Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pedagogy, Andragogy, and Technology - Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger, BellaOnline

The old method of teachers instructing students has morphed into more of a shared learning environment. The new teaching and learning theory is called andragogy, or adult-leading, as opposed to pedagogy, or child-leading, according to American educator Malcolm Knowles. Key attributes associated with adult learners are motivation fueled by a need to know, an acquired foundation of experience, self-concept, and a readiness or willingness to learn. Teaching methodologies tailored for andragogy are quite common at the college level, particularly in distance and online learning environments, because many students today are already working full-time jobs and hope to acquire higher positions by gaining advanced degrees. These adult students seek the most efficient and time-saving methods for furthering their educations, and distance learning is at the top of the list.

Online University Courses Have Growing Pains, But Are Supported By Secular Trends -

MOOCs continue to gain ground on their traditional peers, driven by some of the forces identified above. We believe that MOOCs will secure acceptance by more and more institutions for transfer credit, and that the emergence of a blended online/offline program such as that envisioned by Mr. Agarwal is likely. The preeminence of degrees that require the investment of years of study may also come to be challenged by targeted micro-programs, which could come to be highly regarded by employers. What’s increasingly certain is that the university education of the future will not be tied to what we know from the past -- and that will be good for students and employers alike.

For Community Colleges, Post-Recession Blues - Charlie Tyson, Inside Higher Ed

Community college enrollments swelled after the 2008 financial crisis. In the 2010-11 academic year, national enrollment numbers were almost 25 percent higher than in the 2007-8 academic year, said David Baime, senior vice president for government relations and research for the American Association of Community Colleges. The surge was brief. Enrollment at two-year public institutions fell 3.6 percent between spring 2012 and spring 2013. The numbers dropped 2.7 percent between spring 2013 and spring 2014. Community colleges are losing students older than 24 at disproportionate rates. These students still make up roughly 40 percent of community college attendees. But between 2013 and 2014, the over-24 age group saw a 5.9 percent decline in community college enrollment. In that same period, enrollments fell just 0.5 percent among community college students 24 years and younger. More students currently attend two-year colleges than did before the recession. But languishing enrollment numbers in the last three years have forced many community colleges to downsize.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Within Striking Distance of Degree Completion - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Americans who attended college for a while but never earned a credential might be the key to achieving the ambitious college completion goals the White House and influential foundations have set. It’s a big group. More than 31 million people enrolled in college during the last two decades but left without earning a degree or certificate and have not returned to higher education for at least 18 months, according to new data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The most common type of potential completer is 24 to 29 years old and has been out of higher education for two to six years, the report found. About 600,000 women and slightly fewer than 500,000 men fit this description.

complete report:

Studies show significance of using text reminders for millennials - Brad Mannion and Sam Newton, Red and Black

Conducting their research on a group of 800 community college students, Castleman, an assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia, and Page, a research assistant professor of education at the University of Pittsburgh, used the organization uAspire to send text messages to students concerning the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, along with maintaining academic requirements. Of the students in the treatment or control group, the study found 64 percent of students in the control group, which did not receive text reminders, persisted with aid reapplication to their sophomore year.But for students in the treatment group, who did receive text reminders, 76 percent continuted on to their sophomore year. uAspire also provided an inexpensive way to send text messages at $5 per student during the study. Generation Opportunity, a millennial advocacy group, found that young Americans are more likely to vote in an election if sent a reminder via Facebook messaging or text.

Many college freshmen need remedial work, often delaying graduation, increasing costs - Debra Erdley, Inside Higher Ed

One in four college freshmen nationwide takes at least one noncredit remedial class, a study by the U.S. Department of Education found. The finding, based on 2012 statistics — coupled with a study this spring of the National Assessment of Educational Progress that found nearly four in 10 high school seniors lack reading and math skills for entry-level college work — is prompting some educators to review what they do. Costly remedial courses that tackle math, reading and writing skills can delay college graduation and increase by half the likelihood that students will not complete studies, said former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, president of the Washington-based Alliance for Excellence in Education. In a nation where student debt eclipses credit card debt, Wise's group found staggering costs nationwide from remedial courses: $3.6 billion in tuition alone in 2007-08.

Benefits Options for Adjuncts - Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed

Many adjuncts not only work for low pay, but do so without employer-provided health insurance. So the American Federations of Teachers’ announcement on Friday that it was partnering with the Freelancers Union to offer adjuncts – even those who aren’t part of AFT – access to benefits came as good news to many. The AFT is not paying for benefits, but rather is offering adjuncts access to various plans that might be difficult or more expensive to obtain individually. Earlier this year, the Freelancers Union announced the launch of a National Benefits Platform, through which independent workers can search by ZIP code a “suite” of various benefits. Offerings include health and dental insurance and retirement and term life insurance. The new AFT partnership will offer adjuncts a special web portal to access these and other programs and services offered by both unions, starting this fall.

