Aggregation of feeds from different web 2.0 resources (Youtube, Flickr, Delicious, Slideshare, Twitter, Vimeo) regarding Sakai
Updated: 31 min 47 sec ago
A couple of weeks ago in my post about the different types of learning analytics, I described retention early warning systems thusly:
Most people don’t think about early warning systems as being in the same category as adaptive analytics, but if you consider that “adaptive” really just means “adjusting to your personal needs,” then a system like Purdue’s Course Signals is, in fact, adaptive. It sees when a student is in danger of failing or dropping out and sends increasingly urgent and specific suggestions to that student. It does that without “knowing” anything about the content that the student is learning. Rather, it’s looking at things like recency of course login (Are you showing up for class?), discussion board posts (Are you participating in class?), on-time assignment delivery (Are you turning in your work?), and grade book scores (Is your work passing?), as well as longitudinal information that might indicate whether a student is at-risk coming into the class. What Purdue has found is that such a system can teach students metacognitive awareness of their progress and productive help-seeking behavior. It won’t help them learn the content better, but it will help them develop better learning skills.
Well, last week, Ray Henderson announced Blackboard’s new Retention Center and described it as follows:
The Retention Center gives critical insight on learning and activity gaps to instructors, within the LMS, that helps them quickly diagnose students that are falling behind. Pre-configured and automatic so they don’t have to hunt for it. No set-up: it automatically calls out students that are at risk while instructors still have time and space to do something about it. With the feature instructors can see:
Who’s logging in: this is a simple but powerful predictor of student success. Instructors see how long it’s been since students have logged in to the course and how many have been away for five days or more. And not by fishing through student profiles or reports but in an automatic view complete with red flags where they’re needed.
Whether they’re engaged: which students have had low levels of course activity, at 20 percent or below the average in the last week.
Whose grades are suffering: which students are currently trending at 25 percent or more below the course average so they can target extra help to where it’s most needed – even when it isn’t asked for.
Who has missed deadlines: instructors might know this anecdotally or on a case-by-case basis, but now they can get a real-time view of all students that have missed one or more deadline.
Eerily similar, no? A number of years back, when I pressed Course Signals inventor John Campbell on which factors in the LMS are most highly predictive of student success across different courses, he named exactly these four. The only surprise here is that this isn’t a common analytics feature of every LMS and courseware platform on the market yet. Purdue proved that their value in helping at-risk students is high. I’m glad Blackboard is stepping up.
The one piece that’s missing is a simple standard where an SIS or other longitudinal data system could pass an at-risk “credit score” to the early warning system to modify its sensitivity. If a student on the honor roll drops off the radar for a week, it’s less of a cause for concern that a student on academic probation (for example). I tried to push this idea for a standard at the IMS a few years back but got nowhere with it at the time. I hope that Blackboard will push for something like it now that they have a system to take the data.
The post Blackboard’s New Early Warning Analytics Product appeared first on e-Literate.
Adapted from the project report by Fawei Geng, Joanna Wild and Jill Fresen
Following recommendations from the Student Digital Experience (DIGE) project, a small project was run in late 2012 to investigate how students currently use WebLearn in support of their learning, i.e. we focused on gathering information about student behaviour in finding, navigating and interacting with their current WebLearn areas.
Recommendations are listed in terms of those for the WebLearn staff user community, and those for the central WebLearn team to consider, depending on resources and priorities.
Recommendations for the WebLearn staff user community
REC 1.1 Where feasible and relevant, consider uploading lecture slides, notes and images into WebLearn regularly and consistently (preferably in advance of a lecture), for students to access at their convenience.
REC 1.2 Lecturers are encouraged to make recorded lectures available in WebLearn. This can be done using various tools and techniques such as WebEx, audio commentaries on PowerPoint slideshows, students making audio recordings of lectures (with permission), sourcing existing relevant podcasts etc. Contact the IT Services podcasting or WebLearn teams to find out more.
REC 1.3a Consider using a discussion forum as a place to hold conversations with students or present FAQs about the subject matter, assignments and practicals.
REC 1.3b Inform students about the existence of the Forums tool and encourage them to use it in a self-directed way, even if there is no intention for it to be facilitated by the tutor or lecturer. This can be done by creating a separate topic within a Forum, e.g. ‘Student café’, or ‘Student lounge’.
REC 1.4 Provide students with access to a shared folder in the resources area, with the required permission to ‘create new resources’ [see REC 6.3]. Alternatively, a student-driven discussion forum could be set up [see REC 1.3b], as it also provides an easy way of sharing learning resources in the form of attachments.
REC 1.5 Consider making consistent use of the WebLearn Schedule (Calendar) and tutorial Sign-up tools to support organisational aspects of student learning; advertise these tools to the students at the beginning of the term.
REC 2.1a Departmental induction sessions at the beginning of term should briefly inform students about the existence of the array of tools in WebLearn that might be of use to them and, subsequently direct students to a WebLearn follow-up session for more detailed information.
REC 2.1b Liaise with the central WebLearn team to offer support in developing a WebLearn follow-up session to be offered later in the term. Such a WebLearn follow-up session should be short (30-45 min) and tailored to the courses offered in the department or faculty.
