Online Learning Update

July 2, 2020

Universal Broadband: The Time Has Come

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed

In the weeks of COVID-19 isolation, the disparity of access to the internet has become more obvious as school-age children and adult learners have been deprived access to education and livelihoods. After we emerge from the pandemic, the internet will be even more prominent than before in education, business, government and social engagement. In isolation, we have built a deeper reliance upon the net and we will soon see an expansion of “work from home,” requiring a wider variety of network access for an increasing number of occupations. Katherine Guyot and Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution predict, “In the post-pandemic world, it may stay with us as a popular practice that, if done well, can improve job satisfaction, raise productivity, reduce emissions, and spread work to more remote regions.” In order to avoid further disenfranchising the rural and lower-income workers, it is critically important that we find a way to provide universal access to the massive education and work venue that the internet has become.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-now/universal-broadband-time-has-come

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How MIT Is Crowdsourcing Its Reopening Plans for the Fall

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

As MIT considered whether to hold classes online or in person in the fall, and how to operate safely in either case, it decided to tap the collective wisdom of its faculty, staff and students. So it decided to run a giant crowdsourcing effort. That included running 69 community forums via Zoom, where participants were broken into groups of 10 to 12 to brainstorm and voice their opinions on a menu of options.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2020-06-19-how-mit-is-crowdsourcing-its-reopening-plans-for-the-fall

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Online learning during lockdown helps us find ways to teach differently abled students

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

Marcia Lyner-Cleophas, Maverick

Students are usually assessed in specific ways during a specific period, such as two or three hours answering memorised questions. Given the current online reality, we are now forced to consider and to work with students with varying abilities who do not fit into the average mould described above. More importantly, we must think of all students and the type of teaching, learning and assessment that would work best for all students. The use of assistive technology has always been part of the support needed for many students with disabilities, but its availability was mixed.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2020-06-18-online-learning-during-lockdown-helps-us-find-ways-to-teach-differently-abled-students/

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July 1, 2020

7 ways the coronavirus pandemic could change college this fall and forever

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

Abigail Hess, CNBC

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see enrollment in residential college programs drop by roughly 10% or so in the fall, and revenue to fall around 20% if students won’t be able to attend in-person in the fall,” says Horn. “On the flip side, I think we will see enrollments in online programs rise quite a bit, driven by adult learners — many of whom have been recently laid off — looking to wait out the recession and use their time productively by skilling up.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/19/7-ways-coronavirus-pandemic-may-change-college-this-fall-and-forever.html

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One of the Largest Experiments ever Conducted in Higher Education and Lifelong Learning Happened on edX. Here is what they Learned.

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

ANANT AGARWAL, EDX NEWS

Today, we’re excited to share insights from a new study on online learning. The study, which is one of the largest experiments ever conducted in higher education and lifelong learning, shows the incredible power and potential of at-scale online learning platforms, specifically edX, as particle accelerators for learning.  This new study underscores one of the pillars of edX’s founding mission, to advance teaching and learning through research. The study, which was conducted by researchers from MIT, Harvard, Stanford and Cornell, looked at ways to help learners complete online courses.

https://blog.edx.org/one-largest-experiments-ever-conducted-higher-education-lifelong-learning-happened-edx-learned/

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More than half of Yalies consider time off if classes go online

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

MATT KRISTOFFERSEN, Yale Daily News

As the Yale community awaits announcements regarding how education will continue in the fall semester, the News surveyed Yale College students from the classes of 2021 through 2023 about their opinions regarding online learning. Results from the survey suggest that 52 percent of student respondents are at least “likely” to postpone enrollment if students are not allowed to return to campus. If students are able to live, learn and attend classes in person, roughly 7 percent would consider taking time off from school. The anonymous survey — which began accepting submissions on May 21 and closed on May 25 — received 2,129 responses, representing about 35 percent of the undergraduate student population

https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2020/06/20/fall-2020-more-than-half-of-yalies-consider-time-off-if-classes-go-online/

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June 30, 2020

‘Better Every Semester’: How Faculty Use Open Educational Resources to Improve Courses

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

Rebecca Koenig, EdSurge

Much of the attention that open educational resources have earned focuses on their low cost. After all, a free or inexpensive alternative to a pricey commercial textbook can make a big difference for students at institutions like Salt Lake Community College, who are “mostly not affluent,” Hardy says. But OER advocates think open access course materials hold another kind of promise for students, too. Designed to be flexible and alterable, educators and students can continually test how well they work and improve them as necessary, “ensuring the course materials are better every semester than they were the semester before,” says David Wiley, chief academic officer of Lumen Learning, a company that sells low-cost open textbooks and courseware.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2020-06-18-better-every-semester-how-faculty-use-open-educational-resources-to-improve-courses

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Could the online, for-profit college industry be “a winner in this crisis”?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

MEREDITH KOLODNER and SARAH BUTRYMOWICZ, Hechinger Report

Online for-profit colleges like these see an unusual opportunity to boost enrollment during the coronavirus pandemic. Their flexible academic programs may be newly attractive to the many workers who have lost their jobs, to colleges students whose campuses are closed and to people who, from home, now seek to change careers. And the colleges’ parent companies often have substantial cash reserves that they can pump into marketing and tuition discounts at a time when public universities and nonprofit colleges are seeing their budgets disintegrate.

https://hechingerreport.org/could-the-online-for-profit-college-industry-by-a-winner-in-this-crisis/

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College closings, economic upheaval make a case for blockchain adoption

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

Ted Mitchell, Education Dive

“Addressing issues of interoperability between education and employment are more important than ever,” writes American Council on Education President Ted Mitchell.  In periods of economic crisis like this one, higher education typically serves as both a backstop for displaced workers and an engine for economic recovery. But today’s crisis is exposing widening fault lines between educational institutions and the demands of an increasingly dynamic world of work. At the core of that challenge is a disconnect between the ways higher education and the labor market talk about, measure and signal individuals’ skills.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/college-closings-economic-upheaval-make-a-case-for-blockchain-adoption/580082/

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June 29, 2020

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Matters

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

Ted Mitchell and John O’Brien, EDUCAUSE Review

Aspirations for social equity and transformation of students’ lives have been the heart and soul of higher education from its inception.  At the same time, despite idealistic aspirations and concrete progress, inequities in higher education persist. Indeed, higher education, a sector that leads in so many areas, still has much progress to make in leading the way for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/5/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-dei-matters

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The Moral Moments Project: Where Technology and Compassion Meet

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:04 am

Susan Russell, et al; EDUCAUSE Review

An online project asks students and instructors to reflect on their thoughts and their interactions with others in order to build community, inclusion, motivation, and empathy.  We cannot change the past, but we can address the present needs of our young people by reframing teaching and learning in our classrooms and our communities. The Moral Moments Project is just such a reframing. The Moral Moments Project is a movement, a lifestyle, a sustainable process of self-reflection and community building based on knowable, teachable, and repeatable skills of communication, empathy, compassion, and strategic decision-making.

https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/6/the-moral-moments-project-where-technology-and-compassion-meet

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Reopening guide encourages colleges to have a backup plan

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive
A new guide jointly published by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and Tuscany Strategy Consulting spells out the steps college leaders must take to resume in-person instruction amid the pandemic.  That includes developing a way to monitor the spread of the virus on campus and ensuring the institution has the financial resources to respond to unforeseen circumstances. The report, which provides colleges with a self-assessment tool to gauge their baseline risk factors for reopening, comes as institutions are releasing their plans for the fall term — though many still need to flesh out key details.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/reopening-guide-encourages-colleges-to-have-a-backup-plan/579931/

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June 28, 2020

Blended learning will reshape the future of learning

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

JARED STEIN, eCampus News

Some have called the COVID-19-related campus closures education’s black swan event. It may well prove to be. At the very least, the current moment presents higher education with an opportunity to adapt how it designs and delivers education in ways that anticipate future crises, and ultimately make teaching more effective and engaging for students. I don’t mean that every faculty member must become an ardent online teacher, content with remote interactions over face-to-face. But every faculty member must become fluent with critical technology, leveraging it in even their traditional brick and mortar courses as naturally as they might.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2020/06/16/blended-learning-will-reshape-the-future-of-learning/

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Coursera’s new Workforce Recovery Initiative gives unemployed workers free access to 90% of its online course catalog