Monday, July 28, 2014

U.S. News Twitter Chat: How to Develop Good Online Learning Habits - Travis Mitchell, US News

On Thursday, July 31, at 2pm EST, U.S. News Education ​will host a Twitter chat to help students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree online ​develop good habits for success. Topics will include advice on how to best use online discussion forums and tips on ways to effectively balance school and work. U.S. News Education will moderate a panel of experts, including Ray Schroeder (@rayschroeder)​, associate vice chancellor for online learning ​at the University of Illinois—Springfield; academic staff from Pennsylvania State University—World Campus (@PSUWorldCampus) and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University—Bloomington​ (@KelleySchool); and Devon Haynie (@DevonHaynie), online education reporter for U.S. News. Where:

University of Miami reimburses online students for student center fees - Lauren Olson, Dayton Daily News

Complaints from parents and students led Miami University officials to repay $205,244 in fees to students who are taking summer courses through the Oxford campus. Summer fees the university charged and earmarked to pay down the $53.1 million Armstrong Student Center (ASC), which opened in January of 2014, were recently reversed, according to Claire Wagner, the university’s spokeswoman. Students taking courses during any summer session in Oxford or through online classes, were reimbursed for the charges. Senior Alex Kirkpatrick was one of many Miami students charged a student fee for the center this summer. Kirkpatrick said he likely won’t even step foot in the center this summer, so he was taken aback to see the $27.48 charge for his three credit hour online course through the Oxford campus.

Scientists want to get their latest findings to those who can use them: parents and caregivers - DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP, Associated Press

Scientists have learned a lot about the preschool brain over the past decade. But unless they read medical journals, most parents and others who care for their young children have yet to hear about those discoveries. Researchers at the University of Washington and a group of nonprofit partners are trying to change that by making outreach and education a bigger part of their work. A variety of new efforts have begun: from a Facebook page with photos of parents and kids demonstrating learning activities to a free online mini-university explaining the science in a way that everyone can understand and apply it.

So You Think You Can Educate Adults? - Alexander Russo, edSurge

Indeed, adult education is experiencing a much-needed surge of interest from the innovation and entrepreneurial communities, according to experts, observers, and providers. They hope that this interest will develop new human capital, improve outcomes, and attract additional resources. Some of the developments – flipped, blended, gamified, mobile learning – are familiar trends generally mirroring those taking place in other sectors. Others trends and concepts – contextualization, “braided” funding, and “bridge” programs – are more specific to the needs of low-skill adults and adult education programs who serve them. Here’s a roundup of some of the most interesting trends and innovations in adult education from our interviews with experts and leaders in the field.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Facing the Facts: Facial Recognition and E-Learning - Kate Everson, Chief Learning Officer

Facial recognition software developer KeyLemon has released a new program that applies its product to online education. Not only will it identify users when they first log into a program, it will confirm whether they’re the one taking the test. It also tracks eye movement to make sure learners are paying attention to a lecture instead of just half-heartedly listening while playing a gripping game of Tetris. For learning leaders, this development means they can add some integrity to online development programs that are plagued by plagiarism and cheating. It also means they can make e-learning more personal and responsive by giving the administrator a firmer grasp on what students are paying attention to during lecture.

MOOC dropouts – What we learn from students who leave - Sherif Halawa, University World News

The wide gamut of interactions that MOOC platforms record helps us not only to predict and understand more about dropouts but also to distinguish between learners who leave because of lack of time, learners who leave because of lack of motivation and learners who leave because of course difficulty. In a classroom setting, the teacher can observe students' active engagement with a discussion, but cannot measure non-participating students' engagement (whether or not they are silently following the discussion). MOOCs record forum post visits even for students who never post to the forum. MOOC forums also record conversations between students, which is difficult to capture in a classroom setting. In a dropout diagnosis experiment, we asked students to self-report on their state of perceived course difficulty, motivation and their amount of weekly free time. Analysis of respondents' learning interaction data revealed that certain behaviours are associated with high or low levels of each of these three factors.

