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Virtual Lab Experiment

The California State University System is spending $17.2 million on education technology to break the so-called course bottleneck that prevents students from advancing, prompts some to drop out and consumes state resources. By investing in virtual labs to end in-the-flesh lab experimentation for students who are not biology majors, Cal State will reduce personnel costs and increase course capacity. Rivard, Ry. "Virtual Lab Experiment." Inside HigherEd, 23 May, 2013. Read article »

‘Redshirting’ in Engineering

Universities are adopting the successful model of academic "redshirting" started in 2009 at the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Boulder’s GoldShirt program identifies high school graduates who need time to catch up on math, science and humanities courses before proceeding to the full undergraduate engineering curriculum. As part of the five-year curriculum, students spend their first year with an eye toward preparation for the major before proceeding to the typical engineering courses. The program is helping to influence the pipeline of minority engineers Budryk, Zack."'Redshirting' in Engineering." Inside Higher Ed, 20 May 2013. Read article »

Laptop U: Has the future of college moved online?

A commentary on the current MOOC landscape. The arguments for the perceived benefits and drawbacks of MOOC's are explored. Heller, Nathan."Laptop U." The New Yorker, 20 May 2013. Read article »

6 Channels of 21st Century Learning

“Learning channels” refer to the unique pathways students most naturally–and powerfully–use to seek understanding. These can be technology-based, but they don’t necessarily have to be. And while the idea of a channel connotes content (e.g., a television or YouTube channel), this is less about content and more about how people learn. The 6 distinct “learning channels" are (1) Dialogic Response; (2) Community Interaction; (3) Abstraction & Creativity; (4) Media Literacy; (5) Play; (6) Self-Directed Learning. Heick, Terry. "6 Channels of 21st Century Learning." TeachThought.com, 17 May 2013. Read article »

Professor Leaves a MOOC in Mid-Course in Dispute Over Teaching

A UC-Irvine professor has quit teaching a MOOC called “Microeconomics for Managers” because of “disagreements over how to best conduct [the] course.” Unlike “Fundamentals of Online Education,” another MOOC that was recently suspended indefinitely, “Microeconomics for Managers” will continue, just without the support of its teacher. Richard A. McKenzie, an emeritus professor of enterprise and society at the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine, apparently grew frustrated by “uninformed or superfluous responses to the questions posed in the discussion forums.” By McKenzie’s estimate, fewer than 2 percent of the 37,000 students enrolled in his MOOC were “actively engaged” in the discussions. McKenzie faced criticism from students over the amount of work he assigned and his issuing of a textbook that was not free. Kolowich, Steve. “Professor Leaves a MOOC in Mid-Course in Dispute Over Teaching.” The Chronicle of Higher Ed., 18 Feb. 2013. Read article »

Dartmouth’s unresearched swipes at AP

A Washington Post education columnist criticizes Dartmouth’s recent decision to deny college credit for AP. Jay Mathews suggests that “faculty’s resentment of high school teachers showing them up” may be to blame when colleges like Dartmouth deny students AP credit. He argues that Dartmouth faculty did not base their decision on adequate research and cites studies from 2007 and 2009 as evidence that students with scores of 3 or better on AP exams do better in the next level course in most subjects than students who start in the introductory college course for that subject. Mathews, Jay. “Dartmouth’s unresearched swipes at AP.” The Washington Post (Blog), 27 Jan. 2013. Read article »

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We want to scour the world to try to find those things that strike us as truly forward-looking. President Jim Yong Kim

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