Saturday, April 20, 2019

Inverse Blended Learning: How to Deal with MOOCs More Successfully - Martin Ebner & Sandra Schön, Drexel Virtually Inspired

We have been taking the approach of Inverse Blended Learning for 4 years now, we can proudly report that we have reduced the dropout rate dramatically. Even more, we can state that learners who visit the face-to-face offerings on a regularly basis are more likely to complete the course with success. It is great to see, that the arrangement of those face-to-face elements differs arbitrarily; weekly meetings in a very informal setting (cafes, public places) as well as in formal settings (higher educational seminars) and even online (webinars). These settings enable learners to not only discuss content but to see to each other’s problems, needs, questions and to complete tasks.

Community Colleges And Tech Companies Are Co-Branding Credentials To Solve The Skills Gap - Allison Dulin Salisbury, Forbes

There’s an important lesson there for higher education and it’s not just anecdote. Employers increasingly use applicant tracking systems that often screen for very specific skills. A resume for a digital marketing job, no matter how stellar, that doesn’t mention experience with platforms like Facebook Ad Manager or Hubspot may not even make it through the first automated round of screening. Same goes for an application for a data analyst that doesn’t mention a facility with Tableau or Microsoft Excel, a game developer without Unity, or a sales rep without Salesforce. In that sense, it’s not broad digital skills that matter, but rather skills tailored to one specific platform that is state-of-the-art in an applicant’s chosen field.

OPMs Are Losing the Battle for Hearts and Minds - Edward J. Maloney and Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

Rather than passing along the savings of online education to students -- as Carey argues that online means “no buildings to maintain, no lawns to mow, no juice bars and [no] lazy rivers” -- the tuition dollars are being instead converted to corporate profits for the OPMs.  The classic online program management business model is for the company to fund the costs of developing the online programs, recruiting the students and running the programs -- and in exchange the OPM received a share of the tuition. This revenue share to the OPM is typically around 60 percent. The OPM market is growing, with Carey quoting Trace Urban from Tyton Partners saying that the market is likely to be worth $8 billion by 2020.

Friday, April 19, 2019

What will next-gen universities look like? - SIR ANTHONY SELDON, Campus Technology

A more international and forward-looking model of university archetypes have been outlined by Glyn Davis, formerly vice chancellor of the University of Melbourne. The “influencer” university is international in perspective, strongly driven by research and tackling the major issues facing each individual country and the world. The “agile” university is rich in AI and digital technology, and dedicated to applied research as well as giving students a competitive advantage. The “consultant” university is focused on the job market and its purpose is to serve organizational clients who buy expert advice, education, and research/innovation to boost their own performance. Finally, the “community” university is less interested in national and international league tables and has its raison d’etre principally in serving local students and business, and in championing them on national stages.

Credential Clout: How Higher Education Can Prepare for an Evolving Job Market: a survey of US students and recruiters - Ellucian

This survey report outlines perceptions and prospects for careers among students and HR recruiters.  Among the results: GenZ students feel less prepared than prior generations and employers are seeking an array of soft skills led by communication, industry-specific skills, critical thinking and accountability.  Both students and employers agree that continuous learning is necessary.

Will AI Save Journalism — or Kill It? - Meredith Broussard and Seth Lewis, Knowledge @ Wharton

In the past year, you have most likely read a story that was written by a bot. Whether it’s a sports article, an earnings report or a story about who won the last congressional race in your district, you may not have known it but an emotionless artificial intelligence perhaps moved you to cheers, jeers or tears. By 2025, a bot could be writing 90% of all news, according to Narrative Science, whose software Quill turns data into stories. Many of the largest and most reputable news outlets in the world are using or dabbling in AI — such as The Washington Post, The Associated Press, BBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times and Sunday Times (U.K.), Japan’s national public broadcaster, NHK, and Finland’s STT.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

VR, AR, AI Worldwide Perspectives by Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed

There is much at stake in the development of AI. The “big nine” corporations are the linkages that ideally will bring cultures together and create a compass for development in this field. Action must be taken now to assure that the underlying assumptions are in the best interests of the learners. A first model for a governance framework for AI has been developed by the Personal Data Protection Commission of Singapore. The 27-page instrument is well worth reading to gain a better understanding of AI and its implications.

5 ways augmented reality apps are changing the game on college campuses - LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Augmented reality (AR) has been one of higher ed’s big buzzwords for a number of years, but it’s not until just fairly recently that institutions have used the technology in practical ways. Most higher-ed AR apps address a variety of things, such as bringing science concepts to life, improving student retention, and offering campus tours or glimpses of historical moments on campus. Here’s how five institutions have harnessed augmented reality apps to address campus needs and take learning to the next level.

Partial, and Uneven, Recovery From Recession - Greg Toppo, Inside Higher Ed

A decade after the 2008 recession, fewer than one in five states has fully recovered when it comes to per-student appropriations for higher education. A new study finds that just nine states have bounced back from pre-recession funding levels, and another nine have yet to increase per-student funding to even the low point of the recession.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Researchers Put Machine Learning on Path to Quantum Advantage - Kristan Temme and JAY GAMBETTA, IBM Research Blog

There are high hopes that quantum computing’s tremendous processing power will someday unleash exponential advances in artificial intelligence. AI systems thrive when the machine learning algorithms used to train them are given massive amounts of data to ingest, classify and analyze. The more precisely that data can be classified according to specific characteristics, or features, the better the AI will perform. Quantum computers are expected to play a crucial role in machine learning, including the crucial aspect of accessing more computationally complex feature spaces – the fine-grain aspects of data that could lead to new insights.

The Need for a Corporate Training Culture in New Age Enterprises - Sanjay Bahl, Entrepreneur India

A decade ago, when India began it ascends to high GDP rates, companies realized that the workforce needs to step up and embrace the inevitable effects of change. Jargons like VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) and growth mindset were not widespread and most training intervention was led by instructors using projector and PPTs! But today these jargons are the harsh reality that unicorns of India Inc. have accepted and inculcated in their strategy. The need is to align the corporate training with a mindset of delivering quality learning & development solutions, which have a direct and measurable impact on key business performance indicators. Today, employees are looking to upgrade their knowledge as well as skills required for their job roles and are keener to join organizations that provide opportunities to grow.

How to Access Lynda LinkedIn Learning for Free - TJ McCue, Forbes

Whether you are a business executive, a young computer coder, or a consumer who simply wants to keep learning, the website (acquired by LinkedIn a few years ago and now called LinkedIn Learning officially) is often available at a public library for free. If you wonder if those soft skills are really valuable, the third annual 2019 Workplace Learning Report found some of the country’s fastest growing roles—sales development, customer success, and customer experience jobs—are largely soft skills-based. The most in-demand skill is Creativity, followed by Persuasion, Analytical reasoning, Collaboration, and, Flexible approach (a.k.a. Adaptability). If you thought all those soft skills were not needed in the workplace, think again. The online learning platform has all of these courses.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

How adaptive learning changes the game - DENNIS PIERCE, eCampus News

Time and cost are two key barriers standing in the way of college completion, and that’s especially true for working adults going back to school. To eliminate these barriers and help registered nurses make faster progress toward earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, the University of Memphis School of Health Studies is using adaptive learning technology and other practices to accelerate completion—reportedly saving participants more than $100,000 in collective tuition costs in a single year. “Students shouldn’t get bogged down with paying to learn things they already know,” says Richard Irwin, dean of UofM Global, the university’s online program. “Adaptive learning helps students move through the content at a more rapid pace.”

ASU opts for smaller classes, online tools and phasing out traditional classrooms - Jennifer Auh, Fox 10 Phoenix

Arizona State University is currently phasing out the traditional classroom setting, at least for its math and science courses.  This new way of teaching is about providing a more interactive learning experience for students, and the new system has been so successful that it has been adopted by about 30 other universities across the country. Instead of going to class to listen to lectures, students in Professor Susan Holechak's class do that online. Then, they go to class to work on problem-solving in small groups. "I feel the students are more engaged, because in a setting like this, they work in groups and able to go table by table, group by group. I can interact with them," said Holechak, an instructor at ASU's School of Life Sciences.

Southern New Hampshire U to add West Coast operations center - Ben Unglesbee, Education Dive

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) plans to open a new operations support center in downtown Tucson, Arizona, to serve online students in western time zones who currently can access services only until 9 p.m., the university said in a press release this week. SNHU said it expects the new center to open in 2020 and to house additional student support staff, including in advising, admissions, student financial services and information technology. SNHU said it would first hire about 100 staff for the center, with plans to hire a total of 350 by 2021. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild credited his city's "reputation for excellent customer service" as a reason for the university's location choice. SNHU President Paul LeBlanc said in a statement that the university would maintain a "deep commitment" to its home city of Manchester, New Hampshire.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Online Learning: Examination of Attributes that Promote Student Satisfaction - Marianne C. Bickle, Ryan D. Rucker, Katherine Annette Burnsed; OJDLA

The purposes of this study were to examine students’ satisfaction with online learning and identify attributes that contribute to humanizing the online classroom. A total of 228 students participated in the study, which attempted to determine whether students perceived a social presence in the online course as a result of a variety of communication tools used in group participation assignments. Findings revealed students’ perceptions of a high-quality course were dependent upon continual communication with the instructor, a predetermined method of connecting students with one another and students’ ability to express their opinions. Different group activities and the use of technology allowed online learners to make humanistic connections with other students and the instructor.

ASU’s Michael Crow: ‘The Rest of the Culture Sees Us As a Virus’ - Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

Michael Crow is building an empire, one that frees the state university he leads, Arizona State University, from dependence on declining state funding. ASU has grown into an online education powerhouse since Crow took the helm 17 years ago, and the president has earned a reputation as one of the most innovative university leaders. But not everyone thinks that’s a good thing, as critics complain that he’s too corporate and has turned the state university into what one author called “a factory of credentialing.” Crow argues that he’s creating a prototype of a “new American university” that cares more about opening access to diverse students than chasing high rankings in U.S. News.

Amazon's big internet plan: 3,236 satellites to beam faster, cheaper web to millions - Liam Tung, ZDnet

Amazon has plans to establish a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit to patch up areas with poor or no internet connectivity. The documents were filed by Kuiper Systems LLC. First spotted by Geekwire, the documents reveal Amazon plans to put 3,236 satellites at three different altitudes. There would be 784 satellites orbiting at an altitude of 367 miles (590km); 1,296 satellites at 379 miles (610km); and 1,156 satellites at 391-mile (630km). An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the existence of Amazon's satellite broadband ambitions, noting that it was a "long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet".

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Will artificial intelligence make the college classroom more accessible? - Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive

As AI technology steers colleges away from a one-size-fits-all approach, it is helping them make progress on one of their most long-running goals: making higher ed more accessible to all types of learners. It is doing that in several ways. Among them, by scanning class materials for accessibility issues, improving learning tools for students with disabilities and offering personalized resources for learners who may need additional support, such as those who speak English as a second language. AI stands to open the door to levels of accessibility that weren't possible before, and its effects extend to the entire student body.

Doing More With Data - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

A growing number of colleges and employers are working together to better use labor-market data in postsecondary training. Two experts discuss what's possible and what's needed. The tight labor market is helping prod employers and colleges to cooperate more closely to ensure that credentials pay off in the work force. And solid data on the labor market and student outcomes are key to this collaboration.

EdX as a New OPM: “We Can Change the Economics of Customer Acquisition and Retention” - IBL News

Adam Medros, President and CCO at edX, explained in a video-interview with IBL News the new business model that edX Inc is adding to its strategy to become financially sustainable. Medros elaborated on the B2B, the edX For Business initiative, which he defined as “a natural extension of selling in bulk what is already available for B2C”. He also referred to edX’s new “Lean OPM” model. “Online Master’s is a fantastic market opportunity: we can change affordability, accessibility, and the cost of offering a degree,” he explained. The main value of the edX (and Coursera, too) offer in this area is the cost of acquisition per learner. Usually, with 2U and other traditional OPMs the cost of getting a student goes beyond $5,000, experts told IBL.