Friday, March 24, 2017

What the college digital experience will look like 5 years from now -JAMI MORSHED, eCampus News

The desire for a more digital campus has also come hand-in-hand with the rise of the non-traditional student, a population of which is generally characterized by part-time attendance, student swirl, working either full or part time, and taking classes either partly or entirely online. [Read: “Is it time to rethink the term nontraditional student?”] Online learning platforms change the lecture and classroom experience to allow students to connect with the university through a familiar medium–their mobile device. Predictive analytics, machine learning, chatbots and augmented reality have the ability to bring us into a completely new era of digital learning. In order for higher ed institutions to truly embrace these possibilities, advancements must encompass both student learning and student administrative functionalities.

Digital disruption lowers the cost of expensive masters degrees - Tim Dodd, Financial Review

A round of price-cutting has broken out in the market for high-priced masters degrees with four Australian universities offering students a pathway to complete part of the degree online at a steep discount. In a sign of digital disruption hitting higher education, the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Adelaide and Curtin University are offering students the chance to do a quarter of a full masters degrees at low cost through US-based massive open online course (MOOC) provider edX which gives them a new credential called a MicroMasters. Students can then complete the degree at the regular cost, giving them at least a 20 per cent discount overall.

Coding, Robotics and the Jobs of the Future - MATTHEW LYNCH, tech Edvocate

IT jobs will grow by 22% through 2020 and jobs in STEM are said to see similar growth. Educators are expected to equip their students with skills that will translate into careers and yet they have no idea what these skills should be. So, what are the jobs of the future and how can be best prepare students for them? Programming jobs are growing 50 percent faster than the market overall. With such a rapidly growing market, it is important to note that not all coding jobs fall within the technology sector. Health care, manufacturing, and finance are in need of coders as is the tech industry. Coding is the backbone of many technologies, and in the future, it will be an important tool for entrepreneurs and innovators.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

No timeline on Higher Ed Act, BUT Adult / Continuing Ed to Top Priorities - Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

House Education Committee Ranking Member Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) said there's no timeline for the Higher Education Act reauthorization during her panel at The Atlantic's "Higher Education at a Crossroads" event Wednesday morning. "I wish I knew," said the congresswoman when asked when higher ed leaders can expect to see the legislation brought to get table again. She added that while she doesn't believe the majority sees HEA as a high priority, "certainly the meeting we had yesterday about affordability was an important one" toward the eventual goal of addressing the bill. When Congress does take up HEA, said Davis, adult and continuing education will be a priority. "Redefining what higher education is today, I hope, is a big part of what we do with this legislation," she said.

Understanding the Faculty Role in Digital Accessibility - Doug Lederman, Inside Digital Learning

The decision last week by the University of California, Berkeley, to take years' worth of video and audio lectures out of the public realm because of federal requirements on accessibility for people with disabilities was decried by many accessibility advocates. In the context of Berkeley's decision, Inside Digital Learning asked a group of digital accessibility experts how they balance the essential goal of making digital courseware accessible while respecting faculty independence and avoiding deterring professors who may already be daunted by the prospect of creating digital academic materials. Among the questions we asked them to address are: *Are there practices that you have found work (and don't) in assuring the creation of accessible digital materials? *Are there decisions to be made about what you have faculty members themselves do, versus the institution's technology specialists? *What issues should administrators and faculty members alike be thinking about as they navigate this terrain?

3 Ideas for Closing the Tech Skills Gap - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

According to a recent survey from the Career Advisory Board, only 11 percent of employers believe higher education is very effective in meeting the skill needs of their organization. More than half (57 percent) said it is common for job applicants to lack technology skills deemed important for success. And 77 percent of respondents said their company's competitive advantage relies on a workforce that can use applied tech skills to solve problems. These issues and more were discussed in a session this week at SXSWedu in Austin The panel offered three solutions to help close the tech skills gap: Create dedicated industry advisory boards for educators; Move toward a vision of "any time, anywhere" education for students; and Provide students and employees access to the latest technologies.

