All posts by Katherine Mangan


eCornell Offers a MOOC That Steers Students to a Paid Follow-Up

Cornell University’s online spinoff is moving into MOOCs, with a free marketing course in its hospitality program starting on Tuesday. But the program will be designed to steer students toward a follow-up course for $1,200 to get a professional certificate.

The free online course, “Marketing the Hospitality Brand Through New Media: Social, Mobile, and Search,” is being offered by eCornell. It’s geared toward people working in sales, marketing, and financial positions in the hospitality industr…


Facing Backlash, Minnesota Decides to Allow Free Online Courses After All

Princeton and Stanford can rest easy now that Minnesota higher-education officials have backed away from threats to track down dozens of universities like them for offering free online courses in their state without permission.

On Friday, just hours after an administrator in the Minnesota Office of Higher Education said the state planned to demand registration and fees from universities that were offering the noncredit classes through the online course provider Coursera, the director of his offi…


Minnesota Gives Coursera the Boot, Citing a Decades-Old Law

Coursera offers free, online courses to people around the world, but if you live in Minnesota, company officials are urging you to log off or head for the border.

The state’s Office of Higher Education has informed the popular provider of massive open online courses, or MOOC’s, that Coursera is unwelcome in the state because it never got permission to operate there. It’s unclear how the law could be enforced when the content is freely available on the Web, but Coursera updated its Terms of Servi…


Pearson Moves Deeper Into Online Education With $650-Million Purchase

Pearson, a publishing and education company whose products include books, newspapers, and online services, announced a major acquisition on Tuesday that will deepen its commitment to becoming a major player in online education.

The company, which owns the Financial Times and the Penguin Group book publisher, shelled out $650-million in cash to buy EmbanetCompass, a business that provides support services to colleges and universities that are moving their programs online.

The announcement came on…


Faculty Group Leaks MLA Jobs List in Dispute Over Free Access

A group of professors who think that everyone should have free, direct access to the Modern Language Association’s job listings says it’s tired of waiting for the association to tear down its paywall.

So it has posted a site, called, that takes users directly to those lists, and it’s asking faculty members to keep the information flowing.

Leaders of the MLA say the group, whose members have remained anonymous, are misleading people. Everyone who completed a graduate degree in En…


Gates Foundation Offers Grants for MOOC’s in Introductory Classes

Hundreds of thousands of students worldwide are flocking to free online courses in topics like artificial intelligence and data analysis. But what about the student who’s struggling with basic algebra or English composition?

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wants to find out whether the massive open online courses that have proved so popular in advanced and often highly technical fields offer the same promise for remedial and introductory courses.

On Tuesday the foundation is circulating to c…


Online Library Group Announces New President, Then Rescinds Offer

In a puzzling about-face, a nonprofit library association that had announced the appointment of a new president just two weeks ago said this week that—never mind—the current president is sticking around.

The group is OCLC Online Computer Library Center, which released a statement Wednesday saying that its Board of Trustees had decided not to move ahead with the appointment of Jack B. Blount as president and chief executive. It didn’t say why, causing librarians to take to their blogs and Twitt…


Educational Technology Is Key to Job Training, Panelists Say

Washington — A computer gamer who struggles through a series of challenges to advance to the next level is demonstrating some of the characteristics that employers are seeking, particularly in technology-related fields where jobs are going unfilled, a White House official told about 250 education, government, and nonprofit representatives here on Tuesday.

“The game industry has done a good job of grabbing and maintaining the attention of both young people and adults,” said Thomas Kalil, depu…


Study Shows Promise and Challenges of ‘Hybrid’ Courses

Students learn just as much in a course that’s taught partly online as they would in a traditional classroom, but such courses won’t reach their potential until they are both easier for faculty members to customize and more fun for students, according to a report released today.

The report, “Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence From Randomized Trials,” is based on a study conducted by Ithaka S+R, a consultancy on the use of technology in teaching.

The finding that hybrid …


QuickWire: Law School Admission Council to Make Site More Accessible to Blind Applicants

The council that administers the Law School Admission Test has agreed to make its entire Web site accessible to blind law-school applicants who use screen-reader software, the association announced on Monday. That move is part of a settlement of a lawsuit filed in 2009 by the National Federation of the Blind. Three blind students also joined in suing the association and four law schools that either encouraged or required applicants to apply through the admission council’s Web site. The council…