NovoEd’s Response to the Heartbleed Bug

The Heartbleed Bug, caused by a vulnerability in the common OpenSSL cryptographic software library, has impacted more than two-thirds of the internet, including sites like Google and Yahoo.   We value your privacy and take security extremely seriously, so we’ve taken multiple steps to ensure that your account remains secure.

Although NovoEd’s software itself was not impacted, NovoEd leverages a number of third-party tools, including payment tools, transactional email services, and elastic load balancers that relied on this security encryption to protect your information.  We have confirmed with each of the affected services that they have patched their servers and are no longer vulnerable.  As a result, there is no threat of future snooping.

We do not believe there were any attacks on NovoEd during the vulnerable period, but we are taking a number of precautions just in case.  We have replaced all of our SSL certificates and keys to ensure your account is safe.

We strongly recommend all NovoEd users change their password.  (This is best practice on all sites across the web, in fact.)  This evening (Saturday, April 12), we will be logging out all of our users and sending a reminder to change passwords.

As a reminder, NovoEd does not store any credit card or payment information on our servers.  Our internal servers are behind a secure firewall, and all passwords are encrypted (salted and hashed).

We’re very sorry that this happened, but rest assured, NovoEd is always taking steps to ensure the security of your account.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

 

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Curso Evaluación de Decisiones Estratégicas: Vive el desafío MOOC en español

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Te invito a ti y a tus amigos a vivir el desafío MOOC. Sólo tienen que inscribirse en la versión 2014 del curso gratuito Evaluación de Decisiones Estratégicas que dictaré a partir del 1 de abril. Este es un curso MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) ofrecido por la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile que utiliza la plataforma NovoEd.

Evaluación de Decisiones Estratégicas se dictó con éxito mundial el año pasado. La plataforma NovoEd fomenta la creación de una comunidad de estudiantes todos interesados en el mismo tema. Colaboración y aprendizaje entre iguales son el núcleo de esta plataforma.

Este MOOC, en español, diseñado en torno al trabajo en equipo, atrajo el 2013 a 120.000 estudiantes de pequeñas y grandes comunidades de habla hispana de alrededor del mundo, incluyendo Chile, Colombia, Perú, México, España y muchas más.

Los estudiantes valoraron todas las componentes del curso que dura cinco semanas. El 98% de los estudiantes encontró útil los 22 videos cortos y las lecturas incluidas. El curso está diseñado en torno a los estudiantes aprendiendo de los trabajos de los otros, después de estudiar las lecturas y ver las conferencias en video.

Este curso abrió una oportunidad fantástica para los estudiantes de trabajar juntos, interconectarse y aprender con otros profesionales de habla hispana de todo el mundo. El 95% de los alumnos valoró la oportunidad de construir una red con sus compañeros.

Los estudiantes engancharon con todos los elementos sociales del curso. Iniciaron 46.000 discusiones en el foro y entablaron 127.000 conversaciones privadas con otros estudiantes y equipos.

El curso incluyó tres tareas. De los 120.000 alumnos matriculados, 36% entregó la primera tarea que era individual. Este es un porcentaje muy favorable porque la inscripción en el curso toma un clic y es gratis. La inscripción de los estudiante es simplemente una muestra de interés. El 97% de los alumnos que terminaron encontró esta tarea útil.

Una semana después, 30 mil estudiantes formaron 6.800 grupos de 4,4 personas en promedio. Las tareas de grupo fueron tan atractivas como la tarea individual. 27.000 estudiantes, el 90% de los equipos formados, presentaron la versión final del proyecto de grupo.

Este proyecto consistió en hacer la evaluación de una decisión estratégica que uno o más de los miembros del grupo enfrentaban en la vida real. El trabajo en grupo fue esencial para el éxito del curso. El 93% de los estudiantes encontró el proyecto grupal útil.

Usamos evaluaciones de pares en todas las tareas. Definí los criterios de evaluación por pares y rúbricas para mis alumnos. Y los alumnos se evaluaron entre ellos. Se dieron comentarios mutuamente mediante un esquema de cuatro cajas que indica a los alumnos cómo retroalimentarse en forma constructiva y útil. El 94 % de los estudiantes encontró gratificante recibir retroalimentación de los compañeros.

Observamos que la vacilación inicial de los estudiantes de evaluar a sus pares desapareció y el corregir a otros se convirtió en una adicción. En la tarea individual se obtuvo al menos 4 comentarios por tarea entregada. En las tareas grupales se obtuvo 17 comentarios por tarea, simplemente porque habían mucho más estudiantes que número de tareas (grupos entregan tareas pero estudiantes evalúan).

El 97% de los estudiantes encontró gratificante dar retroalimentación a sus compañeros de clase. La evaluación por pares es muy valiosa porque los alumnos aprenden mucho más cuando tienen que evaluar el trabajo de otros compañeros.

Los estudiantes fueron animados a discutir libremente otras entregas y darle “me gusta” a las tareas que encontraron de alta calidad. Por ejemplo la primera tarea de la estudiante Carla Ahumada tuvo 157 “me gusta” y 375 comentarios de otros estudiantes. El 82% de los estudiantes encontró muy valioso el poder ver el trabajo de otros estudiantes y grupos.

Las tasas de graduación fueron muy favorables. Completaron el curso 27.000 alumnos, esto es el 63% de los alumnos que entregaron la primera tarea y el 23% de los alumnos inscritos. La evaluación global de los alumnos fue muy positiva. El 97% de los estudiantes quedaron satisfechos con el curso y lo recomendarían a otros.