Universities scramble as political climate threatens international enrollment - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Approximately 40% of domestic colleges and universities participating in a recent higher education survey are reporting a decrease in applications from international students, a trend that some observers attribute to the changing political climate in the United States, travel restrictions, and growing perceived animus against international student presence on some campuses, Inside Higher Ed reports. 35% of the 250 participating schools reported increases in applications from foreign countries, while 26% reported no change. Applications from Middle Eastern nations were the most reduced according to a recent study of international students by Royall & Company, but interest from students in Canada, Asia and Europe is also declining. Respondents indicated the federal travel ban, the attitudes from the White House about foreign students, and a perception of unwelcoming campus climates as the top reasons for their decreased interest.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

7 Things You Should Know About the 2017 Key Issues in Teaching and Learning - EDUCAUSE ELI

Each year since 2011, ELI has surveyed those involved with teaching and learning in higher education to take the pulse of the group about what’s most exciting, pressing, consequential, and relevant. Looking at the ELI Key Issues over time shows which areas hold our attention and time year after year, and it shines a spotlight on issues that rise sharply on the list or fall down the ranking. This issue of the 7 Things You Should Know series consists of short commentaries on the top 7 issues from the survey. These short meditations provide focus, serving as brief, guided tours of that issue’s particular landscape: Accessibility Blended Learning Change Management Competency-based Education (CBE) Digital Literacy Faculty Development Information Literacy Online Learning Teaching and Learning.

Report: Higher ed still woefully unprepared against cyber attacks - LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Report indicates that of all sectors, education is the most at-risk when it comes to the ability to defend against cyber attacks of all kind. Twenty-six percent of education respondents in a new survey reported daily or weekly cyber attacks in 2016, and 98 percent of all responding organizations experienced cyber attacks in 2016. The 2016-2017 Global Application & Network Security Survey from cyber security company Radware reveals that while cyber ransom proves the easiest and most lucrative tool for cyber criminals, almost all ransom events have a different attack vector, technique or angle. Ransom attacks are the most prevalent, increasing from 25 percent of attacks in 2015 to 41 percent of attacks in 2016. The report attributes the increase to the lucrative nature of such a “business.”

5 tips for getting blended learning right - MERIS STANSBURY, eSchool News

Tool integration, teacher teams are just some of the ways schools can ensure successful blended learning initiatives. When implementing a blended learning model, it is important for schools to be aware of key components and steps to integrate into their plan. In “Five Tips for Getting Blended Learning Right,” hosted by and sponsored by Achieve3000, Julia Freeland Fisher, director of Education at the Clayton Christensen Institute, gave schools the tips they need to successfully implement blended learning.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Considering OER? Here’s what you need to know - LAURA ASCIONE, eSchool News

OER are teaching and learning resources that are free to use and share. They also are adaptable and can be customized for a specific class or student. Repositories such as The Orange Grove, the Utah Education Network, and OER Commons help educators locate and learn how to incorporate the resources into their instruction. The Software & Information Industry Association’s guide to OER can give educators background information to help them on their way to OER integration.

UMUC Unbundling - Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

The University of Maryland University College is tearing itself apart -- on purpose. The university, which gets nearly all of its funding from tuition revenue, has long relied on enrolling large numbers of students associated with the military for financial stability. After an enrollment dip earlier this decade, however, UMUC has begun a process of unbundling, paring the institution down to what President Javier Miyares calls its “academic core” to monetize its own services, grow its endowment and keep tuition rates low. “We believe that if you look at higher education, there is a core -- what you teach, who teaches it and how we teach it,” Miyares said in an interview. “That is the existential, essential core of the university. Everything else are business processes that do not have to be run in the traditional way within the university.”

Projections see 7.2% expansion in e-learning by 2027 -Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Online learning platforms and devices are likely to follow a trend set by wearable technology, gaming and other digital industries, with a new report suggesting that instructional tech will grow by just over 7% in the next ten years. Report Linker makes its projections based upon the rise of technology use in instructional design, content created for web-based production and consumption, and the growth of virtual reality and artificial intelligence as academic support tools. Authors say that the report is based upon the revenue performance of several leading tech companies with impact in the educational industry, and trends in domestic and international institutional business models.

3 Lessons Learned About Taking Online Courses - Olena Reid, US News

Building relationships virtually is challenging, but not impossible for online students. Before deciding to pursue a two-year, rigorous online MBA program, I completed eight short free online classes. My go-to platforms were Coursera and FutureLearn, but there are many more options now that offer high-quality lectures and materials. These online courses combined with my online MBA program taught me a few lessons about learning virtually that might help a prospective or current online student answer their questions and know what to expect in an online program.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Big Data, Big Opportunity, Big Challenge - Gary Matkin, Evolllution

Continuing educators (CE) were the first to offer courses, certificate programs and degrees in digital analytics and in the related fields of predictive analytics, Big Data and the Internet of Things. Unfortunately, educators and administrators alike have been less aggressive in leveraging data analytics to enhance their own offerings and operations. However, there are emerging pathways for CE administrators to use these new technologies. An understanding of the concepts, domains of usage, and ways in which digital analytics can be used in CE are essential for all leaders.

Rallying Behind the Data: Building a Data-Backed Culture - Melissa Vito, Evolllution

Three years ago, we were in a tough spot. We had a set of ambitious retention goals to meet, we had a lot of data—albeit static, siloed, dusty data—but no “system” to collect or distribute it, much less act on it. An institutional reorganization that brought together our institutional research and business intelligence teams set the stage for consistent and better data. So our next step as a team was to get our hands on the data. When you begin running data analyses, you need to prepare for some surprises!

Proposed NIH Cuts Stun and Anger - Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed

The White House budget proposal released last week would have devastating effects on science and technology in the United States as well as the education of the next generation of researchers, say organizations representing scientists and research institutions. The budget document from the Trump administration -- a broad outline of the full budget due later this spring -- calls for reducing the funding of the National Institutes of Health by $5.8 billion, or nearly 20 percent. And it calls for eliminating or slashing spending on other research programs at many other federal agencies. No specific numbers were released for the National Science Foundation. Eighty percent of the agency's funding goes to universities and medical centers throughout the country, said Joanne Carney, director of government relations at the American Association for the Advancement of Science -- most of that through grant awards. Such reductions would directly affect whether undergraduate and graduate students in STEM fields at U.S. institutions persist in those careers, she said.

Unexpected advantage I saw taking online classes - Jager Robinson, Newsday

The next shift in higher education is coming online. Whether it be through full online programs or select courses offered as part of an on-campus degree, online learning is taking large steps toward becoming a mainstream approach to higher education. Contrary to common beliefs, early results provide no data to suggest that accredited online degrees, like Georgia Tech’s, teach less than their in-person counterparts: Several Harvard economists, who studied GA Tech’s program, concluded students “finish their courses with at least as much knowledge as their in-person counterpart.” With the introduction of prestige into the affordable online environment, online learning is taking a shift for the best. Whether it be fully online, or a hybrid degree, colleges and universities across the country are taking the necessary steps to provide for an increasingly online world.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Embrace the Unexpected: New Tools Transform Teaching and Learning - Dave Doucette, EdTech Magazine

This notion — that “faculty resistance” is so pervasive that instructional designers would benefit from advice on how to overcome it — speaks volumes about this relationship. Faculty and technical staff have great potential for collaboration, but there’s a decent chance that friction may occur instead. Bridging this gap may require more than simply teaching faculty to use new tools. For some instructors, adopting significant changes to the teaching profession requires a deep shift in thinking and in culture. It’s worth understanding where faculty may be coming from. It’s also worth remembering that everyone on campus has the same objective: giving students the best education possible and preparing them for rewarding futures.

Personalized Scam Emails on the Rise - Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Smaller institutions report an increase in sophisticated attempts to gain access to financial and personal information. Hackers are taking the time to get to know smaller colleges. IT departments at smaller institutions are reporting that they are spending increasing amounts of time protecting against the kind of sophisticated, personalized attacks that once plagued mostly large research universities. Gone are the days of typo-ridden emails with questionable grammar addressed to “Dear Sir.” In their place are emails seemingly from legitimate senders -- administrators and local businesses among them -- that seek to gain access to financial and personal information. The fraudulent emails often asks recipients to double-check a payment, forward copies of tax paperwork or initiate a wire transfer. “You can't just hide behind your small size,” said Nathan Phillips, chief information officer at Marylhurst University, a private liberal arts university just outside Portland, Ore. “What seems to have changed in the last year or two is that the attacks seem to be more directed. People are clearly doing research on who they’re targeting.”

The Future is Hybrid - Anant Agarwal, Huffington Post

The digital approach of online learning is a convenient way to develop hybrid skills. Traditional education and traditional corporate training is incredibly siloed. This approach leads to students and employees who may have an extremely in-depth understanding of one specific field, but will not be equipped to succeed in the hybrid jobs that today’s workplace is embracing and tomorrow’s workplace will be composed of. Here is where taking a digital approach is the game changer. The digital approach allows the learner to transcend time and space and reach outside their current silo to flexibly learn new things at their own pace. Specifically, you can learn new things digitally while continuing in your current major or chugging away on your current job as and when you can make the time.