Lipman Hearne, a Chicago-based marketing firm with a focus on higher education and enrollment, surveyed adult learners and created four “personas” to better understand them. Kirsten Fedderke, senior vice president and account director at the firm, said while much of what they found in the survey matches common assumptions about adult learners, some data point to nuances of the population that are often ignored. For example, while respondents said their top reason for enrolling in college was to have a good job, the next three reasons were more emotional, like “be confident and prepared for life” and “be well-rounded and professionally responsible.”
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Many working adults sign up for online courses to build their skills in their current profession or develop skills for a new profession they wish to pursue. These learners might already be working full-time jobs, so online courses for professional development are usually designed with flexible timing; however, learners face challenges beyond time restraints. The two main challenges that this group faces are feeling isolated due to limited contact with other learners and instructors and feeling detached from the lesson. These challenges often cause learners to feel frustrated and demotivated and may lead them to drop out of a course. So, how can designers of online courses address these issues?
Thanks to a rapid advancement in technology over the last few decades, the world has evolved to ensure maximum convenience in the corporate realm, in the world of leisure, and, of course, within the ever-changing realm of education. Nowadays, as a result of the many online learning opportunities available out there, it is possible to further one’s education without ever needing to travel in person to a learning institution, college, or university. Despite not being present in lectures and seminars, online learning, otherwise commonly referred to as ‘distance learning’, provides students with all of the necessary support that they need to succeed, develop their skills, and bolster their careers.
Monday, October 21, 2019
The number of both traditional and non-degree credentials is exploding, but as programs proliferate, it becomes more difficult to acquire information about the precise skills and abilities they develop, the pathways they support, and their impact on employment and earnings outcomes. At the same time, today’s economy is in constant flux, bringing changing demands for skills and credentials. To keep up with these changing landscapes, there emerges an obvious need for and value of a common credential description language and a Credential Registry that is updated in real time to ensure that everyone can make informed decisions about education and career pathways. Credential providers, policymakers, employers, and regulatory agencies all have an important role to play in making this a reality
Rio Salado College, a mostly online community college in Maricopa County, Ariz., is one of the first community colleges to launch a “national division” targeting students all over the country to take online classes and earn degrees or certificates. Administrators say the division, which debuted last fall, targets “education deserts” where postsecondary programs can be hard to access. "This only adds to what we're doing locally in Maricopa and how we support Maricopa residents in the state of Arizona in providing a flexible delivery model for students," said Janelle Elias, interim vice president of Rio National.
Students’ familiarity with technology and their love for smartphones and the content they enjoy on them, make social media an obvious choice as a learning tool for students. Thanks to the possibilities of digital storytelling, social media can be incorporated to expose students’ work to a wider audience. It’s exciting and motivating to think that the work you do in the class may, through social media interaction, have an impact far beyond your classroom.
Sunday, October 20, 2019
Universities Should Be Preparing Students for the Gig Economy - Diane Mulcahy, Harvard Business Review
How well do universities prepare students to work independently in the Gig Economy? Today’s graduates are joining a workforce where the Gig Economy — including consultants, independent contractors, freelancers, side giggers, and on-demand workers — makes up an estimated 30-40% of the U.S. workforce. They’re also facing an economy in which alternative work arrangements are growing faster than traditional full-time jobs, and are only projected to keep growing. The recent news that the majority of Google’s workforce is made up of independent and temporary workers rather than full-time employees is just one example of the rapid transformation of the corporate workforce.
Recent surveys, studies, forecasts and other quantitative assessments of the progress of AI, highlighted the growing reluctance of US consumers to chat with chatbots, the growing expectations of AI as a critical business component, and the growing employee skills gap due to the deployment of new technologies. 86% of consumers prefer to interact with a human agent; 71% said they would be less likely to use a brand if it didn’t have human customer service representatives available; only 30% believe that chatbots and virtual assistants make it easier to address customer service issues; only 29% of consumers looking for a quick answer would choose chat over all other channels, down from 50% in 2018, and 40% chose the phone or voice option first [CGS survey of 1,000 US consumers]
Four new faculty fellows have joined Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) for the 2019-20 academic year: Ed Glantz, Siu Ling "Pansy" Leung, Pierce Salguero and Priya Sharma. Each member of the cohort will undertake a project intended to enhance unique spaces where students learn. “This year’s group of faculty fellows brings a diverse set of perspectives to our theme of learning spaces,” said Kyle Bowen, director of innovation with TLT. “Learning spaces can be physical, digital, virtual, blended or data-informed places where students interact with course material. Each of our fellows is taking an innovative approach to improve learning spaces, and our staff is eager to support their work.”
Saturday, October 19, 2019
We are facing a crisis in enrollment, but it’s not just an enrollment challenge. Instead, it requires the attention of every member of every university community coming together to think less about our own self-interest and more about the common good of our institutions and society. Big public universities and well-endowed private colleges with powerful brands are safe for the near future — or so it seemed until a few recent announcements that make even the most optimistic of us wonder. The big question: Can we begin to get back in shape, or will our collective complacency finally do us in?
So, how is a community of learners formed in an online course? What are the typical characteristics and practices? Taking an online course is more than sitting in front of a computer. Connecting with fellow students and the faculty member is crucial to get the most out of the experience (Rovai et al, 2004). Instructors might encourage students to reach out to classmates with similar life circumstances as the first step to building relationships in the online environment. Fellow students could be cohorts in the same graduate degree program or students from a variety of other disciplines taking a required general course, e.g. statistics or research methods. Students may also form their own communities from the online courses. If your instructor has asked you to introduce yourself to your classmates, your classmates may have provided information about shared interests or work experiences.
