Friday, April 17, 2015

The College Degrees And Skills Employers Most Want In 2015 - Susan Adams, Forbes

The hiring picture keeps getting better for college graduates. According to a new survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers are planning to hire 9.6% more graduates for their U.S. operations than they did from the class of 2014. That’s a one percent hike from the 8.6% gain a year ago and a significant jump from 2013, when employers said they would boost hiring by just 2.1% over the previous year. A non-profit group in Bethlehem, PA, NACE links college placement offices with employers. NACE’s questionnaire asked employers to rate the academic disciplines they target for their college hires. At the top of the list: engineering degrees. Some 72% of companies said they want to hire students set to graduate in that discipline. Sixty eight percent are looking for business majors and 58% want computer science majors. At the bottom of the list: health sciences, education and agriculture. Here is a chart showing employers’ hiring expectations by major:

Coming to a business school near you: disruption - Margaret Andrews, University World News

Over the past few years it seems you can’t read about higher education without thinking about how ripe it is for disruption. Rising costs, employer dissatisfaction with graduate skills, technology advances and new entrants are making the case for the need for new ways of thinking about and delivering education. Based on some recent developments, business schools may be the first to feel the heat. Clay Christensen, who popularised the idea of disruption, has written and spoken quite a bit about disruption in higher education in general, and the management education market in particular. So how is this beginning to play out in the management education sphere? There are many new initiatives afoot.

Tech-savvy seek dating help in online courses - Greta Kaul, Houston Chronicle

The 21st century version of the self-help book is an online course on how to get a date. And this is no tutorial on using but rather an online course — complete with a quiz and practice activities — in how to read body language and make good conversation. Udemy, an online course platform that enlists “everyday experts” to teach classes, helps people learn everything from programming to photography to marketing — and also how to approach the person you’re eyeing across the coffee shop. Udemy has seen its personal development offerings take off since about 2011, a year after it started, said Shannon Hughes, the company’s senior director of marketing. Though they’re a smaller share of the site’s course catalog, personal development classes are growing fast, and 77 of them — with nearly 52,000 students — cover dating and relationships.

Report: Schools Should Focus More on Soft Skills - Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal

A new study from Wainhouse Research finds that a large minority, 39 percent, of education stakeholders say their schools should be doing a better job of preparing students for the workforce. Among more than 1,000 administrators, teachers, students and parents surveyed from North America and the United Kingdom, "many" said they "believe that schools are doing a decent job focusing on the 3 R's: reading, writing and mathematics, but are not doing as good a job focusing on other aspects of education essential to preparing learners for entering the workforce," according to the report. Sixty percent of those surveyed said too little emphasis is placed on collaborations with other learners outside the classroom, while 46 and 40 percent, respectively, said there should be more emphasis on group achievement and working in teams.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Accreditation for alternative credentialing gaining traction - Tara GarcĂ­a Mathewson, Education Dive

Multiple ideas to accredit alternative credentialing pathways are gaining traction in a push to expand opportunities for nontraditional, post-secondary learning. Massive open online courses, coding bootcamps, and other programs offering “microcredentials” can’t currently accept federal financial aid because they’re not accredited, which ends up limiting access to low-income prospective students, Insider Higher Ed reports. Alternative pathways to accreditation include partnerships with accredited universities, the creation of new — state or federal — accreditation agencies, and authorization for existing accreditation agencies to do the job.

Higher Ed/Library Views Impact Final Net Neutrality Order - Jarret Cummings, EDUCAUSE

The FCC recently posted the full text of the network neutrality order it passed in late February. (Please see “FCC Votes to Restore Strong Net Neutrality Protections.”) An outline released after the vote highlighted the “no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization” rules that the order would impose. While those align with the views of the higher education/libraries coalition in which EDUCAUSE serves as a core member, the coalition looked forward to seeing if the order would address the other concerns it raised. And the order does.


