Adjunct college faculty taking the biggest hit from pandemic job losses — from highereddive.com by Hallie Busta

Dive Brief:

  • Higher education institutions employed 5% fewer adjunct faculty during the current academic year compared to the year before, according to the latest annual data from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.
  • All faculty groups experienced job losses during the year, though adjuncts were hit the hardest. The cuts didn’t affect the share of women and people from racial and ethnic minority groups among tenure-track faculty.
  • Salaries for full-time faculty posted the lowest median annual increase since 2010, at less than 1%, as colleges grappled with budget cuts and revenue loss.

From DSC:
And a potentially-relevant item for the future if these trends continue:

How To Pre-Sell Your Online Course And Make Money Before You Launch It — from elearningindustry.com Kathy Alameda
In this article, I’m going to explain why pre-selling your online course is important as an online course creator.

 

It’s Time to Rethink Higher Education: What if our goal was creating social impact, not preserving the status quo? — from chronicle.com by Brian Rosenberg (president emeritus of Macalester College and president in residence of the Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Higher education should in its ideal form lead to more economic security for more people, a more equitable and innovative society, and a well-functioning democracy. Add whatever goals you would like, but these seem like a reasonable starting point and, given the present state of the country, more than a little aspirational.

But if we fail to explore — if we fail to go beyond superficial change and interrogate our most fundamental assumptions about how and what we teach, how and why we organize ourselves in the current way — we will have no one but ourselves to blame if the system as we know it shrivels to the point where it collapses from within or is painfully disrupted from without.

Also see:

The Pandemic May Have Permanently Altered Campuses. Here’s How. — from chronicle.com by Francie Diep
Trends accelerated by Covid-19 may make more sense than ever in the future, experts say.

Excerpt:

The Covid-19 crisis has transformed all aspects of higher education, and the physical campus is no exception. The Chronicle recently released a special report, Rethinking Campus Spaces, that offers strategies for doing more with less space, to save money and prepare for an uncertain future. Here is an adapted excerpt from the report.

The Chronicle asked more than 40 architects, campus planners, and leaders in student life and housing about how several categories of campus spaces might look different in the future. As colleges navigate difficult financial straits, many interviewees predicted more public-private partnerships, and renovations instead of new construction — which can be less costly and more environmentally friendly. Overall, their answers paint a picture of future campuses that are more adaptable, perhaps smaller, and focused on what’s most valuable about seeing one’s peers in person.

 

Navigating website ADA compliance: ‘If you have videos that are not captioned, you’re a sitting duck’ — from abajournal.com by Matt Reynolds

Excerpts:

“If you have videos that are not captioned, you’re a sitting duck,” Goren said. “If you’re not encoding your pictures so that the blind person using a screen reader can understand what the picture is describing, that is a problem.”

Drop-down boxes on websites are “horrible for accessibility,” the attorney added, and it can be difficult for people with disabilities to navigate CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test) technology to verify they are human.

“Trying to get people with voice dictation or even screen readers to figure out how to certify that they’re not a robot can be very complicated,” Goren said.

Also see:

Relevant Laws

Information re: Lawsuits

 

Coursera’s IPO Filing Shows Growing Revenue and Loss During a Pandemic — from edsurge.com by Tony Wan

Excerpt:

Coursera reported $293.5 million in revenue in 2020, marking a 59 percent increase from the previous year. That comes from over 77 million registered learners, along with more than 2,000 businesses (including 25 percent of Fortune 500 companies) and 100 government agencies that paid for its enterprise offerings. More than half (51 percent) of its revenue came from outside the U.S.

Despite recording a revenue jump in 2020, Coursera posted a net loss of $66.8 million, up 43 percent from the previous year.

“We have experienced a significant increase in our operating costs associated with our services, primarily driven by our freemium offerings and marketing efforts” during the pandemic, the filing stated.

 
 

Today’s Teens Questioning the Status Quo When It Comes to College — from prnewswire.com by with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
National survey finds high schoolers want lower-cost, quicker paths to careers: 50 percent are open to something other than a four-year degree

Excerpt:

For those who have been following the discussion, it will not come as a shock that this demographic is extremely concerned about the cost of higher education. In fact, the number one thing teens would change about college is the price tag. Their second top concern is making sure the path they take directly connects them to a future career. Specifically, the top three things Gen Z teens are most concerned about:

  • 50 percent—graduating with a high amount of debt
  • 44 percent—not getting a job after they graduate
  • 40 percent—not being prepared for a job after school ends

From DSC:
I sometimes use the tag “surviving” and it often has to do with individuals and families. But over the last few years, I have found myself using it for institutions of traditional higher education (as I did for this posting).

It’s time for reinvention if we want those institutions to survive. Those who can’t wait until the status quo returns are likely in for a disappointment, if not outright shock. Over the last several years, many people have already lost their jobs throughout higher ed, positions have gone unfilled, and early retirement offers were made (and often snatched up). The headcounts have been decreasing for years and the workloads have increased for the survivors of such cuts. The use of adjunct faculty members has been on the increase for many years now. 

Those institutions that have cultures that support experimentation, innovation, and support strategic, nimble, entrepreneurial thinking have a better chance of surviving.

 

Public Viewpoint: COVID-19 Work and Education Research — from cci.stradaeducation.org

Excerpt:

In the recovering economy, employers will play a central role as Americans look to reskill, upskill, and compete in the workforce. But what do people want and expect from employers’ hiring, advancement, and training practices? In this research we explore the public’s perceptions on skills-based hiring, preferences for employer-provided education and training benefits, and beliefs about who should fund education and training.

This week’s data are based on the Strada Student Viewpoint and Strada-Gallup Education Consumer surveys. The research is intended to provide insights to the education and training providers, policymakers, employers, and individual Americans who are navigating the COVID-19 crisis.

 

 

 

Time for Reinvention, Not Just Replication or Revision — from insidehighered.com by Ray Schroeder
With enrollments falling, college budgets under strain and employers dissatisfied with the relevance of graduates’ learning, now is a time for more than replication or revision — it is time for reinvention.

Excerpt:

We are at the confluence of massive economic, technologic and social changes that demand higher education do more than small fixes. We will not thrive if we merely tweak the system to replicate practices of the lecture hall in an online delivery system. This is not an empty warning — universities across the country are closing programs, laying off staff and faculty, and teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. I have personally been tracking these economic disadvantages for some time now.

Here are the key factors we must consider…(see rest of article)

Our centuries-old model of admitting 18-year-old high school graduates for a four-, five- or six-year baccalaureate, then sending them out for lifelong careers in business and industry is no longer relevant.

 

How Much Has Covid Cost Colleges? $183 Billion — from chronicle.com by Paul N. Friga

Excerpt:

How bad is it? To answer that, my colleagues and I sought to go beyond surveys. We conducted an extensive review of publicly announced revenue and budget news from the top 400 universities in U.S. News & World Report, as well as its top 100 liberal-arts colleges, drawing from news released from March through December. We were able to obtain data from 107 of those institutions (21 percent). The results are dire. Our research suggests that we are experiencing the biggest financial losses our sector has ever faced. The institutions we tracked averaged an estimated 14-percent aggregate decline in revenues across fiscal years 2020 and 2021, and further losses loom as drops in enrollment, tuition freezes, and Covid-related expenses continue.

What do these cuts and losses add up to? We estimate the impact as follows: $85 billion in lost revenues, $24 billion for Covid-related expenses, and $74 billion in anticipated future decreases in state funding. That adds up to a whopping $183 billion.

Also see:

 

The Chegg situation is worse than you think — from eliterate.us by Michael Feldstein

Excerpts:

Forbes just ran with an article entitled “This $12 Billion Company Is Getting Rich Off Students Cheating Their Way Through Covid“.

Ouch.

Chegg -- This $12 Billion Company Is Getting Rich Off Students Cheating Their Way Through Covid

[Per Michael] To sum up:

  • Publishers, after selling expensive textbooks to students, sold the answers to the homework questions in those expensive books to Chegg.
  • Chegg sells the answers to the questions to the students, who often use them to cheat.
  • To combat this problem, universities pay for proctoring software, which is apparently more effective at preventing students from going to the bathroom than it is at preventing cheating.
  • To add insult to all of this injury, “to chegg” is now apparently a verb in the English language. We will all have to live with that linguistic violence.

Addendum on 2/9/21:

 

More colleges are partnering with boot camps to tap demand for short-term programs — from by Natalie Schwartz
Institutions are lending their credibility to outside education providers as they seek help keeping pace with fast-changing technical fields.

Excerpt:

Coding boot camps have long been viewed as the antithesis of traditional higher education. They focus more heavily on technical training. Their programs usually last weeks instead of years. And they are mostly free from the heavy regulation that pervades the rest of the sector.

But recently, more of them have been joining forces with colleges and universities. This month, for instance, Flatiron School announced it is working with the University of Cambridge, in the U.K., to launch a 10-week data science program through the college’s continuing education department.

It’s one of several coding schools looking to collaborate more with colleges. Course Report, a coding boot camp review site, added 138 schools last year to its directory, said Liz Eggleston, its co-founder and editor. Around one-third were offered through universities. 

 

3 Main Changes to Help Fill College Classrooms — from fierceeducation.com by Alison Diana

Excerpt:

Reducing Tuition:
Southern New Hampshire University last month announced it will cut the cost of its Fall 2021 campus-based programs to $15,000 or $10,000 per year and use “an increased focus on experiential and project-based learning; a new and more transparent financial aid process, shifting from merit-based to need-based financial aid awards to level the playing field for all students.”

This marks more than a 50% reduction of its fees, according to SNHU. The university also plans to increase its on-site campus enrollment to 4,500 students from 3,000, although it did not say how or if it expects to adapt faculty or administrative staffing.

SNHU is not alone in addressing tuition to encourage people to attend their schools.

 

As an alternative to a full master’s degree, edX and Coursera offer MicroMasters and MasterTrack certificate programs at a fraction of the cost of grad school — from businessinsider.com by Mara Leighton; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for sharing this resource

Excerpt:

  • edX and Coursera both offer cheap or free online graduate courses, many from top universities like MIT, Duke, and the University of Michigan.
  • edX MicroMasters and Coursera MasterTracks are bite-sized portions of master’s degree programs.
  • They can be used to build stand-alone skills to advance your career or as a stepping stone to a full master’s program.
  • We compared MicroMasters and MasterTracks for you here. Overall, the deciding factor will be the program itself. But generally, edX’s offerings are cheaper, have more options, and are more lenient than Coursera’s.
 

The Annual Report: Ringing in the Changes — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush & Doug Foster

Excerpt:

Mary Grush: The annual report for the Division of Information Technology for FY 19-20 allows you to reflect on the division’s work for the year. How does this document help the institution’s resolve?

Doug Foster: The annual report is actually part of a larger alignment strategy. We have strategic priorities at the university level; and we have strategic priorities for the IT division. In IT, we put together an annual plan every year, which is what we execute our work against, and, finally, we put out an annual report.

An example report:

Here is an example annual report from the University of South Carolina's IT Division

 

The Year TV Leaped Into The Future [Roettgers]

The Year TV Leaped Into The Future [Roettgers]

The Year TV Leaped Into The Future — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers

The lockdowns this year have transformed our homes into offices, schools, concert halls, movie theaters and gyms. Our homes are working harder for us, but so is our technology. The device that is working the hardest is perhaps the TV—becoming our lifeline to a far more virtual world.

Addendums:

The Second Year of The MOOC: 2020 Saw a Rush to Large-Scale Online Courses

The Second Year of The MOOC: 2020 Saw a Rush to Large-Scale Online Courses — from edsurge.com by Dhawal Shah

Excerpt:

This was the year that more people learned what a MOOC is.

As millions suddenly found themselves with free time on their hands during the pandemic, many turned to online courses—especially, to free courses known as MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses. This phenomenon was compounded by media worldwide compiling lists of “free things to do during lockdown,” which tended to include MOOCs.

Within two months, Class Central had received over 10 million visits and sent over six million clicks to MOOC providers. These learners also turned out to be more engaged than usual. In April 2020, MOOC providers Coursera, edX and FutureLearn attracted as many new users in a single month as they did in the entirety of 2019.

.

From DSC:
The pieces continue to come together…

Learning from the living class room

...team-based content creation and delivery will dominate in the future (at least for the masses). It will offer engaging, personalized learning and the AI-based systems will be constantly scanning for the required/sought-after skills and competencies. The systems will then present a listing of items that will help people obtain those skills and competencies.

#AI #LearningProfiles #Cloud #LearningFromTheLivingClassRoom #LearningEcosystems #LearningSpaces #21stCentury #24x7x365 #Reinvent #Surviving #StayingRelevant #LifeLongLearning and many more tags/categories are applicable here.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian