Archive for April, 2013

More MOOCs in the media

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

More MOOC froth and bubble offered up with no further comment (other than a sigh and an occasional shake of the head, and a suggestion to read the research from the early 90’s).  

Florida to open first online-only public university in U.S.

Some Duke professors disagree with university’s online courses initiative

Brown University Creates Online Course for High School Students

Under California Bill, Faculty-Free Colleges Would Award Exam-Based Degrees

EdX Rejected Partners with Schools to Guarantee Transfer Credit for Students of Free Online Courses

MOOCs Are No Education Panacea, but Here’s What Can Make Them Work

Decision on California’s controversial online courses expected soon

My eBook on MOOC and how to set up #MOOC yourself (I haven’t read it all but this looks OK)

Of Machine Guns and MOOCs: 21st Century Engineering Disasters

Will MOOC Technology Break the Education Cartel?

European MOOCs

NovaEd MOOC platform to focus on group learning

How was it? The UK’s first Coursera Moocs assessed

For those new to the blog, my opinion can be found in  MOOCs that make sense in Australian Higher Ed and MOOCs – Can everyone please settle down)

European Financial Crisis Timeline – good information in a compact space.

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

I’m a bit of a fan of the scrolling timeline to present information.  It allows you to present a fairly large amount of information on a single screen including some of the historical context.

europe crisis timeline

This one from the European Central Bank is a pretty good example.   At first glance it appears abit dry, but if you click on an event, a pop up window with more information opens.    These windows also have links to press releases or other documents.

Social Media in Higher Ed – media round up

Friday, April 26th, 2013

University recruitment: one-fifth of students say social media doesn’t work

“We found that although 65% of students use social media channels several times a day, students rated universities’ social media presence as less influential and less trustworthy than more traditional sources such as prospectuses or open days.”

Research: Social media has negative impact on academic performance

” students who spent the most time using social media had ”fewer academic behaviors, such as completing homework and attending class, lower academic confidence and more problems affecting their school work, like lack of sleep and substance use.””

I can’t find the causal link.  The headline could also be ‘Students unengaged in learning spend more time doing other things.”

The Many, Sometimes Conflicting, Problems With Facebook Home

If you use this you only have yourself to blame.


“The survey found a large percentage of Millennials – and an even larger percentage of users age 35 and older – are uncomfortable with others having access to their personal data online or information about their web behavior. When asked about the statement, “No one should ever be allowed to have access to my personal data or web behavior,” 70 percent of Millennials agreed, compared with 77 percent of users 35 and older.
However, in spite of those views, significant percentages of Millennials compared to those age 35 and older are willing to give up some of that privacy – if they benefit from it.”

Free Voice to text transcription tools

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

This is not something I routinely use but it may be of interest to academics who use interviews.


Has any body used these or have any suggestions?

Free Screen Recording software for your Flipped and Blended Learning Classes

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

If you are looking for a free and simple application for recording your voice and screen then CamStudio is worth looking at.

It outputs and avi (video) file so you can’t edit it easily, and you can’t add in the whistles and bells that come with the expensive capture programs, but as simple workhorse program I find it pretty useful.

The trick with Camstudio is getting the Settings right.  You can only record about 20 minutes at a time.  After a bit of  a hunt around the net and a bit of trial and error this is what I recommend.

Video Options:

  • Click on Options and select Video Options
  • Untick Auto Adjust
  • Quality slider = 70
  • Key frames Every = 20
  • Capture Frames every = 50
  • Playback = 20

A playback rate much higher than the capture setting is grabbing frames will “speed-up” or time-lapse the video, a lower playback rate will “slowdown” the playback rate.

Audio Options

  • Click on Options
  • Ensure Record audio from microphone is ticked
  • Select Audio Options, Audio Options for Microphone
  • In Recording Format use the dropdown arrow and select ’44.1kHz, mono 8-bit 11K’.
  • Tick Use MCI recording

In general, I don’t recommend the ‘Record to Flash’ option as we have an increasing number of students with iPads.  This means the file will save as an AVI video file.

Unfotunately AVI files are huge and you’ll need to convert the AVI to a WMV or MP4 file.  Format Factory is a good general purpose converter.

  • Click Video in the left hand menu
  • Select All to MP4Medium quality and size