Online Learning Update

April 17, 2021

Udacity Adds School of Cybersecurity

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

Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Online learning platform Udacity has launched a School of Cybersecurity, a set of nanodegree programs aimed at training the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. Each program offers instructor-led sessions and hands-on projects tailored to real-world scenarios, to provide learners with practical experience, skills and resources in the field. The School of Cybersecurity curriculum currently encompasses four nanodegrees.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2021/04/02/udacity-adds-school-of-cybersecurity.aspx

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Pandemic reduces number of high school students taking dual enrollment courses

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

ALEXANDRA VILLARREAL, Hechinger Report
The trend could make college cost more and take longer, assuming that students even go. Estimates say is between 10 percent to 34 percent of high school students who take college-level courses that give them a head start on credits, save time and money and prepare them for the demands of higher education. But the number of students enrolling in and passing these classes has started slipping downward — dramatically, in some places — suggesting a potential decline ahead in the number of high school students who end up going to college. For those who do go, it means that getting a degree could take longer and cost more. “It definitely throws them off track,” said Samuel West, District P-16 director at Houston Community College.

https://hechingerreport.org/pandemic-reduces-number-of-high-school-students-taking-dual-enrollment-courses/

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What Employers Want

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

Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed

AAC&U survey of employers shows liberal arts skills are valued and sought out in the workplace but raises questions about student preparation. First the good: employers generally have confidence in higher education and value the college degree. They believe that a liberal education — or preparation for more than a specific job — provides knowledge and skills that are important for career success. And increasingly, employers say, college graduates are more effective at explaining what they bring to the table. Now the not-so-great findings: employers see room for improvement in how colleges and universities prepare students for work.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/04/06/aacu-survey-finds-employers-want-candidates-liberal-arts-skills-cite-preparedness

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April 16, 2021

Boise State University alumni, veterans to the Idaho Legislature: Diversity is important

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

RAJA PRABHALA, MICHAEL CHENEY, KEVIN WALLIOR AND ACE ARROYO, Idaho Statesman
To the honorable members of the Idaho Senate and House of Representatives, We the undersigned, all of us veterans of the U.S. military and alumni of Boise State University, write to you in support of diversity at our state institutions of higher learning, particularly our alma mater. We have witnessed with concern opposition to Boise State University’s annual budget due to its support of diversity programs. As members of the U.S. armed forces, we served in one of the most diverse institutions in the United States. The U.S. military attracts highly qualified men and women from all 50 states and our U.S. territories who represent a wide variety of creeds, religions, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and other attributes that make the people of this country stronger together. We saw firsthand how that rich diversity of perspective produces innovative solutions.

https://www.idahostatesman.com/opinion/readers-opinion/article250324036.html

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How 3 megauniversities think local to aid students during natural disasters

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

Natalie Schwartz, Highered Dive

Western Governors, Grand Canyon and Southern New Hampshire are using their scale to help students cope with crises in their communities. Western Governors isn’t the only online megauniversity looking out for large-scale disasters that could impede student progress. Southern New Hampshire and Grand Canyon universities, which collectively enroll more than 180,000 students online, have similar but less formal strategies. “It depends on the situation,” said Kelly Palese, Grand Canyon’s senior vice president of faculty operations. “If their internet is down for a day, it’s probably not the end of the world. But we have had students where their houses were flooded and they’re displaced.”Southern New Hampshire takes a similar approach, alerting faculty members and advisers about potential pitfalls and relying on them to craft one-on-one plans with students.

https://www.highereddive.com/news/how-3-megauniversities-get-local-to-help-students-during-natural-disasters/597751/

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International Enrollment Drop to Hit Higher Ed’s Credit for Years

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

Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed

The U.S. higher education sector will feel a revenue hit for several years from a low number of international students enrolling in colleges and universities this fall, according to a report issued last week by Moody’s Investors Service. The development has a negative impact on the sector’s credit profile, according to the bond ratings agency. International student enrollments at four-year U.S. colleges and universities fell by 13.6 percent in the fall. A rebound in the upcoming fall may be likely, especially given reports of rising applications from international students, but small classes one year flow on to future years. Several factors could also slow recovery — coronavirus travel restrictions, reputational effects of hard-line federal immigration policies under former president Trump and increased competition overseas among them.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2021/04/05/international-enrollment-drop-hit-higher-eds-credit-years

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April 15, 2021

Learning how to learn is the future of higher education

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

Julien Barbier, University World News

The team-based project approach, meanwhile, is well suited to teaching students professional skills. Increasingly, employers are dropping the requirement of a college degree and are looking at student portfolios instead. “The real magic in an educational programme like this is in the project design,” said Michael Feldstein, CEO of Empirical Educator Project and publisher of e-Literate, an online journal about higher education. “Finding relevant content is the easy part.”The assumption of 19th century education was that building a student’s knowledge base is everything. But, today, with the biggest library that has ever existed at everyone’s fingertips (the internet), skills are what matter. The OS of education approach shifts 90% to 95% of a typical student’s time to applied learning. Content is not the problem. Learning how to learn is the future of education.

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20210329143743399

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UK University leaders say governance risks imminent collapse

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

Andrew Kakabadse, University World News

Some higher education leaders believe as many as 20% of UK universities will not survive in this new environment and some institutions are already failing, while others downsize staff numbers and reduce entry levels in a desperate attempt to increase student numbers. The result is an overall lowering of quality, which the private sector is more than willing to address with their emergent and sophisticated expertise in online programmes.

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20210329112744837

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Nearly Half of Faculty Say Pandemic Changes to Teaching Are Here to Stay

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

Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
In a recent survey, the majority of faculty (71 percent) reported that their teaching in Fall 2020 was “very different” or included a “number of changes” compared to pre-pandemic times. And almost half (47 percent) felt those changes would remain in place post-pandemic. That’s according to Cengage’s third Digital Learning Pulse Survey, conducted by Bay View Analytics in partnership with the Online Learning Consortium, WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) and Canadian Digital Learning Research Association. The survey polled 1,702 faculty at 967 institutions across the United States to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on teaching and learning in higher education.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2021/04/01/nearly-half-of-faculty-say-pandemic-changes-to-teaching-are-here-to-stay.aspx

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April 14, 2021

Online Education in a Pandemic: Stress Test or Fortuitous Disruption?

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

 

Kenneth Ronkowitz Lynnette Condro Ronkowitz, Wiley Online Library

A number of lessons were learned from the pandemic about online learning. If an online course is built with integrity, meaning that it is well constructed using all of the design elements, it can be delivered using other modalities, including F2F. During the pandemic, students and faculty understood that they needed to become more digitally literate.  Some observers have called the coronavirus a “black swan” moment—an unforeseen event that could change everything for higher education. Investments were made to shift education online, and that shift could be transformational. But we question whether the changes will be permanent, and if past is precedent, it still will be left up to the individual institutions.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajes.12377

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Are more college closures ahead?

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

Natalie Schwartz, HigherEd Dive

The spring term spelled the end for at least three liberal arts colleges, which will soon either cease operating or accepting new students. The colleges — Becker, Mills and Concordia New York — all said the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated existing financial woes. Higher education experts predict more consolidation among all types of colleges and an uptick in closures.

https://www.highereddive.com/news/are-more-college-closures-ahead/597746/

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Students of color disproportionately choosing distance learning.

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

Elizabeth Shockman, Sahan Journal

Nationwide, there are similar trends. Close to 80 percent of Asian, 64 percent of Black and Hispanic and 41 percent of Native American eighth grade students were in distance learning scenarios in February and March. That’s compared to only 32 percent of white students, according to a U.S. Department of Education survey.

https://sahanjournal.com/education/students-of-color-disproportionately-choosing-distance-learning/

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April 13, 2021

The Pandemic Hit the Working Class Hard. The Colleges That Serve Them Are Hurting, Too.

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

Stephanie Saul, NY Times
The community colleges largely serving low-income, Black and Latino students are reeling, and experts worry that inequality in education will increase. Colleges of all types are struggling under the shadow of the coronavirus, but the nation’s community college system has been disproportionately hurt, with tens of thousands of students being forced to delay school or drop out because of the pandemic and the economic crisis it has created. Enrollment is down by 9.5 percent at the more than 1,000 two-year colleges in the United States compared with numbers from last spring, according to figures from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization that found a similar drop last fall. That is more than double the loss experienced by four-year schools.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/02/us/politics/enrollment-covid-community-colleges.html

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Connecting the dots between engagement and learning: Impact of internal states on learning

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

College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Science Daily

New collaborative research examines how changes in internal states, such as engagement, can affect the learning process using BCI technology. The collaborative research, published in Nature Neuroscience, examined how changes in internal states, such as arousal, attention, motivation, and engagement can affect the learning process using brain-computer interface (BCI) technology. Findings suggest that changes in internal states can systematically influence how behavior improves with learning, thus paving the way for more effective methods to teach people skills quickly, and to a higher level of proficiency.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210401131158.htm

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Finally, an Online Advising Model That Actually Works

