A lesson in active learning — from characterlab.org
How to make difficulty desirable

Excerpt:

Recently, a group of physics professors at Harvard University ran an experiment you should know about.

There were no balls rolling down planks. No springs or pulleys, no magnets, and no electricity.

What these professors wanted to know was, how can we get students to learn more? More generally, how do people learn anything—and what gets in the way?

Years of experience suggested that students learn best when assigned hands-on laboratory activities, weekly problem sets, in-class opportunities to discuss material with fellow students, and frequent short quizzes. This active approach seemed far superior to the more traditional—and more passive—approach of sage-on-a-stage lectures.

To test their hunch, the professors randomly assigned students in introductory physics to classes using either active or passive instruction. The material was identical—only the style of teaching differed.

 

The above article reference this item:

 

Also see:

  • Normalizing struggle — by Catherine Martin Christopher
    Abstract:
    Learning lawyering skills, and becoming competent or proficient in them, is a struggle. This article is a call to action for all legal educators: We need to acknowledge that students struggle, to expect it, and to convey to students that their struggle is normal. In fact, struggle is productive — learning is hard, and lawyers learn and struggle throughout their careers. This article examines and criticizes the ways legal academia treats law students’ academic struggle as a problem, and suggests that legal educators reorient their attitudes toward struggle, forgiving and embracing student struggle, even building opportunities for struggle into the curriculum. By normalizing the fact of struggle, law schools will not only improve the wellness of their students, but also create lawyers who are better prepared to cope with the constant problem-solving required of successful lawyers.

    Keywords: Academic success, academic support, legal education, student support, academic struggle, successful lawyers, law school

 

 

A fresh look at blockchain in higher ed — from insidehighered.com by Ray Schroeder
Blockchain is advancing in higher education, as it is in all of society, with some interesting new applications and ramifications.

Excerpt:

Perhaps more importantly, blockchain will facilitate the difficult shift in higher education that we are now navigating. We are moving from a degree-centric environment in which the university is engaged in the life cycle of the student while on campus to one that is more of a supply-chain design providing lifelong learning. In the emerging mode, the university will engage the student prior to their first arrival on campus (or online) through their degree experience and far beyond. Michael Matthews of the Tambellini Executive Advisory Council suggests the magnitude of the impact is akin to other seismic changes we have seen in recent decades:

Just like the iPod, iPad, and smart phone revolutionized the music industry, blockchain technologies will eventually break apart the systems we have been using. The ability to put purchased data such as music in the hands of users eventually changed the systems and devices that were once needed. The whole music industry shifted the way songs were purchased and delivered once the supply chain was created to accommodate the devices.

 

 

EdSurge joins ISTE to accelerate innovation in education — from iste.org

Excerpt:

BURLINGAME, Calif. – Two of the leading names in education technology – EdSurge and ISTE – are preparing to join forces.

The acquisition, which has been approved by both the ISTE and EdSurge boards of directors, will see EdSurge’s operations become part of ISTE. The expanded organization will offer teachers, education leaders and edtech innovators more services, ranging from education events to in-depth research, industry news, job matching and more. EdSurge will continue to publish independent news and analysis under the “EdSurge” name. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

 

We believe that by teaming up, we can exponentially advance the goal of keeping learning and students at the center of the conversation. 

Betsy Corcoran, CEO, EdSurge

Also see:

 

2020 Top 10 Issues: Simplify, Sustain, Innovate: The Drive to Digital Transformation Begins — from Educause by Susan Grajek

  1. Information security strategy
  2. Privacy
  3. Sustainable funding
  4. Digital integrations
  5. Student retention and completion
  6. Student-centric higher education
  7. Improved enrollment
  8. Higher education affordability
  9. Administrative simplification
  10. The integrative CIO

Also see:

The 30th National Survey of eLearning and Information Technology in US Higher Education — from campuscomputing.net
Hiring and Retaining Campus IT Talent Are Challenges; Many Campus Leaders Are Not Well-Informed About nor Engaged with Digital Issues

Excerpt:

New data from the fall 2019 Campus Computing Survey highlight the challenges that IT leaders across all sectors of US higher education confront in hiring and retaining IT talent. More than three-fourths (77 percent) of the CIOs and senior campus officials participating 2019 survey cite “hiring and retaining IT talent” as a top institutional IT priority. Similarly, 78 percent point to uncompetitive campus salaries and benefits as a major problem in the quest to hire and retain IT talent. And reflecting the campus financial challenges that affect hiring and staff retention efforts, fully two-thirds (67 percent) agree/strongly agree that institutional IT funding “has not recovered from the budget cuts” experienced by colleges and universities across all sectors of higher education since the “Great Recession of 2008.”

