It’s been two years since a New York Times article declared the “year of the Massive Open Online Courses”. Now, for the first time, researchers have carried out a detailed study that shows that these classes really can teach at least as effectively as traditional classroom courses — and they found that this is true regardless of how much preparation and knowledge students start out with.
The findings have just been published in the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, in a paper by David Pritchard, MIT’s Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics, along with three other researchers at MIT and one each from Harvard University and China’s Tsinghua University.
“It’s an issue that has been very controversial,” Pritchard says. “A number of well-known educators have said there isn’t going to be much learning in MOOCs, or if there is, it will be for people who are already well-educated.”
But after thorough before-and-after testing of students taking the MITx physics class 8.MReVx (Mechanics Review) online, and similar testing of those taking the same class in its traditional form, Pritchard and his team found quite the contrary: The study showed that in the MITx course, “the amount learned is somewhat greater than in the traditional lecture-based course,” Pritchard says.
Even the least-prepared learn
A second, more surprising finding, he says, is that those who were least prepared, as shown by their scores on pretests, “learn as well as everybody else.” That is, the amount of improvement seen “is no different for skillful people in the class” — including experienced physics teachers — “or students who were badly prepared. They all showed the same level of increase,” the study found.
Even if a student with a lower initial score still ends the online class with a test score that would represent a failing grade, that person would nevertheless have made substantial gains in understanding, Pritchard says. “This actually is a case where a rising tide lifts all boats,” he says.
The study’s basic methodology has been widely used to study the effectiveness of conventional on-campus classes, Pritchard says. At least 65 traditional MIT classes have been studied using the same system of pre- and post-testing of basic concepts, he says, but this is the first time anyone has applied such detailed, systematic testing to the effectiveness of an online class. Pritchard says the results show improvement among online students that is equal to or better than in any of the previously studied traditional classes.
In addition to the before-and-after testing, the study also analyzed in detail the homework and weekly test questions from each student, using an established technique called item-response theory, similar to the methodology used to ensure that results from standardized tests such as the SAT are consistent from one year to the next. The method uses a statistical analysis of each item in the test, Pritchard says, and includes a few of the same questions from other tests being compared, to ensure consistency.
Both of these methods of analyzing the impact of the online class give consistent results, Pritchard says: “All cohorts learn equally,” he says, whether compared on the basis of level of education, degree of preparation in math and physics, or other measures.
The one type of class in which students learned even more effectively than in either online or traditional classes, the study found, was an approach called “interactive engagement pedagogy,” where students interact frequently in small groups to grapple with concepts and questions. Such “constructive engagement” in the classroom is something education reformers have long pushed for, Pritchard says, and is already used in many MIT classes.
While a similar analysis could be done for any of the other roughly 1,000 classes currently available as MOOCs, he says, it requires an upfront commitment from course instructors, who must prepare and administer extra tests, and evaluate the scoring of those tests. “It’s a lot of work,” Pritchard says.
Pritchard sees the new study as just the start of a process of mining the data that can be gained from these online classes, where every detail of students’ interactions — how long they spend watching lectures, how often they pause or repeat sections, how much of the textbook they read and when, and so on — is recorded and could be used for research aimed at finding what systems work best. “We can study what students do in a way that would otherwise require everyone to wear a headcam all the time,” Pritchard says.
Fiona Hollands, a senior researcher at Teachers College of Columbia University who was not involved in this study, says, “In my opinion, this study represents the most rigorous attempt to date to measure learning in a MOOC. This study provides an excellent demonstration of how learning in a MOOC, or in other types of courses, can be rigorously assessed. Applied to a broader population of students and a variety of educational settings, such investigations would provide valuable information about the relative effectiveness of different forms of educational delivery.”
In addition to Pritchard, the study was carried out by MIT postdocs Kimberly Colvin and John Champaign and physics undergraduate Alwina Liu; Qian Zhou of Tsinghua University; and Colin Fredericks of Harvard. The research was supported by Google, the National Science Foundation, and MIT.
We are looking for a Database Developer with extensive and proven exerience to create and enhance solutions by developing, implementing, and maintaining key database components for the company’s suite of products.
Type of Role/Location
This is a contract role and is based in our Dublin City Centre Office.
• Defines objectives by analysing user requirements; envisioning system features and functionality.
• Designs and develops database components to interface to internet applications by setting expectations and features priorities throughout development life cycle; determining design methodologies and tool sets; completing programming using languages and software products; designing and conducting tests.
• Recommends system solutions by comparing advantages and disadvantages of custom development and purchase alternatives.
• Completes applications development by coordinating requirements, schedules, and activities; contributing to team meetings; troubleshooting development and production problems across multiple environments and operating platforms.
• Supports users by developing documentation and assistance tools.
• Updates job knowledge by researching new internet technologies and software products.
• Ensure delivery of projects by liaising with other departments. Ensuring necessary actions are undertaken.
Knowledge & Skills
The ideal candidate will have a degree in Computer Science (or related qualification) and have 3 – 6 years’ experience database development technologies, and will be well rounded in all aspects of software development, with extensive knowledge of at least 4 of the following:
• Oracle SQL & PL/SQL development
• Database structures
• SQL performance tuning
You will have good spoken and written communication skills and possess the ability to work effectively within a team.
Exposure to any of the following would be seen as a distinct advantage:
• Agile/Scrum development methods
• Geo spatial principles
• Java (JEE6)
• Continuous integration & Test Driven Design
LexisNexis Risk Solutions (www.lexisnexis.com/risk) is a leader in providing essential information that helps customers across all industries and government predict, assess and manage risk. Combining cutting-edge technology, unique data and advanced scoring analytics, we provide products and services that address evolving client needs in the risk sector while upholding the highest standards of security and privacy. LexisNexis Risk Solutions is part of Reed Elsevier, a leading publisher and information provider that serves customers in more than 100 countries with more than 30,000 employees worldwide.
Established in Ireland in 1985, Codec-dss provides software, consulting and support services from our head office in Ireland and from offices in the UK, Germany and Poland. We specialise in Data Warehousing, Performance Management (including ABC, budgeting, forecasting and reporting) and Business Intelligence applications and have developed significant expertise in this area. Our customer base features many of the largest domestic and international organisations operating in Ireland today.
As well as activity based costing, planning and budgeting, Codec-dss also provides forecasting, financial analysis, reporting, statutory and management consolidations, business intelligence, custom analytical applications, MIS, EIS and balanced scorecard applications all fully managed from our projects management office.
The Role: As an Oracle Consultant, the individual will work with the team to gather user requirements, design and implement the solutions, as well as lead the testing efforts. The position is based in primarily in Dublin, Ireland with some travel where necessary to Customer sites.
There are a number of roles available in the team ranging from junior consultants to lead architects. The applicant must be eligible to work in the EU.
Role Requirements / Desired Skills & Experience:
- Experience with Oracle EPM (Hyperion Essbase, Hyperion Planning, Hyperion Financial Management)
- OBIEE development experience, report development and metadata repository configuration (10g or 11g)
- Experience implementing, supporting, and maintaining OBIEE applications
- Experience using BI Publisher and with BI Applications
- Proficient in OBIEE troubleshooting (from the presentation back to the data source/OLTP
- ODI development experience (10g or 11g)
- Experience with SQL, Materialized views, PL/SQL, etc.
- Data warehouse design experience
- Excellent problem solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills
Applications: If you are interested in this job, please send your cv and description of the role you are applying for to Rob O’Sullivan using the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Microsoft on Monday confirmed that Windows 10 will be released July 29 as a free upgrade for PCs and tablets running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, and on new Windows 10 devices.
The OS will be available for other devices later this year. However, Microsoft hasn't indicated which of the at least seven Windows 10 builds will be released.
Windows 10 includes the Start menu, which was brought back in Win 8.1 after its exclusion from Win 8 outraged many users.
Consumers can reserve free upgrades now.
New Features in Windows 10
Windows 10 features Microsoft's Cortana personal digital assistant.
Cortana is integrated into Microsoft Edge, the new browser built from the ground up for Windows 10.
The new OS also includes Windows Hello, which greets users by name. It includes biometric authentication so users can log into their PCs without a password.
Windows 10 runs the full Office 2016 suite, plus new, Universal Windows applications for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook that offer a consistent, touch-first experience across a range of devices.
The OS also features Windows Continuum, which transforms desktop applications for mobile device use and vice versa, and lets Windows phones be used as PCs.
In addition, Windows 10 lets users play games on the Xbox Live gaming network using their PCs or tablets.
Caveats, Warnings and Grumbles
Users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs and laptops have to register within one year to get the free upgrade. The Enterprise editions of these OSes don't qualify. Users of machines running Windows Vista or XP, or pirated versions of Windows, don't qualify either. The free upgrade is limited by the life of the device it's installed on.
Cortana won't be available in all markets at launch. Windows Hello will require a specialized illuminated infrared camera for facial recognition or iris detection, or a finger print reader that supports the Windows Biometric Framework. Continuum for phones will be available only on selected models at launch.
No Pain, No New Feature Gain
Getting users to purchase a new laptop or desktop in order to fully exploit the new features of Windows 10 is "absolutely the intent," said Wes Miller, senior analyst at Directions on Microsoft.
"While an existing device is likely to work quite well with Windows 10, making the most of the new OS -- if you really want to use all the new features, Windows Hello in particular -- will likely require a new PC," he told TechNewsWorld.
Still, most existing Windows applications that don't offer low-level security or management functionality will just work on Windows 10, Miller said, although full backward compatibility remains an issue.
"Microsoft is uninstalling their own Media Center feature, even if you paid for it in the past," he pointed out.
Kicking RT Users to the Curb
Devices running Windows RT will not be able to upgrade to Windows 10, which puzzles Al Hilwa, a research program director at IDC.
That leaves purchasers of Microsoft Surface RT and Surface 2 out in the cold.
"Since [these devices] would only run the ARM version of Windows 10, one might imagine that they would be able to run Windows 10 Mobile," Hilwa told TechNewsWorld.
"Microsoft has decided that Surface either has unique hardware requirements that makes the machines unable to run this OS, or that the experience or testing cycle has not been adequate for such larger-screen devices."
Just Following Industry Practices
It's understandable that Cortana won't be available globally when Windows 10 is launched, Miller said.
"Google and Apple have done the same in the past, as localizing an intelligent assistant isn't easy," he explained. "I'd expect it to arrive in other locals over the coming months and years."
Windows 10 "will work on a pretty significant swath of existing systems out there," Miller pointed out. While existing devices' hardware may not be able to exploit new features in the OS, "this is often the case when a new OS ships."
Apple this week announced Swift 2 and said it would open-source it later this year. Swift 2 is a programming language for iOS, OS X and watchOS.
It has a new error handling model that works with Apple SDKs and NSError. Two new features in Objective-C -- nullability annotations and generics -- make Swift 2 work better with Apple SDKs.
"Generating higher-quality code is the central problem in software engineering, and anything that helps developers do that will help," said Al Hilwa, a program director at IDC.
Swift is "a modern language where memory management is internalized," he told LinuxInsider. "Having features that further reduce errors and allow writing of cleaner, more readable code is always welcome."
Hot New Stuff
The most important new features in Swift 2 include increased performance and improved optimization, as well as a new exception-based error handling system that features "throw," "try" and "catch" keywords, like Java and other languages, noted Bill Weinberg, senior director of open source strategy at Black Duck Software.
Others are use of the "#Available" keyword to discover properties of the underlying OS, easier transition across OSes and versions, and new platform-optimized SDKs -- primarily for current Apple devs.
