Thursday, July 19, 2018

Google can't find enough workers, so it's working with a local community college to help - Neetish Basne, Dallas Business Journal

Google is collaborating with a North Texas community college to bring its professional certificate course to students, in an attempt to develop a qualified IT labor pool. When the Silicon Valley tech company found it challenging to find and hire qualified IT support specialists, it started training workers on the job, on the Google campus. The training program proved successful, so Google started offering the training program as an online course earlier this year. Now, it has announced that about 25 community colleges across the country also will provide the eight-month course. Among the schools, Collin County Community College will offer Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate this fall.

Digital evolution: a new approach to learning and teaching in higher education - Renee Patton, Times Higher Education

Technology continually disrupts almost every area of our lives, resulting in constant shifts across all segments of our society. This is something we’ve examined at length in our research “Digital Vortex How Digital Disruption Is Redefining Industries”, developed with IMD, and our book on the same subject, where we studied the ways in which many industries are being impacted by new digital technologies. Today’s students want always-on access to the network and resources, wherever they are on or off campus, for a deeper and more flexible learning experience. Traditional rigid modes of classroom instruction are unlikely to inspire students whose online life outside the classroom is dynamic and evolutionary. Creating an effective digital learning environment is not just about offering convenience and familiarity to students, however. The consequences for their futures if we don’t keep pace are manifold and damaging.

How Blockbuster MOOCs Could Shape the Future of Teaching - Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

There isn’t a New York Times bestseller list for online courses, but perhaps there should be. After all, so-called MOOCs, or massive open online courses, were meant to open education to as many learners as possible, and in many ways they are more like books (digital ones, packed with videos and interactive quizzes) than courses.  The colleges and companies offering MOOCs can be pretty guarded these days about releasing specific numbers on how many people enroll or pay for a “verified certificate” or microcredential showing they took the course. But both Coursera and EdX, two of the largest providers, do release lists of their most popular courses. And those lists offer a telling snapshot of how MOOCs are evolving and what their impact is on the instructors and institutions offering them.

Personalized learning has broad appeal, but may be more revolutionary than we think - LAURA PAPPANO , Hechinger Report

Amid all the bellowing about charters, school choice and vouchers, a potentially more revolutionary reform movement is bubbling up. Philanthropists, state education officials, reform advocates — even charter school leaders — are examining personalized learning. The big idea is to create a customized path so students learn at their own pace, in the manner that resonates best with them, with content tailored to their interests, aided by their computers. It feels natural to a generation groomed to presume that everything is calibrated to their needs and wants — whether it’s online shopping, news or math homework — and raised with smartphones in their hands.  It sounds benign, and wonderful, to many parents. Schools, districts and even entire states are embracing it. Teacher unions cautiously endorse it, while flagging the concern that teachers could be replaced by technology. But personalized learning raises big questions about educational equity.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mixing and Matching Cal State Online Courses -- Free - Mark Lieberman, Inside Higher Ed

Many institutions allow residential students to dabble in online courses as they work through their schedule of face-to-face classes. The California State University System takes that offering one step further, presenting full-time students at all of the system’s 23 institutions with the option to enroll for free in one online course per semester at another Cal State institution.  The system has allowed residential students to take one free online course per semester at other campuses since 2013 -- and more than 2,400 students have taken advantage, according to Mike Uhlenkamp, interim senior director of public affairs. The provision was codified in California state law in 2015. But the pool of online courses was more limited, and the institution didn’t advertise this option as widely as it will now, Uhlenkamp said.

Yet another report says fewer Americans value 4-year degree - James Paterson, Education Dive

More Americans believe a four-year degree is not worth the financial cost, according to a CNBC All-American Economic Survey, which found the the number had increased to 44% from about 40% five years ago. The survey also found that fewer felt a four-year college degree was the best type of training, down to about 50% from nearly 60%. About 60% of Democrats favor a bachelor's degree and 40% of Republicans. The survey additionally found that more people believe two-year schools may be of greater value. The biggest increase was seen for trade schools, which 26% of Americans felt were a good value, compared to 18% in 2013.

