From DSC: I’d like to thank Ryan Craig for mentioning several interesting articles and thoughts in a recent Gap Letter. At least 2-3 of the articles he mentioned got me to thinking…


With a degree no longer enough, job candidates are told to prove their skills in tests — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
Instead of relying on credentials, more employers want applicants to show their stuff

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Among the many frustrations ahead for millions of Americans thrown out of work by the pandemic is one that may surprise them: To get a new job, it’s increasingly likely they will have to take a test.

As the number of candidates balloons while health risks make it hard for hiring managers to meet with them in person, a trend toward “pre-hiring assessments” — already under way before Covid-19 — is getting a huge new push.

Skeptical that university degrees are the best measure of whether candidates have the skills they need, employers were already looking for ways that applicants could prove it — including in fields where that was not previously required.

“It’s like try before you buy,” said Price.

It's very possible that students will have to take assessments to get that job -- assessments that are based on a completely different set of Learning Objectives (LO's).

PDF version here.

Also see:

From DSC:
There is a huge misalignment between the Learning Objectives (LO’s) that the corporate world supports — and ultimately hires by — as compared to the LO’s that faculty, provosts, & presidents support.

This happened to me a while back when I was looking for a new job. I traveled to another city — upon the company’s request (though they never lifted a finger to help me with the travel-related expenses). Plus, I dedicated the time and got my hopes up, yet again, in getting the job. But the test they gave me (before I even saw a human being) blew me away! It was meant for PhD-level candidates in Computer Science, Programming, or Statistics. It was ridiculously hard.

The article above got me to thinking….

Higher education increasingly puts a guerrilla of debt on many students’ backs, which adds to the dispiriting struggle to overcome these kinds of tests. Also, the onslaught of the Applicant Tracking Systems that students have to conquer (in order to obtain that sought after interview) further adds to this dispiriting struggle.

How can we achieve better alignment here? Students are getting left holding the bag…a situation that will likely not last much longer. If higher ed doesn’t address this situation, we shouldn’t be surprised to see a mass exodus when effective alternatives pick up steam even further. Last call to address this now before the exodus occurs.

Along these lines see:

Better Connecting College and Career — from insidehighered.com by Steven Mintz
How to improve career readiness.

Excerpt:

How can colleges best prepare students for careers in a volatile, uncertain environment? This is the question recently asked by Marie Cini, the former provost at University of Maryland University College and former president of CAEL.

Career service offices, she observes, are first and foremost job search centers: reviewing résumés, publicizing job openings and arranging interviews. What they are not about, for the most part, is career preparation, a longer and more intense process involving self-analysis, skills building and genuine insights into the job market.

 

How to homeschool your child during the pandemic — from learningliftoff.com by AnnElise Hatjakes

Excerpts:

According to J. Allen Weston, the executive director of the National Home School Association (NHSA), parents’ interest in homeschooling has skyrocketed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. In an interview with The Sacramento Bee, he explained that the NHSA used to receive 40-50 emails a day. Now, it is receiving thousands. More parents are exploring this option for the first time as they confront the uncertainties surrounding the 2020-2021 school year.

Homeschooling is an educational format in which parents are responsible for all of the instructional and administrative duties associated with schooling. Parents who homeschool their children choose the curriculum, teach that curriculum, and keep records in accordance with their respective state’s laws.

If you were to do an online search of homeschool curriculum, you might be overwhelmed by the number of results. A good place to start is with Cathy Duffy’s curriculum reviews, which is a well-known resource for homeschoolers.

 

Online learning critical to the ‘reskilling’ of America — from thehill.com by Jeff Maggioncalda
[From DSC: As Jeff is the CEO of Coursera, a worldwide online learning platform, it causes this to be an opinion piece for sure; but his points are nevertheless, very valid in my opinion as well.]

Excerpts:

America is facing the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression. One in four American workers has filed for unemployment insurance since March. In less than four months, over 44 million American workers have watched their jobs be put on hold or disappear entirely — and that number is expected to grow in the coming months.