Universal Design for Learning is a framework for the design of materials and instructional methods that are usable by a wide range of students. One aim of UDL is to provide full access to students with special needs, but it offers significant affordances for all students, allowing them to benefit from learning presented through multiple sensory avenues and a variety of conceptual frameworks. Early research about the influence of UDL is positive, showing that it improves engagement and performance among all students.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Arizona State U Teams with Private Partners on Adaptive Learning - Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

Arizona State University (ASU) has partnered with Cengage Learning and Knewton to develop new active learning systems for introductory courses. The goal of the partnership is to provide ASU students with personalized learning in introductory college courses and to let instructors spend more time supporting students and less time lecturing and managing the class. ASU's new "Active Adaptive" courses will use Knewton's adaptive learning platform within Cengage Learning's MindTap digital learning solution in an effort to achieve this goal. Together, ASU, Cengage Learning and Knewton will develop a series of Active Adaptive general education courses.

Minnesota Course evaluations will go online in fall - Haley Hansen, Minnesota Daily

The comments and critiques students make on their course evaluation forms at the end of this semester may influence other students’ future class selections. Come fall, parts of students’ end-of-semester course evaluations will be available online for other students to view when deciding what classes to take, a policy change students have spent years advocating for. While the information online won’t be about individual faculty members, it will be about specific classes, which some say could help students make better informed decisions when enrolling in courses.

More Business Schools Launch Online MBA Degrees To Hone Digital Edge - Seb Murray, Business Because

Top business schools have been investing heavily in digital learning environments, as the full-time MBA loses some of its lustre to shorter, online courses. The University of Southern California Marshall School of Business will offer an online MBA program focused on analytics, social media, virtual teams and entrepreneurial thinking – the latest top institution to tap into learning tech. Business schools have been investing heavily in digital learning environments, as the full-time MBA loses some of its lustre to shorter, online courses. USC Marshall’s online coursework will be conducted primarily in an asynchronous – flexible – format, with weekly, scheduled seminars conducted by faculty via webcam, and a one-week event on campus. The new program will incorporate live action cases, interactive exercises and virtual teamwork. John Matsusaka, USC Marshall online MBA academic director, said: “Online technologies continue to rapidly reshape our world.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2014-15 AAUP Faculty Compensation Survey (searchable) - Inside Higher Ed

The annual AAUP Faculty Compensation Survey is the largest independent source of data on full-time faculty salary and benefits at two- and four-year colleges and universities in the United States. The 2015 iteration of the survey includes information on salary and benefits for more than 375,000 faculty members from 1,136 institutions in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The survey, along with the accompanying "Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession," is published each year in the March–April issue of Academe, the AAUP's magazine. Inside Higher Ed below presents these data in an easily searchable database.

3 Ways You Can Use Nontraditional Education to Win the War for talent - Barry Salzberg, Fast Company

Approximately 70% of those currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in the U.S. are not doing so in what is thought of as the "traditional" college experience, according to the U.S. Education Department. Rather than studying full-time while living on a college campus and earning a degree after four years, they are studying part-time, withdrawing from college to work, and then returning later in life. Because of these changes, businesses need to expand how they approach finding future employees, hiring them, retaining them, and developing them. Here are some approaches they should consider:

University of Illinois increases free online college course development - Maggie Sullivan, Daily Illini

In an effort to compensate professors who spend time creating MOOCs, the University of Illinois Academic Senate is set to discuss a resolution on providing funding for professors who develop MOOCs. The University was the first land-grant university to partner with Coursera, one of the largest MOOC providers, Tucker said. “There is a brand recognition piece to this,” said Deanna Raineri, Associate Provost of Education Innovation. “We felt that this was a good opportunity for the University of Illinois to show the world that we have very high quality education here.” Students cannot earn credit toward their degree through most Moocs. However, Raineri believes in the future, MOOCs will be offered for college credit.

Harvard's Peter Bol, a leader in online learning, outlines the challenges and prospects ahead 0 Jennifer Doody, Harvard Gazette

I bring together three different areas. First is the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching, which has been concerned with pedagogy directed at advances in teaching and learning across the University. Next is HarvardX, founded two years ago to create open online learning content made accessible to the world through platforms like edX, for which Harvard and MIT made the initial investment. Then there’s a group devoted to research on teaching and learning in the online learning space, and I think we’ll see an increase in attention to residential teaching and learning as well. One of my goals is to ensure that what we do with HarvardX is also circulated through campus; that what we do in research not only improves the quality of our learning online, but also that the research on online learning and teaching can benefit the residential community here at Harvard, and build pedagogy across the schools.