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

Mara Leighton, Business Insider

Coursera, a popular online learning platform, has launched a Workforce Recovery Initiative that gives unemployed workers access to 90% of its catalog of courses and certificate programs through government agencies and community colleges for zero cost to either one. Ideally, it’ll help unemployed workers re-skill and re-enter the workforce.

https://www.businessinsider.com/coursera-workforce-recovery-initiative

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Pressure mounts for universities to anticipate in-demand jobs

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

MATT KRUPNICK, Hechinger Report

But producing grads with needed skills is something employers say America hasn’t done well. Colleges and universities are already being called upon to anticipate areas of growth and supply and to help Americans learn the skills they’ll need to weather the impending recession. Eighty-three percent of employers said last year they were having trouble finding suitable job candidates. More than a third noted a lack of skills among candidates, and more than half that the skills gap was wider than ever.

https://hechingerreport.org/pressure-mounts-for-universities-to-anticipate-and-train-people-for-in-demand-jobs/

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June 27, 2020

Engagement to Autonomy: Four Strategies for Face-to-Face or Online Learning in First-Year Experience Courses

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

Paty Cantu and Hayley Kazen, Faculty Focus
Although teaching first-time freshmen across all content areas presents challenges, first-year experience (FYE) courses also have unique obstacles which must be overcome, especially with the shift to online learning. Often, there is no traditional content such as math or history, so students may ask, “What will I get out of this class?” As instructors and professors, we need to get creative in challenging and engaging students so they feel motivated to learn. This semester, we surveyed students in both face-to-face and online FYE courses and found four active learning strategies that helped students become more engaged.

https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-teaching-strategies/engagement-to-autonomy-four-strategies-for-face-to-face-or-online-learning-in-first-year-experience-courses/

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Mechanical Engineering professor transitions online, deepens knowledge of well-being

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

Amber McClung, St. Mary’s Univesity

My approach was to take things one step at a time and to keep my students’ well-being as the top priority. I am starting the certification for online teaching right now, and am reading a lot about how to foster engagement with a classroom with mixed attendance modes (some in person, some online), so I expect to have a much longer list of new tricks before classes start in the fall.

https://www.stmarytx.edu/2020/mechanical-engineering-professor-online/

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What Does Virtual Learning Mean For The Future Of Higher Education?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

Robyn D. Shulman, Forbes
The ways we respond and react to the need for better methods of virtual learning will have a significant impact on whether and how online education develops as an opportunity for the future. It may change the impact of education on our economy at large, and its viability and availability to a broader set of participants. Likewise, the time and geographic flexibility of online learning may serve to make it available to a more comprehensive set of participants.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robynshulman/2020/06/14/what-does-virtual-learning-mean-for-the-future-of-higher-education/#71af88b143fa

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June 26, 2020

Facebook just released a database of 100,000 deepfakes to teach AI how to spot them

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

Will Douglas Heaven, MIT Technology Review

Deepfakes⁠ have struck a nerve with the public and researchers alike. There is something uniquely disturbing about these AI-generated images of people appearing to say or do something they didn’t. With tools for making deepfakes now widely available and relatively easy to use, many also worry that they will be used to spread dangerous misinformation. Politicians can have other people’s words put into their mouths or made to participate in situations they did not take part in, for example.

https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/06/12/1003475/facebooks-deepfake-detection-challenge-neural-network-ai/

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We need to reimagine higher education, not just repair it

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

Francisco Marmolejo, University World News

Crises can make innovations that seemed previously impossible suddenly inevitable. There will be years of ‘a reckoning’ that higher education institutions will go through. But the ‘new normal’ we must shape needs to begin with the recognition that putting classes on Zoom isn’t change. Higher education institutions need reimagining, not just repairing. Educators, policy-makers, employers and investors must urgently give thought to what a post-COVID world should look like and what role higher education institutions must play to make that world a reality.

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200612100902318

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The COVID-19 wake up call on upskilling and reskilling needs around the world

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

Kevin Mills, Open Access Government

Our next hurdle in the “future of work” will be how to solve the massive unemployment crisis that’s coming our way. For this to happen swiftly, we need leadership to pave the way. In essence, we all need to buy into the idea of lifelong learning as a necessity. As we do so, and the concept of “life-long learning” consolidates, we’ll notice changes. Even at Coursera, where we’ve focused on upskilling and reskilling learners globally since launching in 2012, these will be significant.

https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/upskilling-and-reskilling/88366/

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