Online Learning Update

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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April 10, 2021

Bucking the Status Quo in the Aftermath of the Pandemic

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

Michael Bugeja, Tomorrow’s Professor

As students delay or reconsider attending college, academic departments must reinvent themselves. Universities have no other option but to explore immediate remedies. In 2021, the future of higher education looks bleak, with mounting student debt and lower enrollments exacerbated by economic shortfalls due to COVID-19. That dreary outlook will prevail for years to come if institutions insist on business as usual. The prototype for the reinvented institution values everyone, with a primary focus on student learning and affordability.

https://tomprof.stanford.edu/posting/1860

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Generation COVID will embrace digital revolution with support

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

Nathan Schultz, the Age (AU)

In a university sector used to gradual change, COVID-19 has brought an overnight revolution as numbers of overseas students fall and revenue suffers. When the government announced in June major changes to universities’ funding, including a 113 per cent price rise for humanities courses, Centre Alliance’s Rebekha Sharkie warned this could lead to “whole faculties gutted”. With undergraduates taking all their courses online during lockdown, it is likely that COVID-19 will further expedite a move away from the “traditional university experience”. The class of COVID-19 – the first to grow up as “digital natives” – are well prepared for this change.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/generation-covid-will-embrace-digital-revolution-with-support-20210211-p571lv.html

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CWRU’s Siegal Lifelong Learning responds to pandemic demands with virtual courses

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

Case Western Reserve

Some things, such as restaurants and movie theaters, have been hurt by the pandemic, while others — namely Zoom — have grown and thrived. Siegal Lifelong Learning at Case Western Reserve University can be placed in the category of things that have thrived. In the days before COVID-19, Siegal was known for helping people who wanted to delve further into topics of interest and enrich their lives through in-person classes and lectures. Early on in the pandemic in March 2020, Siegal — which already had a lineup of in-person courses and lectures planned — moved to adapt to the times and the growing need for online learning.  The result has been that its online learning courses have attracted a more varied and far-reaching audience.

https://www.cleveland.com/community/2021/03/cwrus-siegal-lifelong-learning-responds-to-pandemic-demands-with-virtual-courses-sees-growth.html

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April 9, 2021

Poll: Nearly half of parents don’t want their kids to go straight to a four-year college

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:11 am

JILL BARSHAY,
Hechinger ReportA Gallup survey, commissioned by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a philanthropic foundation, and released April 7, 2021, found that 46 percent of parents said they would prefer not to send their children to a four-year college after high school, even if there were no obstacles, financial or otherwise. Only a slim majority of parents — 54 percent — still prefer a four-year college for their children. In lieu of a four-year college, 16 percent of parents said they were interested in non-college vocational training and 22 percent said they preferred to see their children consider an array of other options, including starting a business, joining the military, getting a job or doing community service.

https://hechingerreport.org/poll-nearly-half-of-parents-dont-want-their-kids-to-go-to-a-four-year-college/

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Challenges of a break-free semester of virtual learning

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

Julie Bobyock, TNH

It’s no secret that attending college during a pandemic is difficult. Hours of Zoom classes and meetings, and online homework, projects, and exams have changed student life on campus all over the nation – and have also affected student mental health. While spring breaks have been cancelled at colleges all throughout the country in order to keep communities safe, including University of New Hampshire (UNH), a college semester without a break has seemed to increase the stress levels on campuses.

https://tnhdigital.com/2021/03/26/challenges-of-a-break-free-semester-of-virtual-learning/

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Why online learning could be key to closing the STEM gender gap

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

Silicon Republic
Coursera’s Anthony Tattersall discusses the importance of closing the gender gap in STEM industries and how online learning could help. STEM subjects have long-standing problems with proper gender representation. A recent report by the World Economic Forum highlights that just 30pc of STEM researchers are women, men publish more than their female colleagues and women are paid significantly less.Closing this gap is vital. Careers in STEM are critical in shaping the world we live in. But how do we get there? Experts say the way academic curricula are designed can make an important difference. With the rise of online learning as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we should look at how this particular medium can help. Here are a few ways in which online learning can support us in closing the STEM gender gap in higher education.

https://www.siliconrepublic.com/careers/online-learning-stem-gender-gap

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April 8, 2021

Five Reasons Online Learning Is The Future Of Professional Development

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

Fahim ul Haq, Forbes

Online education has been on the rise for the last decade, and the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated its widespread use in unprecedented ways, particularly for professional career advancement. Degree-based programs and expensive learning and development (L&D) initiatives are no longer required to foster an efficient ongoing training environment for those seeking career advancement. Online learning has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, but the disadvantages alone are no reason to shy away from this education revolution.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/03/26/five-reasons-online-learning-is-the-future-of-professional-development/

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College students sue universities, ask for refunds over online learning

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

ABC News

Students at the University of Oregon and Oregon State are filing proposed class action lawsuits demanding a refund, saying they didn’t get what they paid for when the schools transition to online instruction. Now, the three students involved in the lawsuits want their money back.

https://abc7ny.com/education/students-sue-universities-ask-for-refunds-over-online-learning/10444926/

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Now is the time to rethink undergraduate education in the liberal arts

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

JEAN-PAUL BOUDREAU, University Affairs

While our 20th-century models of education celebrated specialization, it is becoming clear that no one profession or technology or set of skills is capable of navigating the inscrutable way ahead. Instead, I believe the 21st century belongs to the thinkers: the agile, inquisitive, empathetic, and counterintuitive collaborators who embrace a diversity of knowledge. These are tomorrow’s changemakers and entrepreneurs, who both ask, “What if?” and answer, “Here’s how.” So where will we find these minds? Primarily, in undergraduate liberal arts institutions across this country: the place where ideas are our lifeblood and critical and creative thinking our consequence.

https://www.universityaffairs.ca/opinion/in-my-opinion/now-is-the-time-to-rethink-undergraduate-education-in-the-liberal-arts/

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