Monday, September 25, 2023

Colleges Are Missing Out on Students Who Start — But Don’t Finish — Their Applications - Emma Davis, EdSurge

The Common Application was first created with the goal to simplify the college admissions process by allowing students to submit one application to multiple institutions. However, as Olasunkanmi mentioned, it takes significant time to complete, an estimated six to eight weeks, according to admissions counselors. During the last pre-pandemic college application cycle, 2018-19, nearly 1.2 million students accessed the Common App. But a quarter of those students, almost 300,000, did not end up submitting any application through Common App. “Non-submitters” were more likely than students who submitted applications to have lower educational-occupational aspirations, be racial minorities, have parents who completed lower levels of education and live in communities with lower socioeconomic status — but they were not less academically qualified.

How AI could advance computer-based tutors—and student success - David Wiley, eCampus News

The recent development of large language models like ChatGPT has opened new possibilities for the design and implementation of computer-based tutors. Education has long struggled to help all students achieve concept mastery. With advances in AI, computer-based tutors could be one of the solutions educators have long sought. 

How Students Use Unofficial Online Backchannels for Classes - Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

Many professors worry that online systems like Discord and GroupMe are used for cheating, but they can also help build community. Students increasingly turn to private systems to create online groups around individual college classes. It’s a practice that has gone on for years, but teaching experts say it intensified during pandemic campus shut-downs, when students were looking for ways to connect. Platforms used for these groups include Discord, a discussion service popular with video gamers; GroupMe, a text-message platform; and Slack, the messaging system popular in many professional workplaces.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Survey: College Students Both Excited and Concerned about AI Tools - Kristal Kuykendall, Campus Technology

For the “Generative AI Through the Eyes of Gen Z” study, Touchstone Research surveyed 931 students from middle school to college age, the firm said in a news release. The sample included equal numbers of male and female students and “representative proportions” of various ethnic groups, Touchstone said. Fewer than two-thirds of respondents said they were “aware” of any generative AI tool. Among students who indicated they have used generative AI tools, 75% said they’d used them to create art, images, videos and music.

49% said they’d used the tools to “get information about something.”

43% said they’d used generative AI tools to “help with schoolwork.”

College students: 51%

Gen Z values college, but affordability concerns remain - Natalie Schwartz, Higher Ed Dive

Only about half of K-12 students who want to pursue higher education believe they can pay for it, a Gallup and Walton Family Foundation poll found. Over 4 in 5 of members of Gen Z say a college education is fairly or very important, according to a new poll from Gallup and Walton Family Foundation. However, while the survey found that 85% of Gen Z students in K-12 schools view college as important, only 62% plan to pursue higher education after they earn their high school diploma. Only about half of college-bound Gen Z students, 53%, believe they will be able to afford a postsecondary education. Black students are particularly concerned about higher education costs, with only 39% saying they believed they could pay for college. 

More Professors Aware of, and Using, Open Educational Resources - Lauren Coffey, Inside Higher Ed

Bay View Analytics, with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, conducts an annual survey focused on open educational resources, or OER. They are teaching and learning materials that are openly licensed, adaptable and freely available online. This year's survey found that both usage and awareness of OER are at an all-time high, with nearly a third of instructors, 29 percent, requiring OER in their classrooms.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

The case for ChatGPT as the ultimate educator’s toolkit - Julia Lang and Dustin Liu, eCampus News

In both higher education and K-12 education, AI offers numerous potential benefits, including early interventions via identifying students at risk and its ability to provide real-time feedback to both students and teachers, helping identify areas where students may be struggling and allowing for immediate intervention. AI tools can create content quickly, such as quizzes and worksheets and complete administrative tasks, such as grading assignments and generating progress reports, freeing up more time for instructional activities. ChatGPT also has the potential to revolutionize learning for students with disabilities by making information more accessible: it can summarize information, convert text into alternative formats, and be programmed to follow any provided accessibility guidelines.

University of Texas System Bets Big on Microcredentials - Lauren Coffey, Inside Higher Ed

The system, with 250,000 students, has teamed up with microcredential provider Coursera in its largest partnership yet, which will get students credentialed by tech giants including Meta, IBM and Google. The University of Texas system, spanning nine campuses with roughly 250,000 students, is expanding its partnership with microcredential provider Coursera. The initiative announced last month is Coursera’s largest, aiming to reach 30,000 students with 35 courses by 2025.

