Udacity Ignores Reality, Founds Open Education Alliance


first_imgGrowing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Related Posts 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… lauren orsini How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees?center_img Why You Love Online Quizzes Tags:#education#MOOCs Massively Open Online Courses were upheld as the future of learning during a panel on new models in online education at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference yesterday in San Francisco. But in reality, the program is getting low marks on its actual implementation in the state of California.The TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 panel discussion united Sebastian Thrun of Udacity, an online course provider, and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom to talk about Udacity’s radical partnership with California’s education system. This year saw the largest scale MOOC experiment in the country, as San Jose State University partnered with Udacity to offer five courses to 2,000 plus pioneering students.Thrun said MOOCs, or Massively Open Online Courses, are the inexpensive key to including more disenfranchised students in higher education. “He’s not talking about a lecture and putting it online. He’s talking about a whole new model of education that takes the latest in terms of how we learn and incorporates it into a new platform of engagement that arguably will make learning more interesting, meaningful and life long,” said Newsom of Udacity’s education model.It’s a nice sentiment, but according to the numbers, MOOCs aren’t there quite yet. The Udacity offerings were certainly affordable at $100 to $150 per course, but whether they worked for students is a different matter entirely. During the spring semester starting in January 2013, Udacity offered three online mathematics classes to 300 San Jose State students. But students flunked in large numbers, with no more than 51% of students passing any of the three courses. In a traditional setting, the average pass rate is closer to 74%. The experiment improved slightly during the summer semester, when Udacity offered two more mathematics courses. Eighty-three percent of students in elementary statistics earned a C or better, and 73% in algebra earned a passing grade. It would sound like a huge improvement from spring, except when you take in the fact that a whopping 40% of summer students opted to drop out (compared to 17% in spring).Udacity’s South By SouthWest panel pitch not only acknowledges the failings of MOOCs, but admits that some have up to 90% dropout rates (these courses do not necessarily reflect Udacity offerings). But during Thrun and Newsom’s chat, the cold facts were disregarded in favor of an optimistic future. “Look, this is not about replacing or changing campus education,” said Thrun, “but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop innovating.” It’s no wonder that MOOCs have tenuous support among academics. But in Silicon Valley, Udacity is finding a lot of support for its innovation, despite reality’s buzzkill. During the talk, Thrun announced the Open Education Alliance. Udacity is being joined by companies like Google, Cloudera, Autodesk, and fellow education providers Khan Academy and Georgia Tech to “[assist] in the curation and development of a new 21st century curriculum.”It’s hard to get on board with this rosy view of the future when the present isn’t quite so bright. Watch TechCrunch’s video of the entire discussion here.last_img read more

Bureaucrat seeks Info Commissioner’s removal


first_imgThe Shahdol Commissioner has raked up grave charges against a serving State Information Commissioner, who during a past tenure had purportedly violated the revenue code to transfer a pond, meant for government ownership, to a private entity for a nominal fee “causing heavy loss” to the Madhya Pradesh government.Although the 12-hectare Mansarovar pond on unoccupied land in Gyaraspur of Vidisha district should have been vested in the government, wrote Shahdol Commissioner R.B. Prajapati to a State-level Principal Secretary, Rajkumar Mathur, the District Collector had parted away the State’s rights in 2005 in an “illegal and unauthorised way”.“Therefore, I request you to initiate the removal from the service of Mr. Mathur, now a State Information Commissioner,” wrote Mr. Prajapati, even though the district falls under the Bhopal division.‘Delay in inquiry’Due to the delay in an inquiry and the pendency of the case with the General Administration Department, he wrote, Mr. Mathur acquired the constitutional post for which he was “ineligible on moral and statutory grounds”.“If according to him,” wrote Mr. Prajapati, “the Mansarovar pond was a private land, it should have been vested in the State Government under Section 251 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959. Instead, he gave it up for exchange.”According to the Section, all tanks situated on unoccupied land in the State on or before the date of coming into force of the Act should vest in the State government. The Act abolishes the rights of intermediaries in the area on a tank, which may be used by villages for irrigation.Moreover, although the pond didn’t fulfil the exchange parameters laid down under the revenue book circular, still it was given up under it in an illegal and unauthorised way, he alleged. “The Section is one of the most important ones enacted in public interest,” he wrote, “It has the same effect as the Madhya Pradesh Ceiling on Agricultural Holding Act, 1960, under which there is a provision to vest private land in the State government by declaring it surplus,” he said.‘In cold storage’Mr. Prajapati claimed he had brought the case to the attention of the GAD and other departments on July 14, 2008, as a consequence of which the Under Secretary to the Government of India (Ministry of Personnel and Training) had directed the State’s Chief Secretary to take action. “However, no serious inquiry was undertaken and the case was thrown into the cold storage,” wrote Mr. Prajapati.last_img read more

ESPN Releases New College Football Power Rankings After Week 5


first_imgESPN power rankings for teams ranked 2 through 4 for week 6 of the season.The Coaches Poll received a major shakeup, and the AP promises to do the same after a wild week five, but neither replaced the nation’s top team. ESPN’s College Football Power Rankings, however, did just that. After struggling at Indiana, Ohio State falls a few spots, replaced at the top by Utah, which continues to benefit from its dominant Oregon win. The Big 12 powers Baylor and TCU also look good, after both put up points in bunches on Saturday.Here are the full rankings: Utah New HelmetTwitter/@UtesEquipment1. Utah2. TCU3. Baylor4. Ohio State5. Clemson6. LSU7. Michigan State8. OklahomaT-9. Texas A&MT-9. Florida11. Alabama12. Northwestern13. Florida State14. Notre Dame15. Stanford16. Ole Miss17. MichiganT-18. UCLAT-18. USC20. Georgia21. Oklahoma State22. Iowa23. Cal24. Boise StateT-25. TempleT-25. HoustonHow did ESPN do this week, fans?last_img read more