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NYU tries to balance faculty concerns, student needs in new electronic communications policy

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New York University needs to both protect its students online and promote academic freedom, but can single institution-wide policy do the trick? Some professors don't like the ideas on the table.

 

Faculty group continues anti-MOOC offensive

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A national faculty coalition continues its anti-MOOC offensive, but some critics say the concerns are overblown.

New open access publishing model praised for audacity, but sustainability concerns remain

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A new open-access publishing model in the humanities and social sciences is praised for its audacity, but is it sustainable?

Rutgers Graduate Faculty Rejects Online Degree Compromise

Graduate faculty members at Rutgers University at New Brunswick have once again rejected administrators' plans to create more online degree programs through a partnership with Pearson. Last October, faculty members in the Graduate School blocked any new programs from being approved, objecting to Pearson's share of tuition revenue -- 50 percent -- and an "obscenity clause" in the contract that Pearson later clarified.

On Wednesday, administrators introduced a new resolution that, instead of blocking programs, tasked the executive vice president with producing a report on the partnership with Pearson. The report "should address the effectiveness of Pearson in facilitating and delivering online master’s programs, the financial success of the agreement for the university, and any issues that have arisen regarding censorship of content. The report should also describe how faculty consultation will be implemented as we go forward," according to the resolution.

Instead of voting on the proposal, faculty members passed their own resolution, 26-2 with two abstentions, to not even consider the administration's suggestion.

"The reason why people didn’t want to vote on the dean’s resolution was that we didn’t want to conform to a procedure where the deans can bring up for reconsideration a question that the faculty have decided repeatedly," said David M. Hughes, professor of anthropology. "What people were saying at the meeting was after having pushed Pearson to the margins, we have to go get back to the discussion of why we want to have online education on campus in the first place."

The Pulse podcast interviews Ray Henderson of In the Telling

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The technology entrepreneur Ray Henderson discusses his latest venture, In the Telling, in this month's edition of The Pulse podcast.

Northwestern and Washington State U., with similar needs, pick different learning management systems

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Northwestern and Washington State U. agree on what they want from their new learning management systems -- so why are they picking different providers?

Portmont College and Mount St. Mary's chart new territory with online associate programs

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Mount St. Mary's still has high hopes for Portmont College, a new online subsidiary, after partner foundation goes belly-up.

Liberal arts college consulting group announces DIY toolkit for collaboration

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The liberal arts college consulting group NITLE announces a free toolkit for institutions that want to team up to tackle common challenges.

Udacity to Stop Issuing Free Certificates of Completion

Beginning next month, the massive open online course provider Udacity will cut the first O from the acronym and only offer MOCs. Founder Sebastian Thrun, whose "pivot" last year shifted the company's focus to corporate training, in a blog post announced Udacity will stop issuing free course completion certificates on May 16. The course materials will still be available on the website for independent study, but in order to earn a certificate, students need to verify their identity. That track is currently available for about $150 a month.

"Discontinuing the 'free' certificates has been one of the most difficult decisions we've made," Thrun wrote. "We know that many of our hardworking students can’t afford to pay for classes. At the same time, we cannot hope that our certificates will ever carry great value, if we don’t make this change."

The Pulse podcast features interview with Charley Miller of TouchCast

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This month's edition of The Pulse podcast features an interview with Charley Miller, head of product at TouchCast, a new video production software.

Miller talks with Rodney B. Murray, host of The Pulse. They discuss how TouchCast differs from other video editors and its possible uses in the classroom.

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