Flipped, Blended & Online Learning


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.

5 Ways to Make Your Videos Binge-Worthy

Video doesn't need to be a passive medium. Here's how to keep students watching and make them feel like they have a stake in their own learning outcomes.

Expect Challenges with Online Programs with Repeal of Net Neutrality

The disregard for net neutrality voted into reality by current White House appointees may inspire commercial internet service providers to charge colleges and universities more to deliver their bandwidth-hungry videos, simulations and interactive programs to students. That would add additional pressure to fiscal management of online programs, according to a new report by U.S. higher education consultancy Hanover Research. Other challenges outlined in the report include shrinking enrollment; skepticism on the value of higher ed; and unsustainable tuition strategies.

Online Initiative Not the Answer to STEM Gaps in California

A proposed budget by California's governor would allocate $10 million to set up a new online "intersegmental" higher education initiative. The project would fund competitive grants for intersegmental teams of faculty to create new and redesign existing STEM courses — both online and hybrid — in a program titled the "California Education Learning Lab." While the Legislative Analyst's Office found Governor Brown's goal of improving student outcomes "laudable," this approach isn't the answer, the office wrote in an analysis of the proposal. First, the analysis noted, the proposal doesn't address "the root causes of STEM disparities among student groups"; and second, it overlaps with other online initiatives already underway.

McGraw-Hill Education Launches Textbook and E-Book Rental Program

College students may be able to save as much as 70 percent off their textbooks through a new rental program from McGraw-Hill Education. Starting this spring, the company is offering rentals on more than 250 of its copyright 2019 titles, plus all future titles, through its e-commerce channel on the company website as well as through approved distributors.

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