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  • MIT takes a big leap offering course credits for Free Online courses
    MIT is taking a step forward in offering credits for online courses. One can obtain a master's degree by opting for a hybrid model course. The students can get the degree by taking one semester of the course from anywhere for free on edX and get credits by passing the end exam, and complete the other semester on campus. Read more...
  • A tech school with no teachers, no books and no tuition
    École 42 is an ambitious project of a tech school in France with no teachers, no books and no tuition. It makes its learners outstanding programmers with an intensive two-three year programme. Read more...
  • A MOOC course nominated for Emmy Awards
    The Coursera MOOC "The Kennedy Half Century" has been nominated for Emmy Award under the Best Instructional Programming category. The course is presented by Larry J. Sabato, professor at the University of Virginia. Read more...
  • Finland reforms its education system radically
    Scraping the traditional teaching-by-subject system, Finland embarks on an educational reform of teaching by topic or phenomenon teaching. They are really redesigning and rethinking their education system so that the students are prepared for the future with the skills that are needed. Read more...


  • Interview with Dr. Raj Raghunathan

    Dr. Rajagopal Raghunathan is the author of one the world’s most popular online courses, a MOOC offered by Coursera entitled ‘A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment’. He is Professor of Marketing at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. WUC interviewed him in the midst of his world tour sharing his experiences on how to develop and deliver successful educational content online.

    1. What are the major limitations of the current education system in preparing youth for life in the 21st century?

    Education systems vary by country and culture of course—e.g., the system in Germany, Netherlands and some other European countries allow for students to self select into “professional” vs. “skilled labor” tracks during high school. However, by and large, most education systems fail us by not providing an overarching framework for understanding why being educated is useful. I would imagine that most people would agree that education is useful because it helps enhance everyone’s well-being, and I think this overarching goal needs to be made explicit from Day 1 and reaffirmed through out one’s education. Courses on the topic of "well-being” need to find a way into the curriculum and should play a very central role.

    2. Is it possible to shift from a subject centered to person/student centered learning?

    Yes, we currently have the technology to be able to do so. Online platforms can more easily enable students to delve deeper into a particular topic of interest.

    3. What are the strategies to shift from passive to active learning?

    Students differ from one another in how they learn. Some students learn well by listening, others by reading, and most learn best by actually doing—or teaching to someone else. The online medium provides greater opportunities for active learning. For example, students could be asked to videotape the various things that they did for an assignment and upload it on to the course website. Or, they could be asked to teach a particular topic to someone who is not knowledgeable about that topic. And, of course, they could be periodically tested through “in video quizzes”; findings show that such quick tests can enhance learner-engagement and learning.

    4. What are the advantages of the online classes? What are your suggestions for creating an effective course?

    The online medium offers several significant advantages over the offline (face-to-face) medium. One such advantage is efficiency. You can convey more information per unit of time and add other elements like images and music that enhance learning. It’s easier to integrate quick assessments in online contexts. You can bring in guest speakers and subject matter experts more easily in online videos. It’s more expensive and effortful to do it in face-to-face contexts.
    That said, there are some key disadvantages of the online medium. It can be frustrating if the internet connection is bad. It also does not as easily allow for exchanges between learners. I think it is very important to have a few face-to-face meetings to complement the online content.
    The key element that will make an online course a success is that it needs to offer information in smaller bits than is typically done face-to-face. Given that the online medium has more reach and therefore attracts students from a more diverse set of backgrounds, the message needs to be communicated differently—more directly and using simpler language.

  • Rich colleges should not just focus on study but take action!
    Ranjani Ravi

    Cornell University decided a few weeks ago to change the Department of English to the Department of Literatures in English. This is part of a decolonising effort that way back in 1968 in Nairobi that did something similar. There is no denying this is a welcome sign. Anything that tries to free us from the shackles of colonisation mindset is fine as long as it doesn't stop short if just that: trying. We either try or do. We can't do that. We are definitely evolving but the speed with which this happens does not match in pace with the speed that is necessary.

    The concern is, Cornell is a school for the rich and the wealthy. Same applies to Yale and Harvard, who encourage upper class kids to write scholarly articles on Fighting racism and building inclusivity and diversity but do not admit students from the lower background, which is key to building inclusivity. Scholarship doesn't equal accountability.

    Inspired by this piece on The Chronicle: https://www.chronicle.com/article/what-wealthy-colleges-could-do-if-they...

  • Higher Education – a Basis for Progress and Democracy in the Globalized World of the 21st Century
    Constantinescu, Emil
    A democratic society uses its elites for the common benefit, making them accessible to any citizen willing to use his talent and abilities to reach as far as possible on his chosen path. We must re-invent the school that takes into account every child’s and teenager’s talents, to offer them a customized path that will bring out the best of every student’s personality. Education accompanied by a radical transformation of the economy level, generates jobs according to the knowledge society and not to the industrial society characterizing the 19th century.
  • The Evolution of the Educational Paradigm
    Lindgren, Carl Edwin
    Creation of a new paradigm in education is a part of an on-going development factor of change which can lead to good or bad. The potential results are forthcoming, only due to future meta-theory constructs based on their foundations, methods, form, utility and their eventual sociological development and benefit to mankind.
  • The Dignitarian University
    Fuller, Robert W
    Societies that root rankism out of their schools and universities will lead the world in the twenty-first century, much as those that curtailed the abuse of rank in government led in the twentieth. No institution will remain dignitarian for long if it is not committed to coevolving with power.
  • World University: Global Strategy for Higher Education
    Engelbrecht, Jüri 
    In principle, universities should always be some steps ahead of the society, both in terms of education and research. Education in universities should equip graduates for activities in the future. Contrary to contemporary ideas about innovation, research is much wider when it includes studies about man, society and the world, culture and human perception.
  • Creative Consciousness
    Natarajan, Ashok
    Consciousness is creative. Value-based educational creativity can awaken and nurture young minds to develop and discover their own inherent capacity for knowledge in freedom. Education is society’s most advanced institution for conscious social evolution. Values are the essence of society’s knowledge for highest accomplishment. Education that imparts values is an evolutionary social organization that can hasten the emergence of that creative consciousness.