Thursday, September 20, 2018

Close the distance - Kathleen Golden, Smart Brief

Online courses give learners and instructors flexible class options, but they also pose difficulties that instructors must overcome. Research shows that online students crave more interactions with their peers and instructors. Unfortunately, it’s challenging to forge meaningful connections with people in the course through email or text-driven forums alone. The distance between students and their instructor often creates a divide -- one that’s been proven to affect learning outcomes as well as student satisfaction. Video assessment can help online teachers bridge this divide. Video assessment refers to instructors evaluating recordings of students completing a task, demonstrating a skill or any other activity that showcases their knowledge.

Sullivan University’s Northern Kentucky Center for Learning has closed; majority studying online - Northern Kentucky Tribune

Sullivan University’s Center for Learning- Northern Kentucky closed its doors over the weekend. A spokesperson for the university said the majority of students were enrolling in online degrees or in the culinary programs in Louisville and Lexington. Vicki Berling, director of the center, confirmed the closing. Sullivan University is undergoing a significant reorganization, a merger of the Sullivan College of Technology and Design and Spencerian College into the university. This was approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and was final in June.

Q&A with Google on the future of search - Kimberly Collins, ClickZ

Search marketing is undergoing rapid transformation driven by new technologies. Artificial Intelligence, Voice Search, Visual Search, Amazon, and Blockchain all impact how we search for information and buy products and services online. This week we sat down with Juan Felipe Rinc√≥n, Global Lead of Trust & Safety Search Outreach at Google, to discuss his role at Google. He’ll be participating in a panel discussion with Google, Amazon, Bing, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Adobe.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Why there is so much more to eLearning than just Cost Reduction - Amit Garg, Upside Learning

eLearning has myriad benefits. Studies have shown that eLearning can reduce the overall training time by as much as 40% to 60%. This can help businesses cut down on the assorted expenses and experience a rise in productivity and in turn profitability. Besides the cost part, eLearning also offers several other paybacks for organizations. It provides easier tracking and record keeping, which means L&D can gauge the progress of learners, examine their weak areas and plan future courses based on this analysis. Most importantly, eLearning offers the flexibility of anytime, anywhere training, considering today’s workforce is a busy lot and may not have the time to take training sessions tethered to workstations or training bays. Another advantage is that in a dynamic market where time matters the most, eLearning provides quicker delivery cycles as compared to traditional classroom-based instruction. Learners can set their own pace of learning and can focus on specific elements of the program while skipping what they already know.

AI will create $13 trillion in value by 2030 - Liam Tung, ZD Net

McKinsey's latest forecast of AI's impact on the global economy is that it will have generated $13 trillion in economic activity across the world by 2030, despite causing upheaval for many people. The company expects AI will add about 1.2 percent of additional GDP growth per year through to 2030, which is much higher than the steam engine's boost to human productivity of 0.3 percent per year between 1850 and 1910, and twice the impact IT had in the 2000s. The company is expecting AI's impact on growth to accelerate as the world approaches 2030 and that companies that move first on the technology will capture most of the benefits at the expense of companies that fail to adopt them. The company estimates that 14 percent of the world's workers will need to change occupations and move to new sectors or different geographies.

More than any generation on record, Gen Z wants financial security - Janet Adamy with Visuals by Tyler Paige and Jieqian Zhang, Wall Street Journal

“They have a stronger work ethic,” says Jean Twenge, a San Diego State University psychology professor whose book “iGen” analyzes the group. “They’re really scared that they’re not going to get the good job that everybody says they need to make it.” Just 30% of 12th-graders wanted to be self-employed in 2016, according to the Michigan survey, which has measured teen attitudes and behaviors since the mid-1970s. That is a lower rate than baby boomers, Gen X, the group born between 1965 and 1980, and most millennials when they were high-school seniors. Gen Z’s name follows Gen X and Gen Y, an early moniker for the millennial generation.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

College students say they want a degree for a job. Are they getting what they want? - Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post

A recent Harris Poll found that two-thirds of 14- to 23-year-old students want a degree to provide financial security, ranking it above all else when it comes to their motivation for going to college. At the same time, fewer students are majoring in the humanities, according to newly released government data. More flock toward science, technology, engineering and math majors — known collectively as STEM — that they think will burnish their employment prospects. While unemployment among recent college graduates is at historic lows, underemployment is not. Some 40 percent of college graduates are underemployed, meaning they are in jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree. Colleges have been slow to react to this shift in the mind-set of students, largely resisting efforts to make campuses look and act more like trade schools — and for good reason.

