University of Colorado to offer MOOCs as part of online initiative

The University of Colorado is entering the world of MOOCs — Massive Open Online Courses — as part of an agreement with Coursera, one of the nation’s leading for-profit providers in the rapidly growing field, The Denver Post reports. CU is one of 10 state university systems that joined forces with Coursera on Thursday. Others include the State University of New York, the University of Tennessee Systems, the University of Kentucky, the University of Nebraska and the University of New Mexico. “With this new agreement, CU is positioned at the leading edge of exploring how this quickly developing platform can help us deliver better education opportunities to more students,” CU President Bruce Benson said in a statement. Started about five years ago, MOOCs were popularized by Stanford professors Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig, whose online class on Artificial Intelligence attracted about 160,000 students. Encouraged by the results, Thrun launched Udacity, another MOOC provider. Colorado State University’s Global Campus, which is 100 percent online, entered into a contract with Udacity last fall.

Read more

…Read More

University is uneasy as court ruling allows guns on campus

During her 19 years teaching English at the University of Colorado Boulder, Karen Jacobs never gave much thought to whether one of her students was carrying a gun, the New York Times reports. As the state’s flagship university, it had a longstanding firearms ban. So even in a place like Colorado, where gun rights are nearly as deeply cherished as John Elway and fresh snow, there was never a need for concern. But ever since a State Supreme Court ruling in March forced the university to allow those with Colorado concealed weapon permits to carry their guns on campus, Ms. Jacobs and other faculty members have found themselves increasingly uneasy.

“This is a place where we depend on being able to speak our minds and offer sometimes controversial opinions in a free and open place,” she said. “The feeling among a percentage of faculty is that this will create a climate of fear and intimidation.”

Click here for the full story…Read More

University of Colorado seeks $1.5 billion in private gifts

In a move president Bruce Benson called the most ambitious in the school’s history, the University of Colorado on Monday launched the public portion of a campaign to collect $1.5 billion in private donations, the Denver Post reports. A portion of the money raised by the “Creating Futures” campaign will boost the university’s $745.4 million total endowment, while much of it will help fund everything from scholarships and research to new construction, according to the university…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Is better learning a click away?

Clicker technology has advanced, but some professors prefer simpler models that don't lead to distractions.
Clicker technology has advanced, but some professors prefer simpler models that won't lead to distractions.

The students in Michael Dubson’s physics class at the University of Colorado fell silent as a multiple-choice question flashed on a screen, sending them scrambling for small white devices on their desks.

Within seconds, a monitor on Dubson’s desk told him that 92 percent of the class had correctly answered the question on kinetic energy, a sign that they grasped the concept.

Student response systems, or clickers—not unlike gadgets used on television game shows—first appeared in college classrooms over a decade ago and have since spread to just about every college and university in the country, thanks to cheaper and better technology.…Read More