Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Here’s how to build a student-centered university - LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

A strategy known as segmentation could help campuses better serve diverse groups of students. Higher-ed leaders have to change the lens through which they view students if they hope to create learner-centered universities–and part of that change starts with segmentation. Student segmentation involves using survey results and data to “segment” students in order to build new academic offerings and personalize campus services. This is where leaders can begin the process to better align a higher-ed institution with learn, according to The Future of Learners, just released by Pearson and higher education expert Jeff Selingo. Students coming to campus in the 2020s will be more racially and ethnically diverse than ever before, and these Gen Z students will have different expectations for campus services, instruction, and technology.

Ivy Tech CC Rolls out Interactive, Adaptive Digital Biology Course - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana recently announced it will use BioBeyond as the standard course for all of its online introductory biology courses. The college, which has more than 40 campus locations serving nearly 71,000 students, piloted the digital biology course over the summer, and now plans to use it in 37 online sections. BioBeyond "takes students on a journey to learn how life works," according to a company statement. Designed to replace traditional textbooks, the course offers 56 adaptive lessons, using virtual field trips, interactive simulations and other inquiry-based materials to teach students to make observations, test hypotheses and engage with science. "This new course is a game changer, both in how students engage with and understand the course material, and the insights instructors gain on students' grasp of concepts throughout the semester," said Reid Morehouse, assistant professor of life and physical sciences at Ivy Tech, in a statement.

Securing Democracy With Blockchain - Scott Foreman, Udacity

Nimit Sawhney’s company Voatz is pioneering the use of blockchain technology to help overseas military personnel vote securely in West Virginia.  Sawhney says:  "It’s incumbent upon us to keep evolving, keep learning, and keep enhancing our concept for democracy. That’s a strong driver for us. Regardless of your political affiliation, if more people vote, if everyone votes, then that’s a fair fight. If you lose, it was a clash of ideas, and you can accept you lost the argument, and you can move on. But if people who are eligible to vote don’t, then it doesn’t seem like a fair fight, and it feel likes a flawed system. That’s a big driver for us. Can we make it easier for people who aren’t voting to do so, in a very secure way?"

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

MIT Announces Plan for $1B Effort on Computing, AI - Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Monday morning announced a $1 billion plan to create a new college of computing within MIT, and to promote teaching and research on computing and artificial intelligence. MIT's announcement says the effort "marks the single largest investment in computing and AI by an American academic institution, and will help position the United States to lead the world in preparing for the rapid evolution of computing and AI."

The Department of Education’s Plans for Overhauling Accrediting and Innovation Regulations - Cheryl Dowd and Russ Poulin, WCET Frontiers

On Friday, October 13, the U.S. Department of Education published the unofficial version of its plan to establish an “Accreditation and Innovation” negotiated rule making committee. The final version should be published in the Federal Register today and includes the call for nominations to serve on the committee and three subcommittees. Quite simply, these discussions may result in the most sweeping set of changes witnessed in higher education in the United States since the middle of the last century. The issues highlighted for consideration are the very ones that will have a deep impact on our day-today operations.

Falling Confidence in Higher Ed - Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Just under half (48 percent) of American adults have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in higher education, according to an analysis released by Gallup. That figure is down from 57 percent in 2015 and represents a larger than typical decline in confidence in an American institution in a relatively short time period, according to Gallup. The largest confidence drops were found among Republicans. And based on this year's responses, higher education enjoys more confidence than do many other institutions (including the presidency, Congress, newspapers and public schools). Only the military, small business and police enjoy more confidence than does higher education.

Why is Student Debt Rising? Look at Your State’s Budget for Answers - Steve Dubb, Non-Profit Quarterly

The nation’s student loan debt in 2001 was $340 billion. Today, it is $1.53 trillion. Since 2008 alone, reports Michelle Singletary in the Washington Post, the increase in debt load has been 130 percent. “Fifty-seven percent of young adults said they felt burdened by their student loans,” Singletary adds. Rising private tuition costs are frequently blamed for this increase—and certainly there is no argument that these have played a major role. But most college students attend public universities. Federal statistics show that 8.7 million of 13.7 million students at four-year colleges attend public schools, which works out to 63.5 percent of all college students (the percentage goes up to 73.5 percent if two-year degree students are included).

Monday, October 15, 2018

AI is perhaps the biggest revolution of the modern age - Sebastian Thrun, Live Mint

For me, AI is perhaps the biggest revolution of the modern age. The fundamental innovation is that in the past, the computer would blindly follow rules. But with the use of AI, and Machine Learning in particular, the computer can now get examples and find its own moves. It takes years of training to become a good doctor or a lawyer but with AI, we could turn people into instant experts on day one. For example, we trained an AI system to recognise skin cancer--it became as good as a certified doctor who has spent years and years in training.

First-Generation University Adult Learners and the Choice of an Online Learning Model - Yoram Neumann, Diverse Learning

The question remains whether or not online education can play a significant role in leveling the playing field and eventually reducing income inequality. According to the U.S. Department of Education and the Center of Education at Georgetown University, about a third of undergraduate students in U.S. universities and colleges are first-generation learners whose bachelor degree graduation rates within six years from starting their studies are only 25 percent. About 54 percent of these first-generation students are adult learners (ages older than 24). 4.5 million undergraduate students are both first-generation and low-income and their bachelor degree completion rate is only 11 percent.

Why Traditional Trades Will Prosper In A Technology-Focused Workforce - Andy Rosenband, Forbes

As the CEO of a manufacturing company that relies both on our workforce of dedicated employees as well as making investments in new technology solutions, I continue to examine whether and when one side will override the other. But I don’t think this will happen. I think we’ll have a continued need for a strong employee workforce in addition to advanced machinery. Technology — both digital and mechanical — is changing the way we work. While this is unsettling to many workers, especially those in seemingly volatile positions and industries (which at first glance may appear ripe for takeover by an automated workforce), there's an upside to traditional trades.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Evolving World of Community Colleges: Market Position, Competition and the Future - Ian Roark, Evolllution

Our industry often subscribes to the notion that community college enrollment is inversely tied to the business cycles of the American economy: We tend to cling to this notion as if it must continue to be this way; as if it’s immutable. While the business cycle is one factor among many in our enrollment patterns, it may be counterproductive for community college leadership to say that a bad economy is good for community college enrollment—and conversely, to blame low enrollments on a booming economy.  A second trend that we need to keep in mind is the impact of artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT) and automation. That is, we need to address the notion that, “The robots are coming!” A recent study from the McKinsey Global Institute stated that 30 percent of all Americans could be displaced by advanced technologies by 2030.

What is Machine Learning? - Chris Meserole, Brookings

The core insight of machine learning is that much of what we recognize as intelligence hinges on probability rather than reason or logic.  Recognizing someone, planning a trip, plotting a strategy—each of these tasks demonstrate intelligence. But rather than hinging primarily on our ability to reason abstractly or think grand thoughts, they depend first and foremost on our ability to accurately assess how likely something is. We just don’t always realize that that’s what we’re doing. Back in the 1950s, though, McCarthy and his colleagues did realize it. And they understood something else too: Computers should be very good at computing probabilities.

What is Artificial Intelligence? Darrell M. West, Brookings

Today, AI generally is thought to refer to “machines that respond to stimulation consistent with traditional responses from humans, given the human capacity for contemplation, judgment, and intention.” According to researchers Shubhendu and Vijay, these software systems “make decisions which normally require [a] human level of expertise” and help people anticipate problems or deal with issues as they come up. As argued by John Allen and myself in an April 2018 paper, such systems have three qualities that constitute the essence of artificial intelligence: intentionality, intelligence, and adaptability.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Community colleges see success with varied semester start dates - LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Flexible semesters could help nontraditional students complete degrees at community colleges.  Nontraditional students make up more than half of today’s higher-ed student body, and community colleges are stepping up to meet their unique needs in big ways. Research from the American Council on Education shows that almost 60 percent of U.S. undergraduate students are nontraditional, meaning they are 25 or older, work full-time, and have work, family, or other obligations that require flexibility in their educational options.

Does your college have a math concierge? - ANGELA PASCOPELLA, eCampus News

The Math Emporium at an Arizona community college pairs technology with human help to increase student success. The Math Emporium, located on the campus of Rio Salado College in Phoenix, Arizona, is an informal, cafe-style study and practice space to help students navigate basic math. But that’s not all. The emporium is staffed by a math “concierge” who acts as tutor, small-group presenter, and coach. As with many community colleges, some Rio Salado students tend to be older than the average college student and/or some left high school early, so they have little memory or knowledge of math concepts. “Less than 20 percent of students can get into and pass a college-level math class,” says John Jensen, faculty chair of mathematics. “A lot of them need practice with lower-level and developmental math; they simply lost [the knowledge] due to lack of use.”

The 5 Keys for Developing Effective Online Learning Courses - Christopher Pappas, Business2Community

Customers are busier than ever — in fact, more than 60 percent of people work at least 40 hours a week on top of countless hours of housework. Even with this full plate, they still must make well-informed buying decisions and find ways to familiarize themselves with brands. As a result, your organization should provide personalized customer online training resources that audiences can peruse at their own pace. With eLearning course development, you can tailor your brand to tech-savvy customers instead of relying on traditional strategies that feel more intrusive. Developing effective online learning courses isn’t easy — especially when you’re just starting out. It’s important to consider a few circumstances before implementing an online training course.

Friday, October 12, 2018

A comparison of human-machine working hours for 2018 and 2022 - Future of Jobs Survey 2018, World Economic Forum

Will we humans lose more jobs than we gain when machines take over the world of work, or will it be just the opposite? The experts are still trying to figure that out. In December 2017, a report from management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, "Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation," predicted that between "almost zero" and a third of work activities could be displaced by 2030, with wide variation among countries. (The more advanced the economy, the more likely the impact of automation.) While workforce transitions could hit between 75 million and 375 million people, overall, McKinsey found, more occupations will change than will be lost in a machine-driven world.

Older students are the new normal at college. The reason? The recession and new technology - Leigh Guidry, Lafayette Daily Advertiser

American universities are becoming less traditional — or at least their students are. People over 25 or those with children are enrolling in college classes — so many that nearly 74 percent of American undergraduate students are "nontraditional." They're compelled by a recession that especially hurt less-educated employees, along with the worry that advancing technology could leave them without a job. Nontraditional students now outnumber those who start as 18-year-old freshmen supported by their parents, according to data from RTI International, a North Carolina think tank.

MIT – edX MicroMasters Adds Harvard Extension School and Four More Institutions - IBL News

The list of universities that recognize the MITx / edX MicroMasters credential has grown until 19 pathway institutions in 11 countries and 58 different pathways to a master’s degree. The last five institutions joining the MicroMasters are: Harvard Extension School for the programs in supply chain management (SCM) and data, economics and development policy (DEDP); Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México for DEDP; Hong Kong Polytechnic University for SCM; Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, in Thailand, for SCM, DEDP, and the programs in manufacturing principles and statistics and data science; and Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg, in Germany, for SCM.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

WeWork Spurs Online Learning's Next Step Forward - Michael Horn, Forbes

WeWork, the leader in coworking spaces, has been turning heads in education circles for the last year. It acquired Flatiron, a prominent coding bootcamp, and MissionU, a one-year college alternative. Then came its partnership with 2U, the standout online program management company. Among other things, the partnership allows 2U students to use WeWork’s office space as study halls, and the two companies will build a learning center together in 2019. The place-based aspect of the partnership is what is so interesting, as it is points to what will happen next with the disruptive innovation of online learning, namely how it will improve.

Ohio State plans esports program across 5 colleges - Hallie Busta , Education Dive

Ohio State University is launching an interdisciplinary gaming studies and esports program that will span five of its colleges — Engineering, Education and Human Ecology, Arts and Sciences, Business and Medicine — and include at least one undergraduate degree, according to the university. The program doesn't yet have a launch date, though it is expected to be at least a year out. Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center already researches mental and physical behavior of elite esports athletes.  The initiative will also include an elective class in esports content production, a gaming speaker series and an online certification. The certification and online classes will be developed after the degree program is in place, a university representative told Education Dive in an email. A planned 4,000-square-foot, 80-plus-seat esports arena will serve the program and be home to a new university esports team.