Monday, April 13, 2015

3,118 applicants accepted as freshmen by University of Florida, Gainesville required to take first year online - SOPHIE JANE EVANS, Daily Mail

More than 3,000 students are facing an unexpected decision after they received acceptance notices from the University of Florida - only to find they would have to spend a year taking online classes. The 3,118 unidentified applicants were presumably delighted when they were accepted as freshmen by the university in Gainesville for the fall after sending in applications for traditional first-year slots. But after reading their congratulations notices, they apparently realized they would need to agree to spend their entire first year taking classes on the Internet in order to attend the public college. The classes are part of a new program - the Pathway to Campus Enrollment (PaCE) - which started in 2015 and aims to accommodate a higher number of students, The Washington Post reported.

Adult education models change; needs, passions remain - Mitch LeClair, St. Cloud Times

Options for adult education have adjusted to modern needs throughout history, but technological advancements of the last few decades have accelerated the pace. It's happening in European countries, India, China — and Minnesota. New methods of teaching are drawing learners away from traditional models, affecting how employers and students view degrees, other certifications and education in general.

ACCA Debuts Online Learning Venture - MICHAEL COHN, Accounting Today

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants has introduced ACCA-X, a set of online learning courses for accountants and financial professionals. The courses will be delivered on edX, an online learning platform founded by MIT and Harvard. ACCA-X’s open access courses will feature content developed by Epigeum, a spin-out from Imperial College London. • Introductory Financial and Management Accounting Course, leading to ACCA’s Introductory Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting; and, • Intermediate Financial and Management Accounting Course, leading to ACCA’s Intermediate Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Online Test-Takers Feel Anti-Cheating Software’s Uneasy Glare - NATASHA SINGER, NY Times

As universities and colleges around the country expand their online course offerings, many administrators are introducing new technologies to deter cheating. The oversight, administrators say, is crucial to demonstrating the legitimacy of an online degree to students and their prospective employers. Some schools use software that prevents students from opening apps or web browsers during online exams. Others employ services with live exam proctors who monitor students remotely over webcams. But the rise of Proctortrack and other automated student analysis services like it have raised questions about where to draw the line, and whether the new systems are fair and accurate. The University of North Texas Health Science Center, for instance, is partway through a two-year pilot test of Proctortrack involving the 160 students enrolled in its online public health master’s degree program.

Caucus 101: Educating the world about Iowa caucuses -Jeff Charis-Carlson, Press Citizen

Steffen Schmidt has a voracious educational appetite. The Iowa State University political science professor, who answers to the nickname "Dr. Politics," says he often finds himself digging into two or three MOOCs — massive open online courses — at a time. But he usually treats such online educational opportunities as scholastic snacks rather than full intellectual meals. Schmidt is working to make that user-friendliness a key component of the MOOC he is developing about the subject he knows best: the role of the Iowa caucuses in the presidential nomination process. When the course goes live in September, the Iowa caucuses MOOC will be ISU's first official massive online offering. To create the course, Schmidt has been working for more than a year with ISU Web designers, technicians, videographers, online curriculum writers and other experts. He touts it as a "short, fun and free" discussion on the past, present and future of Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential contest.

Wake Forest University will offer online classes this summer - Alana Harrison, Old Gold & Black

Wake Forest University has developed its first online courses and will begin offering them during summer 2015. These online courses are an alternative for summer school, as they can be taken from home, rather than require the student to be on campus.This greatly decreases the price for summer courses, because students will not have to pay for housing. Brenda Knox, director of online education, says this is a major reason why Wake Forest has developed some online courses. “The university would like to offer some alternatives to students who can’t stay on campus in the summer,” she said.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Learning online offers many financial benefits - Jan Burns, Houston Chronicle

Though not all online programs have less expensive tuition than traditional schools, the associated costs can be lower. "The financial benefits of enrolling in online programs at universities is that students do not have to pay commuting expenses, may not need additional child care, and most likely will be able to continue in their current employment while in school as they can manage their own schedule and do their coursework around their families and work obligations," said Vickie S. Cook, Ph.D., director, Center for Online Learning, research and service/research associate professor, University of Illinois at Springfield.