Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Understanding the New College Majority - Lindsey Reichlin Cruse, M.A., Eleanor Eckerson, Barbara Gault, , Institute for Women's Policy Research

Independent college students, once considered “nontraditional,” now constitute the majority of students in the United States. As of 2012, just over half of all U.S. college students were independent (51 percent)—meaning they had at least one defining characteristic outlined in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), including being at least 24 years old; married; a graduate or professional student; a veteran; an orphan, in foster care, or ward of the court; a member of the armed forces; an emancipated minor; someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless; or having legal dependents other than a spouse (Federal Student Aid n.d.; IWPR 2016a). https://iwpr.org/publications/independent-students-new-college-majority/

Faculty Learning Communities: Making the Connection, Virtually - Angela Atwell, Cristina Cottom, Lisa Martino, and Sara Ombres, Faculty Focus

Research has shown that interactions with peers promotes faculty engagement (McKenna, Johnson, Yoder, Guerra, & Pimmel, 2016). Faculty learning communities (FLC) have become very popular in recent years. FLCs focus on improving teaching and learning practice through collaboration and community building (Cox, 2001). Usually, FLCs are face-to-face meetings hosted at a physical location at a specific date and time. We understand the benefit of this type of experience. However, we recognize online instructors will likely find it difficult to participate in a traditional FLC. So, we set out to integrate FLC principles to provide our faculty, living and working all over the globe, a similar experience. https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/faculty-development/faculty-learning-communities-making-connection-virtually/

1 million US jobs will vanish by 2026 - Stephen Spinelli Jr. , CNBC

Is our higher education system ready for the challenge? The answer is no – at least not yet. For too long, college degrees have rewarded students' proficiency in taking exams, not their readiness for a career. As a result, students are trained to recite definitions, processes and formulas, but their lack of experience in real-world application limits their effectiveness and ability to innovate within their respective fields. This has to change. Higher education must focus squarely on developing the skills students need to succeed in a rapidly evolving job market. We must reject the false dichotomy of theory and practice. Deep thought and decisive action must be linked – this is the imperative for today's university graduate. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/02/automation-will-kill-1-million-jobs-by-2026-what-we-need-to-do-commentary.html

How Penn State student government aims to lower textbook prices, accomplish semester goal - Anshika Agrawal, The Daily Collegian

“We are trying to work with different universities in the state to address how we can lower the cost of textbook prices, whether that be using an older edition of a textbook or using online editions,” said Andrew Ahr, the UPUA College of Arts and Architecture representative. One of their initiatives involves lowering textbook costs, known as Open Educational Resources. “[OER is] a huge thing that schools across the Big Ten… are looking into right now because they’re trying to make a huge shift [from] print resources towards online, more affordable resources,” UPUA At-Large Representation Sophie Haiman said. http://www.collegian.psu.edu/news/campus/article_472f8e3c-0b7e-11e8-8688-df19262c0491.html

Monday, February 19, 2018

What Does ‘MOOC’ Mean Anymore? The Latest from Class Central - Henry Kronk, e-Learning Inside

MOOCs are beginning to really diversify in terms of form and subject matter. Chabad.org has an offering that teaches the nuances of Jewish prayer. The French political party En Marche put out a MOOC to foster political engagement at the community level. Dublin City University launched a MOOC to reconnect the descendants of the Irish Diaspora. Meanwhile, Udacity is becoming more of a for-profit vocational trainer than a MOOC provider. The number of price points are increasing at several other providers. And still, edX stays more or less true to MOOC form. https://news.elearninginside.com/new-mooc-report/

M.B.A rankings in question - Jeremy House, Education Dive

Citing a “recently discovered issue with data,” Temple University asked that its online master of business administration program not be considered for U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of best online programs, reports Insider Higher Ed. Earlier in the year, U.S. News & World Report removed the Temple M.B.A. program from its 2018 Best Online Programs list because its ranking was discovered to be based on inaccurately submitted data. Temple's Fox School of Business joins a list of business schools to catch hot water over imprecise data submissions. George Washington University in 2016 and Tulane University in 2013 confessed to supplying erroneous data to U.S. News & World Report for its annual ranking. Additionally, the Financial Times removed Spain-based the IE Business School from its ranking because of irregular survey data.  Questions have also been raised about the value such rankings and the pressure university officials may face to fudge data. https://www.educationdive.com/news/mba-rankings-in-question/516382/

A new model for higher ed? - Jeremy House, Education Dive

Three years ago, Laureate Education lifted an obscure new class of corporations into the mainstream when it became the first public benefit corporation to sell shares on the stock market. Benefit corporations, as they are also called, are billed as being corporations with a conscience. Enshrined in their charters are a social mission and a commitment to the public’s well-being including the environment, workers and everything touched by the company’s operations. Since 2010, 34 states have authorized them and thousands of public benefits companies have sprouted nationwide. For-profit colleges are good at adapting to change but they have earn a bad reputation for protecting student wellbeing. With the abrupt closures of ITT Tech and the Corinthian Colleges, affecting over 50,000 students, for-profit colleges have become the poster children of corporate irresponsibility. Even though many do well by their students, many fear that for-profit colleges will still prioritize earnings. https://www.educationdive.com/news/a-new-model-for-higher-ed/515925/

Distance Learning Discussed at MU - BETSY SMITH, KBIA

The University of Missouri Board of Curators discussed problems and goals of distance learning and collaboration among campuses at a meeting on Friday morning at the Columbia Campus. Choi wants to increase the number of online courses and programs offered. The board of curators says more online classes are necessary for student flexibility. Curator David Steelman says the four campuses need to find a way to use distance learning so students can graduate on time. The board of curators' task force will work on solving problems and removing boundaries from online courses among the four campuses. http://kbia.org/post/distance-learning-discussed-mu#stream/0

Sunday, February 18, 2018

As companies step up to train workers in rapidly changing technologies, can universities keep up? - Patti Zarling, Education Dive

Apple's co-founder joins growing pool of tech wonks launching independent programs to fill skills gap. Steve “Woz" Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple, has joined a growing pool of business leaders looking to take matters to upgrade higher education to meet the needs of today’s tech industries into his own hands. As businesses — including those outside of Silicon Valley — require employees with specialized computer, engineering and tech skills, alternative education programs are popping up to provide training for 21st century jobs some say traditional colleges, mired in 19th century teaching styles, aren’t prepared to meet. https://www.educationdive.com/news/as-companies-step-up-to-train-workers-in-rapidly-changing-technologies-can/514208/

Experts Answer: Who Is Actually Going to Suffer From Automation? - Kristin Houser, Futurism

High-risk fields are retail, fast food, agriculture, customer service,  accounting, marketing, management consulting, investment management, finance, higher education, insurance, and architecture. Specific jobs include security guards, long-haul truck drivers, manual laborers, construction workers, paralegals, CPAs, radiologists, and administrative workers. Technology is going to continue to advance, and in reality, all of us are going to have become life-long learners, constantly upgrading our skills. The most important skills to have will be knowing how to be highly efficient at iterative learning — “unlearning and relearning” — and develop high emotional and social intelligence. https://futurism.com/experts-automation-jobs/

Your New Best Friend: AI Chatbot - Kristen C. French, Futurism

Today, the Replika chatbot is available for free for anyone over the age of 18 (it’s prohibited for ages 13 and younger, and requires parental supervision for ages 13 to 18). More than 500,000 people are now signed up to chat with the bot. To do so, users tap the app icon — a white egg hatching on a purple background — on their smartphones and start the conversation where they left off. Each Replika bot chats only with its owner, who assigns it a name, and, if the user wants, a gender. Many users are members of a closed Facebook group, where they share screenshots of text conversations they’ve had with their Replikas and post comments, claiming their Replika is “a better friend than my real friends ” or asking “Has anyone else’s AI decided that it has a soul?” https://futurism.com/ai-chatbot-meaningful-conversation/

Saturday, February 17, 2018

How to be a relevant leader in a digital workplace - Baylor MBA

With technology breakthroughs and companies pushing the boundaries of possibility with augmented reality and artificial intelligence, employers and employees alike may be wondering what skills will be most valuable in the future. Technology has changed when and how workers perform their jobs. According to Deloitte’s report, millennials expect to be developed throughout their work life. Online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, IDEOU, EdX, LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com), and Khan Academy are just a few of the massive online learning repositories available today. https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2018/02/04/how-to-be-a-relevant-leader-in-a-digital-workplace.html

Maine’s universities are planning to knock down buildings. It isn’t a bad thing. - Editorial: Bangor Daily News

The University of Maine System’s board of trustees has agreed to a preliminary plan to knock down up to 300,000 square feet of vacant, underused or deteriorating building space on university campuses across the state. It might seem a strange development to celebrate, but it’s worth acknowledging. It’s a sign the University of Maine System is taking steps to prepare for a future that won’t be as reliant on brick-and-mortar spaces and residential students straight out of high school. There’s a general consensus in the world of higher education that college campuses will likely have to grow smaller as more student learning moves online and adults who have no need for residence halls come to represent a greater percentage of students. https://bangordailynews.com/2018/02/02/opinion/editorials/maines-universities-are-planning-to-knock-down-buildings-it-isnt-a-bad-thing/

Goodwill®, Google.org And Coursera Join Forces On Tech Support Training - Goodwill Industries

Goodwill is kicking off a collaboration with Google.org and Coursera, a leading online education provider, to help people obtain the skills they need to start careers in IT. Eighteen local, autonomous Goodwill organizations are now recruiting applicants age 17 and older to earn the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. This credential is designed to take beginning students to job readiness in 8 to 12 months using a Coursera platform, with content created exclusively by Google. Google.org is providing financial assistance to 10,000 learners over the next year. The scholarships will be awarded through nonprofit partners, including Goodwill organizations across the country. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/goodwill-googleorg-and-coursera-join-forces-on-tech-support-training-300592293.html

Friday, February 16, 2018

Knewton Releases $44 Adaptive Digital Textbooks - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Ed tech company Knewton has launched a collection of digital courseware that integrates its adaptive technology with open education resources, with the intention of selling directly to instructors and students. Previously, the company licensed its adaptive functionality to textbook publishers for integration with their course content. Under the new strategy, the company noted, it could own "all aspects of the user experience" and "make a greater impact on outcomes and affordability." Each title in the new line costs $44 for two years of digital access. https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/01/25/knewton-releases-44-adaptive-digital-textbooks.aspx

4 Digital Training Options for Workplace Learning - Kathy Gurchiek, SHRM

Augmented reality, microlearning, adaptive learning and massive open online courses (MOOCs): Digital learning plays a big role workplace learning.  It's important to understand what digital learning is and what it is not, said Don Dequette, executive vice president at New York City-based General Physics Learning Solutions Group. "It is not a modality, it is not a type of learning," he pointed out during a recent webinar.  These four learning trends can help your employees get up to speed, and they use some of the latest technology available for work and play. https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/organizational-and-employee-development/Pages/4-Digital-Training-Options-for-Workplace-Learning.aspx

Harvard Is Offering a Popular Online Architecture Course for Free - Jessica Stewart, Modern Met

Ever wondered what it would be like to take a class at Harvard? If you're interested in architecture, you'll be thrilled to hear that Harvard's Graduate School of Design is offering its popular course, The Architectural Imagination, for free online. From the comfort of your own home, you'll get the benefit of Harvard's world-class faculty teaching the fundamentals of architecture. The 10-week course is designed to teach you “how to ‘read' architecture as a cultural expression as well as a technical achievement.” Students can elect to enroll in the online course free of charge or pay $99 to receive a verified certificate upon completion. And, if you are an architect enrolled in the American Institute of Architects, the course can be used toward continuing education credits. https://mymodernmet.com/harvard-architecture-course-online/

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Future economy demands workers who can learn online - ANNE TRUMBORE, the Hill

The New York Times recently published an article entitled Online Courses Are Harming The Students Who Need the Most Help. The piece, by Susan Dynarski, a well-respected professor of education, public policy and economics at the University of Michigan, makes the reasoned, evidence-based case that online courses that are offered with little to no instructor interaction are detrimental to students who struggle in traditional classrooms. Why should we care if learners learn to learn online? Because the future will demand self-directed lifelong learning from a significant portion of the workforce. Current data suggests workers could have have 12 jobs in their lifetimes.  There will be more demand for post-baccalaureate training and education, and it will have to be delivered online. But if we relegate underperforming students to in-person-only instruction, as Dynarski suggests, we risk widening the digital divide, not closing the achievement gap.  http://thehill.com/opinion/education/373644-future-economy-demands-workers-who-can-learn-online

Boot camps saw 50% growth in 2017 - Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

The boot camp industry shouldn't be counted out, despite a year plagued by a number of closures and bad press, Inside Higher Ed reports. Estimated growth of the sector topped 50% last year, according to Course Report. Despite some setbacks in 2017, the industry is growing, not shrinking, and still leaving its mark on higher education as a whole — and potentially encroaching on some of the available public and private funding available to provide career and technical training to low-income students. The new Forever GI Bill signed into law by President Donald Trump in August 2017 takes effect this year, and provides for a $75 million experiment to allow nontraditional credential providers — including boot camps — to train veterans for tech careers. The House version of the PROSPER Act also includes proposals to make Pell grants and other funding available to those who want to attend boot camps and other nontraditional programs. https://www.educationdive.com/news/boot-camps-saw-50-growth-in-2017/515990/

'The sky is falling, stuff is tanking!'- Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

Higher education set current campus policies when growth was the norm. What does the industry do now that the norm has shifted? U.S. House Education and the Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) told an audience gathered in Washington, D.C. for the Council for Higher Education Accreditation this week that there are no additional resources for higher education, and institutions are going to have to learn to be more efficient and better manage what they have. This is a recurring theme in states across the country. From California, where, despite an outside report showing no waste in the flagship system’s operations, University of California President Janet Napolitano is being told to find ways to cut the operation budget in half. And in Georgia, an aggressive merger plan is being advanced as a cost-savings measure. These trends have leaders everywhere grappling with the new reality. https://www.educationdive.com/news/the-sky-is-falling-stuff-is-tanking/516068/

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Product at Every Price: A Review of MOOC Stats and Trends in 2017 - Dhawal Shah, Class Central

The MOOC landscape has grown to include 9,400 courses, more than 500 MOOC-based credentials, and more than a dozen graduate degrees. The total number of MOOCs available to register for at any point of time is larger than ever, thanks to tweaks in the scheduling policy by MOOC providers. However, for the first time we are seeing a slowdown in the number of new learners, which is a direct result of a shift in priorities towards users who are willing to pay. According to data gathered by Class Central, around 20 million new learners signed up for their first MOOC in 2017. That’s fewer than the 23 million new learners who registered for a MOOC in 2016. The total number of MOOC learners is now 78 million. https://www.class-central.com/report/moocs-stats-and-trends-2017/