Daphne Koller: What We’re Learning From Online Education

Daphne Koller is the ‘birth mother’ of Coursera, and along with Stanford colleague Andrew Ng are the two behind the rise of MOOC’s and disruptive elearning in higher education.

This is a FANTASTIC video which provides insight into the impetus for Coursera and an inside view of this fantastic technology company.

 

 

About the Coursera Video (from a presentation at TED)

Daphne Koller is enticing top universities to put their most intriguing courses online for free — not just as a service, but as a way to research how people learn. With Coursera (cofounded by Andrew Ng), each keystroke, quiz, peer-to-peer discussion and self-graded assignment builds an unprecedented pool of data on how knowledge is processed.

With Coursera, Daphne Koller and co-founder Andrew Ng are bringing courses from top colleges online, free, for anyone who wants to take them. Bio: http://www.ted.com/speakers/daphne_koller.html

Hybrid Online Learning Delivers

From the Bacon’s Rebellion web site (a great site you should check out!) is a  blog post supporting University of Virginia’s move to join Coursera, using the latest research from Ithaka S+R: Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials.

As the  University of Virginia has been embroiled in a battle over it’s actions–or, LACK of action–with jumping on the MOOC bandwagon (see my comments here: Experts: UVa.’s Coursera partnership far from an embrace of online learning (July 17th, 2012)).

An interesting read, Bacon’s Rebellion does a good job teasing-out the salient parts of the research.

http://www.baconsrebellion.com/2012/07/yes-hybrid-online-learning-delivers.html

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“Vigorous efforts should be made to aggressively explore uses of both the relatively simple systems that are proliferating all around us, often to good effect, and more sophisticated systems that are still in their infancy. There is every reason to expect these systems to improve over time, perhaps dramatically, and thus it is not foolish to believe that learning outcomes will also improve.” – Conclusion from:Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials

 

 

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Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials

“Strategic” Educational Consultants Ithaka S+R released their latest research report (download below) on Interactive Online Learning. They summarized:

Online learning is quickly gaining in importance in U.S. higher education, but little rigorous evidence exists as to its effect on student learning outcomes. In “Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials,” we measure the effect on learning outcomes of a prototypical interactive learning online (ILO) statistics course by randomly assigning students on six public university campuses to take the course in a hybrid format (with machine-guided instruction accompanied by one hour of face-to-face instruction each week) or a traditional format (as it is usually offered by their campus, typically with 3-4 hours of face-to-face instruction each week).

We find that learning outcomes are essentially the same—that students in the hybrid format “pay no price” for this mode of instruction in terms of pass rates, final exam scores, and performance on a standardized assessment of statistical literacy.

These zero-difference coefficients are precisely estimated. We also conduct speculative cost simulations and find that adopting hybrid models of instruction in large introductory courses have the potential to significantly reduce instructor compensation costs in the long run.

 

Tell me one good job you can get without a college degree?

Such was the question posed to me by a recruiter from one of our state colleges. I was eager to argue that many entrepreneurs,  programmers, and other service industries did not require college degrees but, agreed that current competitive trends made college–or an advanced degree granting institution (trades, etc), were important for a good job.

Gaining more knowledge is a sure-fire way to improve your life. With rapid changes in technology, the job market and careers, college is one of the many ways this can be accomplished, whether it’s a two-year community college, a four-year college or trade/technical school.

Provided college financing is within a person’s means and budget (See: College Grads: The New Debt Slaves and Colleges Suing Their Own Students For Repayment) more higher education can make a person more marketable and gives them more options in life.

The folks at Educated Rooster put together a nice little list:

 10 Reasons For Going Back To College

  1. Higher Paying Salary: A college degree drastically improves your career earning prospects. Research has shown that job applicants with degrees are more likely to land higher paying jobs with better health insurance and more vacation days.
  2. Increase Your Job Options: A college degree widens your spectrum of job options. College graduates have more job prospects because they acquire more specialized skills, knowledge, and expertise than non-college graduates.
  3. Personal Investment: Nothing in your life is more important than you. A college education broadens your horizons. A degree is an investment that will allow you to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
  4. Networking: Social ties and your network reach are valuable assets in today’s society. College is a great place to meet new people whose interests are aligned with yours. It provides you with the opportunity to build connections with people from all over the world. The people you meet in college may be tomorrow’s CEOs and leaders.
  5. More Career Flexibility: More and more employers demand workers with post-secondary degrees. A degree gives you greater access to occupations and job opportunities.
  6. Competitive Edge: Going back to college can provide you with the edge you need in today’s rough economic times. College helps familiarize you with the latest advances within your field. It can potentially equip you with specific skills and knowledge that can give you an advantage amongst your peers.
  7. Job Security: Higher education levels have been proven to lead to better job security.
  8. Build your Confidence: Increasing your knowledge, skill-sets, and experiences can only help to make you a well-rounded individual. Exposing yourself to new topics and experiences will simultaneously enhance your self-esteem and your appeal to employers.
  9. Career Change: You may have hit a dead end in your current job or you came to the realization that it’s not what you desire to do with the rest of your life. A college degree can help you get hired at a higher level and more quickly rise through the ranks of your new career.
  10. Health and Happiness: You may find that once you have completed college you are happier, have less stress, and that both you and your children are healthier. Evidence shows that college graduates tend to be happier and healthier. They have more fun, more leisure time, and are more optimistic about their past and future progress. As a happy person you will be more motivated to pursue your goals, and you are more likely to earn more money

Are there more reasons to go back to college?

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Source:  http://www.EducatedRooster.com

 

Education is a 7 TRILLION Dollar Industry

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colleges-sueColleges Suing Their Own Students For Repayment

What happens when some of the most prestigious college graduates can’t get jobs to repay their loans…

Yale Suing Former Students Shows Crisis in Loans to Poor

Needy U.S. borrowers are defaulting on almost $1 billion in federal student loans earmarked for the poor, leaving schools such as Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania with little choice except to sue their graduates.

The record defaults on federal Perkins loans may jeopardize the prospects of current students since they are part of a revolving fund that colleges give to students who show extraordinary financial hardship.

Yale, Penn and George Washington University have all sued former students over nonpayment, court records show. While no one tracks the number of lawsuits, students defaulted on $964 million in Perkins loans in the year ended June 2011, 20 percent more than five years earlier, government data show. Unlike most student loans — distributed and collected by the federal government — Perkins loans are administered by colleges, which use repayment money to lend to other poor students.

“If you borrow to go to school, it may not be just the government that ends up coming after you if you can’t pay,” said Deanne Loonin, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center, a nonprofit advocacy group in Boston. “We offer credit very easily.” If the student doesn’t benefit financially from the education, “the government or the school comes after them very aggressively.”

 

 Perkins Pot

The increase in the amount of defaulted loans among poor students comes as President Barack Obama says he wants to expand access to college for working-class families and increase funding for thePerkins program. Under his proposal, the pot for Perkins loans would increase to $8.5 billion from about $1 billion. The Education Department would service the loans instead of colleges.

Aaron Graff, a farmer’s son from Denver, graduated from George Washington in 2010 with the help of $62,500 in scholarships over two years, according to his financial-aid award letters. He defaulted on $4,000 in Perkins loans.

Graff, 30, said he hasn’t been able to find a full-time job. He earns $800 a month from teaching high-school equivalency courses and restores basements for extra money. He said he is trying to pay off otherstudent loans first because they were co-signed by his parents.

“I live on the bare minimum,” he said. “It’s not like I’m defaulting on my student loans to live the lavish life. I’m defaulting on my loans because I really don’t have it.”

 

 Student Obligations

“Perkins loans are issued from a revolving fund, so any monies recovered through litigation increase universities’ ability to help other students with education costs,” Candace Smith, a spokeswoman for George Washington, said in an e-mail. The university doesn’t comment on specific lawsuits, she said.

“You could take a job at Subway or wherever to pay the bills and that’s something you need to do if you have agreed in taking a loan to pay it back,” McCluskey said. “It seems like basic responsibility to me.”

The interest rate on Perkins loans is 5 percent, and students get a nine-month grace period after leaving school or graduating. In the 2007-2008 academic year, 64 percent of Perkins loan recipients reported parental income of less than $50,000, according to Mark Kantrowitz, who runs finaid.org, a website on educational lending.

 

 College Costs

With college costs climbing faster than the rate of inflation over the past four decades, students have taken out more loans, swelling outstanding education debt to $1 trillion, more than what Americans owe on their credit cards.

The University of Pennsylvania filed at least a dozen Perkins lawsuits last year, according to court records. Penn, based in Philadelphia, gave out more than $8 million in Perkins loans in the year ending June 2012, according to the school.

 

Promissory Note

Penn refers loans to a collection agency when they have been delinquent for 120 days. Michelle Brown-Nevers, an associate vice president, declined to discuss thresholds because she said she didn’t want to reveal collection practices.

Yale is suing Elizabeth M. Triggs, who studied there between 2001 and 2006 and signed five promissory notes totaling $8,255 under the Perkins program, according to a filing in Superior Court ofNew Haven last year.

 

 Unpaid Perkins

Students who take out Perkins loans aren’t eligible for government income-based repayment plans when they run into financial trouble, unlike borrowers from the more popular Stafford loan program used by many middle-income families. Such repayment plans let students with high debt relative to their paychecks make smaller payments over time. Colleges can work with Perkins students to develop individual plans.

 

Financial Counseling

The federal government also lets universities and debt collectors charge higher collection fees than Stafford when they pursue a Perkins debtor.

On the first attempt, schools can charge 30 percent of loan principal, along with interest and late fees. They can charge 40 percent for the second effort and an additional 40 percent on litigation, according to the Education Department.

The fees are higher than the 25 percent allowed for government-backed Stafford loans because the lower value of the Perkins ones makes them less appealing to collection agencies in terms of commissions, said Dan Madzelan, a former Education Department official.

 

Not Practical

The University of California system tries to use its own personnel before suing Perkins debtorsbecause balances are relatively small, said Coolidge. When borrowers don’t have assets or income, winning a judgment doesn’t actually result in collecting the money, she said.

“It’s not that we wouldn’t do it,” she said. “It’s not that practical.”

Sources:  Bloomberg  via  http://www.zerohedge.com