OPINION: Meet certificates and “microcredentials” — they could be the future of higher education — from hechingerreport.org by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
In years to come, they will become prevalent — and possibly preferred — to college degrees

Excerpt:

What is new is that we are calling them badges and microcredentials and using them primarily to certify specific skills, such as cross-cultural competency, welding and conversational Spanish.

So what are they? Microcredentials are certifications of mastery; badges verify the attainment of specific competencies.

No matter what we are calling them, they may be here to stay.

We now live in a time that is more open to rethinking college and university credentials. We are witnessing experimentation with competency-based education, through which students earn credits by demonstrating skills instead of spending time in courses. We are also seeing discussion of free or reduced tuition, along with subscription pricing that lets students take as many courses as they like for one low cost.

Also see:

Can an AI tutor teach your child to read? — from hechingerreport.org by Jackie Mader
Some AI reading programs are boosting early literacy skills

Excerpt:

Artificial intelligence has been used for years in education to monitor teaching quality, teach classes, grade assignments and tailor instruction to student ability levels. Now, a small but growing number of programs are attempting to use AI to target reading achievement in the early years — a longstanding struggle for America’s schools.

 

What Will Online Learning Look Like in 10 Years? Zoom Has Some Ideas — from edsurge.com by Stephen Noonoo

Excerpt:

This week at Zoom’s annual conference, Zoomtopia, a trio of education-focused Zoom employees (er, Zoomers?) speculated wildly about what hybrid Zoom learning might look like 10 years from now, given the warp speed advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning expected. Below are highlights of their grandiose, if sometimes vague, vision for the future of learning on Zoom.

Zoom very much sees itself as one day innovating on personalized learning in a substantial way, although beyond breakout rooms and instant translation services, they have few concrete ideas in mind. Mostly, the company says it will be working to add more choices to how teachers can present materials and how students can display mastery to teachers in realtime. They’re bullish on Kahoot-like gamification features and new ways of assessing students, too.

Also see:

An Eighth Grader Was Tired of Being Late to Zoom School. So He Made an App for That. — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo

“I could not find anything else that exists like this to automatically join meetings at the right times,” says Seth, a high school freshman based in Walnut Creek, Calif. “Reminders are just really easy to ignore. I’ll get a notification maybe five minutes before my meeting, and it’ll just sit there and not do anything. [LinkJoin] interrupts whatever you’re doing and says, ‘Join this meeting. In fact it’s already opening, so better get on it.’”

 

 
 

Active Learning: 5 Tips for Implementing the Approach — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Active learning provides ways to get your students engaged without needing to revamp how you teach.

Excerpts:

However, neither listening to a lecture or reading a textbook is the most efficient way to learn or what active learning is truly about. “What exactly do we mean by active learning?” Deslauriers says.  “We mean that first, you have to be engaged. Obviously, that’s number one. Number two, you have to be engaged productively. And number three, the productivity has to be toward a goal that is deemed worthwhile*.”

— Louis Deslauriers, Director of Science Teaching and Learning
in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University


From DSC:
I appreciated seeing/reading this solid article. Just a couple of reflections and highlights here…


* But worthwhile for whom? For the faculty members? The teachers? The trainers? Or for the learners, the students, or the employees? Where is agency here? Where does more choice and control come into play here? Where’s the motivation for me to learn something if someone keeps telling me what’s important to THEM? What’s relevant to THEM? Why should I care about this topic? How is it relevant? How will it help me get a job and/or make a positive difference in this world? Can I choose how deep I want to dive in?

Later…Deslauriers goes on to make a great point when urging a pause for students to practice some metacognition:

  • Does this make sense to me?
  • How is this relevant? <– DSC: There it is.
  • Does it connect with something I already know? And if so, how do I integrate with what I already know?
  • What sort of questions do I have right now?
  • Can I repeat what the instructor just did? Or is it going to require a lot of practice?