Policymakers should use this opportunity to launch a large-scale effort to help Americans develop the skills to do the jobs of the future.

Amidst this pandemic, Americans require a solution that meets them where they are, offering a safe learning environment during social distancing while preparing them for in-demand jobs now and post-COVID.

Online learning helps workers develop skills at an unparalleled speed and scale, as seen with the recent experience of training tens of thousands of contact tracers in a matter of weeks.

Learning from the living class room

 

 

RESEARCH REPORT: Shaping the Future of Post-Secondary Education — from cherrytree.com; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
A Time of Transformation in Post-Secondary Education and the American Workforce.

Excerpts:
The objective of this paper is to:

  1. Analyze the current “forever changed” moment for both the post-secondary sector and American workforce; and
  2. Provide insights and ideas for post-secondary education leaders, employers, policymakers and investors based on my analysis.


First and foremost, only growth mindsets will work in this environment.

Online programs will continue to grow.

Higher education institutions must permanently reduce their fixed costs.

Accreditors are going to have to become more tolerant of new models. Accreditors were created to provide self-regulation and a system of peer-review that leads to continuous improvement. Along the way, they were asked to become arbiters of quality in higher education as a condition for federal financial aid eligibility. The structural incentives for accreditors create conditions for them to avoid risk and be conservative. This will not serve society well in the months and years ahead. They will have to embrace innovation or alternatives to traditional accreditation needed.

Faster, less expensive programs with easily understood learning outcomes which are directly tied to employment will be in increasing demand.


From DSC:
Some graphics come to mind — yet again.

Learning from the living class room

 

But this time, those folks who haven’t been listening or who thought *they* were in control all along, are finally being forced to wake up and look around at the world and the new landscapes. They are finally coming to the realization that they are not in control.

Innovation. Speed. Responsiveness. Quick decision making. These things are tough for many institutions of traditional higher education; there will have to be massive cultural changes. Bringing down the cost of obtaining a degree has to occur...or the backlash against higher ed will continue to build momentum. Consider just a couple of recent lawsuits.

Several new lawsuits filed recently against institutions of higher education

 

Shared Responsibilities: What It Will Take to Deliver a True National Lifelong Learning Ecosystem — from evoLLLution.com by Denise Amyot | President and CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada

Building a more flexible and accessible postsecondary sector will require concerted efforts from postsecondary institutions, governments, and employers, all of whom have a role to play in making the culture of lifelong learning a reality. 

 

Coursera Machine Learning Tool Matches On-Campus Courses with MOOC Resources — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpt:

CourseMatch can “ingest” on-campus course catalogs in more than 100 languages and map them to the most relevant Coursera courses in any of the languages available on the platform.

From DSC:
Interesting.

 

My wife sent me this video from John Bennett, a math teacher. This was posted to YouTube back on 11/8/11.

In fact, if it were up to me, I’d would no longer require math to be taught…in middle school and high school.

NOTES:

  • 300 million people in the U.S. (as John mentioned back in October 2011)
    • 1.5 million engineers
    • 1/2 of a percent; and you can add another 1/2 of a percent for other kinds of jobs that require that kind of math
    • That leaves 99% of us in the United States who don’t use what we learned about in middle school and high school math classes. But the problem is, math has caused major stress for people in the last 40 years.
  • John Bennett had some major cognitive dissonance to the reasons WHY he was suggesting his students know the math concepts that he was trying to relay.
  • He came to ask, “When do most of us use math in real life?”
    • Money. Financial stuff. Balancing checkbook. Tipping. Cooking and carpentry.
  • Why are we still teaching algebra? Because it teaches us about inductive and deductive reasoning. Math helps us develop that kind of reasoning.
  • So a better plan would be to:
    • Let people who want to take math in middle school and high school take it.
    • For the rest of the students, provide strategy games and logic puzzles that help develop those cognitive reasoning skills.

From DSC:
When this math teacher meets people out in society, people confess how much stress math brought to them in school….and they’re aren’t joking.

Given that we are all required to be lifelong learners these days, I love what John Bennett is saying here…because we really aren’t serving society at large by requiring math be taught in middle school and high school.

  • It causes stress and very negative learning experiences for many people.
  • We don’t use it. (By the way, I could plug and chug ok, but I had no idea what I was doing. No real understanding. I haven’t used algebra and/or calculus since my youth.)

What does it take to change our curricula like that?! Is it possible? I sure hope so.

 

How higher education can adapt to the future of work — from weforum.org by Farnam Jahanian, President, Carnegie Mellon University; with thanks to Evan Kirstel for sharing this here

Excerpts:

Embrace the T-shaped approach to knowledge
The broad set of skills needed by tomorrow’s workforce also affects our approach to educational structure. At Carnegie Mellon University—like many other institutions—we have been making disciplinary boundaries much more porous and have launched programmes at the edges and intersections of traditional fields, such as behavioral economics, computational biology, and the nexus of design, arts, and technology. We believe this approach prepares our students for a future where thinking and working across boundaries will be vital. The value of combining both breadth and depth in higher education has also led to many universities embracing “T-shaped” teaching and learning philosophies, in which vertical (deep disciplinary) expertise is combined with horizontal (cross-cutting) knowledge.

Invest in personalised, technology-enhanced learning
The demand for more highly skilled workers continues to grow. Recent analysis of U.S. data by The Wall Street Journal found that more than 40% of manufacturing workers now have a college degree. By 2022, manufacturers are projected to employ more college graduates than workers with a high-school education or less. Technology-enhanced learning can help us keep up with demand and offer pathways for the existing workforce to gain new skills. AI-based learning tools developed in the past decade have incredible potential to personalise education, enhance college readiness and access, and improve educational outcomes. And perhaps most importantly, technology-enhanced learning has the compelling potential to narrow socioeconomic and racial achievement gaps among students.

The rapid pace of today’s advances requires a more comprehensive workforce and education strategy across a spectrum of measures, including policy, access, programmes and outreach. The private sector, government, educators and policy-makers must work together to deliver multiple pathways to opportunity for young people looking for their first foothold in the job market, as well as to re-skill and up-skill workers striving to maintain their place in the workforce. 

 

The 10 vital skills you will need for the future of work — from Bernard Marr

Excerpt:

Active learning with a growth mindset
Anyone in the future of work needs to actively learn and grow. A person with a growth mindset understands that their abilities and intelligence can be developed and they know their effort to build skills will result in higher achievement. They will, therefore, take on challenges, learn from mistakes and actively seek new knowledge.

Start by adopting a commitment to lifelong learning so you can acquire the skills you will need to succeed in the future workplace.

 

Redefining Norms Critical to Sustained Relevance in the Changing Postsecondary Environment — from evolllution.com by Hunt Lambert
Sticking to the status quo will end in disaster for most postsecondary institutions. To stay relevant, institutions have to rethink all aspects of the higher education product, from programming to student support to organizational models.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Higher education has existed for over a millennium in an effectively unchanged state, but the impetus to transform has arrived. Fast-changing labor demands, evolving learner expectations and transformed market realities are forcing college and university leaders to rethink the traditional postsecondary model and find ways to serve the growing numbers of lifelong learners. This idea has been broadly articulated as the 60-Year Curriculum (60YC), and executing on this vision demands a fundamental change in how higher education institutions must operate to serve students. In this interview, Hunt Lambert expands on the 60YC vision and shares his insights into how the organizational models of postsecondary institutions need to evolve to adapt to this approach.

The 60YC proposes that higher education providers, who happen to be best in the world at knowledge creation and dissemination through well-designed curriculum, expand that curricula concept from the current two-year AA, four-year BA, two-year master’s and seven-year PhD learning models into a 60-year model inclusive of 15- to 75-year-old learners and, most likely, beyond.

 

 

Creativity Required: How a Tesla Partnership is Setting the Stage for Program and Credential Innovation — from evolllution.com by Lenore Rodicio
By building strong employer partnerships and bringing a creative approach to program design and credentialing, it’s possible for colleges to create opportunities for learners to build the skills they need to work while progressing toward a degree.

Excerpt:

So for this particular program, a new state-of-the-art facility is being specifically constructed at MDC’s west campus from the ground up. Tesla provides the vehicles, equipment, instructors, tools and curriculum for hands-on learning.

 

Here’s another item that deals with creativity:

  • Digital Transformation: A Focus on Creativity, Not Tools — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush and Ellen Wagner
    Excerpt:
    It is easier to talk about [the technology tools] than it is to talk about the things people need to do to adapt to working with the new tools. And what’s odd is the lack of anticipation about the potential of digital transformation to open up true innovation and creativity. That’s the real prize, and it seems like this point is often missed.

    Of course, in my role as a researcher at the Mixed Emerging Technology Integration Lab (the METIL lab) at the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation and Training, I’ve begun work on three new projects that incorporate simulation, mobile, and artificial intelligence. We don’t just learn about the tools; we study their impact and how they can extend creativity.For another example of related research, take a look at ShapingEdu and the Humersive Learning Project at Arizona State University. There, the researchers look specifically at immersive learning and how to humanize it while fostering innovation.
 

Welcome to the future! The future of work is… — from gettingsmart.com

Excerpt:

The future of work is here, and with it, new challenges — so what does this mean for teaching and learning? It means more contribution and young people learning how to make a difference. In our exploration of the #futureofwork, sponsored by eduInnovation and powered by Getting Smart, we dive into what’s happening, what’s coming and how schools might prepare.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Choice -> Ownership -> Empowerment -> Deeper Learning — from AJ Juliani

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Students continue to fall into the same trap year after year with traditional schooling. They rarely have a chance to choose their learning path in school, and routinely treat school like a “job” instead of the most valuable learning experience they will ever have…

By the time students get to high school, over 83% are stressed out, [and] 67% say they are bored half the time, and many learn to “play the game of school” worrying about what will happen to them if they do not get a particular grade and get into a specific college.

What we end up with are students who are never given a chance to explore their own interests in school, who end up confused about what they want to do with their future because they continue to march down a path that has been chosen for them for 12 years. Many of these students end up getting jobs in fields they think are “safe” or “practical” but don’t have a personal connection or interest to the work they are doing.

 

Choice in what content our students consume, what activities they take on in and out of school, what assessments they take, and choice in their purpose for learning.

Choice drives student ownership of their learning, which kicks engagement into high-gear, and ultimately leads to learning that is intrinsic and powerful and deep.

 

From DSC:
Our son has become a game-player. He knows just what he needs to get that A. No more, nor less. He doesn’t care about learning. And he is tired of getting information crammed down his throat. Information he doesn’t care about…at all. Since 10th grade, he has become disengaged.

Next year (for his senior year of H.S.), he is heading to studying what he wants to study — acting. Although it will be very difficult, I think he will blossom. He will become fully engaged…because he’s doing what he chooses to do.

 

 

 

 

The finalized 2019 Horizon Report Higher Education Edition (from library.educause.edu) was just released on 4/23/19.

Excerpt:

Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher Education:

Short-TermDriving technology adoption in higher education for the next one to two years

  • Redesigning Learning Spaces
  • Blended Learning Designs

Mid-TermDriving technology adoption in higher education for the next three to five years

  • Advancing Cultures of Innovation
  • Growing Focus on Measuring Learning

Long-TermDriving technology adoption in higher education for five or more years

  • Rethinking How Institutions Work
  • Modularized and Disaggregated Degrees

 

 

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