Google Expands Its Coursera IT Training Course to 100 Community Colleges - Jeff John Roberts, Fortune
Google is exerting a growing presence in the country's classrooms. On Thursday, the company announced plans to offer its homegrown Information Technology support course to community colleges in eight new states via a $3.5 million education grant. The program will now be offered through community colleges in Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Virginia and West Virginia. Those states come in addition to schools in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Colorado, and Wisconsin, which have offered the course since earlier this year.
Friday, October 18, 2019
The students disappearing fastest from American campuses? Middle-class ones - Jon Marcus, Hechinger Report
Middle-class high school students give a number of reasons for forgoing higher education, according to an analysis of federal data by the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce: 4 percent cited family obligations, 6 percent planned to take a gap year before enrolling, 8 percent said they weren’t ready and 20 percent said they just didn’t want to go. Fully a quarter of middle-class high school students who don’t plan on college said it was because of the expense.
Today, roughly 70% of American students end up taking out loans to go to college. The average graduate leaves school with around $30,000 in debt and all told, some 45 million Americans owe $1.6 trillion in student loans — and counting. How did we get here? Slowly, over decades, according to Mark Kantrowitz, publisher and vice president of research at the website Saving for College. “You can compare it to cooking a lobster,” he said. “By the time you figure out that the water is boiling, you’re already cooked.”
'Transaction Man': The Rise of Disposable Professors and Insecure Institutions - Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed
Anyone who thinks about the future of higher education is likely to find themselves in a state of unease. The trends are worrying. A decade from now will witness unprecedented declines in the numbers of new high school graduates, particularly in the Northeast and the Midwest. These demographic headwinds, combined with continued public disinvestment and rising costs, have pushed many schools to various levels of financial instability. The decline of tenure-track positions, in favor of adjunct faculty, is one strategy that colleges and universities have pursued to bring their revenues and costs in line with one another explain the current postsecondary reality of concentrated privilege and system-wide anxiety?
Thursday, October 17, 2019
How can professional teachers and educational institutions integrate peer learning into their pedagogy? This was the subject of the eighth annual Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) conference, which convened hundreds of professors, administrators, and learning and teaching specialists from around the University—and beyond—on September 27 at Harvard Law School’s Wasserstein Hall. “Every year, the attendees of this conference have found that we all have a lot to learn from each other,” began Provost Alan Garber.
Navy scraps instructor-led college at sea program as demand falls, costs rise - JOSHUA KARSTEN | STARS AND STRIPES
In just the past year, 80% of sailors chose online and distance education programs over the traditional classroom courses provided by NCPACE IL. “We recognize that sailors are interested in pursuing advanced degrees, and we support their ability to further their personal educational goals,” D’Antonio said. “This change ensures funding remains available to the greatest number of sailors.” The program will be transitioned to a virtual model, to accommodate demand among sailors for online and distance-learning courses, he said.
Online education, from primary school to PhD, is booming. In the US, government data from 2018 shows that during 2016-17, students enrolling exclusively online grew by 15.4 percent, or about one in six students. More than 6.3 million students took at least one distance education course in the Fall 2016 semester, comprising 31.6 percent of all higher education enrolments, according to an annual survey by the Babson Survey Research Group and the Online Learning Consortium. In the UK, online learning made up eight percent of all taught provision at UK higher education providers.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
The results of a new survey offer presidents, provosts and CFOs a wake-up call about how they’re perceived by their colleagues in IT and digital learning. The reviews are less than glowing, with only about 40 percent of IT officials reporting that college leaders are “well informed” about digital learning and digital transformation. Ray Schroeder, [UPCEA Senior Fellow, and] associate vice chancellor for online learning at University of Illinois at Springfield (and an Inside Higher Ed columnist), said that although administrators at his university have been very engaged, the results of the survey were not surprising. Schroeder also said more residential students are choosing to take online classes for the scheduling freedom they can provide. As the trend doesn’t seem to be abating any time soon, Schroeder said it’s important for administrators to give IT officials a seat at the table, specifically on the dean’s council or president's executive committee.
It is truly rare that an advancement comes along that changes every aspect of society; quantum computing is poised to do just that in the 2020s. The supremacy challenge earlier this summer was based on a problem given to both the Summit and the Google Quantum computers to prove that a set of numbers was truly random. That’s a rather esoteric test, but it demonstrates the magnitude of superiority of quantum computing: 200 seconds compared to 10,000 years. Do you recall Moore’s law? That’s the axiom developed by Gordon Moore some two dozen years ago that the processing power of computers would double every 18 months to two years. Now, quantum computing has ushered in Hartmut Neven’s law. His law predicting growth in quantum computing power is one that is doubly exponential. That is two to an exponent of two to a second increasing exponent. Charted on a graph, that growth rate appears to become nearly vertical.
VR, AR, and MR are revolutionary developments for higher education and society at large. They will bring new opportunities for learning, research, science, work, and entertainment. As we move toward a future of immersive technologies and artificial intelligence, we need to anticipate new ethical challenges and develop practices and policies for a world of deeply immersive experiences. We're facing not just a new technology but a new way for people to experience the world and connect with each other. It will be up to us to engage our students in a conversation for a very different world — one that shifts from the Information Age to the Experiential Age.