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  • A MOOC course created by 70 world-class physicists
    "From Particles to Stars", a MOOC created by 70 world-class physicists from Université Paris-Saclay which starts on November 16, 2015, is free and open to anyone who is curious about fundamental physics and its applications. It is a ten-week course in French with subtitles in English. Read more...
  • Online education as a job perk
    Organisations are teaming up with universities to provide online education for their employees. Following the example of Starbucks collaborating with the Arizona State University to provide their employees free education through MOOCs, Anthem Inc. has partnered with Southern New Hampshire University and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, with Strayer University. Read more...
  • How to survive technological replacement
    Some scholars studied occupations that expanded during the information revolution of the recent past and also emphasis that education should give students "an art of living in the world". Teachers should define and provide to their students a certain kind of general, flexible, insight-bearing human learning that cannot be replaced by computers. Education should be more business-oriented, teaching about the real world and enabling a creative entrepreneurial process that computers cannot duplicate. Read more...
  • Public Colleges will be free in the U.S.
    U.S. independent senator, Bernard Sanders, introduced a bill in May 2015 that would make public colleges free for four years. This would make college education affordable to all students pursuing higher education. 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...

  • A Revolution and a New Paradigm in Education
    Gurgulino de Souza, Heitor; Jacobs, Garry; Nagan, Winston; Šlaus, Ivo  & Zucconi, Alberto
    A potentially disruptive revolution caused by the internet and communication technologies may be transformed into a rapid, constructive evolutionary movement the world so deeply needs to cope with the emerging challenges of the 21st century. A new paradigm in education may then become the basis for a new paradigm in human development and social evolution.