Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Open Educational Resources Adopted Slowly, Report Shows - Education News

A recently-released report from Cengage Learning has examined open educational resources (OER) within higher education, including who makes use of the resources and why, as well as what the future holds for OER. The report, “Open Educational Resources (OER) and the Evolving Higher Education Landscape,” interviewed over 500 OER primary adopters, supplemental adopters, and non-adopters. Study results found that just 4% of higher education respondents use OER as primary materials. The majority of this use is within the topic of math with 13% and computing at 11%. Meanwhile, the lowest was found in English at 2% and psychology at 1%. In terms of supplemental material, OER is used by 5% of respondents overall. This includes 18% in computing, 13% in math, 8% in English, and 4% in psychology.

Can more be done to retain women in engineering? - LAURA DEVANEY, eCampus News

Although 20 percent of engineering graduates are women, only 11 percent of professional engineers are women, according to the National Science Foundation. Women account for 47 percent of the labor force, and more than 40 percent of all four-year degrees granted in the last 5 years–making women’s representation in engineering even more troubling. The numbers are a stark reminder that there is much work to be done to bring gender balance to the fields of engineering and technology.

Udacity Fuels Autonomous Vehicle Engineering Dreams - Jack M. Germain, Linux Insider

Online education company Udacity on Tuesday introduced a new "nanodegree" program in self-driving auto engineering. President Sebastian Thrun made the announcement during an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt. The goal is to build a crowdsourced, open source self-driving car, he said. The program is the first of its kind, according to Thrun. Students will learn the skills and techniques used by self-driving car teams at the most innovative companies in the world, Udacity has promised. The course spans three 12-week terms and covers deep learning, computer vision, sensor fusion, localization and controllers. Each of the three terms will cost US$800. The first term begins in mid-October.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Want to Cut Innovation Risk in Higher Ed? Follow These Indicators - Cristi Ford and Sharon Goodall, EdSurge

In higher education, it’s paramount that we be able to recognize patterns and trends early in the life of a cutting-edge project. Innovation initiatives need time to mature from development through evaluation, the higher-ed culture generally eschews risk, and, in an era of competing agendas, tight budgets and impatient stakeholders, projects need to fail fast or pivot so that institutions can maximize their investment dollars. Luckily, identifying leading indicators for success in higher-ed innovation is easier than finding unicorns—the next $1 billion startups—or understanding the nuances of digital currency. If you pay early attention to certain aspects of your innovation work, you can more clearly forecast results and keep the initiative steering toward success.

The Challenge of Understanding MOOC Data - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Plenty of scholarly research has come out about massive open online courses since edX's official introduction in 2012. What's lesser covered is how the institutions running the MOOCs have used the data to improve learning in their regular courses. Part of the reason for that is that the colleges and universities involved in edX don't necessarily have the resources — expertise, tools or understanding — to exploit the torrents of data their courses generate. Four smallish eastern liberal arts colleges working with edX — Colgate, Davidson, Hamilton and Wellesley — formed a collaborative in 2013 to share the cost and expertise of developing their online offerings, encourage cross-teaching among faculty, bulk up on the amount of data available for research and build systems for managing the MOOC data.

Game On: How Four Community College Professors Spawned the CUNY Games Network - George Lorenzo, EdSurge

When four professors from the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) started collaborating on game-based learning (GBL) in developmental math and writing instruction in the mid-2000s, they had no idea what they were setting in motion. Today, more than 160 GBL researchers and practitioners contribute to the dynamic CUNY Games Network (CGN), housed within the City University of New York (CUNY), with its more than 540,000 students on 24 campuses. The network links educators across disciplines who are interested in using games and other forms of interactive teaching to improve student success. And participants are showing that gameplay is serious business: data from BMCC classes suggests that when students have fun learning they appear to have more meaningful learning experiences.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Enrollment plummeting at for-profit schools - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

According to the Los Angeles Times, enrollment at for-profits DeVry University and the University of Phoenix is down by more than 20% at both institutions, a signal of trouble in the wake of the closure of Corinthians Colleges and ITT Technical Institute. The proliferation of online degree offerings at traditional universities, paired with the federal crackdown on fraudulent recruiting and false job placement data promotion, have siphoned more than 70% of students away from DeVry in the last six years. Community colleges and other institutions are beginning to see enrollment benefits as a result of the for-profit closures.

Ask an Economist: How Can Today’s College Students Future-Proof Their Careers? - JOE PINSKER, the Atlantic

It is by now close to certain that there are millions of people currently in high school and college who are fine-tuning their skills for steady-looking careers that will, following technological breakthroughs, dissipate by the time they retire. A 2013 study out of Oxford—the one that’s most frequently cited in any discussion of the future of labor—estimated that just shy of half of American jobs were at risk of being swallowed up by advances in automation. In anticipation of changes like this, is there anything that today’s college students can do now to future-proof their careers? A panel of experts gives some (pretty dispiriting) advice to a generation that will come of age as automation does.

Study: Coding bootcamps yield high returns on job placement, diversity - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

A new study authored by Course Report reveals surprising data about the economic and social benefits of the emerging for-profit training model. According to the study, more than 70% of bootcamp graduates report holding employment requiring use of the skills learned in the bootcamp, and more than 60% have received salary increases as a result of their completion. Women comprise more than 40% of the national bootcamp student profile, and African-Americans who complete coding bootcamps are the highest earners and most likely to be employed at a tech company.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

How to Have a Distributed Meeting - Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

My advice for running successful distributed meetings comes from what I have seen work in synchronous online learning. If you can get a synchronous online class session to run well - then you can also run a good distributed meeting. Note - my advice for distributed meetings has nothing to do with webinars. Webinars are almost bad because of issues of scale. There are too many people on most webinars to allow for meaningful conversation. Your model for good distributed meetings should not be webinars, but teaching.

Silicon Valley online course to mint self-driving car engineers - Heather Somerville, Reuters

Silicon Valley is creating a crash course in self-driving car technology to address a shortage of engineers with help from a startup in a different field: online education. In about a year's time, a Lincoln sedan will be driving itself from Mountain View to San Francisco, using software developed by 250 or so students enrolled at education start-up Udacity, if all goes according to plan. Udacity bought the Lincoln already equipped with the digital interface needed in autonomous vehicles; students will write the code. Udacity's course, which costs $2,400 for three, 12-week terms, starts next month and was designed by company co-founder Sebastian Thrun, who launched Google's driverless car program.

A trio of short-term trends may also hold long-term promise - STEPHEN NOONOO, eSchool News

Take a casual flip through this year’s trend-predicting Horizon Report, released today, and you’ll find plenty to get excited about. The end of the report is stuffed with tantalizing promise about how future learners will engage with robots, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and wearable tech (think data-collecting headbands and skill-tracking sensors) that could explode into classrooms in as little as four to five years. By contrast, the report’s short-term developments, online learning and makerspaces, have a distinct yesterday’s news vibe about them. But make no mistake, they still hold some of the biggest long-term promise in the report.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Poll reveals connections between college, professional engagement - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

A new study from Gallup suggests that students who are exposed to nurturing faculty and engaging internship or extracurricular experiences have double the amount of professional satisfaction in their post-collegiate lives. The survey of more than 60,000 college graduates reveals that these elements, which could be classified as customer service elements in the college setting, promote key metrics of individual purpose and well-being in financial, social and emotional areas of life. Gallup recommends that colleges increase their focus on mentoring and career development to help students make stronger connections between college preparation and their success in working and personal development.

Study: Successful Students’ Focus not on Wealth - Jamaal Abdul-Alim, Diverse Education

The study — released this week through the National Bureau of Economic Research — compared the characteristics of “thrivers” and “divers,” that is, students in the top and bottom 10 percent, respectively, of their class in college. Thrivers are more willing to study more hours per week to get the higher GPA they expect, are purpose-driven and express more philanthropic goals, the study found, whereas divers are more likely to cram for exam, procrastinate, and express superficial goals such as “get rich” or be “successful” in business. “Divers are significantly likely to use words which highlight wealth,” the study states. “Thrivers, on the other hand, are more likely to highlight how they plan to contribute to society, using words such as ‘human’ and ‘people.’”