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

Julie Delich, University Business

Many advisors who work on campus know a student is struggling before they say a word. After all, the student’s expression and body language can reveal their frustration and anxiety. But online advising is different. Advisors often work with online students by phone, email, or text — formats that don’t offer the same cues as in-person advising. Therefore, online advisors must use different tactics to discern a student’s mental state or desire for help. Even so, many colleges base online advising on their campus-based practices. This approach seems logical because the destination of online and in-person programs — a degree or certificate — is the same. But the online journey follows a different path, raising the need for tailored support.

https://universitybusiness.com/finally-an-online-advising-model-that-actually-works-lp

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April 12, 2021

Standardized tests aren’t the problem, it’s how we use them

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

Andre M. Perry, Brookings
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is refusing to back down on a federal requirement that states must administer standardized tests this year, although a letter to state leaders from the Department of Education last month said that states will have flexibility on how to apply results. States concerned about the safety of administering a test during a pandemic may implement shortened versions of assessments.Amid a pandemic, testing is a necessary inconvenience to help us understand how we can better address structural racism and other root causes of academic disparities. But if tests aren’t used as a way to support Black districts, students, and families by leading to solutions for structural inequities, then they will only facilitate the epidemic of racism that existed before the pandemic.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2021/03/30/standardized-tests-arent-the-problem-its-how-we-use-them/

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The Disproportionate Impact of the Pandemic on Women and Caregivers in Academia

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

Makala Skinner, Nicole Betancourt, Christine Wolff-Eisenberg, Ithaka S+R

Evidence is mounting that women in academia have disproportionately been affected by the pandemic. Recent research points to new gender gaps in productivity and publishing, with fewer women publishing articles and manuscripts.[1] And in addition to these professional challenges, women in academia are also facing unique personal challenges during the pandemic, including balancing childcare and home responsibilities while working towards achieving tenure in an academic pipeline where it is already challenging for women to succeed.[2]

https://sr.ithaka.org/publications/the-disproportionate-impact-of-the-pandemic-on-women-and-caregivers-in-academia/

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Algorithms will soon be in charge of hiring and firing. Not everyone thinks this is a good idea

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

Daphne Leprince-Ringuet, ZD Net

One of the most compelling examples is that of AI tools being used in the first stages of the hiring process for new jobs, where algorithms can be used to scrape CVs for key information and sometimes undertake background checks to analyze candidate data. Amazon’s attempts to deploy this type of technology were scrapped after it was found that the model discriminated against women’s CVs. Across the Atlantic, Julia Stoyanovich, professor at NYU and founding director of the Center for Responsible AI, has been calling for more stringent oversight of AI models in hiring processes for many years. “We shouldn’t be investing in the development of these tools right now. We should be investing in how we oversee those technologies,” she told ZDNet.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/algorithms-will-soon-be-in-charge-of-hiring-and-firing-not-everyone-thinks-this-is-a-good-idea/

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April 11, 2021

Has the Pandemic Set Female Leadership Back?

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

Knowledge at Wharton

About 2.3 million women have exited the U.S. labor force since the pandemic began, compared with about 1.8 million men, according to government data. Many were driven out by layoffs in food service, health care, and hospitality — sectors that employ a majority of women and that have been most affected by the economic slowdown. Others left their jobs voluntarily, forced to stay home and care for children suddenly unable to attend school or daycare. As a result, female participation in the workforce has dropped to 57%, a level not seen since 1988. The situation is dire enough that U.S. President Joe Biden called it “a national emergency.” With schools reopening and vaccines becoming more widely available, there is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, but questions remain about whether working women will recover from such a deep setback.

https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/pandemic-set-female-leadership-back/

 

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Report: Research Support Funding Faces Risk

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

Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed

A new report on U.S. academic research budgets concludes that research enablement and support functions — which under federally awarded research grants are reimbursed under indirect cost rates negotiated by universities — face risk. The nonprofit research and strategy group Ithaka S+R released the report today, examining budget issues the scientific research field faces. It found that externally funded research has been the most resilient major revenue source for large universities during the pandemic.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2021/02/25/report-research-support-funding-faces-risk

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Microsoft launches next stage of skills initiative after helping 30 million people

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

MicrosoftTo access newly available tools and resources, job seekers can visit opportunity.linkedin.com to begin pursuing in-demand technology skills for free across LinkedIn, Microsoft Learn and GitHub. In addition to using data to understand the most in-demand roles, Microsoft will share that data with governments so they can better understand the issues and we’ll use our voice on employment and training public policy issues around the world.Microsoft will provide financial grants and technical support to nonprofit organizations to enable our skilling initiative for 5 million unemployed workers who need it most.

https://news.microsoft.com/skills/

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