Faculty Gender Pay Disparities Persist, Even at Vassar - Ryan Quinn, Inside Higher Ed

The American Association of University Professors, analyzing data from more than 375,000 full-time faculty members across 900 institutions, said men averaged more than $117,000 in annual salary, $20,800 more than women. Excluding assistant and associate professors and only looking at full-time, full professors, men averaged $156,700, $20,300 more than women—and 65 percent of people at this higher-compensated rank were men. Men have historically made more than women in academe—and for full professors, the gap has widened in recent years. The issue has spawned litigation at a Seven Sisters institution. 

Friday, September 22, 2023

This major accreditation body is helping legitimize alternative credentials - Alcino Donadel, University Business

“As the largest institutional accreditor, we have directly witnessed the rapid expansion of alternative credentials and the confusion and questions about quality and return on investment that has resulted—both for colleges and universities and for learners,” says HLC President Dr. Barbara Gellman-Danley, according to a press release. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is launching a new initiative to tackle the proliferation of alternative credential programs as higher education embraces new business models amid a changing landscape. HLC’s Credential Lab will begin developing, testing and applying a new assurance structure for colleges and universities in order to create a framework that analyzes the quality of credentials offered by third-party providers. The HLC accredits institutions in over 19 states.

Online study sessions designed to help students succeed - Kathryn Banyon, Western Sydney University

As Year 12 students across New South Wales start to prepare for their upcoming HSC exams Western Sydney University is again offering a range of free online study sessions to assist with their HSC exam preparation. From 25-29 September 2023, Western Sydney University will be offering 25 sessions across 16 key HSC subject areas, including Advanced and Standard English and Advanced and Standard Maths. Students will also have the opportunity to complete a practice exam paper and the exam deconstruction sessions will provide a detailed analysis of questions and exemplar responses and solutions, giving local Year 12 students a helping hand when it comes to approaching the HSC. Director, Future Student Engagement at the University, Sophie Partridge said that these sessions bring a level of confidence to Year 12 students navigating their exams.

Western Michigan's Distinguished Teaching Award recipient engages learning inside and outside of the classroom - Deanne Puca, Western Michigan University

An innovative and recognized educator, Western Michigan University’s Dr. David Rudge is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award and will be honored during the Fall Award Celebration Friday, Sept. 29.  Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig, provost and vice president for academic affairs, says “His dedication to students is commendable and his scholarly research in biological science is exceptional.” Dr. John Spitsbergen, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, calls Rudge a “truly outstanding instructor,” particularly noting his innovative approaches to teaching. One example is the “flipped classroom approach” Rudge used that required students to view online lectures, take online quizzes and do homework outside of class prior to class meeting. Most in-person classes were devoted to answering student questions about the online work with students being split into smaller groups.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

How to make vocational education fit for the future - Abel Schumann and Marieke Vandeweyer, OECD Today

The fast-changing job market needs vocational programmes that provide skills for the future. More work-based learning experiences and greater employer engagement would aid skills development. Upskilling will grow in importance so greater focus is needed on making vocational training accessible to adults. As digitalisation and the green transition change labour markets around the world, vocational education and training can help get people ahead of the curve and support job growth. According to the just released 2023 edition of Education at a Glance, 45% of all upper secondary students are enrolled in vocational programmes across the OECD. This rises to more than two-thirds in some countries. We need to ensure that the training they get is relevant and connects them to the labour market.

California charts the future of AI - Darrell M. West, Brookings

On September 6, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that brings his state to the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI) planning. The order directs state agencies to adopt a proactive approach to AI regulation and to leverage the state’s procurement power to promote trustworthy AI principles. The order also elevates fairness and equity as important principles in AI products and services and prioritizes workforce development as a crucial component of AI deployment.

