For my final 2014 post, I thought it would be interesting to provide year-end updates to some news posts on e-Literate over the past year. You’ll notice that there is somewhat of an emphasis on negative stories or implications. For most positive stories, companies and institutions are typically all too happy to send out press releases with the associated media paraphrasing, and we have little need here to cover as news. The following non-exhaustive list is in date order.
D2L Growth Claims
In December 2013 I described layoffs at Desire2Learn (now officially named D2L). The significance of this story is that it calls into question D2L’s growth claims and trumpeting of massive new investment of $85 million. Some updates:
- Six months after the first post, based on analysis of LinkedIn data and LMS market data, D2L continued to show no growth at least in terms of employee count and US higher ed adoption.
- Today D2L still shows roughly the same number of employees based on LinkedIn (since the 2013 layoffs, the numbers have remained flat, give or take 10 employees).
- In June, Dennis Kavelman – formerly the COO of D2L, coming from RIMM – departed D2L.
IPEDS Data on Online Learning
- Russ Poulin from WCET and I (with some excellent help from WCET researchers) did some further analysis showing “significant confusion over basic definitions of terms, manual gathering of data outside of the computer systems designed to collect data, and, due to confusion over which students to include in IPEDS data, the systematic non-reporting of large numbers of degree-seeking students”.
- Based on this analysis, NCES essentially responded by saying to ‘follow the damn rules, we’re not changing our approach’ (paraphrase).
- The new data for the Fall 2013 term should be available in the next week or two, but for reasons listed above, I would be very cautious about forming conclusions for year-over-year changes.
- 2U has enjoyed a 50% increase in its share price – opening at $13.00 per share on March 26th and closing at $19.57 per share as of December 30th.
- 2U was recognized as the “IPO of the Year” by Washington Business Journal.
Coursera New CEO and Direction
In March we described Coursera’s hiring of a new CEO – Richard Levin from Yale (and formerly creator of AllLearn and Open Yale Courses). Some updates:
- By June I noted that the focus of Coursera had shifted from “impact on learners” to “reach of universities”. Some of the implications are below.
- By October Coursera expanded their Specializations offerings – a sequence of courses on specific topics – as a revenue-based offering of certificates.
- In November Coursera signed an agreement to distribute MOOC videos on JetBlue flights.
- In a December article Daphne Koller makes it clear the shift to serving working adults as a form of professional development.
In what was probably our biggest “news” story of the year, Michael and I covered the creation and release of the Unizin consortium. Some updates:
- After we broke the story on May 16th the Unizin consortium was officially announced on June 11th.
- As of the end-of-year, Unizin has signed up 10 institutions: Colorado State University, the University of Florida, Indiana University, the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State, the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Oregon State University. The highlighted institutions were listed as potential partners in the original May story. Purdue University, the University of Maryland, the University of Texas, and the University of Utah were listed in May but have not (yet) joined Unizin.
- Other than the different list of schools that have joined, substantially all of the original details have been confirmed by later events.
Cal State Online Demise
In July we covered the demise of Cal State Online less than three years after its high-profile kickoff. Some updates:
- In August we used data collected under Public Records request to clarify what happened to the program in the words of its own steering committee.
- Despite the end of CSO as a standalone unit, Cal State maintains the same web site advertising the existing 7 online programs – score one for transparency.
- The real move for systemwide online offerings at Cal State is CourseMatch.
Problems with University of California UCPath System
In July we covered the $220+ million delayed program to implement a systemwide Payroll system that promised to pay for itself within five years. Some updates:
- The pilot release for the UC Office of the President (UCOP) scheduled for December 2014 was put on indefinite hold.
- The Program Director Sabu Varghese is no longer with the project, as program leadership has changed yet again. The new program leads have significant ERP experience at Huron Consulting Group and Oracle (including the CUNY ERP implementation).
In August we described the described the big changes to Kuali – moving development to a for-profit entity – and proclaimed that “community source is dead”. Some updates:
- The Kuali Student, Kuali Coeus, Kuali Financial System, and Kuali Ready projects have all voted to shift to the new model and run through KualiCo.
- For Kuali Student, the University of Maryland has signed on as the first institutional partner.
- Boston College has decided to not go with KualiCo and has issued an RFP with the following purpose:
Boston College was a Kuali Student (KS) partner until the KS Board decision on November 14, 2014 to stop the current development of Kuali Student 1.0 and move to KualiCo. Boston College would like to complete the current development of Kuali Student Enrollment 1.0, under the current ECL license and is seeking a development partner. This would involve taking the latest Kuali Student Enrollment release and building out the required functionality.
Now, on to 2015.