What we’re learning from online education

Excellent conference by Daphne Koller (although 2012, a highly topical issue), from Coursera at www.TED.com that describes the advantages of online education (with subtitles in different languages).

We can identify the following sections of the video:

  • Accessibility of education worldwide
    (for instance, the cost of higher education tuition has been increasing at almost twice the rate, for a total of 559 percent since 1985. This makes education unaffordable for many people).
  • Modularity
    You can break up the material, for example, into these short, modular units of eight to 12 minutes, each of which represents a coherent concept. Students can traverse this material in different ways, depending on their background, their skills or their interests.
  • Retrieval practice
    As well as other forms of practice in many ways. For example, even our videos are not just videos. Every few minutes, the video pauses and the students get asked a question.
  • How do you grade the work of 100,000 students?
    The answer is, you need to use technology to do it for you. We can now grade a range of interesting types of homework, like multiple choice and short answer questions, we can also grade math, mathematical expressions as well as mathematical derivations. We can grade models, whether it’s financial models in a business class or physical models in a science or engineering class and we can grade some pretty sophisticated programming assignments.
    Now, we cannot yet grade the range of work that one needs for all courses. Specifically, what’s lacking is the kind of critical thinking work that is so essential in such disciplines as the humanities, the social sciences, business and others.
  • Global community
    of students collaborating with each other, e. g. with a forum of questions and answers, where some students raised their doubts and others answered them.
  • Personalization
    is made possible by the large amount of information collected.
  • Are universities obsolete?
    Mark Twain said,”College is a place where a professor’s lecture notes go straight to the students’ lecture notes, without passing through the brains of either”.
    I think it wasn’t the universities that I was criticizing, but the face-to-face classes. Plutarch said,”The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.” Perhaps we should spend less time filling the minds of students and more time igniting their creativity, imagination and problem-solving skills from genuine interaction with them.

What effect would it have on providing quality education to everyone in the world, free of charge?

  1. Education would be established as a fundamental right. Anyone in the world with the capacity and motivation, could develop the skills they need to autonomously improve their quality of life, that of their family and community.
  2. Enable lifelong learning. We would be able to learn something new every time we wanted, whether it’s just to expand our minds or it’s to change our lives.
  3. Enable a wave of innovation, because amazing talent can be found anywhere. Maybe the next Albert Einstein or the next Steve Jobs is living somewhere in a remote village in Africa. And if we could offer that person an education, they would be able to come up with the next big idea and make the world a better place for all of us.

How to Create and Sell Your Online Course


Photo credit: IlonkaTallina via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

It’s no secret that the Internet has made it easier than ever for people to share ideas and learn new information. Perhaps this is best manifested in the rise of massive open online courses (otherwise known as MOOCs) across the globe. These days, there’s a serious demand for online courses, and some people have even made a healthy living off creating these courses. Do you have an area of expertise about which you’d like to spread knowledge? If so, then you might be considering the option to create and sell your online course. Before you get started, however, there are some important factors you’ll want to take into consideration.

Original post: How to Create and Sell Your Online Course

The Online Learning Guidebook

An interesting guide to help students of all ages learn more effectively online.

http://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/online-schools-guidebook/

As online education continues to grow, many schools are making online education a major part of their curriculum. To help students understand this trend, the guide also includes a detailed breakdown of online learning methods and technologies, as well as information on how to identify quality online schools or programs.

The guide looks at Khan Academy, Coursera and MIT OpenCourseware specifically and includes advice and keys to success from a panel of online learning experts.

MOOC in the trends to watch out for in 2015 in international education

“MOOCs may have not lived up to the “disruptive” hype of 2012 but they are proving to be useful tasters for university level courses, expanding brand awareness and showing overall potential of online classrooms. But another platform that hasn’t had the dazzle or catchy nomenclature is truly making waves in education delivery and is only set to grow: mobile.”

Seven trends to watch out for in 2015 in international education

“If developing countries allow themselves to be locked in to a certain MOOC platform, they may have to adhere to the foreign values put forth by the platform owners.”

by Sandi Boga (Author), Rory McGreal (Author)
Contributors: Athabasca University, Canada
Publishers: COL (January 2014)

How companies can capitalize MOOCs trend

Some interesting tips from Megatrends in MOOCS: #5 Lifelong Learning about how companies can take advantage of the lifelong learning trend mainly by supporting and recognizing their employees’ learning initiatives. In a recent article for Entrepreneur, Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard identified several tactics businesses can use to create a culture of learning. Here is how these tactics can be used to support employee learning in MOOCs:

  1. Weekly lunch and learns. Once a week, buy lunch and have an employee present what he or she is learning in a MOOC. This can help spread knowledge and also create an environment where learning is seen as a priority.
  2. Training budgets and tuition reimbursement and recognition programs. MOOCs are free to take, but verified certificates cost anywhere between about $40 and $100. Reimburse your employees for these expenses—this practice will both encourage employees to take courses and demonstrate that you support their professional development. Plus, it is a lot cheaper than developing and running an in-house course!
  3. Set specific learning goals. Encourage employees to set learning goals every quarter and then check in with them on how they are doing. For example, managers can monitor their employees’ progress through MOOCs and provide support when necessary. Training departments can track learning efforts to identify and support organization-wide learning efforts.
  4. Distribute books to read. For MOOCs, this tactic can be changed to “vet and recommend courses.” There are hundreds of MOOCs available—training departments can support employee learning efforts by vetting courses and making specific recommendations.
  5. Acknowledge the results. This is the big one—don’t let your employees’ training efforts go unnoticed. Treat MOOC accomplishments the way you would any other training program.