Ann Ferren Conference 2015 – Call for Proposals

The annual Ann Ferren Conference bring together a great breadth of approaches to improving all aspects of instruction and instructional support:  teaching strategies, innovative assessment design, working with international students, supervising internships, and technology in – and out of – the classroom.  Browse recent years’ offerings, and consider a proposal about online learning, social media, the mobile student, or other topics that will make the rest of us better teachers:  call for proposals deadline September 22, 2014.

What’s up with MOOCs?

Online learning at American University and elsewhere tries to replicate the small-class experience of classroom-based courses: intense student-faculty interaction, student-to-student learning, and a community for discussion.  But in other places, the focus in the last couple of years has been on MOOCs – massive open online courses:  thousands of students, open admissions, no tuition, and no academic credit.  Here’s some recent MOOC news.

Study Finds MOOC Reality Not Yet Meeting High Expectations

Columbia University researchers conclude that from the educational and the business perspectives, MOOCs stll have a long way to go before they are fundamentally change the cores of higher education.  A summary and the entire report.

Another report concluded that so far MOOCs are “more like health clubs than hospitals” – a summary and the report.

In Defense of Teacher Learning

A blog from the global business school INSEAD notes the importance, but lack of discussion, of instructors reconsidering their courses when preparing them as MOOCs.  The new platform forces teachers to reconsider content choices, assignments, and assessments in ways that spill over into reconsidering their classroom-based courses.

Andrew Ng joins China’s Baidu

A Coursera co-founder, with roots at Google and Stanford will become chief scientist at Baidu, the Chinese Internet company with $1.5 in 2014 Q1 revenue.

MOOCs Go Global

From Jordan, Queen Raina’s Foundation for Education and Development will work to increase the number of Arabic MOOCs available for the benefit of Arabic students and scholars with a partnership with edX, called Edraak.  MOOCs are also being offered from Asia and elsewhere.

MOOCs – Not Just for Universities

Forbes notes that while MOOCs pose challenges and opportunities for universities, businesses like SAP and Sky News are also using the ideas that shape MOOCs for their own business purposes.

MOOCs on Everything – Including, Now, SABRmetrics

“An introduction to sabrmetrics, baseball analytics, data science, the R language, and SQL.”  From Boston University via edX.  Begins next week….

Writing Lab Support

From the Academic Support and Access Center:

Dear Faculty,

With great enthusiasm, we are writing you to announce that the Writing Lab in the ASAC will be offering online support for students enrolled in online classes this summer.

We will contact all students taking online classes and let them know about this opportunity and how to take advantage of it. It would also be beneficial if you could remind them of this service, when needed.

To visit our webpage, which contains all the instructions to schedule an appointment and prepare for it, please go to Online Writing Lab Schedule.

Please feel free to contact the ASAC (202-885-3360 or if you have any questions or need further information.

Have a great summer!

The Writing Lab at the Academic Support and Access Center
Mary Graydon Center 243