MITx Granted 1,277 Credentials on its Supply Chain MicroMasters

The flagship MIT’s Supply Chain Management MicroMasters on edX.org released new numbers:

  • 279,310 learners enrolled
  • 18,789 learners verified
  • 28,231 certificates issued
  • 1,277 credentials granted

This program, priced at $1,080, includes five online courses and a final comprehensive exam: Analytics, Fundamentals, Design, Dynamics, and Technology and Systems. These courses offer the same rigor and relevance as the material taught on the MIT campus. It represents the equivalent of one semester of coursework at MIT, from January through June.

The data above, disclosed during a talk at the Learn Launch conference last week in Boston, and exclusively reported by IBL News, reflects the success of this blended initiative.

The first class on the Supply Chain Management five-course MicroMaster program on edX.org was finalized by 1,900 students in 2018, according to data released in July 2018. A total of 622 students successfully completed the final exam, and 42 started the residential semester at MIT’s Cambridge campus in January 2018 to earn a full master’s degree.

This year another 40 students have been accepted to complete the full MIT Master’s degree on-campus.

Dr. Chuck’s MOOC on Python Is Now Also on edX.org

Is your course hosted on Coursera or edX? Well, it can be on both platforms.

Take Charles Severance (Dr. Chuck)’s Python for Everybody. This course has been a hit in Coursera for years, with over a million enrollments. Last week, it was posted on edX.

In both cases, it is a paid course. In Coursera it is part of a Specialization, and the free trial goes for seven days. In edX.org, an upgrade to the verified certificate level, at a price of $49, is needed to access graded exercises and to keep it open after two months.

The creator of the course offers some free options on his page, although these seem mostly oriented to computer science instructors who want to use the materials after setting a learning environment. This course content, including a free textbook and support materials, is also available on GitHub.

The Python for Everybody course was one of the first successful MOOCs in this computing language. Almost ten years ago, Charles Severance, who teaches at the University of Michigan, created the course aimed at beginners with no technical training or math knowledge.

“I created a course that does not try to teach Computer Science using Python but instead teaches a subset of Python that represented the essentials of programming. When I was originally building the course (in Python 2.0 at the time), I would not have predicted the exciting growth of Python and the success of the MOOC movement. Ten years later, PY4E [Python for Everybody] has reached more than 2 million learners to become the largest Python course in the world, graduating thousands of new Python programmers every week,” wrote Professor Severance on edX.org’s blog site.

• Course on edXProgramming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) and Python Data Structures
• Course on Coursera: Python for Everybody Specialization

Georgia Tech’s Pioneer Master’s Reached 8,672 Students This Term

The legendary Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS) reached 8,672 students this term and the number of graduates so far exceeds 2,000. It includes learners representing all 50 U.S. states and nearly 120 different countries.

“Each year over 1,000 are graduating and this number can reach 1,500 in two or three years,” explained Zvi Galil to IBL News — Galil is the Dean of the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing and creator of the OMSCS program.

The number of programs that are following in the footsteps of OMSCS now exceeds 40, as explained in recent research.

The number of undergraduate students on Introduction to Computing Using Python (or CS1301) who are taking it online is 297 compared to 247 who take it in the regular sections.

The Online Master of Science in Computer Science program started in 2014, and it was the first degree of its kind to operate entirely a MOOC platform for course delivery (Udacity). The program began with 380 students.

The Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS) program was the first degree of its kind to operate entirely on the massive online, or MOOC, a platform for course delivery.

Its success inspired Georgia Tech to launch two additional degrees (on edX). The OMS Analytics degree began in Fall 2017 with 250 students; this semester’s enrollment is 1,500. The OMS Cybersecurity degree launched in January with about 250 students.

“OMSCS has been successful beyond our imagination. Our success really has rested on the faculty, who overwhelmingly approved OMSCS and then enthusiastically executed the program,” said Zvi Galil.

“This was all uncharted territory, and Georgia Tech has achieved accessibility through affordability and technology.”

 

 

Georgia Tech: Five Years a Cyber Pioneer
IBL News: 45 MOOC-Based Master’s Degrees Worldwide

Duke University Ditches Open edX and Moves to Sakai

Why not use WordPress or Drupal instead of Open edX?

Duke University have decided to shut down their Open edX platform, which empowered the Duke Extend service, arguing precisely this. Michael Greene, Associate Director of Learning Technology Services and Strategy, states: “If you don’t need the assessment features and just want to share your content with a wider audience, why not use a content management system like WordPress or Drupal?”

In terms of engagement, this is Duke’s reasoning: “If you want highly engaged discussion, why not use Slack or Microsoft Teams?”

“By using the online.duke.edu catalog as our communication and marketing platform, we are now free to choose the most appropriate technology for delivering a Duke Extend learning experience.”

“We are very excited about the possibilities this change opens up for Learning Innovation and our partners,” wrote Mr. Greene.

For now, all active Duke Extend courses have been moved to Sakai. “The new look for Extend has a clean, streamlined design that will allow us to create a more guided learning experience for students,” literally said Heather Hans, Learning Experience Designer.

See the layout above.

“Duke Extends lives on multiple technology platforms. (…) We want to help high schoolers before they get to Duke, offer any current student the ability to level up with co-curricular learning, help graduate and professional schools expand their online education, and serve alumni in their lifelong learning needs,” said Michael Greene.

“As a department, we’ve rebranded and restructured ourselves to help achieve those goals. We also need technology infrastructure to facilitate them.”

The Open edX technology, universally used by top universities and consortiums, won’t be part of the equation.

Duke Learning Innovation: Duke Extend Is Dead. Long Live Duke Extend.

 

 

edX’s Tax Returns Form Shows an Increase in Directors’ Salaries

edX’s recently implanted paywall continues to be controversial. This time, because of the compensation of some directors.

Elearning Inside news service took a look at edX’s expenses, publicly available, and “wondered how necessary these measures may be”, given that some officers and directors “went from a volunteer position to making six figures”“edX has also been spending more and more on their less-essential employees as well,” writes the magazine.

In 2017, the total expenses at edX were $57,073,054, with a loss of $2,980,397, signaling an improvement from the prior year ($46,072,385 and $3,264,279, respectively). This data corresponds to edX’s tax returns for the fiscal year ending June 2017.

In terms of salaries, six officers who belong to the Board of Directors but are not involved in the day-to-day operations at edX, made over $700,000 in salary, when in the previous year they hadn’t received any compensation, according to data displayed by ProPublica.

Top 2018 HarvardX Courses: CS, Data Science, Buddhism, Pyramids and Architecture

Computer science, data science, architecture, and religion were the trending subjects on HarvardX’s courses (which function similarly to edX but focus solely on the Harvard community).

“People want technological skills today,” said Bharat Anand, Vice Provost for Advances in Learning at Harvard University. The rest of the most popular online courses, he added, “reflect the intrinsic interest and curiosity about the world we live in.”

This is the top 2018 HarvardX courses list, according to the institution, and published by The Boston Globe:

CS50 Computer Science courses. Since its creation in 2012, this collection has had over one million users. Two modules, understanding technology and computer science for business professionals, were added this year.

Data Science. Courses taught by Prof. Rafael Irizarry in R, visualization, probability, inference and modeling, productivity, wrangling, linear regression, machine learning.

• Buddhism through its scriptures. A four-week course about the beliefs and practices of Buddhists, including teachings from their scriptures.

• Pyramids of Giza: ancient Egyptian art and archaeology. An 8-week course to explore the archaeology, history, art, and hieroglyphs surrounding the famous Egyptian Pyramids at Giza, and how new technology is unlocking their secrets.

The architectural imagination. A 10-week course that analyzes the designs of historic buildings around the globe to assess the social impact of architecture.

Overall, HarvardX offers over 100 free online courses.

 

 

 

 

A How To Course on edX About Amazon SageMaker and Machine Learning

AWS has just launched an intermediate-level course on edX.org about how to use Amazon SageMaker to simplify the integration of Machine Learning into your applications.

Built by AWS experts, Amazon SageMaker: Simplifying Machine Learning Application Development is intended for application developers with no data science expertise who are upskilling in machine learning and AI.

The course is part of the AWS Developer Professional Series.