Los alumnos aprendieron a utilizar los principales conceptos vigentes de finanzas y estrategia para evaluar proyectos que involucran decisiones irreversibles. Entre más irreversibles son las decisiones, mayor esfuerzo debes asignarle a su evaluación. Aprendieron como representar cuantitativamente las consideraciones estratégicas que motivan las posiciones a favor o en contra del proyecto.

El curso no sólo le dio a miles de profesionales el acceso a un contenido de alta calidad de una universidad altamente reputada, sino que también los conectó, les permitió trabajar en equipo y crear una red significativa.

Patricio del Sol
Ph.D. Stanford University

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Meet our new partners!

hands Learning together.

We’re proud to announce sixteen new partnerships with leading educational and research institutions, including Stanford, Princeton, University of Michigan, University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Babson Global, the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, among others. For a full list, please visit (http://novoed.com/partners).  Through these relationships, NovoEd will provide the platform, tools, and services that enable its partners to offer both massive online open courses (MOOCs) and smaller private courses in a social, collaborative and connected environment. With this new technology, the world is now a connected, social classroom. We can’t wait to see you in one of our classes! We’re thrilled to be working with these innovative institutions to offer unique learning opportunities for you to expand your educational opportunities and tools for universities to use to improve teaching methods and learning.

Shahid Ansari, CEO of Babson Global, one of the top ranked business schools for Business and Entrepreneurship in the world, writes “With NovoEd, we’re destroying geographic boundaries by offering global classrooms enriched with collaboration and connectivity.”

Each of our partners plans to integrates its interactive learning model into the NovoEd online social learning environment to bring you the most connected classes anywhere. For example, the Carnegie Foundation is testing new approaches to blended learning using social technology while the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) offered its first MOOC on retirement finance and public pensions last fall. The online course drew 44,000 users who accessed collaborative group work, online discussion, and faculty content.

You can read more about our partnerships at https://novoed.com/press. We’re working closely with our new partners to bring you the most social, connected, experiential classes on the web. You’ll learn by doing in classes from some of the world’s best universities and institutions. See you in class soon!

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Student Story: Preparing for the Common Core via NovoEd

Gia is a Middle School English Teacher.

Gia is a seventh grade English Teacher in California.

The Common Core State Standards have placed greater emphasis on teaching literacy skills as a means of preparing our students to be successful in the twenty-first century.  According to CCSS documents, students must learn to read, write, speak, listen, and use language effectively in a many subjects, not just English.  Within this standard, improving the quality of student-to-student discourse is a major part. Although the literacy standards are shared by all disciplines, I couldn’t help but feel a responsibility to find ways of incorporating these skills and strategies into my 50 minute English lessons. As a middle school English teacher, this predicament was defiantly at the forefront of my mind. But how would I do this? How was I supposed to incorporate this essential skill throughout an already standards-packed year? How could I provide opportunities for all of my students to engage in academically rich dialogue? I was not offered professional development; not a single book was given to me, and being that I was a trained NCLB teacher, I didn’t feel prepared to step away from the high stakes testing, teacher-led mentality. Then, I received an email from my principal.

Stanford was offering a class online titled: Constructive Classroom Conversations: Mastering Language for the Common Core State Standards. The class seemed to be offering what I was looking for- a place for educators to share, discuss and collaborate about this topic. No one was TELLING me how to teach discourse in the classroom; we were all figuring out how to tackle this standard together. I signed up, became the team lead, which was often times a lot more work, and I began the assignments.

I found the articles to be research-based, current, and applicable to my classroom needs. The videos were a great way to view just how teachers were using this new standard in all grade levels and subjects. Between the reading and watching, I was also talking online with educators across the world about this topic. On top of this, I was trying to implement literacy skills into my content through these collaborative conversations, and then share with my teammates what was and was not working. We offered each other new ideas and effective feedback, something that the class leaders stressed the importance of throughout the class. The reading forced you to go in-depth and really analyze what it meant to implement this standard. Although this process was time consuming, in the end, I knew that if I could merely grasp something new about literacy in the classroom, my students would therefore directly benefit greatly from this class too.

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One of the visuals Gia now uses in her course to promote constructive student dialogue.

Although there are many layers to literacy in the classroom, one important idea I took away from this class was that I learned how to listen closely to my students, and that listening to their dialogue was an extremely powerful tool. In their discourse about any given topic, they were telling me exactly what they knew, what they were struggling to understand, and what they did not know. A test score didn’t have to tell me this. I altered my mentality about my role as an educator. NCLB told me I am the sole provider of information; students learn through rigorous instruction taught and led by me. In comparison, in the CCSS, for literacy to flourish in the classroom, I, the teacher become the facilitator; I became a guide and a supporter for my students. My focus was less on “I will tell you what you need to know and you will write it down”, to instead allowing time for my students to interact and build their own content and academic language, knowledge, and skills.

The idea of listening to them discuss a topic was very influential for me. Student conversation is a very powerful tool for checking for understanding. Although this new strategy is no overnight success, this school year, my students are learning to interact with their peers on an academic level; they are learning to truly listen to each other, ask for clarification and elaboration to understand one another’s reasoning. They are learning to appropriately disagree and negotiate with each other, while using text and data to support their points. I am just waiting for one of them to use one of these skills when discussing their grade with me :)

Editors Note: The Stanford Graduate School of Education has multiple education classes starting over the next month, with the first set to start this week. You can sign up now:

Constructive Classroom Conversations: Mastering Language for the Common Core State Standards (Elementary) – Starts March 6

Constructive Classroom Conversations: Mastering Language for the Common Core State Standards (Secondary) - Starts March 6

Designing for Deeper Learning: How to Develop Performance Tasks for the Common Core - Starts Late March 2014

Mastering Language for the Common Core State Standards: Focus on Mathematics in Elementary Grades – Starts March 26, 2014

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