Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Moody Report: 'Hypercompetitive' higher ed market will limit revenue growth - Hallie Busta, Education Dive

A "hypercompetitive" market for higher education along with a continued focus on affordability will constrain tuition revenue in the coming year even as state funding stabilizes, Moody's analysts wrote in a report released this week. Low-to-negative net tuition revenue growth is likely for many regional public and private colleges, which will spur continued cost containment that pushes them to streamline programs and even merge, collaborate or close. While potential federal and state policy changes around student aid are the "greatest uncertainty" for higher ed, programs such as free college or loan forgiveness would "take several years to devise and implement," the analysts wrote.

Has Online Education Jumped The Shark? - John Byrne, Forbes

“When we started 2U, the market was in its infancy,” explained 2U CEO Christopher Paucet who co-founded the company in 2008. “The core thesis of the company was that online programs could drive a similar quality to campus programs and that the company’s scale and unique platform characteristics would build a competitive moat around the business over time. Today, the online education market is evolving. Secular forces are pushing more schools online. Indeed, it’s becoming obvious that all schools are going online. We’re calling it the mainstreaming of online education.”

5 Reasons Why BU's $24K MBA Is A Big Deal - Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

The newly announced $24K BU MBA, created in partnership with edX, is a big deal. The Boston University Questrom School of Business is ranked in the top 50 global business schools by US News, in the top 70 by the Economist. Questrom is a brand name business school in a market where the value of the MBA is directly proportional to the status of the institution. Who are the losers in this $24K BU MBA? I'd say every regionally known MBA program. From looking at US News, it looks like there are 475 MBA programs.

Uneven Standards Hamper Online Education the World Over - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

A new report has provided SWOT analyses of seven regions around the world related to digital and distance education. The bottom line: While online learning is on the rise everywhere, programs and courses show great unevenness because of a lack of standards. The project, led by the International Council for Open and Distance Education, was kicked off in 2016 when ICDE sought senior leaders from around the world to run task forces that would examine the quality of online learning in their regions. This was undertaken to help address the United Nations' fourth "Sustainable Development Goal": "Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning."

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The university challenge – are academic institutions a national security weak link? - Louise Fellows, IT Pro Portal

As seats of learning, higher education institutions they are uniquely placed to support early-stage, government-backed research exploring the cutting edge of innovation in a variety of fields. This is vital, not only to further national interests, but for the institutions to be able to differentiate themselves and generate revenue in an increasingly crowded marketplace. According to a recent survey Dell EMC and VMware conducted, research programmes are now worth on average £22 million to UK universities annually. However, the very nature of these programmes means they attract unwanted attention from hackers. Whether state-sponsored or financially motivated, the cybercriminals targeting UK universities have access to an increasingly sophisticated arsenal of digital weaponry which institutes of higher education may not be prepared for.

Learning About Online Learning at Small Private Colleges - Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

 The Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction is one of the largest-scale experiments (at least if you measure scale by the number of institutions involved, rather than enrollments) in online postsecondary learning. Over the course of several years, 42 member institutions of the Council of Independent Colleges built a set of upper-level online and hybrid humanities courses to be shared by their peers. The goals: help them learn how to cost-effectively develop and launch high-quality online humanities classes, and give learners access to courses not available in their own curricula.

7 Things You Should Know About Digital Badges - EDUCAUSE

Digital badges are validated indicators of skills or competencies, often representing the completion of a microcredential. Badges typically represent competencies not shown on a transcript, including learning from internships, volunteer work, and other co-curricular activities. Increasingly, badges conform to the Open Badges standard, and many are stackable, meaning that they can be credited toward an advanced badge, a certificate, or a degree.

Monday, August 19, 2019

6 Social Learning Techniques for Online Educators -BY LAURA LYNCH, eLearning Learning

Humans are social creatures. Even the most introverted among us benefit from learning relationships, whether with our instructors, our peers, our mentors, or our mentees. In online education, where learners tend to feel more isolated, this kind of social learning especially important. However, there are several social learning techniques you can use in your course to help learners create meaningful connections that will motivate them to keep moving forward with their course material. Here’s where to start.

Is Online Learning the Electric Car of Higher Ed? - Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

Few of us doubt that, at some point, we will all be driving battery-powered vehicles. Will teaching and learning in higher education move from mostly a face-to-face activity, to one that is mainly done online? This shift from residential to online learning is occurring rapidly at the graduate education level. Of the approximately 3 million graduate students studying at US institutions, about one-in-five are studying exclusively online. (About twice the proportion of undergraduates who are only enrolled in online learning).

The rise of interest in Artificial Intelligence - BY SUBBARAO KAMBHAMPATI, the Hill

Artificial Intelligence, or AI for short, has become quite the public buzzword. Companies and investors are pouring money into the field. Universities — even high schools — are rushing to start new degree programs or colleges dedicated to AI. Civil society organizations are scrambling to understand the impact of AI technology on humanity, and governments are competing to encourage or regulate AI research and deployment. One country, the United Arab Emirates, even boasts a minister for AI.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

How Four Technologies Created The 'Perfect Storm' For Online Learning [at Scale] - Anant Agarwal, Forbes

When MOOCs first burst onto the scene in 2012 — the year The New York Times dubbed ‘the year of the MOOC’ — their success was enabled largely by the convergence of four key technologies: cloud computing, video distribution at scale, gamification and social networking. Without these technologies, we would not have the high quality digital learning at scale that we now enjoy. What was the impact of these technologies and how have they developed?

Amazon’s Text-To-Speech AI Service Sounds More Natural And Realistic - Janakiram MSV, Forbes

Thanks to the advancements in AI, text-to-speech has evolved to become more natural and realistic to an extent that it may be hard to distinguish it from a human voice. Already, the output from voice-based services such as Alexa and Siri sounds natural. With the most recent improvements in AI, these assistants are set to sound smoother, natural, and realistic.

Using Holograms As Classroom Teachers: Science Fiction Or Reality? - Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Human beings are learning in fundamentally different ways than in years past thanks to eLearning platforms. Now, the number of students enrolled in an online learning course is increasing. eLearning teaching methods have opened the door for all kinds of possibilities in virtual teaching environments, including holographic and virtual reality technology. What once looked like science fiction could likely become a reality. The presence of holographic teachers overseeing virtual classrooms is becoming more and more plausible and possible.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Colleges are using big data to track students in an effort to boost graduation rates, but it comes at a cost - JILL BARSHAY and SASHA ASLANIAN, Hechinger Report

There are indications that analytics may be having an impact. In 2016, after years of declines, national college graduation rates started ticking back up again and have continued rising for the past three years. But that progress may come at a cost. Critics say there are potential downsides to monitoring student data so closely. They worry about invasion of privacy and surveillance of students. And they say that the algorithms might be reinforcing historical inequities, funneling low-income students or students of color into easier majors.

Are you blinded by the promise of AI? - Anna Frazzetto, CIO

While many businesses are fueled by their ambition to implement AI initiatives, few understand how it can work for their businesses. How do we keep our AI ambitions in line with the business needs of our organization? A simple Google search will tell you that AI has now moved into prime gold rush position. Where once Cloud, Big Data, Cryptocurrency and Block Chain held the position of top tech trend in business, AI is now everywhere and, for many reasons, it should be. AI offers advanced data processing and analytical capabilities that people simple cannot match.

4 Ways to Advance Your Career and Be Happier at Work - INC.

According to research, over 75% of Americans feel little or no passion at work. That's terrible..but it doesn't need to be the case. Here's why Learning and Development is the key to changing that dynamic. There are important business reasons for companies to provide significant learning and development opportunities to employees, and even more important reasons for employees to make learning and development a priority. In order to get a deeper understanding of the power of learning, and why employees should take advantage of these resources, I interviewed Mary Shindler, Senior Program Manager on the Learning and Development Team at LinkedIn.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Unpacking 2U's New $24K Online Undergrad Degree - Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

Seven reasons why the new 2U powered, University of London, $24K online undergraduate degree in data science and business analytics is so fascinating:
#1 - Status:
The BS will be conferred by the University of London, in collaboration and with faculty from the London School of Economics. These are brand name, internationally recognized institutions. This will be a high-status degree, with substantial value in the marketplace.
#2 - Price:
A price tag of $24K for an undergraduate degree is not all that interesting. There are many options for low-cost degrees from community colleges and other accredited institutions of higher learning. What is interesting is that this is a $24K degree from a high-status institution.

Online learning combined with games to grow by 38% in 2-4 years - Economic Times

"Learning in the context of work, though essential, isn't always enjoyable and engaging, therefore, new models of training, more relevant to the workforce of today and tomorrow are being explored and games-based learning is one such model," Schoolguru Eduserve CEO and founder Shantanu Rooj told PTI here. "The combination method of skilling, a recent phenomenon in corporates, is used across sectors providing play-like simulation with the additional learning or improving functional proficiency and social interaction. I expect 38 per cent growth in the segment to about Rs 3,000 crore in the next two years," he added.

Mexican science suffers under debilitating budget cuts - Giorgia Guglielmi, Nature

Some researchers have turned to crowdfunding campaigns to pay for supplies and several scientific institutes are rationing electricity to save money. Mexico's budget cuts are affecting the country's researchers, including scientists working on improving forest conservation strategies. Austerity measures recently enacted by Mexico’s president are pushing the country’s scientific efforts — chronically underfunded for years — to a breaking point, according to researchers. As part of broader cost-cutting measures aimed at freeing up money for poverty-alleviation programmes, in May, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador cut 30–50% of the money that federally funded institutions — including centres supported by Mexico’s main research funding agency, the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) — spend on travel, petrol, office supplies and salaries for temporary workers.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

2U taps undergraduate market with low-cost online bachelor's degree - Hallie Busta, Education Dive

2U announced Monday that it is entering the undergraduate degree market with an online bachelor’s offered in partnership with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). It is expected to launch in October 2020.  The 36-month program in data science and business analytics is on a 10-year contract between 2U and LSE. About three-fourths of the content will be asynchronous and one-fourth will be synchronous, Andrew Hermalyn, 2U's president of university partnerships, told Education Dive. It is priced around $21,000 for United Kingdom-based students and $25,000 for international students. The news comes less than a week after the online program manager told analysts and investors it was shifting its strategy beyond high-priced graduate degrees to include a wider array of program types and price points as well as the use of fee-for-service contracts.

Average Student Loan Debt Statistics by School by State 2019 - LendU

While the figures change each year, the narrative certainly does not; student loan debt continues to be a growing issue in the U.S. and at nearly all schools in the country as the cost of college continues to rise. Nationally, outstanding student loan debt sits at $1.52 trillion, making it the second largest form of consumer debt trailing only mortgages. On an individual scale, the average borrower from the Class of 2018 received their diploma and left campus with $28,565 in student loan debt, up from $28,288 that was owed by the average Class of 2017 borrower.