Monday, May 10, 2021

Online learning remains high priority for higher ed, Educause report finds - Emily Bamforth, EdScoop

Higher education leaders and instructors interviewed by Educause reviewed 130 technology practices and identified six as the most crucial to the future. Blended and hybrid course models were rated as the most important as universities sought ways to maintain their operations through the health crisis. “Sustainability was something that I think we felt worldwide,” said Kathe Pelletier, director of Educause’s teaching and learning program. “If I had to trace that back, [that could be from] having come from a place of responding to the pandemic and at those panelists own institutions that they did not have a sustainable or a flexible plan that could help sustain.”

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Online learning remains high priority for higher ed, Educause report finds - Emily Bamforth, EdScoop

Higher education leaders and instructors interviewed by Educause reviewed 130 technology practices and identified six as the most crucial to the future. Blended and hybrid course models were rated as the most important as universities sought ways to maintain their operations through the health crisis. “Sustainability was something that I think we felt worldwide,” said Kathe Pelletier, director of Educause’s teaching and learning program. “If I had to trace that back, [that could be from] having come from a place of responding to the pandemic and at those panelists own institutions that they did not have a sustainable or a flexible plan that could help sustain.”

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Students Want Online Learning Options Post-Pandemic - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

The experience of learning remotely during the pandemic left students with a positive attitude toward online and hybrid courses, a new survey suggests.The Digital Learning Pulse survey, published today, is the fourth in a series of surveys published by Bay View Analytics in partnership with Cengage, the Online Learning Consortium, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. The majority of students, 73 percent, "somewhat" or "strongly" (46 percent) agreed that they would like to take some fully online courses in the future. A slightly smaller number of students, 68 percent, indicated they would be interested in taking courses offering a combination of in-person and online instruction.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Many left behind in this recovery have something in common: No college degree - Heather Long, Washington Post

The latest hiring numbers show encouraging signs that women are returning to the labor force, but major struggles remain for men and women without college degrees. Hiring has rebounded quickly for Americans with college degrees. In recent months, there has been a noticeable surge in people with two-year associate’s degrees getting back into the workforce, but Americans with only a high school diploma or less remain deep in crisis mode, even as employers claim they are having trouble finding workers.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Cultivating the agile university requires good leadership - Nita Temmerman, University World News

At the heart of the agile university is good leadership: a leader who is committed to and can successfully and clearly guide the people and operations of the institution towards ever better results and reputation; a leader who will steer the way to nurturing a healthy community culture in which people feel they belong, that their contribution is valued and that they are entrusted to work independently towards achieving expected outcomes. This might mean eliminating barriers between divisions and layer upon layer of bureaucracy that impedes progress and pits different sections of the institution against each other.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Here’s Who Was Hit Hardest by Higher Ed’s Pandemic-Driven Job Losses - Dan Bauman, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Mirroring trends in the larger economy, certain workers in higher education have endured a disproportionate share of the losses. Workers with limited labor protections, like those providing administrative support or working in food service, were particularly hard hit. So were employees of color, who saw outsized losses relative to their share of the overall work force. Job losses were worst in the early months of the pandemic, when higher ed shed hundreds of thousands of jobs in a relatively short period. Despite a significant increase in recent months, the net loss in jobs remains so large that it’s erased more than a decade of job gains for the sector, with higher ed’s work force now matching its size in February 2008.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Higher ed’s role and opportunity in coskilling, upskilling, and reskilling- Vistasp M. Karbhari, eCampus News

The accelerating convergence of information and technology especially as related to AI and robotics is changing the knowledge and skills desired in the workforce, with some estimating that nearly 50 percent of subject knowledge acquired during the first year of an undergraduate degree program is outdated by the time the student attains a degree. Recent estimates predict that by 2022 about 54 percent of all employees would require significant reskilling and upskilling to meet the needs of a changing work environment.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Temple’s business school sees virtual reality as future of online learning - Zoe Rosenberg, Philadelphia Inquirer