REC 2.1c Use WebLearn follow-up sessions as an evaluation opportunity to collect any feedback, comments or issues raised by students with regards to course sites and tools, and to inform future design and redesign of course sites by staff members [see REC 6.4].
REC 3.1 Make use of the templates developed and provided by the central WebLearn team for various purposes, e.g. for tutorials, a lecture series, to provide content, or to focus on assessment.
REC 3.2 Subscribe students only to those ‘Active sites’ which are of direct relevance to them.
Recommendations for the WebLearn team
REC 4.1 Divide the Welcome page into two separate areas: one for staff and one for students.
REC 4.2a Make ‘Getting started’ the main part of the student Welcome page. The content should be tailor-made for students, e.g. finding my course material; communicating with others; sharing resources; FAQs for students, etc.
REC 4.2b Produce a series of 2-minute student help video demos, and feature a different one on a regular basis in a prominent place.
REC 4.3a Make most important links and tools easily accessible (e.g. one click away) from the Welcome page. These include: list of ‘Active sites’, past exam papers, ‘my resources folder’, profile and calendar.
REC 4.3b Improve navigation on the post-login WebLearn page, e.g. bookmarking favourite WebLearn pages, links or files, customising layout etc.
REC 4.4 Enable students to have more control over notifications from sites which are not directly relevant to them.
REC 5.1a Highlight useful tools that students can access from the ‘My Workspace’ area, e.g. uploading resources, setting up a profile, connecting with others, accessing aggregated announcements and schedules.
[Suggestion from WebLearn team: for new student accounts, prompt them to carry out ‘sensible’ set-up activities to get them started, with help on how to do it, e.g. Have you done these three things: 1. Upload your photo to your Profile; 2. Set your Preferences for receiving notifications; 3. Subscribe to your global My Workspace calendar.]
REC 5.1b Supply update prompts if an active student has not carried out the set-up activities, e.g. We notice you haven’t uploaded your photo into your profile. This would be really helpful so that your photo is displayed in forum posts and in the site members tool [this is how to do it…]
REC 5.2 Enable students to click on a name listed in the ‘Users present’ area to see a person’s profile or instigate a chat session with them.
REC 6.1 Publicise existing templates for setting up course sites to departments and academic staff [see REC 3.1], in order to encourage consistency in site design and structure.
REC 6.2 Improve the usability of some WebLearn tools, in particular the Forums tool.
REC 6.3 Build more structure into all the templates, e.g. Forums tool, more folder structure in Resources [e.g. work done for the Blavatnik School of Government], student shared folder in Resources.
REC 6.4 Provide tools to enable easy feedback from students about their course sites, e.g. similar to the ‘Contact us’ link at the foot of every site.
I previously shared the text of SB 520, the proposed California legislation that would identify and approve a set of up to 50 online courses that the three public systems would accept as credit for admitted students. In my notes for the press conference introducing the bill, there are updated links to most major press articles on the bill as select blog posts. Michael shared his analysis of the bill and where he thinks changes are needed.
The more time I have to think about this news, the more I’m convinced that if successful, the passage of this bill (or an amended version substantially meeting the stated aims described in the press conference) could have an impact much bigger than California students taking online courses. This bill aims to establish a new right – for admitted students to have access to the courses they need.
The right for admitted students to have courses available
The real significance of SB 520 is that it focuses on the student, not the institution, and specifically on admitted students. When the Master Plan was adopted in California starting in 1960, the basic premise was to guarantee students a place within one of the three public systems based on their high school record. It was assumed that by having a place in a public institution, the student would have access to needed courses.
For various reasons, this assumption is no longer valid.
As Hillary Hill described at e-Literate (yes, she’s my daughter) and as Rich Copenhagen described at the SB 520 press conference, there is a crisis for enrolled students in trying to get into the courses they need. What good is being admitted if you still can’t complete your education?
Rather than directly address the institutions and how they operate, SB 520 focuses on the student and (if successful), this approach will change the conversation. Admitted students would have the right to get the lower-division courses they need, and if the school cannot provide the courses, there will be a release valve of online courses that the schools have to accept for credit.
Changing risk / reward, but letting colleges decide
This approach, while not directly addressing what any individual college or university should do, does change the risk / reward structure. There is a strong argument that institutions will fight this bill for the reason that high-enrollment lower-division courses are in fact the biggest money-makers for a school. By the availability of these courses from online providers, schools will now have greater motivation to provide the courses for more students who need them, if the schools want to keep the revenue.
If a school chooses to cut the seats available for these critical courses, there is now a financial cost to their decision in a way that does not exist currently. Right now, once the enrollment is set, the schools gets the same state revenue regardless of whether they provide courses or not.
A related point was made by Kate Bowles in a Twitter conversation on the bill.
If you have a system that can accommodate students, just not in the courses they need, actually you have a curriculum problem.
This is an excellent, but little discussed, issue in public higher education. Are public institutions offering the right mix of courses and programs based on student needs? As Kate indicates, our problem is not as simple as a course problem – it’s also a curriculum problem.
The challenge, however, is to spark change in our higher education system without having outside parties (such as state government, accrediting agencies, online providers) micromanage what is essentially an academic-led decision on curriculum.
It appears that the backers of SB 520 seek to provide an incentive system that avoids micromanagement – let the academic bodies lead make curriculum decisions – but provides an risk / reward structure to help ensure student needs come first. Should schools decide to essentially outsource part of the lower-division curriculum while providing other courses not in such high demand? Yes, there are reasons to do so in many cases – let the schools decide. But if a schools decides to use its resources this way, reduce the likelihood that admitted students would be short-changed.
Changing dynamics of system online programs
Consider the impact that the recent focus on online education from California government leaders – from Governor Brown’s meetings to the 20mmreboot conference to SB 520 – has already had on the public systems.
The University of California created UC Online nearly four years ago, but the focus prior to 2013 seemed to be mostly on helping the institution find new students and new revenu, and not on helping the already-admitted UC students. As described by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2010:
Long term, the idea is to expand access to the university while saving money. Tuition for online and traditional courses would be the same. But with students able to take courses in their living rooms, the university envisions spending less on their education while increasing the number of tuition-paying students – helpful as state financial support drops.
Last year, CalState announced their online program CSU Online. Like UC Online, the focus was specifically NOT on admitted CalState students, but rather reaching new students and new revenue. In an open letter, the CSU Online executive director called out the goals (and by the way, note that the original letter is no longer available on the CalState site).
The 60 or so fully online self-support programs that currently exist throughout the CSU will comprise our initial effort with an eye toward serving the extensive mid-career professional and unemployed adults who are in need of this level of education to advance their careers. A full listing of the CSU’s online self-support programs is available on the Cal State Online website. The second focus should be the presentation of two or three degree completion programs in an effort to enhance workforce development.
The California Community College system does not have a systemwide online program beyond California Virtual Campus - a portal to find courses and programs offered by individual colleges and districts. However, the various online programs and courses for this system do primarily focus on admitted students.
And today? It is too early to see the effects specifically from SB 520, but we are seeing changes from the general push for online education and the focus on helping students get the courses they need.
From UC Online presentation less than a month ago:
During the UC online presentation, we learned that the university wants to move quickly to place many new courses online starting next Fall. The goal is to rapidly increase the ability of students on one campus to take a course on another campus. There is also the idea that students can take outside MOOC courses and get credit for them by taking an exam or asking for transfer credit. Once again, the stress was on taking care of the gateway course bottleneck.
From CSU Online in an article that just came out today:
Officials plan to use $21.7 million to hire more instructors and student support staff to admit nearly 6,000 more students, $10 million to fund online courses to allow more students to enroll in high-demand, required courses and $7.2 million for incentives for campuses to develop ways to push more students to graduate on time.
While there are still plans to find new students, there is a new urgency to serve admitted students from both programs.
What does success for SB 520 look like?
In this regard, Michael’s point is particularly important.
Let’s start by reminding ourselves of the real goal here. It is not to offer students seats in courses. It’s to get students to complete those courses successfully so that they can graduate more quickly. But there are a number of aspects of the world that SB 520 would create that conspire to reduce the likelihood of achieving that goal significantly. For starters, online courses in general—not just MOOCs—have lower completion rates than traditional face-to-face courses. They require more self-discipline, better reading skills, and better awareness of when to seek help than traditional classes do. Offering an online class to a student who otherwise would be shut out altogether is definitely better than nothing, but we need to recognize that we are already starting with a solution that has its challenges for achieving a goal of high completion rates, even if everything else is equal. [emphasis in original]
There is some real work to be done both during the shaping of the final bill and during the implementation to allow SB 520 to be successful in this context – course completion leading to degrees rather than just course availability. There are some real problems to address, but I’ll leave those barriers as a topic for another post.
I think the very approach of implicitly defining a right for admitted students to have access to the courses they need is significant in and of itself and is certainly worth trying. We need more focus on students.
The post California SB 520 Could Define a New Right Right for Students – Access to Courses appeared first on e-Literate.
I got the following question about LTI recently:
Recent Safari and Chrome browser versions have changed the way they filter 3rd party
cookies in iframes:
Here is my Answer
The simple answer is that tools will need to go through a step where they attempt to set a cookie and then do a redirect back to themselves with the session as a GET parameter and check to see if the cookie is set. If the cookie is not set – they should open in a new window, passing the session id as a GET parameter and then setting the cookie and redirecting to one’s self one more time.
Yes – it sucks. And many tools just give up and don’t even bother trying to set a cookie within frame. If they notice that they are not the top frame pop open a new window with a GET parameter. Friendly instructors or admins placing the tool could make it easier and just tell the lMS to pop up in a new window. But the tools shold not assume this is the case and gently deal with being in an iframe or new window.
I think that in the future there will be two situations. (A) Relatively large tools that insist on a new window and immediately pop themselves out into a new window if they find themselves in an iframe. (B) Small widgets that happily live in an iframe but do not use any cookies at all to maintain session – they just use GET parameters or POST parameters on every screen to maintain the session state.
Phil has done a great job of covering the news of California’s new bill (or stub of a bill, really) that would create a state-wide system of third-party online courses that would be available to students who would otherwise be shut out of courses that they need to graduate. It’s a good problem to tackle, since it would both make life better for students and improve the long-term state budget situation. Unfortunately, I don’t think the current incarnation of the bill takes into account either the full context and needs of students who find themselves shut out of the core courses or the directions that MOOCs are evolving into. As a result, it offers a bad prescription for the solution. The good news is that the shortcomings can be fixed while remaining well within the spirit of the bill.
What Students Need
Let’s start by reminding ourselves of the real goal here. It is not to offer students seats in courses. It’s to get students to complete those courses successfully so that they can graduate more quickly. But there are a number of aspects of the world that SB 520 would create that conspire to reduce the likelihood of achieving that goal significantly. For starters, online courses in general—not just MOOCs—have lower completion rates than traditional face-to-face courses. They require more self-discipline, better reading skills, and better awareness of when to seek help than traditional classes do. Offering an online class to a student who otherwise would be shut out altogether is definitely better than nothing, but we need to recognize that we are already starting with a solution that has its challenges for achieving a goal of high completion rates, even if everything else is equal.
And everything else would not be equal. Because the courses would not be taught by the faculty of the student’s home institution, there would likely be no opportunity for the teacher to talk the student’s advisor and other instructors, either to gain insights into that student’s needs and problems from people who have already worked with him, or to share information about his needs (e.g., a need for extra tutoring) with his support network. Then there’s the timing. According to the bill, students are only eligible for these third-party courses once it is determined that no such courses are available on their home campus. We don’t know exactly when such a determination would be made, but let’s assume for the moment that it is made at the end of a two-week add/drop period. So, two weeks into the semester, students begin looking outside for new courses. Maybe it takes them another two weeks to find a course, register for it, and begin attending. (We have no idea how easy it will be for students to find and register for these courses.) So now the student is starting an online course four weeks into a fifteen-week semester. That is not a good recipe for success, particularly when the student’s support network is going to be largely out of the loop for the remaining eleven weeks.
And let’s not forget about cost and financial aid. We already saw at the press conference that the bill authors do not yet have a handle on how much these courses would cost. And they didn’t even talk about how the courses would be paid for. Suppose a student has a scholarship at her home institution, but then has to pay $1,000 to a third-party provider for a bottleneck course. Does the home institution have to pay that cost? I’m pretty sure that’s not how scholarship money works now. Changing it to work this way could significantly impact the schools’ ability to give it out. The timing issue I described above could make matters even worse. It’s fairly common for students to go to class without books for the first few weeks of class while they wait for their financial aid checks to come in. If they can’t even file for financial aid until four weeks into the semester because that’s how long it takes them to register for the third-party class that enables them to maintain their full-time status, then they may be held up longer getting their books for every other class. Adding a third-party vendor into the mix inevitably adds bureaucracy. Whenever that happens, there’s a good chance that it will affect the students and their ability to focus on their studies.
So, while SB 520 would probably create a better situation for students trying to get into bottleneck courses than the one they are in now, it may not be a whole lot better in practical terms.
Courses, Courseware, and Course Designs
Interestingly, the one concrete example that Udacity’s Sebastian Thrun gave at the SB 520 unveiling press conference doesn’t fit the model that the bill seems to envision anyway. He talked about SJSU, where local faculty and TAs still teach the course, but they use a Udacity MOOC as courseware. The distinction between a “course” and “courseware” is a blurry one, but basically, if you take the particular instructor out of the course, what you have left is the courseware. If the creator and teacher of a MOOC turns over the keys of the MOOC, with all its videos, assessments, and other materials, to another instructor, then what is being turned over is courseware. If a textbook vendor provides not only the book, but the slides, the lecture notes, and a set of machine-graded tests and homework assignments, organized in a way that a faculty member can adopt without having to modify or supplement it a whole lot, then the publisher is essentially providing courseware. It’s essentially a course in a box that can be used by local faculty to teach local students. And courseware, in turn, is nothing more than a productized course design. If I, as an individual instructor, package up everything I use to teach my course, create videos of my lectures, and write down all the instructions and other details that I usually share informally or keep in my head, then what I have in the package can be called “courseware.” If you think about delivering a course as being like making a meal, then the course design is what’s in the chef’s head and pantry that she combines to make the meal. Courseware is the recipe and box of ingredients provided so that anyone can cook the meal. And a “course” is a particular meal created by a particular chef.
What California needs to overcome the bottleneck course problem in the most effective way possible is not new courses but new course designs and courseware that can be adopted by local faculty to meet the needs of the students they know. It needs recipes for nutritious meals that can be served at scale (like Jamie Oliver’s school food revolution toolkits). It needs new approaches for using technology in the classroom to enable the human instructors to focus on what they do best for more students, but assembled into a polished package that would be straightforward for local faculty to adopt. Such packages could come from a variety of sources. Certainly, MOOC providers and textbook publishers are both good candidates. And, of course, faculty can create these packages themselves, either on their own or with the help of third-party facilitators such as the National Center for Academic Transformation or Lumen Learning.
The variety is important because one size will not fit all. Suppose you have a school that is turning 75 students a year away from a core course. Is the problem that they can’t afford enough teachers or that they don’t have enough classroom space? Are the teachers trained in the technology solution that would help? Does the school have the right equipment? What is the bottleneck subject, and what approaches for scaling that particular subject work. (Math is very different from writing, for example.) Is there a high percentage of at-risk students in the class? Or ESL students? Different answers to these questions will yield different prescriptions for a good solution. The local institution should be both empowered and responsible to solve the problem using their understanding of the details and the full power of the institutional student support network. If some faculty member somewhere has figured out how to teach 1,000 students effectively using a MOOC, and that solution will work effectively for the 75 students at a particular school who are locked out of a course, then chances are good that it will work more effectively for those students if the same course is facilitated and supported by a local faculty member who is on campus, knows their advisors, has been proven to be a “good cook” with experience addressing the local tastes and nutritional needs, and doesn’t have to teach 1,000 students at a shot in order to solve the local bottleneck.
What a Good Bill Would Look Like
In and of itself, the original impulse to require the availability third-party courses is a good and important part of a complete solution. It applies pressure on the schools to come up with better solutions and gives students a better-than-nothing safety valve. Nor would I bend over backwards to accommodate faculty pressure regarding which courses to certify. If students have no chance of completion now because they are shut out of courses, then the primary emphasis of the third-party provisions should be on providing them with chances of completion that are at least incrementally better than zero. The quality standard should be as high as is practical, but the minimum standard of “better than nothing” is…well…better than nothing. The point of the third-party course option is not to have a great solution. It’s to have a better-than-nothing solution when all else has failed. Having this option in place is both right for the students as a last resort and essential as a mechanism to put pressure on the various stakeholders at the schools to solve the bottleneck problem themselves, lest they lose control of the educational experience and, potentially, funding dollars.
But while the third-party course option is an essential backstop, it is far from an optimal solution for the students. The main focus on the bill should be on minimizing the chances that students will be forced to take the third-party courses by mandating, supporting, and funding the development and/or licensing of courseware that empowers faculty to solve the bottleneck problem locally, where that solution can be tuned to the particular needs of the local student population and plugged into the students’ support network at their home institution. Teachers’ unions, for their part, should push to ensure they have the funding and autonomy to take responsibility for solving these problems themselves. They need to be the champions for real and effective change that embraces the possibility of using technology to scale effective education while also being the experts in the room who can distinguish between a real solution and snake oil. They should insist on funding for courseware evaluation, course design development, and faculty training. Rather than fight against the push to use technology to help solve the access problem, they should fight for the ability to lead the change, and to shape it. They should insist on the opportunity to provide better solutions for their students than the third-party option, and then they should prove that they can do it.
The post California SB 520 Currently Misses the Mark, but Not By Much appeared first on e-Literate.
メッセンジャー： 大窪秀幸牧師 / Pastor Hide
Roger Chen's winning design featured this logo
Congratulations to sophomore Roger Chen and freshman Ashley Ngu for their winning entries in the CourseWork Visual Design Contest. In addition to showing excellent graphic design and an attractive color scheme, the winning entries were comprehensive, simple, and original.
For their efforts, Roger will be awarded a MacBook Air, while Ashley has won a iPad Mini.
Elements of the winning designs will be incorporated into a CourseWork redesign in the 2013-2014 Academic year, but here is a preview of their winning logos.
Ashley Ngu's second place design featured this logo
We thank all the students who took the time to enter. While this contest was judged for visual design, we did appreciate the ideas presented in some entries for improving the workflow of CourseWork and we will be crediting these students if their ideas make it into CourseWork at a future date.
PHP IMS LTI 1.1 Providers
I have a “hello world” provider in PHP here:
It is nice as it does all of LTI 1.1 as well as Sakai’s extensions documented here:
I have built a few other PHP providers that do a little more and use a database with some Authz and different implementation approaches. I used these as examples for various advanced LTI workshops I have given:
The best example is the Moodle LTI 1.1 Provider written by Juan Levya. The Moodle provider is more rich and powerful than the Sakai provider (below). The Moodle provider does grade send-back as well launch and provisioning at either a course or a tool level. I would love to get Sakai’s provider to feature parity with Moodle’s provider.
Java IMS LTI 1.1. Providers
There are three samples of Java LTI code here:
They were the initial sample code that was developed as proof-of concept. The Sakai LTI 1.1. providers started with this:
And went quite a ways beyond it. So I would ignore the above and start with:
You will note that the code here:
Is not even copyright Sakai – it is generic utility code copyright IMS and others – and it is more well-tested than the code in http://ims-dev.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/basiclti/java-servlet/ – so I would start with this as your utility code.
The connection between that generic Util code and Sakai APIs happens here:
I made sure that I kept the generic bits and non-generic bits 100% separate.
I have been working on a new release of the Sakai LTI support to complete the support for IMS LTI 1.1 and lay the ground work for an effort to implement IMS LTI 2.0 in the summer. The internel Sakai version number for the LTI code base is 2.1.0 (unrelated to the IMS spec version number).
This code is planned to be shipped with the Sakai 2.9.2 release – sometime in May or June. It will likely be the version that is installed by many Sakai schools over the summer.
Many things have been fixed, new features have been added, the UI has been cleaned up, and there are several security fixes.
Release notes including the 40+ JIRA tags fixed in the 2.1.0 release:
Beta 01 Tag:
It would be great if folks were willing to test this and give me some feedback.
Thanks to Ry Rivard at Inside Higher Ed, we have a copy of the draft bill as of March 8, 2013. With cooperation of Caffeine-Fueled Transcriptions, Inc, I thought it would be useful to share the full text. Please note that this is a draft bill that will be amended over time. I have added formatting (indents) to help with readability. See previous post for description of press conference (including Q&A) and press coverage.
SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) In recent years, California’s public higher education institutions have faced skyrocketing demand for enrollment at a time when they lack capacity to provide students with access to courses necessary for program completion and success.
(b) In the 2012 – 13 academic year, 85 percent of California Community Colleges (CCC) reported having waiting lists for their fall 2012 course sections, with a statewide average of more than 7,000 students on waiting lists per college.
(c) Similarly, impacted courses have contributed significantly to difficulties within the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems, with figures indicating that only 60 percent and 16 percent of students, respectively, are able to earn a degree within four years, with lack of access to key courses a factor in increased time-to-degree.
(d) With rapidly developing innovation in online course delivery models, California’s public institutions of higher education have a unique opportunity to meet critical demands for enrollment and reduce time-to-degree by providing students with access to high-quality, alternative, online pathways to successfully complete and obtain credit for the most impacted lower division courses.
(e) California could significantly benefit from a statutorily enacted, quality-first, faculty-led framework allowing students in online courses in strategically selected lower division majors and general education fields to be awarded credit at the UC, CSU, and CCC systems. While providing easy access to these courses, these systems could also continually assess the value of the courses and grates of student success in utilizing these alternative online pathways.
SECTION 2. Section 66409.3 is added to the Education Code, to read:
(a) The California Online Student Access Platform is hereby established. The platform shall be administered but the California Open Education Resources Council established pursuant to Section 66409. As used in this section, “platform” means the California Online Student Access Platform established by this section.
(b) The platform shall accomplish all of the following objectives:
(1) Provide an efficient statewide mechanism for online course providers to offer transferable courses for credit.
(2) Create a pool of approved and transferable online courses for credit through which students seeking to enroll may easily access those courses and related content.
(3) Provide a faculty-led process that places the highest priority on educational quality through which online courses can be subjected to high-quality standards and review.
(4) All the state, the public, students, faculty, and other stakeholders to examine student success rates within the platform.
(c) For purposes of accomplishing all of the objectives of the platform as specified in subdivision (b), the California Open Education Resources Council shall do all of the following:
(A) Develop a list of the 50 most impacted lower division courses at the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges that are deemed necessary for program completion or fulfilling transfer requirements, or deemed satisfactory for meeting general education requirements.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph, “impacted lower division course” means a course in which, during most academic terms, the number of students seeking to enroll in the core exceeds the number spaces [sic] available in the course.
(2) Create and administer a standardized review and approval process for online courses in which most or all course instruction is delivered online and is open to any interested person. When reviewing online courses for purposes of this section, the council shall, at minimum consider the extent to which each course does any of the following:
(A) Provides students with instructional support and related services to promote retention and success.
(B) Provides students with interaction with instructors and other students.
(C) Contains a proctored student assessment and examination process that ensures academic integrity and satisfactorily measures student learning.
(D) Provides a student with an opportunity to assess the extent to which he or she is suited for online learning prior to enrolling.
(E) Utilizes, as the primary course text or as a wholly acceptable alternative, content, where it exists, from the California Digital Open Source Library established pursuant to Section 66408.
(F) Includes adaptive learning technology systems or comparable technologies that can provide significant improvement in the learning of students.
(G) Includes content that has been reviewed and recommended by the American Council on Education.
(3) Regularly solidity and consider from each of the respective statewide student associates of the University of California, the California State University and the California Community Colleges, advice and guidance on implementation of the platform.
(4) Collect, review, and make public data and other information related to student success within the platform by gathering and reporting data on accepted student success metrics, including, but not necessarily limited to student enrollment in approved online courses through the platform, and student retention and completion rates.
(5) Utilize the state’s current common course numbering system for approved courses so as to simplify the identification and articulation of comparable courses.
(d) Online courses approved by the the California Open Education Resources Council pursuant to this section shall be plead in the California Student Access Course Pool, which is hereby created, through which students may access the courses. Students taking an online course available in the California Student Access Course Pool and achieving ga passing score on the course examination shall be awarded full academic credit for the comparable course at the University of California, the California State University and the California Community Colleges.
The post California SB 520 – Text of Proposed Draft Bill for Online Education Platform appeared first on e-Literate.
It is planned to upgrade WebLearn to version 2.8-ox5 on Thursday 4 April 2013 7-9am. There will be no service during this period.
Outside of the Vatican, the big news this week in higher education is the proposed legislation in California that would identify and approve a set of up to 50 online courses that the three public systems would accept as credit for admitted students. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is co-authoring SB520 that addresses popular, introductory courses for which students cannot get access from their University of California, California State University, or California Community College campus. The pre-coverage of the event included the following:
Wall Street Journal, “Push to Widen Online Study in California”
New York Times, “California Bill Seeks Campus Credit for Online Study”
Kevin Carey, “California’s Groundbreaking State Online Higher Education Plan”
Inside Higher Ed, “Outsourcing Public Higher Ed”
As described in the NY Times:
Legislation will be introduced in the California Senate on Wednesday that could reshape higher education by requiring the state’s public colleges and universities to give credit for faculty-approved online courses taken by students unable to register for oversubscribed classes on campus.
If it passes, as seems likely, it would be the first time that state legislators have instructed public universities to grant credit for courses that were not their own — including those taught by a private vendor, not by a college or university.