Trump administration plans to rescind policies that encourage affirmative action in college admissions - Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

The Trump administration is planning to rescind Obama-era 2011 and 2016 guidance documents encouraging the use of race in college admissions to promote diversity on campus, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.  Administration officials will argue that the guidelines reach beyond the Supreme Court precedent and oversimplify what is allowed under the law.  The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing claims from Asian-American students who believe they were unfairly discriminated against in Harvard University's admissions practices. A similar complaint was dismissed last year by the Obama administration.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Guiding Faculty into Immersive Environments - David Raths, Campus Technology

In 2015, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology (ICAT) launched the Cube, an adaptable space for research and experimentation housed in the campus's Moss Arts Center. One of the first things ICAT did was to hire an immersive environment specialist to help faculty members who were incorporating the new space into their curricula.  "I remember Ben Knapp, ICAT's director, used the term 'concierge' when he came up with the position," recalled Zach Duer, who served in the job for a year and a half before becoming an assistant professor in the school of visual arts.  According to Duer, it's a common problem that universities invest in new technologies such as immersive learning spaces but fail to create positions like his to help faculty learn how to use them.

Are You Ready To Go Online? Key Considerations for New Online Education Initiatives - Aleksandar (Sasha) Tomic, Evolllution

While successes online are fairly well documented, failures are not as public The online space is getting more and more crowded, so you must define what it is that differentiates you. Is it price point? Student engagement? Student outcomes? Placement rate? In other words, why would a student choose your online MBA as opposed to the other 281 programs currently ranked by US News and World Report Online MBA rankings? The same care that goes into differentiating your on-ground programs should go into differentiating the online ones as well. Possibly more, since location might be a differentiator for your on-ground programs but is rendered meaningless in the online space.

Unpacked: Repeal of Open Internet Rule enables monopoly networks - Tom Wheeler, Brookings

*Internet services will likely not jump on this quickly and begin to extract the advantages of this repeal, but they will begin to discriminate in subtle way *There is a pending court appeal that challenges the FCC’s ability to repeal Net Neutrality *The Congressional Review Act, which has already passed the Senate, would repeal the FCC’s decision *To understand what impact the repeal of the Open Internet rule might have, you have to understand why it was put in place to begin with *The underlying concept of networks in America, all the way back to the telegraph, has been that there needs to be first-come, first-serve, non-discriminatory access *The reason why we have this rule is because of monopoly networks

Monday, July 16, 2018

Open educational resources have saved students millions of dollars, but can they also improve students’ grades? - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

A large-scale study at the University of Georgia has found that college students provided with free course materials at the beginning of a class get significantly better academic results than those that do not. The Georgia study, published this week, compared the final grades of students enrolled in eight large undergraduate courses between 2010 and 2016. Each of these courses was taught by a professor who switched from a commercial textbook costing $100 or more to a free digital textbook, or open educational resource, at some point during that six-year period.

Code Now. Pay Tuition Later - LINDSAY GELLMAN, the Atlantic

Coding schools are offering free classes in exchange for a percentage of future income. But at what cost?  The program would provide comprehensive web-engineering training, and would help with job placement. Once employed, graduates would be required to pay back a set portion of their salary under an arrangement called an income-share agreement, or ISA. The concept of ISAs has been around since at least the 1950s, when the economist Milton Friedman outlined them as a hypothetical model of repayment. Yet ISAs were rarely implemented until the past few years, as student-loan default spiked and schools sought to offer other ways to pay. In 2016, Purdue University launched an ISA tuition option aimed at families who might otherwise take out high-interest private loans or Direct PLUS loans for parents to fill the gap between federal student loans and the cost of tuition.

Leading in the Midst of Higher Ed Disruption: Experts Discuss Paths to Innovation - EdTechTimes

Today, higher education is in the midst of a major disruption. Every element of higher ed is changing: the traditional student, classroom models—even expectations for support after graduation. And of course, technology is at the center of many of these changes. New technologies are allowing campuses to have a broader reach, more efficient business practices, and new methods of instruction. But technological innovation brings an entirely new set of challenges to higher ed.

What Neuroscience Teaches Us About Fostering Creativity - Dennis Pierce, THE Journal

Technology is changing how students' brains are wired, setting expectations for faster, more interactive learning, said neuroscientist and best-selling author David Eagleman. And the most important thing that schools should be teaching students is "cognitive flexibility," or the ability to be creative and put ideas together in new and innovative ways. Eagleman spoke to a packed audience of educators and school administrators during the opening general session of the 2018 ISTE conference in Chicago. As a neuroscientist, he has studied how the human brain is constantly rewiring itself, a concept known as brain plasticity. He said the brains of today's students are changing because they are growing up in a digital world. Rather than resisting this change, educators need to embrace it and teach students as they are accustomed to learning outside of school.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Current Practices of Online Instructor Evaluation in Higher Education - Jonathan E. Thomas, Charles Graham, and Anthony A. PiƱa, OJDLA

As enrollment of students in online courses has steadily increased over the last few decades, very little attention has been given to online instructor evaluation. This is an area of online education that needs additional research to better ascertain the current state of online instructor evaluation as well as discover ways to improve its effectiveness. The purpose of this study is to identify how institutions evaluate online instructors and why. Findings indicated that the post-secondary institutions studied utilized many types of evaluation including student evaluations, administrative evaluations, peer evaluations, self-evaluations, and also employed metrics in their evaluations. Recommendations for the use of triangulation, course observation rubrics, formative evaluations, and metrics as part of an online instructor evaluation system are provided.

