Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Where Does the LMS Go From Here?- Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Faculty members and students want their future learning management systems to be customizable and full of features, but a new study finds they still use the systems’ basic functions most often. The report, produced by Eden Dahlstrom, D. Christopher Brooks and Jacqueline Bichsel at the Educause Center for Analysis and Research, provides an overview of faculty and student opinions about a piece of educational software present at virtually every college and university in the U.S. The researchers pulled data from last year’s Core Data Service survey, which collects information about institutions’ IT use, as well as two surveys of faculty members and students conducted this year, summarizing the responses of more than 27,000 respondents at hundreds of U.S. institutions. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/09/23/educause-gates-foundation-examine-history-and-future-lms

Admininstrators give 7 scalable tips for common challenges in online learning - Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

According to recent polls and surveys among college and universities that are either in the final stages, or have fully implemented, online learning courses and platforms, there are a number of common, well-defined challenges and trends experienced by IT departments and faculty. The good news is: there are also scalable tips. The data comes from a recent UPCEA and NASPA report on thoughts from higher-ed leaders on the challenges and emerging trends in online education. http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/online-learning-challenges-772/

Indiana on forefront of Online CPA training - Sherry Slate, The Journal Gazette

The Indiana CPA Society this summer became the first state professional organization to allow certified public accountants to go online for competency-based learning courses to earn some credits required for license renewal. The CPA Center of Excellence pilot program, approved by the Indiana Board of Accountancy, is scheduled to run through the end of 2015. It allows CPAs to use up to two online classes – or 16 hours – toward continuing education requirements. “We just strongly feel that this is the direction education should be headed,” said Dave Shatkowski, spokesman for the Indiana CPA Society. http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20140921/BIZ/309209905

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cancer research and other medical funding is hurt by Congress's budget games - Stephen Koff, Plain Dealer

Congress instead plans to pass a temporary measure to take effect Oct. 1 with no or minimal spending increases. Congress may consider spending hikes in December, but only once its political makeup for 2015 is clear. This does not mean that Congress will or won't eventually cut or raise the amount of money it already provides for medical research at centers like Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic. And the timing of Congress's budget dance is only slightly coincidental with the fact that Dr. Stanton Gerson, director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Seidman Cancer Center, came to Washington to participate in Cancer Lobby Day, sponsored by the American Cancer Society's advocacy group, the Cancer Action Network. But Gerson and others in the research community happen to be witnessing what happens when Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on how to spend taxpayer money and the fiscal year ends. http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2014/09/cancer_research_and_other_medi.html

U. of Wisconsin-Madison using Google Glass for academic feedback - Stefanie Botelho, University Business

“Instead of marking the paper and posting the solution, we can record personalized videos for each student,” explains Michael Gofman, finance professor from the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “We’re not just showing their grade and what they did wrong, but how they can improve in the future. The technology was the perfect fit for the problem.” After only one semester of using the technology, student evaluation scores that measure the quality of feedback in Gofman’s corporate finance course jumped to 4.69 (on a scale from one to five, five being the highest)—an increase of 38 percent from the year before and 22 percent higher than the average for all business courses at the same semester. By using Google Glass, Spencer gave more nuanced and detailed feedback to students, touching on mistakes, what they did well, and how to build on what they’ve learned. http://www.universitybusiness.com/news/u-wisconsin-madison-using-google-glass-feedback

Taking Male Students Seriously - Rocco L. Capraro, Inside Higher Ed

Today’s college men, as a group, are not doing so well — in comparison with today’s college women and with college men of the past. Many men are simply not attending college at all; and of those who matriculate, they are not graduating in large numbers, again, as compared to women and to previous generations of men. Coming out of high school, they are not as well prepared for college. While at college, men are less engaged in their studies and in student life, and they receive lower grades and fewer honors. (Men in STEM courses, i.e., science, technology, engineering, and math, are the exception.) On campus, they exhibit higher rates of alcohol and substance abuse and commit more social conduct violations. College men use fewer student services and are more reluctant to seek help and attend support programs. In short, men are getting less out of their college experience, and they are not taking it upon themselves to do something about it. Men’s studies is an emerging field of knowledge concerned primarily with men’s experience, identity, and development throughout the life course. In so far as it focuses on what men are (social reality); what we think men are (stereotypes); and what we would like men to be (gender ideal); men’s studies could be described as the study of masculinities. https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2014/09/22/essay-significance-mens-studies-promoting-success-male-students

Sunday, September 28, 2014

11.5 percent growth in new international students in US graduate schools - Council of Graduate Schools

Among graduate students in fall 2013 whose citizenship was known, 83.3% were U.S. citizens or permanent residents and 16.7% were temporary residents. Among U.S. citizens and permanent residents at least 29.7% of all enrollees were racial/ethnic minorities. Nearly six out of ten graduate students were enrolled full-time in fall 2013, and roughly four out of every ten were enrolled part-time. About four in every ten (42.1%) graduate students in fall 2013 were men and about six in ten (57.9%) were women. Women comprised a larger share of total enrollees at the master’s degree and graduate certificate level (60.5%) than at the doctoral level (51.1%). The broad fields of education, business, and health sciences enrolled the largest numbers of graduate students in fall 2013. About three-quarters (72.8%) of graduate students in fall 2013 were enrolled in programs leading to a master’s degree or a graduate certificate, and approximately one-quarter (27.2%) were enrolled in doctoral programs. http://cgsnet.org/ckfinder/userfiles/files/GED_report_2013.pdf

