Thursday, May 26, 2016

Common Active Learning Mistakes - Richard M. Felder and Rebecca Brent, Tomorrow's Professor

Active learning is an easy and remarkably robust teaching method that functions well in every conceivable academic setting – a claim supported by a mountain of literature. Instructors who start using it often limit its effectiveness by making certain mistakes, however, and many drop the method when the results disappoint them or they experience vigorous student resistance. Table 6.5-1 lists six mistakes to avoid when you use active learning and strategies to avoid making them, and the paragraphs that follow elaborate on the strategies.

Facebook Schools MOOCs on Engagement - Jason Schmitt, EdSurge

If MOOCs want to build student engagement, they may want to take a lesson from Facebook. That’s the takeaway from a recent study by researchers at Pennsylvania State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who found students favor using Facebook groups over MOOC forums in part because they have more positive interactions on the social media site and feel a stronger sense of community there. Trust plays a role; on Facebook the students tended to use their “real” names and could see one another’s profiles. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory analyzed data on student use of forums for three MOOCs from Coursera and course-related Facebook groups, and interviewed instructors and a dozen students. The research was presented at the ACM conference on Learning at Scale.

State education budgets down 17% since recession, report finds - Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

States have cut higher ed spending by an average of 17% since 2007, a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found. While some states have begun increasing their spending again, only four — North Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming — have surpassed pre-recession spending levels. To compensate, institutions have raised tuition by 33% in the same timeframe.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Continuing Education Divisions as Impact Agents in Online Initiatives - Vickie Cook and Gayla Stoner, Evolllution

Continuing Education divisions have an opportunity to work with their institutions to impact change through standalone centers focused on supporting campus-wide online program development. This article will look at seven key components that will benefit an institution’s centralized approach led by the CE Division as well as the impact of this standalone center approach on the long-term sustainability of a CE Division.

Online Courses Just Got Personal - Aly Laube, the Runner

Kwantlen Polytechnic University instructor David Burns is aiming to make higher education easier for full-time workers, parents, and students travelling abroad. He created his own Small Private Online Course (SPOC) to teach his Education 1100 classes. Where most current online courses are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) that are often based on a series of video lectures, the SPOC is “tailored to students needs, applied and responsive.” Burns keeps his courses personal by “making more of the course material responsive,” and using his free time to have “a lot of lectures and activities online [and] more office hours,” than he ever had while teaching in classrooms. He created all of the materials from scratch, whether they were podcasts, videos, or more traditional mediums, to make them as interesting as possible.

What’s Your Type? Making Online Education Work #infographic - Affordable Colleges

A useful collection of data by type of online student is provided in this infographic. This may be a good orientation to those who are unfamiliar with the growing importance of online learning.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

New Workers, New Skills - Marina Gorbis, EDUCAUSE Review

As the world of work undergoes transformation, new worker categories are emerging—people who, by choice or by necessity, are thinking about making a living in new ways and who are putting work into a very different context. At the Institute for the Future (IFTF), our team of ethnographers has been exploring these new worker categories while conducting in-depth interviews and observations in various locations around the United States. These workers span different levels of skills and different levels of engagement with work, from those who simply rent their assets (e.g., homes, cars) to generate income streams to those who work in new ways full-time. Such workers include micro-workers, dream builders, amplified entrepreneurs, and makers and hackers.

Penn State Responds to Surge of Interest in Skills-Based Online Teaching Certificate - EdSurge

Last fall Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus launched a small, free skills-focused certificate program meant to help 30 graduate students develop online teaching abilities—but 350 actually showed up, and now the university plans to shake up its professional development to reflect the swell of interest. Laurence Boggess, director of faculty development for the World Campus, told Inside Higher Ed he believes this reflects a larger shift: “These graduate students who are about to go off and be the professors of the future, they get it. They understand that they’re going to be teaching online at some point, and they understand that online education—for better or worse—is not going anywhere.”

E-learning makes basic employment skills available to all - ELSAMARI BOTHA, HR News

The exponential rate of information has led to the creation of a new kind of educator: low-cost, on-demand, short-length education providers, providing courses on everything from gardening to robotics at lower costs than traditional universities and colleges. These are generally divided into two types: immersive educators such as Hack Bright that tend to focus on computer programming and massive open online courses (MOOC) such as Coursera that focus on collaborative and individualised learning. The growth of immersives and especially MOOCs around the world is a sign of how quickly digital innovation is changing the world and jobs market. The skills required for the new jobs on the cutting edge of innovation are changing rapidly and new job types are being created all the time. As innovative as the alternative educators have been, they have targeted the higher-income population group.

Monday, May 23, 2016

University of Iowa investigating cheating among online students - Vanessa Miller, the Gazette

Safeguards in place to prevent cheating among University of Iowa online students recently detected “potential irregularities” during an exam, prompting the institution to launch an academic misconduct investigation. The revelations came after ProctorU, a national proctoring service that the university partners with to provide identity verification for several online courses, alerted UI officials that at least 30 students enrolled in online courses might have tried to cheat by having other people take their tests. The proctoring service flagged potential instances of cheating through discrepancies in identification provided by test-takers in one or more exams and — in some cases — in multiple courses. A statement provided by UI spokeswoman Jeneane Beck says the institution is reviewing each case and will determine appropriate next steps.

3 Ways Online Students Might Take Exam - Bobbie Lynn Eicher, US News

Different programs have different test-taking requirements and might proctor exams in person or online. Some programs will require that students have the proper equipment needed to take tests online, such as a microphone and webcam. Few students would cite exams as their favorite part of being in school, but doing well on them is crucial to surviving most academic programs. Being an online student means never having to sit in a classroom overseen by a professor and surrounded by others taking the same test, but online programs have still found ways to examine what students know.

How a telepresence robot is changing some classrooms - LAURA DEVANEY, eSchool News

Thanks to recent strides in robotics and mobile devices, telepresence technology has opened up numerous possibilities at both the K-12 and higher-ed levels, where remote observation and communication can come in handy. Educators and students are exploring a new way to remotely observe and interact with colleagues and peers with a telepresence robot that enables face-to-face communication. Using Kubi, from Revolve Robotics, users download an app onto a tablet and connect the tablet to Kubi using Bluetooth. The tablet sits on a robotic platform. Other users can then “navigate” to Kubi with a browser. This lets them control the robot remotely over the web, including moving it for face-to-face communication.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

5 ways adaptive learning is evolving - LAURA DEVANEY, eCampus News

A new report examines how adaptive learning is changing both the institutional and supplier landscapes. It’s changing the way faculty teach, building new features into technology products for institutions, and is slowly coming out of the test pilot bubble. Learning to Adapt 2.0 notes that institutions will need to address cost, access and quality of adaptive learning tools to ensure success. It also provides an overview of the supplier landscape. In the report, the firm defines adaptive learning as “solutions that take a sophisticated, data-driven, and in some cases, non-linear approach to instruction and remediation, adjusting to each learner’s interactions and demonstrated performance level and subsequently anticipating what types of content and resources meet the learner’s needs at a specific point in time.”

3 blossoming fields of study with massive potential - MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

For institutions eager to help their students not only leap into the job market, but enter a future-proof career, these fields of study are wise investments. As students become more concerned with leveraging their postsecondary education for entry into the job market, colleges and universities must look beyond traditional fields of study to ones that directly lead to future-ready careers. Future-ready, or future-proof, careers refer to careers that not only have a significant number of current job openings, but whose openings are expected to increase in the future. These careers also offer competitive salaries, and are available in multiple markets (i.e. business, education, healthcare, etc.). Using data from job-hunting site Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., as well as recent research from the education sector, eCampus News lists three burgeoning fields of study that any campus would do well to incorporate into their curricula.

Can Facebook boost MOOC retention? - LAURA DEVANEY, eCampus News

A new study on MOOC course design reveals that students prefer Facebook’s collaboration and interaction features to those of built-in MOOC communication tools. Social media tools might be the key to keeping students engaged in MOOCs and preventing course dropouts, according to new research on MOOC course design that was presented at the annual ACM conference on Learning at Scale on April 26. A study comparing students’ use of their MOOC course’s built-in message boards and forums to the same students’ use of course Facebook groupe revealed that students seemed more engaged in the Facebook groups. Students told researchers they preferred social media interaction to interacting with the MOOC communication tools. Results of the study have implications for future MOOC course design, the researchers said in their paper, parts of which are available by registering for the Learning at Scale flipped conference online.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Survey: Instructional Designers 'Pivotal' in Tech Adoption - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Managing projects is the most common task instructional designers undertake during their days, followed by technology and pedagogical training. Their biggest obstacle to success on the job is faculty resistance. The most important expertise they possess as a whole is the ability to learn new technologies, followed by project management and learning science or theory. Their favorite tools to work with are Camtasia and Adobe products; their least-favorite are Blackboard and learning management systems in general. Those are some of the findings that have come out of a new survey undertaken by Intentional Futures, a self-described "strategy and design studio," undertaken on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's "Next Generation Courseware Challenge."

Popularity of Online and Community Learning Predicted to Boost the demand for Flipped Classrooms Through 2020, Says Technavio - Business Wire

According to the latest research study released by Technavio, the global flipped classroom market is expected to record a CAGR of over 37% by 2020. This research report titled ‘Global Flip Classroom Market 2016-2020’, provides an in-depth analysis of market growth in terms of revenue and emerging market trends. This market research report also includes up to date analysis and forecasts for various product segments, including software, hardware, and services. “In the flipped learning model, learning content is provided to the students primarily in the form of video and audio lectures before a classroom session begins. Teachers design lectures that act as study materials for students to ensure that they have some knowledge of the subject before the in-class session.

ASU President Michael Crow on innovation, tenure and meeting demands - Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow took the reigns of the university 14 years ago, and under his leadership, the institution has implemented a number of programs and innovations, including the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, the University Innovation Alliance, eAdvisor, Learn-Explore-Advance-Design, ASU 101, the Student 360 view and retention dashboard. Arizona State has an 86% freshman retention rate, thanks in no small part to its concentrated efforts around the Global Freshman Academy, which Crow says "draws in students who, because of life balance or a need for greater confidence, have shied away from attempting higher education," and the institution's First-Year Success Center — "which pairs highly trained upper-division graduate students with freshmen and sophomores to offer free, personal academic support and advocacy."

Friday, May 20, 2016

Taking Competency-Based Credentials Seriously in the Workforce - John K. Waters, Campus Technology

Companies like AT&T and Google are expanding their partnerships with online education providers, creating new educational pathways to real jobs. It sounds cutting-edge, but the concept of a competency-based education that results in an institution-agnostic microcredential isn't new. For well over a century, industries have worked with colleges and universities through various types of extension programs to salt the workforce with better-qualified candidates. But in the Age of the Internet, for-profit online education providers such as Udacity and Coursera have tweaked that model by collaborating with companies to develop programs tailored to their specific needs. AT&T was one of the first companies to work with the new generation of online education providers to develop a credentialing program designed to fill a specific staffing gap.

Over 50% of Pandora Listeners Consider Online Classes a Top Factor in Choosing a Graduate Program - TERRI WILLIAMS, Good Call

Over 50% of Pandora Listeners Consider Online Classes a Top Factor in Choosing a Graduate Program Research shows that obtaining the right graduate school degree can increase an applicant’s or employee’s level of competitiveness. In fact, a recent survey reveals that 27% of employers want a master’s degree for positions that previously required a bachelor’s degree. And, a graduate degree can also boost salaries by as much as $17,000 a year. Online program options appear to be a factor among would-be graduate students. According to a recent survey of Pandora listeners, 52% consider online classes a top enrollment influencer for graduate programs.

Granite Geek: The art of college and online learning - DAVID BROOKS, Concord Monitor

MOOCs were a hot new thing three or four years ago when they looked as if they might upend the traditional college business model. “Structures” is part of EdX, a compilation of MOOCs from a variety of high-profile universities around the world that was created by MIT and Harvard. The advantage of the approach is obvious: it’s a great way to spread education. May says a whopping 15,000 students have taken the class. She plans to use a rerun for research into educational methods, performing so-called A/B tests in which single variables of the approach are tweaked for different groups so the results can be compared.