Are tablets about to get a promotion in the workplace? - Steve Ranger, ZD Net

According to research, nearly three-quarters of organisations are issuing corporate-owned laptops (74 percent) and smartphones (71 percent) to their workforces, while less than half of businesses dish out tablets. But the analysts at Frost & Sullivan said the number of business-issued tablets will rise over the next three years "as many of the more data-intensive mobile applications migrate over to the tablets". By 2016, enterprise ownership and regular usage of smartphones is expected to decrease from its current base of 66 percent to 58 percent, while tablets are expected to increase from 49 percent to 56 percent — almost the same level.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Minerva Project Mixes Online Learning With World Travel - KIRK CARAPEZZA, WGBH

Would you attend a college that sends you around the world to live in different cities while taking all of your classes online? Minerva Project CEO Ben Nelson is banking on the notion that the world is ready for a new and different kind of university. "If you want to have a student experience that is around the concept of a campus, sheltered environment, go to your local football games, fraternities, you have plenty of options,” Nelson said. “But if you want to go to school while really immersing yourself in the best the world has to offer, we are your only option."

A cheaper, faster version of a college degree - Mary Beth Marklein, USA TODAY

No one appears quite ready to dismiss the value of a college degree, but cheaper, faster alternatives are gaining credibility in the workplace. The latest example: AT&T is working with a for-profit online education provider to develop "nanodegrees," its name for a series of courses that will take less than a year to complete and lead directly to entry-level jobs at the company related to Web and mobile applications development. The coursework, to be launched this fall by online education provider Udacity, will cost about $200 a month. The only prerequisite: the ability to do high school math. A more advanced learner can skip the courses and go straight to a final project.

Portal to Offer Free Online Courses to Africa's Managers and Entrepreneurs LILIAN MUTEGI, All Africa

The African Management Initiative (AMI) has launched the first series of online courses developed with top business schools aimed at reaching one million African entrepreneurs and managers in the next decade. Currently reaching over 800 managers, the first course - Managing Customers and Markets - is available on AMI's new online learning platform. The course was developed by Strathmore Business School. Other online courses offered by AMI include managing myself, managing rojects, managing customers, financing impacts, managing people, scaling impact, managing customers, designing for impact and managing money.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Competency-Based Learning Provides Perks for Online Students - Devon Haynie, US News

Imagine going to school in an online environment separate from any time requirements -- where you could test out of a course in a day if you proved you mastered the content. While still rare, students increasingly have the option to do just that as more online programs embrace something called competency-based learning. Competency-based learning allows students to work through an online course at their own pace, taking less time if they understand the material and more time if they are struggling. When students feel like they can demonstrate their knowledge or "competencies," they take a test or complete a project to show their mastery.

Rethinking What a 'Traditional' College Education Entails: Five Misconceptions About the Online Learning Experience - Tracy Lorenz, Huffington Post

Society's notions of "traditional students" have become antiquated as yesterday's nontraditional student has become today's traditional student. As the student demography and needs change so must our notion of the "traditional college education" experience. In a recent commissioned survey, Zogby Analytics uncovered that, from a student's perspective, the "University of the Future" needs to be accessible, flexible, innovative and job-focused.

• Accessible -- The students want to get and share content online; gone are the backpacks full of textbooks.

• Flexible -- A majority of students want courses offered at all times of the day or night and without fixed schedules to accommodate students who work or just prefer learning at different times.

• Innovative -- Nearly half want access personalized instruction or tutoring online perhaps rendering the traditional classroom experience less important.

• Job-Focused -- Students want a university that is clearly focused on producing students who are prepared to excel in jobs that are needed by industry and society.

Sound familiar? These are the same reasons that drive students to seek degrees from institutions with online programs

What everybody should know about Google’s new initiative - Molly Schulson, eCampus News

After analyzing its own gender problem, Google launches code initiative to expose young girls to coding. Usually when someone visualizes coding, they think of a male doing it — a la the movie “Social Network.” Rarely does a woman’s face pop up in one’s imagination when thinking of a computer scientist. When Google recently looked at their company’s composition and realized that women only accounted for 17 percent of its tech employees, they wondered why. After much research, Google then decided to create an initiative called “Made with Code” to attempt to balance the gender scale.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bill Gates On Higher Education - Lucie Lapovsky, Forbes

Bill Gates addressed the business officers of colleges and universities Monday at the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers in Seattle. He was clear that our colleges must deliver value and we must measure what they are delivering. He noted that our business model in higher education is under challenge. He suggested that we are beyond being able to fine-tune the model and will need to see radical change. Our revenue sources are challenged and we cannot expect to see them increase in the coming years and thus we must develop much greater efficiencies in how we deliver our product. We need to ask the difficult questions about what programs schools offer and how much duplication we need. He sees fewer departments and schools in the future. He challenged the business officers to be front and center in measuring the effectiveness of what is offered at our colleges and universities.