Before the pandemic made online schooling a necessity, Bora Ozkan theorized that students learning remotely would be more engaged in virtual reality. Ozkan, a finance professor at Temple University and academic director of its online MBA, has tested that belief since March 2020, when he launched the class Fintech, Blockchain and Digital Disruption in a virtual reality, or VR, program. It took 18 months to research the technology and build the course at a cost upward of $100,000. The finished product was completed with the help of Glimpse Group, a New York-based virtual reality and augmented reality company.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Co-Facilitated Discussions to Truly Engage Your Online Students with Course Content - Murat Turk, Faculty Focus

There are many ways in which instructors might use AODs in their online courses, but traditionally, online students are asked in discussions to post once and respond a specific number of times. A challenge with this strategy is that once each student completes their postings and responses, they often quit reading, responding to, and engaging with what others say or think about the issue or topic under study, thus missing out on useful insights and experiences. One effective solution is to incorporate peer moderation or facilitation of online discussions, which I have been using in my own online courses since summer 2020 when I read Milman’s (2014) article about co-facilitation of online discussions.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Two principles guiding this professor’s pandemic teaching - Byron K. Hargrove, eCampus News

A Berkeley College professor speaks about how responsiveness and compassion with students paid off during the pandemic. The two central lessons I found to be extremely helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic have to do with being more open and adaptive to online learning and finding ways to be uber responsive, flexible and caring with my students.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Debunking six continuing fallacies of higher education

 Sanjit Sethi and Elliot Felix, University World News

We call these assumptions the six fallacies of higher education:

• There is a ‘traditional student’.
• Learning happens Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, in autumn and spring. 
• The campus is for classes.
• We measure student success solely academically.
• Costs can increase faster than quality.
• Accreditation ensures excellence.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Dartmouth Employs AI Virtual Assistant to Support Students and Faculty - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Dartmouth College has deployed an artificial intelligence solution from Aisera to enhance communication with students and faculty during COVID-19. The virtual assistant, dubbed the Dart InfoBot, can answer support requests in natural language either via Slack or on the institution's client services portal. Aisera's AI Service Desk automates answers to common support questions, providing a user experience that's designed to be personalized, context-aware and conversational, according to the company. Using the self-service technology with its user base of 10,000 faculty and students, Dartmouth was able to improve auto-resolution of support requests by more than 60 percent, with a mean time to resolve of just 50 seconds.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Quality online education for higher ed requires public investment - Jennifer Brown and Christopher Lynch, Lompoc Record

Online instruction opens access to those who need flexibility in classes for childcare, for scheduling conflicts and because of socio-economic pressure. The pandemic has only increased the reasons remote access is needed, with many families having faced a dual pandemic of COVID-19 and economic loss. Many of our student parents no longer have childcare, or face other circumstances preventing them from immediately returning to campus. Online coursework must not be considered an inferior or cheaper option. Getting online right requires a significant investment in course development guided by professional course designers who focus on achieving and assessing learning outcomes. Best practices show that developing a quality online course takes about 10 weeks to build with the faculty member working closely alongside an instructional/course designer, and research has shown that in-person instruction improves after working with instructional designers.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Movable Satellite Internet: SpaceX to Lift Geo-Restriction on Starlink Dishes Later This Year - Michael Kan, PC Magazine

Currently, SpaceX geo-restricts every Starlink dish to the subscriber’s registered residence. Hence, customers generally can’t use the dish at another location unless it's nearby. But the tweet from Musk indicates the company will lift the restriction, enabling customers to move it from one place to the next. In the meantime, the company still needs more time to build up the Starlink satellite network, which currently numbers at more than 1,300 satellites. In March, SpaceX then filed an application with the FCC for clearance to operate Starlink on moving vehicles—including trucks, boats, and aircraft—in the US.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Teletherapy expands access to student mental health support - Shannon O'Connor, eCampus News

Through seed money provided by foundations and donors, Carthage College is offering teletherapy to expand access to counseling services. Survey data from the Spring 2019 National College Health Assessment by the American College Health Association indicated that in the previous year, three out of five students experienced overwhelming anxiety, and two out of five students were too depressed to function. Many struggled with these and other mental health concerns, including substance abuse. Student mental health has been a growing concern for higher-ed administrators in recent years… then the COVID pandemic took hold, bringing with it disruptions to all aspects of campus life, including decreased or no access for students to medical and mental health services. According to an April 2020 survey by Active Minds, a national mental health advocacy group, 80 percent of college students say the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

A Pandemic Silver Lining: Helping Former Students Finish Degrees Online - Philip Rous, Yvette Mozie-Ross, Sarah Shin and John Fritz; EDUCAUSE Review

To be sure, moving nearly all teaching and learning online so quickly was challenging, especially at the undergraduate level, but one unexpected outcome was successfully recovering or "re-recruiting" 123 former students who (for one reason or another) left UMBC before finishing their degrees. Below, we describe why and how we planned and implemented the Finish Line near-completer reengagement program—which leveraged our predominantly online classes in fall 2020—and what we learned from the process. We then suggest ways to support adult learners, help them feel welcome, and foster their sense of belonging in the institution.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Zoom Burnout Is Real — but It’s Worse for Women. - Alisha Haridasani Gupta, NY Times

In a new study, women reported higher levels of fatigue associated with video calls than men. The solution, though, isn’t as simple as not having video calls. Now, research from Stanford University published on Tuesday found that women experience significantly more Zoom fatigue than men. The research, which hasn’t been peer-reviewed, suggests that video calls simply amplify the longstanding gender dynamics in group settings and exacerbate an already wide gender stress gap, with women consistently reporting more stress and stress-related health conditions than men, according to the American Psychological Association.


Friday, April 23, 2021

AI is revolutionizing education - Hosni Zaouali, eCampus News

Artificial intelligence will accelerate the evolution of teaching and learning. Overall, AI should allow students to get personalized instruction and teachers to have more free time to prepare classes and update their information. While it’s still too early to evaluate the extent of the change in the quality and scope of instruction that AI might achieve, what is certain is that it will cause a revolution. That is because educational systems around the world remain rooted in the foundations established in the 1800s. Most of all, AI will crush the idea that all students must learn in the same place, in the same way, and at the same speed.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

It’s Time for Open Educational Resources - Ray Schroeder, Inisde Higher Ed

 Learning before the 21st century was mostly about accessing and retaining theories, facts and figures; now it is mostly about applying theories, facts and figures in creative and critical ways to solve problems and advance society. Increasingly, higher education is less about memorization and more about problem solving. Over all, many students seem to do better in classes where the textbooks are open. It may not be that the OER materials are superior -- rather it may be that when the class materials are free, students actually obtain and use them.  C. Edward Watson, CIO and associate vice president for curricular and pedagogical innovation at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and co-author Barbara Illowsky describe their “epiphany” in discovering the meaningfulness and impact on equity and affordability of using OER. “Yet one of the best-kept secrets for improving student equity and college affordability is within the hands of faculty: using Open Educational Resources (OER) in their courses instead of commercial textbooks and paid electronic materials.”

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Our OER Epiphany: Advocating for Open Educational Resources as Tools for Affordability and Equity - C. Edward Watson & Barbara Illowsky, AAU&P Liberal Ed Blog

As your institution looks to the 2021–22 academic year, what can you, your colleagues, and your institution do to further the goals of student equity and college affordability? How might you launch or accelerate efforts associated with OER? Now is an excellent time to learn more, plan for the future, become an OER advocate, and examine how you and your institution might add OER to your portfolio of student success and equity initiatives.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Moving Online Learning from Challenge to Opportunity - Mark Lombardi, Campus Technology

Necessity is the mother of invention. And within the context of a global pandemic, necessity was the mother of wholesale transformation. The monumental challenges educators overcame in 2020 is astounding. From preschool to grad school, the race to adopt and adapt online learning platforms hit a pace and scale previously unimagined.Now, as we consider the post-pandemic academic landscape, one thing is sure: Online learning isn't going anywhere. To think otherwise is a massive failure of imagination.