Monday, August 20, 2018

California’s online community college will break new ground in higher ed - Nico Savidge, EdSource

Gov. Jerry Brown envisions the college as a training option for so-called “stranded workers” – the estimated 2.5 million 25- to 34-year-old Californians who don’t have a college education. Once it opens in 2019 it will become a key piece of Brown’s education legacy for California. Brown and the college’s proponents say it will also help fuel the state’s economy — the fifth-largest in the world — and its insatiable need for skilled labor.

Two Pa. colleges offer new way to pay for school; graduates pay from future earnings - Annabelle Williams, Philadelphia Inquirer

The average student debt for a college graduate in 2017 is $37,172, according to, a national debt relief group. Student loan debt in America has doubled since just 2009, and surpassed $1.5 trillion earlier this year, according to the Federal Reserve. The situation cries out for better solutions. And some colleges, such as Purdue University in Indiana, and Lackawanna College and Messiah College in Pennsylvania, are exploring new options, including income share agreements (ISAs). Instead of paying tuition upfront, students hand over a percentage of their future income. This puts pressure on colleges to develop students for the job market, and it has the potential to ease the credit crunch bearing down on students today.

Despite strong economy, worrying financial signs for higher education - Jeffrey Selingo, Washington Post

In the public and private sectors, reports from Moody’s tell a tale of a growing divide in higher education. Large public research universities, such as the University of Maryland at College Park, the University of Michigan, Arizona State University and other top public schools, hold more than 90 percent of the total cash and investments in the sector, despite enrolling 80 percent of the students. Among privates, the top quarter of colleges and universities hold 85 percent of all cash and investments.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Student-Built Online Game Accompanies Online Class - Andy Fell, UC Davis

“Introduction to Research,” BIM 088V, is an exclusively online class taught by Louie, professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis, for the University of California’s Cross Campus Enrollment program. The class was first offered in spring quarter 2018 and enrolled about 125 students, one-fifth of them from outside UC Davis. The course is intended to introduce undergraduates, especially “first generation” students with no family experience in higher education to draw on, to the ways they could conduct research with a faculty mentor. They explore their interests, practice composing letters to professors applying for a position on a research project, and learn about ethics, integrity and social impact. The accompanying game, “Re: Search, A Campus Story” is intended to engage students and draw them in while reinforcing key points from each week’s work, Louie said. There are nine game levels, with a new level unlocking after each week’s class.

Student Presence and Faculty Availability in Fully Online Courses: Is Alignment Requisite? - Kathleen Huun and Andreas Kummerow, Journal of Eductors Online

Distance students consider online faculty availability and immediacy to be very important. Understanding student course usage is imperative to be able to align with their needs. The results of daily course usage by fully online nursing students enrolled in three separate clinical courses on an LPN-to-BSN track illustrate a clear pattern of extraordinarily consistent usage over six semesters for each course with remarkable consistency between courses. As an aggregate group, students spend roughly the same amount of time each day of the week using their LMS except Sunday, which shows roughly twice the usage as other days. Therefore, matching faculty availability and immediacy to times of higher student activity on the LMS should be considered.

Free online courses teach Democrats how to run campaigns - DANNY MCAULIFFE, Florida Politics

The curriculum — which covers topics like fundraising, management, messaging and field work — is widely sought after. At the end of June, course registrations exceeded 28,000, according to NDTC. In Florida, 320 Democratic candidates have made use of NDTC’s campaign resources. So far, according to self-reported data, 268 of 369 Democratic candidates who have used the training and have had primaries have won. But according to the NTDC founder Kelly Dietrich, winning local races may not be the best indicator of success. He told media his organization’s goals include electing Democrats to office at every level, creating a deeper bench of candidates for each election, and facilitating an up-ticket effect, which occurs when local candidates help turn out votes for Democrats running for higher offices.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

What Motivates Students in the Online Communication Classroom? An Exploration of Self-Determination Theory - Laura Jacobi, Journal of Educators Online

The purpose of this study was to examine instructional strategies used to motivate students to engage in online communication courses. Eighteen undergraduate students, seven graduate students, and ten faculty members were interviewed individually or in small focus groups. Results indicate the significance of instructional strategies that promote autonomy, perceived competence, and relatedness in motivating students. Two instructional strategies that promote autonomy (i.e., conveying choice in instructional language and validating negative feelings associated with arduous or tedious tasks) were not discussed by participants in this study, which poses interesting challenges for instructors. The results reveal the utility of Self-Determination Theory in aiding contemporary scholars in understanding the particular needs of online learners and the distinct challenges for today’s teachers.

