Sunday, November 17, 2019

Veterans say non-degree credentials pay off - LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

A survey of more than 30,000 military veterans shows that they value non-degree credentials--here are 4 ways to better recognize new credential pathways.  Veterans without degrees are much more likely to hold non-degree credentials than their non-veteran peers, according to a survey.  Those non-degree credentials provide meaningful financial returns: veterans with certificates or certifications earn an average of $10,000 more per year than veterans with no postsecondary credentials.

Improving Online Teaching Through Training and Support - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

At Hawaii's Kapi'olani Community College on the island of Oahu, a growing demand for online courses sparked a need for more faculty training, to help instructors create or convert their courses for online delivery. So when Instructional Designer Helen Torigoe was asked to "do something about training the online faculty," she looked for a way to scale her experiences at a previous campus working individually with online instructors. When online instructors struggled through building their courses, she recalled, what really helped them was when they could see the course from the perspective of a student.

Digital Transformation Signals: Is Your Institution on the Journey? - Malcolm Brown, Betsy Reinitz and Karen Wetzel, EDUCAUSE Review

Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. The digital transformation signals listed in this article indicate progress along the way and provide guideposts for the journey. In the context of sweeping social, economic, technological, and demographic changes, digital transformation (Dx) is a series of deep and coordinated culture, workforce, and technology shifts that enable new educational and operating models and transform an institution's business model, strategic directions, and value proposition. Dx can make institutions more resilient, flexible, and relevant as they face an array of increasingly difficult challenges that include declining student enrollment, increased public skepticism, and skyrocketing student debt.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

At 69, she's still paying off $12,000 of student debt — including out of her Social Security checks. - SHANNON NAJMABADI, Texas Tribune

About 222,140 Texans ages 60 and older had student loan debt in 2017, carrying a median load of $15,754, according to government data. Costley works part time at a food bank, making $7.25 an hour, and said she stretches every dollar she has. But every month, she receives a letter in the mail saying the federal government is withholding $134 from her Social Security checks — the equivalent of 18 hours of work. Like death and taxes, Costley may be facing another certainty in life: her student loans. Although she attended college decades ago and made payments when she could, Costley’s debt has gone into default, swollen with accrued interest and been turned over to a collection company.

UMN College of Biological Sciences looking to add in-demand online biology classes - NATALIE CIERZAN, Minnesota Daily

The Center for Online Biology Education would include a website featuring CBS online classes, resources for faculty and a new research program about biology online teaching.  Faculty from the University of Minnesota's College of Biological Sciences are working to fill the demand for online biology classes. They are creating the Center for Online Biology Education, which would include a website that features all available CBS online classes. Faculty said they hope to launch the website by the end of fall semester. The center also includes faculty resources and a mentorship program for instructors looking to teach an online class.

A Certificate, Then a Degree: Certificate-first programs can help tackle America’s college-completion crisis - Clark G. Gilbert and Michael B. Horn, Education Next

Helping students earn certificates upfront offers a promising path to address the dropout rate. Postsecondary institutions offer these credentials of student educational attainment in a growing variety of subjects, which run the gamut from auto mechanics to unmanned aircraft systems to finance. Although community colleges have long offered such programs, name-brand institutions also have gotten involved: the extension program at the University of California, Los Angeles, for example, provides certificates in subjects like cybersecurity and interior design, and delivers some of its programs through an app.

Friday, November 15, 2019

IBM Looks Beyond the College Degree - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Citing a serious skills gap, the multinational International Business Machines Corporation is looking for different recruiting channels for its workforce of 360,000 employees. IBM's view is that “new-collar” jobs in cybersecurity, cloud computing and other high-demand fields don’t necessarily require a traditional college degree. The company also has created one of the most developed digital badge portfolios for an employer, which both its workers and those outside IBM can earn, and it is adding more and different apprenticeship opportunities as well launching its own boot camp-style offerings. At the same time, IBM continues to partner with traditional colleges, particularly through its expanded work with community colleges.

Online learning sees advances for students’ needs - By Jan Burns, Houston Chronicle

The use of interactive media, such as audio, video, and gamification, the use of gaming and gaming technology, are now widely used. Also popular are augmented and virtual reality (VR), where learners in a realistic environment can demonstrate they have mastered the required skills.
“Online learning continues to grow and outpace overall higher education enrollment,” said Dr. Dwight Smith, Lone Star College, vice chancellor of academic success. “Lone Star College has seen a 52 percent increase in distance-learning course enrollments from fall 2015 to fall 2019. Distance learning includes fully online courses and hybrid classes, which are a combination of face-to-face and online learning.”

Should Computer Science Be Required? - Robert Sedgewick, Inside Higher Ed

Every college student needs a computer science course, and most need two or more. More and more educators are beginning to recognize this truth, but we are a long way from meeting the need. Should we require all college students to take a computer science course? That is perhaps debatable. But, without question, we need to make such courses available to all students.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The role of universities in a highly technological age - Gerard A Postiglione, University World News

Universities are, however, facing the challenge of how to align their core missions with the rapid emergence of technological innovations such as artificial intelligence, big data and algorithms, facial recognition, biosensors, augmented reality, gamification, blockchain, cloud computing and other yet-to-be-created technological innovations. These can become disruptive, but they can also be tapped for their potential to improve how students are selected, how courses are offered, how student learning is programmed and evaluated, how higher finance is managed, how knowledge networks are organised, accessed and expanded, and how more graduates can be prepared for entrepreneurial jobs, smart cities and sustainable development.

