From DSC:
My answer to the question “Is Accreditation a Barrier to Innovation?” would be “Yes, it is.” But admittedly, maybe that’s because I work for a law school these days…and in the legal education realm (as controlled by the American Bar Association), there is YET to be a fully 100% online-based Juris Doctor (JD) degree that I’m aware of. There are some schools that have applied for “variances,” but we’re talking 20+ years after institutions of higher education introduced online-based learning! Those programs who have applied for variances are under an incredible amount of scrutiny by the American Bar Association, that’s for sure. So the legal realm is NOT doing well with innovation.

But in regards to other areas of higher ed and its accrediting bodies…I’m sorry, but you can’t tell me that the run-up in the price of higher education over the last several decades had nothing to do with HE’s accrediting bodies and either their support of — or their lack of support of — those organizations who were trying to introduce something new.

But along these lines, I’d like to hear from folks like:

  • Burck Smith from Straighterline on his perspectives and his company’s experiences with the various accrediting bodies that Straighterline has had to deal with. His insights here would carry a significant impact/weight for me.
  • Or perhaps someone like James DeVaney from University of Michingan’s Center for Academic Innovation or Joshua Kim who writes about higher education and edtech/online learning
  • Or folks like Mary Grush or Rhea Kelly at CampusTechnology.com
  • Surveying organizations who could speak for a massive group of students/learners/employees
  • …and/or other folks who are either trying to innovate within the existing systems, have heard from both sides of the table here, and/or have tried and failed to innovate within the existing structures

We’ll see if institutions of traditional higher education can reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant and survive (especially colleges and universities…not so much the community colleges). The accreditation bodies will have a large part in whether this happens…or not.

Along these lines…let’s see what happens to the growth of alternatives to those types of institutions as well.

 

OPINION: Meet certificates and “microcredentials” — they could be the future of higher education — from hechingerreport.org by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
In years to come, they will become prevalent — and possibly preferred — to college degrees

Excerpt:

What is new is that we are calling them badges and microcredentials and using them primarily to certify specific skills, such as cross-cultural competency, welding and conversational Spanish.

So what are they? Microcredentials are certifications of mastery; badges verify the attainment of specific competencies.

No matter what we are calling them, they may be here to stay.

We now live in a time that is more open to rethinking college and university credentials. We are witnessing experimentation with competency-based education, through which students earn credits by demonstrating skills instead of spending time in courses. We are also seeing discussion of free or reduced tuition, along with subscription pricing that lets students take as many courses as they like for one low cost.

Also see:

Can an AI tutor teach your child to read? — from hechingerreport.org by Jackie Mader
Some AI reading programs are boosting early literacy skills

Excerpt:

Artificial intelligence has been used for years in education to monitor teaching quality, teach classes, grade assignments and tailor instruction to student ability levels. Now, a small but growing number of programs are attempting to use AI to target reading achievement in the early years — a longstanding struggle for America’s schools.

 
 

5 Ways Higher Ed Will Be Upended — from chronicle.com by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
Colleges will lose power, prices will go down, and credentials will multiply — among other jarring shifts.

Excerpt:

The dominance of degrees and “just in case” education will diminish; nondegree certifications and “just in time” education will increase in status and value.

In contrast, “just in time” education teaches students the skills and knowledge they need right now. They may need to learn a foreign language for an coming trip or business deal. They may need to learn an emerging technology. “Just in time” education comes in all shapes and sizes, but diverges from traditional academic time standards, uniform course lengths, and common credit measures. Only a small portion of such programs award degrees; most grant certificates, microcredentials, or badges.

From DSC:
Long-time readers of this blog and my old blog at Calvin (then College) will see no surprises here:

I published the idea of 50% off and more back in 2008

I discussed The Walmart of Education with Mary Grush back in 2013

Learning from the living class room

 
 
 

Recording of “The Future of Education Collaborative for Higher Education” on 8/12/21 — this event was sponsored by Instructure and AWS

From DSC:
One of the most interesting items for me in this was to hear how one university is allowing students to drive the Request For Proposal (RFP) process – giving students much more VOICE. Staff and faculty are consultants but students have the final say! Wow! 

Also, I agree with the idea that the market will drive changes within higher education. But for that to occur more significantly:

  • Employers need to hire more people from a variety of backgrounds and that come into their interviews with a greater variety of credentials.
  • The accrediting agencies involved with higher ed are going to need to become more innovative and flexible.
  • And the elephant in the room for me is that faculty members are going to have to come to the realization that those organizations/courses of the future that will thrive and have the most impact will be much more team-based and will be based upon what the market needs (i.e., better alignment is needed between the corporate/business world and the world of higher education). For far too long, the faculty member has been the sole person at the table….the person holding the steering wheel…the person in control of everything that gets presented and how it gets presented….the person who decides what they want to teach (vs. what the market actually needs) and how they want to teach it.

Finally, I bet AWS and Zoom could have said a LOT more than they actually said.

#learningfromthelivingclassroom

 

It’s time for leaders to get real about hybrid — from mckinsey.com by Aaron De Smet, Bonnie Dowling, Mihir Mysore, and Angelika Reich
Employers are ready to get back to significant in-person presence. Employees aren’t. The disconnect is deeper than most employers believe, and a spike in attrition and disengagement may be imminent.

Excerpt:

Once in a generation (if that), we have the opportunity to reimagine how we work. In the 1800s, the Industrial Revolution moved many in Europe and the United States from fields to factories. In the 1940s, World War II brought women into the workforce (if not the C-suite) at unprecedented rates. In the 1990s, the explosion of PCs and email drove a rapid increase in productivity and the speed of decision making, ushering in the digital age as we know it today. And in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic drove employees out of offices to work from home. Thanks to the development and wide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, 2021 presents another such opportunity. The return to the workplace is a chance to create a new, more effective operating model that works for companies and people navigating a world of increasing uncertainty. There is, however, one big catch: employers must confront the broadening disconnect between how they and their employees see the future.

 

Pennsylvania system board votes to merge 6 institutions into 2 — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
The plan intends to correct PASSHE’s declining enrollment and unsteady finances, though it attracted bitter faculty and staff opposition.

Excerpt:

The vote comes as other states like Vermont and New Hampshire advance or weigh merger plans — and years after Georgia started combining many of its public institutions. But such changes have long been resisted in the Pennsylvania system, making Wednesday’s approval noteworthy.

 

A LIFETIME OF LEARNING — from continuum.uw.edu

Excerpts:

The 60-year curriculum is the modern approach to a lifetime of learning. Getting a degree, getting a job and never setting foot in a classroom again are not today’s reality.

A discussion paper from the McKinsey Global Institute predicts that in the next 10 to 15 years, the need for new tech skills will accelerate. We will also need people who will develop, innovate and adapt those technologies. The paper asserts that, right now, 80% of the workforce doesn’t have the skills for most of the jobs that will be available in the next five to 10 years.

The 60-year curriculum. Lifetime learning is now a requirement.

From DSC:
It would be good to integrate more vocational types of pathways/items in here as well.

 

For College Finances, There’s No ‘Return to Normal’ — from chronicle.com by Mark S. LeClair
The critical problems facing higher education won’t end with the pandemic.

Excerpt:

Higher ed is in trouble. It faces a demographic crunch in 2026, when smaller high-school graduating classes will mean greater competition for students. That will lead to tuition discounting and underenrolled classes for many colleges. And yet that demographic crisis is only one of many significant challenges the sector faces. As noted by Forbes in its annual review of college and university financials, approximately 20 percent of all institutions now warrant a “D” ranking (its lowest). Many are under serious financial strain and may not survive.

The Forbes financial analyses have been warning of a worsening situation for years. The added stresses from the Covid-19 pandemic will further aggravate the untenable circumstances facing hundreds of institutions. There is now a very short window within which we must carry out significant reforms.

 

It’s like Netflix for education: UND considers subscription tuition model — from grandforksherald.com by Sydney Mook; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn
Think of it as Netflix or Hulu – popular television subscription services – but for a UND education. Students could pay a flat rate and take as many (or as few) online courses as preferred, so long as they aren’t considered a full-time, degree-seeking student.

Excerpts:

UND wants to add a flat-rate subscription option to its tuition model.

Think of it as Netflix or Hulu – popular television subscription services – but for a UND education. Students could pay a flat rate and take as many (or as few) online courses as preferred, so long as they aren’t considered a full-time, degree-seeking student.

“You enroll, you have a subscription and during that subscription, you can binge watch,” said Jeff Holm, vice provost for online education and strategic planning at UND.

UND says it wants to “provide competency-based, online education that provides ‘micro-pathways’ or smaller targeted units of learning to individuals as a way to enhance their skill set and knowledge for advancing in the labor market or reskilling for a new employment opportunity.”

 

The Short-term Credentials Landscape — from newamerica.org by Monique O. Ositelu, PhD, Clare McCann, and Amy Laitinen
What We See and What Remains Unseen

Abstract

Given the rapid growth in short-term programs, and policymakers’ fast-growing interest to invest federal higher education dollars into very-short-term credentials, we explore what the research does—and does not— show us about such credentials’ utility in the labor market. With concerns about equity, our review of the literature guides us towards caution, as a strong push for short-term certificates may run the risk of reifying socioeconomic stratification.

From DSC:
I wonder…will accreditation move towards the use of crowd-sourced methods? Similar to rating one’s driver or one’s experience with a product, will microcredentials get into more reviews and recommendations from the users of various learning/training-related sites and services?

Will users of a service comment on whether the credential helped them (with a salary increase, with practical knowledge, with an expanded scope of projects at work, etc.)?

 

6 Emerging Technology Trends in Higher Education — from edtechmagazine.com by Amelia Pang
From artificial intelligence to microcredentials, here’s a look at the future.

Excerpts:

1. The Growth of Artificial Intelligence in Higher Ed
2. Actualizing the Potential of Data Analytics to Improve Education
3. A Permanent Place for Blended and Hybrid Course Models
4. The Expansion of Open Educational Resources
5. Microcredentials Provide Business Opportunities for Higher Ed
6. More Investments in Quality Online Learning

 

President Speaks: 5 higher education trends the pandemic is accelerating — from highereddive.com by Adam Weinberg
Technology, student choice and career prep will factor more heavily into colleges’ decision-making going forward, one president explains.

Excerpt:

Over the last several weeks, it has become clearer what the post-COVID-19 higher education landscape will look like. The trends that will shape the sector’s future are not new. But the pandemic has accelerated them.

Trends are like water. As they run faster, they cut deeper and in unexpected ways. Here are five that COVID-19 has given momentum to.

 

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian