Digital Learning in 'Inside Higher Ed' This Week

Among the topics: U.S. to examine online "enablers"; federal aid and alternative providers; autograding run amok; two professors ask: Should we teach online?

December 5, 2018
 

Among the developments that received coverage in Inside Higher Ed this week:

  • The U.S. Education Department's Office of Inspector General said last week that it would examine the relationship between colleges and companies that help them take their academic programs online. Online program management companies, or OPMs, provide an array of services to help colleges create, market and manage their online programs, often for a share of revenue in exchange for up-front investment.
  • The Trump administration in January will begin a new round of deregulation targeting some of the most fundamental rules that govern higher education, among other things aimed at loosening current rules to encourage more innovation. Yet as the regulatory overhaul draws near, some operators of alternative postsecondary programs are facing deliberations over whether to pursue federal financial aid if the department loosens current restrictions.
  • Students in one of the largest computer science courses at the University of California, Berkeley, have spoken out about problems with the automated system used to grade their work. The class prompting complaints, CS 61B, or Data Structures, relies on an autograder to evaluate hundreds of students’ coding skills and assign them grades.
  • Two professors at different higher education institutions reflect on their ambivalence about online learning and whether and how they might best venture into this still-new learning environment.

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