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:

 

Why “Challenging” Isn’t The Right Goal — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd

Excerpt:

If I asked you to alphabetize the US state capitals in under 90 seconds, you’d certainly be “challenged”! But you’d also feel stressed out and frustrated.

I wish I had realized this years ago. Something can be “challenging” and also be at the very bottom of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Something can be “challenging” and even impede learning.

So here’s the word I use now when I’m planning lessons for Byrdseed.TV: interesting.

I want to “interest” students. A student who is interested will work over the weekend simply because they want to know more. An interested student will stay in from recess by choice to keep at it. An interested student is intrinsically motivated.

From DSC:
This reminds me yet again of this graphic that readers of this blog will recognize:

In the future, learning channels will offer us more choice and more control

 
 

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.
 

Some psychological benefits of remote learning in k-12 sector — from by Tony Bates

Excerpt:

There have been many criticisms of the move to remote learning during the pandemic for students in schools, but there also appear to have been some unexpected benefits. This article looks at these from a psychological point of view, and how some of these benefits could be continued post-pandemic. The article lists the following benefits…

 

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

 

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.

 

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

 

10 Ways You Can Use Podcasts in Your Course to Engage Students — from barbihoneycutt.com by Barbi Honeycutt, Ph.D.

Excerpt:

Have you used podcasts in your courses yet? If not, you might want to consider it! Podcasts can be an excellent tool to add to your lesson to enhance a message, present more in-depth perspectives, and offer a different medium for students to engage with the course content.

And, podcasts are popular! There are more than 630,000 podcasts representing a variety of topics: current issues, education, writing, research, science, leadership, politics, management, business, skill development, hobbies, etc. The list just goes on and on.

I’m almost positive there is at least one episode in one podcast somewhere you could integrate into your course. And if there isn’t, then you and your students could create one!

 
 

Dreamscape Learn Pod Unveiled at ASU+GSV Summit — from gettingsmart.com by Rachelle Dene Poth

Excerpt:

At the ASU+GSV Summit, a leading digital learning summit held in San Diego, California, virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts had an opportunity to experience Dreamscape Learn pod, a first-of-its-kind, full-body tracking, immersive VR experience. Created in partnership with Steven Spielberg, Dreamscape Immersive and Arizona State University (ASU) unveiled the pod for the first time during the event.

ASU President Michael M. Crow and Dreamscape Immersive founder/president and former DreamWorks Pictures studio head Walter Parkes, worked together to create Dreamscape Learn. President Crow and Parkes together merged the ideas of creating Hollywood storytelling with the innovation from ASU. ASU has been a leader in innovation and cutting-edge technology and has been ranked number one in innovation for the sixth year by the US News and World Report.

 

There’s a New Wave of AI Research Coming to Transform Education — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo

Preparing for Students’ Second Act
With a focus on adult learners, the AI Institute for Adult Learning and Online Education, or ALOE, will look to improve online education for the more than 100 million American workers who will need to “reskill” over the next 10 years.

It will also learn from the massive amounts of data generated by online students that isn’t accessible in traditional in-person classes.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian