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.

 

A New School That Thinks Like a Kid — from gettingsmart.com

Excerpt:

Portal Schools has a vision—to create a high school that allows students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and a Bachelor’s degree in an environment that is fully designed for them. This ambitious, yet promising goal for this emerging network of micro-schools is using this approach to foster diverse relationships and provide career-immersive learning.

Partnering with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), students can customize their high school courses to fit their learning style, schedule, and interests. With Flex Days built into each week, students have time to engage in rigorous coursework, collaborate on real-world learning projects, and independently focus on their goals.

Also see:

Portal Schools: One school. Two Degrees. Designed for you.

 

Fall’s Enrollment Decline Now Has a Final Tally. Here’s What’s Behind It. — from chronicle.com by Dan Berrett

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The decrease in undergraduate enrollment was the primary driver of the overall decline across the sector. Enrollment among undergraduates dropped 3.6 percent, or by more than 560,000 students, from the fall of 2019. The most notable drop was among first-time freshmen, who declined 13.1 percent.

Meanwhile, graduate enrollment went up by the same percentage, 3.6 percent, that undergraduate enrollment fell, but the actual growth in the number of students enrolled in graduate or professional programs, nearly 99,000, was smaller than the drop in the number of undergraduates.

The above article linked to:

 

Can algorithms save college admissions?

Can Algorithms Save College Admissions? — from chronicle.com by Brian Rosenberg
We’ve tried a system based on competition long enough. It isn’t working.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Here is an alternative and much more radical proposal: What if we replaced the current and longstanding admissions process among private colleges with a match process, similar to what has for years been used to match medical-school graduates with residency and fellowship positions? What if, in other words, we used data and algorithms instead of travel, merit aid, and free food to drive college admissions?

From DSC:
Love the “What if…” thinking here and the spirit of innovation behind it. I wonder if AI and cloud-based learner profiles might play into something like this in the future…?

Also see:

7 Ways To Make College Admissions More Equitable — from stradaeducation.org by Patty Reinert Mason and Jeff Selingo
Is it time to reconsider early-decision applications, legacy preferences, and reliance on feeder high schools?
Selingo offers these practical steps colleges and universities can take to make admissions more equitable:

  • Eliminate early-decision applications.
  • Be upfront about what you’re looking for in this year’s incoming class so students and parents have the information they need.
  • Be transparent about what it costs to study at your school.
  • Look beyond traditional “feeder high schools” for recruitment, creating opportunity for a more diverse group of students.
  • Reduce preferences given to athletes and legacies.
  • Rethink application requirements to put more emphasis on high school coursework and grades and less on extracurriculars, recommendations, and essays.
  • Expand the size of freshman classes.

Also see:

 

Higher Ed Faces a Long and Uneven Recovery, Ratings Agencies Warn — from chronicle.com by Scott Carlson

Excerpt:

Two financial outlooks for higher ed appeared on Tuesday, and their most compelling parts were the longer-term prospects for the nation’s colleges and universities — because the near-term picture should be clear to nearly everyone by now. It’s not good.

In their predictions, both Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings note the various ways that institutions are in pain right now: The pandemic has undercut tuition revenue, as colleges have seen sliding enrollment or have had to discount tuition heavily to bring in students. The proceeds of auxiliary services — such as student housing and dining — “remain the hardest-hit revenue stream,” Moody’s says, given that such income can account for 5 to 30 percent of a college’s operating revenue.

 

Campus Consolidation: America’s Higher-Ed Footprint Changes Amid Challenging Times — from fierceeducation.com by Alison Diana

Excerpt:

Beset upon by students unable to afford tuition, the ongoing pandemic, competition between schools, and even some individual’s questioning of a degree’s value, college consolidation continues to reshape the secondary education landscape, and faculty careers in the process.

More than 90 nonprofit universities and colleges shut their doors or announced their intentions to close between January 2016 and February 2020, one industry estimate recorded. And more than 230 institutions, almost 10% of 2,300-plus researched over eight years, could close or merge, given the stressors they face, according to recently published book, The College Stress Test: Tracking Institutional Futures Across a Crowded Market.

In addition, 10% were deemed likely to close and 30% more were expected to struggle, according to Susan Baldridge, a professor at Middlebury College, who co-authored the book with Robert Zemsky, higher education division chair at the University of Pennsylvania, and Susan S. Shaman.

 

Wall Street Journal article entitled, Is this the end of college as we know it?

Americans aren’t turning their backs on education; they are reconsidering how to obtain it.

Is This the End of College as We Know It? — from wsj.com by Douglas Belkin
For millions of Americans, getting a four-year degree no longer makes sense. Here’s what could replace it.

Excerpt:

For traditional college students, the American postsecondary education system frequently means frontloading a lifetime’s worth of formal education and going into debt to do it. That is no longer working for millions of people, and the failure is clearing the way for alternatives: Faster, cheaper, specialized credentials closely aligned with the labor market and updated incrementally over a longer period, education experts say. These new credentials aren’t limited to traditional colleges and universities. Private industry has already begun to play a larger role in shaping what is taught and who is paying for it.

For more than a century, a four-year college degree was a blue-chip credential and a steppingstone to the American dream. For many millennials and now Gen Z, it has become an albatross around their necks.

What has embittered so many millennials is that they played by the rules and still got stuck. Ben Puckett, a 30-year-old pastor in Michigan, earned a B.S. in physical therapy before a Master’s degree in divinity. He is $95,000 in debt. 

“I went to college because I was told by parents, friends, teachers and counselors that it was the only way to ensure a good future,” Mr. Puckett says. “At 18 years old, how was I supposed to defy what my school, parents, society, friends were saying about going to college?”

 

“Stuck in it until I die”: Parents get buried by college debt too — from hechingerreport.org by Meredith Kolodner
ParentPlus loans have spiked, leading to financial disaster for many low- and middle-income families

Excerpt:

The couple’s original $40,000 loan to cover the cost of their son and daughter attending public universities in Indiana, where the family lived at the time, has snowballed in those 18 years, with interest rates as high as 8.5 percent. Their bill now stands at more than $100,000.

The Rifes would have lost their house if they had been forced to make the original monthly payment, so they negotiated with the federal government to get it down to $733. Still, it’s more than their mortgage, and it doesn’t cover the interest, so the amount owed has continued to grow.

From DSC:
I have fought for over a decade to bring the costs (involved with obtaining a degree) down. Through the years, I have tried to reach anyone who works within higher ed to listen…to change…to find ways to bring the price of obtaining a degree waaaaaay down. 

Before 2010, I had written about a future where the cost of obtaining a degree would be 50% less. And that has already happened with a handful of instances. But the future will likely look much different than the past.

Fast forward…and the perfect storm against higher ed continues to build. The backlash continues to build.

There will be change. Count on it. 100% bound to happen. In fact, it has to happen, or this nation is in big trouble otherwise. 


(11/24/20) An addendum from the Wall Street Journal:

 

After the Pandemic, a Revolution in Education and Work Awaits — from nytimes.com by Thomas Friedman
Providing more Americans with portable health care, portable pensions and opportunities for lifelong learning is what politics needs to be about post-Nov. 3.

No job, no K-12 school, no university, no factory, no office will be spared. 

Excerpt:

Your children can expect to change jobs and professions multiple times in their lifetimes, which means their career path will no longer follow a simple “learn-to-work’’ trajectory, as Heather E. McGowan, co-author of “The Adaptation Advantage,” likes to say, but rather a path of “work-learn-work-learn-work-learn.”

“Learning is the new pension,” Ms. McGowan said. “It’s how you create your future value every day.”

The most critical role for K-12 educators, therefore, will be to equip young people with the curiosity and passion to be lifelong learners who feel ownership over their education.

 

Top IT Issues, 2021: Emerging from the Pandemic — from educause.edu

Excerpt:

The EDUCAUSE Top IT Issues list has been refactored for 2021 to help higher education shape the role technology will play in the recovery from the pandemic. What different directions might institutional leaders take in their recovery strategy? How can technology help our ecosystem emerge stronger and fitter for the future?

The 2021 EDUCAUSE IT Issues project explores these questions using a very different approach from previous years. Anticipating potential ways institutions might emerge from the pandemic, this year we offer three Top IT Issues lists and examine the top 5 issues within three scenarios that may guide institutional leaders’ use of technology: restore, evolve, and transform.

Educause's Top IT Issues for 2021

Also see:

 

OPM Market Landscape and Dynamics: Fall 2020 updates — from philonedtech.com by Phil Hill; with thanks to Edsurge.com for this resource

Excerpt:

There has been growing interest in the Online Program Management (OPM) market, as more schools try to develop a strategy and revenue model for online programs (particularly for master’s level). In addition, there has been a broad question to what degree schools would turn to OPM partners to help out with the Covid-driven move to online education in 2020 and beyond. We’re in the middle of the chaotic period of the pandemic, so there are no clear answers yet, but the consistent message is that OPM vendors are seeing a marked increase in interest from colleges and universities this year.

 

The State of AI in Higher Education — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
Both industry and higher ed experts see opportunities and risk, hype and reality with AI for teaching and learning.

Excerpts:

Kurt VanLehn, the chair for effective education in STEM in the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University, knows how challenging it can be people to come up with examples of effective AI in education. Why? “Because learning is complicated.”

Nuno Fernandes, president and CEO of Ilumno, an ed tech company in Latin America, isn’t ready to count adaptive learning out yet, if only because adaptivity has worked in other industries, such as social platforms like Netflix and Amazon, to identify what could work best for the user, based on previous activities and preferred formats of curriculum.

As Ilumno’s Fernandes asserted, AI won’t “substitute for faculty in any of our lifetimes. What it will do is give us tools to work better and to complement what is being done by humans.”

From DSC:
The article is a very balanced one. On one hand, it urges caution and points out that learning is messy and complex. On the other hand, it points out some beneficial applications of AI that already exist in language learning and in matching alumni with students for mentorship-related reasons.

From my perspective, I think AI-based systems will be used to help us scan job descriptions to see what the marketplace needs and is calling for. Such a system would be a major step forward in at least pointing out the existing hiring trends, needed skillsets, job openings, and more — and to do so in REAL-TIME!

Colleges, universities, and alternatives to traditional higher education could use this information to be far more responsive to the needs of the workplace. Then, such systems could match what the workplace needs with courses, microlearning-based feeds, apprenticeships, and other sources of learning that would help people learn those in-demand skills.

That in and of itself is HUGE. Again, HUGE. Given the need for people to reinvent themselves — and to do so quickly and affordably — that is incredibly beneficial.

Also, I do think there will be cloud-based learner profiles…data that each of us control and say who has access to it. Credentials will be stored there, for example. AI-based systems can scan such profiles and our desired career goals and suggest possible matches.

We can change our career goals. We don’t have to be locked into a particular track or tracks. We can reinvent ourselves. In fact, many of us will have to.

 
© 2020 | Daniel Christian