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  • LinkedIn user profiles to have online education certification
    LinkedIn, the networking site for professionals, has partnered with online education firms to help users showcase their internet-based educational accomplishments. Its Direct-to-Profile Certifications pilot program makes it easy for members to update their profiles with the certification or completed course work when they complete an online course. Read more...
  • A Great 2015 for MOOCs
    MOOCs saw a great growth with 35 million students and 1,800 new courses in 2015. There has been an increase in the courses in various languages and the self-paced courses are getting a boost. Read more...
  • A MOOC course created by 70 world-class physicists
    "From Particles to Stars", a MOOC created by 70 world-class physicists from Université Paris-Saclay which starts on November 16, 2015, is free and open to anyone who is curious about fundamental physics and its applications. It is a ten-week course in French with subtitles in English. Read more...
  • Online education as a job perk
    Organisations are teaming up with universities to provide online education for their employees. Following the example of Starbucks collaborating with the Arizona State University to provide their employees free education through MOOCs, Anthem Inc. has partnered with Southern New Hampshire University and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, with Strayer University. Read more...


  • 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.

  • Original Thinking
    Natarajan, Ashok
    The original thinker seeks original ideas. Original thinking is made possible by the prior development of thinking that organizes facts into information. The apparently insoluble problems we confront are an opportunity to formulate a comprehensive theory of social evolution. The immediate possibility is to devise complete solutions to all existing problems, if only we use the right method of thought development.
  • Reflections on the Future of Global Higher Education - WAAS Conference Report
    Gurgulino de Souza, Heitor; Harish, Janani; Jacobs, Garry; Nagan, Winston; Šlaus, Ivo & Zucconi, Alberto
    The authors urge for an establishment of a World University Consortium to facilitate educational partnerships and linkages with other interested stakeholders at the international level, to provide a centralized source of information about latest innovative ideas and developments in this field, and to explore creative solutions to enhance the reach, quality and relevance of higher education globally.
  • Tomorrow’s Universities and the Seven Pillars of the Knowledge Revolution
    Serageldin, Ismail
    The role of the University as mediator of transitions, its physical presence, governance structure and the values it should promote and its relationship with society and economy are discussed in this paper. The authors suggest core functions and curricula for the future, along with the possibility of a global university consortium. Radical proposals for the content, method, participants and organizational setting of education are recommended.
  • The Double Helix of Learning and Work
    Giarini, Orio & Malitza, Mircea
    When right knowledge and understanding are within the reach of employees, organizations thrive through the adequate accumulation of efficient human capital and its constant adaption to changing circumstances. The interaction between learning and work enables lifelong learning, interdisciplinarity in education and vocational training.
  • Online Education: A Revolution in the Making
    Harish, Janani
    This article studies the phenomenon of MOOCs, and discusses the opportunities and challenges that online education poses. MOOCs are still an evolving field, with new partnerships, innovations and technological advances revolutionizing teaching and learning. Online education is an integral for the future of education.