Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Future of Continuing Education - John Ebersole, President, Excelsior College in The EvoLLLution

There are significant opportunities for continuing education to serve adults looking to invest in their own personal and professional development as the labor market becomes increasingly competitive and knowledge-based. Three macro forces are coming together to keep the need for continuing education before us for the foreseeable future. These are: 1. Global competition; 2. An accelerating pace of change; and 3. A decline in the period of knowledge relevance, especially in areas of technology.

Why e-learning is better than face-to-face learning - Ralph LaFontaine, Learning and Development Professional

Many people still tend to see e-learning as a poor alternative to face-to-face learning. This is often based on poor experiences with uninspiring e-learning courses that simply plonk a slide presentation or PDF onto a web page, with little thought for engagement or interaction. The question still pervades whether, despite the emergence of new digital learning technology, e-learning can ever be ‘as good’ as the supposed exemplar of classroom learning. The answer is quite simple: e-learning gives us the opportunity to extend learning beyond borders with more benefits than traditional learning could ever offer.

How to fix the college lecture - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

A recent study indicates lecture hall-style classes increase the probability of failure by 55%. Lecturing may present a disadvantage to students from low-income high schools or communities, because they may have work schedules beyond the classroom and may learn best with more individualized attention. Lectures are most prevalent in secondary systems serving affluent learners. Some professors are incorporating multimedia into traditional lecture formats to try to reach 21st century students.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Survey: College business officers say higher ed in crisis - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

A survey conducted by Inside Higher Ed found a majority of college business officials agree higher education is in financial crisis, with a bleak outlook for the next 10 years. More than 80% of business officers believe institutions must be more innovative and cost-conscious about academic offerings. More than half of survey respondents indicated faculty do not play a significant role in major budgeting decisions.

Number of Colleges Undergoing Greater Financial Oversight Drops - MELISSA KORN, Wall Street Journal

The number of colleges and universities subject to increased financial oversight by the federal government slid to 513 in June, from 528 three months earlier, according to an updated list posted to the U.S. Department of Education’s website Friday. More than half the schools on the list are for-profit institutions, along with a smattering of Bible colleges and private law schools. Nearly 20% of the schools subjected to tighter financial scrutiny are public schools, including tribal and community colleges. While dozens of schools were removed from the list since March, there are 38 new entries, including the historically black Tuskegee University in Alabama, Brown College of Court Reporting in Atlanta, and Coyne College, a for-profit school in Chicago.

Can colleges get ahead of the VR curve? - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Virtual reality is a growing tech platform in a number of industries, including tourism, gaming, cinema and education. Inside Higher Ed says that colleges should quickly consider adding VR for disciplines like engineering, or to student resources like library services. Costs for wearable technology and high-powered computers to run VR programs is still prohibitive for many schools outside elite Ivy League and large public institutions.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer online classes are growing at local universities and it’s affecting on-campus enrollment - BY ELIZABETH DONALD, Belleville News Democrat

The Carbondale campus of Southern Illinois University saw fewer summer students this year, while the Edwardsville campus saw a slight increase — and school officials are saying online classes had an impact on both. On-campus summer enrollment at SIUC dropped 14.2 percent this year, or 571 fewer students than last. This is 1,334 fewer students than who were enrolled in summer 2014. However, when online classes are factored in, the summer enrollment at SIUC is down 5.1 percent — still a drop, but not as significant. In fact, online class enrollment grew by 8.5 percent this year.

Learning Out Loud: Make Online Courses Meaningful and Accessible - Michelle Pacansky-Brock, EdSurge

Developing critical listening and speaking skills is an essential element of a student's higher-education experience. However, verbally presenting one's ideas and listening to contributions made by student peers are not typical experiences for online students, as most activities in online classes consist of reading and writing. As online course offerings increase, institutions have an obligation to ensure faculty are empowered to teach with tools that enable students to learn out loud. These tools and the content created with them must be accessible to all learners, including those who are hard of hearing and have vision impairments.

Boost Social Media Skills With Online Courses - Jordan Friedman, US News

Whether students pursue a free versus a paid online course in social media depends on their goals and class format preferences, experts say. "What we're finding is there's a large number of people out there with passion and talent but who were trained in non-digital media, or earned their degrees 10 or 15 years ago," says Michael Weigold, director of online graduate programs at the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications, which offers an online master's in social media. That's where online learning might come into play. There are plenty of options out there for those looking to boost their social media skills.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Five Ways to Help Students Succeed in the Online Classroom - Amy Hankins, Faculty Focus

More and more students are flocking to the online classroom for the convenience of earning college credits from the comfort of their home. However, many of these students are ill-prepared for the dedication and discipline needed to be successful in the online environment. Oftentimes students have misconceptions concerning the rigor of online courses, and they often underestimate the amount of time and discipline necessary to complete assignments, discussions, quizzes, and projects. Therefore, it is important for the instructor to set the tone of the course to help students succeed. So how do you help your students succeed in the online classroom?

Why to Consider Game-Based Online Learning - Joe Chapman, US News

Games can make online education more fun and allow students to apply what they learn to real-life situations. One of the primary benefits of game-based learning is that it offers custom learning experiences for students, which is important as every student learns differently. Throughout games, students can make mistakes, course correct and revisit concepts, allowing them to better understand course material and specific concepts they may struggle with. Another important benefit is that game-based learning is fun, and students enjoy learning. As opposed to some traditional education tactics that could feel passive or dull, game-based learning engages and motivates students, allowing them to actively learn, acquire skills and build thought processes.

9 Fresh Ways to Promote Your Online Course - Monica Montesa, Business2Community

At the end of the day, the success of your online course is directly tied to how valuable it is to your target audience. If your course isn’t helpful, no amount of promotion and advertising dollars will make up for that. And unfortunately, you’ll see that in your metrics when you don’t meet your goals. From the get-go, you should be confident that the course you’re encouraging them to sign up for is something people want. If you think you might need to go back and make some updates, I encourage you to do that now before you put in the effort to tell the world about it. Another thing: Before you start promoting anything, make sure you have clearly defined goals for your course. What action do you want course attendees to take after the course? How many people do you want to sign up for your service or purchase a product? Whatever it may be, this will have a significant impact on your promotion strategy. To keep your plan targeted, you want to make sure you’re meeting people where they are.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

For-Profit College Sector Continues to Shrink - Inside Higher Ed

The number of for-profit postsecondary institutions and the number of students they enroll are continuing to wither, according to data released by the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics on Thursday. In a new report, the center said that the number of for-profit colleges eligible to award federal financial aid fell to 3,265 last fall, down from 3,436 in fall 2014, a decline of 5 percent. The number of public institutions grew by one and the number of private nonprofit colleges grew by 26 over that year (from 1,883 to 1,909).

How—and Why—We Can Improve the Future of Mobile Learning - Chuck Cohn, EdSurge

When Massive Open Online Courses (or MOOCs) were first introduced, people quickly realized these platforms could help students learn more effectively at their own pace on their own schedule. “Formal” education was no longer constrained to traditional classroom hours, if it ever was. This development, combined with tremendous growth in mobile device usage due to improved technology, naturally led to a shift in mobile learning patterns. Students were now free to engage with diverse educational content—videos, podcasts, interactive games, and so on—from any location with a cellular signal.

Want to learn to code? These 5 apps make it easy - Christian de Looper, Digital Trends

Some say coding is the new literacy, which makes it pretty important for kids to start learning young — and for adults to learn the basics of coding if they want to be a part of our increasingly digital world. Luckily, there are plenty of great apps out there to help you and your kids learn how to code, whether it be to build an app or to learn how to command a robot. These apps are designed to make the task of learning to code easier, and there’s something out there for students of all ages and skill levels. Here are some of the best learn-to-code apps around.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Improving Student Grades Using Dedicated Support - Edward F Beason and Laura Horton, EDUCAUSE Review

With the objective of improving both accessibility and student retention, the Office of Disability Services at Tennessee Tech developed a plan to improve both the undergraduate experience and retention rates. Students appreciate the one-on-one academic coaching, which provided academic and sometimes social coaching depending on the needs of each student. Appropriate technology aids completed the academic support program by giving students tools they can use to achieve academic success. For students with disabilities, technological resources can play a crucial role in whether basic information presented in a classroom or lab setting is accessible or usable.

Competency-Based Education and Predictive Analytics: Learning from Transfers - Carlos Rivers and Judith Sebesta, EDUCAUSE Review

The competency-based program at Texas A&M University–Commerce has begun to analyze enrollment data to better understand their transfer student population and make predictions regarding future students. Transfer students entered the CBE program with an average 87 credits and graduated at rates that broke historically negative persistence patterns traditionally affecting part of the transfer student population. Adult learners outpace traditional-age students in pursuing degrees, and enrollment trends strongly suggest that post-traditional students will determine whether colleges reach enrollment targets and fulfill future workforce demands.

Online 'university of anywhere' opens to refugees - Sean Coughlan, BBC

An online university is offering 500 refugees from Syria's civil war free places on its degree courses. The University of the People, based in California, is a fast-growing, non-profit project designed to provide higher education for those with the academic ability to study, but without the ability to pay or without any practical access to a traditional university. "There isn't a better reason for the invention of the internet," says the university's founder and president, Shai Reshef. The university offers fully accredited four-year degrees, completely taught online, with students scattered across 180 countries. "We open the gates to higher education. We are an alternative for those who have no other alternative - survivors of the genocide in Rwanda, refugees from Syria, the earthquake in Haiti," says Mr Reshef, speaking to the BBC in London.

Friday, July 22, 2016

WCET's Russ Poulin: Department of Education State Authorization for Distance Ed Regulations-A First Look

Our good friend and national expert on State Authorization, Russ Poulin, Director, Policy & Analysis at WCET, has this first look at the US Dept of Ed's release of proposed new regulations on July 22. This morning the U.S. Department of Education released its proposed new regulations (press release, proposed regulations) for the state authorization of distance education programs. Institutional personnel and the public are invited to submit comments by August 24. This post will focus on the contents of the proposal.

The Internet of Things, IoT Systems, and Higher Education - Chuck Benson, Educause Review

The Internet of Things and IoT systems have the potential to bring significant value to higher education institutions, but without thoughtful implementation, that value will not be realized. The Internet of Things (IoT) and IoT systems have the potential to bring significant value to higher education institutions. Colleges and universities can benefit from IoT systems such as traditional building automation systems (e.g., HVAC), energy management and conservation systems, building and space access systems, environmental control systems for large research environments, academic learning systems, and safety systems for students, faculty, staff, and the public. However, without thoughtful implementation, that value will not be realized.

Juggling work and university study in 2016 couldn’t be easier - the Independent

There was a time when juggling studies with work, social life, and a family was just not possible. Thankfully, though, in the digital age and amid an ever-changing modern-day learning climate, dealing with all of the aforementioned couldn’t be easier with the help of the Internet, along with other options. This option allows students to learn remotely and without the need for regular face-to-face contact with a teacher in the classroom and, according to The Complete University Guide (CUG), more than 270,000 undergraduates are taking their first degrees by distance learning this year, along with around 108,000 postgrads. “In recent years, the advent of the Internet and widespread use of the computer has led to a huge growth in distantly delivered tuition and study,” CUG adds among distance learning’s many advantages.