Monthly Archives: May 2013

Coursera partners with 10 universities for online classes – CNET

The University of Nebraska is one of the schools participating in the Coursera partnership.



Online learning startup Coursera has formed partnerships with 10 public universities and university systems to develop courses that can be taken for credit either online or in a blended classroom-online environment.

By exploring new uses for massive open online courses (MOOCs), the partnership aims to improve the quality of the education, as well as expand access and increase graduation rates for up to 1.25 million students at the schools, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company announced Wednesday.

The hope is that the program will encourage new teaching methods, as well as enhancing existing approaches by creating a “blended learning” experience that combines online video lectures with on-campus instruction that stresses classroom engagement. The platform could also allow instructors to access already-developed content and adapt it to their own needs.

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“This new partnership with Coursera will be invaluable as we launch Open SUNY, which will give our students increased access to the online courses SUNY faculty offer in New York and worldwide,” Nancy Zimpher, chancellor the State University of New York, said in a statement. “Working with Coursera presents a fantastic opportunity for higher education systems across the country to increase educational access, instructional quality and exposure, and degree completion.”

Collaborating with Coursera in the program are the State University of New York (SUNY), the Tennessee Board of Regents, University of Tennessee System, University of Colorado System, University of Houston System, University of Kentucky, University of Nebraska, University of New Mexico, University System of Georgia, and West Virginia University.

U.S. colleges and universities in recent years have been ratcheting up their online offerings in an effort to improve graduation rates. More than 6.7 million students in the U.S. took at least one online course during the fall 2011 term, according to a recent survey conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group, an increase of 570,000 students over the previous year.

The rising popularity of MOOCs comes as state budgets for higher education are being slashed across the U.S., resulting in fewer spots for students in courses required for graduation. Proponents of the programs argue that credit for online courses would help students who are unable to register for impacted classes, possibly preventing expensive, extended stays in school.

Other online education providers have already developed programs with public universities. EdX launched a not-for-profit joint venture last year with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to make education material available online for free.

Udacity partnered with San Jose State University in January to offer San Jose State Plus, a pilot program that presents seemingly unlimited class size to students often hobbled by oversubscribed courses. One Udacity computer science class currently has 250,000 students enrolled.

Minnesota lawmakers to look at credit for online courses – Minnesota Public Radio

by Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio

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If you’re a Minnesota college student and you take an online course from an out-of-state entity, should you get credit for it?

It’s a question all the more important for policymakers to answer with the growing popularity of massive open online courses, or MOOCs. These are courses anyone can take, offered by schools like Stanford.

They’re often free or very inexpensive. States are debating whether college students enrolled in other schools should get credit for the classes on their transcripts.

Last fall, Larry Pogemiller, director of Minnesota’s Office of Higher Education, told The Daily Circuit he’d seek legislation this spring to clarify the issue.

Pogemiller joins us for an update on legislation.

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Students Hoping to Recover Money, Classes After Online Courses Disappear – KARK

Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock says it’s making baby steps to solve recent issues that concern students, their money and their classes.

Recently the school encountered issues with students not receiving federal work study funds but says it’s fixed that problem caused by a simple keystroke mistake.

The latest round of student woes: online classes that never happened.

“We thought they might have given a week off due to a break time or something of that nature,” said student, Henry Rodgers about what he says he was told by the school.

Rodgers tells KARK the 5 week courses that were supposed to start in February never finished.

In many of the cases students said the school had already collected their financial aid which is money they’ll eventually have to pay back.

After weeks of not hearing anything some students are fed up.

Rodgers said, “The hard feelings now are with the lack of communication from the college.”

Arkansas Baptist College tells KARK an automative issue with their financial aid system forced them to suspend all online classes.

Because the five week online courses differ with the structure of the courses students enroll in on campus, Arkansas Baptist College says it caused issues with the all-automatic financial system.

That’s why they say they had to delay the online classes.

This was all news to some students we spoke with.

Rodgers explained, “That’s where the major frustration is coming from.”

He says he plans to get his education somewhere else unless something changes soon.

“I was thinking about withdrawing from the class there and withdrawing from the school.”

The school claims anyone who may have paid for the courses and is eligible for a refund has received it.

They say they are working on the issues with the automated system and hope to have everything back up and running in a couple of weeks.