MMD: Movements in Ed. Tech. & Higher Ed.

MMD: MovementsGood morning and happy Monday! For this week, there are many different movements occurring in Ed. Tech. and higher ed., and we’re here to shed some light. The ideas behind these movements range from encouraging offline interaction, to too many teachers paying out of pocket for digital content, to some different movements that apply to higher education and non-traditional courses providers.

We begin this week with an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education  in the midst of the MOOC movement. One gap that is often hard to fill is student interaction. MIT students that pursued one its core MOOCs found that they fared better when they were working on the course materials and activities with peers and/or informal mentors. As one of the first studies about “peer-reviewed academic studies based on data from a MOOC,” advocates say this could be a great contribution to educational research. The results showed only a small increase in actual scores, but a much greater increase in engagement to consistently have occurred offline.
MOOC Students Who Got Offline Help Scored Higher, Study Finds (Chronicle of Higher Ed.)

3 out of 4 teachers pay out of pocket for digital content (the Hechinger Report)
Next up, is another movement, the overall movement to use more digital content in the classroom. However, this report from HotChalk states that this effort made by teachers does not come well-funded. Instead, at least 75% of teachers pay with their own money and consequently prefer to use free online course materials.

University of Kentucky Targets High School Students With Online Chemistry Classes (WFPL News)
This next movement has been to create online learning opportunities for high school students. To be more specific, there has been a movement in higher ed. to reach out and create courses for the high school level. The U. of Kentucky has created a chemistry course for high school students with the help of Coursera and will join 8 other higher ed. State systems newbies to this for profit MOOC provider.

Textbook Transparency and Pricing (Inside Higher Ed)
Another movement in higher education has been to give students more access to information about textbook pricing. Yet, many researchers are still uncertain that this will bring the pricing down in general. Adversely, one positive result is that students have found more opportunities to save money by using used and digital versions.

Accreditation Fast Track? (Inside Higher Ed.)
And last but not least, a slightly quieter movement is happening on US’s Capitol Hill. Backed by the founder of a non-traditional online learning provider, the Minerva Project, and some other influential political figures. Pressure has been slowly rising from many for members in Congress to consider the bill, including from President Obama’s State of the Union address in February.

Have a great week! In other news…
Interview: Online education platform Coursera aims to reach more Chinese (Global Times)
Shift Happens: Junyo Changes Course (Ed Surge)
Going With First Instinct Not Always Best Test Strategy, Research Finds (Ed Week)

Photo Credit: country_boy_shane via photopin by ND 2.0 CC

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