EdX launches new high school initiative - Zareen Choudhury, the Tech (MIT)

In a new initiative for edX, last Tuesday, the online platform spearheaded by MIT and Harvard launched 26 new courses aimed at high school students, according to The Boston Globe. The new subjects offered include English, computer science, algebra, calculus, and several Advanced Placement (AP) courses, such as AP Environmental Science and AP Biology. According to edX, fourteen institutions were involved in developing these courses, including MIT, Rice, the University of California Berkeley, Georgetown, and public high schools such as Weston Public High School. http://tech.mit.edu/V134/N39/highschooledx.html

Why Open Education Matters Video Competition Winners Announced - Dept of Ed

What would you do if you thought you had a solution that would make a high-quality education freely available to anyone with a computer or cell phone, help instructors build new teaching skills and get credit for their accomplishments, and also greatly reduce costs for schools, families and students? You’d want to tell the world! That is just what the nearly one hundred videographers who entered the “Why Open Education Matters” video competition, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, spent part of this summer doing. http://www.ed.gov/blog/2012/07/why-open-education-matters-video-competition-winners-announced/

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The 12 Best Free Online Business Courses To Take This Spring - RICHARD FELONI, Business Insider

The start of a new school year may have you thinking about your own education, and whether you’re lacking in any area suited to your career. Maybe you have entrepreneurial aspirations but are lacking a financial background. Or maybe you realise that after years as a professional you still don’t know how to best manage your finances. Whatever your situation, there are plenty of excellent free online courses available this spring. We’ve gathered some of the best and linked them below. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/best-free-online-business-courses-2014-9

Online learning: Pessimism, optimism and realism - Michael M. Crow and Derrick M. Anderson, Deseret News

The way we think about online learning is inadequate. Attitudes generally fall into one of two prevailing camps: online learning optimism and pessimism. It's time to look at it with realism. Clearly, the Internet is the frontier of social impact technologies. But the Internet is not just the means to view books in electronic form or pay bills online. It is a platform for using computational tools to enhance and bring new meaning to fundamental human pursuits. Online delivery has already transformed many centuries-old social enterprises. Banking, communication, commerce, government, news and art are all now more accessible, less expensive and faster to use and evolve. We should commit to online learning because of its promise to reinvent and enhance the age-old models that prevail in higher education. With deliberate effort, there is no foreseeable end to our ability to adapt to anything the future may bring. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865611097/Online-learning-Pessimism-optimism-and-realism.html

Intel Says Laptops and Tablets with 3-D Vision Are Coming Soon - Tom Simonite, Technology Review

Your next laptop or tablet may have 3-D sensors that let it recognize gestures or augment a real scene with virtual characters. Adding 3-D sensing to PCs and mobile devices could open up new forms of entertainment and commerce. Look out: Intel’s 3-D sensing technology is small enough to fit inside this new tablet from Dell, which is only six millimeters thick. Laptops with 3-D sensors in place of conventional webcams will go on sale before the end of this year, according to chip maker Intel, which is providing the sensing technology to manufacturers. And tablets with 3-D sensors will hit the market in 2015, the company said at its annual developers’ conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/530666/intel-says-laptops-and-tablets-with-3-d-vision-are-coming-soon/

Friday, September 26, 2014

More Than Half of American Workers Believe a Skills Gap Exists but Does Not Apply to Them - Udemy

Sixty-one percent of Americans believe that today's workforce is plagued by a skills gap, but do not see themselves as part of the problem, according to new data released today. The Udemy Skills Gap Index, an independent survey commissioned by Udemy, the leading global marketplace for learning and teaching online, and conducted by ResearchNow, surveyed 1,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 65. The survey polled consumers to determine their thoughts, perceptions and attitudes toward not only the skills they believe they possess, but also how these skills impact their professional lives. The resulting data revealed that despite a perception among American workers that a skills gap exists, 95 percent consider themselves to be either qualified or overqualified for the positions that they personally hold. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/more-than-half-of-american-workers-believe-a-skills-gap-exists-but-does-not-apply-to-them-275426751.html

All Things in Modulation - Carl Straumsheim, Tomorrow's Professor

It's a concept known as modularity. Instead of reassembling a face-to-face course, lecture by lecture, institutions are urging faculty members creating online courses (and not just MOOCs) to split coursework into modules. For example, a 15-week course on Shakespeare could be transformed into modules on his poetry, comedies, tragedies and historical plays. "We've got to pick the greatest hits, as it were, of your course and find some of the material that you think, 'Boy, if [students] only have one exposure to me or my course, here are four things I want them to know,' " said Joshua Morrill, a senior evaluator at UW-Madison. http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/enewsletter.php?msgno=1351

Future of the executive education: Unbundled MBA - John A. Byrne, USA Today

In a quarter of a century, most business students will never enter a classroom. The faculty lectures, the MBA student discussions and the homework assignments will occur instead over the Internet, where each part of the educational experience can be played as many times as it takes to fully absorb or satisfy, as if it were a Seinfeld rerun. The world's most famous professors will more likely be compelling teachers—rather than journal-published researchers—and many of them will be free agents, unattached to a single university. Technology will allow for free-agent faculty, able to teach directly to students, with the university being what it will increasingly be viewed as: just another middleman taking a profit. Professors won't need an affiliation with a university, because technology will allow them to create their own brands. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/09/14/cnbc-unbundled-mba-degree/15462785/

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Leading in 140 Characters or Less - University of Cincinnati President Santa J. Ono, EDUCAUSE Review Online

From my perspective, digital engagement plays an indispensable role in the effort to be the kind of leader I want to be. Others are skeptical, or may even find the concept anathema to their idea of the college or university. But whatever one's attitude, I submit that we best serve our stakeholders by adopting or rejecting social media for good and thoughtful reasons rather than by reflex, whether avid or fearful. Here are some numbers that might widen your eyes, as they did mine. As of January 2013, there were more devices connected to the Internet than there were people on Earth. In 2014, the average time people are spending on Facebook each month reaches 15.5 hours. Twitter logs over 300 million tweets every day. Virtually all—98 percent—of 18- to 24-year-olds use social media. According to one source, 40 percent of people said they socialize more on social media than face-to-face. Whether or not a president chooses to engage in digital communication, social media is helping to shape the environment of his or her institution. If that institution is to thrive (not just exist), leaders need to take a look that is long, slow, and careful at the media that are brief, quick, and provisional. http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/leading-140-characters-or-less

MOOC Reaches Out to High School Students - Matthew C. Keegan, Say Campus Life

Branching out to high school students comes as educators evaluate college readiness amongst today’s student population. edX claims the courses it offers will help high school students prepare for college. High school teachers can also benefit by reinforcing their curriculum with edX instruction materials. The subject areas covered include: English, history, mathematics and science, with one class for college advising, the latter providing students with guidance as they write their college entrance applications. A lot of students need hand holding when filling out an application with parents sometimes paying for special assistance. http://www.saycampuslife.com/2014/09/15/mooc-reaches-out-to-high-school-students/

Commuter Students Using Technology - Maura Smale and Mariana Regalado, EDUCAUSE Review Online

A multi-year qualitative study of undergraduates at six colleges at the City University of New York focused on how, where, and when students accomplished their academic work and how the presence or absence of access to technology helped and hindered them. CUNY students have an average commute time of 45–60 minutes each way and typically use public transportation, making commuting a defining feature of undergraduate life at CUNY that offers both opportunities and challenges. The study sought to understand how students made time and found space to do their schoolwork outside of class, including their use of technology for coursework. Among its outcomes, the study offers concrete steps that other institutions can take to help mitigate technology constraints for their own students.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

FRIDAY UPCEA/Bb Webinar: Learning Mode Mixology – Offering the Right Modality Mix for Today’s Learner - Deborah Everhart and Ray Schroeder, Blackboard / UPCEA

The higher education field is abuzz with terms like competency-based, adaptive, blended, flipped, mobile, open and more. What does it all mean and how can your institution assemble the right “mix” of teaching and learning offerings to meet the needs of today’s students. Please join UPCEA and Blackboard, as they explore the evolving variety of teaching and learning modalities, the value they bring and the impact they are having on higher education. Discussion will include:

  • Explore trends that are driving this change 
  • Envision the evolving landscape we see emerging in the coming year 
  • Discuss research results related to these alternative modalities 
  • Offer best practices used to achieve the right mix for your institution 

12:30pm-1:30 p.m. EDT Free Registration:


More Pressure Than Ever: The 2014 Survey of College and University Admissions Directors - Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Last year was a difficult one for college admissions -- with institutions reporting more and more difficulty filling their classes. Things aren't any better and they may be a little worse, according to the 2014 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Admissions Directors. Slightly fewer colleges reported meeting their enrollment targets by May 1, more reported anxiety about meeting their targets, and more reported recruiting those who had already committed to other institutions. While the increases in all three areas were small, last year's totals were large -- and worrisome to many college leaders. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/survey/more-pressure-ever-2014-survey-college-and-university-admissions-directors

College students pay more as subsidies drop - Stefanie Botelho, University Business

For the first time, students are paying, on average, half or more of their tuition’s cost. Subsidies for public higher ed institutions are the lowest in a decade—and for the first time, students are paying, on average, half or more of their tuition’s cost. Those are a few of the financial trends substantiated by a recent American Institutes for Research (AIR) study. According to “Trends in College Spending: 2001–2011,” a report by the Delta Cost Project at AIR, both public and government contributions to institutions continue to decrease. The study also showed that subsidies declined by 2 to 4 percent at public nonresearch institutions in 2011—an improvement over 2010, when declines averaged 8 percent or higher. However, public research universities suffered through a second year of 8 percent declines. http://www.universitybusiness.com/article/college-students-pay-more-subsidies-drop