How colleges reach remote (rural) students - Sherrie Negrea, University Business

Imagine coaching a student intern who is teaching in a school that’s so remote, there are no roads leading into town. Or trying to observe a social work major who has a field placement hundreds of miles from campus. For colleges and universities that serve rural areas, interacting with students who do not have access to campus—either by car or the internet—can be a challenge. But higher ed institutions are finding ways to expand their reach into rural communities through video-based distance learning.

How To Stop Slacking Off In Your Online Degree - LOUISA IRVIN, Junkee

Although the idea of online study seems easy in theory — especially to tech savvy millennials — actually getting on top of the content and staying on track is a lot harder than you might think. The learning is a lot more self-driven, and although traditional on-campus courses are reliant on student involvement, online classes are in league of their own. It is a lot easier to turn off your computer than it is to walk out of a lecture hall. So, we’ve put together some pointers that will help you get through what is the minefield of online studies.

Friday, August 17, 2018

How to help adult students succeed - Darcy Richardson, Education Dive

Today, employers want T-shaped employees, with a depth of knowledge in one area but also skills that translate to many different jobs, such as critical thinking and clear written and verbal communication. Higher education must do more to help adult learners become the candidates that employers need and want to retain. We have a responsibility to help these learners achieve their professional goals by means of accessible, high quality, and relevant courses. Meeting this growing need is becoming more pressing and is directly tied to the future growth of our economy.

Counting Credentials - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

In April, a research study commissioned by Credential Engine counted at least 334,114 credentials in the U.S. That number included 213,913 degree programs and 66,997 certificate programs offered by Title IV-eligible postsecondary institutions, 23,454 high school diploma programs, 13,656 registered apprenticeships, 8,864 state-issued occupational licenses, 5,465 boot camp certificates, 23 MicroMasters and 24 Nanodegrees. The total number of U.S. credentials is actually much higher. This first count did not include non-credit-bearing postsecondary certificates, awards by institutions that are not eligible for Title IV funding, unregistered apprenticeships or alternative credentials like digital badges. Subsequent research by Credential Engine that isn't yet published suggests there are at least 500,000 credentials available in the U.S. and possibly up to 750,000.

How online learning will change education BY DENNIS, Baltimore Post

Digital learning is, in many ways, already making inroads into our education system. The internet, and everything surrounding it, has changed the way in which we can carry out research and writing. This trend seems set to continue, and with our technology continually advancing, it will most likely expand in the coming years. How this will change our education, and the way we learn, is yet to be determined. What we know for sure is that it will change both of these things. This article will delve into some of the major ideas surrounding online learning in higher education, which will hopefully give some people a chance to understand the basics of the debates.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

If data is the answer in higher ed, what is the question? Empowering leaders to make informed decisions requires more than a four-letter word - Richard L. Riccardi, University Business

In this era of increased accountability, diminishing resources and fierce competition, institutions have begun to see a culture of data-informed decision-making as a necessity instead of a luxury. Making good decisions depends on quality data and less on intuition or anecdotes. The days of telling a good story with no concrete evidence to back it up are numbered. Too often leadership’s default answer to a problem is “we need data” without truly understanding what the question is. At a recent enrollment meeting, a vice president emphatically stated that students do not read their emails, and the immediate response from the room was a request for data. Upon further discussion at subsequent meetings, the real question emerged: How can we get students to respond to the important emails we send?

Seeing The New Academics - Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

The structures that support academia have not kept up with the emerging importance of non-faculty educators. Our language is running behind the reality. Professional associations have not evolved or adapted quickly enough to accommodate the growing community of non-faculty academics working as learning professionals. The old ideas of staff and faculty divide still persist in thousands of ways, both big and small. Career paths, professional recognition, and protections of academic freedom must still be negotiated on a case-by-case and individual basis. We are all making this up as we go along.

