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Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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Textbook Companies Are Now Teaching College Classes

Textbook Companies Are Now Teaching College Classes | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
This summer, Chad Mason signed up for online general psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. This spring, Jonathan Serrano took intro to psychology online at Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey. Though the two undergraduates were separated by more than 600 miles, enrolled in different institutions,...
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

"In theory, many of [publisher] courses could easily act as stand-alone products," replacing university courses.


Derived from this: "It’s sensitive terrain for the publishers as well. In theory, many of their courses could easily act as stand-alone products they could sell directly to students who need to fill a social science or math requirement. Pearson PLC could become Pearson U. But the publishers don’t have college accreditation. They need the colleges to turn a course into something that can count toward a degree, and they don’t want to undercut their main market."

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Does the 'Phenomenon of Enclosure' Threaten the Commons?

Does the 'Phenomenon of Enclosure' Threaten the Commons? | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"The history of online learning is the history of a plethora of patents. (Watters, 2014) This is a patent for setting up a regional network in the south western United States. That's Nevada. That's Arizona. That's New Mexico. That's Utah. That's Colorado or Wyoming, one of the square ones. Calling it a patent thicket is more than a slight understatement. And it's not just patents, of course, it's copyright, trademarks, even trade secrets. 

Here's one that came out a few weeks ago - I've actually got the screen capture - trademark for pi. (Poulsen, 2014) Yes, pi, the pi that you're all familiar with, 3.141 whatever. A colleague memorized it to 100 digits. I've memorized it to, what, one. 

This is not simply an isolated instance. It's the norm. It's a phenomenon that took place in the industrial revolution. It's a phenomenon taking place in the information revolution. It's a phenomenon of enclosure. You would think we learned from the last time, but we didn't. And it threatens the commons, the common heritage, common knowledge, common culture that we all thought that we own."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

A must-read, IOHO. This is only one of many issues examined in this first of three talks which run as a series. Downes is examining "not the problem MOOCs solve at the moment but the problem MOOCs were designed to solve." Since Downes was instrumental in developing the concept of a MOOC, his insights are both clear and from a POV unfamiliar to many higher education leaders.

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MOOCs— There is a reason they can’t take their eyes off the screen.

MOOCs— There is a reason they can’t take their eyes off the screen. | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
Two years into their existence, MOOCs haven't stolen students away from brick-and-mortar universities. Instead, they've become a genre of their own.
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

"For the time being, MOOCs seem unlikely to take the place of physical campuses—or even replace for-profit universities, as Lue hopes they will. In order to do that, MOOCs would have to begin offering meaningful credits—the kind someone could take to a job interview and expect to have taken seriously. (For now, even though HarvardX classes feature the same content as their in-person equivalents, it’s not possible for students to earn anything more than a certificate of completion—the equivalent of a “P” in a pass-fail class.)


So what is a MOOC? What makes it different from a brick-and-mortar classroom? In the end, the answer may be exactly what it seems to be: a MOOC is a film. It’s easy to dismiss college-age kids as screen-addicted zombies, but cinema has a particular ability to move people: It’s informative and entertaining; it’s literature and photography at the same time. If nothing else, the MOOC-driven revolution may inspire classroom instructors to make their lessons more dynamic and figure out what really ignites students’ imaginations. There is a reason they can’t take their eyes off the screen."

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Starbucks Will Send Thousands of Employees to Arizona State for Degrees

The new scholarship program will benefit students, the company, and ASU Online. "Imagine if 200 corporations were doing this," says Arizona State's chief, Michael Crow.
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

"The unusual program, the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, will be available to more than 100,000 of its employees, as long as they enroll as full-time students. The partnership, which could cost Starbucks hundreds of millions of dollars a year, is likely to add luster to the company’s reputation for corporate social responsibility. It could also be a welcome enrollment jolt to ASU Online, which has about 10,000 distance-education students and aspires to enroll 10 times that many." Thanks to SCUPer Fran Gast for this item.

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Three Pieces of the Puzzle: Instructional Content and Online Higher Education | Acrobatiq

Three Pieces of the Puzzle: Instructional Content and Online Higher Education | Acrobatiq | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
However, talk of online education's current "transformative", "revolutionary" and (worst of all) "disruptive" impact on traditional higher education ignores the
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

The problems with instructional content stem from how courses are created. In most non-profit colleges and universities, the responsibility for the design and development of instructional content continues to fall to under-resourced and typically ill-prepared individual faculty members. The service departments set up in most institutions to support online learning have not substantially changed this fundamental division of labor. Instructional design professionals in these departments – despite their skills – are forced into secondary roles, often pushed toward providing technical training (“How to Set Up Quizzes in Blackboard”), rather than actually working with course instructors to design instruction. The funds available for course development are severely limited to what can be reasonably generated by way of tuition revenue (minus direct expenses) over a few semesters. And incentive systems of traditional colleges and universities make it illogical for faculty to spend excessive time developing instructional content, even if they had the wide range of skills necessary for this kind of work. There are exceptions to this state of affairs, but too few.

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Online Education Has a Loneliness Problem. Can Harvard Fix It?

Online Education Has a Loneliness Problem. Can Harvard Fix It? | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

Herzlinger says MOOCs are suited to classes with objective, measurable outcomes. They don’t work as well for teaching conceptual or action-based ideas.


“Didactic courses are very adaptable to the Web,” she says. “I teach accounting as well, and there’s always a right answer. Those courses are easy. Innovation is much more challenging because it has to be interactive and team-based.”
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:
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2013— The 'year that online education fell back to earth'?

2013— The 'year that online education fell back to earth'? | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

In theory, students saddled by rising debt and unable to tap into the best schools would be able to take free classes from rock star professors at elite schools via Udacity, edX, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.


But if 2012 was the "Year of the MOOC," as The New York Times famously called it, 2013 might be dubbed the year that online education fell back to earth. Faculty at several institutions rebelled against the rapid expansion of online learning — and the nation's largest MOOC providers are responding.

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

During the holidays, Eric Westervelt covered the year in online education quite well. Sebastian Thrun: "Online education that leaves almost everybody behind except for highly motivated students, to me, can't be a viable path to education. We look back at our early work and realize it wasn't quite as good as it should have been. We had so many moments for improvement."

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For the University of Maryland University College, survival is a war on multiple fronts

For the University of Maryland University College, survival is a war on multiple fronts | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Its once unique role in distance education for members of the military has been eroding, in the face of intense new competition. And now military numbers are going down.


This curator fondly recalls taking a meteorology course from UMUC, while he was in Vietnam, in the late '60s.

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MOOC U: Who Is Getting the Most Out of Online Education and Why eBook: Jeffrey J. Selingo

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

A short, new, not-yet-published piece on sale in advance of publication—from our well-received #scup49 plenary speaker, Jeff Selingo.

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Beyond Institutions - Personal Learning in a Networked World

Beyond Institutions - Personal Learning in a Networked World | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"In this presentation I look at the needs and demands of people seeking learning with the models and designs offered by traditional institutions, and in the spirit of reclaiming learning describe a new network-based sysyetm of education with the learner managing his or her education."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Downes' work is important. In some respects he and his colleagues are looking at the same kinds of things researchers in "learning environments" are, or should be, but physical space doesn't figure much in their work. Hmm.

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Business School, Disrupted

Business School, Disrupted | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
In moving into online education, Harvard Business School discovered that it isn’t so easy to practice what it teaches.
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Intriguing, with twists. One of the best articles we've read in a while that has, as its background, what's on-the-gound-happening at the leading edge.


“Harvard is going to make a lot of money,” Mr. Ulrich predicted. “They will sell a lot of seats at those courses. But those seats are very carefully designed to be off to the side. It’s designed to be not at all threatening to what they’re doing at the core of the business school.”

Exactly, warned Professor Christensen, who said he was not consulted about the project. “What they’re doing is, in my language, a sustaining innovation,” akin to Kodak introducing better film, circa 2005. “It’s not truly disruptive.”

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Community colleges continue growth in online classes but join general move away from MOOCs

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

A nice report from the Instructional Technology Council from a survey of its membership.

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A different kind of deferred maintenance? Born Digital, Projects Need Attention to Survive

A different kind of deferred maintenance? Born Digital, Projects Need Attention to Survive | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
For one, they may require continuing maintenance to remain useful and accessible.
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Build the costs into the planning?

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Discussing design models for hybrid/blended learning and the impact on the campus

Discussing design models for hybrid/blended learning and the impact on the campus | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

The comments section has many good faculty POVs.:


So we did a little brainstorming. Here are some of things that were suggested in the very short time available (10 minutes or so):

Online

  • foundational knowledge (facts, principles, concepts, ideas, vocabulary, etc.)
  • certain kinds of skills such as knowledge management, knowledge navigation, independent learning, creative writing
  • some elements of clinical practice (e.g. correct procedures, video demonstrations of equipment being used, patient symptoms)

Face-to-face

  • public speaking and facilitation skills
  • consensus-building
  • decision-making
  • problem solving
  • building a closer relationship with/’humanising’ the instructor
  • body language cues from the instructor about what is really important to him/her in the course
  • practical lab skills/operating equipment
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

This post by former SCUP plenary speaker Tony Bates received the 2013 Downes Prize for online learning & distance education resources. SCUPers will find it insightful and practical. At the Downes Prize link there are a number of worthwhile runners-up.

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