From DSC:
I’ll say it again, just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

From the article below…we can see another unintended consequence is developing on society’s landscapes. I really wish the 20 and 30 somethings that are being hired by the big tech companies — especially at Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft — who are developing these things would ask themselves:

  • “Just because we can develop this system/software/application/etc., SHOULD we be developing it?”
  • What might the negative consequences be? 
  • Do the positive contributions outweigh the negative impacts…or not?

To colleges professors and teachers:
Please pass these thoughts onto your students now, so that this internal questioning/conversations begin to take place in K-16.


Report: Colleges Must Teach ‘Algorithm Literacy’ to Help Students Navigate Internet — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

If the Ancient Mariner were sailing on the internet’s open seas, he might conclude there’s information everywhere, but nary a drop to drink.

That’s how many college students feel, anyway. A new report published this week about undergraduates’ impressions of internet algorithms reveals students are skeptical of and unnerved by tools that track their digital travels and serve them personalized content like advertisements and social media posts.

And some students feel like they’ve largely been left to navigate the internet’s murky waters alone, without adequate guidance from teachers and professors.

Researchers set out to learn “how aware students are about their information being manipulated, gathered and interacted with,” said Alison Head, founder and director of Project Information Literacy, in an interview with EdSurge. “Where does that awareness drop off?”

They found that many students not only have personal concerns about how algorithms compromise their own data privacy but also recognize the broader, possibly negative implications of tools that segment and customize search results and news feeds.

 

From DSC:
If you are using a tool like Cisco Webex in your school, consider implementing the idea below.
I’d like to thank Mr. Steve Grant and Mr. Nelson Miller from the WMU-Cooley Law School for their work in implementing/recommending this approach.

If you are using a tool like Cisco Webex, you can use it to share content to displays, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. If the professor starts a Cisco Webex Meeting Center session using their own personal room, the students can then join that meeting via their devices. (To eliminate noise and confusion — as well as to reduce bandwidth — the students should mute their microphones and choose not to send the video from their webcams.)

If you were doing a think-pair-share, for example, and you really liked what a certain pair of students had going on, one of the students could share their work with the rest of the class. By doing so, whatever was going on on that student’s device could be displayed by any projectors in the room, as well as on any other devices that were connected to the Cisco Webex Meeting Room.

“So you could project any student’s work as students proceed with in-class exercises. Projecting student work adds another level of accountability, excitement, and concentration to in-class exercises.” 

*********

Also, using the Cisco Webex Meeting Center in your face-to-face classroom not only opens up that sort of collaboration channel, but, via the chat feature, it can also open up a running backchannel to draw out your more introverted students, or those students who have questions but don’t want to have the spotlight thrown on them. 

*********

 

On the care and handling of student ratings — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert
Student evaluations of teaching are not true evaluations. We should call them what they are — perception data — and use them accordingly.

Excerpts:

How to handle student perception data as a department

  • Never use student perception data as the sole, or even the main source of information about a faculty member’s teaching. Teaching, as I said, is a wickedly complex problem. It simply cannot be reduced to a set of data, or in some cases to a single number. To get an accurate picture of faculty teaching, you need more than just student perceptions. Use faculty self-evaluations, peer evaluations via class visits, faculty-initiated data collected through pre- and post-testing… Insist on using multiple sources of data for faculty evaluations and make it easy to include them.
  • Never compare one faculty member to another based on student perception data.
  • Look at trends over time and how faculty respond to their data.

 

 

Get Smart About Going Online: Choosing the Right Model to Deliver Digital Programming — from evolllution.com by Charles Kilfoye
A veteran online educator looks at the benefits and pitfalls for each of the three main ways to launch an online program.

Excerpt:

Online learning is making headlines again with big players such as University of Massachusetts and California Community College Online launching high profile online initiatives recently. Some would argue that if you haven’t made it in online education already, you’ve missed your opportunity.

However, my sense is it’s never too late. You just have to be smart about it. It all boils down to asking yourself the basic problem-solving questions of Why, What and How to determine if online education is right for your institution. To illustrate my point, I will briefly discuss major considerations you should make when exploring an online strategy and I will examine the pros and cons of the three most common models of delivering online programs in higher education today.

Be aware that differentiated pricing may indicate to prospective students that one format is more valuable or better than another. My personal opinion is that a degree earned online should be considered the same degree as one earned on-ground. It is the same program, same faculty, same admissions requirements, same relevance and rigor, so why not the same cost?

 

From DSC:
Regarding the topic of pricing, it would be my hope that we could offer online-based programs at significantly discounted prices. This is why I think it will be the larger higher education providers that ultimately win out — or a brand new player in the field that uses a next gen learning platform along with a different business model (see below article) — as they can spread their development costs over a great number of students/courses/program offerings.

If the current players in higher ed don’t find a way to do this (and some players have already figured this out and are working on delivering it), powerful alternatives will develop — especially as the public’s perspective on the value of higher education continues to decline.

 

Learning from the living class room

I’d also like to hear Charles’ thoughts about pricing after reading Brandon’s article below:

If it’s more expensive, it must be better. That, of course, has been the prevailing wisdom among parents and students when it comes to college. But that wisdom has now been exposed as an utter myth according to a new study published in The Journal of Consumer Affairs. It turns out the cost of a college does not predict higher alumni ratings about the quality of their education. In fact, the opposite is true: total cost of attendance predicts lower ratings.

Quality matters. Price does not. Quality and price are not the same things. And this all has enormous implications for the industry and its consumers.

 

 

Active Learning on the Uptick?— from LinkedIn.com by Carrie O’Donnell

Excerpt:

The evidence is overwhelming that employing active learning strategies leads to deeper learning, increased retention and higher performance. In fact, the EDCAUSE Horizon Report: 2019 Higher Education Edition states 73 percent of universities surveyed indicate active learning classrooms are in the planning process or being implemented in 2020.

Active learning is an instructional approach that puts the student in the center of the learning. This teaching methodology actively engages the learner and is a contrast with the traditional lecture-based approaches where the instructor does most of the talking and students are passive. Some of the many strategies that instructors use to promote active learning include group discussions, peer instruction, problem-solving, case studies, role playing, journal writing and structured learning groups.

Several trends we’ve seen on campuses across the country bode well for active learning:

 

Using a Research-Based Approach – It’s Up to Us  — from wcetfrontiers.org by Andria Schwegler

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

This discrepancy suggests that perceptions are heavily influenced by idiosyncratic, personal experiences instead of by research.

Nearly a decade ago, a meta-analysis of studies comparing student learning in online, blended, and face-to-face contexts revealed no significant differences in learning across course modality (Means, Toyama, Murphy, Bakia, & Jones, 2010). Today, a growing body of research corroborates no significant differences exist (National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements, 2019). That some faculty attitudes are not aligned with this information suggests that concerns regarding course delivery are confounded with beliefs about course modality. Leveraging existing research on teaching and learning and conducting new research to address gaps can clarify how to address concerns with course delivery to facilitate students’ ability to meet learning outcomes instead of assuming course modality is the problem.

 

 

XR for Teaching and Learning — from educause

Key Findings

  • XR technologies are being used to achieve learning goals across domains.
  • Effective pedagogical uses of XR technologies fall into one of three large categories: (1) Supporting skills-based and competency-based teaching and learning, such as nursing education, where students gain practice by repeating tasks. (2) Expanding the range of activities with which a learner can gain hands-on experience—for example, by enabling the user to interact with electrons and electromagnetic fields. In this way, XR enables some subjects traditionally taught as abstract knowledge, using flat media such as illustrations or videos, to be taught as skills-based. (3) Experimenting by providing new functionality and enabling new forms of interaction. For example, by using simulations of materials or tools not easily available in the physical world, learners can explore the bounds of what is possible in both their discipline and with the XR technology itself.
  • Integration of XR into curricula faces two major challenges: time and skills.
  • The adoption of XR in teaching has two major requirements: the technology must fit into instructors’ existing practices, and the cost cannot be significantly higher than that of the alternatives already in use.
  • The effectiveness of XR technologies for achieving learning goals is influenced by several factors: fidelity, ease of use, novelty, time-on-task, and the spirit of experimentation.

XR for Teaching and Learning

 

2019 AI report tracks profound growth — from ide.mit.edu by Paula Klein

Excerpt:

Until now “we’ve been sorely lacking good data about basic questions like ‘How is the technology advancing’ and ‘What is the economic impact of AI?’ ” Brynjolfsson said. The new index, which tracks three times as many data sets as last year’s report, goes a long way toward providing answers.

  1. Education
  • At the graduate level, AI has rapidly become the most popular specialization among computer science PhD students in North America. In 2018, over 21% of graduating Computer Science PhDs specialize in Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning.
  • Industry is the largest consumer of AI talent. In 2018, over 60% of AI PhD graduates went to industry, up from 20% in 2004.
  • In the U.S., AI faculty leaving academia for industry continues to accelerate, with over 40 departures in 2018, up from 15 in 2012 and none in 2004.

 

In the U.S., #AI faculty leaving #academia for industry continues to accelerate, with over 40 departures in 2018, up from 15 in 2012 and none in 2004.

 

5 proven ways to make your good online course great — from campustechnology.com

Excerpt:

Recent research uncovered just a handful of distinct elements that set great online teaching apart from the merely good. The findings came out of interviews with eight faculty members who have won awards for their online teaching from three professional associations: the Online Learning Consortium, the Association for Educational Communications & Technology and the United States Distance Learning Association.

Again, the report is here.

 

 
 

2019 study of undergraduate students & information technology — from library.educause.edu

Excerpts:

Drawing on survey data from more than 40,000 students across 118 US institutions, this report highlights a number of important findings related to students’ technology preferences, supports, and experiences, with the goal of aiding technology and higher education professionals in improving student learning experiences and success.

But they want to be more than in-class spectators:

  • “I want my professors to stop reading PowerPoint slides word-for-word off of a screen, and to start using the technology at hand to create a different kind of lecture that will engage their students in the learning process.”
  • “I’d love for there to be more interactive polling and questions during class. Even though I don’t like the idea of being in lecture every day, that would keep me more engaged if the instructors were more dynamic with their tech use.”
  • “Integrate [technology] more into lectures. It’s very difficult to sit and watch you talk. Technology can be so beneficial to learning if used in the right ways to enhance and complement lectures. Use collaborative quizzes (Kahoot, etc.), let us research in class, etc.”
  • “Provide more online learning tools such as interactive lectures where people on laptops or tablets can also engage with the material being presented.”

 

Figure 2. Student learning environment preferences for specific course-related activities and assignments

Recommendations

  • Leverage analytics to gain a greater understanding of the student demographics that influence learning environment preferences.
  • Continue to promote online success tools and provide training to students on their use through orientations and advisement sessions.
  • Expand efforts to improve Wi-Fi reliability in campus housing and outdoor spaces.
  • Allow students to use the devices that are most important to their academic success in the classroom.
  • Establish a campus community to address accessibility issues and give “accessibility evangelists” a seat at the table.

 

From DSC:
Well students…you might find that you have a major surprise ahead of you — as a significant amount of your future learning/training will take place completely online. Go ask some folks who have graduated about their onboarding experiences. Then go ask people who have been in the workplace for over a decade. You’ll see what I mean.

 

Ten predictions for the very near future of higher education — from forbes.com by Brandon Busteed

Excerpt:

  1. Down (or flat) will be the new up when it comes to tuition prices.
  2. “Elite” will shift from being the sought-after brand to a questionable one for all but the wealthy. Country clubs or colleges? That will be the question.

 Instead of going to college to get a job, students will increasingly be going to a job to get a college degree.

 

‘Academic capitalism’ is reshaping faculty life. What does that mean? — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

Professors have long savored their position outside of commercial systems. But these days, there’s plenty of signs of capitalism within the academy—scholars seek support from funders in hopes that the findings will lead to commercial applications, departments market their courses to students as pathways to lucrative careers and universities replace tenure-track positions with adjunct jobs to cut costs.

Last week on the latest installment of EdSurge Live, our monthly online discussion forum, we dug into the topic, often referred to as “academic capitalism.”

 

6 reasons why higher education needs to be disrupted — from hbr.org by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Becky Frankiewicz

In our view, until the entire higher educational system prioritizes the classroom over the research lab, it will be a challenge for this dynamic to change.

Excerpts:

  1. Employers need skills, not just knowledge or titles:
  2. Students want jobs, not knowledge or titles:
  3. Students are paying more and more to get less and less:
  4. Students have unrealistic expectations (understandably) about college:
  5. Many elite universities prioritize research, often at the expense of teaching:
  6. Instead of boosting meritocracy, universities reinforce inequality:

The fundamental question we see is this: If a university claims to be a top educational institution, shouldn’t it admit the people with the lowest test scores, and turn them into the leader of tomorrow (as opposed to admitting the people with the highest income and test scores, who would probably rule the world tomorrow regardless of those three or four years in college)?

From DSC:
My hat’s off to those who teach in those institutions who “open wide” the gates of entry!!! They are the professors who have to work their tails off to help their students. 

And shame on the elite institutions who continue to value research/grant $$ waaaaaay over teaching — all while charging more and more for less and less…and while many graduates students end up teaching a lot of the undergraduate students. Those graduate students most likely haven’t been taught how to teach either!

And what higher ed pays adjunct faculty members is a complete disgrace — while many coaches make millions of $’s. Full-time faculty members — and administrators/provosts/other members of leadership — who were suddenly put into the adjunct faculty member’s role/wages would be outraged and demand immediate change.

 

 

From DSC:
I wish that more faculty members would share their research, teaching methods, knowledge, and commentary with the world as this professor does (vs. talking to other professors behind publishers’ walled off content). In this case, Arvind happens to use Twitter. But if one doesn’t like to use Twitter, there’s also LinkedIn, WordPress/blogging, podcasting, and other outlets. 

 

 

 

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