Virtual School Meanderings

May 4, 2016

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 5/2/16

From Monday’s inbox…

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MAY 2, 2016
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
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The fourth edition of the National Education Policy Center’s annual report on online and blended learning schools provides a detailed overview and inventory of full-time virtual schools and blended learning schools, also called hybrid schools. Little rigorous research has examined their inner workings, but evidence indicates that students differ from those in traditional public schools, and […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
The role of open educational resources in the eLearning movement

Open Educational Resources (OERs) have gained increased attention for their potential to provide equitable and accessible educational facilities for people worldwide. Obviating demographic, economic, and geographic educational boundaries can be the OERs slogan. Realization of this promise is an inevitable target of eLearning, thus offering education new challenges. In this observation paper, we express OERs […]

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Tackling complexity in an interdisciplinary scholarly network: Requirements for semantic publishing

Scholarly communication is complex. The clarification of concepts like “academic publication”, “document”, “semantics” and “ontology” facilitates tracking the limitations and benefits of the media of the current publishing system, as well as of a possible alternative medium. In this paper, requirements for such a new medium of scholarly communication, labeled Scholarly Network, have been collected […]

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A scholarly divide: Social media, Big Data, and unattainable scholarship

Recent decades have witnessed an increased growth in data generated by information, communication, and technological systems, giving birth to the ‘Big Data’ paradigm. Despite the profusion of raw data being captured by social media platforms, Big Data require specialized skills to parse and analyze — and even with the requisite skills, social media data are […]

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Culture matters ❤engaging students in redesigning coursework with digital components

In this study tertiary level curriculum was redesigned to include online and digital components for engaging, motivating, involving and exciting students. An innovative approach is offered that involves students creatively in flexible, adaptable curriculum using cultural and instructional student preferences. Traditional lecture style cultural geography curriculum at the University of Guam (UOG) was redesigned with […]

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IN THE NEWS
New Directory of Online Colleges

Distance learning is here to stay. Initially on the fringes of formal education, online colleges, courses and degree programs have quickly become mainstream. Even traditional campus-based institutions have incorporated online learning into their curricula. In 2013, seven million college students — nearly 50 percent of all those enrolled — took at least one online class, […]

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Sign of the Times

Penn State U’s World Campus plans further changes to its faculty development efforts after an online teaching certificate program became a surprise hit among graduate students. Inside Higher Education

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Open University looks to the future as it celebrates 47 years of transforming lives

The Vice-Chancellor of The Open University (OU) has called on the organisation to draw inspiration from its “glorious” past as it marks the 47th anniversary of receiving its Royal Charter. A series of special events have been taking place across the OU, including keynote speeches from Peter Horrocks, as well as the University’s Pro-Chancellor, Richard […]

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Can technology help teach literacy in poor communities?

Project to provide children with tablets loaded with literacy apps reports encouraging results in Africa, U.S. MIT

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April 26, 2016

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 4/25/16

From yesterday’s inbox…

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Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
APRIL 25, 2016
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
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The goal of this report is to critically examine one of the marvels of modern higher education: specialist open and distance learning (ODL) universities. These institutions, such as The Open University (UKOU), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and the University of South Africa (UNISA), have pioneered radically innovative instructional and support methods, opening pathways […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Participatory Learning Through Social Media: How and Why Social Studies Educators Use Twitter

The microblogging service Twitter offers a platform that social studies educators increasingly use for professional development, communication, and class activities, but to what ends? The authors drew on Deweyan conceptions of participatory learning and citizenship aims of the field as lenses through which to consider social media activities. To determine how and why social studies […]

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Teaching students using technology: Facilitating success for students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds in Australian universities

Australian higher education has adopted a widening participation agenda with a focus on the participation of disadvantaged students, particularly those from low socioeconomic status (LSES) backgrounds. As these students begin to enter university in greater number and proportion than ever before, there is increasing interest in how best to facilitate their success. A recent national […]

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Evaluation of Intelligent Grouping Based on Learners’ Collaboration Competence Level in Online Collaborative Learning Environment

In this paper we explore the impact of an intelligent grouping algorithm based on learners’ collaborative competency when compared with (a) instructor based Grade Point Average (GPA) method level and (b) random method, on group outcomes and group collaboration problems in an online collaborative learning environment. An intelligent grouping algorithm has been added in a […]

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Comparative Analysis of Pedagogical Strategies Across Disciplines in Open Distance Learning at UnisaODL at Unisa

Re-engineering technological strategies in teaching and learning in an open distance learning (ODL) environment is paramount as the demand for access to quality higher education escalates drastically on a year to year basis. The organisational framework requires change in order to accommodate the increasing number of students. In view of the changing higher education landscape […]

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IN THE NEWS
University contemplates 3-year, fully online degree programs

The University of Colorado is asking its faculty and staff to get creative and develop new, fully online degree programs to launch in the fall of 2018. eCampus News

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Udacity Breaks Out of the Online Education Box

Sebastian Thrun, Udacity’s chief executive officer, discusses the company’s offline plans with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang on “Bloomberg West.” Bloomberg

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Could a liberal arts approach to online learning be more successful?

Bellevue University is using small online learning classes and close oversight by faculty to improve graduation rates and reduce debt defaults. eCampus News

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The Price Is Still Right: 15 Sites for Free Digital Textbooks

“Open” has gone mainstream. The world now celebrates Open Education Week. The U.S. Department of Education announced an “Open Education” or #GoOpen initiative and ran its first “@GoOpen Exchange” to get schools and educators committed to the use of open educational resources (OER). Campus Technology

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April 20, 2016

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 4/18/16

From a couple of days ago…

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Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
APRIL 18, 2016
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
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Most Americans believe libraries do a decent job of serving the education and learning needs of their communities and their own families. A new survey by Pew Research Center shows that 76% of adults say libraries serve the learning and educational needs of their communities either “very well” (37%) or “pretty well” (39%). Further, 71% […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
A Computational Model of Learners Achievement Emotions Using Control- Value Theory

Game-based Learning (GBL) environments make instruction flexible and interactive. Positive experiences depend on personalization. Student modelling has focused on affect. Three methods are used: (1) recognizing the physiological effects of emotion, (2) reasoning about emotion from its origin and (3) an approach combining 1 and 2. These have proven successful only in labs, or use […]

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Affective Behavior and Nonverbal Interaction in Collaborative Virtual Environments

While a person’s internal state might not be easily inferred through an automatic computer system, within a group, people express themselves through their interaction with others. The group members’ interaction can be then helpful to understand, to certain extent, its members’ affective behavior in any case toward the task at hand. In this context, a […]

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Humanities Data in the Library: Integrity, Form, Access

Digitally inflected Humanities scholarship and pedagogy is on the rise. Librarians are engaging this activity in part through a range of digital scholarship initiatives. While these engagements bear value, efforts to reshape library collections in light of demand remain nascent. This paper advances principles derived from practice to inform development of collections that can better […]

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Learners’ Interpersonal Beliefs and Generated Feedback in an Online Role-Playing Peer- Feedback Activity: An Exploratory Study

Peer feedback affords interaction and critical thinking opportunities for learners in online courses. However, various factors prevent learners from taking advantage of these promising benefits. This study explored learners’ perceptions of the interpersonal factors in a role-playing peer-feedback activity, and examined the types of peer feedback that learners generated when playing a role. Participants were […]

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IN THE NEWS
MOOC With a Community College Twist

The steep investment is preventing two-year institutions from creating massive open online courses, but SUNY Broome Community College found a way — and a purpose for one. Inside Higher Ed

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Half of MOOC Users in Developing Countries Get Certificates

A new study by researchers at the University of Washington has found that the use of massive open online courses is much different in emerging countries than in the United States and, in some ways, more in line with what MOOC’s original proponents had in mind. Campus Technology

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2016 Higher Education Online Learning Landscape

Let’s face it, online learning is becoming mainstream. And why not? This learning modality provides ease of access, affordability and inclusion for an evolving, growing higher education population. Increased digital learning opportunities, such as learning analytics, competency-based education and adaptive learning are quickly being embraced by today’s students and allow for new learning methods to […]

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Where you live rather than what you know? The problem with education deserts

To increase educational attainment levels, the process of preparing and applying for college needs to improve. Students need to know when to apply for financial aid, how to choose a college that matches their academic and social preferences, and develop awareness about what happens after college in terms of repaying debt and finding a job. […]

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April 13, 2016

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 4/11/16

Now that AERA is over, back to a more normal schedule of posting.  Anyway, from Monday’s inbox…

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Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
APRIL 11, 2016
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
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Historically, much of education research has focused on exploring the classroom as a context for learning, explaining the learning processes that occur in the classroom, and designing lessons that help students learn. e past decades have seen considerable research on the various social factors that a ect learning; they have also seen increasing research into […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Self-presentation in scholarly profiles: Characteristics of images and perceptions of professionalism and attractiveness on academic social networking sitesOnline self-presentation is of increasing importance in modern life, from establishing and maintaining personal relationships to forging professional identities. Academic scholars are no exception, and a host of social networking platforms designed specifically for scholars abound. This study used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service to code 10,500 profile pictures used by scholars on three platforms — […]

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From Written to Digital: The New LiteracyBoth the 21st-century economy and the careers needed to fuel it are changing at an unprecedented rate. Students must be prepared for nonlinear careers, pivoting to match the ever-changing work landscape. We thus need to rethink not just how we teach our students but what we teach our students. EDUCAUSE Review

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Twitter-Based EFL Pronunciation InstructionThis paper looks at the use of Twitter as a language teaching/learning tool. It describes the results of a study aimed at testing Twitter’s effectiveness for pronunciation teaching. The purpose of the study was to determine whether Twitter can foster online participation and whether it may have a positive effect on the pronunciation of a number of words commonly mispronounced […]

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Language Learning Through Social Networks: Perceptions and RealityLanguage Learning Social Network Sites (LLSNSs) have attracted millions of users around the world. However, little is known about how people participate in these sites and what they learn from them. This study investigated learners’ attitudes, usage, and progress in a major LLSNS through a survey of 4,174 as well as 20 individual case studies. […]

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IN THE NEWS
MIT Professional Education announces new online course on the Internet of ThingsMIT Professional Education has announced the introduction of a new online course, Internet of Things: Roadmap to a Connected World. Making its debut on April 12, this first-of-its-kind digital course will teach key IoT concepts including identification, sensors, localization, wireless protocols, data storage, and security. Designed for technical professionals across all industries, the innovative, six-week […]

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Berkeley to accept University of the People graduatesThe Californian institution said it will recruit top-performing graduates from the online university Times Higher Education

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D2L Launches The Learning Analytics Blueprint to Help Organizations Get Started With Data in the ClassroomToday, D2L, a global edtech leader and the creator of Brightspace, releases The Learning Analytics Blueprint, a visual guide to rolling out a successful Learning Analytics solution organization-wide. The Learning Analytics Blueprint provides organizations with a best practice framework for optimizing learning data. The Learning Analytics Blueprint is supported by D2L’s team of experts in change management, data […]

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UC Irvine Offering Scholarships for Gamers, Building Gaming Arena and Webcasting StudioUniversity of California, Irvine is launching a new e-sports initiative this fall, which it’s describing as “the first of its kind at a public research university.” Campus Technology

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April 5, 2016

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 4/4/16

Another item from yesterday’s inbox…

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Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
APRIL 4, 2016
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download Report

What is on the five-year horizon for higher education institutions? Which trends and technology developments will drive educational change? What are the challenges that we consider as solvable or difficult to overcome, and how can we strategize effective solutions? These questions and similar inquiries regarding technology adoption and educational change steered the collaborative research and […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Twitter friend repertoires: Introducing a methodology to assess patterns of information management on TwitterThis paper argues that previous Twitter research has mainly employed a “broadcast perspective” by focusing on follower relations and concepts such as popularity, reach, or influence. But the microblogging platform is also a tool for users to combine a personalized set of sources. We propose the concept of “Twitter friend repertoires” and present a novel […]

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Learning outcome, presence and satisfaction from a science activity in Second LifeAlthough problem-based learning (PBL) has many advantages, it often fails to connect to the real world outside the classroom. The integration with the laboratory setting and the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been proposed to address this deficiency. Multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) like Second Life (SL) are 3D collaborative virtual environments that […]

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Educational heterotopia and students’ use of FacebookFacebook use in higher education has grown exponentially in recent years, with both academics and students seeking to use it to support learning processes. Noting that research into educational cyberspace has generally ignored spatial elements, this paper redresses this deficiency through using Foucault’s (1986) discussion of different spaces to examine Facebook use. Recognising that more than simple façade space is […]

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E-learning in Mongolian Higher EducationThis paper reviews the e-learning course development in selected universities of Mongolia and attempts to classify the e-learning programs that are in practice at the tertiary education level in the country. The given paper uses both secondary and primary sources. The authors determined what factors influence e-learning type classification and how time consuming is e-learning […]

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IN THE NEWS
Fostering postgraduate student engagement: online resources supporting self-directed learning in a diverse cohortThe research question for this study was: ‘Can the provision of online resources help to engage and motivate students to become self-directed learners?’ This study presents the results of an action research project to answer this question for a postgraduate module at a research-intensive university in the United Kingdom. The analysis of results from the […]

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Personalized Learning: What It Really Is and Why It Really MattersThe authors offer a framework—based on three years of campus visits—for thinking about (1) the circumstances under which personalized learning can help students and (2) the best way to evaluate the real educational value for products that are marketed under the personalized learning banner. EDUCAUSE Review

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What Are You Talking About?! The Need for Common Language around Personalized LearningLanguage matters. With a common understanding of the terms surrounding personalized learning, we will have a better shot at putting our ideas into practice. EDUCAUSE Review

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Local firms invited to apply for establishing of ‘MOOCs’ through Higher Education Ministry [Egypt]The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology launched a tender for local firms to apply for to be part of the establishment of massive open online courses (MOOCs) under the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Daily News Egypt

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