From DSC:, an excellent resource, now uses digital playlists.

Here’s an idea.  How about, in the future, students will be able to run through a series of digital playlists:

  • Focusing on a particular topic and/or a course from:
    • A particular college or university
    • A consortium of colleges and universities
    • A group of approved subject matter experts

If and when a person gets stumped — and the artificial intelligence has reached the end of its usefulness — provide a way for that student to connect with a TA, a professor, the subject matter expert, and/or with other students.


College branding: The tipping point — from by Roger Dooley


Change is coming to this market. While there are multiple issues of increasing importance to schools, two stand out as major game-changers.


From DSC:
Important notes for the boards throughout higher education to consider:

Your institution can’t increase tuition by one dime next year. If you do, you will become more and more vulnerable to being disrupted. Instead, work very hard to go in the exact opposite direction. Find ways to discount tuition by 50% or more — that is, if you want to stay in business.

Sounds like the scene in Apollo 13, doesn’t it? It is. (i.e. as Tom Hanks character is trying to get back to Earth and has very little to do it with. The engineers back in the United States are called upon to “do the impossible.”)

Some possibilities:

  • Pick your business partners and begin pooling resources and forming stronger consortia. Aim to reduce operating expenses, share the production of high-quality/interactive online courses, and create new streams of income. Experimentation will be key.
  • Work with IBM, Apple, Knewton and the like to create/integrate artificial intelligence into your LMS/CMS in order to handle 80% of the questions/learning issues. (Most likely, the future of MOOCs involves this very sort of thing.)
  • Find ways to create shorter courses/modules and offer them via online-based exchanges/marketplaces.  But something’s bothering me with this one..perhaps we won’t have the time to develop high-quality, interactive, multimedia-based courses…are things moving too fast?
  • Find ways to develop and offer subscription-based streams of content


UK university joins US online partnership — from by Sean Coughlan BBC News education correspondent


Prof Daphne Koller, Co-Founder of Coursera and Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, Principal of The University of Edinburgh
Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera, and Edinburgh University’s principal,
Sir Timothy O’Shea, sign up to the online partnership



Also see:


Today Udacity is thrilled to announce a partnership with San Jose State University to pilot three courses — Entry-Level Mathematics, College Algebra, and Elementary Statistics — available online at an affordable tuition rate and for college credit. To my knowledge, this is the first time a MOOC has been offered for credit and purely online. Much credit for this partnership goes to Mo Qayoumi and Ellen Junn, president and provost of SJSU, and to the five fearless SJSU professors who have chosen to work with us at Udacity to explore this new medium. The offices of Governor Brown and CSU Chancellor White have also been critically important to this partnership for their leadership and expediency. Last but not least, I want to personally thank our great Udacians who, like everyone on this list, have worked endless hours to drive innovation.
Over the past year, MOOCs have received a lot of attention in the media and education circles mostly because so many students are taking advantage of the course for free. Predictions that MOOCs would fundamentally change higher education often revolved around the fact that the courses have unprecedented reach and affordability.


From DSC:
Given that such “Walmarts of Education” (i.e. solid learning at a greatly reduced prices) continue to develop, what’s our/your plans for responding to this trend? How are we/you going to compete?  What’s our/your vision and strategy?  By the way, you can look all you want to for data — but at the end of the day, it’s likely with this sort of thing that you won’t find all of the data that you require to make a decision. Examples:

  • When I began working for Kraft Foods in 1990 (brought in to roll out email to 66 plants at the time), I believed in the power of email when few others did. Email was viewed as “fluff” and it would never be used for solid business practices; management put the project on hold. But I kept working with email at Kraft — trying to get others to use it. If you looked for data back then, you wouldn’t find it. But by the time I left Kraft in 1997, thousands of people could communicate with thousands of other people throughout the world — within minutes.
  • When Alexander Graham Bell introduced the telephone, what data would support the success of his invention?  I suppose you could have pulled some data on the usage of the telegraph, but even then, vision would have had to trump the data (the ancestor of Western Union rejected his invention, as they questioned why anyone would need/use a telephone when there was already the telegraph in usage).
  • Such technological developments often are not so easy to back up with data; they require some vision, experimentation, and risk taking.


UK universities forge open online courses alliance: FutureLearn Consortium will offer uni-branded MOOCs starting next year — by Natasha Lomas


Today’s [12/13/12] news means even more MOOCs will be offered next year, as 12 UK universities are getting together to form a new company that will offer the online courses — under the brand name of FutureLearn Ltd. The universities are: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Exeter, King’s College London, LancasterLeedsSouthamptonSt Andrews and Warwick, along with UK distance-learning organization The Open University (OU).


Tagged with:  


Excerpts from John Katzman’s Keynote:
Higher ed is made up of a series of smaller markets — niches [From DSC: What’s your niche?]

  • Elite level
  • Mid level
  • Entry level

Might have 2-3 high quality programs; and many smaller programs with lower production levels.

Fewer players of larger size

Consolidation is going to occur w/in higher ed. Besides consolidation, there will be collaboration/pooling of resources, and/or the hollowing out within higher ed.


From DSC:
Not that this is new…but looking at the above image, I wonder if more 100% online-based courses and schools will adopt this sort of “space”/interface as a sort of entryway into their institution’s materials.


From Boardroom to Classroom — from by Alexandra Tilsley


By joining forces, the three universities hope to leverage the languages they don’t all have, affording students more options, and to deepen existing programs by, for example, facilitating collaboration between instructors of the same language at different institutions.



From DSC:
Higher-level courses at smaller colleges might want to look at this as well.  If an economically-feasible minimum threshold can’t be reached on one campus, open it up to a consortium of institutions (similar to Semester Online).



New consortium of leading universities will move forward with transformative, for-credit online education program — from
Semester Online™ will be first of its kind featuring rigorous, innovative, live courses

Excerpt (emphasis DSC)

LANDOVER, Md. — Nov. 15, 2012 — Today, a group of the nation’s leading universities announced plans to launch a new, innovative program that transforms the model of online education. Consortium members include Brandeis University, Duke University, Emory University, Northwestern University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Dame, University of Rochester, Vanderbilt University, Wake Forest University and Washington University in St. Louis. The new online education program, Semester Online,will be the first of its kind to offer undergraduate students the opportunity to take rigorous, online courses for credit from a consortium of universities. The program is delivered through a virtual classroom environment and interactive platform developed by 2U, formerly known as 2tor.


From DSC:
Interesting to see the impact of competition…



Addendum on 11/16/12:

Elite Online Courses for Cash and Credit— from by Steve Kolowich


A consortium of 10 top-tier universities will soon offer fully online, credit-bearing undergraduate courses through a partnership with 2U, a company that facilitates online learning.

Any students enrolled at an “undergraduate experience anywhere in the world” will be eligible to take the courses, according to Chip Paucek, the CEO of 2U, which until recently was called 2tor. The first courses are slated to make their debut in the fall.

After a year in which the top universities in the world have clambered to offer massive open online courses (MOOCs) for no credit, this new project marks yet another turning point in online education. It is the first known example of top universities offering fully online, credit-bearing courses to undergraduates who are not actually enrolled at the institutions that are offering them.


From DSC:
It’s not a stretch to think that we’ll soon be able to take part in this type of thing from our living rooms…

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV



Also relevant here/see:
Attend the Global Education Conference
from your living room

Addendum on 11/19/12:

A liberal-arts consortium experiments with course sharing — from The Chronicle by Jeff Selingo — 4/4/12

But advances in technology can now link together institutions that are separated by thousands of miles. An experiment by a group of 16 liberal-arts colleges and universities in the South might serve as the blueprint for other small institutions looking for ways to maintain a core of academic programs but offer enough variety to attract students.

The initiative will get its start in the fall with a half dozen to a dozen courses at four institutions that have committed so far to the classroom technology, which costs upwards of $250,000. In an effort to maintain the feel of small liberal-arts classes, professors on the home campus of a course will teach in a classroom outfitted with conference capabilities and students on other campuses will take part in real-time, synchronous discussions.

From DSC:
Also see:



Tagged with: The Place to Buy and Sell Digital Content for Innovative Education — from; originally saw this at Audrey Watters blog

Excerpt from Audrey’s article:

Currix is launching its beta today, aiming to become a destination for teachers to discover just these sorts of resources. It’s also a marketplace for this content: teachers will be able to monetize the lessons, activities, logos and more that they upload there. The prices range from free to a few dollars for activities to up to several hundred dollars for entire courses.

Also see:



From DSC:
This reminds me of a graphic I periodically post:

The Power of Online Exchanges





Report shows U.S. schools can’t meet technology demands of teachers, students— from The Journal by Scott Aronowitz

Few people will be surprised to learn of research that shows K-12 institutions throughout the United States have become heavily dependent on technology, and that this dependency continues to increase with each passing year. What may surprise even the most jaded among us, however, is that, given that many view this a “good” dependency with a wealth of immediate and long-term benefits for teachers, students, and staff, we’re doing an inadequate job of feeding the habit.

At the FETC 2011 show in Orlando, FL, PBS and research firm Grunwald Associates released a national research report on digital media usage among educators entitled “Deepening Commitment: Teachers Increasingly Rely on Media and Technology.” The report is based on a survey conducted in August 2010 of 1,401 preK-12 teachers from various regions and demographics throughout the United States. Its primary conclusions are:

  • Teachers are, owing to both interest and circumstance, increasing their use and knowledge of technology in the classroom; and
  • U.S. schools provide an insufficient capacity of computing devices and technology infrastructure to support teachers’ Internet-based instruction needs.

James Morrison -- Higher Education in Transition

Example slides/excerpts:





One example — of several great slides — regarding the old vs. the new paradigm:




From DSC:
Re: one of the bullet points on the last slide — i.e. “Faculty work as part of instructional team” — here’s my take on what that team increasingly needs to look like in order to engage our students and to compete:


e-learning outlook for 2011 — from Tony Bates
Tony discusses course redesigns, mobility, open educational resources (OER), multimedia, learning analytics, and shared services.

Michigan Universities Pool Funds To Buy More Cores — from by Dian Schaffhauser

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