The best of the web on education from kindergarten to postsecondary, as chosen by Globe and Mail education editor Simona Chiose.
Facebook defeats studying abroad
Short stints of studying abroad do not lead to improved learning or engagement outcomes, a new study finds. The study followed a group of students who, in addition to taking classes, lived with local families in Mexico. The problem, reports Leo Charbonneau, was not in the design of the program but in the students’ behaviour. Rather than participate in the local town, they moved around in a tight group and used Facebook and e-mail to continue their lives back home virtually.
Less than 10 per cent of online students pass
A survey of professors who have taught massive online courses sounds some contradictory notes. Almost 80 per cent believe that MOOCs are worth the hype but less than a third think that students who pass the online course (less than 10 per cent of those who enroll) deserve credit from the professor’s university. Over half of faculty also report that in order to teach the course they had to cut back in other parts of their job.
Australian schools wage rankings fight
Australian universities see international rankings as important enough that they have hired staff to liaison with the university rankings groups. The move has raised concerns that schools will put too much effort into marketing rather than in truly improving performance.