Applications Open for Federal OER Grant - Mark Lieberman, Inside Higher Ed

The U.S. Department of Education’s first grant for open educational resources, totaling $5 million, will be awarded in late September to between one and three applicants, the department announced today in a call for proposals published in the Federal Register. In an effort to develop OER content that can be disseminated to the widest possible audience for the largest possible savings, the department plans to award grants to one, two or three consortia that each include at least three higher education institutions, subject matter and technology experts, and an advisory group of at least five employers or work-force representatives.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

4 Ways to Fine-Tune Academic Innovation in Higher Ed - David Raths, Camus Technology

Getting faculty to try out new technologies can be a challenge. And while many universities have established programs to foster digital innovation campuswide, their efforts are constantly evolving with new developments in teaching and learning and changing mindsets around learning analytics, learning design and more. From internal grant programs to forming communities of practice, here are four ways academic technology leaders are fine-tuning their approaches to working with faculty.

Fewer international students could become a problem for U.S. universities - GAURAV KHANNA, the Hill

After a decade of rapid growth, international enrollment has declined over the past few years. This has university administrators worried, as tuition revenues fall, leading some to make budget cuts. Public research universities may be particularly concerned since many have become more reliant on international students since the mid-2000s. This increasing reliance on students from abroad comes in response to falling support from state budgets. Recent research I conducted with John Bound (University of Michigan), Breno Braga (Urban Institute) and Sarah Turner (University of Virginia) shows fee-paying students from abroad have allowed public universities to weather state budget cuts, and that has kept tuition affordable for local residents and maintained the quality of the institutions.

Universities Working to Make Library Metadata Searchable on the Web - David Raths, Campus Technology

Since the 1960s, academic libraries have been using their own standards for the communication of metadata about resources in their catalogs. Originally designed for magnetic tape-based computers, machine-readable cataloging (MARC) standards are only understood by library systems. Failure to speak the language of the web has isolated libraries from the broader world of information developing there. Determined to take advantage of the semantic web, Stanford Libraries is working with the libraries of Cornell, Harvard and the University of Iowa to continue the development of a "linked data" metadata environment.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Top out-of-state colleges prowl San Diego looking for online students - Gary Robbins, San Diego Union Tribune

Its main campus is 2,300 miles away. But Penn State University is on the prowl in San Diego, searching for students willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to earn a degree online. The University of Maryland is doing the same. So are Purdue, Old Dominion, Colorado State, Arizona State, the University of Arizona, Southern New Hampshire University and Grand Canyon University. There’s a feeding frenzy going on in San Diego and other California cities, where big out-of-state schools are trying to capitalize on the promise of online education, largely to offset a huge drop in college enrollment that’s most acute in the Northeast and Midwest.

Students say textbook costs have 'big impact' on finances - James Paterson, Education Dive

A new Morning Consult study shows that 46% of students surveyed believe textbooks and other course materials have a "big impact" on their financial situations, and some experts say the costs heighten stress and force students to make tradeoffs that affect their ability to pay for housing and food, according to Inside Higher Education. About 43% of students surveyed said they skipped meals because of the expense for books, about 70% said they took on a part-time job because of the the added costs and around 30% said they had to take fewer classes. Some respondents even changed their major or opted out of a specific course so they would not have to pay the extra money. The head of the the education technology firm Cengage, which sponsored the survey of more than 1,600 students, said that textbooks and other course materials cost on average $1,200 a year per student, though learners often find other avenues — including renting books or copying what they need — but still pay almost half that.

OER is at a tipping point. Here's how to keep it moving in the right direction. - Regina Gong, EdScoop

In his now-classic book "The Tipping Point," Malcolm Gladwell explains how everything from “Sesame Street” to Airwalk shoes has sky-rocketed in popularity and shaped society. Gladwell posits that when the right elements are in place, a good idea can gain traction, reach a “point of critical mass,” and then spread like wildfire. Open educational resources (OER) are reaching the type of tipping point that Gladwell describes. While the rise of OER — freely available, openly licensed materials that can be downloaded, edited, and shared — has happened gradually over the past decade, these resources are now poised to transform both K-12 and higher education for the better.