“We want to be the first state in the nation to make this promise: No college student in California will be denied the right to move through their education because they couldn’t get a seat in the course they needed,” said Darrell Steinberg, the president pro tem of the Senate, who will introduce the bill. “That’s the motivation for this.”
Update 3/14: Text of bill here
Senate President Pro Tem Steinberg held a press conference today via Google Hangout and video streaming (archive available soon on site) to announce the package of legislation. I have attempted to summarize the press conference below (any mistakes in note-taking are my own, and I’ll update as needed). While Michael and I will both have analysis of this proposal soon, I wanted to first share the information directly.
Steinberg introduced several key people that were part of crafting the proposal or presenting during the press conference.
Sen. Marty Block, chair of education sub-committee who introduced companion bill SB547
Special thanks to 20 million minds & Dean Florez for “help and leadership on these important issues”
Assemblywoman Christina Garcia, co-author of SB520
Michelle Pilati faculty senate Community Colleges
Richard Copenhagen, student rep
Sebastian Thrun, CEO of Udacity
Why we’re here – Darrell Steinberg
Steinberg referenced the Master Plan from 1960 as a blueprint for California higher education and a model for the nation. The Master Plan was founded on principle of making higher education available for all regardless of economic means – only to be limited by individual desires / ambitions. The plan led to economic engine of CA and our high-tech position. However, we’re at a cross-roads.
SB520 as amended “would reshape higher ed” higher ed “in partnership with technology we already use to break bottleneck that prevents students from completing education”.
California would be the 1st state in nation with such a statewide system.
No student should be denied education because can’t get course they need.
What SB520 is NOT:
Not substitute for campus-based instruction;
Not separated from faculty review – faculty panel can certify up to 50 online courses where students have problems getting into in traditional way. Only for courses where students cannot get into, and only if university is not already offering the course online. The courses can come from anywhere, but have to be approved by 9-member panel of faculty appointed by faculty senates from all three systems; modeled after SB1052/53 on OER access.
Not a shift in funding priorities; still plan to invest
We face a lack of access with students having to take frivolous units to keep financial aid & transfer requirements; students have gone homeless in cases.
We won’t solve problems just with online.
I am excited about today; shift of higher education in California.
This bill will empower access to higher education.
We are technology provider, not educators – leave course design with faculty.
We are pleased with interest in distance education; excited to see what we can do.
Technology is adjunct to learning; referenced Richard’s statements – technology is not a solution but can assist.
We hope we can leverage interest in distance education state of art to better serve students – help them get through courses the first time.
We plan to work with legislation, shape it into something that will help students.
Access, affordability & quality – these are the three pillars from Master Plan; over time we have kept affordability (even with tuition raises), and no one questions our quality; however, access is problem.
What online education does is open up possibilities for students, open up options.
We need to be careful to maintain quality and academic rigor; with these bills the faculty role is not diminished; courses are reviewed, monitored by faculty.
I have introduced SB547 – the three faculty senates jointly identify & develop transferable lower-division courses that can be offered online; these will be deemed transferable; works hand-in-hand with SB520 on access.
I was a math professor for 13 years – university & college; saw students struggle to complete courses on time, and even to figure out what’s next.
I am co-author of this bill (SB520).
I know first-hand power of online technology.
One feature is that by providing online courses for those who can benefit from online will free up seats in face-to-face courses for those needing this structure.
Online education does not replace traditional models – it gives another tool.
We will create one other bill in this “package”.
Here’s what’s happening: Incredible innovation and entrepreneurship on one hand and proud institutions on the other hand; these have been separate worlds.
If allowed to go separately, we won’t serve students; with the edtech hand, they can’t earn credit for online courses (e.g. MOOCs); on the other hand, with incredible faculty and institutions – we are struggling and there simply are not enough classes to ensure students who want to get their education can do this thru our three systems.
This bill seeks to put the entrepreneurial innovation and energy alongside the best of higher education system – maintain / enhance quality, ensure process for certifying courses is faculty-driven; also invest more in core education mission.
This is an exciting day. We would be the first state in nation to figure out how to put the two worlds together. How to certify the best courses, while not only involving faculty but let them take leadership position.
Questions & Answers
Q. Given budgetary constraints, this could be seen as bringing us into 21st century, yet others may see this as cheapening of education – do you have this concern? A. I would have concern if bill simply said to take outside content and courses and rubber-stamp approval, but that’s not what it does. True partnership between faculty 3 sys and innovators and entrepreneurs. No, I don’t have that concern – we’re providing the correct approach.
Q. Do these courses cost the same per unit as current system fees? With students signing in remotely, how would you deal with cheating? A. On the fee issue – we still have work to do for specific answer. The general approach – fee should be no more than taking face-to-face equivalent. We also need to make sure savings / revenue is shared in some way by students as well as the universities & colleges. We don’t want to create incentive to reduce face-tof-face instruction and lower cost structure. We will rely on face-to-face proctoring or remote proctoring software for testing req, but we don’t have final answer. Part of faculty panel’s review process is to review feasibility of proposed testing.
Q. This will clear way for online ed credit in 3 systems. A. Yes, will create smart pathway for certifying online courses for credit.