Leaders zero in on helping nontraditional students succeed - Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

Brandman University President Gary Brahm says the needs of nontraditional students are very different than those of traditional students. And though there is some consensus that nontraditional is the new traditional, many institution leaders are still struggling with how to adjust their business models to accommodate this wave of students on traditional campuses. A lot of institutions have leveraged their existing brand in order to deliver a traditional education as well as accommodate nontraditional students.

Students’ Perceptions of Quality Across Four Course Development Models - Victoria S. Brown, David Lewis, Mario Toussaint, OLJ 

Four course development models were used within a three-year time frame, allowing for an evaluation of the different models based upon students’ perceptions of the integration of the Quality Matters (QM) Standards, course structure, and quality. The study compared (a) faculty training, (b) instructional designer supported, (c) additional QM training course, and (d) no training or support used. Students were randomly selected from online courses from each of the categories to receive a survey to measure their perceptions about the courses. The students were asked about the design of the courses given the integration of the QM Standards, course structure, and quality. Significant results were found across all eight standards, course structure, and quality for the instructional-designer supported course model as compared with the other course design models.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Students Feel More Secure About Getting Jobs, But Skills Gaps Persist - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

College students are showing more confidence in their ability to get jobs in their career areas. More than four in 10 (41 percent) said they were "extremely" or "very" prepared, compared to about three in 10 (29 percent) last year. And far fewer students said they were "slightly" or "not at all" prepared this year than last year (17 percent compared to 31 percent). Men were far more likely to feel prepared than women: 50 percent compared to 36 percent. Also, non-traditional students, those who didn't enter college within a year of completing high school, were more likely to feel prepared than traditional students (49 percent vs. 34 percent). Students in vocational and technology programs were far more likely to consider themselves extremely prepared for work than any other discipline; for example, while 40 percent of vocational students stated that, for social sciences, the next highest discipline, just 13 percent said the same. These results came from the latest McGraw-Hill Education Future Workforce Survey.

Grappling with IoT Growth on Campus - David Raths, Campus Technology

Smart campus efforts take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT) to gain efficiencies from automation and analytics, often starting with building systems and energy usage. But as IoT efforts expand to other parts of the university, including student success, some universities are experiencing growing pains working across disciplines to gather and analyze so much data. For instance, a few years into a smart campus initiative called the Integrated Controls and Analytics Program, Stanford University (CA) is finding data quality and data management are raising unforeseen challenges. "Data management is the biggest obstacle we have right now," said Gerry Hamilton, Stanford's director of facilities energy management.

The single biggest mistake universities make when going online - FURQAN NAZEERI, eCampus News

Why a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.  Every day, we speak to university faculty and administrators who are looking to create an online course or degree program to increase enrollment, expand their revenue base, or reposition their brand. Those conversations usually begin with the same question: “How do we put this course/program online?”  At this point, I look for a diplomatic way to explain that’s not the right question to be asking. The real question is based on a shift in thinking about online learning. You are not simply putting a course online; you are creating an online product. It’s an important distinction. Your product—the program, course, certificate, or degree—has to be unique and very specific to what your market of current and prospective students want. The question that should be asked is: “How do we create a world-class learning experience that’s tailored to our students?” 

Friday, July 13, 2018

A College Prices Its Online Programs 60% Less - Mark Lieberman, Inside Higher Ed

Berklee College of Music’s online program, priced at just over a third of tuition for the Massachusetts institution’s face-to-face degree offerings, raised eyebrows when it got off the ground in 2013. Conventional wisdom that online programs require more resources to produce had taken hold, and pricing models that favor online students were few and far between. Five years later, Berklee remains an anomaly in higher ed, as most institutions continue to charge the same or more for online programs as for their face-to-face equivalents. Some arguments hinge on a philosophical belief that online education should be valued equivalently to face-to-face programs, while others emphasize the significant financial burden of designing and launching online courses from scratch.