Flipped, Blended & Online Learning


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.

Macmillan Learning Intros Curated OER Course Materials

Macmillan Learning is launching a new course materials product that brings together open educational resources, instructor supplements and on-demand support. Dubbed Intellus Open Courses, the materials are curated by the company's subject-matter experts and editorial team and cost just $14.99 per student per course.

Turnitin Developing Tech to Detect Contract Cheating

Contract cheating, the use of custom writing services to produce coursework, may soon be harder for students to get away with. Turnitin, a provide of plagiarism detection, online grading and peer review tools, is developing new technology to help identify and investigate the practice. Slated to be available in the second half of 2018, Authorship Investigation will use "a combination of machine learning algorithms and forensic linguistic best practices to detect major differences in students' writing style between papers," according to a news announcement.

New OLC Program to Support Digital Learning Research

The Online Learning Consortium is launching a new program that provides hands-on research and networking opportunities for current and recently graduated doctoral students in the field of digital learning. Participants in the O.L.C. Emerging Scholars program can contribute to projects in the O.L.C. Research Center, collaborate with researchers at institutions and organizations around the world, and network with peers and mentors.



Report: MOOCs Attracting More Paying Customers

According to Class Central's annual review of MOOC stats and trends, massive open online courses are evolving from a technology expected to disrupt higher education to one that generates revenue with tiered services targeted to lifelong learners. MOOC platform Coursera, for example, saw a 70 percent increase in paying customers in 2017.

Adults Considering a Return to College Are Leery of Cost and Online Ed

A new survey from Champlain College Online reported that while most adults see the value in higher education to prepare them for career advancement, concerns about college affordability are the major barriers they face in returning to school. Three-quarters of respondents said they didn't want to be "burdened with student debt." Seven in 10 said they couldn't afford college. A solid third said they couldn't afford to return to school because they were supporting their children's education.

Delft U Adds Interactive Walls for Collaborative Projects

A university in the Netherlands has adopted wide wall technology that helps teams of collaborators —faculty and students — display and revise their projects in person and remotely. Delft University of Technology has deployed two Nureva Walls, one 10 feet wide and another 20 feet long, along with Nureva's Span software, in a new teaching lab. Both walls provide large digital workspaces where users can share, add and interact with the visuals and information through Span, which runs on their computers and mobile devices.

MIT MicroMasters Begins On-Campus Phase

MIT considers its ongoing experiment in "MicroMasters" to be a success. The first cohort of students is expected to graduate this June, earning a full master's degree in supply chain management at a much-reduced cost compared to tackling the program fully on campus. Announced in 2015, the program combines months of online work with a shorter period of on-campus courses. A group of 40 students from around the world have now begun their first residential semester in Cambridge at MIT's campus.

New Project to Launch Global Standards for Flipped Training

The Flipped Learning Global Initiative has introduced a new effort to establish international standards for flipped training. The standards are meant to ensure that educators are trained using the most current global research and best practices in flipped learning, according to a news announcement.

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