$10M gift expands William & Mary online MBA program - James Paterson, Education Dive

The College of William & Mary will expand its online graduate business degree offerings through the new School of Business Center for Online Learning funded by a longtime supporter's $10 million gift, one of the largest donations the department has ever received. The W&M Raymond A. Mason School of Business will offer a wider array of students more access to online graduate-level instruction. The center is the next step in the college's plan established five years ago to offer an MBA online, which started in 2015, and a business analytics master's degree, which launched this summer. Officials say they expect to quadruple online offerings soon. W&M has one of the lowest student-to-teacher ratios among U.S. institutions, according to college officials, including in its online business school courses. They also say the low ratios help attract prominent faculty members to the online business program, which has an average retention rate of about 90%, above the national average.

UT Grant Awards to Three Faculty for Open Education - Rachel Radom, UT Knoxville

Are you concerned about the amount of debt students take on en route to graduation? Three faculty are moving to open textbooks and open educational resources (OER) this year in order to save students money and encourage student–and teaching–success. For a one-time investment of $4,750 grant dollars and faculty time, these adoptions of OER and open textbooks will save students $120,000 dollars every academic year. Kenneth Kihm (Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering), Joanne Logan (Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science), and Barbara Murphy (Music Theory) received awards ranging from $750 to $1,750 for adopting open textbooks and creating OER. They received mini-grants from a partnership with the Division of Student Life, the University Libraries, and UT’s Open Textbook Working Group to help them make the transition to OER.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Today's College Students Aren't Who You Think They Are - Elissa Nadworny, NPR

So here's a snapshot of the 17 million Americans enrolled in undergraduate higher education, according to numbers culled by the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • 1 in 5 is at least 30 years old 
  • About half are financially independent from their parents 
  • 1 in 4 is caring for a child 
  • 47 percent go to school part time at some point 
  • A quarter take a year off before starting school 
  • 2 out of 5 attend a two-year community college 
  • 44 percent have parents who never completed a bachelor's degree

Workforce development, entrepreneurship are growing priorities for public research universities - Hallie Busta, Education Dive

Land grant and other large research universities are taking on the mantle of workforce development and fostering entrepreneurship — long the domain of community colleges and vocational programs — and that federal government partnerships are essential to doing so, the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities explained in a policy position paper released Wednesday. The paper discusses five areas that universities and federal policymakers must address to ensure higher education institutions are meeting workforce needs. Those include supporting rural communities, establishing American leadership in advanced manufacturing, and bolstering innovation and entrepreneurship within institutions. The high-level recommendations are intended as a reference point for progress achieved by partnerships to date as well as a jumping-off point for future collaborations.

Textbook Trade-Offs - Emma Whitford, Inside Higher Ed

It's well documented that textbooks aren't cheap, but for some students, affording course materials takes priority over paying for meals or flights home, or pursuing their first choice of major. A new study by Morning Consult for Cengage, an educational technology and services company, asked 1,651 current and former college students how purchasing textbooks figures into their financial picture. Forty-one percent of those students said that textbooks and other course materials had "somewhat of an impact" on their financial situation, and 46 percent said that it had "a big impact." "We truly are in an access crisis," said Richard Baraniuk, a professor at Rice University and founder of OpenStax, a nonprofit that provides access to free digital editions of textbooks. "Over the past 40 years, college textbook prices have risen about 1,000 percent, which is extraordinary."

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Ex-Administrators Reveal the Secret That Eased Their Return to the Faculty By Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Former administrators like Pardun must adjust to a work life with fewer perks, less power, and different expectations from colleagues. In addition to reacquainting themselves with teaching and grading, many ex-administrators must jump-start their research after a lengthy hiatus. Don Chu, an academic-leadership consultant, says administrators are too busy managing other people’s problems to focus on their own priorities. That’s why former administrators are unlikely to successfully transition back to the faculty if they don’t take time to plot the move, said Chu, a retired dean. He held that position at three colleges over the course of his career, most recently at National University, a private nonprofit institution in California.

Students Get Immersive AI Boost to Learn Mandarin - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Imagine the process of going into a restaurant and ordering food. Simultaneously, you could be glancing through the menu while also listening to and speaking with the waiter or your companions. When you're in a place where people are speaking a different language, the complexity of those activities increases multifold. A project taking place at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) hopes to understand how the use of an immersive environment and artificial intelligence can help students practice foreign language skills and increase their confidence when speaking. The researchers are using simulated experiences to test out their ideas. The Cognitive Immersive Room, or "situation room," allows students to feel as though they're in restaurant in China, a garden or a Tai Chi class. While immersed in the environment, they practice speaking Mandarin with an AI chat agent powered by IBM Watson. The immersive classroom was developed by the Cognitive and Immersive Systems Lab, a research collaboration between IBM Research and RPI. The space taps several technologies: speech-to-text, natural language understanding and computer vision.

New Resource Offers Ideas for Advocating OER Adoption - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Lumen Learning has created an online resource to help proponents of open educational resources make the case for OER use on campus. The OER Champion Playbook offers a collection of ideas, tips and tools for building effective OER initiatives. The content spans five categories: Making the Case for OER; Measuring Impact with OER; Building Awareness & Enthusiasm; Supporting Faculty through Change; and Sustaining Change & Impact. Each category provides a variety of suggested activities, each with links to additional information, worksheets, examples and more.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Learning Blockchain - by Tom Vander Ark, Forbes

Juha Mikkola, co-founder of Wyncode Academy, a coding school, said some developers are being paid double the going rate for their blockchain experience. "It's not just tech companies that need this talent, it's real-estate, non-profits, and banks," Mikkola said. Leading university computer science programs have been quick to respond. According to new research, 42 percent of the top 50 universities in the world offer at least one course on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. MIT offers a six-week online blockchain certificate program (in partnership with 2U). Oxford offers a similar six-week certificate program (also powered by 2U).

How Is The Skills Transformation Impacting Modern Work? - Anant Agarwal, Forbes

Today, there’s a new shift happening in our digital and service-focused economy: rapid skills transformation. The job market is changing so rapidly that the skills needed to perform these jobs transform every few years, intensifying pressure on workers to learn continually and, in some cases, transition entirely into new and emerging fields. EdX recently conducted a survey of 1,000 consumers aged 25-44 and found that 29% of respondents had completely changed fields since starting their first job post-college. Strikingly, only about 20% of those surveyed said that the education from their college major still applied to their current field. The career fluidity illustrated by this survey is a far cry from factory workers who’d spend decades at the same station.

The Age of Automation Demands that Students Learn Soft Skills - Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

It’s a hard number to comprehend: 800 million jobs could be lost to automation in the next decade. While some doubt that the number will be quite so high, even if it is off by a factor of ten, it will have an enormous impact on society. Wise educators and other stakeholders need to ask: How best do we prepare students for the coming age of automation? It is hard to determine all of the contours of the answer, but one seems clear: the age of automation demands that students learn soft skills.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Will big brands disrupt higher education? - Daniel Pianko, Carol D’Amico, Tech Crunch

In the years to come, who will hospitality hiring managers trust to credential students: Cornell University or the Four Seasons? Will it be Google or Penn State that sets the standards that determine who qualifies as a good computer programmer? Could GE define competency in aeronautic engineering rather than Vaughn College? Should employers place more value in a fashion credential backed by the editors of Vogue or the Pratt Institute? The formula is simple: Well-structured, branded programs will be superior to an unbranded degree. They will give elite institutions a run for their money. It’s only a matter of time before the U.S. News & World Report rankings are riddled with global brands.

Why More Colleges Should Treat Students Like Numbers - Kevin Carey, Washington Monthly

A few universities are using predictive analytics to boost student success. Are they outliers—or the wave of the future? USF and a small but growing number of colleges and universities are at the forefront of using information technology and advanced statistical analysis to see students in whole new ways. By sifting through vast stores of information that have accumulated in various administrative and educational data systems, they are discovering patterns about students that they never knew about before—why some succeed while others fail, and what can be done to help them. As a result, they’re starting to crack the stubborn, widespread problem of high college dropout rates, and point toward a future where besieged public institutions can continue to thrive.

Closing the digital and economic divides in rural America - Nicol Turner-Lee, Brookings

Digital exclusion comes with costs. Rural residents are at risk of being marginalized in an information-rich economy where digital transactions and commercial sharing services are becoming more relevant. Already facing diminished life chances, people with lower incomes, people of color, the elderly, and foreign-born migrants in rural areas run the risk of being on the wrong side of the digital divide that further exacerbates their economic, social, and political marginalization.