‘Backchannel’ Tools Let Students Ask Questions Anonymously. And That Brings More Voices - Rebecca Koenig, EdSurge

So the professor developed a backchannel tool that allows students to submit questions online during class and receive real-time answers from a teaching assistant. Question-askers remain anonymous to fellow students, but Samson and his TA can see their names. As Samson suspected, students had plenty of inquiries when offered an alternative method to raise them. But to be sure the backchannel made a real difference, Samson teamed up with colleagues from the university’s school of education to study his tool. They found that the use of the backchannel dramatically increased student inquiry in class.

Study: Less state funding has hiked college tuition by nearly 40% since 2008 crisis - Daniel Uria, UPI

Decreases in state funding have pushed the cost of higher education to historic levels over the past decade, according to a new report by a budgetary think tank. The 22-page analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said Thursday the average cost for tuition at four-year public institutions in all 50 states increased by nearly 40 percent between 2008 and 2018, or a little over $2,700. Overall funding for two- and four-year state colleges and universities, meanwhile, decreased by $6.6 billion.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

5 Microlearning Myths You Need to Stop Believing - Mattew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Microlearning is a modern educational tool that provides learners with bite-sized pieces of content on their mobile devices, be it smartphones, tablets, or laptops. In today’s complex business environment and with technologies evolving all the time, employees must continue to learn and upskill. According to the Deloitte report The Future of Work, 47% of today’s jobs will be gone in ten years, and 67% of employees believe they must continuously reskill themselves to stay relevant in their careers. The fact that microlearning focuses on short learning content to cater to an audience whose attention span has shrunk doesn’t mean that that is all microlearning is about. Let’s clear up some misunderstandings about microlearning.

10 Incredibly Useful YouTube Channels For Professors - Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

With thousands upon thousands of videos added to the service every hour, YouTube can be an unwieldy service to parse through for college professors looking for useful and applicable content. With that in mind, we decided to highlight the 10 best YouTube channels for college professors looking for an extra dose of material or inspiration.

U Texas Arlington to Invest $500,000 in OER Grants This Year - By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The University of Texas at Arlington is investing half a million dollars this year in funding for projects using open educational resources. That's the largest award by any public academic institution in the state specifically to support OER usage, according to the school. Since 2017, UTA Libraries has supported 14 OER projects with grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, through UTA's "Coalition for Alternative Resources in Education for Students" (UTA CARES) program. The money goes toward faculty efforts to adopt, modify and create free teaching and learning materials that are licensed for revision and reuse.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Tufts Study Shows Effectiveness of Virtual Reality for IPE Training - Fred Donovan, HIT Infrastructure

A new study by Tufts University School of Medicine has demonstrated the effectiveness of using a virtual reality platform to provide interprofessional education (IPE) in palliative care for healthcare staff and students. The Tufts researchers employed a series of pre- and post-session surveys to determine the efficacy of virtual reality in promoting cooperation among participants on palliative care. The researchers found that the virtual reality approach to IPE for palliative care was convenient and enjoyable for participants. They said they appreciated the virtual experience of the symptoms of their patient, demonstrated by an enhanced sense of empathy in their post-session surveys, and the freedom to practice anonymously without worrying about hurting a patient or making mistakes during the educational process.

Report: College leaders not confident they can beat new competition - Hallie Busta, Education Dive

When it comes to strategic planning, just one in six colleges is looking a decade or more ahead, according to a new report from the American Council on Education (ACE), Huron and the Georgia Institute of Technology based on a survey of 495 leaders at four-year institutions. They cite several challenges ahead: more competition for new students, particularly from national universities investing heavily in online education; an increase in nontraditional students; less state and federal support; and declining public confidence in higher ed's value. While they say their institutions are prepared to meet students' changing needs, they are less confident in their ability to address new forms of competition or change how the public views higher ed.

Can higher ed bill reauthorization close America's skills gap? - BY RYAN CRAIG, the Hill

House Democrats last week rolled out a sweeping proposal to transform federal higher education policy. Among the proposals included in the bill is a provision that would make community college free nationwide, an expansion of federal Pell grants, and a new set of policies to hold schools more financially accountable for the outcomes of their graduates. The Democrats’ approach is one that reflects, and seeks to address, a troubling reality: Perhaps more than ever before in our history, too many Americans feel that the American Dream is out of reach.

Monday, November 11, 2019

AR and VR: The Future of Smart Education Is Here - BBN News

In the digital era, modern technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality have transformed business practices, entertainment, and day-to-day lives. Likewise, immersive technologies have evolved education by enabling immersive learning experiences. However, education isn't limited to academics. Learning new skills, traveling to exotic locations, and exploring interactive stories are non-conventional forms of education that are offered by immersive technologies. Hence, immersive technologies are being widely adopted across the globe.

Online professional development: How to keep faculty coming back for more - Penn State News

Students are in class, but Penn State is doing what it can to get faculty who teach online to come back to class, too – as students. When Penn State World Campus created its faculty development unit in 2008, it offered just one course: Essentials of Online Teaching, or OL 2000. Today, World Campus Faculty Development offers 17 different courses free of charge to Penn State faculty, staff and graduate students, as well as six certificates, including a Graduate Student Online Teaching Certificate and its newest offering, a certificate in Course Authoring.

Algorithms are grading student essays across the country. Can this really teach kids how to write better? - Loren Katz, Vox

The reason it’s so hard to figure out who’s affected by AI grading is because there’s not just one program that’s being used. But they’re all made in basically the same way: First, an automated scoring company looks at how human graders behave. Then, the company trains an algorithm to make predictions as to how a human grader might score an essay based on that data. Depending on the program, those predictions can be consistently wrong in the same way. In other words, they can be biased. And once those algorithms are built, explains Reset host Arielle Duhaime-Ross, they can reproduce those biases at a huge scale.