21st Century Teaching & Learning Resources


New Coursera MasterTracks Offer 'Gateway' to Advanced Degrees

EdX has its "MicroMasters" program. Now Coursera has introduced the "MasterTrack." The massive open online course provider recently announced that it will pilot three MasterTrack certificate programs in coming months: one at the University of Michigan and two others at the University of Illinois. The news came during Coursera's partners conference, hosted at Arizona State University. The idea: to parcel up degrees in small, more digestible chunks for prospective students.

Udacity Dives Deep with AI School

MOOC provider turned for-profit educational provider Udacity has launched a new "School of Artificial Intelligence," which features four "nanodegrees" covering AI and machine learning. Each program has tuition and a set period in which to participate and complete the lessons. The courses consist of video lectures, personalized project reviews and a dedicated mentor. Those who successfully finish the program receive certification.

Panopto Adds NewTek NDI Support

Panopto has added support for the NewTek NDI standard to its lecture capture system. This allows Panopto's software to be used in conjunction with NDI-enabled devices, including IP-based cameras.

Carnegie Mellon Releases Design for Sub-$500 Bioprinter under Creative Commons License

In addition to improvements in cost, the device reportedly allows for larger-scale printing and greater precision than many commercially available bioprinters. The team released its research under a Creative Commons license to encourage others to build their own as well.

When Learning Matches Work and Life, Students Appreciate Their Education More

A new survey of consumers found that the more tied their college courses are to their work and daily lives, the greater they believe they've received a "high-quality education" that was worth the cost. Among respondents to a Strada Education Network and Gallup survey, those who "strongly" agreed that the courses they took are directly relevant to what they do at work and that they learned important skills during their education that come in useful day-to-day were nearly three times more likely to strongly agree that they had received a high-quality education, compared to those who strongly disagreed. And the same group was five and a half times more likely to strongly agree education was worth the cost, compared to those who strongly disagreed.

16 Schools Receive Grant to Build Active Learning Classrooms

This summer, 16 institutions across K-12 and higher education will receive furniture, design, installation and on-site training for a new active learning classroom, thanks to Steelcase Education's fourth annual Active Learning Center Grant. Valued at about $67,000 per classroom, the grant "supports active learning strategies in classrooms where teachers are already striving to implement related practices by installing a learning space with furniture designed to encourage student engagement and success," according to a news announcement.

Ohio Consortium Textbook Deals to Save Students Nearly $40 Million a Year

Students in the state of Ohio could potentially save $39.7 million annually on the cost of their textbooks, thanks to a new wholesale pricing deal. OhioLINK, a consortium of academic libraries across the state's colleges and universities, has secured agreements with four major textbook publishers — John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson and Macmillan Learning — to reduce the wholesale price of e-textbooks by up to 80 percent and courseware by up to 55 percent for member institutions.

Utah Education Network Working on Course Content Accessibility Across the State

In an effort to provide a more inclusive learning environment for students, the Utah Education Network has partnered with Blackboard to roll out the company's Ally product at nine universities across the state. Ally integrates with an institution's learning management system and automatically checks course materials for common accessibility issues.

Research: Majority of STEM Classes Still Consist of Lectures

More than half, 55 percent, of STEM classroom interactions are lectures, according to a new study from University of Nebraska-Lincoln researcher Marilyne Stains. The study looked at 550 faculty as they taught more than 700 undergraduate STEM courses in more than 2,000 classes at 25 institutions in the United States and Canada.

Online Ed Leaders Agree Top 2 Indicators of Program Quality Are Student Success Rates, Student Evaluations

The majority of online education leaders agree that most relied-upon metrics currently in use by online programs are student retention and graduation rates and student course/program evaluations, according to a recent survey from Quality Matters and Eduventures Research. While those two indicators topped the list by far, other quality measures, such as faculty training, summative student assessment, program reputation and external rankings, were less commonly cited by the survey respondents.

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