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Beyond the Stats of Mental Health Month

It first occurred 64 years ago. That’s when, in 1949, the month of May was first officially designated as Mental Health Month. This year, the focus is on the mental health of young people. Some of the stats are staggering: An estimated 22.1 percent of Americans ages 18 and older-about 1 in 5 adults-suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.1 Mental disorders can also affect children. According to the National Mental Health Association (NMHA), mental health problems affect one in five young people.

A Massive OOps Calamity

A planned, tuition-free, six-week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) intended to reach more than 40,000 students recently unraveled in six days, the reasons for which are painfully detailed in a report from The Washington Post. But as if this online disaster were not bad enough in its own right, guess what the course was intended to be all about? Ready? “Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application.”  That’s right! It was a program designed to teach the fundamentals of how to create an online course.

UMassOnline Founder and Former UMass President Jack Wilson on “Innovation in an Era of Disruptive Change”

Dr. Wallace E. Boston is President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. In a recent blog post, he filed a report about a University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (GSE) conference entitled “Innovation in an Era of Disruptive Change.” At this forum, attendees heard from Dr. Jack Wilson, President Emeritus of the University of Massachusetts, who spoke on the topic: “Evolution or Revolution: Everyone Wants Universities to Change but Exactly How is Not so Clear.”

University World News Reports on US and Global Quality Assurance Initiatives

There are two points to this post. One, as the headline suggests, is about the growing wave of educators worldwide seeking to continue and enhance quality assurance programs, especially now in the light of open education movements, online learning developments and trends, and, in general, what it means to become educated in ways other than through the traditional system.

Columbia Business School Professor Exposes Three Myths of Online Learning

Hitendra Wadhwa is Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Business School. For IEDP, which describes itself as a publisher of specialist information for leaders and leadership development professionals, he recently authored an article focused on his view of three big distance learning myths that are often held by executives facing online training. They are: 1. Online learning is impersonal; 2.) Online learning is unengaging; and, 3.) Online content is limited to serving low-level training needs.

Tags: UMassOnline

2012 National Survey: More than 6.7 Million Students Now Taking One Online Course or More

This is from a recent news release about the 10th annual survey of online learning trends: The 2012 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group reveals the number of students taking at least one online course has now surpassed 6.7 million. That’s an increase, they note, of 570,000 students since last year.   The release also mentions that thirty-two percent of higher education students now take at least one course online.

One Perspective on 2013 Career Trends

Writing for VentureBeat, Gary Swart provides a guest blog post outlining his perspective on 2013 career trends. He, by the way, is the CEO of oDesk which is an organization that enables both buyers and providers of tech services to build business relationships around the world.

It is that time of year, of course. Predictions are everywhere. But some are important; many are valid. This one from Mr. Swart, for example, may influence what and how you study; how you prepare for that career ahead.

Happy New Year!

I was reviewing Wikipedia’s New Year’s resolution overview which includes the history of this tradition dating back to the ancient Babylonians. If you have time to scan it, you will learn that men and women tend to differ a bit in the way they make their New Year’s resolutions, and there are ways everyone can more successfully sustain their resolve. But you will also see that educational resolutions are 4th in a list of most popular resolutions at this time of year.

New Report: Degrees from U.S. Institutions Highly Valued by Foreign Students

A degree earned through a U.S.-based institution of higher education continues to be a major draw for hundreds of thousands of foreign students… 764,495 in the 2011/12 academic year to be exact, according to the recently released 2012 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange (IEE). That number, they say, is up 6% and establishes a new high. What is motivating this interest? Here, from the news item about the report:

Tags: UMassOnline

Do Men and Women Have Different Online Learning Experiences?

Recently, the flagship institution of the largest university in Malaysia conducted research to see if the online learning experience differed for males and females. More specifically, according to the news account, the researchers were focused on these factors: motivation, self monitoring, internet literacy, internet anxiety and concentration of students when engaging in online studying.

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