The incredible shrinking future of college — from vox.com by Kevin Carey

Excerpt:

The future looks very different in some parts of the country than in others, and will also vary among national four-year universities, regional universities like Ship, and community colleges. Grawe projects that, despite the overall demographic decline, demand for national four-year universities on the West Coast will increase by more than 7.5 percent between now and the mid-2030s. But in states like New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Louisiana, it will decline by 15 percent or more.

Higher ed’s eight-decade run of unbroken good fortune may be about to end.

Demand for regional four-year universities, per Grawe, will drop by at least 7.5 percent across New England, the mid-Atlantic, and Southern states other than Florida and Texas, with smaller declines in the Great Plains. Community colleges will be hit hard in most places other than Florida, which has a robust two-year system with a large Latino population.

The next generation of higher education leaders will take scarcity as a given and “return on investment” as both sales pitch and state of mind.

The decline of American higher education — from youtube.com by Bryan Alexander and Kevin Carey

 

Most Colleges Omit or Understate Net Costs in Financial-Aid Offers, Federal Watchdog Finds — from chronicle.com by Eric Hoover

Excerpt:

Nine out of 10 colleges either exclude or understate the net cost of attendance in their financial-aid offers to students, according to estimates published in a new report by the Government Accountability Office. The watchdog agency recommended that Congress consider legislation that would require institutions to provide “clear and standard information.”

The lack of clarity makes it hard for students to decide where to enroll and how much to borrow.

The report, published on Monday, paints a troubling picture of an industry that makes it difficult for consumers to understand the bottom line by presenting insufficient if not downright misleading information. Federal law does not require colleges to present financial-aid offers in a clear, consistent way to all students.

Higher ed faces ‘deteriorating’ outlook in 2023, Fitch says — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer

Dive Brief (excerpt):

  • U.S. higher education faces a stable but deteriorating credit outlook in 2023, Fitch Ratings said Thursday, taking a more pessimistic view of the sector’s future than it had at the same time last year.
  • Operating performance at colleges and universities will be pressured by enrollment, labor and wage challenges, according to the bond ratings agency. Colleges have been able to raise tuition slightly because of inflation, but additional revenue they generate generally isn’t expected to be enough to offset rising costs.

Merger Watch: Don’t wait too long to find a merger partner. Closure does not benefit anybody. — from highereddive.com by Ricardo Azziz
Leaders fail students, employees and communities when they embrace a strategy of hope in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Excerpt:

While not all institutions can (or should be) saved, most institutional closures reflect the failure of past governing boards to face the fiscal reality of their institution — and to plan accordingly and in a timely manner. Leaders should always consider and, if necessary, pursue potential partnerships, mergers, or consolidations before a school has exhausted its financial and political capital. The inability or unwillingness of many leaders to take such action is reflected in the fact that the number of institutional closures in higher education far outweighs the number of successful mergers.

In fact, the risk of closure can be predicted. In a prior analysis several coauthors and I reported on a number of risk factors predictive of closure, noting that most schools at risk for closure are small and financially fragile, with declining enrollment and limited resources to mount significant online programs. While there are many clear signs that a school is at risk for closure, the major challenge to mounting a response seems to be the unwillingness of institutional leaders to understand, face and act on these signs.

What can colleges learn from degrees awarded in the fast-shrinking journalism field? — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke
Bachelor’s degrees offer solid payoffs, while grad programs post mixed returns, researchers find. But many students don’t go on to work in the field.

Excerpt:

Journalism jobs are hard to find. But it’s nice work when you can get it.

That’s the takeaway from a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce on the payoff of journalism programs. An analysis of federal education and labor data reveals that journalism and communication bachelor’s degrees offer moderate payoff to their graduates, but only 15% of majors end up working in the field early in their careers. Newsroom employment has declined 26% since 2008, and researchers predict it will fall 3% over the next nine years.

 

From DSC:
With a shout out to Beth McMurtrie’s Teaching Newsletter for pointing this Tweet out from Robert Talbert. Nice work Robert and Beth!

 

2023 Higher Education Trend Watch — from educause.edu

2023 Higher Education Trend Watch

Also see:

2023 Strategic Trends Glossary — from educause.edu

Excerpts:

  • Closer alignment of higher education with workforce needs and skills-based learning
  • Continuation and normalization of hybrid and online learning
  • Continued adoption and normalization of hybrid and remote work arrangements
  • Continued resignation and migration of leaders and staff from higher education institutions
  • Declining public funding for higher education
  • …and more
 

From DSC:
I’d like to thank Sarah Huibregtse for her post out on LinkedIn where she commented on and referenced the following item from Nicholas Thompson (CEO at The Atlantic):


Also relevant/see:


Also related/see the following item which I thank Sam DeBrule’s Machine Learnings newsletter for:


Also, somewhat related, see the following item that Julie Johnston mentioned out on LinkedIn:

Top 10 conversational AI trends for 2023 — from linkedin.com by Kane Simms and  Tim Holve, Tarren Corbett-Drummond, Arte Merritt, and Kevin Fredrick.

Excerpt:

In 2023, businesses will realise that, in order to get out of FAQ Land, they need to synchronise business systems together to deliver personalised transactional experiences for customers.

“We finally have the technologies to do all the things we imagined 10 years ago.”

 

How to Communicate with Brevity — from qaspire.com by Tanmay Vora; with thanks to Roberto Ferraro for this resource
We live in a world of information overload. In such a world, communicating with brevity is a gift to others.

 

Understanding the Overlap Between UDL and Digital Accessibility — from boia.org

Excerpt:

Implementing UDL with a Focus on Accessibility
UDL is a proven methodology that benefits all students, but when instructors embrace universal design, they need to consider how their decisions will affect students with disabilities.

Some key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Instructional materials should not require a certain type of sensory perception.
  • A presentation that includes images should have accurate alternative text (also called alt text) for those images.
  • Transcripts and captions should be provided for all audio content.
  • Color alone should not be used to convey information, since some students may not perceive color (or have different cultural understandings of colors).
  • Student presentations should also follow accessibility guidelines. This increases the student’s workload, but it’s an excellent opportunity to teach the importance of accessibility.
 

TL;DR: Women prefer text contributions over talk in remote classes — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak (BTW, TL;DR: is short for “too long; didn’t read”)

Dive Brief (emphasis DSC):

  • Female students show a stronger preference for contributing to remote classes via text chat than their male counterparts, according to peer-reviewed research published in PLOS One, an open-access journal.
  • Researchers also found all students were more likely to use the chat function to support or amplify their peers’ comments than to diminish them.
  • Given these findings, the researchers suggested incorporating text chats into class discussions could boost female participation in large introductory science classrooms, where women are less likely to participate than men.
 

10 Must Read Books for Learning Designers — from linkedin.com by Amit Garg

Excerpt:

From the 45+ #books that I’ve read in last 2 years here are my top 10 recommendations for #learningdesigners or anyone in #learninganddevelopment

Speaking of recommended books (but from a more technical perspective this time), also see:

10 must-read tech books for 2023 — from enterprisersproject.com by Katie Sanders (Editorial Team)
Get new thinking on the technologies of tomorrow – from AI to cloud and edge – and the related challenges for leaders

10 must-read tech books for 2023 -- from enterprisersproject.com by Katie Sanders

 

How the University of California Strike Could Reshape Higher Education — from news.yahoo.com by Katie Reilly

Excerpts:

“To have this many workers on strike is really something new in higher education,” says Rebecca Givan, an associate professor of labor studies at Rutgers, who is also president of the union for graduate workers and faculty at her university. “The willingness of these workers to bring their campuses to a standstill is demonstrating that the current model of higher education can’t continue, and that the current system really rests on extremely underpaid labor.”

The striking workers argue that their current pay makes it challenging to afford housing near their universities, in a state with one of the highest costs of living in the country. Jaime, the Ph.D. candidate, says he makes $27,000 per year as a teaching fellow and pays $1,200 in monthly rent for an apartment he shares with two roommates. (Median rent in the Los Angeles metropolitan area is about $3,000, according to Realtor.com.) “We are the ones who do the majority of teaching and research,” he says. “But nevertheless, the university doesn’t pay us enough to live where we work.”

Also relevant/see:

Hundreds of UC Faculty Members Stop Teaching as Strike Continues — from chronicle.com by  Grace Mayer

Excerpt:

The strike is shining a spotlight on a longstanding problem within higher education: Today, tenured, full-time faculty members make up a smaller percentage of university employees than they did 50 years ago, in part due to the financial pressures facing universities amid funding cuts. The proportion of other university employees, who receive less job security and lower pay, “has grown tremendously,” says Tim Cain, an associate professor at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education, who studies campus activism and unionization.

“There’s such stratification between the tenured full professor and a graduate student employee or a postdoc or a tutor,” says Cain. “They’re doing a great deal of the work, and the work that they’re doing in the classroom is often very similar to the work of others who are getting paid substantially more.”


Speaking of schools in California, also see:


 

Learning in the brain — from sites.google.com by Efrat Furst; with thanks to 3-Star Learning Experiences for this resource

Excerpts:

Think of working memory as the reception counter to a huge archive.

To summarize, working memory processing resources are highly limited, and yet meaningful processing is essential for storage in long-term memory. It is therefore important to use these resources effectively when learning. There are many tested and proven effective teaching strategies, but a question that often comes up is when to apply each strategy for the best results?

Long-term memory and working memory interactions


 

Table of Experts: Trends in Higher Education — from bizjournals.com by Holly Dolezalek. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal held a panel discussion recently about trends in higher education.

Excerpts (which focus on law schools/the legal profession):

Anthony Niedwiecki: The legal profession and legal education are very conservative. Covid showed they can, and we as institutions can, change. At Mitchell Hamline, we were the first law school in the country to offer a partially online JD degree. We’ve had that experience since 2015, which has really helped us through Covid. But I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from our students through this process is the need for flexibility. We thought students would want to go back into the classroom at some point and be around people. No! They voted by the classes they signed up for: They signed up for the classes that were online. Some students want to be on campus, some online. So we’ve had to develop our program around different types of modalities we may not have given any thought to before. The students in the online program range in age all the way up to 73 years old. They’ve been in careers, they’re accountants, they’re doctors, they’re health care professionals, elected officials. The other thing is office hours — students like online office hours because it’s convenient, and they can be in an office where other people are talking and learn from it.

 The lesson I take from that, in some ways, even applying it to the law school, is having that partnership with people who want to hire students to make sure that they’re actually involved with the students. We’re finding they help mentor those students, help us make sure we have the right courses in place, and give them opportunities to do internships and externships. So we’ve been starting to partner with some national professional organizations that are attached to the law.
 

Can a Group of MIT Professors Turn a White Paper Into a New Kind of College? — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

A group of professors at Massachusetts Institute of Technology dropped a provocative white paper in September that proposed a new kind of college that would address some of the growing public skepticism of higher education. This week, they took the next step toward bringing their vision from idea to reality.

That next step was holding a virtual forum that brought together a who’s who of college innovation leaders, including presidents of experimental colleges, professors known for novel teaching practices and critical observers of the higher education space.

The MIT professors who authored the white paper tried to make clear that even though they’re from an elite university, they do not have all the answers. Their white paper takes pains to describe itself as a draft framework and to invite input from players across the education ecosystem so they can revise and improve the plan.

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

The goal of this document is simply to propose some principles and ideas that we hope will lay the groundwork for the future, for an education that will be both more affordable and more effective.

Promotions and titles will be much more closely tied to educational performance—quality, commitment, outcomes, and innovation—than to research outcomes. 

 
 

Teaching: Flipping a Class Helps — but Not for the Reason You’d Think — from the Teaching newsletter out at The Chronicle of Higher Education by Beckie Supiano

Excerpt:

The authors propose a different model of flipping that gives their paper its title, “Fail, Flip, Fix, and Feed — Rethinking Flipped Learning: A Review of Meta-Analyses and a Subsequent Meta-Analysis.”

Their model:

  • Fail: Give students a chance to try solving problems. They won’t have all the information needed to arrive at the solution, but the attempt activates their prior learning and primes them for the coming content.
  • Flip: Deliver the content ahead of class, perhaps in a video lecture.
  • Fix: During class time, a traditional lecture can deepen understanding and correct misperceptions.
  • Feed: Formative assessment lets students check their level of understanding.

I find this paper interesting for a number of reasons. It ties into a challenge I’d like to dig into in the future: the gap that can exist between a teaching approach as described in research literature and as applied in the classroom.

From DSC:
Though I haven’t read this analysis (please accept my apology here), I would hope that it would also mention one of the key benefits of the flipped classroom approach — giving students more control over the pacing of the content. Students can stop, fast-forward, rewind, and pause the content as necessary. This is very helpful for all students, but especially for students who don’t have English as their primary language.

I like this approach because if students fail to solve the problem at first, they will likely be listening more/very carefully as to how to solve it:

Drawing on related research, we proposed a more specific model for flipping, “Fail, Flip, Fix, and Feed” whereby students are asked to first engage in generating solutions to novel problems even if they fail to generate the correct solutions, before receiving instructions.

Plus, students will begin to recall/activate their prior knowledge on a subject in order to try to solve the problem. That retrieval practice in and of itself can be helpful.

 

2023 Higher Education Trend Watch — from educause.edu

Excerpt:

This report focuses on the workforce, cultural, and technological shifts for ten macro trends emerging in higher education in 2023. Across these three areas of shift, we report the major impacts and steps that institutions are taking in response to each trend. Some trends overlap with the 2022 Higher Education Trend Watch report. However, while some topics and issues remain consistent, significant shifts have occurred across many of the trends for 2023.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian