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  • Online courses & MOOCs are Exploding. Why?
    Recent data on the growth of Online Courses in 2015 released by Class Central show that in 2015 the enrollments doubled from 2014 with more than 35 million people enrolled in online courses in the last 4 years. There are more than 4,200 online courses available at various online platforms. Read more...
  • MOOCs are rising in numbers
    About 4000 MOOC courses are provided worldwide now by the MOOC providers, reports the MOOC aggregator Class Central. The number of MOOC students registered in 2015 is nearly equal to the total number of students registered in the last three years. It shows that the learners see value in taking up MOOC courses. Read more...
  • MIT takes a big leap offering course credits for Free Online courses
    MIT is taking a step forward in offering credits for online courses. One can obtain a master's degree by opting for a hybrid model course. The students can get the degree by taking one semester of the course from anywhere for free on edX and get credits by passing the end exam, and complete the other semester on campus. Read more...
  • A tech school with no teachers, no books and no tuition
    École 42 is an ambitious project of a tech school in France with no teachers, no books and no tuition. It makes its learners outstanding programmers with an intensive two-three year programme. Read more...

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  • Interview with Dr. Raj Raghunathan


    Dr. Rajagopal Raghunathan is the author of one the world’s most popular online courses, a MOOC offered by Coursera entitled ‘A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment’. He is Professor of Marketing at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. WUC interviewed him in the midst of his world tour sharing his experiences on how to develop and deliver successful educational content online.

    1. What are the major limitations of the current education system in preparing youth for life in the 21st century?

    Education systems vary by country and culture of course—e.g., the system in Germany, Netherlands and some other European countries allow for students to self select into “professional” vs. “skilled labor” tracks during high school. However, by and large, most education systems fail us by not providing an overarching framework for understanding why being educated is useful. I would imagine that most people would agree that education is useful because it helps enhance everyone’s well-being, and I think this overarching goal needs to be made explicit from Day 1 and reaffirmed through out one’s education. Courses on the topic of "well-being” need to find a way into the curriculum and should play a very central role.

    2. Is it possible to shift from a subject centered to person/student centered learning?

    Yes, we currently have the technology to be able to do so. Online platforms can more easily enable students to delve deeper into a particular topic of interest.

    3. What are the strategies to shift from passive to active learning?

    Students differ from one another in how they learn. Some students learn well by listening, others by reading, and most learn best by actually doing—or teaching to someone else. The online medium provides greater opportunities for active learning. For example, students could be asked to videotape the various things that they did for an assignment and upload it on to the course website. Or, they could be asked to teach a particular topic to someone who is not knowledgeable about that topic. And, of course, they could be periodically tested through “in video quizzes”; findings show that such quick tests can enhance learner-engagement and learning.

    4. What are the advantages of the online classes? What are your suggestions for creating an effective course?

    The online medium offers several significant advantages over the offline (face-to-face) medium. One such advantage is efficiency. You can convey more information per unit of time and add other elements like images and music that enhance learning. It’s easier to integrate quick assessments in online contexts. You can bring in guest speakers and subject matter experts more easily in online videos. It’s more expensive and effortful to do it in face-to-face contexts.
    That said, there are some key disadvantages of the online medium. It can be frustrating if the internet connection is bad. It also does not as easily allow for exchanges between learners. I think it is very important to have a few face-to-face meetings to complement the online content.
    The key element that will make an online course a success is that it needs to offer information in smaller bits than is typically done face-to-face. Given that the online medium has more reach and therefore attracts students from a more diverse set of backgrounds, the message needs to be communicated differently—more directly and using simpler language.

  • Envisioning the era of comprehension
    Ranjani Ravi

    Jargon is a serious academic problem, a growing problem that takes pride in incomprehensibility.

    Jargon is a necessary step in the evolution of scientific language. But it runs the risk of becoming too rigid and gibberish that the very purpose of defining things to make them comprehensible is lost.

    A recent Chronicle article reports that

    Last fall (Naomi Wolf and Sacha Kopp) started a program at Stony Brook University, a State University of New York campus, called "The Public Intellectual." In a four-session workshop, they "train faculty members and graduate students (and even undergraduates) in the skills of … writing and speaking about their work, on mass global platforms."

    This is a great initiative and may offer us the hope of comprehending the incomprehensible!

    But the focus should on understanding and learning for their own sake, not to become intellectuals. It should be on learning for the sake of knowledge.

    Courses with such a motive will work.

  • The Role of Online Education in the New Global Paradigm
    Harish, Janani
    Online education significantly raises the educational attainment levels. Colleges with inadequate infrastructure and insufficient teachers cannot accommodate all those who seek education. Expansion of traditional educational facilities is slow and expensive. Online education using internet and communication technologies offers abundant opportunities to quantitatively and qualitatively expand access to education.
  • Authentication, MOOCs and OERs
    Fabian Banga
    With a growing inventory of openly available educational tools and resources and with an increasingly engaged and connected community, transformative opportunities for education abound. MOOCs that focus on the social dimension of learning and active practices will emerge successful in knowledge production and not just content mastery.
  • Globalizing Higher Education: Global Needs
    Nagan, Winston
    The curriculum design for global higher education should be formulated around the notions of global knowledge, global social consequences and global policy implications. The growth of technology has created a revolution in the storage and retrieving of knowledge, revolutionizing the time involved in learning or teaching from such a knowledge base. The possibility of a future connectivity of intelligence is a major paradigm shift that should impact the prospects of global higher education.
  • MOOCs in the Real World: Deconstructing the Impact
    Matkin, Gary
    MOOC and Open Educational Resources have emerged as the disruptive technology in teaching and learning. As MOOCs pave way for new opportunities, they present unique challenges for institutions of higher education in maintaining institutional autonomy and academic freedom.
  • Global Survival 101
    Krieger, David
    University students need a grounding in the global dangers that confront humans as a species, as well as a sense of the interconnectedness of these dangers and the ways forward to solutions that alleviate and reverse the dangers. Awareness of global dangers and human survival can be created by an online course available to students throughout the world.

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