Shorter Training, Better Skills: Three Predictions For The Future Of Career And Technical Education — from forbes.com by Jeremy Wheaton; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

But in the face of an entrenched and growing skills gap, young people are increasingly questioning the status quo and looking for shorter, less expensive, more direct-to-career options.

Excerpts:

Here [is the first of] three predictions for how the rest of the 2020s will continue to be defined by career education:

  1. The four-year degree will no longer be seen as the default postsecondary education option.
 

Skillsoft to acquire CodeAcademy, a leading platform for learning high-demand technical skills, creating a worldwide community of more than 85 million learners — from skillsoft.com with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Boston – December 22, 2021 – Skillsoft (NYSE: SKIL), a global leader in corporate digital learning, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Codecademy, a leading online learning platform for technical skills, for approximately $525 million in cash and stock.

With the addition of Codecademy’s innovative capabilities, we will create an even more immersive online learning experience. When we combine Skillsoft’s enterprise customer base of more than 12,000 corporate customers and over 46 million learners with Codecademy’s 40 million learners, sophisticated digital marketing capability and influential brand, we expect to unlock significant revenue synergies.”

Expands Immersive Platform with New Ways of Learning. Skillsoft has already assembled an expansive set of learning options, including virtual instructor-led training, coaching, micro videos, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, assessments and badges. Together with Codecademy’s interactive, self-paced courses and hands-on learning, Skillsoft will be able to deliver even more immersive experiences through its AI-driven platform, Percipio.

 

Fall’s Final Enrollment Count Is In. Colleges Lost More Than 475,000 Students. — from chronicle.com by Audrey Williams June

Excerpt:

New data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center provides a somber final tally of total college enrollment in the fall of 2021: It dropped 2.7 percent from a year earlier, a decline of 476,100 students.

Undergraduate enrollment, which was down at every type of institution, slipped by 3.1 percent — or 465,318 students — from the fall of 2020. The total decline among undergraduates since the fall of 2019 — just before the pandemic hit — was more than a million students, the center said.

Addendum on 1/19/22:

 

3 major trends affecting ed tech companies — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
We reviewed what executives said during their latest earnings calls to better understand patterns in the growing sector.

“It’s going to be a series of short, discrete skill-building offerings knitted together in a curated or customized manner,” Craig said. “It’s going to be done within enterprises in five years’ time, and that’s going to further reduce the influence of colleges and universities.”

 

Resource via @ernperez
at this article/page.

From DSC:

Cloud-based learner profiles are a likely element of our future learning ecosystems

 

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 [Schaffhauser]

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Ask people working in higher education what they expect will happen in the new year, and the outlook is filled with visions that build on what we’ve been experiencing on college and university campuses for the last two years: a major focus on learning formats; continued exploitation of new technology; and the use of new digital models that move users “beyond Zoom.” Here we present the collective predictions of 14 IT leaders, instructional folks and a student about what they anticipate seeing in 2022. As one put it, “Let’s go, 2022! We have work to do!”

From DSC:
I’d like to thank Dian Schaffhauser, Rhea Kelly, and Mary Grush for letting me contribute some thoughts to the various conversations that Campus Technology Magazine hosts and/or initiates. I inserted some reflections into the above article and I hope that you’ll take a moment to read my and others’ thoughts out there.

 

Long disparaged, education for the skilled trades is slowly coming into fashion — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
Higher demand, better pay and new respect are drawing students to the trades

Excerpt:

Meanwhile, Americans can see firsthand the labor shortages in fields such as construction, transportation and logistics, along with rising pay for those kinds of jobs and the lower debt and the shorter timetables needed to train for them.

“Especially with the younger generation, time matters. Money matters, but time matters as well,” said Chad Wilson, superintendent at the East Valley Institute of Technology in Arizona, or EVIT.

 

From DSC:
As the article below clearly relays, MOOCs did NOT fail! In the last decade, they have reached 220 million learners worldwide!

I don’t know the total number of graduates from the Ivy League — throughout all of the relevant institutions’ histories — but I would bet you that MOOCs have reached far more learners. And MOOCs did so in less than a decade. 

And you’re going to tell me MOOCs have been a failure?!!!! Are you being serious!?!?!  You can talk about completion rates all that you want to (and that misses the point, as some people sign up for MOOCs without ever intending to finish the entire course). As with other things, people get out of something what they put into that thing.


A Decade of MOOCs: A Review of Stats and Trends for Large-Scale Online Courses in 2021 — from edsurge.com by Dhawal Shah

Excerpts:

Now, a decade later, MOOCs have reached 220 million learners, excluding China where we don’t have as reliable data, . In 2021, providers launched over 3,100 courses and 500 microcredentials.

Originally, MOOC providers relied on universities to create courses. But that dependence is declining as more and more of the courses are created by companies every year. These corporate partners in course creation include tech giants Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.

…the majority of the new courses launched on Coursera in 2021 are not from universities anymore.

These mass online courses were born without a business model. Yet within a decade, MOOCs went from no revenue to bringing in well over a half a billion dollars annually.

 
 

3 major trends affecting ed tech companies — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
We reviewed what executives said during their latest earnings calls to better understand patterns in the growing sector.

Excerpts:

Earlier on the call, he said Coursera’s entry-level certificates — which are developed by the likes of Facebook, Google, IBM, Intuit and Salesforce — attracted more than 2 million student enrollments since 2018.

“New entrants to the sector, such as corporations and online education companies, will offer genuine competition to traditional colleges, especially as pricing becomes more of a focus,” analysts wrote in the report. 

Several ed tech companies are seeing returns from efforts to work with companies to train their employees.

Officials at Udemy, a major MOOC platform that went public in October, said during a call with analysts in early December that their work with companies now accounts for 39% of their revenue – up from 23% a year ago.

 

AWS Expands Access to Free Cloud Skills Training on its Mission to Educate 29 Million People by 2025 — from businesswire.com; with thanks to Ryan Craig for the resource
New AWS digital learning experience, technical courses on Amazon.com, expanded access to AWS re/Start, and Amazon’s first dedicated in-person cloud learning center will put cloud skills training into the hands of millions of people

New AWS Global Digital Skills Study finds the need for digital skills training is greater than ever, with 85% of workers feeling they need more technical knowledge than they did pre-pandemic

Excerpt:

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–[On 11/28/21], Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced four initiatives to empower learners and make it even easier for anyone with a desire to learn to access free cloud computing skills training and unlock new career possibilities in the cloud. The initiatives announced today include the launch of AWS Skill Builder—a new digital learning experience, the addition of AWS courses to the Amazon.com website, the expansion of the AWS re/Start global reskilling program, and the opening of the AWS Skills Center—Amazon’s first dedicated, in-person cloud learning space.

 

450+ University Partnerships in the first three quarters of 2021 — from holoniq.com
Presidents, Vice Chancellors, Provosts and Deans around the world are increasingly opting for partnerships to accelerate progress towards their institutional objectives.

Excerpts:

International Education is ramping back up, potentially bigger than ever. Bootcamps are booming and the OPM model is evolving further and expanding globally. Behind this growth are University administrators with less funding, more competition and a ‘mid’ COVID student cohort who demand world class flexible learning with competitive job prospects. Partnerships are increasingly part of the strategic solution.

 

At the current rate of partnership growth, 2021 will see approximately 600 University Partnerships established, around 200 more partnerships than was established in 2020 and double pre-pandemic levels of 300+ in 2019.

 

Also see:

 

 

Will Microcredentials be the Rx Needed to Fix Our Ailing Degree Systems? — from evolllution.com by David Leaser | Senior Program Executive of Innovation and Growth Initiatives, IBM
Amidst the dramatic social and economic upheaval caused by the pandemic, microcredentials are presenting themselves as the viable solution to getting learners prepared quickly and effectively for desperately needed jobs. 

Excerpts:

Pace of Change Accelerates Beyond Our Wildest Imagination 
But the world of work is changing at a pace that traditional education systems cannot match. Cloud computing, big data and AI technologies are replaced or improved monthly—and often faster than that.

The U.S. college system is organized around an all-or-none framework: You only get a credential after completing the entire learning path.  But when a large number of students cannot commit to a long-term commitment (the situation we have faced for decades), shouldn’t we break the learning down into credentials along the way?

The MicroBachelors: A Major Win for Credential As You Go
Today, most microcredentials provide the opposite of college degrees: high skill-signal strength but low social-signal strength.

MicroBachelors programs are a series of college classes that have been customized and grouped together to meet employers’ real-world needs. The programs typically take two to four months to complete and provide credentials and college credits.

 

 

 

Why Aren’t Professors Taught to Teach? — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Professors are experts in their subject matters but many have limited training in actually teaching their students.

Excerpt:

“A lot of faculty are just modeling their instruction after the instruction they’ve received as an undergraduate or graduate student,” says Tanya Joosten, senior scientist and director of digital learning at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the lead of the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements.

As a perpetually short-on-time adjunct professor, I understand those who worry about mandatory training and required course reviews, but Pelletier stresses that she’s advocating for a more organic shift and that a top-down approach isn’t best. “That’s not as collaborative and generative as really just embracing that we have these two different kinds of experts, one type of expert is an expert in their subject, and the other expert is an expert in teaching and learning,” she says. More attention is needed to meld these two kinds of expertise. 

From DSC:
It’s not just that colleges and universities are big business — if you have any remaining doubts about that perspective, take a moment to look at this new, interactive database to see what I mean. But it’s also that this type of business often rewards research, not teaching. And yet the students over the last several decades have continued to pay ever-increasing prices for skilled researchers, instead of increasingly skilled teachers. 

Healthcare and higher education face similar challenges and transformations -- costs continue to soar

Image from Inside Higher Ed

 

Would people put up with this with other types of purchases? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t want to…would you?  Would we like to pay for something that we aren’t getting — like paying for all the extra options on a new car, but not getting them?

What goes around, comes around.
But by allowing this to have occurred, a backlash against the value of higher education has been building for years now. In many learners’ minds, they are questioning whether it’s worth taking on (potentially) decades’ worth of debt. At a minimum, the higher the price of obtaining degrees and/or other credentials becomes, the less Return on Investment (ROI) is realized by the learners (i.e., the purchasers of these goods and services). So while getting a degree is often still worth it, the ROI is going down.
And this doesn’t address how relevant/up-to-date the educations are that these learners are receiving, which the employers out there will take issue with.

From an Instructional Designer’s perspective, it isn’t just time that’s the issue here. There continues to exist a tiered hierarchy within higher education. Faculty see themselves as more knowledgeable because they are teaching and because they are the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). But they are not expert teachers. Many full-time faculty members don’t listen to people who are knowledgeable in the learning science world, and they often don’t value that expertise. (This can be true of administrators as well.) But when a fellow faculty member (i.e., their “true peer” from their perspective) suggests the same idea that Instructional Designers have been recommending for years, they suddenly open their eyes and ears to see and hear this seemingly new, wonderful approach.

Some possible scenarios
Thus, a wave has been building against traditional institutions of higher education — readers of this blog will have picked up on this years ago. Once alternatives significantly hit the radar — ones that get the learners solid, good-paying jobs — there could be a mass exodus out of what we think of as traditional higher education. At least that’s one potential scenario.

For example, if a next-generation learning platform comes along that offers teams and individuals the ability to deliver lifelong learning at 50% or more off the price of an average degree, then be on the lookout for massive change. If professors and/or teams of specialists — those who are skilled in instructional design and teaching —  can go directly to their learners — it could be an interesting world indeed. (Outschool is like this, by the way.) In that scenario, below are two potential methods of providing what accreditation agencies used to provide:

  • Obtaining the skills and competencies being requested from the workplace to “pass the tests” (whatever those assessments turn out to be)
  • Voting a course up or down (i.e., providing crowd-sourced rating systems)

Other possible scenarios
Another scenario is that traditional institutions of higher education really kick their innovation efforts into high gear. They reward teaching. They develop less expensive methods of obtaining degrees. They truly begin delivering more cost-effective means of obtaining lifelong learning and development “channels” for educating people.

And there are other possible scenarios, some of which I could think of and many I would likely miss. But to even ask the solid and highly-relevant question as plainly stated in the article above — Why Aren’t Professors Taught to Teach? — that is something that must be dealt with. Those organizations that use a team-based approach are likely to be able to better answer and address that question.

 

Can MasterClass teach you everything? — from newyorker.com by Tad Friend

Can MasterClass teach you everything?

Malala Yousafzai on set. Though the site’s C.E.O., David Rogier, says, “Learning is uncomfortable,” the shoots are lavish. Photograph by Lewis Khan for The New Yorker

Excerpt:

When MasterClass launched, in 2015, it offered three courses: Dustin Hoffman on acting, James Patterson on writing, and Serena Williams on tennis. Today, there are a hundred and thirty, in categories from business to wellness. During the pandemic lockdown, demand was up as much as tenfold from the previous year; last fall, when the site had a back-to-school promotion, selling an annual subscription for a dollar instead of a hundred and eighty dollars, two hundred thousand college students signed up in a day. MasterClass will double in size this year, to six hundred employees, as it launches in the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain. It’s a Silicon Valley investor’s dream, a rolling juggernaut of flywheels and network effects dedicated to helping you, as the instructor Garry Kasparov puts it, “upgrade your software.”

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian