Online Learning Update

January 20, 2021

Universities shouldn’t abandon online learning after the pandemic

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

RAHIM REZA, Globe and Mail

Rahim Rezaie is associate director of the International Virtual Engineering Student Teams Project at the University of Toronto and senior program development officer at Academics Without Borders. Will higher education simply go back to the old ways and put virtual learning on the shelf? Or will they embrace the moment and ensure that online education benefits are further explored, developed and realized? Going forward, students are likely to demand online options in suitable circumstances. Our universities and colleges should seize the moment and make a decisive move to a hybrid educational model that blends both online and on-campus approaches. In doing so, they can provide a superior educational experience in a more inclusive, accessible and cost-effective manner.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-universities-shouldnt-abandon-online-learning-after-the-pandemic/

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Zoom Fatigue: What We Have Learned

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

Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed

Zoom (and other videoconferencing) fatigue was recognized early in the remote learning efforts of 2020. It is real. We have learned much about the cause and some about how to avoid the symptoms that impair communication and learning.  The crucible of massive use of these technologies by less experienced faculty at all levels of education has exposed vulnerabilities and a host of less-than-optimum uses of online conferencing.  Reducing the number and frequency of Zoom meetings may actually enhance productivity, lower frustration and anxiety, and make everyone just a bit happier in these COVID-plagued times.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-now/zoom-fatigue-what-we-have-learned

 

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Remote work: 10 ways to upgrade your working from home setup

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

Charles McLellan, ZDNet

As 2020 staggers to a close, knowledge workers routinely occupy desk or office space in their homes, using a desktop or laptop computer on an internet connection that they pay for but is now vital to their employment as well as the running of their household. Communications with colleagues, company departments and clients revolve around the collaboration features built into office suites, along with instant-messaging and video-conferencing platforms, often using a secondary device such as a tablet or smartphone for some of these tasks. Cybersecurity is more important than ever for this newly distributed and heterogeneously equipped workforce, for whom commuting is a fading memory (along with real-world interaction with colleagues and clients).

https://www.zdnet.com/article/remote-work-10-ways-to-upgrade-your-working-from-home-setup/

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January 19, 2021

Now Is Not the Time for Education to Stand Still. It’s Time to Reimagine and Revolutionize.

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

 

Kyair Butts, EdSurge

A once in a lifetime pandemic. A once in a lifetime opportunity. Teaching in the year 2020 reminds me of a quote from “Inherit the Wind:” “Perhaps it is you who has moved away by standing still.” All at once our world was completely halted by a global pandemic the worst in 100 years and yet in a moment of crisis an opportunity to create appeared. Are we going to move away from progress by standing still?

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2020-12-23-now-is-not-the-time-for-education-to-stand-still-it-s-time-to-reimagine-and-revolutionize

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The 2010s saw the lowest population growth in U.S. history, new census estimates show

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

William H. Frey, Brookings Institution

Newly released Census Bureau population estimates through mid-year 2020 reveal record lows in U.S. population growth, both annually and for the 2010-to-2020 decade. While these estimates are done independently from the yet-to-be released 2020 decennial census, they provide the most recent preview of what that census may show for the population totals of the nation and individual states, as well as for congressional reapportionment. The new estimates indicate that over the period from July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2020, the nation grew by just 0.35%. This is the lowest annual growth rate since at least 1900. The new data also shows that when the 2020 census numbers are announced, the 2010-to-2020 decade growth rate could be the lowest in any decade since the first census was conducted in 1790.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2020/12/22/the-2010s-saw-the-lowest-population-growth-in-u-s-history-new-census-estimates-show/

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Minnesota students, professors say college during pandemic was ‘not a lot of fun’

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

RICHARD TSONG-TAATARII, Star Tribune
Months of online classes and social distancing took a toll on many. But the various campus life restrictions that institutions put in place appear to have paid off.  Students lined up for COVID-19 tests at the University of Minnesota before the Thanksgiving holiday. Minnesota colleges have closed the book on the strangest fall semester in recent memory, one in which students and professors alike spent much of their time perched behind a computer screen and isolated from their peers. Months of online classes and social distancing took a toll on many students and faculty, who reported struggling with loneliness, stress and burnout. But the various campus life restrictions that institutions put in place appear to have paid off, as most Minnesota colleges managed to avoid large outbreaks of COVID-19. As they look toward the spring, college leaders say they will likely continue to operate under strict campus safety measures until vaccines become widely available.

https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-students-professors-say-college-during-pandemic-was-not-a-lot-of-fun/573484212/

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January 18, 2021

The Importance Of ‘Agility’ In The Future Of Work

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

Julia Stead, Forbes

No matter how you slice it, we’re at the precipice of a landmark shift in work norms on many frontiers — where we work, when we work, even how we work. And if the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we must remain agile and flexible through it all. Adapting to continued change while integrating the aspects we want to keep in a post-pandemic world will require an agile mindset. It’s natural to react to stressful situations by reverting to what we’re used to, but thriving in a pandemic requires a different mindset. An agile mindset is akin to the agile methodology used in engineering and marketing; it’s one of flexibility, openness to change and adaptability.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2020/11/24/the-importance-of-agility-in-the-future-of-work/

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Students Supporting Faculty in the Shift to Hybrid Learning

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

 

Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

To help ensure that hybrid learning could run smoothly, BU created the Learn from Anywhere Classroom Moderator program, essentially an army of student workers deployed in the classroom to help faculty and make sure remote students are connected with the on-campus component of each class. Scaling a program like this for a university of BU’s size – 30,000-plus students – was no easy feat. Hundreds of student moderators were trained and assigned to cover more than 2,000 hours of class time per week, all while working within the constantly changing safety guidelines of a global pandemic.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2020/12/17/podcast-students-supporting-faculty-in-the-shift-to-hybrid-learning.aspx

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Educators: Hold Onto Humanity With Both Hands. Let Students Show You How.

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

Sherri Spelic, EdSurge

If this year has taught me anything, it’s that teaching is not for the faint of heart. Nor is learning. With their adaptability, candor and heartfelt future orientation, my students have pulled me through this year. Their eyes are open for miracles when all we see is destruction. It’s amazing. They have their humanity and unlike us are not struggling to hold on to it. Watch them. You can’t help but notice.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2020-12-25-educators-hold-onto-humanity-with-both-hands-let-students-show-you-how

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January 17, 2021

In Challenging Times, Relationships Keep Students Engaged in College Learning

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

Courtney Adkins and Linda L. García, EdSurge

The pandemic has amplified the inequities that already existed for many students, and it has become clear that colleges must dig deeper to understand the life barriers that affect their students. While colleges can’t solve all of the problems their students encounter, they can work to ensure that students have interpersonal foundations that are essential to their success. They can also help their students understand what they are working toward and assist them in developing a plan to get there. While developing relationships and the work of advising may look different in the virtual world, they remain essential.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2020-12-24-in-challenging-times-relationships-keep-students-engaged-in-college-learning

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Incentivizing faculty for open educational resources (OER) adoption and open textbook authoring

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

LilyTodorinovaaZara T.Wilkinson, Journal of Academic Librarianship

This survey assessed the experiences of faculty who participated in a textbook affordability program at Rutgers University. The program provided incentive awards in exchange for replacing commercial textbooks with affordable course materials such as open educational resources (OER), self-developed course materials, course reserves, or library-licensed content. The survey collected faculty’s perceptions about the award program, experiences with OER, and interest in open textbook authoring. Responses suggest that the program is well received and that funds are adequate for adopting new course materials. However, they also indicate that even participating faculty vary greatly in their knowledge and use of OER and their interest in authoring open textbooks. Ultimately, these survey results indicate the lack of a “one size fits all” approach to incentivizing the adoption of affordable course materials, the use of OER, and the creation of new open resources.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0099133320301117

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The Second Year of The MOOC: 2020 Saw a Rush to Large-Scale Online Courses

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

By Dhawal Shah, EdSurge

Of all the learners that ever registered on a MOOC platform, one third did so in 2020, making 2020 MOOCs’ most consequential year since 2012, which has been dubbed “Year of the MOOC”. In 2020, the big MOOC providers got bigger, and the biggest one pulled further ahead of the rest.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2020-12-23-the-second-year-of-the-mooc-2020-saw-a-rush-to-large-scale-online-courses

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January 16, 2021

This is the online course 2020 needed

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

Victoria Masterson, World Economic Forum

Emotions can help and hinder attention, decision-making, relationships, health, and performance. So learning to manage them is vital – particularly for teachers and their students – and especially now, with the global pandemic fuelling anxiety. A third of people in the US have reported feeling stress, anxiety or sadness that was difficult to cope with since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. To help manage these feelings, a new 10-hour free online course called Managing Emotions in Times of Uncertainty & Stress is being launched by Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/12/yale-mooc-managing-emotions-uncertainty-stress/

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Women at the top of the world, still not at the center: A new network analysis discovery

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

Tuugi Chuluun and Kevin L. Young, Brookings Institution

For example, only 37 of the companies listed on the Fortune 500 list this year have women CEOs. And only three of them are women of color. Within the public sector, several countries such as Rwanda and Argentina have instituted gender quota systems to increase the representation of women in government. As a result of these and other changes and reforms, the last couple of decades have seen some progress in increasing the number of women holding various positions of leadership globally. However, women, and especially women of color, remain dramatically underrepresented, and the coronavirus pandemic threatens progress we have made on this front because of gender inequality in the division of housework.

https://www.brookings.edu/essay/women-at-the-top-of-the-world-still-not-at-the-center-a-new-network-analysis-discovery/

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People globally offer mixed views of the impact of artificial intelligence, job automation on society

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

COURTNEY JOHNSON AND ALEC TYSON, Pew Research

As artificial intelligence (AI) plays a growing role in the everyday lives of people around the world, views on AI’s impact on society are mixed across 20 global publics, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Majorities in most Asian publics surveyed see AI as a good thing for society. A median of about half (53%) say the development of artificial intelligence, or the use of computer systems designed to imitate human behaviors, has been a good thing for society, while 33% say it has been a bad thing. Opinions are also divided on another major technological development: using robots to automate many jobs humans have done in the past. A median of 48% say job automation has been a good thing, while 42% say it’s had a negative impact on society.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/12/15/people-globally-offer-mixed-views-of-the-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-job-automation-on-society/

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January 15, 2021

6 mental health resources to help college students during COVID

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

LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Colleges and universities across the globe have closed campuses and moved instruction online in an attempt to stop community spread of the novel coronavirus. Many students find themselves back home with family, quarantining while their campuses remain physically shut down. Others may be out of work and worrying about finances on top of attending online classes. Still others are international students who might not be able to return home. According to researchers at the University of California, Irvine, many people experience psychological distress resulting from repeated media exposure to the crisis.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2020/12/21/6-mental-health-resources-students/

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Ten Ways to Make Online Learning Work: A Guide to Improving Education in the Time of COVID-19

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

COVID Collaborative
Remarkably, this report is written by all the former Directors of the Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education: Linda Roberts, John Bailey, Karen Cator, Richard Culatta, Tim Magner, Susan Patrick, and Joseph South; and by Katrina Stevens, former Deputy Director.  Foreword by former U.S. Secretaries of Education Arne Duncan, John B. King, Rod Paige, Richard Riley and Margaret Spellings.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5f85f5a156091e113f96e4d3/t/5fbbc55458f7584e716bd479/1606141269131/OnlineLearningPaper_FINAL_11.20_reducedsize.pdf

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With exams now online, colleges look to new tools to prevent cheating

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

ERIC KOLENICH, Richmond Times-Dispatch

College students largely took their final exams at home this semester, trading in blue books for laptops, webcams and specialized proctoring software. In some instances, students answered questions while being filmed by their own computers. Other software isn’t so invasive. Certain tools can prevent a student from opening a new window and Googling the answers to the questions. Yet some professors have steered clear of the high-tech software altogether and administered open-book tests, making duplicity impossible.

https://dailyprogress.com/news/state-and-regional/with-exams-now-online-colleges-look-to-new-tools-to-prevent-cheating/article_4887c70d-222c-5796-8b1c-27428edf6b24.html

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January 14, 2021

Back to the office in 2021? Here are ten things that will have changed

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

Daphne Leprince-Ringuet, ZDNet

Although the timeline is still unclear, offices will inevitably re-open in the future – leaving many wondering what kind of a workspace they will be stepping into on the day that they get to dust off their office shoes. Analysis firm CCS Insights predicts that in 2022 more than half of all office-based employees will still work mainly remotely. Whether you are team WFH, or increasingly desperate to return to the comfort of an office desk, one thing is for certain: with half of the workforce at home, at least on a semi-permanent basis, workspaces will no longer be designed to accommodate floods of employees coming in every morning for another nine-to-five shift.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/back-to-the-office-in-2021-here-are-ten-things-that-will-have-changed/

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AI will take away lots of jobs. And we are nowhere near ready to replace them

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

Daphne Leprince-Ringuet, ZDNet

The Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated the adoption of AI systems in industry: research carried out by the World Economic Forum (WEF) this year showed that 80% of decision-makers around the world are now planning on accelerating the automation of their work processes. The technology is expected to displace roles such as data entry clerks, accountants or factory workers. Michael Wooldridge, professor of computer science at the University of Oxford, said “Certainly some jobs will be lost, and many more will be created. The difficulty is that the jobs created are not necessarily in the same place as those lost.” “It is not an AI-specific problem,” he continues. “Technology evolves at a rapid pace, and this is about technology skills generally. Re-training and up-skilling are issues that will unwind over the next decades.”

https://www.zdnet.com/article/ai-will-take-away-lots-of-jobs-and-we-are-nowhere-near-ready-to-replace-them/

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Virtual Tutoring Program Helps Prepare Future Teachers

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

BRIA BELL, Spectrum News

A new generation of teachers is learning how to reach students online right out of the gate. Ready, Set, Teach is a program for high school students who want to become teachers. Everything is now online and that fact is giving these future teachers a leg up. Being a student in online classes during the pandemic is great practice for soon to be teachers. Cedar Hill High School students Jessica Graciano and Sydne Webb are picking up lessons from their own teachers about what works and what’s frustrating from a student and teacher’s perspective.

https://spectrumlocalnews.com/tx/san-antonio/news/2020/12/18/virtual-tutoring-program-helps-prepare-future-teachers

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