AWS, Educause partner on generative AI readiness tool — from edscoop.com by Skylar Rispens
Amazon Web Services and the nonprofit Educause announced a new tool designed to help higher education institutions gauge their readiness to adopt generative artificial intelligence.

Amazon Web Services and the nonprofit Educause on Monday announced they’ve teamed up to develop a tool that assesses how ready higher education institutions are to adopt generative artificial intelligence.

Through a series of curated questions about institutional strategy, governance, capacity and expertise, AWS and Educause claim their assessment can point to ways that operations can be improved before generative AI is adopted to support students and staff.

“Generative AI will transform how educators engage students inside and outside the classroom, with personalized education and accessible experiences that provide increased student support and drive better learning outcomes,” Kim Majerus, vice president of global education and U.S. state and local government at AWS, said in a press release. “This assessment is a practical tool to help colleges and universities prepare their institutions to maximize this technology and support students throughout their higher ed journey.”


Speaking of AI and our learning ecosystems, also see:

Gen Z Wants AI Skills And Businesses Want Workers Who Can Apply AI: Higher Education Can Help — from forbes.com by Bruce Dahlgren

At a moment when the value of higher education has come under increasing scrutiny, institutions around the world can be exactly what learners and employers both need. To meet the needs of a rapidly changing job market and equip learners with the technical and ethical direction needed to thrive, institutions should familiarize students with the use of AI and nurture the innately human skills needed to apply it ethically. Failing to do so can create enormous risk for higher education, business and society.

What is AI literacy?
To effectively utilize generative AI, learners will need to grasp the appropriate use cases for these tools, understand when their use presents significant downside risk, and learn to recognize abuse to separate fact from fiction. AI literacy is a deeply human capacity. The critical thinking and communication skills required are muscles that need repeated training to be developed and maintained.

 

Making your campus neurodivergent friendly — from timeshighereducation.com
How to create a university where neurodivergent staff and students feel welcome and thrive in the classroom, in the lab and throughout campus

Neurodivergent students and staff think about, interact with and see the world differently from their neurotypical peers and colleagues. Universities that adopt inclusive practices to welcome people with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and other disabilities to campus also foster their distinct strengths and talents in the classroom, labs, boardrooms and social spaces. This collection of resources offers advice for teachers, researchers, PhD supervisors and administrators for supporting neurodiversity in higher education.


Some Colleges Will Soon Charge $100,000 a Year. How Did This Happen? — from nytimes.com by Ron Lieber; via Ryan Craig
Some Vanderbilt students will have $100,000 in total expenses for the 2024-25 school year. The school doesn’t really want to talk about it.

It was only a matter of time before a college would have the nerve to quote its cost of attendance at nearly $100,000 a year. This spring, we’re catching our first glimpse of it.

One letter to a newly admitted Vanderbilt University engineering student showed an all-in price — room, board, personal expenses, a high-octane laptop — of $98,426. A student making three trips home to Los Angeles or London from the Nashville campus during the year could hit six figures.

This eye-popping sum is an anomaly. Only a tiny fraction of college-going students will pay anything close to this anytime soon, and about 35 percent of Vanderbilt students — those who get neither need-based nor merit aid — pay the full list price.

But a few dozen other colleges and universities that reject the vast majority of applicants will probably arrive at this threshold within a few years. Their willingness to cross it raises two questions for anyone shopping for college: How did this happen, and can it possibly be worth it?


‘Running Out of Road’ for FAFSA Completion — from insidehighered.com by Liam Knox
The number of students who filled out the federal aid form is down nearly 30 percent. The ramifications for access and enrollment could be devastating.

And that’s probably an optimistic estimate, said Bill DeBaun, NCAN’s senior director of data and strategic initiatives; if the pace of completion doesn’t pick up, the decline could be closer to 700,000 students. That could translate to up to a 4 percent drop in college-goers come fall, DeBaun said, which would be the largest enrollment drop since the COVID-19 pandemic—and one that’s likely to be made up primarily of low-income and first-generation students.


Study: Nearly 40 Percent of Students Started, Never Finished College — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
Federal researchers followed the post-secondary outcomes of 23,000 students for 12 years. 

Only 60 percent of students who enrolled in college earned a degree or credential within eight years of graduating high school.

That’s one of the biggest takeaways from a new report the National Center for Education Statistics released Monday that analyzed the enrollment, completion and financial aid outcomes of students.

The researchers tracked the postsecondary educational outcomes of roughly 23,000 students beginning in 2009 when they were freshman in high school through 2021, when the cohort was eight years out from graduating high school.


Race to the Finish | The rise of faster bachelor’s degrees raises the question: What is college for? — from chronicle.com by Kelly Field; from Jeff Selingo

Taken together, the two recent decisions illustrate a blurring of the lines between the two- and four-year sectors that is taking place not just in Idaho, but nationwide, as colleges struggle to overcome enrollment declines and skepticism about the value of a bachelor’s degree.

“It’s pretty clear that higher education is in a funk,” said Robert M. Zemsky, a University of Pennsylvania professor, who has been advocating for three-year programs for more than 15 years. “There’s a sense that we have to do something to make the product better, more relevant, and less costly to students.”


Excerpt from Next — from/by Jeff Selingo

Bottom line: While critics of a shorter degree see it as a lesser replacement for the four-year baccalaureate degree, advocates see it as another option for students who might not be interested in college at a time when enrollment is falling.

  • “We need to use this opportunity to redesign and do things better,” Carrell said. “That means that we all need to stay curious. We need to be a learning enterprise…and learn from the evidence we produce.”

Job-Ready on Day One — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain

The U.S. faces a serious shortage of workers in the skilled trades—fields like HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar, and construction. And those labor gaps are likely to widen as the federal government spends billions on infrastructure projects.

Employers in these industries are desperate for hires, says Doug Donovan, the founder and CEO of Interplay Learning. Yet the “challenge is not employer demand for workers,” he says, “but rather ensuring that learners learn about skilled trades careers and pursue them.”

The Austin-based Interplay offers online and VR training for workers in the skilled trades. The company was founded in 2016 with a focus on upskilling the hands-on worker. Even before the pandemic exacerbated labor shortages, Donovan says companies in these trades needed to hire workers who didn’t have all the skills required for jobs.

Interplay’s online courses and 3D, interactive simulations get close to what a learner is going to see on the job, says Donovan. “We aren’t trying to replace hands-on, instructor-led training,” he says. “We are trying to deliver tools that enhance that hands-on time or make it more efficient.”


 

 

The University Student’s Guide To Ethical AI Use  — from studocu.com; with thanks to Jervise Penton at 6XD Media Group for this resource

This comprehensive guide offers:

  • Up-to-date statistics on the current state of AI in universities, how institutions and students are currently using artificial intelligence
  • An overview of popular AI tools used in universities and its limitations as a study tool
  • Tips on how to ethically use AI and how to maximize its capabilities for students
  • Current existing punishment and penalties for cheating using AI
  • A checklist of questions to ask yourself, before, during, and after an assignment to ensure ethical use

Some of the key facts you might find interesting are:

  • The total value of AI being used in education was estimated to reach $53.68 billion by the end of 2032.
  • 68% of students say using AI has impacted their academic performance positively.
  • Educators using AI tools say the technology helps speed up their grading process by as much as 75%.
 

Student perceptions of American higher education — from usprogram.gatesfoundation.org by Edge Research & HCM Strategists
Continued research exploring college enrollment declines

Overview of 2023 Findings
Despite our understanding of the value of higher education, perceptions among these audiences make it clear that institutions need to prove their value to them. In particular, why does the value of a 2-year or 4-year degree outweigh the value of credentials and job training programs? Both High Schoolers and Non-Enrollees see and select other paths that are shorter, cheaper, and/or more directly linked to specific job opportunities.

As part of that effort, these audiences want and need supports throughout their college journeys to reach the destination of acquiring a degree. These audiences feel anxious about making the wrong choices when it comes to college, and that those choices will impact the rest of their lives. Finally, it is also important to understand that the information received by these audiences differs by cohort. High Schoolers are at the epicenter of the college information network. Non-Enrollees, on the other hand, are forced to seek information about colleges, and the information they find tends to be less positive compared to what High Schoolers receive and consume about higher education.

Higher Education Must Prove Value to Potential Students, Who are Currently More Attracted to Immediate, Lower-Cost Options


Many Students Don’t Inform Their Colleges About Their Disability. That Needs to Change. — from edsurge.com by Stephanie A.N. Levin

After engaging in a policy review and coding a set of policy documents from disability service offices at colleges and universities across the U.S., it became clear to me that I wasn’t alone in my reluctance to seek accommodations at my college. It turns out that many higher education students with disabilities are hesitant to self-identify and pursue accommodations that could support them in their studies.

According to the most recent data published by the National Center for Education Statistics, about 20 percent of undergraduate students and nearly 11 percent of graduate students have a disability. There’s a discrepancy though, between the rate of students reporting having a disability, and those who are actually registering with their campus disability center. It turns out many students don’t inform their colleges of their disability and that has led to a support gap.The truth is, too many college and university students with disabilities decide to forgo a request for the accommodations that they may need to be successful.


5 ways to support today’s online learner — from insidetrack.org

  1. Make online learning learner-centered, demand-driven and career-advancing
  2. Help cultivate a sense of belonging
  3. Reduce barriers to online learning
  4. Encourage investment in planning and support structures
  5. Build up online learner confidence

 
 

The New Academic Arms Race | Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology. — from chronicle.com by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Now, after the pandemic, with the value of the bachelor’s degree foremost in the minds of students and families, a new academic arms race is emerging. This one is centered around academic innovation. The winners will be those institutions that in the decade ahead better apply technology in teaching and learning and develop different approaches to credentialing.

Sure, technology is often seen as plumbing on campuses — as long as it works, we don’t worry about it. And rarely do prospective students on a tour ever ask about academic innovations like extended reality or microcredentials. Campus tours prefer to show off the bells and whistles of residential life within dorms and dining halls.

That’s too bad.

The problem is not a lack of learners, but rather a lack of alignment in what colleges offer to a generation of learners surrounded by Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram, where they can stream entertainment and music anytime, anywhere.

From DSC:
When I worked for Calvin (then College, now University) from 2007-2017, that’s exactly how technologies and the entire IT Department were viewed — as infrastructure providers. We were not viewed as being able to enhance the core business/offerings of the institution. We weren’t relevant in that area. In fact, the IT Department was shoved down in the basement of the library. Our Teaching & Learning Digital Studio was sidelined in a part of the library where few students went to. The Digitial Studio’s marketing efforts didn’t help much, as faculty members didn’t offer assignments that called for multimedia-based deliverables. It was a very tough and steep hill to climb.

Also the Presidents and Provosts over the last couple of decades (not currently though) didn’t think much of online-based learning, and the top administrators dissed the Internet’s ability to provide 24/7 worldwide conversations and learning. They missed the biggest thing to come along in education in 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). Our Teaching & Learning Group provided leadership by starting a Calvin Online pilot. We had 13-14 courses built and inquiries from Christian-based high schools were coming in for dual enrollment scenarios, but when it came time for the College to make a decision, it never happened. The topic/vote never made it to the floor of the Faculty Senate. The faculty and administration missed an enormous opportunity.

When Calvin College became Calvin University in 2019, they were forced to offer online-based classes. Had they supported our T&L Group’s efforts back in the early to mid-2010’s, they would have dove-tailed very nicely into offering more courses to working adults. They would have built up the internal expertise to offer these courses/programs. But the culture of the college put a stop to online-based learning at that time. They now regret that decision I’m sure (as they’ve had to outsource many things and they now offer numerous online-based courses and even entire programs — at a high cost most likely).

My how times have changed.


For another item re: higher education at the 30,000-foot level, see:


Lifelong Learning Models for a Changing Higher Ed Marketplace — from changinghighered.com by Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Amrit Ahluwalia
Exploring the transformation of higher education into lifelong learning hubs for workforce development, with innovative models and continuing education’s role.

Higher education is undergoing transformational change to redefine its role as a facilitator of lifelong learning and workforce development. In this 200th episode of Changing Higher Ed, host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guest Amrit Ahluwalia, incoming Executive Director for Continuing Studies at Western University, explore innovative models positioning universities as sustainable hubs for socioeconomic mobility.

The Consumer-Driven Educational Landscape
Over 60% of today’s jobs will be redefined by 2025, driving demand for continuous upskilling and reskilling to meet evolving workforce needs. However, higher education’s traditional model of imparting specific knowledge through multi-year degrees is hugely misaligned with this reality.

Soaring education costs have fueled a consumer mindset shift, with learners demanding a clear return on investment directly aligned with their career goals. The expectation is to see immediate skills application and professional impact from their educational investments, not just long-term outcomes years after completion.


 

It’s Time Higher Ed Become Financially Literate — from forbes.com by Brian Curcio

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The Alarming Reality
Over the past 12 years, US student loan debt has quadrupled to a staggering $1.7 trillion. Nearly 44 million Americans carry an average debt of $37,718, and over 11 percent of aggregate student loan debt (pre-COVID) is more than 90 days delinquent.

This past year, the average public university student borrowed over $32,000 to receive a bachelor’s degree. However, only 11 percent of employers believe that a degree prepares students for the workforce. It’s a cruel irony: a $32,000 loan – not counting interest – for a degree that doesn’t prepare you for the career needed to repay the debt.


Another higher education-related item:

The IT Leadership Workforce in Higher Education, 2024 — from library.educause.edu by Mark McCormack

The IT Leader Workforce in Higher Education, 2024, aims to map the current contours of the IT leader workforce, understand its current challenges and opportunities, and reflect on what it all might mean for building a stronger workforce and—ultimately—a stronger higher education for the future.


 

 

How Generative AI Owns Higher Education. Now What? — from forbes.co by Steve Andriole

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

What about course videos? Professors can create them (by lecturing into a camera for several hours hopefully in different clothes) from the readings, from their interpretations of the readings, from their own case experiences – from anything they like. But now professors can direct the creation of the videos by talking – actually describing – to a CustomGPTabout what they’d like the video to communicate with their or another image. Wait. What? They can make a video by talking to a CustomGPT and even select the image they want the “actor” to use? Yes. They can also add a British accent and insert some (GenAI-developed) jokes into the videos if they like. All this and much more is now possible. This means that a professor can specify how long the video should be, what sources should be consulted and describe the demeanor the professor wants the video to project.

From DSC:
Though I wasn’t crazy about the clickbait type of title here, I still thought that the article was solid and thought-provoking. It contained several good ideas for using AI.


Excerpt from a recent EdSurge Higher Ed newsletter:


There are darker metaphors though — ones that focus on the hazards for humanity of the tech. Some professors worry that AI bots are simply replacing hired essay-writers for many students, doing work for a student that they can then pass off as their own (and doing it for free).

From DSC:
Hmmm…the use of essay writers was around long before AI became mainstream within higher education. So we already had a serious problem where students didn’t see the why in what they were being asked to do. Some students still aren’t sold on the why of the work in the first place. The situation seems to involve ethics, yes, but it also seems to say that we haven’t sold students on the benefits of putting in the work. Students seem to be saying I don’t care about this stuff…I just need the degree so I can exit stage left.

My main point: The issue didn’t start with AI…it started long before that.

And somewhat relevant here, also see:

I Have Bigger Fish to Fry: Why K12 Education is Not Thinking About AI — from medium.com by Maurie Beasley, M.Ed. (Edited by Jim Beasley)

This financial stagnation is occurring as we face a multitude of escalating challenges. These challenges include but are in no way limited to, chronic absenteeism, widespread student mental health issues, critical staff shortages, rampant classroom behavior issues, a palpable sense of apathy for education in students, and even, I dare say, hatred towards education among parents and policymakers.

Our current focus is on keeping our heads above water, ensuring our students’ safety and mental well-being, and simply keeping our schools staffed and our doors open.


Meet Ed: Ed is an educational friend designed to help students reach their limitless potential. — from lausd.org (Los Angeles School District, the second largest in the U.S.)

What is Ed?
An easy-to-understand learning platform designed by Los Angeles Unified to increase student achievement. It offers personalized guidance and resources to students and families 24/7 in over 100 languages.

Ed is an easy-to-understand learning platform designed by Los Angeles Unified to increase student achievement.

Also relevant/see:

  • Los Angeles Unified Bets Big on ‘Ed,’ an AI Tool for Students — from by Lauraine Langreo
    The Los Angeles Unified School District has launched an AI-powered learning tool that will serve as a “personal assistant” to students and their parents.The tool, named “Ed,” can provide students from the nation’s second-largest district information about their grades, attendance, upcoming tests, and suggested resources to help them improve their academic skills on their own time, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced March 20. Students can also use the app to find social-emotional-learning resources, see what’s for lunch, and determine when their bus will arrive.

Could OpenAI’s Sora be a big deal for elementary school kids? — from futureofbeinghuman.com by Andrew Maynard
Despite all the challenges it comes with, AI-generated video could unleash the creativity of young children and provide insights into their inner worlds – if it’s developed and used responsibly

Like many others, I’m concerned about the challenges that come with hyper-realistic AI-generated video. From deep fakes and disinformation to blurring the lines between fact and fiction, generative AI video is calling into question what we can trust, and what we cannot.

And yet despite all the issues the technology is raising, it also holds quite incredible potential, including as a learning and development tool — as long as we develop and use it responsibly.

I was reminded of this a few days back while watching the latest videos from OpenAI created by their AI video engine Sora — including the one below generated from the prompt “an elephant made of leaves running in the jungle”

What struck me while watching this — perhaps more than any of the other videos OpenAI has been posting on its TikTok channel — is the potential Sora has for translating the incredibly creative but often hard to articulate ideas someone may have in their head, into something others can experience.


Can AI Aid the Early Education Workforce? — from edsurge.com by Emily Tate Sullivan
During a panel at SXSW EDU 2024, early education leaders discussed the potential of AI to support and empower the adults who help our nation’s youngest children.

While the vast majority of the conversations about AI in education have centered on K-12 and higher education, few have considered the potential of this innovation in early care and education settings.

At the conference, a panel of early education leaders gathered to do just that, in a session exploring the potential of AI to support and empower the adults who help our nation’s youngest children, titled, “ChatECE: How AI Could Aid the Early Educator Workforce.”

Hau shared that K-12 educators are using the technology to improve efficiency in a number of ways, including to draft individualized education programs (IEPs), create templates for communicating with parents and administrators, and in some cases, to support building lesson plans.


From EIEIO…Seasons Of Change

Again, we’ve never seen change happen as fast as it’s happening.


Enhancing World Language Instruction With AI Image Generators — from eduoptia.org by Rachel Paparone
By crafting an AI prompt in the target language to create an image, students can get immediate feedback on their communication skills.

Educators are, perhaps rightfully so, cautious about incorporating AI in their classrooms. With thoughtful implementation, however, AI image generators, with their ability to use any language, can provide powerful ways for students to engage with the target language and increase their proficiency.


AI in the Classroom: A Teacher’s Toolkit for Transformation — from esheninger.blogspot.com by Eric Sheninger

While AI offers numerous benefits, it’s crucial to remember that it is a tool to empower educators, not replace them. The human connection between teacher and student remains central to fostering creativity, critical thinking, and social-emotional development. The role of teachers will shift towards becoming facilitators, curators, and mentors who guide students through personalized learning journeys. By harnessing the power of AI, educators can create dynamic and effective classrooms that cater to each student’s individual needs. This paves the way for a more engaging and enriching learning experience that empowers students to thrive.


Teachers Are Using AI to Create New Worlds, Help Students with Homework, and Teach English — from themarkup.org by Ross Teixeira; via Matthew Tower
Around the world, these seven teachers are making AI work for them and their students

In this article, seven teachers across the world share their insights on AI tools for educators. You will hear a host of varied opinions and perspectives on everything from whether AI could hasten the decline of learning foreign languages to whether AI-generated lesson plans are an infringement on teachers’ rights. A common theme emerged from those we spoke with: just as the internet changed education, AI tools are here to stay, and it is prudent for teachers to adapt.


Teachers Desperately Need AI Training. How Many Are Getting It? — from edweek.org by Lauraine Langreo

Even though it’s been more than a year since ChatGPT made a big splash in the K-12 world, many teachers say they are still not receiving any training on using artificial intelligence tools in the classroom.

More than 7 in 10 teachers said they haven’t received any professional development on using AI in the classroom, according to a nationally representative EdWeek Research Center survey of 953 educators, including 553 teachers, conducted between Jan. 31 and March 4.

From DSC:
This article mentioned the following resource:

Artificial Intelligence Explorations for Educators — from iste.org


 

The new kids on campus? Toddlers, courtesy of Head Start — from npr.org by Elissa Nadworny

Now that Sarah Barnes’ son, Samuel, 2, is enrolled in Head Start, it’s lifted an extra stress off Barnes’ shoulders. “It just makes life a little bit easier having child care right on campus,” she says. “I can literally walk over here between classes and check on him.”

Barnes is among the nearly 4 million U.S. college students raising children while getting a degree. More than a third of those students attend community colleges.

Single mothers, like Barnes, account for almost half of student parents, and the vast majority of them have incomes at or near the poverty line, which means they’d qualify for Head Start.

But it’s hard to take advantage of that program if you don’t know about it, and if there isn’t a center with a convenient location.

 

Which AI should I use? Superpowers and the State of Play — from by Ethan Mollick
And then there were three

For over a year, GPT-4 was the dominant AI model, clearly much smarter than any of the other LLM systems available. That situation has changed in the last month, there are now three GPT-4 class models, all powering their own chatbots: GPT-4 (accessible through ChatGPT Plus or Microsoft’s CoPilot), Anthropic’s Claude 3 Opus, and Google’s Gemini Advanced1.

Where we stand
We are in a brief period in the AI era where there are now multiple leading models, but none has yet definitively beaten the GPT-4 benchmark set over a year ago. While this may represent a plateau in AI abilities, I believe this is likely to change in the coming months as, at some point, models like GPT-5 and Gemini 2.0 will be released. In the meantime, you should be using a GPT-4 class model and using it often enough to learn what it does well. You can’t go wrong with any of them, pick a favorite and use it…

From DSC:
Here’s a powerful quote from Ethan:

In fact, in my new book I postulate that you haven’t really experienced AI until you have had three sleepless nights of existential anxiety, after which you can start to be productive again.


Using AI for Immersive Educational Experiences — from automatedteach.com by Graham Clay
Realistic video brings course content to life but requires AI literacy.

For us, I think the biggest promise of AI tools like Sora — that can create video with ease — is that they lower the cost of immersive educational experiences. This increases the availability of these experiences, expanding their reach to student populations who wouldn’t otherwise have them, whether due to time, distance, or expense.

Consider the profound impact on a history class, where students are transported to California during the gold rush through hyperrealistic video sequences. This vivifies the historical content and cultivates a deeper connection with the material.

In fact, OpenAI has already demonstrated the promise of this sort of use case, with a very simple prompt producing impressive results…


The Empathy Illusion: How AI Agents Could Manipulate Students — from marcwatkins.substack.com by Marc Watkins

Take this scenario. A student misses a class and, within twenty minutes, receives a series of texts and even a voicemail from a very concerned and empathic-sounding voice wanting to know what’s going on. Of course, the text is entirely generated, and the voice is synthetic as well, but the student likely doesn’t know this. To them, communication isn’t something as easy to miss or brush off as an email. It sounds like someone who cares is talking to them.

But let’s say that isn’t enough. By that evening, the student still hadn’t logged into their email or checked the LMS. The AI’s strategic reasoning is communicating with the predictive AI and analyzing the pattern of behavior against students who succeed or fail vs. students who are ill. The AI tracks the student’s movements on campus, monitors their social media usage, and deduces the student isn’t ill and is blowing off class.

The AI agent resumes communication with the student. But this time, the strategic AI adopts a different persona, not the kind and empathetic persona used for the initial contact, but a stern, matter-of-fact one. The student’s phone buzzes with alerts that talk about scholarships being lost, teachers being notified, etc. The AI anticipates the excuses the student will use and presents evidence tracking the student’s behavior to show they are not sick.


Not so much focused on learning ecosystems, but still worth mentioning:

The top 100 Gen AI Consumer Apps — from a16z.com / andreessen horowitz by Olivia Moore


 

 

Doubts About Value Are Deterring College Enrollment — from insidehighered.com by Jessica Blake
Survey data suggests that prospective learners are being dissuaded from college by skepticism about whether degrees are worth the time and money.

Enrollment has been declining in higher education for more than a decade, and the most common explanations in recent years have been lingering effects of the pandemic and a looming demographic cliff expected to shrink the number of traditional-age college students. But new research suggests that public doubts about the value of a college degree are a key contributor.

The study—conducted by Edge Research, a marketing research firm, and HCM Strategists, a public policy and advocacy consulting firm with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—uses focus groups and parallel national surveys of current high school students and of adults who decided to leave college or who didn’t go at all to link the value proposition of a college degree and Americans’ behaviors after high school.

“At the end of the day, higher education has a lot of work to do to convince these audiences of its value,” said Terrell Dunn, an HCM consultant.


‘A Condemnation’: Under Mental Health Strains, Students Weigh Quitting College — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

When college students think about quitting, it’s most likely because of mental health strain or stress.

That’s according to the recent data from the “State of Higher Education Study,” conducted by the analytics company Gallup and the private foundation Lumina.

 

This week in 5 numbers: Another faith-based college plans to close — from by Natalie Schwartz
We’re rounding up some of our top recent stories, from Notre Dame College’s planned closure to Valparaiso’s potential academic cuts.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 1,444
    The number of students who were enrolled at Notre Dame College in fall 2022, down 37% from 2014. The Roman Catholic college recently said it would close after the spring term, citing declining enrollment, along with rising costs and significant debt.
  • 28
    The number of academic programs that Valparaiso University may eliminate. Eric Johnson, the Indiana institution’s provost, said it offers too many majors, minors and graduate degrees in relation to its enrollment.

A couple of other items re: higher education that caught my eye were:

Universities Expect to Use More Tech in Future Classrooms—but Don’t Know How — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey

University administrators see the need to implement education technology in their classrooms but are at a loss regarding how to do so, according to a new report.

The College Innovation Network released its first CIN Administrator EdTech survey today, which revealed that more than half (53 percent) of the 214 administrators surveyed do not feel extremely confident in choosing effective ed-tech products for their institutions.

“While administrators are excited about offering new ed-tech tools, they are lacking knowledge and data to help them make informed decisions that benefit students and faculty,” Omid Fotuhi, director of learning and innovation at WGU Labs, which funds the network, said in a statement.

From DSC:
I always appreciated our cross-disciplinary team at Calvin (then College). As we looked at enhancing our learning spaces, we had input from the Teaching & Learning Group, IT, A/V, the academic side of the house, and facilities. It was definitely a team-based approach. (As I think about it, it would have been helpful to have more channels for student feedback as well.)


Per Jeff Selingo:

Optionality. In my keynote, I pointed out that the academic calendar and credit hour in higher ed are like “shelf space” on the old television schedule that has been upended by streaming. In much the same way, we need similar optionality to meet the challenges of higher ed right now: in how students access learning (in-person, hybrid, online) to credentials (certificates, degrees) to how those experiences stack together for lifelong learning.

Culture in institutions. The common thread throughout the conference was how the culture of institutions (both universities and governments) need to change so our structures and practices can evolve. Too many people in higher ed right now are employing a scarcity mindset and seeing every change as a zero-sum game. If you’re not happy about the present, as many attendees suggested you’re not going to be excited about the future.

 

State of Higher Ed LMS Market for US and Canada: Year-End 2023 Edition — from onedtech.philhillaa.com by Phil Hill

  • The market continues to be a matter of Canvas and Brightspace winning new accounts, Anthology Bb Learn and Moodle losing accounts, with more variety for smaller institutions.
  • Canvas has further consolidated its position as the market leader in North America, with 41% of the market share. Blackboard fell from 18% of the market share to 17%. Moodle has plateaued at 16% while Brightspace increased to 16%. As a reminder, we have removed Open LMS from the Moodle market share.
  • Populi LMS (3%), Open LMS (3%), Sakai (2%), and Schoology (1%) round out the remainder of the market, with 1% of the market going to Other.
  • As always, market share is very much a story of size, type of institution (public or private), and control. The numbers above refer to the market take as a whole, but if we start to drill down to different sizes and types of institution, we get very different market dynamics.

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AI Is Becoming an Integral Part of the Instructional Design Process — from drphilippahardman.substack.com Dr. Philippa Hardman
What I learned from 150 interviews with instructional designers

1. AI already plays a central part in the instructional design process
A whopping 95.3% of the instructional designers interviewed said they use AI in their day to day work. Those who don’t use AI cite access or permission issues as the primary reason that they haven’t integrated AI into their process.

2. AI is predominantly used at the design and development stages of the instructional design process 
When mapped to the ADDIE process, the breakdown of use cases goes as follows:

  • Analysis: 5.5% of use cases
  • Design: 32.1%
  • Development: 53.2%
  • Implementation: 1.8%
  • Evaluation: 7.3%

Speaking of AI in our learning ecosystems, also see:


Will AI Use in Schools Increase Next Year? 56 Percent of Educators Say Yes — from edweek.org by Alyson Klein

The majority of educators expect use of artificial intelligence tools will increase in their school or district over the next year, according to an EdWeek Research Center survey.

Applying Multimodal AI to L&D — from learningguild.com by Sarah Clark
We’re just starting to see Multimodal AI systems hit the spotlight. Unlike the text-based and image-generation AI tools we’ve seen before, multimodal systems can absorb and generate content in multiple formats – text, image, video, audio, etc.

 

 

Online Teaching Is Improving In-Person Instruction on Campus — from edsurge.com by Robert Ubell (Columnist)

In fact a slew of research over the past two decades has found that teaching online makes professors better teachers in their classrooms, so much so that one 2009 study recommended that “faculty should be trained in distance education methods and technologies and should be encouraged to use those methods back in the classroom.”

It’s a message I’ve been arguing for a while. But now that so many educators and students have had direct experience with online formats, it’s a narrative that seems to be sinking in.

Now is the time to fully embrace how physical classrooms can be improved by online techniques.

When professors teaching face-to-face adopt online pedagogy, the classroom is transformed into a “blended” experience, moving from conventional to active learning. And that helps students turn from passive to engaged participants in their own intellectual excursions.

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian