Sunday, December 10, 2017

Has higher education lost the battle of public perception? - Brian C. Mitchell, Huffington Post

Public perceptions that confuse sticker price and the cost of attendance, the unwillingness or inability of many American families to share the financial burden incurred by their children, and confusion over whether a college degree translates into a job certainly affect how American families perceive the value of a college degree.

Why Online Law Degrees Are Unlikely to Gain Legitimacy - Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside

The law profession carefully regulates which programs can gain accreditation and so far, online law degrees have made few gains, even as other professions rush to scale up their online offerings. Indeed, as stated on the American Bar Association (ABA) website, “Currently, no law schools that provide a J.D. degree completely via distance education are approved by the ABA.” The ABA even warns prospective students that “Earning an education completely via distance education may drastically limit your ability to sit for the bar in many states.” The key reason the law profession appears to be resistant to online degrees is tradition. Gregory Duhl, an associate dean for strategic initiatives at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law recently told US News, “I think the legal profession and legal education are just very resistant to change.” This was also the conclusion reached when a promising online JD program at Syracuse was rejected by the ABA earlier this year.

Research proves learning is a lifelong process - Peter Rule, The Conversation

Aging brings a slight deterioration in functions like short-term memory. But it has the advantage of accumulated experience. This means you know what you want to learn and how you want to apply it, and can link it to experience and concepts you've already acquired. Children at school typically learn a prescribed curriculum for future application. Adults tend to choose their learning and want it to count here and now. Learning as an adult is not easy. You have to admit what you don't know. Sometimes past learning experiences have been negative and associated with feelings of fear and failure. And adults have multiple responsibilities: work, family, social involvements and ageing parents, to name a few. Learning means negotiating these commitments and your own feelings. When you decide to embark on new studies, it's important to let those around you know; explain how it will change things and enlist their support.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Open online courses offer many opportunities to expand educational horizons - TANYA ALLBRITTEN, US Dept of Defense

It’s no surprise that the Internet provides numerous training opportunities for employees who want to improve their skills and advance their careers. “Massive open online courses,” known as MOOCs, are online learning courses that are available to thousands of students at a time. And, many of these courses are absolutely free while others are provided at rates drastically less than traditional courses. While the Army does not endorse any one specific program, MOOCs are freely accessible courses, delivered to large cohorts of learners.

What to Know About Earning an Online Degree in a Cohort - Jordan Friedman, US News

Despite what some prospective students may believe, many online degree programs still allow for plenty of student interaction. When looking into different online undergraduate or graduate programs, prospective students should understand whether they will be part of a cohort, although this type of program's exact structure may vary among schools. Here are three aspects to know about completing an online degree in a cohort.

Wary of Online Degrees? There’s Probably a Residency Program in Your Field - Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside

The benefits of online education and remote degrees has been proven. It may not be able to replace all in-person, traditional instruction in every field, but it can come pretty close. In some cases, it can even exceed a traditional college course. But online programs also come with their challenges. A singular obstacle is that, by their nature, they can be isolating. “In the 1990s,” wrote Professor Wen-Li Chyr in a recent study, “it was found that students felt physically isolated when they participated in online courses, especially when the instructor could not immediately provide feedback to learners … These issues are still present today.”

Friday, December 8, 2017

Effective student support key to online learners’ success -Joseph J. Grilli, Times Leader

Nationwide, colleges and universities are reporting tremendous growth in adult students taking classes online instead of working toward their degrees via the more traditional brick-and-mortar format, according to a recent study published by Aslanian Market Research. In nine short years, the profile of the adult learner has changed dramatically, according to the study. With an average age of 29, less than one-third of these students who consider themselves tech-savvy, prefer classroom-based study. In 2006, the average age of this target audience was 35. Adult learners have other unique characteristics and preferences that separate them from the traditional 18-year-olds fresh out of high school.

Study Uncovers How Ed Tech Decision-Making Works - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Higher education people most often turn to each other when they're trying to make decisions about education technology. And it's not uncommon for them to start with a particular technology and then find a problem to solve, vs. identifying a pedagogical need and then looking for the tech tools that would address the challenges.

Teaching Tolerance Offers K-12 Digital Literacy Lessons - Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

An organization focused on reducing prejudice and supporting equitable school experiences for all students is pointing educators to a set of resources that will help them teach digital literacy in their schools. Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has defined digital literacy as a kind of "civic literacy," enabling people to identify faulty information online, participate meaningfully in online communities, resist malevolent forces online, use the internet for good and understand the online landscape.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Post-Traditional Learners Manifesto Revisited: Aligning Postsecondary Education with Real Life for Adult Student Success - ACE

Building on ACE’s long history of supporting both post-traditional learners and the higher education institutions that serve them, The Post-traditional Learners Manifesto Revisited explores the distinctive nature of modern undergraduates. Using data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study 2011-12, the report digs deeper into the needs of this population of college-goers and offers recommendations to help schools, researchers, and policymakers better help thi​​s growing population of postsecondary students complete their degrees.

Robot Learning Improves Online Student Engagement - Michigan State University

The first-ever study of Michigan State University's pioneering robot-learning course shows that online students who use the innovative robots feel more engaged and connected to the instructor and students in the classroom. Stationed around the class, each robot has a mounted video screen controlled by the remote user that lets the student pan around the room to see and talk with the instructor and fellow students participating in-person. The study, published in Online Learning, found that robot learning generally benefits remote students more than traditional videoconferencing, in which multiple students are displayed on a single screen.

MOOCs Struggle to Meet Financial Demand of Master’s in Social Work with Varying Success - Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside

The Master’s in Social Work (MSW), for example, at the University of Michigan is currently the top-ranked program of its kind in the U.S. 416 students currently matriculate. The annual cost to attend this program currently stands at $25,756 for Michigan residents and $41,272 for out of state students, which is certainly well above average for a MSW program. It is, however, currently the best. Still, a good wage for a social worker currently brings in a $45,000 salary, but professionals with only a degree on their wall and little experience might expect something more like $30,000.

The top skills career-minded students need in today’s digital workforce - FRANK CONNOLLY, eCampusNews

Once seen as merely “nice to have,” critical thinking skills have emerged as a flat-out necessity in today’s knowledge-based economy. For soon-to-be college graduates, it’s a tough job market out there–in many fields, perhaps the most competitive ever. To stand out from their peers, tomorrow’s grads will need to show that they have the skill sets that businesses value most. [Read: “World-renowned futurist Michio Kaku: This is what higher ed should be teaching students right now.“] Here are four of the skills that top the wish lists of many major employers:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Why Digitizing Traditional Learning Isn't Innovation - Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

Technology has been hailed by many as the answer to every problem in education. Digital technology is supposed to allow students to learn in entirely new ways, bringing new innovations to every classroom. But this isn’t always the case. In fact, many EdTech programs and tools are simply digitizing traditional teaching—and it isn’t innovation. Instead, teachers should be looking for ways to use technology to get students active. That doesn’t mean physically active, but mentally active. With technology, it’s possible to get students to do more critical thinking, evaluating, and creating. Students can take responsibility for their own learning.

Massachusetts Commits to Digital Education and Lifelong Learning - Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside

Earlier this month, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said that he plans to establish a Commission on Digital Innovation and Lifelong Learning. The intent of the commission is to sound the depths of the current state of employment and the Massachusetts workforce. Baker hopes the commission will provide insight on how to create conditions and incentives for Massachusetts residents to more easily receive education and workforce training in growing fields. The announcement occurred at the recent “Governor’s Online Digital Learning Summit,” which was hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The summit brought together education administrators from the state government along with businesses and education institutions.

Study Explores Social Media and Mobile Use in Flipped Learning And Help-Seeking - Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside

Many things have changed since the ‘90s, especially regarding online education and education technology. Some professors have made incredible commitments to online presence, such as Al Filreis who maintains a massive online open course (MOOC) version of his poetry class at the University of Pennsylvania. He and his team respond to students usually within the hour. Professor Ashok Goel at Georgia Tech created a teaching assistant chatbot for his computer science courses. But by and large, these efforts are fantastic anomalies. The issues of isolation for online learners remain today. “[S]tudents suffer isolation when they study in an online environment and this situation is often considered to be unavoidable,” Professor Wen-Li Chyr writes.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Why Blended (Learning), Why Now? - Kathryn E. Linder, Tomorrow's Professor

Over the past several decades, a wide range of technologies has emerged that are designed to assist in teaching and learning. Technology has changed every aspect of our lives, and the higher education classroom also feels that impact (Collins & Halverson, 2009). Distance education programs at institutions of higher education, which are often seen as a means to broaden enrollment and increase gross margins (e.g., see Parry, 2011), are continuing to grow (Allen & Seaman, 2014). Blended (also referred to as hybrid) courses, in which face-to-face interaction is combined with technology-enhanced or online activities to aid student learning, have also been posed as a possible solution to the question of how best to engage busy students in a cost-effective and learner-centered way. Major (2015) points out that, for some, blended is seen to be “the best of both worlds” (p. 82) because of the way it allows for both face-to-face interaction and online support structures. For many instructors across disciplines, a form of blended learning, termed flipped classrooms, has also gained popularity as a method to increase in-class active learning time by shifting delivery of content to the online environment.

The Ultimate MOOC Handbook #infographic - Accredited Schools Online

MOOCs are online courses available to anyone with a computer and Internet connection. They offer students a way to learn in a setting similar to an online class, but are usually loosely structured and can be accessed without paying tuition or committing to an academic program. Whether a student should sign up for a MOOC will depend on his or her academic and professional goals. To learn just for fun or to get a certificate for a small fee, MOOCs are ideal.

3 ed tech trends transforming higher ed - Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive

Tech-savvy schools recognizing the world of work is changing dramatically are investing in more tools to better prepare students for employment. In an interview with Microsoft VP for worldwide education Anthony Salcito for Ed Tech Magazine, data collection tools to enhance student retention efforts and artificial intelligence to generate trends and projections with the collected data on student outcomes, as well as create more efficiencies in the management of campus life, were identified as two emerging trends.  Institutions are also investing in collaboration technologies that can close digital skills gaps among students and better prepare them to enter a more technologically entrenched world of work, such as applications that allow students to better collaborate with each other outside of the classroom.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Online and Adult Learners More Satisfied with College Experience than Traditional Students - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

According to a new national survey, online and adult students are generally more satisfied with their overall college experience than traditional on-campus students. The 2017 National Student Satisfaction and Priorities Report from Ruffalo Noel Levitz, a provider of enrollment management, student success and fundraising solutions for higher education, found that 67 percent of adult learners and 74 percent of online students rated their satisfaction level as "satisfied" or "very satisfied," while only 53 percent of students at four-year public institutions and 54 percent at four-year privates said the same. Students at two-year public institutions and career schools were in the middle, at 64 percent and 66 percent satisfied, respectively.

Is DeVos Devaluing Degrees? - Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed

Education secretary calls for more emphasis on work-force training. Many experts -- including those focused on careers -- say general education matters more than she suggests. The Trump administration's higher education policy to date has consisted largely of undoing what it inherited -- rolling back, for instance, ambitious Obama era regulations on for-profit colleges and campus policies on sexual assault. Observers looking for an affirmative, forward-looking agenda have been hard-pressed to find much so far. But Education Secretary Betsy DeVos this month provided as a clear a sense as observers have yet seen of her vision for her department's role in, and agenda for, postsecondary education, with a set of comments signaling a shift in emphasis from education to training. In two separate forums this month, she said students have for years received a message that "the only path for a successful life" is through a four-year degree.