“There’s no way you can undergo these mental processes when someone keeps talking,”  Deslauriers says. But if educators pause during their lectures and encourage this type of focus, they can help their students learn more efficiently.


 Instructors can hand out electronic clickers, use web-based tools such as Google forms, or even go completely low-tech by giving color-coded cards to students that correspond to different answers. 


Also see:

 

FLEXspace with LSRS v.3 Integration: Your Key to Future Proofing Learning Spaces — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush
A Q&A roundtable with FLEXspace and LSRS leaders and innovators

Excerpt:

A little more than a year ago, the EDUCAUSE Learning Space Rating System was integrated into FLEXspace. Now, users have a “one-stop shop” to access both the media-rich resources of FLEXspace and the quantitative evaluations of the LSRS.

Here, a round table discussion provides five perspectives on what the integration has meant to users.

 

Using a Systems Approach to Build a World-Class Online Program — from onlinelearningconsortium.org by Dr. Michele Norton and Dr. Ben Zoghi, Texas A&M University
In this blog, we unpack some of our insights and capitalize on them as we take a systems approach to continue building a world-class online program.

Excerpt:

Insight 1: Shifting from Assigning Tasks to Developing Collaborative Partnerships
We often create to-do lists for all the aspects of our online course: the videos, the articles, the quizzes, putting it on the LMS, etc. We forget that they all go together to create one learning experience for our students.

The person who edits the videos has ideas you may never have thought of, even if they are not experts in your content. Thoughts are everywhere; you have to value each person that has a hand in the process and be open to building a collaborative partnership instead of navigating a transactional checklist.

 

Amazon offers to pay college tuition for most US workers — from cnn.com by Nathaniel Meyersohn

Excerpt:

New York (CNN Business)Amazon is offering to cover four-year college tuition for most of its approximately 750,000 hourly workers in the United States, the latest major employer to offer the perk to attract and retain hourly employees in a tight job market.

Starting in January, Amazon for the first time will pay for tuition, fees and books for warehouse, transportation and other hourly employees who want to pursue bachelor’s degrees. It will also begin covering high school diploma programs, GED’s and English as a Second Language (ESL) certifications for employees.

Amazon (AMZN) has not finalized a list of colleges workers will be eligible to attend using the benefit.

 
 

Personalized Learning Using AI — from datafloq.com by Dmitry Baraishuk

Excerpt:

Process of Implementing Personalized Learning Using AI

  • The system tested every learner using short quizzes and games. Then AI adapted the learning path to each learner’s knowledge of a topic based on the test results.
  • If a pilot struggled with a certain topic, the AI LMS repeated it by presenting the information in a new way.
  • After completing a section, every pilot was retested and progressed to the next module.

Personalized learning with AI encompasses all the core aspects of online training:

  • personalized learning path;
  • relevant content based on knowledge level, skills, interests, and goals;
  • automated knowledge checks;
  • prediction of knowledge gaps;
  • proactive learners’ support;
  • tutoring, etc.
 

The Story is in the Structure: A Multi-Case Study of Instructional Design Teams — from the Online Learning Consortium by Jason Drysdale (other articles here)

Excerpt:

Given the results of this study, it is recommended that institutions that are restructuring or building new instructional design teams implement centralized structures with academic reporting lines for their teams. The benefits of both centralization and academic reporting lines are clear: better advocacy and empowerment, better alignment with the pedagogical work of both designers and faculty, and less role misperception for instructional designers. Structuring these teams toward empowerment and better definitions of their roles as pedagogy experts may help them sustain their leadership on the initiatives they led, to great effect, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study also revealed the importance of three additional structural elements: appropriate instructional design staffing for the size and scale of the institution, leadership experience with instructional design, and positional parity with faculty.

Also see:

A Practitioner's Guide to Instructional Design in Higher Education

 

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 [Hart]

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

2021 was the YEAR OF DISRUPTION! There were a substantial number of new tools nominated this year so the main list has now been extended to 300 tools to accommodate them, and each of the 3 sub-lists has been increased to 150 tools. Although the top of this year’s list is relatively stable, there is quite bit of movement of tools on the rest of the list, and the effect of the new tools has been to push other established tools down – if not off the list altogether. Further analysis of the list appears in the right-hand column of the table below.

This table shows the overall rankings as well as the rankings on the 3 sub-lists: Top 150 Tools for Personal Learning (PL150), the Top 150 Tools for Workplace Learning (WL150) and the Top 150 Tools for Education (ED150). NEW tools are shaded YELLOW, tools coming BACK on the list are shaded GREEN. The most popular context in which each tool is used is also highlighted in BLUE.  Click on a tool name to find out more about it.

 


Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 -- from Jane Hart


 

 

Scaling HyFlex for the Post-Pandemic Campus — from er.educause.edu by Jennifer Rider and Ayla Moore

Excerpt:

Setting up HyFlex courses on any campus requires thoughtful planning, careful analysis, continual assessment, and faculty support. But is HyFlex something that higher education institutions can and should permanently adopt in a post-pandemic world?

 

Fort Lewis College's USDA Grant Proposal

 

The Tomorrow Room on campus is a space where new technology will be showcased so that faculty can become familiar with the room design and technology before teaching in a HyFlex classroom.

 

10 Ways to Reuse Your Pre-Recorded Videos — from barbihoneycutt.com by Barbi Honeycutt

Excerpts:

2. CLONE YOURSELF

My friend is a 2nd grade teacher, and this year, she is back in the in-person classroom with her students. After teaching online last year, she started wondering how she could reuse all of the videos she recorded.

She came up with the idea to play clips of the videos during her in-person class time. As the video is playing, she walks around the room and helps students in real-time as they are working through the lesson.

If they are struggling, she is right there to guide them through that part of the video or lesson. She can pause the video if many students are struggling, or she can let the video play as she works individually with students who need additional help.

She said this approach gives her instant feedback (and makes it easy for a substitute teacher to use if needed). She said, “I’m not tied to the front of the room at the board. It’s literally like having two teachers!” 


4. VIDEO EXCHANGE
Do you have a video that would be helpful for a colleague to share with his/her/their students? Maybe they have a video you need to integrate into your course? Here’s the perfect time to exchange videos! It’s like a giving a virtual guest lecture!

 

5 Ideas to Soothe IT Staff Burnout — from campustechnology.com by David Raths
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the mental health of students, faculty and staff alike. But IT in particular has borne the brunt of keeping institutions’ technology infrastructure afloat through relentless change, often in the face of budget cuts and staffing shortages. Here are ways to help mitigate stress and better support IT teams during this challenging time.

Excerpt:

Faced with an increasingly stressed-out IT workforce, CIOs are trying to find innovative ways to boost morale, maintain work/life balance and enhance communication among teams. We spoke to three IT leaders who offered the following five suggestions, based on their own experiences over the past year and a half.

 

5 Ways Higher Ed Will Be Upended — from chronicle.com by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
Colleges will lose power, prices will go down, and credentials will multiply — among other jarring shifts.

Excerpt:

The dominance of degrees and “just in case” education will diminish; nondegree certifications and “just in time” education will increase in status and value.

In contrast, “just in time” education teaches students the skills and knowledge they need right now. They may need to learn a foreign language for an coming trip or business deal. They may need to learn an emerging technology. “Just in time” education comes in all shapes and sizes, but diverges from traditional academic time standards, uniform course lengths, and common credit measures. Only a small portion of such programs award degrees; most grant certificates, microcredentials, or badges.

From DSC:
Long-time readers of this blog and my old blog at Calvin (then College) will see no surprises here:

I published the idea of 50% off and more back in 2008

I discussed The Walmart of Education with Mary Grush back in 2013

Learning from the living class room

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian