student feedback. This is especially so when you are doing something out of your and the students’ comfort zones like a flipped classroom. I recommend having at least one mid-term course evaluation done in addition to the usual end-of-term evaluations and being prepared to make halftime adjustments to meet student concerns.

      Continued in article

       

      "Creating learning objectives, flipped classroom style," by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 5, 2014 --- Click Here
      http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2014/03/05/creating-learning-objectives-flipped-classroom-style/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

      In my last post about the inverted/flipped calculus class, I stressed the importance of Guided Practice as a way of structuring students’ pre-class activities and as a means of teaching self-regulated learning behaviors. I mentioned there was one important difference between the way I described Guided Practice and the way I’ve described it before, and it focuses on the learning objectives.

      A clear set of learning objectives is at the heart of any successful learning experience, and it’s an essential ingredient for self-regulated learning since self-regulating learners have a clear set of criteria against which to judge their learning progress. And yet, many instructors – myself included in the early years of my career – never map out learning objectives either for themselves or for their students. Or, they do, and they’re so mushy that they can’t be measured – like any so-called objective beginning with the words “understand” or “appreciate”.

      Coming up with good learning objectives is something of an art form, and I have a lot of room for improvement in the way I do it. However, I’ve been working with the following workflow for generating learning objectives that works particularly well for my students and fits the ethos of the flipped classroom. Here it is step-by-step.

      STEP ONE: Comb through the unit you’re going to cover in class and write down all the things you’d like students to be able to do, at some point in the near future. Very importantly, use action verbs for these things and avoid anything that cannot be measured. In particular avoid the words know, understand, and appreciate.

      For example, here’s the list of objectives that I came up with when I was planning out the unit on the chain rule in the calculus class. These are roughly in the same order in which they appear in the text, and I threw on a couple of additional objectives that address some review items:

      • Identify composite functions (that is, functions of the form (y = f(g(x)))) and identify the “inner” and “outer” functions.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a simple composite function, for example a composition of a polynomial and a power function (e.g., f(x) = (x2 + x + 1)^{1/2}).
      • State the Chain Rule and explain how it works in English.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a composite function involving two functions.
      • Use the Chain Rule in combination with other rules from earlier in this chapter.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a composite function in which at least one of the functions in the composite is given as a graph or a table of values.
      • Identify situations where the Chain Rule should be used when taking a derivative.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a composite function involving three or more functions.

      In the past when I’d taught the chain rule, my only learning objective was something like “Know and use the chain rule”. That’s too vague! There is a lot of nuance in what it means to “know and use” this rule and it’s on me, as the instructor/course designer, to communicate clearly what I intend to assess.

      We’re not done with this list.

      STEP TWO: You’ll immediately see that some of the actions in your list from Step One are more cognitively complicated than others. So step two is: Go back to your list and reorder the items in it, putting them in order from least complex to most complex. A handy tool for doing this is Bloom’s Taxonomy:

      This is a standard means of categorizing cognitive tasks by complexity, with the simplest (“Understanding”) at the bottom and the most complicated (“Creating”) at the top. Go through each of your learning objectives and decide what level of Bloom they most closely correspond to. Then shuffle them around so that the higher up the list you go, the more complex the task is.

      Applying this idea to the above list of objectives about the chain rule, I ended up with this ordered list. Here the objectives start with the simplest and end with the most complex:

      • Identify composite functions (that is, functions of the form (y = f(g(x)))) and identify the “inner” and “outer” functions.
      • State the Chain Rule and explain how it works in English.
      • Identify situations where the Chain Rule should be used when taking a derivative.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a simple composite function, for example a composition of a polynomial and a power function (e.g., ( f(x) = (x2 + x + 1)^{1/2})).
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a composite function involving two functions.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a composite function involving three or more functions.
      • Use the Chain Rule in combination with other rules from earlier in this chapter.
      • Use the Chain Rule to differentiate a composite function in which at least one of the functions in the composite is given as a graph or a table of values.

      Most of the time, the order of appearance of topics in the textbook mirrors the order of complexity – easier stuff at the beginning, harder stuff at the end – but not always. For example in our book, there are some preliminary examples of the Chain Rule that precede the formal definition, but stating a definition is a less complex task (“Remembering”) than doing an example (“Applying”), so stating the definition appears before any instance of actually performing a computation.

      STEP THREE: This is a really important step for the flipped classroom. Look at your ordered list of learning objectives and ask: What is the most complex task that I reasonable expect students to be able to master prior to class, given the resources that they have? Find that task and draw a line between it and the ones above it (that are more complex). The objectives below the line are your Basic learning objectives, and students will be expected to demonstrate fluency, if not mastery, on those items when they arrive at class. The others are your Advanced learning objectives; students will not be expected to master these before class (although if they do, that’s awesome!) but rather they’ll use the class meeting time and follow-up study to master these over time and with the help of others. Put BOTH sets of learning objectives on the Guided Practice assignment.

      Continued in article

      "Study: Little Difference in Learning in Online and In-Class Science Courses," Inside Higher Ed, October 22, 2012 ---
      http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/10/22/study-little-difference-learning-online-and-class-science-courses

      A study in Colorado has found little difference in the learning of students in online or in-person introductory science courses. The study tracked community college students who took science courses online and in traditional classes, and who then went on to four-year universities in the state. Upon transferring, the students in the two groups performed equally well. Some science faculty members have expressed skepticism about the ability of online students in science, due to the lack of group laboratory opportunities, but the programs in Colorado work with companies to provide home kits so that online students can have a lab experience.
       

       

      Jensen Comment
      Firstly, note that online courses are not necessarily mass education (MOOC) styled courses. The student-student and student-faculty interactions can be greater online than onsite. For example, my daughter's introductory chemistry class at the University of Texas had over 600 students. On the date of the final examination he'd never met her and had zero control over her final grade. On the other hand, her microbiology instructor in a graduate course at the University of Maine became her husband over 20 years ago.

      Another factor is networking. For example, Harvard Business School students meeting face-to-face in courses bond in life-long networks that may be stronger than for students who've never established networks via classes, dining halls, volley ball games, softball games, rowing on the Charles River, etc. There's more to lerning than is typically tested in competency examinations.

      My point is that there are many externalities to both onsite and online learning. And concluding that there's "little difference in learning" depends upon what you mean by learning. The SCALE experiments at the University of Illinois found that students having the same instructor tended to do slightly better than onsite students. This is partly because there are fewer logistical time wasters in online learning. The effect becomes larger for off-campus students where commuting time (as in Mexico City) can take hours going to and from campus.
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm

      Bob Jensen's threads on flipped classrooms ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Ideas

      Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm

      Bob Jensen's long-time threads on asynchronous learning are at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm
      This pedagogy depends a great deal on the quality of learning materials provided or not provided to students.

      What's more important to long-term memory and metacognition is probably how much the students have to struggle to find answers on their own ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm
      This pedagogy, however, is risky in terms of teacher evaluations and burnout.

    • Robert E Jensen

      Department of Education in March 2014:  17,374 online higher education distance education and training programs altogether

      Jensen Comment
      Note that the hundreds of free MOOC courses from prestigious universities are not the same as fee-based distance education degree and certificate programs that are more like on-campus programs in terms in student-instructor interactions, graded assignments, and examinations. Some campuses like the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee even treat online programs as cash cows where the tuition is higher for online programs than identical on-campus programs.

      The (Department of Education Report in March 2014) report says that American colleges now offer 17,374 online programs altogether, 29 percent of which are master’s-degree programs, with bachelor’s and certificate programs making up 23 percent each. Business and management programs are the most popular, at 29 percent of the total, followed by health and medicine programs (16 percent), education programs (14 percent), and information technology and computers (10 percent) ---
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/quickwire-there-may-be-fewer-online-programs-than-you-think/51163?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

      From US News in 2014
      Best Online Degree Programs (ranked)
      ---
      http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education

      Best Online Undergraduate Bachelors Degrees --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/rankings
      Central Michigan is the big winner

      Best Online Graduate Business MBA Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings
      Indiana University is the big winner

      Best Online Graduate Education Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
      Northern Illinois is the big winner

      Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/engineering/rankings
      Columbia University is the big winner

      Best Online Graduate Information Technology Programs ---
      http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/computer-information-technology/rankings
      The University of Southern California is the big winner

      Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/nursing/rankings
      St. Xavier University is the big winner

      US News Degree Finder --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/features/multistep-oe?s_cid=54089
      This beats those self-serving for-profit university biased Degree Finders

      US News has tried for years to rank for-profit universities, but they don't seem to want to provide the data.

       

      Bob Jensen's threads on online programs ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm

       

    • Robert E Jensen

      2U Distance Education Course Provider --- http://www.study2u.com/
      2U (The Anti-MOOC Provider) ---  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_technology

      "3 Universities (Baylor, Southern Methodist, and Temple Universities) Will Grant Credit for 2U’s Online Courses," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 30, 2013 ---
      http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/3-universities-will-grant-credit-for-2us-online-courses/45143?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

      Jensen Comment
      That was July 30, 2013. It's unclear what role the new 2U will play in terms of providing transfer credit accepted by Baylor, SUM, Temple, and other universities after May 2014.

      "2U Ends Semester Online," by Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, April 3, 2014 ---
      http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/04/03/online-education-provider-2u-disband-semester-online-consortium

      The online education provider 2U will this summer eliminate its online course pool initiative in favor of developing fully online undergraduate degree programs, ending a high-profile effort to offer scalable, credit-granting online courses at residential colleges.

      The consortium, known as Semester Online, was initially marketed as a platform for top-tier universities to offer online courses to paying students at participating universities. During the 2012 media storm surrounding massive open online courses, it emerged with a distinctive message, promising small course sizes and live, interactive videoconferencing sessions.

      But before the launch of last fall’s pilot, Duke and Vanderbilt Universities and the University of Rochester had backed out, and Wake Forest University remained on the fence. At the colleges that dropped out and at Wake Forest, the decisions came after intense faculty debate; Duke, for example, rejected joining the consortium in a 16-14 vote by the Arts & Sciences Council. Although Wake Forest eventually joined the consortium, which this spring expanded with new courses and international partners, the universities and 2U reached a mutual decision to end the initiative.

      “Semester Online was always an experiment,” Chance Patterson, 2U’s senior vice president of communications, said in an email. “The pilot program experienced significant challenges related to the complexities of a consortium structure.”

      In addition to losing some of its founding members, Semester Online’s fall pilot also struggled with low enrollment. Some participating universities were unable to sign up students until mid-June -- several months after fall registration -- meaning some courses were left with single-digit enrollments.

      Patterson described Semester Online as an “informative” experience that has “helped 2U develop its instructional model for the undergraduate population.” And along with Wednesday’s announcement that it would disband the consortium, 2U also unveiled its first undergraduate degree program, an RN to BSN program developed in partnership with Simmons College.

      In an email, Claire E. Sterk, provost of Emory University, described her institution's participation in Semester Online as a learning experience, and thanked the faculty "for being open to academic innovation."

      "From my perspective, it was a great experiment led by our dean of arts and sciences and the faculty," Sterk wrote. "We also learned important lessons about the ways in which universities teach and are able to compare traditional versus more innovative modes of teaching."

      Ed Macias, provost emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis, said via email that he was "proud to have been part of this experiment in online education," and that courses had been "top quality."

      2U, fresh off a successful initial public offering last week, is better-known for developing fully online master’s degree programs for institutions such as Georgetown University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of North Carolina, among others. 

      Those programs have generally been well-received among graduate school faculty. Writing about his experiences with the University of North Carolina's online M.B.A. program, Scott Cohen, a professor with more than three decades of teaching in graduate-level business courses, described the online experience as "more intimate than 90 percent of the seminars I’ve taught in or taken."

      Jensen Comment
      Some universities claim that they do not accept distance education transfer credit. However, in some instances it's impossible on a transcript to know whether a student took one or more courses from a highly regarded university online or onsite. Universities like the University of Wisconsin and Indiana University have multiple sections of courses where some sections can be taken on campus and other sections can be taken online. The transcripts may not differentiate between those sections when students from those universities are seeking to transfer to other universities.

      From US News in 2014
      Best Online Degree Programs (ranked)
      ---
      http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education

      Best Online Undergraduate Bachelors Degrees --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/rankings
      Central Michigan is the big winner

      Best Online Graduate Business MBA Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings
      Indiana University is the big winner

      Best Online Graduate Education Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
      Northern Illinois is the big winner

      Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/engineering/rankings
      Columbia University is the big winner

      Best Online Graduate Information Technology Programs ---
      http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/computer-information-technology/rankings
      The University of Southern California is the big winner

      Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/nursing/rankings
      St. Xavier University is the big winner

      US News Degree Finder --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/features/multistep-oe?s_cid=54089
      This beats those self-serving for-profit university biased Degree Finders

      US News has tried for years to rank for-profit universities, but they don't seem to want to provide the data.

      Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education courses and degree programs ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm