Online Learning Update

May 6, 2021

What Ed Tech Could Be Today’s Antikythera Mechanism?

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

Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed

The Antikythera mechanism is an astounding device dating to antiquity. It has been hailed as the first mechanical computer, but more precisely it is an educational device.This was an ed-tech device that was millennia ahead of general adoption. It is that revelation that gives me pause to question, what might be the educational technology in recent history that could be comparable in some more modest way to the Antikythera mechanism? Likely, any such comparison will be to virtual technologies such as apps or software.Or, maybe, in fact, it is the medium rather than the multitude of educational technology devices and applications that are developed that will go down as the most remarkable ed tech of our time.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-now/what-ed-tech-could-be-todays-antikythera-mechanism

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UNL students and staff reflect on remote learning challenges

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

Chad Mays, Daily Nebraskan

Rita Shmakova, a journalism and mass communications graduate student, said she has had an unusual experience as a UNL student because she lives in Russia. The U.S. Embassy in Russia limited its services on March 19. Shmakova said many of her professors were surprised she was joining classes via Zoom at early hours of the morning, and they are more than happy to meet with her at times that better suit her.  UNL’s Center for Transformative Teaching on campus has worked with faculty, especially those who are remote, throughout this past year to help teachers adjust their teaching styles, Nick Monk, director of the center, said.

http://www.dailynebraskan.com/magazine/unl-students-and-staff-reflect-on-remote-learning-challenges/article_edeb0ac0-a5fa-11eb-8f59-638fd81e2a49.html

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Many left behind in this recovery have something in common: No college degree

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

Heather Long, Washington Post

The latest hiring numbers show encouraging signs that women are returning to the labor force, but major struggles remain for men and women without college degrees. Hiring has rebounded quickly for Americans with college degrees. In recent months, there has been a noticeable surge in people with two-year associate’s degrees getting back into the workforce, but Americans with only a high school diploma or less remain deep in crisis mode, even as employers claim they are having trouble finding workers.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/04/22/jobs-no-college-degree/

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May 5, 2021

When the Faculty Lounge Goes After College Sports

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

GREG DUMAS, National Review

A growing number of college administrators are trying to convince students, alumni, and donors that the time has come to eliminate college sports. Dozens of universities — including Brown, Michigan State, William & Mary, Iowa, and George Washington — have abruptly eliminated scores of athletic teams this year, in sports including swimming, tennis, gymnastics, lacrosse, rowing, wrestling, and track and field. Hundreds more are on the chopping block. The decisions usually come with hand-wringing about budget woes, COVID challenges, and fundraising shortfalls necessitating “painful cuts,” but the reality is far simpler: Many administrators have always looked down on college sports, and they finally have a pretext for axing them.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/04/when-the-faculty-lounge-goes-after-college-sports/

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Community colleges hope to bring students back to campus this fall

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

Zinia Salfiti, Sun Times

After more than a year of nearly all remote coursework, most community colleges said they plan to offer classes four different ways this fall: fully in-person; a hybrid format involving a combination of both in-person and online instruction; virtual classes that involve online synchronous meetings; and fully asynchronous, online classes. Although no community colleges have implemented vaccination requirements so far, they are actively encouraging students, faculty and staff to get shots.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/education/2021/4/25/22394117/illinois-city-colleges-lake-oakton-university-illinois-community-vaccines-learning

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Cultivating the agile university requires good leadership

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

Nita Temmerman, University World News

At the heart of the agile university is good leadership: a leader who is committed to and can successfully and clearly guide the people and operations of the institution towards ever better results and reputation; a leader who will steer the way to nurturing a healthy community culture in which people feel they belong, that their contribution is valued and that they are entrusted to work independently towards achieving expected outcomes. This might mean eliminating barriers between divisions and layer upon layer of bureaucracy that impedes progress and pits different sections of the institution against each other.

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20210419105006889

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May 4, 2021

Higher ed’s role and opportunity in coskilling, upskilling, and reskilling

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

Vistasp M. Karbhari, eCampus News

The accelerating convergence of information and technology especially as related to AI and robotics is changing the knowledge and skills desired in the workforce, with some estimating that nearly 50 percent of subject knowledge acquired during the first year of an undergraduate degree program is outdated by the time the student attains a degree. Recent estimates predict that by 2022 about 54 percent of all employees would require significant reskilling and upskilling to meet the needs of a changing work environment.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2021/04/23/higher-eds-role-and-opportunity-in-coskilling-upskilling-and-reskilling/

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OPINION: Reflecting on virtual learning reveals moments of growth

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

Phillip Kong, The Student Life

However, as we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we may lose sight of what we are moving past — a truly unprecedented time of virtual learning and social distancing. We don’t have to treat these past semesters of virtual learning as simply a misfortune and nothing else. Instead, we can reflect on the last few semesters and notice moments of personal and academic growth that we can carry with us into a post-pandemic world.

https://tsl.news/reflect-on-pandemic-growth/

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Temple’s business school sees virtual reality as future of online learning

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

Zoe Rosenberg, Philadelphia Inquirer

Before the pandemic made online schooling a necessity, Bora Ozkan theorized that students learning remotely would be more engaged in virtual reality. Ozkan, a finance professor at Temple University and academic director of its online MBA, has tested that belief since March 2020, when he launched the class Fintech, Blockchain and Digital Disruption in a virtual reality, or VR, program. It took 18 months to research the technology and build the course at a cost upward of $100,000. The finished product was completed with the help of Glimpse Group, a New York-based virtual reality and augmented reality company.

https://www.inquirer.com/business/remote-learning-vr-mba-20210423.html

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May 3, 2021

Charting a New Normal

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

Lilah Burke, Inside Higher Ed

Four-year institutions are pushing to hold as many in-person classes as possible. Community colleges have a different calculation to make.While it’s too early to tell, it appears that demand for in-person classes among community college students differs from the demand among peers at four-year institutions. While students at four-year colleges and universities have been clamoring to return to campus, it appears that some community college students have enjoyed the flexibility that remote classes have offered. Students who live far from campus, take care of children or work while going to school may prefer remote or asynchronous styles.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/04/22/community-colleges-keeping-more-classes-online

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Federal bill would expand oversight of for-profit college conversions

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

Hallie Busta, HigherEd Dive

Proposed legislation from three House Democrats would codify and expand oversight of the process by which for-profit colleges convert to nonprofit status, a move several institutions have made in recent years. The For-Profit College Conversion Accountability Act would also require public notice about a potential conversion, treat the school as a for-profit for at least five years after its change is approved and establish an office within the U.S. Department of Education to oversee the deals. The bill follows a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office that found issues with the way the department and Internal Revenue Service reviewed the transactions.

https://www.highereddive.com/news/federal-bill-would-expand-oversight-of-for-profit-college-conversions/598918/

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Ransomware is growing at an alarming rate, warns GCHQ chief

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

Danny Palmer, ZD Net

The scale and severity of ransomware is growing at an alarming rate as cyber criminals look to exploit poor cybersecurity to maximise profit, the director of GCHQ has warned. Organisations and their employees have been forced to adapt to different ways of working over the last year, with many now even more reliant on remote services and online collaboration platforms. But while the increased use of digital technology has provided people with many benefits, it is also benefiting cyber criminals who are able to exploit it for their own gain.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/ransomware-is-growing-at-an-alarming-rate-warns-gchq-chief/

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May 2, 2021

How you can use Open Educational Resources

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

University of Gronigen Library

Open Educational Resources (OER) are becoming more prominent in higher education. They facilitate a quicker transition to online teaching, help educators reuse and create innovative learner-centered materials, improve access to education, and save resources. This video introduces the topic of OER, explores their practical application in courses, and encourages teachers to use them with the support available at the UG Library. Explore the accompanying slides with additional information on OER in the slide notes.

https://www.rug.nl/library/home-news/how-you-can-use-open-educational-resources

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Here’s Who Was Hit Hardest by Higher Ed’s Pandemic-Driven Job Losses

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

Dan Bauman, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March of 2020, institutions of higher education have shed a net total of at least 570,000 workers, according to preliminary, seasonally adjusted figures from the U.S. Labor Department. Put another way, for every nine workers employed in academe in February 2020, at least one had lost or left that job a year later.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/heres-who-was-hit-hardest-by-higher-eds-pandemic-driven-job-losses

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Co-Facilitated Discussions to Truly Engage Your Online Students with Course Content

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

Murat Turk, Faculty Focus

There are many ways in which instructors might use AODs in their online courses, but traditionally, online students are asked in discussions to post once and respond a specific number of times. A challenge with this strategy is that once each student completes their postings and responses, they often quit reading, responding to, and engaging with what others say or think about the issue or topic under study, thus missing out on useful insights and experiences. One effective solution is to incorporate peer moderation or facilitation of online discussions, which I have been using in my own online courses since summer 2020 when I read Milman’s (2014) article about co-facilitation of online discussions.

https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/online-student-engagement/co-facilitated-discussions-to-truly-engage-your-online-students-with-course-content/

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May 1, 2021

Effective Use of Technologies in Student Advising: Is There a Yellow Brick Road?

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

Carol Nixon, EDUCAUSE Review

Accountability measures in higher education have shifted dramatically from enrollment to completion, given persistent disparities in persistence across race, ethnicity, and income.Footnote1 Institutions of higher education across the United States have dramatically increased their investments in technology-mediated advising as a key component of holistic student-support systems. And since 2020, the pandemic has magnified concerns about equity, given resource disparities across students and institutions. Some students struggle to access essential technologies, not only for advising and support services but also for teaching and learning. Although some exemplary institutions have successfully transformed their student support and advising systems and demonstrated significant gains on key institutional indicators, these improvements have not materialized widely.

https://er.educause.edu/articles/2021/4/effective-use-of-technologies-in-student-advising-is-there-a-yellow-brick-road

 

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Two principles guiding this professor’s pandemic teaching

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

Byron K. Hargrove, eCampus News

A Berkeley College professor speaks about how responsiveness and compassion with students paid off during the pandemic. The two central lessons I found to be extremely helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic have to do with being more open and adaptive to online learning and finding ways to be uber responsive, flexible and caring with my students.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2021/04/21/two-principles-guiding-this-professors-pandemic-teaching/

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Engaging Students by Design

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

John O’Brien, EDUCAUSE Review

Inevitably, student engagement “by design” must not happen in isolation but, rather, in the larger context of digital transformation (Dx). No narrow strategy has a chance of bringing together faculty, curriculum, facilities, recreation, student support, technology infrastructure, and engaging and innovative digital tools and courseware. For this reason, the EDUCAUSE Dx Journey microsite invites leaders and staff at every college and every university to consider Dx as a framing design strategy while contemplating student engagement initiatives on campus.

https://er.educause.edu/articles/2021/3/engaging-students-by-design

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April 30, 2021

3 ways online learning has forever altered my instruction

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

Phil Cox, eCampus News

Traditionally, hybrid learning is defined as the combination of face-to-face and online delivery of course materials. The disruption of COVID-19 meant that all the face-to-face interactions for my classes took place online. However, I find that offering a blend of asynchronous and synchronous instruction has been key to the success of my virtual classroom. Here are a few of the benefits of this approach, along with some strategies and tools that I will continue using in the coming school year, regardless of where learning takes place

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2021/04/16/3-ways-online-learning-has-forever-altered-my-instruction/

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Dartmouth Employs AI Virtual Assistant to Support Students and Faculty

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

Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
Dartmouth College has deployed an artificial intelligence solution from Aisera to enhance communication with students and faculty during COVID-19. The virtual assistant, dubbed the Dart InfoBot, can answer support requests in natural language either via Slack or on the institution’s client services portal. Aisera’s AI Service Desk automates answers to common support questions, providing a user experience that’s designed to be personalized, context-aware and conversational, according to the company. Using the self-service technology with its user base of 10,000 faculty and students, Dartmouth was able to improve auto-resolution of support requests by more than 60 percent, with a mean time to resolve of just 50 seconds.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2021/04/12/dartmouth-employs-ai-virtual-assistant-to-support-students-and-faculty.aspx

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How To Ensure Your Machine Learning Models Aren’t Fooled

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

Alex Saad-Falcon, Information Week

Machine learning models are not infallible. In order to prevent attackers from exploiting a model, researchers have designed various techniques to make machine learning models more robust.
All neural networks are susceptible to “adversarial attacks,” where an attacker provides an example intended to fool the neural network. Any system that uses a neural network can be exploited. Luckily, there are known techniques that can mitigate or even prevent adversarial attacks completely. The field of adversarial machine learning is growing rapidly as companies realize the dangers of adversarial attacks.

https://www.informationweek.com/big-data/ai-machine-learning/how-to-ensure-your-machine-learning-models-arent-fooled/a/d-id/1340630

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