Machine Learning engineer is the #1 emerging job, with an annual growth of 10%, beating data scientists, sales development and customer success managers.  

TechRepublic is ranking machine learning as the top Artificial Intelligence skill. Meanwhile, Gartner said that AI is expected to create 2.3 million jobs by 2020, replacing the 1.8 millions it will eliminate.

 

Coursera, edX, Udacity Grew Their Businesses by Over 20% in 2018

Top MOOC platforms significantly increased their revenues in 2018, after adding new paid models and experiencing an increase in users.

According to Forbes, Coursera’s revenue for 2018 is $140, up from $100 million in 2017.  Udacity’s revenue will grow by 25 % to $90 million, and edX will be at around $60 million — a smaller increase.

In terms of users, Coursera leads with 37 million, followed by edX (18 million), XuetangX (14 million), Udacity (10 million) and FutureLearn (8.7 million).

Class-Central estimated that 900 universities launched 2000 new courses to the list this year. [See the graphic above] The total number of online degrees is 47, up from around 15 in 2017.

One of the most successful cases has been Coursera for Business, which grew 300% and increased its portfolio to over 1,500 customers globally.

 

O’Reilly Media Won’t Organize the 2019 JupyterCon Event

O’Reilly Media will no longer organize the JupyterCon conferences. Therefore, the projected 2019 JupyterCon conference won’t take place, and the next annual conference may be deferred until 2020.

Project Jupyter reported today on its blog about this sudden breaking off, although it didn’t disclose the cause. “We would like to thank the team at O’Reilly Media for partnering with us to offer JupyterCon 2017 and 2018. Their expertise in creating and managing complex events with hundreds of attendees was invaluable, and we learned a great deal from working with them,” wrote.

Project Jupyter management team is now organizing a committee to re-evaluate the situation and investigate different conference formats, including a lower-cost one, and explore new venues and locations.

In addition to the annual conference, Jupyter has other local gatherings which will continue to proceed, such as Jupyter Days, Jupyter Community Workshops, and local code sprints and open studios.

Insights on Georgia Tech’s Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity on edX.org

Nelson Baker, Dean of Professional Education at Georgia Tech, in conversation with Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, shared his view on the Master of Science in Cybersecurity online degree (OMS Cybersecurity), which was announced in the fall on edX and whose first cohort of students will start this January.

Intended for thousands of working professionals with full-time jobs and family commitments who are unable to attend on-campus classes, this degree, offered at a tuition of less than $10,000, follows the groundbreaking online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS), and Online Master of Science in Analytics (OMS Analytics). Diploma, curriculum, content, rigor, and requirements are the same as the residential program.

  • “It includes collaborative tools to enable learners to interact with each other, with their instructors, and with their course content, which is crucial to the online learner experience. The students build powerful learner communities and professional networks by collaborating on the official forum, as well as by using unofficial tools such as Slack or Google Forums.” 
  • “These degrees offer more than content at-scale. They also offer networks at-scale that allow learners to build worldwide professional networks that they would not be able to build if they were in a traditional on-campus master’s program.”
  • “Our online degrees-at-scale can also open doors for new graduates that may normally be closed to them.”
  • Students in the on-campus M.S. in Cybersecurity are traditional graduate students, who recently completed an undergraduate degree, while the learners taking the OMS Cybersecurity are mainly working professionals. Ninety-seven percent of the applicants admitted to the OMS Cybersecurity program are already employed, and a third of them already have graduate degrees. They range from 20 years old to 72 years old and represent 27 countries. The majority of applicants come from the U.S. with a third of them coming from Georgia.”
  • “The main reason we’re able to offer this program at this price point is the massive online delivery technology that enables us to serve large numbers of qualified students from all over the world. Also, while there is no difference in the degree requirements or academic rigor between the on-campus and online degrees, we offer fewer elective choices in the OMS Cybersecurity to keep costs down. Another reason for the significantly reduced cost of the online degree is that online students don’t require the physical infrastructure and amenities needed by on-campus students.”

 

Forbes: How Is Higher Ed Helping To Close The Global Knowledge Gap?
Georgia Tech: Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity
edX‘s Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity

 

 

 

 

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