29 avril 2013

More on MOOCs and Liberal Arts Education

HomeByTracy Mitrano. Yesterday I wrote about how MOOCs (broadly interpreted, not literally defined) could enrich a liberal arts education from the proverbial 10,000-feet level. Today I would like to drop down several thousand feet in thought to share how an institution might effectuate such programming. It begins with a genuine and enthusiastic collaboration among administrators -- provost and his/her officers (centers of teaching excellence, VPs of undergraduate education, etc.); information technology specialists, especially in academic technology sectors; academic librarians -- and faculty.  Lots and lots of faculty, from the governance level (faculty senates, for example) and most particularly deans, department chairs right down to individually inspired members. With all of the challenges traditional not-for-profit liberal arts education face currently, if ever there was a a time for all of these parties to work together toward the common goal -- the enhancement of a liberal arts tradition -- that time is now. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:09 - - Permalien [#]

What MOOCs Have to Offer Liberal Arts

HomeBy Tracy Mitrano. My spouse is the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life at the University of Rochester. She received her doctorate of divinity in interfaith studies from Princeton. Her dissertation, Many Faces of God, has become a curriculum for a program that she has offered to as varied of groups as local townspeople and parishioners in a small, western New York town (Penn Yan), seminary students at Rochester, Colgate, Crozier Divinity School and for the Rochester Episcopal Diocese. Invariably an initial concern is whether the study of other religions will result in conversions. In ten years of the program, that result has occurred only once, and with an individual who came in search of a faith, not from one faith or denomination particularly (so, in fact, it was not really a conversion, except by default of an estranged Christian family background.)  What almost equally invariably occurs instead is that students report a deepening of their own, original faith by virtue of learning about and respecting the traditions and devotions of the faithful in other beliefs. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:07 - - Permalien [#]

Defining Incompetence

HomeBy Carl Straumsheim. Faculty members at Brooklyn Law School are torn over what the expansion of adequate causes of termination for tenured professors means for their job security: Is it a harmless change, or does it lay the groundwork for layoffs down the road?
The Board of Trustees recently adopted “demonstrated incompetence” to the list, defining it as “multiple unsatisfactory performance reviews or complaints from supervisors; multiple complaints from students or multiple unsatisfactory student evaluations; [or] sub-standard academic performance.”
Bloggers say the change could threaten academic freedom at the law school school -- especially since the definition of demonstrated incompetence also includes exhibiting a “lack of collegiality,” a criterion the American Association of University Professors has vocally opposed as a factor in performance evaluations. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:04 - - Permalien [#]

Postgraduate diversity "not good enough", figures show

Times Higher EducationBy Elizabeth Gibney. Fewer than ten graduates each from Black Caribbean and Bangladeshi minority groups make the transition to a research degree each academic year, a study has found. At masters level these groups had lower than average rates of progression, falling to an “exceptionally low” rate for research degrees, says a report commissioned by the Higher Education Academy.
“The very small numbers of graduates progressing to higher degrees from certain groups…means that very few such individuals are part of the supply ‘pipeline’ for those careers requiring postgraduate qualifications for entry,” reads the report.
“Sectors employing doctoral graduates –including, of course, higher education itself – thus face a regrettable lack of diversity in their workforce,” it adds. The report is titled ‘Transition to higher degrees across the UK: An analysis of national, international and individual differences’. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 20:41 - - Permalien [#]

Exposing dubious qualifications – you decide?

http://www.news24.com/Images/24com_logo.pngIf you knew the names of a few individuals who had obtained possible dubious qualifications, such as a PHD or doctorate degree from an online non-academic international “university” to improve their credibility in the eyes of their clients, would you blow the whistle?
The facts that describe the academic status of the international university are provided and then examples of three individuals who obtained a qualification from them are described. An attempt to determine if any laws are transgressed follows and then four possible actions are proposed.
The qualifications of these individuals are often not queried as they are usually self-employed or they do not have to comply with rigorous screening procedures; something that would have been necessary had they applied for a position in a corporate organisation or had to apply for registration in a regulated profession. These dubious qualifications are typically used as an additional qualification to give them a competitive advantage. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:19 - - Permalien [#]

Computer says no: automated essay grading in the world of MOOCs

http://www.pcauthority.com.au/Images/site-logo.gifBy Mark Gregory. An essay you submit in an online course might not be graded by humans but by computers instead.
Let us consider the following scenario.
You have enrolled in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offered by a world renowned university. After four weeks of solid work you have completed your first assignment and you sit down to upload the essay. Within a second of the essay being sent for grading your result appears declaring your essay to be a less than stellar effort.
But the essay might not have even been seen by a human, but instead been graded entirely by a computer system comparing your essay to sample essays in a database. EdX, a non-profit MOOC provider founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, introduced automated essay grading capability in a software upgrade earlier this year. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:13 - - Permalien [#]

Revamping Part-Time University Education in Nigeria

http://allafrica.com/static/images/publishers/minibanners/premiumtimesng180.gifEducation is widely believed to be the key to success in the contemporary world. No wonder many people that were not privileged to attain higher education with their mates find the chance to do so. This is one of the reasons why the Federal Government of Nigeria introduced Part-Time education in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
Students of this part-time programme are mainly aged men and women who decide to obtain a university degree. The introduction of the part-time programme was welcomed by many Nigerians including stakeholders in the education sector. This was seen as a medium to break the inequality in education which catalyses mass illiteracy. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:11 - - Permalien [#]

Does the College Major Matter? Not Really

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/nytlogo152x23.gifJeffrey J. Selingo is the editor at large of The Chronicle of Higher Education and the author of “College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students,” to be published May 7 by New Harvest. This post is adapted from the book.
This week, the last of the high school seniors who have yet to make up their minds about where they’re going to college in the fall, will finally put their deposit check in the mail and end the college search process that for some began years ago.
So much time, effort and money goes into picking the right college, but then too many students fail to engage in the process that follows: getting ready for their first year and figuring out what they want to get out of the entire college experience. It’s why some 400,000 students drop out of college each year and why one-third of students now transfer at least once before earning a degree. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:07 - - Permalien [#]

First university in Solomon Islands cheaper option than studying abroad -academics

http://www.rnzi.com/graphics/int-waves-2.jpgAcademics in Solomon Islands say enrolling at the country’s first university is a cheaper option than studying abroad.
The Solomon Islands National University has officially replaced the College of Higher Education in the capital, Honiara.
The Deputy Principal of King George the sixth High School, Jonathan Dive says students who choose to further their studies locally won’t be burdened with the cost of airfares, accommodation and international fees, faced by those who study overseas. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:40 - - Permalien [#]

Search for Cuts Puts Portugal’s Schools on Chopping Block

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/nytlogo152x23.gifBy RAPHAEL MINDER. Miguel Reis was one of the vulnerable ones. Like most of the 15,000 or so public school teachers laid off in Portugal over the last two years, he worked on a short-term contract. That made him an easy target when it came to government cost cutting. Six months ago, he lost his job. Angry and unemployed, he joined a protest group — with a name too profane to print — aimed directly at the trio of international lenders that bailed out Portugal’s government with about $100 billion two years ago. He now blames them for Portugal’s troubles, saying the onerous cuts needed to repay the money threaten to forfeit the welfare of future generations, particularly when it comes to education. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:35 - - Permalien [#]