Educational Technology

May 13, 2021

The Changing Face of Science

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Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed

Academic science is much more diverse than it was a generation ago, even if it still has a ways to go. That’s according to a new report on women, minorities and people with disabilities from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics at the National Science Foundation. The share of academic jobs held by female doctorates in science, engineering and health fields increased from 26 percent in 1999 to 39 percent in 2019. Underrepresented minorities hold more of these jobs now than in 1999, but their share — 9 percent — is still “considerably less” than their share of the population, according to the NSF. By comparison, underrepresented minorities make up one-third of the U.S. The share of academic scientists with one or more disabilities also increased over the same period, to 9 percent. Their share of the general population is about 11 percent.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/05/04/federal-report-shines-light-historically-underrepresented-groups-science

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Workforce development goes virtual to fill critical skills gaps

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

Shannon O’Connor, eCampus News

Particularly in manufacturing, workforce education has not been technology-based. It traditionally takes place in the field and involves in-person instruction, one-on-one apprenticeship, and printed manuals. There exists a growing skills gap in trained, qualified workers. To solve this, higher education institutions are stepping in to fill the gap and programs are being developed that employ augmented and virtual reality to teach workers new skills. The team developing the virtual factory at OHIO is led by Dr. Jesús Pagán, an associate professor in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2021/05/04/workforce-development-goes-virtual-to-fill-critical-skills-gaps/

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How to keep the library at the heart of campus—from a distance

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

Brady Beard & Christine Wolff-Eisenberg, eCampus News

Over the past several decades, academic libraries have invested tremendously in digital services and resources to support research, teaching, and learning. When the pandemic hit, forcing colleges and universities across the country to shut down and limit in-person instruction, many libraries were left wondering how to similarly pivot their spaces–frequently and lovingly referred to by many as the “heart of the college”–to a digital format. In response, a number have turned to experimenting with technologies to simulate library space virtually. At Ithaka S+R, we’ve studied how some have employed tools that are commonly licensed institutionally–like Zoom, WebEx, and Google Hangouts–for hosting group study rooms and responding to reference questions. Others have branched out to more interactive tools like SpatialChat and InSpace where users can move around more freely.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2021/04/29/how-to-keep-the-library-at-the-heart-of-campus-from-a-distance/

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May 12, 2021

Pennsylvania Consolidation Plans Spark Confusion, Criticism

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Emma Whitford, Inside Higher Ed

Amid hearings, meetings and press conferences centered on plans by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to consolidate six universities, a new report details potential job losses for the public university system.In the week since the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education published its 400-plus-page plan, the system has already received feedback. Public concern also has been heightened by a new report on the economic impact of the consolidation and ongoing system redesign, indicating it could mean more than 1,500 job eliminations.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/05/03/pennsylvania-plan-consolidate-and-redesign-system-could-lead-1500-jobs-lost

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The Many Ways Colleges Are Handling Covid-Complicated Graduations

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

Rukmini Callimachi, NY Times

With vaccinations on the rise, many colleges are planning in-person commencements, sowing frustration on campuses sticking to online ones. Many of the schools doing in-person ceremonies are putting in extensive safety measures, like the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, which is requiring graduates and their families to provide proof of vaccination, or else a negative coronavirus test, said the university’s president, Heidi M. Anderson.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/30/us/virtual-graduation-coronavirus.html

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A guide to Plan S: the open-access initiative shaking up science publishing

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

Holly Else, Nature

In 2018, an influential group of research funders announced a bold pledge: the scientists they fund should publish their peer-reviewed papers outside journal paywalls. The initiative, called Plan S, caused an instant uproar over its aim of ending journal subscription models — the means by which many scholarly publications have financed their existence. Its intended start date in 2020 was delayed, and its details were tweaked. But after much sparring over policy, the project formally began in 2021, with 25 funding agencies rolling out similar open-access (OA) mandates.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00883-6

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May 11, 2021

Announcing next steps in CU Boulder’s online education strategy

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:37 am

University of Colorado Boulder

Provost Russ Moore and Chief Operating Officer Patrick O’Rourke today announced CU Boulder’s Online Education Team, a collaboration of university experts that will “support faculty with exciting new opportunities to offer innovative, accessible and impactful online learning experiences,” according to Moore. “Our Online Education Team will empower our faculty to leverage their research, scholarship, and creative work for the benefit of our current students, as well as for learners in all phases of life and at all points of career, anywhere on the globe,” Moore said.

https://www.colorado.edu/today/2021/04/30/announcing-next-steps-cu-boulders-online-education-strategy

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Provosts Face the Pandemic

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Provosts are confident in the academic quality of their institutions, despite negative changes brought about by the pandemic, according to the 2021 Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers, published by Inside Higher Ed and Hanover Research. About one in four provosts said that their institution had cut faculty positions during the pandemic. They said most of the positions were adjuncts (67 percent), but also cut were nontenured, tenure-track faculty (19 percent).  More provosts from private institutions than public ones said that the humanities disciplines were disproportionately cut (33 percent versus 4 percent).

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/survey/survey-shows-how-provosts-faced-pandemic

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Undervaluing doctoral education post-COVID brings risks

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:31 am

Tessa DeLaquil and Lizhou Wang, University World News

As national systems of higher education and individual higher education institutions grapple with loss of funds in this pandemic year, recent months have shown that the consequences may have dire implications, especially for doctoral education. By undervaluing the role of doctoral education in higher education, national higher education systems risk critical long-term damage, not only to higher education, but also to economic and human development.

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20210430131651833

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May 10, 2021

Some universities’ response to budget woes: Making faculty teach more courses

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:38 am

Jon Marcus, Hechinger Report

Citing financial problems worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, colleges and universities nationwide are quietly increasing the number of courses faculty teach and the number of students in them as a way to lower costs. Such changes are primarily occurring not at selective private or public flagship universities, but on campuses that largely serve low-income students who often come from poorly resourced public high schools or whose parents never finished college, threatening to further widen the quality divide between the educations rich and poor Americans receive.

https://hechingerreport.org/some-universities-response-to-budget-woes-making-faculty-teach-more-courses/

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Online learning remains high priority for higher ed, Educause report finds

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

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.”

https://edscoop.com/online-learning-remains-high-priority-for-higher-ed-sustainability-educause-report-finds/

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6 Key Technologies Moving Teaching and Learning Forward in 2021

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:29 am

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
Educause’s latest Horizon Report outlines the biggest trends shaping teaching and learning this year. In particular, the report identified six technologies and practices that are key to higher education institutions’ future planning, whether those topics are newly emerging or evolving from previous years. They are topics that can come, go and return to Horizon Reports from year to year “more organically, reflecting the most current issues,” the report explained. In this year’s list of key technologies, the categories of artificial intelligence, open educational resources, and learning analytics have made a repeat appearance in the report. They are joined by three new categories: blended and hybrid course models, quality online learning, and microcredentialing.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2021/04/26/6-key-technologies-moving-teaching-and-learning-forward-in-2021.aspx?admgarea=news

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May 9, 2021

New approaches for teaching science remotely arise from the COVID-19 crisis

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:40 am

Science Daily
A New York University paper on college science classes taught remotely points to teaching methods that enhance student communication and collaboration, offering a framework for enriching online instruction as the coronavirus pandemic continues to limit in-person courses.  The study finds enhanced student communication and collaboration.”These varied exercises allow students to engage, team up, get outside, do important lab work, and carry out group investigations and presentations under extraordinarily challenging circumstances — and from all over the world,” explains Erin Morrison, a professor in Liberal Studies at New York University and the lead author of the paper, which appears in the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education. “The active-learning toolbox can be effectively used from a distance to ensure quality science education even under sudden conditions in a public health crisis.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210427110657.htm

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Private college finances steady in fiscal 2020 despite pandemic’s blows: Moody’s

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

Hallie Busta, Highered Dive

Private higher education institutions kept their expenses in line with revenue during fiscal 2020, showing they “are flexible enough” to endure short economic contractions, a new report from Moody’s Investors Service explains. The nearly $14 billion in federal relief made available to colleges early in the pandemic offset some initial losses, according to the analysis, which is based on schools Moody’s rates. But continued expenses, lost revenue and enrollment declines have been a strain on colleges in the months since.

https://www.highereddive.com/news/private-college-finances-steady-in-fiscal-2020-despite-pandemics-blows-mo/599152/

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The EU path towards regulation on artificial intelligence

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

Valeria Marcia and Kevin C. Desouza, Brookings Insitution
Advances in AI are making their way across all products and services we interact with. Recently, the European Commission proposed its first legal framework on Artificial Intelligence. This proposal is the result of a long and complicated work carried out by the European authorities. In its framework, the European Commission adopts an innovation-friendly approach. A very interesting aspect is that the Commission supports innovation through so-called AI regulatory sandboxes for non-high-risk AI systems, which provide an environment that facilitates the development and testing of innovative AI systems.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2021/04/26/the-eu-path-towards-regulation-on-artificial-intelligence/

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May 8, 2021

How To Start Online Learning Successfully

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 10:45 am

Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Online learning is becoming a more and more popular method of learning. This is because it is much more convenient than attending a physical school. However, there are also various challenges that students will face with this form of education. We will be discussing how you can achieve the best possible results from your online learning journey.

https://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-to-start-online-learning-successfully/

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7 Things You Should Know About the Digital Divide

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

Colin McFadden, EDUCAUSE
Along the two primary dimensions of the digital divide—internet access and the hardware needed to use online resources and services—people of lower economic means, of certain racial and ethnic groups, with disabilities, and who live in rural areas consistently lag in their ability to participate fully in the technology-driven world. When the pandemic closed campuses, the divide widened, in part because students no longer had access to campus-based support but also because the pivot to online learning created new obstacles.

https://library.educause.edu/resources/2021/4/7-things-you-should-know-about-the-digital-divide

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Supporting Digital Service-Learning through Campus Collaboration

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:29 am

Lance Eaton and Danielle Leek, EDUCAUSE Review

Expanded online and remote learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic allows campuses to support and collaborate on digital service-learning projects, creating opportunities to expand service-learning and, in doing so, play a pivotal role in enhancing the learning of students, faculty, and staff for years to come.

https://er.educause.edu/articles/2021/4/supporting-digital-service-learning-through-campus-collaboration

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May 7, 2021

From admissions to teaching to grading, AI is infiltrating higher education

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Derek Newton, Hechinger Report

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is being used to shoot off these seemingly personal appeals and deliver pre-written information through chatbots and text personas meant to mimic human banter. It can help a university or college by boosting early deposit rates while cutting down on expensive and time-consuming calls to stretched admissions staffs. AI has long been quietly embedding itself into higher education in ways like these, often to save money — a need that’s been heightened by pandemic-related budget squeezes.

https://hechingerreport.org/from-admissions-to-teaching-to-grading-ai-is-infiltrating-higher-education/

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Moodle acquires 3 companies to launch LMS services business in the US

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Natalie Schwartz, Highered Dive

Moodle, a widely used open-source learning management system, announced earlier this month that it is acquiring three companies that build services for its platform to create a single company called Moodle US. This will enable Moodle to offer a wide array of services directly to customers that use its LMS rather than through its partners. The deals are expected to conclude by June. Moodle is falling behind as Canvas, another open-source platform, gains market share in Canada and the U.S., according to one analysis.

https://www.highereddive.com/news/moodle-acquires-3-companies-to-launch-lms-services-business-in-the-us/599065/

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Students Want Online Learning Options Post-Pandemic

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:27 am

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.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/04/27/survey-reveals-positive-outlook-online-instruction-post-pandemic

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