Americans Are Losing Faith in the Value of College. Whose Fault Is That? - Paul Tough, NY Times

A decade or so ago, Americans were feeling pretty positive about higher education. Public-opinion polls in the early 2010s all told the same story. In one survey, 86 percent of college graduates said that college had been a good investment; in another, 74 percent of young adults said a college education was “very important”; in a third, 60 percent of Americans said that colleges and universities were having a positive impact on the country. Ninety-six percent of parents who identified as Democrats said they expected their kids to attend college — only to be outdone by Republican parents, 99 percent of whom said they expected their kids to go to college. A decade later, Americans’ feelings about higher education have turned sharply negative. The percentage of young adults who said that a college degree is very important fell to 41 percent from 74 percent. Only about a third of Americans now say they have a lot of confidence in higher education. Among young Americans in Generation Z, 45 percent say that a high school diploma is all you need today to “ensure financial security.” And in contrast to the college-focused parents of a decade ago, now almost half of American parents say they’d prefer that their children not enroll in a four-year college.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Grow with Google - State of Oklahoma

The Grow with Google initiative is a partnership between Google and the State of Oklahoma founded in 2022 that aims to provide training, tools and expertise for greater employment opportunities in high-growth career fields. Through self-paced, online learning, participants skill up in their elected area of study and work towards certification. The State of Oklahoma partnered with Google to provide learning paths and career certifications in Digital Marketing & E-Commerce, Data Analytics, UX Design, Project Management, and IT Support. Any adult citizen of the State of Oklahoma is eligible to enroll in the program.

Lifelong Learner: What adult learners should consider about online degrees - UW Continuing Studies

According to a 2023 article by Forbes, about 30 percent of all postsecondary U.S. degree seekers studied exclusively online in 2021. More colleges across the country have online degree programs that allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree without setting foot on campus. This is great news for busy adult learners. As a returning adult student myself, I’ve earned degrees both in person and online. Here are three things to think about if you’re considering an online degree.

In the Age of ChatGPT, What’s It Like to Be Accused of Cheating? - Britt Faulstick, Drexel

“Rather than attempting to use AI detectors to evaluate whether these assessments are genuine, instructors may be better off designing different kinds of assessments: those that emphasize process over product or more frequent, lower-stakes assessments,” he wrote, in addition to suggesting that instructors could add modules on appropriate use of generative AI technology, rather than completely prohibiting its use. While the study offers a thematic analysis, Gorichanaz suggests that future research could expand the sample to a statistically relevant size and draw it from sources beyond English-language conversations on Reddit. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Move over AI, quantum computing will be the most powerful and worrying technology - Daniel Doll-Steinberg, Venture Beat

In 2022, leaders in the U.S. military technology and cybersecurity community said that they considered 2023 to be the “reset year” for quantum computing. They estimated the time it will take to make systems quantum-safe will match the time that the first quantum computers that threaten their security will become available: both around four to six years. It is vital that industry leaders quickly start to understand the security issues around quantum computing and take action to resolve the issues that will arise when this powerful technology surfaces. Quantum computing is a cutting-edge technology that presents a unique set of challenges and promises unprecedented computational power.

UNBC (Prince George, British Columbia) tweaking education program to address teacher shortage - Ted Clarke, Richmond News

University offering 'micro-credentials' and more accessible programming options to train more teachers.  “There are a lot of teachers in the schools who want to get their bachelor of education degree and they don’t have certification yet,” said Schiff. “But they can’t leave their school and leave their families and leave their community to come to Prince George and take a degree, and that’s something we’re really targeting, designing a program or various options that will make it more accessible to those folks.” UNBC is offering packages of four courses to give student teachers unable to commit to a full-time program their “micro-credentials” before they enter the grade school system.

Teaching AI Competencies: Lessons from Academics Incorporating AI in the Classroom Asim Ali, Kaari Casey, Jessica Mitsch Homes - Evolllution

Asim: It’s crucial for those interacting with learners, whether through certification or credentialing programs, to ensure learners walk away with a clear understanding of how AI will affect their work. Kaari: It’s on us to help industry understand what they’re looking for and know how to assess which candidates are meeting that criteria rather than the other way away. And we need to equip our students with the ability to articulate what they’ve learned and translate it into the skills that can create a positive business impact. Jessica: We work backwards from what employers are currently doing. This spring, we made calls to 122 companies to ask them how they’re using this technology. We use that information to prepare our students for that reality.