A Linux port is slated to appear later this year. Key attributes devs should look out for, according to Weinberg, include choice of IDE, if any; support for Android; completeness of the port compared to Swift's native implementation under OS X and iOS; and volume of platform-specific code. [*Correction - June 11, 2015]
Apple will release Swift 2 to open source under an OSI-approved permissive license. It will contribute ports for OS X, iOS and Linux at launch, and source code will include the Swift compiler and standard library.
Using the permissive license "would make Swift friendly to many commercial entities, but could also make it easier to fork the project and the language," Black Duck's Weinberg told LinuxInsider. "Community voices are already singing the praises of Apple's move."
Swift is among the top 25 programming languages, and open-sourcing it "will reduce friction to adoption by ushering the language into other platforms," Weinberg said.
Linux "is a logical target" for Swift, because "it's the platform of choice for new development, and where other next-generation languages were born, and where they're percolating today," Weinberg noted, in addition to being "a close sister operating system to OS X."
How open-sourcing Swift will impact the nascent Phoenix project, an attempt to implement the Swift spec as open source without the benefit of Apple's purview, remains to be seen.
"Will Phoenix developers come over to an open source Swift project?" Weinberg wondered. "And what skills and resources will they bring?"
Do you enjoy the challenge of building first generation user experiences?
Do you get excited about figuring out how to best leverage new technologies to solve new problems?
Have a passion for building UI?
Do you want to drive new android experience beyond the phone and into a wearable augmented reality future?
DAQRI is looking for an experienced Android App developer with a passion for packaging the latest cutting edge capabilities into Apps with great looking, easy to use UIs to take the lead in developing apps for the DAQRI Smart Helmet. The lead will head our team of apps developers in creating industrial software tools leveraging our unique computer vision capabilities and the unique hardware capabilities of DAQRI Smart Helmet.
Check out DAQRI Smart Helmet and our vision here:
Our team is small, made up of top talent, and rapidly growing which provides an excellent opportunity for ambitious developers to make a huge impact and grow their careers. We are pioneering the next generation of mobile apps. Will you join us?
- Develop Android based augmented helmet applications
- Ability to work with custom
- Ability to translate product requirements and concepts into software designs and implementation taking scalability and performance into consideration
- Analyze requirements, wireframes and capabilities of related systems to propose appropriate solutions
- Ability to turn with UI/UX designs into functioning code
- Ability to collaborate with UI/UX designers
- Proficient using Unity to develop interactive sequences
- Proficiency with C++, Java, or C#
- Willingness to learn C++ with mentorship
- Ability to collaborate with other app and platform developers
- Experience with Vuforia or ARToolkit
- Experience creating a mobile or android application
- Experience creating a mobile or android application
- Knowledge of 3D modeling
- Knowledge of industrial environments and processes
DAQRI is the leading augmented reality/4D company focused on transforming the Future of Work. It delivers the most innovative hardware and software that is bridging the gap between potential and experience. DAQRI works with the world’s largest and most respected companies to enhance human abilities by seamlessly connecting people to their environments and providing relevant information instantaneously. The DAQRI SmartHelmet and 4D Studio authoring platform deliver cutting-edge enterprise solutions in industrial, manufacturing, oil & gas, aerospace, and more. DAQRI is headquartered in Los Angeles with an R&D facility in Sunnyvale, CA and a development center in Dublin, Ireland.
Please apply here.
Logentries requires a Web Developer to work on their core platform in Dublin, Ireland.
We will provide you with a world-class mentoring programming where you will learn from a team of seriously talented software developers.
- Very smart engineers with great academic backgrounds
- A passion for technology, intellectual curiosity and life-long learning
- Great team players who love helping other people and go above and beyond to solve problems
- Ambitious – with the drive and focused determination to become a world-class software engineer
- Proven ability to get things done – whether its in work experience or in academic projects we look for people who set themselves goals and are driven enough to achieve them in the face of setbacks
Skills and Expertise Required
- A great academic record – preferably a 2.1 or higher from a leading university
- Proven skills using a web framework – preferably Django/Python (but could be Rails, Node.js, Java/Spring MVC etc.)
- Preferably experience with Angular.js and / or D3.js
- Experience with Linux / Unix
- Strong SQL knowledge (preferably with Postgres)
- Works well in a team environment
- Great documentation skills
- Great verbal communicator
- Excellent trouble-shooter / problem solver
Ready to apply?
Ammeon is a professional services company based in the heart of Dublin City Centre offering consultancy, bespoke open source development and Lean-Agile Transformation solutions to accelerate service development and delivery.
We are very demanding on ourselves to deliver the best quality services to our customers. Our approach and deliverables have been very well received, so we're now expanding.
If you would like to be part of our high quality team then please apply to us.
- Looking for Junior, Mid-level and Senior Java Developers.
- Ability to work effectively with standard Development Environments and Tools.
- Working experience in JEE / Core Java.
- Excellent design and analysis skills.
- Experience/Knowledge in EJB, JBOSS Server, JPA / Hibernate, REST Web Services, RHEL / LINUX, plus Maven, GIT, Jenkins, JIRA, Python Scripting
- Ability to work effectively in an Agile environment
- Fluency in English
- Familiarity with Virtualisation and Cloud implementation
- Staff Technical Talks
- Endless opportunities to continue to experiment with new technologies
- Learning & Development opportunities
- Competitive Salary; Great Location
- Healthcare; VHI
- Staff competitions.
Ammeon is an equal opportunities employer. Ammeon reserves the right to request an employee to be flexible in his or her duties when the business needs require it.
Please apply here.
Product development company is seekig to engage multiple iOS Developers
Must be elgible to work in Dublin and must be willing to share sample of the work
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS
Mobile Application Development for iPhone and iPad using native development (Objective-C).
Xcode, Interface Builder, Instruments.
Experience working with iOS frameworks such as Core Animation, Core Graphics, Core Text, MapKit.
Experience working with third party libraries such as AFNetworking and Mantle.
Web Services (REST and SOAP).
Experience with third-party libraries and APIs.
Solid understanding of the full mobile development life cycle.
Experience object-oriented concepts and design patterns.
Proficient in object-oriented design, data structures, problem solving, complexity analysis, and debugging.
Work closely with the Product Development team to create high quality apps.
Work closely with graphic designer to achieve optimized and adaptive UX designs.
Develop innovative ways to use new technologies such as Augmented Reality and wearables (Apple watch).
Development will include Location based services, Maps, Augmented Reality, Data Management, creating SDKs and interfacing with 3rd Party APIs.
Contribute clean, secure and maintainable code to the product.
Create software that’s extensible, reusable and meets desired architectural objectives.
Ensure that all code developed is adequately unit tested.
Work within an Agile team.
DESIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
3+ years of object-oriented software development experience.
Experience (please include your portfolio) building complex applications for the iPhone and/or iPad using Objective-C/C++ with Xcode.
Understanding of Apple’s design principles and interface guidelines.
Knowledge of iOS SDK performance tools and optimization techniques.
Experience with consuming APIs, Web Services, JSON and XML (eg REST).
Good problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills.
SQLite and databases experience.
Enthusiastic about AGILE.
Please apply here.
Bluebear is looking for a talented game programmer to join our engineering team and help develop new and exciting games for our expanding library of titles. As a key part of a growing startup, you’ll be working closely with the rest of the team when it comes to developing our innovative games.
Want to know more? Check out our website.
The perfect candidate will need:
A bachelors degree in computer science or equivalent ( M.Sc or Ph.d preferred )
Strong programming abilities in C/C++
Ability to write clean OOP code
An appreciation for quality workmanship
A strong foundation in game development (whether in Unity/Cocos2d-x/Starling etc.)
Other, nice to have:
Python/Perl scripting ability
Experience with Agile/Scrum methodologies
Display high standards, good attention to detail and a methodical work process.
The ideal candidate should have an ability to work effectively in a small team and independently under their own initiative.
Familiarity with the best games on the App Store and an appreciation for beautiful games.
The position is available on a full time basis. Salary will depend on the candidate/experience level.
Please apply here.