What 6 higher ed CIOs wish they knew their first day on the job - Roger Riddell, Education Dive

IT leaders share their advice and words of wisdom for those aspiring to the roleThis feature is the second in a series focused exclusively on issues impacting higher ed IT administrators, running through the beginning of the annual Educause conference, Oct. 25-28. There are any number of things most people wish they had known their first day on a job. In our research for this series, we asked 6 higher ed CIOs to share their thoughts. This is what they had to say.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Gates Foundation Refocuses Higher-Ed Priorities - EdSurge HigherEd

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today released an updated list of priorities that it will double down on in higher education. Improving data infrastructure, simplifying federal financial aid and supporting student-centered pathways are among the foundation’s areas of focus for the upcoming year. Throughout September the foundation is running a campaign called “Today’s College Students” to highlight colleges and universities serving the “new majority” of students, including those who work full-time, are older than 25 years old and receive some kind of financial aid.

Penn State Students Attend Class via Robot - Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

A new technology pilot program at Pennsylvania State University enables students to attend and participate in class without ever stepping inside the classroom. The research institution is piloting the BeamPro Smart Presence System from Suitable Technologies, which allows students to be present through a robot that can be remotely operated via computer application. Users can steer the BeamPro robots inside or outside of the classroom – they can even command the robot to take an elevator to another floor or travel around campus.

Research: Robots Give Chronically Ill Kids Valuable Social Ties with School - Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

A University of California Irvine research project may be the first of its kind to measure the impact and feasibility of the use of robots to bring homebound students into the classroom when they can't be there physically. The use of "virtual inclusion" through telepresence has been used for nearly two decades. More recently, the idea is that chronically ill students use some kind of robotic device on campus that can be operated from home to allow him or her to participate in class, interact with fellow students and navigate through school.

Chief Information Security Officers: Moving Away from IT - David Raths, Campus Technology

The CISO role in higher education is evolving, putting more emphasis on enterprise risk management and policy development. As data breaches and cybercrime gain a higher profile in higher education, the role of the chief information security officer is changing — and broadening beyond IT. The increasing sense of urgency is bringing people from different backgrounds to the CISO post, and is raising questions about budgets and reporting structures as well. "Higher education is starting to recognize that cyber risk is the same as other types of business risk," said Brian Kelly, CISO at Quinnipiac University (CT). "It is the same type of consideration as someone falling down a staircase. We are closer to those cabinet-level conversations around risk. It has gone beyond being an IT problem."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Quality Matters Intros New Teaching Online Certificate - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Online educators have a new way to document their skills in online teaching. Quality Matters (QM), a nonprofit organization providing quality standards, professional development, course/program review and more, has added a new Teaching Online Certificate (TOC) to its lineup of certifications for quality assurance in online learning. "QM has recognized from its beginning that quality course design is a necessary, but not sufficient, component for a high quality student experience. Quality teaching matters, too," said Deb Adair, QM's executive director, in a press release. "Our new TOC follows the QM tradition of building on well-researched criteria and identifying practical competencies in alignment with those criteria. It represents our first foray into Quality Matters for Teaching."

Pew study on preparedness to pursue learning online - JOHN B. HORRIGAN, Pew Charitable Trust

In this report, we use newly released Pew Research Center survey findings to address a related issue: digital readiness. The new analysis explores the attitudes and behaviors that underpin people’s preparedness and comfort in using digital tools for learning as we measured it in a survey about people’s activities for personal learning. Specifically, we assess American adults according to five main factors: their confidence in using computers, their facility with getting new technology to work, their use of digital tools for learning, their ability to determine the trustworthiness of online information, and their familiarity with contemporary “education tech” terms. It is important to note that the findings here just cover people’s learning activities in digital spaces and do not address the full range of important things that people can do online or their “readiness” to perform them.