Nanodegrees Disrupting Higher Education

Nanodegrees in higher edLearning whatever, whenever, wherever, however will be the way people will learn  in the future. I foresee an unimaginable big smorgasbord of learning opportunities customized to the learner needs. This Campus Technology article describes how new “micro” online certification programs are changing the educational pathways to success in certain industries. Change is coming and higher education cannot avoid it.

Tutoring – a new online service for MOOCs

A new Silicon Valley start-up is an online marketplace where students, parents and tutors can set up academic sessions. The average hourly rate for tutors is $11 an hour — a much lower price point than professional tutoring services that go for more like $50 an hour.

Tom Friedman on MOOCs

From the NY Times March 6th: Tom reflects on a recent Conference at M.I.T. and Harvard on “Online Learning and the Future of Residential Education”. His takeaways:

  • We are moving to a more competency-based world, where there will be less interest in how you acquired the competency — in an online course, at a four-year-college or in a company-administered class — and more demand to prove that you mastered the competency.” YES!
  • “… strong consensus that this “blended model” combining online lectures with a teacher-led classroom experience was the ideal.” YES!
  • “The world of MOOCs is creating a competition that will force every professor to improve his or her pedagogy or face an online competitor.” YES!
  • Bottom line: “There is still huge value in the residential college experience and the teacher-student and student-student interactions it facilitates. But to thrive, universities will have to nurture even more of those unique experiences while blending in technology to improve education outcomes in measurable ways at lower costs. We still need more research on what works, but standing still is not an option.” YES!

Worth reading several times…

California Universities Experimenting with MOOCs for Credit

It seems the university business model is finally evolving to engage more learners and be more inclusive (formally).

San Jose State University announced an unusual pilot project with Udacity, a for-profit provider of the massive open online courses, to jointly create three introductory mathematics classes. The courses will be free online, but students who want credit from San Jose State will be able to take them for just $150, far less than the $450 to $750 that students would typically pay for a credit-bearing course. The University of California system may eventually decide to work with MOOC providers as well: Leaders of Udacity and Coursera, another for-profit MOOC company, were scheduled to appear before the university’s Board of Regents this week.

MOOC’s for Credit (the most most-viewed IHE story last month)

From Inside Higher Education:

“Coursera, the largest provider of massive open online courses (MOOCs), has entered into a contract to license several of the courses it has built with its university partners to Antioch University, which would offer versions of the MOOCs for credit as part of a bachelor’s degree program. The deal represents one of the first instances of a third-party institution buying permission to incorporate a MOOC into its curriculum — and awarding credit for the MOOC — in an effort to lower the full cost of a degree for students. It is also a first step for Coursera and its partners toward developing a revenue stream from licensing its courses”.

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