 
 

From DSC:
Some food for thought:

Contested idea of the university — from Maree Conway

 

 

 

The importance of presence offline & online in higher education — from forbes.com by Martin Krislov

Excerpt:

But how can we maintain [human interaction] in the era of online instruction?

That question, it turns out, is a pressing one for distance-education professionals. And the answer, they say, is what the digital world calls “presence.”

Presence means, essentially, being there. It’s something that happens naturally in physical classrooms. But in online education, instructors have to work to create it. Poorly constructed online courses can feel cold and impersonal; online faculty can feel distant. But in a well-designed course, where faculty work to be present, students can thrive. Studies have shown that creating strong presence and engagement in an online class—mimicking that personal connection Gabelli and I so value—improves academic outcomes and student experience.

 

 

As the microcredential market booms, don’t forget the learner — from edsurge.com by Kathleen deLaski

Excerpt:

While this system of microcredentials theoretically will make learning more affordable, portable and relevant, will a diverse range of learners know how and why to take advantage of it? And perhaps more importantly, will they trust it?

The simple answer: only if we intentionally focus on designing around that question.

 

Also see:

  • The Learner Revolution — from eddesignlab.org
    Reflections from five years of applied human-centered design at 100+ institutions

Excerpt:

Higher education is in the throes of a Learner Revolution that will fundamentally change the way students and institutions interact. We see the beginning of this movement now and will see all colleges and universities responding —- or not, at their peril — within a decade. Trends ranging from declining numbers of traditional students, to the rise of artificial intelligence, to the shrinking half-life of job skills have conspired toward this wake-up call moment for all but the most exclusive global higher education brands. At the same time, and partly because of the pressure, leaders are addressing the needs and goals of a changing student population. The calls for “student-centered” design can be heard throughout the ecosystem today, in a way that was just beginning when we started the Education Design Lab.

Colleges and universities must be much more deeply attuned to the twin pressures of learners’ decreasing appetite for debt and employers’ honing of their hiring requirements. That means, in part, an increasing focus on work-relevant skills and competencies—both technical skills and soft skills such as communication and systems thinking. Degrees as the most valuable workforce currency are beginning to give way to more nuanced competencies.

Yet, for the estimated three-quarters of students with at least one non-traditional characteristic, higher education has been in need of serious redesign for at least two decades.

 

Instructional Design Basics — from facultyfocus.com by Kristin Ziska Strange

Excerpt:

Instructional designers can help with many different course-based problems and challenges, including helping you figure out where and how to start with your course design. When a course is new or needs a little design love, knowing where to start can be difficult. By starting with your main goals and then moving to assessments and content, it is easier for your course to stay in alignment with your goals than working from topics and assessments to objectives. Starting is as easy as asking yourself one simple question.

Start with a Question
In any course design, whether it is a brand-new course or a redesign, the best place to start is to write down what you hope your students will carry with them several years down the road. What do you want your students to be able to do, and what content is crucial for them to remember? It doesn’t have to be the formalized language of objectives and goals that you put into your syllabus but just a straightforward list.

We do this for a few reasons.

 

Conscious onboarding: 10 ways to support new online instructors — from evolllution.com by Rebecca Cooney
In the scramble of expanding online programs, colleges often neglect to establish a formal onboarding process to address the unique challenges of online instruction—putting faculty confidence and retention at risk.

Excerpt:

#1: Establish an Online Community of Practice Devoted to Faculty Teaching Online Courses

When executed well, a culture of community establishes a set of shared values and expectations that influence how a group interacts, functions, and collaborates. By developing a specific online community of practice for your instructors teaching online courses, you provide them with a real-time information hub they can refer to for topics and materials that directly impact the work they are doing every day. An online community of practice includes announcements and discussions, a shared files system, FAQs and how-to’s, templates, databanks for approved-to-use lecture slides, recorded lectures, tutorials, standard syllabus language, approved digital assets and rubrics.

Learn more and download a report about exploratory research in the value of developing online communities of practice. (Office of Educational Technology, n.d.)

 

 

DC: In the future…will there be a “JustWatch” or a “Suppose” for learning-related content?

DC: In the future...will there be a JustWatch or a Suppose for learning-related content?

 

5 good tools to create whiteboard animations — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

In short, whiteboard animation (also called video scribing or animated doodling) is a video clip in which the recorder records the process of drawing on a whiteboard while using audio comment. The final result is a beautiful synchronization of the drawings and the audio feedback. In education, whiteboard animation videos  are used in language teaching/learning, in professional development sessions, to create educational tutorials and presentations and many more. In today’s post, we are sharing with you some good web tools you can use to create whiteboard animation videos.

 

 

 

Preparing faculty for high-quality online programs — from campustechnology.com by Anne Frankel, Laurie Friedman, Jamie Mansell, Jennifer Ibrahim
Temple University’s College of Public Health is a diverse school experiencing significant growth online. Here’s how the institution is supporting the development and maintenance of high-quality online faculty.

Excerpt:

We recognized that faculty may be at different levels of preparedness and self-efficacy to start teaching in an online space — and we realized the challenges of organizing faculty in a single location at a given time. Therefore, we chose to deliver the training in a fully asynchronous environment, allowing faculty the time and space needed to digest the materials and practice with the content to build their confidence. Faculty are enrolled in the training during the semester prior to their assigned online class, and are asked to complete the training at least four weeks before the start of their online course to provide sufficient time for feedback to the faculty with lead time for changes to the course before launching, if needed.

We wanted the training to take the faculty member through the design of an entire online course, from syllabus creation, to choices in delivery style, to assessment techniques and more. Each of the nine modules included both pedagogical and technological pieces, encompassing everything from creating alignment (Module 3), to setting up your Canvas site (Module 4), to designing and delivering synchronous sessions (Module 8).

Within each module, there is an organized infrastructure to ensure a consistent experience for the faculty. The structure starts with a clear set of learning objectives, designed both to model best practices and to ensure alignment with activities and assessments. Following the objectives, there are diverse resources, including videos, instructional guides with screenshots, web links, journal articles and examples from our online classes. After the content, each module contains “assignments” for the faculty to complete. These assignments allow the faculty to demonstrate that they can incorporate both technological and pedagogical best practices within their own online course.

 

 

From DSC:
Regular readers of this blog will know that for years, I’ve made it one of my goals to try and raise awareness of the need for institutions of higher education to lower their tuitions! For example, Yohan Na and I designed the graphic below way back in 2009.

 

Daniel S. Christian: My concerns with just maintaining the status quo

 

Through those years, I cringed when I kept hearing various Boards say, “We only increased our tuition by ___ % — the lowest percentage increase in our state.” The direction was completely wrong! It needed to go down, not up. If you work in higher ed, I encourage you to find a way for that to happen at your own institution.

So I’m very pleased to report that the WMU-Thomas M. Cooley Law School — where I work — was able to reduce tuition by 21%!!! 

Don’t get me wrong, some tough decisions were made to pave the way for that to occur. But this will be the case no matter which institution of higher education that you look at. An institution will have to make some tough choices to reduce their tuition. But it HAS to occur. We can’t keep this upward trajectory going.

If we don’t change this trajectory, we will continue to put enormous gorillas (of debt) on our graduates’ backs! Such debt will take our graduates decades to pay off. 

We need to be aware of these invisible gorillas of debt. That is, our students move on…and we don’t see them. But their gorillas remain.

 



Addendum on 10/18/19:

Victoria Vuletich, the assistant dean at the Grand Rapids, Michigan campus of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, was interviewed by the State Bar of Michigan’s Legal Talk Network to discuss what the law school experience is like for the current generation of students. 



 

My Favorite Book about Teaching and Learning is…33 Books to Inspire You! — from linkedin.com by Barbi Honeycutt

Excerpt:

…I recently posted this fill-in-the-blank question to all of my social media pages:

My favorite book about teaching and learning is ______________.

The response has been fantastic! Professors, instructors, teachers, educators, and faculty development professionals from a variety of disciplines from around the world responded with their favorite book about teaching and learning.

I’ve compiled the list and here are the 33 books recommended by colleagues throughout my network (many books were recommended more than once).

 

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