National / International News

Making online education more like iTunes

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-08 05:30

As MIT sees it, education is a lot like the record business used to be: still producing albums, when  people would rather download songs one at a time.

To put it another way, instead of offering semester-long classes, professors need to start offering individual lessons and letting students pick which ones they want.

“The very notion of a ‘class’ may be outdated,” says a new report from an MIT task force on the future of the school. “Much like a playlist on iTunes, a student could pick and choose the elements of a calculus or a biology course offered across [MIT’s online platform] to meet his or her needs.”  

The report notes that 25 percent of professors and 40 percent of students believe classes could benefit from this “modular” approach.

MIT is not the only school thinking this way.  The University of Wisconsin began offering MOOCs this year that offer shorter, more narrowly focused segments.

Also recommended by the MIT task force:

  • Continue to expand online and blended-learning options.
  • Expand the school’s certification program for online courses.
  • Develop ways to use game-based learning in classes.
  • Attract a more diverse group of students to MOOCs– more than 70 percent are male.
  • Make the school more affordable.
  • Admit more students.


Ban for risky level crossing driver

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 04:58
A driver who sped across a south Wales rail crossing as the barriers closed is banned from driving for 12 months.

Weekly Wrap: Blame geopolitics

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-08 04:41

Felix Salmon of Fusion and Jo Ling Kent of Fox Business News talk with about geopolitics, economics and where the two shall meet. 

Pensioner had guns in his basement

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 04:38
A 76-year-old first offender who left guns "gathering dust" in his basement is warned he could face a five-year jail sentence.

VIDEO: Rio mayor promises great Olympics

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 04:36
With just two years to go, Julia Carneiro sat down with Mayor Eduardo Paes to discuss what impact the 2016 Olympic Games will have on the city.

6ft WW1 poppy stolen from roundabout

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 04:30
A giant commemorative poppy sculpture commemorating the beginning of World War One is stolen from a Berkshire roundabout.

Paragliders trapped in boat rigging

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 04:26
A south Wales father and son are left stuck in a boat's rigging while paragliding on holiday in northern Cyprus.

Iraq refugees need urgent help - UN

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 04:22
UN official says emergency aid drops by the US are helping refugees trapped by Islamist militants, but warns that more needs to be done.

Pentagon Says U.S. Aircraft Strike Sunni Militant Artillery In Iraq

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 04:21

President Obama has authorized humanitarian drops and airstrikes against militants in the country. But administration officials say this does not signal a broader war against the Islamic extremists.

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Magee expansion 'off the table'

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 04:21
Minister Stephen Farry says expansion of the Londonderry Magee campus will not proceed "for the indefinite future".

China's President Says His Anti-Corruption Drive Is Deadlocked

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 04:20

Ordinary Chinese rejoiced when a powerful ex-security czar came under investigation. But recent remarks by President Xi Jinping hint at internal strife that challenges his anti-graft campaign.

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Education Reform Is Becoming A Celebrity Cause

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 04:03

"I don't like bad teachers, so I don't think bad teachers should be given the gift of teaching forever — badly," Whoopi Goldberg says.

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Arsenal face Besiktas in play-off

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 03:55
Arsenal face Besiktas in the Champions League play-offs, while Celtic will play Maribor and the Europa League draw is made.

'No clear advice on tooth brushing'

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 03:45
Advice on the best way to brush teeth for adults and children is confusing and inconsistent, according to a study from University College London.

Pakistan returns India soldier

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 03:43
Pakistan hands back an Indian soldier carried by a river across the Line of Control (LoC) - the de facto border dividing the disputed Kashmir region.

VIDEO: Louis Smith on being a Tumble judge

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 03:35
Olympic and Commonwealth medallist Louis Smith talks to BBC Breakfast about his role as a judge on new TV show Tumble.

Brady and Rose among new life peers

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 03:32
Football boss Karren Brady and former Marks & Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose are among 22 new life peers.

Day in pictures: 8 August 2014

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 03:30
24 hours of news photos: 8 August

Thousands at Bristol Balloon Fiesta

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 03:26
Hot air balloons take part in Bristol's annual event

Miliband: 'Come clean' on currency

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 03:07
Labour leader Ed Miliband calls on the Scottish government to spell out alternatives to currency union.
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