Saturday, December 29, 2012

Keyboard College > How Technology is Revolutionizing Higher Education > The World-Wide U

By Stephen Smith

In the fall of 2011, three Stanford University computer science professors tried an experiment. They threw their classrooms open to everyone in the world. With just a few emails and tweets, they offered free, online courses that anyone, anywhere could join. The classes went viral. More than 160,000 people signed up just for Professor Sebastian Thrun's artificial intelligence class. About 23,000 stayed with Thrun through the end of the semester and got a completion certificate.

"Which means we taught more students artificial intelligence than all the professors in the world combined," Thrun says with a mix of pride and wonder.

What followed has been described as a revolutionary moment in the history of higher education. Thrun left Stanford to start a free online college called Udacity. In a separate move, Stanford joined forces with a number of America's other leading colleges and universities to offer many of their courses -- with lectures, discussion groups, quizzes and tests -- free to anyone with an Internet connection. More than a million people have already signed up.


Source and Full Text Available At

Podcast Available At:

Duration = 00:00 > ~26:30

A/V Now Available > FIE 2012 Plenary > Is There a MOOC in Your Future?

This plenary session from the 2012 Frontiers in Education in Seattle, WA ( on October 5, 2012 examined current trends and future prospects in online education. Massive Open Online Courses(MOOCs) have gotten a great deal of publicity in the last year, although the most widely-known MOOC offerings do not capture all of the richness of the original MOOCs. Much of the attention paid to MOOCs in the press has been centered around the idea that they may challenge the organizational structures and cost models of higher education. The participants in this session addressed many of these issues through a moderated discussion and a question and answer session with the audience.

The participants in the panel discussion included: Fred Martin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Associate Dean, College of Sciences,University of Massachusetts Lowell, Dan Grossman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington, and Jennifer Dalby, M.Ed., Instructional Designer, Seattle University. The moderator for the panel was Richard LeBlanc, Chair of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Seattle University.

Source and Link Available At



What is All the Fuss about MOOCs?

Computer's Education column editor Ann Sobel interviews Jennifer Dalby, of Seattle University, who discusses the potential effects of massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Source and Link Available At


Friday, December 28, 2012

A/V Now Available > Panel Discussion > re: BOOT: California Higher Education > January 8 2013 > 9 AM - 2PM PT

About: Rebooting CA Higher Education

The purpose of the panel discussion is to raise the awareness and discuss key issues regarding the potential for online education to lower the costs for higher education in California.

We face a crisis in California in our ability to fully support public higher education. As a first approximation, the state should focus its attention on arresting the growth of the cost of education while maintaining or even increasing access and quality, not by simply urging educators to "do more with less," but by enlisting their active participation in and contribution to innovative approaches. In accomplishing this goal, California could foster a working coalition that would be capable of attacking even more ambitious targets.

Given the new opportunity and interest in online education, it is important that we bring together various stakeholders to discuss and understand the key issues. The purpose of the panel discussion is to kick start this discussion in California and to take a leadership role and accelerate our efforts to take advantage of the cost-saving potential inherent in online education.

*This event will be streamed LIVE, no registration is login is required. Simply visit this page on Janurary 8th at 9am, ... .

During the event you can tweet your questions for the panel to @20mmreboot.

Agenda Overview

Continental Breakfast >  8:15am -9:00am

Welcome > 9:00am -9:10am

  • Darrell Steinberg / Senate President Pro Tem

Setting the Stage > 9:10am -9:25am

  • Jeff Selingo / Editor at Large,  Chronicle of Higher Education

Online Educational Delivery Models > 9:25am -9:35am

  • Phil Hill /Educational Technology Consultant & Analyst

Scaling Education, Maintaining Quality > 9:35am -10:05am

  • Candace Thille / Open Learning Initiative,Carnegie Mellon
  • Mo Qayoumi & Ping Hsu / San Jose State University
  • Michael Feldstein / Educational Technology Consultant & Analyst

Moderated Industry Panel > 10:05am -11:45pm

  • Sebastian Thrun / Udacity
  • Burck Smith / Straighterline
  • Daphne Koller / Coursera
  • Phillip Regier / ASU Online
  • Dr. Andreea M Serban / Coast Community College
  • Chari Leader Kelley / Learning Counts
  • Don Kilburn / Pearson
  • Ray Cross / University of Wisconsin Colleges
  • Steve Klingler / Western Governors University

Break > 11:45am -11:55am

Student Experience > 11:55am -12:10pm

  • Andrew Litt / UCLA
  • Martha Harding / College of the Canyons

CA University Policymakers Perspective > 12:10pm -12:40pm

  • Keith Williams / Interim Director UC Online
  • Barry Russell / California Community Colleges Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs
  • Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom / UC Regent, CSU Trustee
  • John Welty / Chair CSU Online

Moderated Faculty Panel with Questions to Providers > 12:40pm -1:40pm

  • Michelle Pilati / President, Community College Academic Senate
  • Diana Wright Guerin / President, CSU Academic Senate
  • Robert Powell / Chair, UC Academic Senate
  • Bob Samuels / President, University Council AFT
  • Lillian Taiz / President, California Faculty Association

Summary > 1:40pm -2:00pm

Lunch >  2:00pm -3:00pm

Source and Link Available At 


ESL Globe > What Is This World (Of Education) Coming To?

Volume 9 No 2 Summer 2012 

MOOCS...FIZZ...Open Access...Flipping the Classroom...Badges...Paperslide Videos...Gaming...

Crowdsourcing....Textbooks as Dinosaurs. This is what the world of education is coming to. And for some of those interviewed or featured in the current Globe issue, like Harvard University President Larry Summers, change can't come fast enough. He joins others like Cathy Davidson, David Parry, Salman Kahn, Lodge McCammon, and Bill Gates in calling for a systemic, sometimes radical, re-vamping of outdated pedagogical practices which are not preparing students for the 21st century.

The learning and thinking styles of today's digital native students differ sharply from those of their 20th century predecessors. Many forward-thinking educators consider it a moral imperative to develop and implement strategies for interactive, collaborative learning driven by new technologies. Education must be more about how to process, evaluate, and use information and less about imparting it.

Source and Links to Full Text Available At:


My Education Path > Online Courses (MOOC) Categories

Thursday, December 27, 2012

All MOOCs, All The Time: Debating, Debriefing and Defining the Learning Trend of 2012 (and Beyond?)

My name is Rolin Moe, and I am a doctoral student at Pepperdine University studying Learning Technologies.  My dissertation (I am also blogging about the process of writing a dissertation) focuses on the phenomenon of free and ubiquitous online learning/education, most recently imagined in the form of Massively Open Online Courses, colloquially known as MOOCs.  I am interested in how learning occurs in these environment, the theory and pedagogy behind learning endeavors, how such theory interacts with the other theories and systems associated with MOOCs (economic, social, technological, class, etc.), and whether the intended learning theories are those utilized by the student members.  As this term and phenomenon coalesces into a more definitive terminology, I am interested in which iteration will dominate the field, and what will happen to the other interpretations.

This website is designed to compile any and all resources about MOOCs — theory, research, PR, debate, etc.  As curator, I am not sure if I will look at each link from an educational perspective, but my primary interest is in how media reflections and communicated beliefs interact with intended and actual learning theory.



The MOOC Model for Digital Practice


The MOOC Model for Digital Practice responds to the “Building Digital Skills for Tomorrow”
section of the consultation paper Improving Canada’s Digital Advantage: Strategies for Sustainable Prosperity by synthesizing the current state of knowledge about Massive Online Open
Courses (MOOCs). It argues that building and sustaining prosperity through Canada’s current
digital strengths depends on a digital ecosystem that embraces both infrastructure and the collaborative social networks enabled by that infrastructure. Prosperity in this context requires a
citizenry with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to turn these factors towards creating wealth. By exploring the relationship of MOOCs to the digital economy in general and their
potential roles to prepare citizens for participation in that digital economy in particular, it illustrates one particularly Canadian model of how these needs may be addressed.

