Flipped, Blended & Online Learning


MERLOT Updated for Mobile OER Hunting

MERLOT, the granddaddy of open educational resources developed by the California State University system, has entered its third decade of operation with a new facelift. The project, as always, provides a gateway to OER. But with its newest release, search functionality has been expanded and coding has been done using responsive web design to make it mobile device-friendly.

Recorded Books Adds All-You-Can-Watch Streaming Video Library Service

Binge-viewing could be coming to a library near you. RBmedia, which owns Recorded Books, has released an unlimited streaming video service for libraries, as well as a new version of its app to allow patrons to access multiple content services, including the streaming shows. RBdigital, the specialized streaming video service, will give library users the chance to view videos from RBmedia's licensed content in the same way they watch shows on Netflix. They'll be able to watch as many shows as they like in a seven-day period while the library pays for a single checkout.

Wiki Profiles Open University Innovations

A wiki developed by Contact Nord, a nonprofit funded by the government of Ontario, describes the "breakthrough innovations" being tested at open universities around the world. TeachOnline.ca profiles the work of 66 open universities dedicated to increasing access to courses for those who want higher education, no matter what their backgrounds.

Unizin Partners with McGraw-Hill Education for Inclusive Access Program

Unizin, the nonprofit consortium of 25 member universities, has teamed up with McGraw-Hill Education to combat the high cost of textbooks. The deal will make the company's digital learning materials available to nearly 1 million students through an "Inclusive Access" model, which automatically provides students with their course materials on the first day of class for a low, flat fee.

New Digital Textbook Company Includes Audiobook Versions

The digital textbook market has a new entrant. Lead Winds has launched two digital textbooks on an online platform with chapter-by-chapter access to the written textbook, an audiobook version, videos that teach the chapters, slideshows and extra videos of students and instructors sharing study notes and tips for each chapter. The cost: $35 per student.



U Missouri System Gets 38 Percent Discount on McGraw-Hill Education E-Books

Students in the University of Missouri System have access to more affordable course materials, thanks to a new agreement with McGraw-Hill Education that lowers the cost of the company's electronic textbooks by 38 percent. The books will be offered through the university's AutoAccess program, which provides e-books through U.M.'s learning management system as part of its Affordable & Open Education Resources initiative.

Rice Joins International Credit for MOOCs Program

Rice University and 10 other institutions in Europe, Asia and Australia have agreed to be part of a three-year "Credits for MOOCs" program that allows students from the participating schools to enroll in specific free online courses from the other member schools and receive transfer credits for passing them. When it's fully up and running, the pilot effort will feature from three to 10 credit-bearing online classes from each institution for the "virtual exchange." The program, which is in its second semester for the 2017-2018 academic year, currently features 18 courses.

New Framework Offers Way to Validate OER Commitment, Sincerity

A new report proposes a framework by which open educational resource initiatives — and particularly those promulgated by for-profit organizations — might be measured. The CARE framework has three purposes, according to its authors: to help make sure "the O.E.R. community's values can be maintained as the movement scales"; to gauge the practices of "new entrants" to the O.E.R. field (especially those out to make money from it); and to build educator confidence in participating in O.E.R., including those who contribute their own materials and may be uncertain regarding its use by for-profit publishers.

How to Set Up a VR Pilot

As Washington & Lee University has found, there is no best approach for introducing virtual reality into your classrooms — just stages of faculty commitment.

Coursera More than Doubles Number of Degrees on Its Platform

Online education platform vendor Coursera has announced six new online degrees with major universities, more than doubling the number of degrees offered on its platform. The new degree programs, all expected to launch later this year or in 2019, will bring the number of programs offered on the platform to 10.

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