Thursday, March 5, 2015

How Cornell is training the next engineering generation-for free - eCampus News

Cornell University’s College of Engineering and ANSYS are training future engineers worldwide to become proficient in engineering simulation solutions. Through the SimCafe wiki, which was developed in part with National Science Foundation support, students at Cornell and elsewhere are preparing themselves for success by learning to use–for free–the same tools utilized by thousands of engineers in virtually every industry. ANSYS donated the simulation software for the development of the site. SimCafe has helped integrate simulation into 12 mechanical and aerospace engineering courses at Cornell.

Social Interaction in Self-paced Distance Education - Terry Anderson, Lorne Upton, Jon Dron & Judi Malone, Open Praxis

In this paper we present a case study of a self-paced university course that was originally designed to support independent, self-paced study at distance. We developed a social media intervention, in design-based research terms, that allows these independent students to contribute archived content to enhance the course, to engage in discussions with other students and to share as little or as much personal information with each other as they wished. We describe the learning design for the intervention and present survey data of student and tutor perception of value and content analysis of the archived contributions. The results indicate that the intervention was positively received by tutors and by the majority (but not all) students and that the archive created by the students’ contributions was adding value to the course. We conclude that the intervention was a modest, yet manageable example of a learning enhancement to a traditional cognitive-behavioral, course that has positive impact and potential with little negative impact on workload.

Libraries in the Digital Age? Yes, They're Still Crucial - Center for Digital Education

Creative workspaces for people to collaborate on computer-based projects. Shared databases among public school, municipal, state and academic libraries. Help for the unemployed in preparing job applications. Those services already are among the many you can find in libraries that are becoming a one-stop shop for people not only in need of information, but also seeking access to modern information technology. And they may represent just the tip of the iceberg in libraries’ continuing journey beyond the stacks. A panel with librarians, an archivist and an educator last Saturday at St. John’s College helped open audience members’ eyes to the many roles already filled by libraries – a reality, panel members said, that many policy-makers sadly are not that familiar with.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Business Schools Bet On Technology To Gain Digital Edge - Seb Murray, Business Because

As they scramble to understand emerging digital threats, business schools are adopting learning technology at a rapid pace. Innovation in education is often a slow and painstaking process but the speed with which business schools are adopting learning technology has become rapid. As they scramble to understand emerging digital threats, big-brand schools Wharton, INSEAD, MIT Sloan and Harvard Business School are all investing in online education. International companies, including Accenture and Google, have also joined the fray. To advocates of learning technology, the future of education is in digital delivery. “Given the increasing importance of online for management education, being a leader is important,” says Peter Zemsky, dean of innovation and strategic initiatives at INSEAD, “especially as business schools are teaching how to adapt to changing technologies and business models.”

Data Doomsday Preppers - Shelly Palmer Cyber Security

Data Doomsday Preppers should assume that every computer exposed to the public Internet is vulnerable to attack, even if it predominantly attaches to the outside world through a VPN (virtual private network). Remember, Joseph Heller's famous phrase: “Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.” Importantly, Data Doomsday Prepping is not a replacement for vigilant cyber security measures. You should encrypt your data, and use every practical security tool to help keep the amateur bad guys at bay. Data Doomsday Preppers fear weapons-grade super cyber attacks and professional bad guys. Which begs for the question, "Is Data Doomsday even possible?" Not only do I think it's possible... I think it's likely.

Startups Driving Innovation in Higher Education - Steven Macek, Startup Hook

Higher education is an industry that is currently undergoing significant transformation, with numerous startups being founded to challenge the traditional service model. There are two central problems that innovators are trying to solve:  Cost and Access. By connecting students to learning opportunities that they would otherwise not have had, coursera has a model that is tackling the issues of both cost and access for individuals across the developed and developing worlds. Via its UCROO platform, eddi has introduced an important social aspect to the way in which online coursework is accessed.  With countless other startups challenging the status quo in education, this is one industry set for significant change.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Competency-Based Education Network announces new cohort of member institutions - C-BEN

Thirteen institutions and two public systems representing 40 campuses join colleges and universities addressing shared challenges to designing, developing, and scaling high-quality competency-based degree programs. The Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) on Tuesday announced 15 new members. This cohort will join the network, supported by Lumina Foundation and managed by Public Agenda, on March 3 when the national group comprising a total of 30 institutions and four public systems with 82 campuses meets for a three-day working session in Austin. Competency-based degree programs are promising approaches to helping educate more Americans, because they hold potential as a better way to plan, organize, deliver, and support education for students who are not well served by traditional academic instruction. C-BEN was formed a year ago in response to clear demand from colleges and universities that had been building competency-based models in isolation. Today, these leading institutions are working collaboratively to accelerate progress on shared challenges around program design and integrity, business processes and systems, and vendor relations to build models capable of scaling to serve many more students from all backgrounds.

