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The Good News
2013 December/January
Pg 3 - The Sunshine Express
enriches the experience with perspectives from
different backgrounds.
¡°CSU is so pleased to have more than 600 stu-
dents from all over the world registered this fall
for its first MOOC,¡± said Jeanna Nixon, director
of Marketing & Engagement for OnlinePlus, the
division that delivers the University¡¯s online
education programs.
¡°MOOCs, along with our other online degrees
and courses, support the University¡¯s land-grant
and outreach mission. They provide affordable
access to world-class faculty and expertise and
high-quality educational content to students who
cannot or choose not to pursue their education on
campus.¡±
CSU will next offer a MOOC on Student Affairs
in Higher Education as well as a MOOC that will
showcase CSU¡¯s world-renowned water experts.
Learn more about these future MOOC offerings
from CSU at:
www.online.colostate.edu/free-online-courses
Free Online Learning w/MOOCs
¡°From Russia with Love¡±
- Leo Tolstoy on relationships
October 2013: On a gusty morning in the fall of
2013, Colorado State University(CSU) Professor
Jennifer Harman was inside a coffee shop in Fort
Collins¡¯ Historic Old Town. From where she was
sitting, she could see orange and yellow leaves
drifting down from the trees.
Harman put down her coffee cup, opened her
laptop, and checked her class¡¯s online posts for
an answer to a question she¡¯d asked earlier in the
week: ¡°Find a quote from a celebrity discussing his
or her relationship. Does the quote reveal anything
about the way they form emotional bonds with
their partners?¡±
Harman saw that Tatyana Kulikova, a student in
Russia, had responded to her question.
¡°My home here in Russia is where Leo Tolstoy
lived and wrote his masterpieces,¡± wrote Kulikova.
¡°Tolstoy said, ¡®People eat not only bread but the
soul, feeling and imagining each other.¡¯
¡°In my opinion, he was saying that people form
bonds with each other based on similarities be-
tween their inner worlds. If they have much in
common, they¡¯ll understand each other better and
be side by side for a long time.¡±
Welcome to the world of Massive Open Online
Courses, popularly known as MOOCs. Professor
Harman, a social psychology expert, is wildly en-
thusiastic about CSU¡¯s involvement in MOOCs.
¡°MOOCs are revolutionizing the way we think
about learning,¡± she said. ¡°Science can offer an
understanding of the world that is inaccessible for
most. With the movement toward MOOCs, it opens
it up for anybody.¡±
What are MOOCs?
Massive Open Online Courses are noncredit,
student-interaction-based programs that provide
educational access to the public at no cost. They
are typically less immersive than credit courses
you¡¯d find at a university, offering more general-
ized content that¡¯s meant to provide you with a
breadth of understanding across the subject matter.
MOOCs feature instructor-driven content with
a heavy emphasis on student participation. This
student-to-student communication creates knowl-
edge and discoveries that enrich the course with a
social aspect and shared experiences.
How does it work?
When you enroll in a free online course, your level
of participation is completely up to you as there are
no formal grades. The programs are broken down
into modules. You have the ability to move through
every module to complete the course in full, or pick
and choose which individual modules most apply
to your goals, and complete only those.
Students who wish to be recognized for completing
activities and other projects can receive a Statement
of Accomplishment upon request based on a mini-
mum level of competencies achieved.
What¡¯s the student experience like?
Your student experience and interactions with in-
structors and fellow learners are more community-
driven rather than assessment-driven as you would
see in a typical college course. Free online classes
open the doors to a new learning dynamic that
offers remarkable collaborative and
conversational opportunities for students
from around the world to gather and
discuss content.
Because of the social-based platform (con-
necting via social networks), students not
only build community within the course,
but are able to create groups outside of
the course for opportunities to extend the
conversation beyond the ¡®classroom¡¯.
Who can take a free, online course?
Anyone! That¡¯s the beauty of it. You don¡¯t
have to be admitted to Colorado State
University; you don¡¯t have to meet any
prerequisites or have a certain GPA; and
best of all, you don¡¯t have to pay a dime.
The variety of student populations partici-
pating in MOOCs across the globe
The year in review 2013
2013 was an amazing and very exciting year, full
of big changes, revelations and tremendous tech-
nological achievements. As has been the case at the
beginning of most every century, human progress
made a quantum leap forward and continues to
do so as we speak. 2013 was a wild, adventurous,
even breathtaking year, a great time to be alive.
Here in review are the top stories that appeared on
the front page of The Sunshine Express in 2013:
#4-1 - 2013 February - WPX Energy In Western
Colorado Makes Successful Niobrara Shale Dis-
covery
#4-2 - 2013 March - Colorado Beefs Up Exports;
Critical Japanese Market Expands
#4-3 - 2013 April - Colorado Miners Honored For
Remarkable Safety Records
#4-4 - 2013 May - Pinion Ridge Mill License Ap-
proved; CO Confident In Safety Of State-Of-The-
Art Facility
#4-5 - 2013 June - A Biodetection Lab In Your
Hand; Smartphone As Biosensor Detects Mol-
ecules/Toxins
#4-6 - 2013 July - ¡®Wave To Saturn¡¯ July 19: Cas-
sini Spacecraft To Take Photo of Earth from Deep
Space
#4-7 - 2013 August - Solar Energy Boom Across
The Country; 10 times the solar capacity as 2007;
costs fall 26% in 2012
#4-8 - 2013 September - Next Generation Water
Desalination/ Purification; Rechargeable, Inexpen-
sive, More Effective, Portable Devices
#4-9 - 2013 October - Desktop 3D Scanners Now
Available; Technological Breakthrough Sets Stan-
dard
#4-10 - 2013 November - Miramonte Re-Stocked
With 100,000 Trout; ¡°Trout growing machine¡±
expected to rebound quickly
#4-11 - 2013 Dec/Jan - Nanogrid Invention Cleans
Oil, Decontaminates Water; ¡°New Catalyst¡± Likely
To Revolutionize Clothes Washing
These articles or any previous editions of The
Sunshine Express can be read in our archives at:
westernslopenews.com/archives.htm
Saying it will help to spur solar deployment
nationwide, the Solar Energy Industries Associa-
tion (SEIA) praised a new rule approved Nov 21
by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) that will expedite and reduce the cost of
solar project interconnection, while maintaining
the reliability and safety of the electric grid.
In 2005, FERC issued Order #2006, which for the
first time established national interconnection
procedures applicable to generation projects that
are 20 megawatts (MW) or less in size and subject
to FERC¡¯s wholesale jurisdiction. Order #2006
was groundbreaking, and the procedures were
voluntarily adopted by many states to apply
to the retail interconnection process. However,
demand for solar energy has grown dramatically
since the order was issued more than 7 years ago,
and certain aspects have resulted in needless bar-
riers to cost-effective and timely interconnections.
The rule approved today will allow solar proj-
ects that meet certain technical requirements to
qualify for a ¡®fast track¡¯ interconnection process,
eliminating the need for costly and time-consum-
ing studies. Rhone Resch, president and CEO
of SEIA, said the decision will help to reduce
interconnection bottlenecks. ¡°We applaud FERC
for recognizing the challenges facing wholesale
distributed generation development, which is
one of the fastest-growing segments of America¡¯s
solar energy industry,¡± Resch said. ¡°At the same
time, the new rule maintains electric system
safety and reliability. On behalf of our industry
and its 120,000 workers, we sincerely appreci-
ate FERC¡¯s willingness to revisit this issue and
update its rule. We look forward to working with
FERC and all other interested stakeholders in the
future to help further the deployment of clean,
reliable and affordable solar energy nationwide.
By the end of this year, we expect to have 13 GW
of cumulative solar electric capacity installed in
the U.S., enough to power more than 2 million
American homes. SEIA urges state regulators to
consider using FERC¡¯s new rule as a model and
starting point for updating their own intercon-
nection rules.¡± (source: www.seia.org)
New Solar Rule Praised
A Very Good Year