Chelsea Green Publishing

Columbia, Brown, and 15 More Universities Join Coursera’s Free Online Platform

Coursera, the platform for "massively open online courses" founded by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng of Stanford, announced today that it has doubled its number of university partners. The new roster includes several global institutions. Since its debut earlier this year, 1.3 million people have signed up for a free six- to ten-week Coursera class, which includes videos, exercises, embedded assessment and a social component delivered through message boards. Here's a more detailed explanation of how the program works, from Fast Company's September 2012 feature story about Coursera: Coursera courses are 6 to 10 weeks long, with an hour or two of videos per week. In addition to the snap quizzes, they feature weekly exercises, ranging from problem sets to spreadsheets to design projects or essays, and sometimes a final project or exam. For all quantitative courses, the platform uses artificial intelligence to evaluate each longer exercise, with instant results. Students can keep trying
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Artisanal U.: The Radical Potential of College Without the Classroom

From GOOD magazine. Published December 2, 2011. Joyce Alcantara grew up in Rhode Island with her mom, three sisters, two nieces, and a cousin. Her dad, incarcerated in Florida, isn’t really a part of her life. Alcantara had trouble with classes her senior year in high school and almost dropped out; her saving grace was […]
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Why College Is Not A Bubble (Except For The University Of Phoenix)

The college-is-a-bubble meme just keeps growing. Student-loan debt surpassed credit-card debt for the first time in history last year. Tuition is rising at three times the rate of inflation, and there are growing concerns about the quality of education offered at even our nation’s fanciest schools. Meanwhile, prominent venture capitalist Peter Thiel is paying young […]
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Top Ways to Save Money at College

College tuition at public universities is up 24 percent in just the last five years. With graduation right around the corner, many high school seniors and their families are wondering how they can save on one of the biggest expenses they’ll face. Assuming you’ve already made your choice of colleges, here are some top ways […]
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Obama’s Lessons for Leadership in A Time of Change

The President’s speech to the nation last night was primarily billed as his chance to plead his case to the nation for the ongoing military intervention in Libya. But slipped into his remarks was a primer on 21st century leadership in a time of change, a topic Life in Beta is particularly interested in. Here […]
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My Latest Presentation; A Little Piece in the Times

This is the first time I’ve put up a set of slides for DIY U on Slideshare, an omission which obviously violates the principles of intellectual openness that I go around promoting. The reasons I would give for not doing it until now would be the same that any professor would give, I imagine: that […]
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The Case for Generosity

A few years ago, I was living in a converted glove factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. One day, a large package came in the mail. It was from a pharmaceutical company and addressed to a nonexistent doctor’s office in the building. After the box had been sitting in the hallway for a few days, I Googled […]
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Gates Foundation Bets on Facebook App to Help Kids Graduate

We’re used to thinking of Facebook as, at best, a distractor for college kids and at worst, a resume-destroyer. But the Gates Foundation, in its first-ever venture investment of $2 million in a little-known Facebook app platform called Inigral, is betting that it can actually make a measurable improvement in the rate of students who […]
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Can the Ad Industry Save Education?

This month we asked a bakers dozen of contributors for fresh ideas on how to reinvent education. Now a coalition of ad industry heavy hitters from Wieden + Kennedy to BBDO has come out with a major campaign to promote creativity in education. To be clear, they’re not just looking to promote creative solutions to […]
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Why the NYT Should Go NPR

There’s a lot of harrumphing around the blogosphere about the New York Times‘ decision to again put up paywalls for digital access (the last attempt, TimesSelect, was shuttered in 2007). People are gaming out the angles: Have they chosen the right price points at as much as $20 a month? Why the different prices for […]
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E-Mentoring: Someone (Virtually) by Your Side

I’ve been thinking a lot about e-mentoring lately.Probably the most common objection to the DIY U vision is the supposed lack of personal connection when people are learning online. This is an important concern. No matter where you are on your educational journey, having a mentor and advisor is key. And it’s exactly the students […]
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