25 janvier 2014

More Competition for Online Certificate Students

http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/all/themes/ihecustom/logo.jpgBy Carl Straumsheim. An online course provider will this spring introduce bundles of courses created by top-tier universities that can be completed for certificates. That description fits both Academic Partnerships and Coursera, and both programs are called “Specializations."
The similarities are more than mere coincidence, as​ the two companies have since last summer discussed a partnership proposed by Academic Partnerships for its platform to use Coursera's university course offerings. Yet Coursera's Specializations, announced Tuesday morning, took Academic Partnerships CEO Randy Best by surprise. When the parties spoke last week, Best said Coursera “expressed that they were going to defer for now the idea of Specializations."
Academic Partnerships, which helps institutions take their degree programs online, had intended to announce its own Specializations after the Globalization of Higher Education conference in March, after spending 18 months and $20 million to lay the groundwork. Instead, Best learned of Coursera's announcement from a source at 1:50 a.m. Tuesday morning. The news spurred Academic Partnerships to issue a news release Tuesday afternoon, unveiling its Specializations two months earlier than planned. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:27 - - Permalien [#]

To Each According to its Degree: The Meritocracy and Topocracy of Embedded Markets

http://www.nature.com/view/srep/images/journal_header_v3.jpgBy J. Borondo, F. BorondoC. Rodriguez-Sickert & C. A. Hidalgo. A system is said to be meritocratic if the compensation and power available to individuals is determined by their abilities and merits. A system is topocratic if the compensation and power available to an individual is determined primarily by her position in a network. Here we introduce a model that is perfectly meritocratic for fully connected networks but that becomes topocratic for sparse networks-like the ones in society. In the model, individuals produce and sell content, but also distribute the content produced by others when they belong to the shortest path connecting a buyer and a seller. The production and distribution of content defines two channels of compensation: a meritocratic channel, where individuals are compensated for the content they produce, and a topocratic channel, where individual compensation is based on the number of shortest paths that go through them in the network. We solve the model analytically and show that the distribution of payoffs is meritocratic only if the average degree of the nodes is larger than a root of the total number of nodes. We conclude that, in the light of this model, the sparsity and structure of networks represents a fundamental constraint to the meritocracy of societies. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:24 - - Permalien [#]