In keeping with the multimodality and the alternatives to “traditional” modes of presentation
enabled by digital technologies and integral to the development of the digital economy, our
knowledge synthesis has supplemented the printed report with four online digital videos. Each
synopsizes one main attribute of the relationship of MOOCs to the digital economy:

The first summarizes what a MOOC is:

The second summarizes what new users may need to consider for success in a MOOC:

The third touches on the creation of knowledge in a MOOC:

The fourth provides an example of how MOOCs might be presented as a contributor to a digital 

Collectively, the four web-based videos provide an overview of many of the points raised elsewhere in this report.




The Real Trouble With Online Education

E-learning short courses

An editorial piece in the New York Times on July 19th by Mark Edmundson attempts to tell us about "The Trouble with Online Education." Despite the fact that the author does not appear to have taken or taught an online class, and despite not having any listed credentials in the field of education, online teaching and learning, or instructional design, Edmundson, and apparently the editors of the New York Times, feel he is qualified to to make the pronouncement that online courses are not "real" courses.


Source and Full Text Available At 


Why MOOCs Work


1. Student Motivation

This is one of the criticisms of MOOCs and the "flipped classroom model": students in those scenarios need motivation to be successful. Students are not born motivated. Lack of student motivation is not an excuse for classes not working. If you are a teacher and your students lack motivation, you need to get into another line of work. Part of what teachers do is inspire and motivate. Many teachers can't help but being motivational because they are enthusiastic about their field. Teachers can provide opportunities for the students to reflect on why they are in the class and be given opportunities to contribute to the class - in my experience, this is often enough to motivate students. I would often get students in my English classes who were used to teachers doing the work for the students. This is not a problem with MOOCs. Students can be taught motivation. As Siemens puts it, we need to foster autonomous, self-regulated learners.

2. Facilitated Connections

True learning occurs when the student chooses the modality in which the learning takes place. In traditional education, that modality is forced (typically, static classroom lecture mode). If the student accepts the choice, he or she is a "good student." What would happen if the learning materials were in different multiple formats; open, accessible and maybe sometimes asynchronous and the students got to choose which version of the material they used and how they engaged with it? Why can't "lecture" also be a video stream, podcast, or recorded event? Then the "live" bit can occur when the students decide to get together and review the materials, discuss them, and then later bring their questions to the facilitator. These reviews can happen in a Moodle discussion forum, Facebook, Twitter, or even in virtual worlds like Second Life.

3. Self-Organization

Teachers need to have faith in the students ability to self-organize - this is how revolutions, religions, and AA meetings work. Humans have evolved to do this very effectively, just ask the wooly mammoth. To this end, students need to be encouraged to use the media with which they communicate as a learning tool. If the students like discussion forums, make that available. If the students are texters or use Facebook, encourage them to take the discussion their. Even if you are not a chronic tweeter, why not have instructions available to students who are? What happened in my Connectivsm and Connective Knowledge class was that discussions took place in a wide variety of fora and then a self- or group appointed "leader" would bring our questions back to the course facilitators for clarification. Often the best thing that the facilitators did was to stand back and let us learn.

4. Content Curation

There was no text book for Connectivism and Connective Knowledge. The course consisted of many of the articles and readings that lead the facilitators to Connectivism, but also the people behind those ideas. What George Siemens and Stephen Downes are really good at is bringing the right people together to talk. They have been exploring these ideas for a while and they were good at breaking down how they arrived at some of their conclusions. Fortunately, the ideas are new enough that the people that helped them out along the way are still with us. So a "lecture" in this course consisted of some weekly readings, a video or two, and a live, weekly presentation by the facilitators or someone like Dave Cormier or another "guest lecturer." These lectures would often start out as a lecture and then evolve into a conversation with the facilitators and students. You would be really surprised at how open people are in your discipline to being a guest in your course via webinar or Skype.

So therefore, getting together with an instructional designer and creating course guides that account for the different media would be really helpful. Fortunately, George Siemens and Peter Tittenberger also thought of that with their "Handbook for Emerging Technologies" which needs to be updated and put back onto a wiki somewhere - maybe at College of the Redwoods or a college near you - so it can be added to and revised.

For Connectivism, the medium is the message - teaching Connectivism any other way than a MOOC is as ridiculous as buying a book about free, open text books from Amazon.Com. I hope that the critics of MOOCs take the time to actually take a course, even as a lurker - they will gain immensely from the experience, and who knows? They might even learn something.

Source and Full Text Available At 


George Mason University Launches World's First MOOC in Social Entrepreneurship

Fairfax, Virginia, December 20, 2012 – The idea that anyone, anywhere can be a social innovator and changemaker gained major support today as the Mason Center for Social Entrepreneurship (MSCE) launched Social Entrepreneurship: An Introduction, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on The course is designed to provide students and professionals globally with the opportunity to learn about the burgeoning field of social entrepreneurship.

“A MOOC on social entrepreneurship makes great sense; the people who are consuming this disruptive form of education are the very folks who, with additional knowledge and skills, can disrupt outdated approaches to solving our social problems,” said Greg Werkheiser, Executive Director of MCSE. Werkheiser and MCSE Director of Entrepreneurship, David J. Miller, share lead faculty duties in the MOOC.

With growing social challenges and financially stressed governments, a MOOC in social entrepreneurship achieves multiple goals of MCSE, including supporting innovation in higher education as well as empowering emerging social innovators globally.

The continually changing landscape for public research universities presents George Mason University many opportunities for leadership and innovation.

“By working with, AshokaU, Echoing Green, Net Impact, Mario Morino and others we’ve been able to leverage this new educational platform to reach out to students and colleagues around the world who do not yet have access to high quality social entrepreneurship faculty, courses, or centers,” stated Miller.

In the coming semesters MCSE plans further experimentation with new technologies and educational channels to expand and improve the impact of Mason’s extensive social entrepreneurship offerings and programs.


Source and Full Text Available At 


The Future of MOOCs

As the year of the massive open online course (MOOC) winds down, educators and commenters have already begun looking to see what the future of MOOCs will look like. While the disruptive potential of the latest idea to take academia by storm is only beginning to be understood, some commenters are already pushing for MOOCs to be expanded. Some believe that the next frontier for MOOCs should be k-12 education, others think that the MOOC movement will begin fracturing and that 2013 will see the emergence of massive open closed courses and more small schools will begin exploring little open online courses. Already MOOCs have begun to reshape the concept of global higher education, and have led to accusations that they are another form of American cultural imperialism, but their real impact has yet to truly be felt. However, some of farsighted people paid to pay attention to the future of higher education have begun getting ideas about what the spread of MOOCs will mean.

The End of the University

The writing is on the wall: the university as we know it has less than 50 years left. Recent reports from Bane & Company, Standard & Poor's, Earnest & Young, and Moody's painted an apocalyptic scenario for higher education. As state financial support continues to decrease U.S. colleges are starting to price themselves out of the market. The tuition increases come despite the fact that one-third of U.S. universities are financially unstable and the spreading realization that the broad-based research university business model is going to be unviable in 10-15 years. Some commenters believe that at least half of the approximately 4,500 colleges in the U.S. will cease to exist within one generation. Other predictions go much farther, arguing that, as massive open online courses (MOOCS) become more prevalent, there might be as few as 10 to 20 universities in the world as soon as 2040.


Source and Full Text Available At


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Unlocking the Gates: How and Why Leading Universities Are Opening Up Access to Their Courses

Over the past decade, a small revolution has taken place at some of the world's leading universities, as they have started to provide free access to undergraduate course materials--including syllabi, assignments, and lectures--to anyone with an Internet connection. Yale offers high-quality audio and video recordings of a careful selection of popular lectures, MIT supplies digital materials for nearly all of its courses, Carnegie Mellon boasts a purpose-built interactive learning environment, and some of the most selective universities in India have created a vast body of online content in order to reach more of the country's exploding student population. Although they don't offer online credit or degrees, efforts like these are beginning to open up elite institutions--and may foreshadow significant changes in the way all universities approach teaching and learning. Unlocking the Gates is one of the first books to examine this important development.

Drawing on a wide range of sources, including extensive interviews with university leaders, Taylor Walsh traces the evolution of these online courseware projects and considers the impact they may have, both inside elite universities and beyond. As economic constraints and concerns over access demand more efficient and creative teaching models, these early initiatives may lead to more substantial innovations in how education is delivered and consumed--even at the best institutions. Unlocking the Gates tells an important story about this form of online learning--and what it might mean for the future of higher education.

Taylor Walsh writes on behalf of Ithaka S+R, a not-for-profit strategy and research service that supports innovation in the academic community.

Source Available At 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Higher Education Edition > Short Lists

The NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program, and is slated to be released in February 2013.

The tenth edition will describe annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, a decade-long research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education. Six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, as well as key trends and challenges expected to continue over the same period, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.

The 2013 Horizon Project Higher Education Advisory Board initially voted on the top 12 emerging technologies — the result of which is documented in this a interim report: the NMC Horizon Project Short List > 2013 Higher Education Edition. This Short List will help the advisory board narrow down the 12 technologies to six for the full publication.

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

§ Flipped Classroom 
§ Massively Open Online Courses 
§ Mobile Apps 
§ Tablet Computing 

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

§ Augmented Reality 
§ Game-Based Learning 
§ The Internet of Things 
§ Learning Analytics 

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

§ 3D Printing 
§ Flexible Displays
§ Next Generation Batteries 
§ Wearable Technology 

Massively Open Online Courses 

Stephen Downes and George Siemens coined the term in 2008, massively open online courses
(MOOCs) were conceptualized as the next evolution of networked learning. The essence of the originalMOOC concept was a web course that people could take from anywhere across the world, with potentially thousands of participants. The basis of this concept is an expansive and diverse set of content, contributed by a variety of experts, educators, and instructors in a specific field, aggregated into a central repository, such as a web site. What made this content set especially unique is that it could be “remixed” — the materials are not necessarily designed to go together but become associated with each other through the MOOC. A key component of the original vision is that all course materials and the course itself are open source and free — with the door left open for a fee if a participant taking the course wished university credit to be transcripted for the work.

Since those early days, interest in MOOCs has evolved at an unprecedented pace, fueled by high profile entrants like Coursera, Udacity, and edX. In these examples, the notion has shifted away from open content or even open access, to an interpretation in which “open” equates to “no charge.” The pace of development in the MOOC space is so high that it is likely that a number of alternative models will emerge in the coming year. Ultimately, the models that attract the most participants are gaining the most attention, but many challenges remain to be resolved in supporting learning at scale.


Source and Links Available At

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A/V Now Available > FREE ELI Webinar > Digital Badges as an Open Passport for Learning > January 7 2013

Date: January 7, 2013 / Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 ET

Special Guest: Kyle Bowen / Director of Informatics /  Purdue University


Join Malcolm Brown, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative director, and Veronica Diaz, ELI associate director, as they moderate this webinar with Kyle Bowen. As we continue to reshape the form and method of instruction, it is increasingly important to recognize learning in all of its dimensions. Institutions have historically used "credit" as a blunt instrument to recognize course completion. Digital badges provide a new way to visually represent learning, achievements, skills, interests, or competencies that are linked to evidence of students' work. Purdue University recently launched Passport as a way to engage students and provide a new means of assessing learning. Instructors created online learning activities that are presented as a series of challenges. In a "choose your own adventure" style, students self-select how to complete each challenge. Instructors monitor student progress to help determine future instruction and use each step in the challenge completion process as a summative assessment. Using this type of flexible approach makes it possible to capture both formal (classroom) and informal learning experiences. As students are awarded badges, they can be presented as part of an online and mobile portfolio or published as a Mozilla Open Badge. This webinar will explore the key concepts and lessons learned around Purdue's badge initiative and future directions for the technology.

