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?

 

 

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. 



 

Coursera offers its 3,600-course catalog to non-affiliated universities — from ibleducation.com

Excerpt:

Coursera announced Coursera for Campus on October 3.

This initiative is designed to allow any university, including those who are not partners, to supplement their course offering with Coursera’s 3,600-course catalog, integrating these classes into their curricula and offering credit-eligible, and blended learning.

These universities will also be able to access Coursera’s analytics as well as author content, assessments, and labs. Features such as single sign-on (SSO) and API integration will be available, too.

Also see:

Also see:

 

Reflections on “DIY Mindset Reshaping Education” [Schaffhauser]

DIY Mindset Reshaping Education — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

A do-it-yourself mindset is changing the face of education worldwide, according to new survey results. Learners are “patching together” their education from a “menu of options,” including self-teaching, short courses and bootcamps, and they believe that self-service instruction will become even more prevalent for lifelong learning. In the United Sates specifically, 84 percent of people said learning would become even more self-service the older they get.

Among those who have needed to reskill in the last two years to continue doing their jobs, 42 percent found information online and taught themselves and 41 percent took a course or training offered by their employers, a professional association or bootcamp, compared to just 28 percent who pursued a professional certification program, 25 percent who enrolled in a university-level degree program or 12 percent who did nothing.

If people had to learn something new for their career quickly, they said they would be more likely turn to a short training program (47 percent), followed by access to a free resource such as YouTube, Lynda.com or Khan Academy (33 percent). A smaller share (20 percent) would head to an accredited university or college.

 

From DSC:
This is why the prediction from Thomas Frey carries weight and why I’ve been tracking a new learning platform for the 21st century. Given:

  • The exponential pace of technological change occurring in many societies throughout the globe

  • That emerging technologies are game-changers in many industries
  • That people will need to learn about those emerging technologies and how to leverage/use them <– if they want to remain marketable/employed
  • That people need to reinvent themselves quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively
  • That many people can’t afford the time nor the funding necessary these days to acquire a four-year higher ed degree
  • That running new courses, programs, etc. through committees, faculty senates, etc. takes a great deal of time…and time is something we no longer have (given this new pace of change)

…there needs to be a new, up-to-date, highly responsive, inexpensive learning-related platform for the 21st century. I call this learning platform of the future, “Learning from the Living [Class] Room.” And while it requires subject matter experts / humans in significant ways, AI and other technologies will be embedded throughout such a platform.

 



 

“I’ve been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet,” Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute think tank, tells Business Insider.

source

 

Addendum on 9/18/19:

For $400 per course, students will be able to gain access to course videos that are cinematically filmed and taught by “some of the brightest minds in academia.” Outlier.org students will also have access to problem sets, one-on-one tutoring and assessments proctored through artificial intelligence.

 

 


A Financial Crisis — Student Loan Debt — from freedomdebtrelief.com by Micahel Micheletti; with thanks to Aimée Bennett (APR, Principal, Fagan Business Communications, Inc.) for this resource

Key findings

1)  Impact of student loan debt on stress, day-to-day life (college attendees/grads)

  • 67% of respondents said the cost of their college education has caused them to feel overwhelmed.
  • 47% said their college education cost has contributed to mental or emotional health issues (e.g., anxiety, depression).
  • 38% said the cost has caused them to lose sleep at night.
  • 49% said the cost of their college education has impacted their choice of where to live.
  • 42% said it impacted their choice of careers or jobs.

2)  Impact of student loan debt on finances (college attendees/grads)

  • 59% respondents said they can’t save any money because of the cost of their college education.
  • 45% said they can’t go on vacation because of college costs.
  • 32% said they are carrying credit card debt because of college costs.
  • 48% said they have been unable to pay off (or down), or have delayed paying off (or down), other types of debt because of the cost of college.
  • 47% have been unable to, or have delayed contributing to, saving for emergencies.
  • 43% believe their college education cost has impacted their retirement age.

3) Willing to make sacrifices to eliminate student loan debt (college attendees/grads)

  • 52% of respondents said they would take a job with a salary less than what they expected if the company paid off their student debt.
  • 27% said they would be willing to commit a maximum of five years to a company if they paid off their student loans; 28% said they would be willing to commit more than five years.

4) Impact of child’s student loan debt on parents

  • 20% of parents said their child’s college education cost has contributed to mental or emotional health issues (e.g., anxiety, depression) of their own.
  • 20% of parents said their child’s college education cost has caused them to lose sleep at night.
  • 40% of parents believe their child’s college education cost has impacted their retirement age; 41% said the cost has impacted their overall retirement plan.
  • 42% said they had given up saving for retirement; 42% gave up going on vacation.

 

Additional survey findings

1) Student loan debt reforms

  • 54% of students said they feel that student loan debt should be forgiven by the federal government.
  • 63% of students, and 52% of parents, said they would support expanding student loan forgiveness for those in public service (e.g., teachers, government employees, first responders, military service).
  • 54% of students, and 42% of parents, said they would support free or subsidized tuition for low-income households.
  • 53% of students, and 50% of parents, said they would support tax breaks for companies that offer student-loan repayment programs.

2) Expected length of time to pay off student loan debt

3) Lack of knowledge of loan terms, types – among both college attendees/grads and parents

 

Western Michigan’s Law School Cuts Tuition — from insidehighered.com by Paul Fain

Excerpt:

While several highly selective law schools for the first time are charging more than $100,000 per year in total cost of attendance, Western Michigan University‘s Cooley Law School this week announcedthat it was reducing tuition rates beginning next year from $1,750 per credit hour to $1,375, a decline of 21 percent.

 

Cooley Law School to lower tuition by 21%, close Auburn Hills campus — from mlive.com by Julie Mack

Excerpt:

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School plans to cut its tuition by 21% in fall 2020, close its campus in Auburn Hills in December 2020 and “reduce the footprint” of its Lansing campus.

No staff reductions are planned, a press release said.

The school’s Board of Directors approved the “bold plan” this week to “sustain and strengthen the law school’s access mission” and “current and future campus efficiencies,” the press release said.

 

Disclosure from DSC:
The WMU-Cooley Law School is where I’ve worked since March 2018. I’m very happy to see this reduction in tuition! I’d like to see this type of price reduction occur throughout higher education.

I have learned a lot in my time at Cooley, and I have a lot more to learn. But I just wanted to say that I’m so impressed with the people who work at Cooley! They are a very welcoming, classy, caring, extremely knowledgeable, talented, mission-driven group of people. They have developed an organization that works to positively change the world and provide greater access to justice.

 

5 Reasons Why BU’s $24K MBA Is A Big Deal — from insidehighered.com by Joshua Kim
Why I’m intrigued.

Excerpt:

The newly announced $24K BU MBA, created in partnership with edX, is a big deal.

Here are 5 reasons why:
#1: The Evolving Connection Between Status and Price:

The Boston University Questrom School of Business is ranked in the top 50 global business schools by US News, in the top 70 by the Economist. Questrom is a brand name business school in a market where the value of the MBA is directly proportional to the status of the institution.

Today, status and price are tightly correlated in the postsecondary market. This is especially true in professional education. Student prices are not set at costs, but at perceived value.

BU should be given credit for challenging this status quo. I suspect that the Questrom $24K MBA will end up improving BU’s place in the global MBA rankings.

 

What is different now is that it will not only be enthusiasm for learning science that will drive schools (and MBA programs) to improve their programs. It will be the market. 

 

Average Student Loan Debt Statistics by School by State 2019 — from lendedu.com

Excerpt:

For the fourth consecutive year, LendEDU is pleased to once again publish our annual Student Loan Debt by School by State Report, an in-depth analysis of student loan debt figures at nearly 1,000 four-year private and public higher education institutions across the United States.

While the figures change each year, the narrative certainly does not; student loan debt continues to be a growing issue in the U.S. and at nearly all schools in the country as the cost of college continues to rise.

Nationally, outstanding student loan debt sits at $1.52 trillion, making it the second largest form of consumer debt trailing only mortgages.

On an individual scale, the average borrower from the Class of 2018 received their diploma and left campus with $28,565 in student loan debt, up from $28,288 that was owed by the average Class of 2017 borrower.

Because of these eye-popping numbers that have now elevated the issue of student loan debt to the national scale as evident by the recent 2020 Democratic debates, LendEDU places tremendous value on the annual Student Loan Debt by School by State Report.

 

Cost, price and competition in online learning — from insidehighered.com by Doug Lederman
Colleges generally still price their online programs similarly to their on-ground counterparts. A panel of experts explores whether that is starting to change.

Excerpt:

BALTIMORE — Does online education cost colleges less to produce? And if so, should online courses therefore be priced lower for students?

 

 

To End Student Debt, Tie Tuition to Post-Graduation Salaries — from wired.com by Austen Allred
Opinion: If colleges only get paid when their graduates do, they’re incentivized to provide a service that actually gets students hired.

Excerpt:

But unlike student loans, if regulated responsibly, ISAs power a risk-averse path to higher education. Responsible ISAs—which typically require zero upfront cost, repayment only if and when the graduate lands a job earning a sizable income, and an ethical repayment cap, such as $30,000 total—eliminate cost as a barrier to entry. But it’s the way that ISAs align the incentives of school and student that makes the model paradigm-changing.

The financial tool serves a diversity of students. People who can’t afford the cost of a traditional on-campus degree, or who don’t have access to federal- or state-based aid programs, can pursue a postsecondary education at no upfront cost. Additionally, those who are transitioning back into the workforce or changing careers can retrain in in-demand fields.

There’s no one-size-fits-all path to higher education. But Income Share Agreements prove that shouldering enormous risk doesn’t have to be a prerequisite for students. ISAs imagine a future in which graduates aren’t burdened by growing debt, and where opportunity is as evenly distributed as talent.

 

From DSC:
Can you hear and feel the culture clash that’s embedded here? I can.

On one side of the coin, there exists many faculty members, deans, provosts, and college/university presidents as well as other members of administration who maintain a more liberal arts perspective — that college is meant for learning and preparing students for many jobs…not just their first jobs. 

On the other side of the coin are students who are paying ever increasing amounts of money to obtain their degrees. They want good jobs, and aren’t necessarily at school for the noble cause of learning. Many of these folks have different perspectives about what higher education is for…what it’s purpose is meant to be.

As the price of higher ed has increased, the former ways of viewing what a college education is supposed to be about — i.e., learning and a broad-based liberal arts type of education — are being increasingly shoved out the door. This is now by necessity I might add.

Along these lines, I can hear one of my former colleagues — an academic dean from years ago –adamantly insisting that higher education is not a business and that our students are not customers.

Since that time, it’s become very clear to me that higher education is most definitely a business. Not focusing on the multi-million dollar TV contracts or what many football coaches get paid…or not focusing on the revenue that research universities make on patents…let’s just focus on charging someone the price of a nice home for a 4-year degree. That alone makes it a business in my mind. The rising price of education has created customers.

(By the way, this development occurred on the watch of many of those same faculty members, provosts, presidents and other members of administration, etc. that claim a more noble goal of higher education.)

Students today can’t afford to attend school the way boomers did. As the article states:

When I went to college, nobody talked about student debt. Nobody talked about trade-offs. Everybody lived by one credo: Go to the best school you can, study the thing that you love, and it will work out on the other side. Frankly, for Boomers, that’s what happened. If you got a degree, you could expect to land a decent job with a decent salary. Even if you did accrue debt during college, payments were often manageable and short-lived.

That is certainly not the case anymore, as the article points out:

Bottom line:

Change has to occur. It can’t keep going on like this. We are at the precipice of massive change. It has to change or we are in massive trouble as a nation. The ramifications of this kind of student debt last for decades!

This is why a next generation, online-based learning platform will be the answer for many people. Surely such a delivery method and learning experience will not work for everyone — as the face-to-face (F2f) experience is still excellent and preferred by many people. But the F2F experience is arguably becoming the Maserati….and increasingly out of reach…and it’s burying people in debt for decades to come.

 

 

DSC: Holy smokes!!! How might this be applied to education/learning/training in the 21st century!?!

DC: Holy smokes!!! How might this be applied to education/learning/training in the 21st century!?!

 

“What if neither distance nor language mattered? What if technology could help you be anywhere you need to be and speak any language? Using AI technology and holographic experiences this is possible, and it is revolutionary.”

 

 

Also see:

Microsoft has a wild hologram that translates HoloLens keynotes into Japanese — from theverge.com by
Azure and HoloLens combine for a hint at the future

Excerpt:

Microsoft has created a hologram that will transform someone into a digital speaker of another language. The software giant unveiled the technology during a keynote at the Microsoft Inspire partner conference [on 7/17/19] in Las Vegas. Microsoft recently scanned Julia White, a company executive for Azure, at a Mixed Reality capture studio to transform her into an exact hologram replica.

The digital version appeared onstage to translate the keynote into Japanese. Microsoft has used its Azure AI technologies and neural text-to-speech to make this possible. It works by taking recordings of White’s voice, in order to create a personalized voice signature, to make it sound like she’s speaking Japanese.

 

 

 

5 Years Since Starbucks Offered to Help Baristas Attend College, How Many Have Graduated? — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpts:

…nearly 3,000 Starbucks employees who have earned bachelor’s degrees online through the company-university partnership program.

 

The arrangement was possible logistically because Humberstone took her courses in business and environmental sustainability entirely online. And it was feasible financially because Starbucks and Arizona State University covered most of her tuition bill.

 
 

Reflections on “Clay Shirky on Mega-Universities and Scale” [Christian]

Clay Shirky on Mega-Universities and Scale — from philonedtech.com by Clay Shirky
[This was a guest post by Clay Shirky that grew out of a conversation that Clay and Phil had about IPEDS enrollment data. Most of the graphs are provided by Phil.]

Excerpts:

Were half a dozen institutions to dominate the online learning landscape with no end to their expansion, or shift what Americans seek in a college degree, that would indeed be one of the greatest transformations in the history of American higher education. The available data, however, casts doubt on that idea.

Though much of the conversation around mega-universities is speculative, we already know what a mega-university actually looks like, one much larger than any university today. It looks like the University of Phoenix, or rather it looked like Phoenix at the beginning of this decade, when it had 470,000 students, the majority of whom took some or all of their classes online. Phoenix back then was six times the size of the next-largest school, Kaplan, with 78,000 students, and nearly five times the size of any university operating today.

From that high-water mark, Phoenix has lost an average of 40,000 students every year of this decade.

 

From DSC:
First of all, I greatly appreciate both Clay’s and Phil’s thought leadership and their respective contributions to education and learning through the years. I value their perspectives and their work.  Clay and Phil offer up a great article here — one worth your time to read.  

The article made me reflect on what I’ve been building upon and tracking for the last decade — a next generation ***PLATFORM*** that I believe will represent a powerful piece of a global learning ecosystem. I call this vision, “Learning from the Living [Class] Room.” Though the artificial intelligence-backed platform that I’m envisioning doesn’t yet fully exist — this new era and type of learning-based platform ARE coming. The emerging signs, technologies, trends — and “fingerprints”of it, if you will — are beginning to develop all over the place.

Such a platform will:

  • Be aimed at the lifelong learner.
  • Offer up major opportunities to stay relevant and up-to-date with one’s skills.
  • Offer access to the program offerings from many organizations — including the mega-universities, but also, from many other organizations that are not nearly as large as the mega-universities.
  • Be reliant upon human teachers, professors, trainers, subject matter experts, but will be backed up by powerful AI-based technologies/tools. For example, AI-based tools will pulse-check the open job descriptions and the needs of business and present the top ___ areas to go into (how long those areas/jobs last is anyone’s guess, given the exponential pace of technological change).

Below are some quotes that I want to comment on:

Not nothing, but not the kind of environment that will produce an educational Amazon either, especially since the top 30 actually shrank by 0.2% a year.

 

Instead of an “Amazon vs. the rest” dynamic, online education is turning into something much more widely adopted, where the biggest schools are simply the upper end of a continuum, not so different from their competitors, and not worth treating as members of a separate category.

 

Since the founding of William and Mary, the country’s second college, higher education in the U.S. hasn’t been a winner-take-all market, and it isn’t one today. We are not entering a world where the largest university operates at outsized scale, we’re leaving that world; 

 

From DSC:
I don’t see us leaving that world at all…but that’s not my main reflection here. Instead, I’m not focusing on how large the mega-universities will become. When I speak of a forthcoming Walmart of Education or Amazon of Education, what I have in mind is a platform…not one particular organization.

Consider that the vast majority of Amazon’s revenues come from products that other organizations produce. They are a platform, if you will. And in the world of platforms (i.e., software), it IS a winner take all market. 

Bill Gates reflects on this as well in this recent article from The Verge:

“In the software world, particularly for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets.

So it’s all about a forthcoming platform — or platforms. (It could be more than one platform. Consider Apple. Consider Microsoft. Consider Google. Consider Facebook.)

But then the question becomes…would a large amount of universities (and other types of organizations) be willing to offer up their courses on a platform? Well, consider what’s ALREADY happening with FutureLearn:

Finally…one more excerpt from Clay’s article:

Eventually the new ideas lose their power to shock, and end up being widely copied. Institutional transformation starts as heresy and ends as a section in the faculty handbook. 

From DSC:
This is a great point. Reminds me of this tweet from Fred Steube (and I added a piece about Western Telegraph):

 

Some things to reflect upon…for sure.

 
 

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