Flexibytes

U.S. Senators offer bill promoting open-access textbooks

Posted on November 5, 2013

Two U.S. Senators have introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act, a bill that would "encourage the creation of free online textbooks by offering grants for pilot projects that produce high-quality open-access textbooks, especially for courses with large enrolments."

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White paper on open educational resources

Posted on November 5, 2013

The Hewlett Foundation has released a white paper on Open Educational Resources (OER).

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Professor plans massive collaborative effort to tackle challenges facing higher ed

Posted on November 5, 2013

Duke University Professor Cathy Davidson, co-founder of the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) is launching a new multi-institutional, worldwide initiative on the future of higher education.

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New council to develop standards, best practices for online learning

Posted on November 5, 2013

Carnegie Mellon University has created a Global Learning Council of educators, researchers, and technology executives to "spearhead efforts to develop standards and promote best practices in online education."

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Mobile learning: Definition, facts, opportunity, examples

Posted on November 5, 2013

As the first part of a new "Key Concepts of Online Learning" series, Contact North explores the meaning of mobile learning, which they define as "the use of broadband connected devices – smart phones, tablet devices, e-readers, and laptop computers – so that students can connect to learning opportunities either synchronously or asynchronously from anywhere in the world.

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Guidelines for faculty from educational technology research

Posted on November 5, 2013

Dr. Tony Bates has identified the following outcomes "as among the most consistent and helpful" lessons from research into successful online teaching: different media have different educational capacities, online learning is compatible with constructivist approaches, the focus should be on the teaching - not the technology, and that asynchronous learning supports reflection and critical thinking skills.

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Harvard and MIT’s online education startup has a new way to make money

Posted on October 25, 2013

EdX has announced partnerships using the Open edX code with the nations of France and China.

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U.S. teams up with operator of online courses to plan a global network

Posted on October 25, 2013

Coursera has partnered with the U.S. Department of State and other international organizations to create a new world-wide "learning hub" initiative that that will offer physical spaces where people can access the Internet to take a Coursera course, while "learning alongside peers in an interactive, facilitated setting."

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MOOC rival OERu puts accreditation on the menu

Posted on October 25, 2013

Students who complete an Open Educational Resources University (OERu) course will be able to pay a fee to have their work assessed for academic credit, which would then be recognised by the 31 universities participating in the OERu.

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Learner experiences with MOOCs and open online learning

Posted on October 25, 2013

The open access journal Hybrid Pedagogy recently published an e-book of graduate student essays focused on student experiences in MOOCs.

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