Monday Morning Digest: Quality is a Never-Ending Quest

Quest MMDGood Morning! We hope that your Monday morning is bright and sunny (and not, e.g., post-blizzardy). For this week, we look at the quality and value of getting a higher education. Recently, this quest has led to questions of what should count for credit. Some universities continue to add MOOCs (some accredited)  to their repertoire, but not without caution. Meanwhile, a formerly home-schooled individual claims to have a viable alternative to college.  Yet, the quest for quality is still the name of the game!

We begin today with reporting on a Lumina/Gallup survey, courtesy of The Chronicle of Higher Education (Gallup also has a nice summary on their blog). Participating Americans have stated that they value a quality education that is also more realistic for working adults and awards credit for prior learning skills acquired outside of  the classroom. As the demand for quality continues, some are still unsatisfied with the current state of quality in higher education.
Americans Value Higher Education but Question Its Quality, National Survey Finds (Chronicle of Higher Ed.)

MOOCs and Tablet Computing Are Top Tech Trends in ‘Horizon Report’ (Chronicle of Higher Ed.)
As this quest for quality quickens its pace, the Horizon Report declares that this is an exciting time for higher education as MOOCs (a newbie to this report) and tablets are at the pinnacle of tech trends. The report predicts that we will see MOOCs become mainstreamed within the next year, and 3-D printing and wearable technology in the next 4-5yrs.

American Council on Education Recommends 5 MOOCs for Credit (Chronicle of Higher Ed.)
Noting this trend, the American Council on Education (ACE) has awarded credits to some science and mathematics MOOCs. Focusing on the quality of the course, ACE advises 1,800 member institutions on the credit-worthiness of a course. But do the colleges and universities agree with ACE’s decision and its perception of quality? That is the question.

UC Irvine Open Online Courses Approved for ACE Credit on Coursera (Marketwire)
Two of the ACE’s approved courses are from University of California, Irvine‘s mathematics courses. UC Irvine, a model in the world of MOOCs, sports “90 individual courses, 300 video lectures, and 1,500 course content [sic] online for free.”

The making of a MOOC at the University of Amsterdam (Inside Higher ED.)
Arie K. den Boon, a communication science professor at the University of Amsterdam, spoke of his part in spearheading a 13-person international effort to create the university’s first MOOC. A co-founder of the Dutch research agency GfK Daphne Group, Boon claimed that this step was one that must be taken by the university.

Episode 103: Founder of ‘UnCollege’ Describes His Alternative to Campus  (Chronicle of Higher Ed.)
And yet, another perception in this quest for quality is present. Dale J. Stephens, a formerly home-schooled student of life, sees an alternative solution. He proposes a $12,000 gap-year, designed to teach students “how to teach themselves,” to help those pursuing ‘UnCollege.’

Well? Do any of these stories seem like advancements in the quest for quality? Is this positive disruption or worrisome devolution? Let us know what you think! Please feel free to comment below!

Have a great week! Some other news to ponder…
24 Ed-Tech Terms You Should Know (EDTECH Magazine)
For New Ideas in Scholarly Publishing, Look to the Library (Chronicle of Higher Ed.)
Publishers and Library Groups Spar in Appeal to Ruling on Electronic Course Reserves (Chronicle of Higher Ed.)

Photo credit: h.koppdelaney via photopin CC BY-ND 2.0

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