Q. Would you have to pass test to get credit at all 3 systems? A. Yes, similar or identical requirement.
Q. Would students have to be admitted through regular admissions? A. Yes.
Q. Did you get the same reaction from all three systems? A. I wouldn’t characterize reaction as different. I would characterize as showing interest, excitement, opportunity, and a little or a lot of fear and trepidation. Until we lay the bill out in details, there will need to be some concern. If it wasn’t somewhat controversial, this bill wouldn’t be worth doing.
Q. How will courses be priced, who will set fees? A. We still have work to do for definite answer. See above.
Q. Why Google Hangout for press conference? A. This is the first time for this type of event, and it is consistent with policy direction. The world is changing. Technology is important force in our life – mostly a positive force. We want to use technology to help as many young people, students as possible to achieve dreams and compete in modern economy. Using Google Hangout was the right thing to do and is consistent with mission.
Q. Does the bill outline support for faculty & students? A. We will be very specific for criteria for faculty panel. One of the lead considerations is the extent the course provides opportunity for interaction between faculty and students. If none, the course is not going to be certified.
Pilati – It is not completely clear where the bill is going, but student-faculty interaction is critical to success, like current online offerings.
Garcia – Keep in mind that with campuses there are multiple support and tutoring systems from institution; weneed to figure out student-faculty interaction, but we do have other methods of support already in place.
Thrun – He referenced SJSU pilot with 300 students for-credit, $150 per unity – lower than face-to-face fees; the pilot is staffed with instructors and mentors; have excellent retention rate so far; could shed light.
Q. Are there 50 courses for each system? A. No 50 courses across all.
Q. So UC student could take same course as CC? A. Sure, could cross over.
Q. What is expected cost of this initiative? A. Note that SB1052 /53 appropriated $5M with matching funds – $10m total to launch aggressively. We will look at details as part of budget process, but we expect the same kinds of numbers, in the ballpark.
Q. What would be the maximum number of students enrolled in a course? A. First, define population as admitted students. Within this ceiling, we don’t think there would be limit. The issue is whether or not students could get access to face-to-face course. If not, they will be eligible for online course.
Q. Is this more about saving money or helping students, and any evidence that online education does help students? A. This is about helping students. This is not a substitute for reinvesting in higher education in general. But we will be making a big mistake if we don’t take advantage of technology advances. Students won’t be hindered in ability to get into class. We can get out in front and shape MOOC movement, not just watch it. Without this approach, we actually risk diminishing quality. I admit this bill will be controversial, but we need to get out in front. Use 1052/53 structure to guide us.
Thrun – Udacity is only provider pulled classes because of quality concerns, we want quality first.
Q. What is involvement of Udacity in this proposal? A. Udacity is eligible, like any other provider, to compete before faculty panel. The “good doctor” (Thrun) has been a leader in the field, we need to learn from others. They will be a competitor like anybody else.
Q. Is Udacity a sponsor, or is there a sponsor? A. There is no sponsor. I gave shout-out to 20 Million Minds Foundation and Dean Florez – and we worked with them. Steinberg / Garcia are co-authors.
Q. How many online classes will be allowed to transfer between system and will there be any cap? A. That’s a great question. We don’t have an answer at this point. We need to put this in the mix. Question worthy of consideration.
Mercury News, “Calif. bill would permit online courses for credit”
Associated Press, “Lawmakers push for online education”
MSN, “Calif. lawmaker wants to force state colleges to accept online credits”
VentureBeat, “Online education gets legit: California bill would give college credit”
Oakland Tribune, “California college students shut out of classes could earn credits online if new legislation passes”
Chronicle of HE, “California’s Move Toward MOOCs Sends Shock Waves, but Key Questions Remain Unanswered”
Inside Higher Ed, “Politics and Cautions in California”
Matthew Yglesias, “California Pointing the Way to Online Education”
LA Times, “California bill would promote statewide online college courses”
Campus Technology, “California Bill Could Allow Students To Take MOOCs for Credit”
Cable Green at Creative Commons, “California Unveils Bill to Provide Openly Licensed, Online College Courses for Credit”
Times-Herald, “More online courses to ease bottleneck aim of Senate bill”
Michael Feldstein, “California SB 520 Currently Misses the Mark, but Not By Much”
LA Times, “Online-course bill is sharply criticized by top UC faculty leaders”
Inside Higher Ed, “The End Run”
LA Times, “Give online courses the old college try”
Inside Higher Ed, “U. of California Faculty Leaders Question Outsourcing Plan”
Chronicle of HE, “A Massively Bad Idea”
The post Proposed California Legislation for Statewide Online Education Courses – The Basics appeared first on e-Literate.
Analysis of the sketchy available data reveals two myths about MOOCs: First, MOOCs are subsidized, not free. Second, MOOCs have high completion rates for those who seek credit.
To better understand MOOCs, discussions are emerging with classification schemes that provide perspectives of students with different motivations, needs and methods of learning. These schemes can be used to further refine “completion” rates, and to understand subsidies. Though there is limited data available, the several examples can be used to develop a better, but far from complete, understanding of MOOCs in higher education.
Colleges and universities need to know the full costs of offering “free” courses, even when provided by a commercial firm to students at no cost. The definition of “completion” becomes critical to public funding policies for students and colleges and universities
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