Study reveals tough economic road for young adults - Dan DeLuca, News-Press

Millennials are the best educated group of young adults in American history but are earning about $2,000 less per year than their parents did in 1980. That seemingly contradictory equation is among the demographic data revealed in a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau, "Young Adults Then and Now," which focuses on the 18-34 age group. The analysis included data from the 1980, 1990 and 2000 censuses as well as the 2009-13 American Community Survey.

Innovative learning options can help build workforce -Veronica Stidvent, My San Antonio

According to estimates by the Texas comptroller, between 2000 and 2010, the younger-than-18 population in Texas grew by 17 percent — a full 6.5 percent faster than the U.S. average. Those 979,000 young Texans could become the most skilled workforce in the nation if even half of them attain some level of education beyond a high school degree. Then there are the more than 3 million adult Texans who have yet to earn a college degree. The right education and core competencies in high-demand fields must be met. Texas has quantity, but we need to ensure that the growing population in Texas also includes high quality college graduates. Traditional two- and four-year college degrees are an important part of the solution for developing a quality workforce in these fast growth fields. But we need state leaders to embrace policies and funding that ensure Texans have access to a variety of affordable and flexible options for education and training.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Median Salaries of Senior College Administrators, 2014-15 - Chronicle of Higher Ed

For the second consecutive year, the rate of salary growth for senior administrators at public colleges outpaced that of their peers at private institutions, according to a survey released on Monday by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. At public institutions, the median base salary of senior administrators in 2014-15 rose by 2.5 percent, compared with an increase of 2.3 percent for officials at private colleges. Over all, pay for senior college administrators rose by 2.4 percent. (see the URL below for the tables of median salaries for nearly 200 position titles)

Public's voice missing in Legislature's rush to cut UW System budget - Tom Still, Journal Sentinel

In the few weeks since it became public, Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to cut $300 million from the University of Wisconsin System budget has produced three schools of thought within the state's business community. School

No. 1 — Perhaps the only way to get the UW System's attention is to threaten to shut off its water. School

No. 2 — Harming the state's largest single source of talent and cutting-edge research is economically dangerous, especially over time. School

No. 3 — There has to be a better way to conduct a major policy debate.

Program offers online certificate for adjunct faculty, journalism teachers - Arizona State University

Arizona State University's Cronkite School and the Poynter Institute are offering an online training seminar for adjunct faculty and others who teach journalism. The Poynter Institute and Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication are accepting registrations for an innovative online certificate program for adjunct faculty and others who teach journalism and mass communication classes at universities and colleges across the country. The course, offered through Poynter’s highly successful e-learning platform, News University (NewsU), provides adjuncts with the skills necessary to be effective teachers. Registration is available at

Wiley College embraces distance learning - Rebecca Holland, Marshall News

Wiley College, in 2013, created its Center for Excellence in Distance Learning, with four goals in mind. The college wanted its center to be a forum for dialogue on virtual teaching and learning at historically black colleges and universities; to be a network of distance learning decision-makers, practitioners and researchers; to form a partnership between historically black colleges and universities and others with like purposes; and to be a place for research, collaboration, dissemination and innovation in distance learning, faculty development, continuing education and global initiatives.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

How Course Web Design Impacts Student Engagement - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

When Instructure began analyzing the course designs for its higher ed customers, the LMS company discovered something about getting students to interact with the online elements of their courses. Cloud-based applications have the advantage of generating lots of usage data that can give developers insights about how customers are using their products. Rarely, however, do companies share the data publicly. But that's exactly what Instructure did when it released an interesting infographic offering summary data from 387 colleges and universities that have used its learning management platform for at least two years. Although the company shares all kinds of data points of interest in the compilation, what really stands out is the analysis Instructure offers on course Web site design. According to Jared Stein, vice president of the company's research and education division, the company enlisted experienced instructional designers to evaluate a number of course designs and rate the "navigational complexity" of those designs against a rubric.

Intro to Global Dance: ‘Cloud-breaking’ course takes dance online, into GCP - Webster University

How do you have a dance class online? Webster University students from across the globe are actively addressing that question in the Department of Dance’s flagship online course: Introduction to Global Dance. Adjunct faculty member Betsy Brandt, an interdisciplinary scholar and dancer, choreographer, teacher, dramaturge, and writer, created the eight-week course as the first online and Global Citizenship Program course available from the Department of Dance in Webster’s Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts. “Betsy Brandt’s tremendous work on this course has been an exciting addition to the Department of Dance course offerings,” said James Robey, Department of Dance chair.

MOOCs transform learning experience - Steven Mintz, Daily Texan

Established by the Board of Regents in 2012, the University of Texas System’s Institute for Transformational Learning has a bold mandate: to leverage technology to make a UT quality education more accessible, affordable and successful, especially among populations that higher education has too often failed. The ITL has supported a number of initiatives at UT Austin including innovative online delivery of a large number of “gateway” classes and development of nine massive online courses, or MOOCs, that have reached nearly a quarter of a million students globally. Right now, ITL’s energies focus on ways to better serve non-traditional students: low-income students, first-generation college students, part-time students, commuting students, working adults, family caregivers and students with some college and no degree.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Managing Constant Change - Jonathan Blake Huer, Educause Review

If you are in higher education using technology, you may often feel like your hotly anticipated, recently purchased technology solution is obsolete by the time the delivery person drops it off. If we are truly on "the back half of the chessboard,"1 the rapid pace of technological change will only continue to increase. Depending on your view, this either causes constant disruption or presents constant opportunity. Are you being disrupted? Or are you the disruptor? How should the academy—bound by deep tradition and extensive regulations—manage this increasing onslaught of change?

Enrollment in MITx MOOCs: Are We Educating Educators? - Daniel Thomas Seaton, Cody Coleman, Jon Daries, and Isaac Chuang, Educause Review

Surveys of 11 MITx courses on edX in spring 2014 found that one in four (28.0 percent) respondents identified as past or present teachers. Of the survey respondents, nearly one in 10 (8.7 percent) identified as current teachers. Although they represent only 4.5 percent of the nearly 250,000 enrollees, responding teachers generated 22.4 percent of all discussion forum comments. One in 12 of the total comments were made by current teachers, and one in 16 were from teachers with experience teaching the subject of the MITx course in which they enrolled.

Can online courses address India’s rising university demand? - Rob O'Brien, Enterprise Innovation

With student numbers rising and a shortage of faculty, massive open online courses (MOOCs) and small private online courses (SPOCS) are being viewed as a possible panacea in India. “There are more and more students wanting to study at college or university… it could almost double,” says Bijendra Nath Jain, Vice-Chancellor at Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani in Rajasthan, India. “There aren’t people wanting to become teachers [in India] – the only solution to the problem is technology. But who is going to embrace technology to solve these problems?”

Friday, February 27, 2015

One vision of tomorrow’s college: Cheap, and you get an education, not a degree - Kevin Carey, Washington Post

Higher education — increasingly unaffordable and unattainable — is on the verge of a transformation that not only could remedy that, but could change the role college plays in our society. Can you imagine the benefits of colleges having little bricks-and-mortar overhead, of each student being taught in ways scientifically tailored to their individual needs, of educators, students and researchers being able to capi­tal­ize on global intelligence? In “The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere,” Kevin Carey, director of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation, a public-policy think tank in Washington, lays out a provocative history of how the university system got to this point and one vision of the revolution that’s beginning because of digital innovation.

The Web's About To Get Faster - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Hypertext Transfer Protocol version 2 is a done deal. According to the chair of the HTTP working group within the Internet Engineering Task Force, the draft specification for HTTP/2, as it's known, was sent off to the Request for Comments (RFC) Editor, where it will officially become an Internet standard. The same delivery included the draft specs for HPACK, the format for header field compression to be used in HTTP/2. Currently, the most common version of HTTP in use is HTTP/1.1. The HTTP/2 standard is expected to speed up loading of Web pages by transporting data between browser and server. The new protocol is backward-compatible with the older protocol, and, importantly, it'll actually speed up activities by carrying more data in a single pass with each request to load the requested Web site.