Additional Resources

Passport by Purdue
General Information

Note: Recording Accessible Only To ELI Members

Source and Links To A/V Available Via


Friday, December 14, 2012

Seminar > Online and Open-Access Learning in Higher Education: MOOCs, New Pedagogies and Business Models > February 5 2013 > London

This one-day seminar is aimed at senior managers and policy makers in higher education, as well as other stakeholders and innovators in both the public and private sectors. It will take a critical look at the current surge of online and open-access higher education in the US, as well as its emergence in the UK and elsewhere. What does it have to offer – to students and to universities seeking to adapt to this new landscape?

  • To evaluate critically case studies in the rapidly unfolding landscape of online, hybrid and open-access learning, including MOOCs
  • To participate in discussions with practitioners of online, hybrid and open-access learning
  • To consider how these transformations are already affecting higher education provision in the US, UK and elsewhere, and to examine institutional responses
  • To evaluate the potential for integrating open-access credentials into university degrees
  • To evaluate the means of integrating the online revolution into existing and new revenue models
Source and Links To Agenda and Registration Available At 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

CHE > Leading British Universities Join New MOOC Venture

December 13, 2012, 7:01 pm /  Marc Parry

Martin Bean, vice chancellor of the Open U., says the new venture will have a “distinctly British” twist.

Earlier this month, one of Britain’s top newspapers noticed a glaring absence on the British education scene: MOOC’s. “U.K. universities are wary of getting on board the MOOC train,” read The Guardian’s headline. Two institutions, the Universities of Edinburgh and London, have recently signed on to offer massive open online courses via the American company Coursera. Yet in Britain, said the newspaper, “there is scarcely a whiff of the evangelism and excitement bubbling away in America, where venture capitalists and leading universities are ploughing millions” into MOOC’s.

That’s changing. Some leading British universities on Friday announced plans to offer free online courses through a new company being created by the Open University, a longstanding distance-education provider. The company, FutureLearn, will offer courses from the Universities of Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Exeter, Lancaster, Leeds, Southampton, St. Andrews, and Warwick, as well as King’s College London. Many of those institutions belong to the Russell Group, an association of Britain’s top research-intensive universities.


Source and Full Text Available At 


PBS NewsHour MOOC Survey

PBS NewsHour

Have you taken a MOOC course?

MOOCs, or massive open online courses, which offer free, non-credit instruction to anyone who wants to sign up, have been gaining considerable popularity over the past year.

Are you one of the two million plus people who've signed-up for a MOOC course? Did you have a professor who made your class particularly memorable? We want to hear from you. Share your story ... and a NewsHour producer may get in touch with you.

Source and Questionnaire Available At 


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Academic Financial Trading Platform MOOC

The Academic Financial Trading Platform (AFTP) has a two-prong objective: (1) Offer massively open online business courses by faculty from the world's top business schools to a broad community of students, researchers, and practitioners around the world completely for FREE; and (2) Deliver, for the first time, fully automated and transparent quantitative stock market prediction techniques (models) and trading strategies, developed at the world's top research centers, to the average investor. It also provides step-by-step guidelines on how to implement the model-recommended trades on major online brokerages thereby enabling users to make intelligent investment decisions by themselves in order to achieve their investment goals, without having to pay expensive management fees. Finally, it provides access to an all-star cast of financial experts from industry and academia that developed these aforementioned models, along with a friendly and collaborative online atmosphere that allows users to easily engage with one another - to seek financial advice or simply to meet and mingle with like-minded investors sharing similar goals.



NSF Award > RAPID: Understanding and Designing Community Dynamics in a Massively Open Online Course Platform, the Peer 2 Peer University

Office of CyberInfrastructure
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Initial Amendment Date:September 12, 2012
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Latest Amendment Date:September 12, 2012
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Award Number:1257347
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Award Instrument:Standard Grant
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Program Manager:Mark Suchman
OCI Office of CyberInfrastructure
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Start Date:October 1, 2012
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Expires:September 30, 2013 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date:$178,806.00
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Investigator(s):Brian Butler (Principal Investigator)
June Ahn (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor:University of Maryland College Park
COLLEGE PARK, MD 20742-5141  (301)405-6269
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NSF Program(s):CI-TEAM
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Program Reference Code(s):7914
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Program Element Code(s):7477


In this project, the researchers will collaborate with one of the foremost open education platforms, the Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), to study how online cyberinfrastructure can be designed, implemented, and analyzed to foster educational experiences at a massive scale. With the rise of massively-open online course platforms (MOOCs), there is a great need to understand how these infrastructure technologies can be used to facilitate open education at scale. Specifically, this project involves (1) implementing and conducting design experiments on the P2PU platform, to generate new knowledge about how to improve cyberinfrastructures for open learning; (2) collecting and analyzing data from the P2PU platform to contribute foundational knowledge of open learning dynamics and the issues open learning communities face; and (3) working with P2PU to create and share publicly available datasets, practices, and standards that will spur wider big-data driven research on cyberinfrastructures for learning and education.

Enabled by new cyber-infrastructure technologies, a rapidly developing family of "massively open online courses" (MOOCs) hold the potential to make interactive educational experiences available at massive scale. At the same time, researchers, educators, and policy makers are increasingly interested in the potential for big-data driven learning-analytics, to transform how educational experiences are designed, deployed and evaluated. Together, these trends present several cyberinfrastructure challenges that will be explored in this project:

-- How should MOOC platforms be designed, deployed and evaluated? What design features support appropriate types of learner engagement? How do features, such as badges and group recommendations, facilitate meaningful involvement?

-- How can developing MOOC platforms be used to meet the growing needs for cyberinfrastructure skills education and workforce development? Do MOOCs provide a suitable platform for building the technical, managerial, and scientific skills necessary to use and support emerging cyberinfrastructures?

-- What cyberinfrastructure is needed to support high-impact, data-driven learning-analytics research? What data standards and practices are necessary to support studies of open communities for education and learning?

MOOC platforms have significant potential to increase the accessibility of STEM training, and of education more generally. Understanding open platforms such as P2PU also has the potential to broaden the population of individuals and institutions that can participate in the creation and design of open education experiences. This project will help us better to understand a rapidly emerging, highly disruptive example of cyberinfrastructure (MOOC platforms). The project will thus contribute to multiple research agendas in such fields as: computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL); human-computer interaction (HCI); virtual and online communities; and, more generally, information systems, and organization science. The measures, standards, and practices pioneered in this project will also significantly accelerate the development of data-driven research and learning-analytics techniques suitable for the design, management, evaluation and improvement of the nation's growing educational cyber-infrastructure.



NSF Award > Workshop on Emerging Online Educational Technologies > Held December 8 2012

Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
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Initial Amendment Date:September 21, 2012
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Latest Amendment Date:September 21, 2012
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Award Number:1251746
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Award Instrument:Standard Grant
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Program Manager:Gregg E. Solomon
DRL Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
EHR Directorate for Education & Human Resources
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Start Date:October 1, 2012
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Expires:September 30, 2013 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date:$49,152.00
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Investigator(s):Andrew Bernat (Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor:Computing Research Association
1828 L St., NW
Washington, DC 20036-0000 
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NSF Program(s):REESE
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Program Reference Code(s):7556, SMET, 9177, 7625
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Program Element Code(s):7625


This workshop will bring together leading researchers from relevant academic, commerical, and practice-oriented communities to explore fundamental issues concerning the emergence of radically new developments in learning technology and its applications in higher education. Developments in online instruction and technology-based innovation in classroom interactions are changing how academics think about teaching and learning. An example is the recent emergence of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), where the primary focus is on delivery of educational experiences through the Web to global audiences. Digital technologies are also changing teaching in face-to-face settings, with experiments at many institutions in flipped classroom approaches and blended instructional methods.

The goal of the workshop is to generate a rough 5 - 10 year prioritized research agenda for technology-based teaching/learning approaches that are effective and feasible to scale. There are very deep issues to be explored in the new educational techniques, issues which must be explored if such techniques are not to be pursued blindly. This workshop will help lead the way to understanding the developing online educational practices in the light of research into their effectiveness. The hope is that a framework will be produced that will lead to research that facilitates the development of high quality, economically-feasible, educational practices with these new and still emerging technologies.



Account of Workshop Held December 8 2012 By AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow (NSF)