Notes in the Margins: Research papers, unionized athletes and a Coursera ban

College’s diminishing returns The problem isn’t only that higher education is unaffordable to many but that even at our highest-ranked colleges and universities, students aren’t getting much bang for their buck. (The Seattle Times via University Business)

US Government Bans Coursera in Iran, Sudan and Cuba Not coincidentally, these countries are under US economic sanction, prohibiting any American business from providing goods or services. While Coursera had been operating under the assumption that its courses, which are free to users who do not select a “freemium” option such as Signature Track certification, did not violate these economic regulations, the federal government apparently found otherwise. (Washington Monthly)

New labor union courts U.S. college football players A new labor union is being formed for U.S. college athletes, and football players at Northwestern University in Chicago are looking to get onboard. (Reuters via University Business)

For how long do research papers remain useful? Academic research papers remain useful for several years after publication, according to a study of more than 2,800 journal articles. (Times Higher Education)

Teacher Colleges Seek to Shift to Digital Age Some teacher colleges are working to revamp their programs to improve the technology literacy of future educators—and address what many see as a major shortcoming in the profession. (Education Week via NAICU)