“Many—perhaps millions—will need quick, job-focused upskilling and reskilling.”

— from The Indispensable Institution | Reimagining Community College
by Opportunity America

 

From DSC:
This is exactly the need that I’ve been getting at here. Many people don’t have the time — and now, the $$ — to take 4 years to get a college degree. Even 2 years is too long for many people these days. They need to be able to quickly reinvent themselves. As such, we need to tap into — and contribute to — streams of content. All. The. Time.

And do so, efficiently, safely, securely — and inexpensively!

Learning from the living class room

 
 

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education — from bigthink.com by Dr. Michael Crow, President of ASU

Excerpt:

Third, it is abundantly apparent that universities must leverage technology to increase educational quality and access. The rapid shift to delivering an education that complies with social distancing guidelines speaks volumes about the adaptability of higher education institutions, but this transition has also posed unique difficulties for colleges and universities that had been slow to adopt digital education. The last decade has shown that online education, implemented effectively, can meet or even surpass the quality of in-person instruction.

Digital instruction, broadly defined, leverages online capabilities and integrates adaptive learning methodologies, predictive analytics, and innovations in instructional design to enable increased student engagement, personalized learning experiences, and improved learning outcomes. The ability of these technologies to transcend geographic barriers and to shrink the marginal cost of educating additional students makes them essential for delivering education at scale.

Far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student’s family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted. And without new designs, we can expect post-secondary success for these same students to be as elusive in the new normal, as it was in the old normal.

This is not just because some universities fail to sufficiently recognize and engage the promise of diversity, this is because few universities have been designed from the outset to effectively serve the unique needs of lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color.

 

Colleges cut academic programs in the face of budget shortfalls due to Covid-19 — from cnbc.com by Jessica Dickler

Key points:

  • As colleges face extreme budget shortfalls, some institutions are cutting academic programs that were once central to a liberal arts education.
  • The University of Alaska system announced it will cut 39 academic departments in all, including sociology, creative writing, chemistry and environmental science.

 

Even before the global pandemic caused craters in the economy, some institutions were facing financial hardship after years of declines in state funding for higher education. A number of private schools had already made wrenching budget cuts, from curriculum changes to complete overhauls of their liberal arts programs.

 

From DSC:
A screenshot from the video (below) shows a new type of liberal arts program at Hiram College.

It could very well be that online-based learning turns out to save the liberal arts!!!!! How ironic is that!?!!

That is, many college presidents, provost, and faculty members — especially from smaller liberal arts types of schools — have disdained online-based learning for decades now. It was always viewed as “less than” in their minds…they didn’t want to go that route, as doing so would dilute their precious (and often overpriced) brands. (To be clear, this is not my view…but it was, and still is in many cases, their view.)

Anyway, it looks like more of these same folks will be losing their jobs in the next few years (if they haven’t already). At that point, we may see some of these same folks encounter a sudden paradigm shift. (A shift many of their colleagues have already gone through in prior years.) These same folks may come to appreciate that people will be willing to pay them for their knowledge — but only willing to do so at a much more affordable price…which will likely mean online.

Fewer people — especially when 47 million people in the U.S. alone have filed for unemployment over the last 14 weeks — can afford the cost of getting a degree. They are looking for inexpensive, convenient, efficient, effective means of reinventing themselves.

 

Huh…another potential irony here…it appears that colleges and universities are coming to know what many of us have known and experienced for years…and that is, the struggle to:

  • Reinvent oneself
  • Stay relevant
  • Survive
 

Just-in-time online tutoring: Supporting learning anywhere, anytime — from er.educause.edu by Stefan Hrastinski

Excerpt:

What if learning could be supported anywhere, anytime, based on the needs of learners? This is a question that has been explored in different ways in research and teaching. Although an abundance of digital education resources are available online, learners have questions and need guidance when they are studying. Just-in-time online tutoring attempts to meet this need. It also has great potential as a complement to scheduled education.

Just-in-time learning has been defined as “anywhere, anytime learning that is just enough, just for me and just in time.”

 

PowerPoint Live is now generally available — from microsoft.com by Derek Jo

Excerpt:

Earlier this year, we announced that Live Presentations was coming soon, and we are excited to share that it is now generally available on PowerPoint for the web.

When we first announced PowerPoint Live, we saw excitement from both enterprise and education customers around how this feature could be utilized during in-person events—conferences, lecture halls, corporate all hands, town halls, and more. Of course, the world has changed a lot since then. 

We know that as more physical events and meetings take place, PowerPoint Live will prove to be a very useful tool for connecting with your audience and communicating more effectively, which we are excited to show you. However, we also have tips below on how to use this capability now in remote work and learning scenarios.

 

Why everyone on your team must understand Instructional Design — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Megan MacDonald

Excerpts:

In my decade-long experience on projects of varying and increasing size, there are the key components I think you need to invest in helping your teams and management understand. And here they are:

  • Significance of learning objectives, and in particular the importance of action verbs and how they apply to your project.
  • Learning audience, including existing knowledge, background(s), and even personalities, can impact decisions such as instructor-led versus self-paced, where you need to start, the pace you need to set, and the specific information you need to provide on any given subject.
  • Concepts of cognitive load and scaffolding.
  • Instructional design is not always linear.
  • Finally, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to programs, courses, or even individual lessons.

 

 

Are you ready? Self-directed learning is the next wave for L&D — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Bill Brandon

Excerpt:

This article begins an exploration of the other major shift that is already in play and that will continue to affect our work: the phenomenon of self-directed learning. This is a trend that (like distance learning) was already underway before the pandemic, driven by a desire to reduce or eliminate the cost of formal instruction and to keep up with the speed of change itself.

What is self-directed learning?
Let’s use the classic definition from Malcolm Knowles. Self-directed learning is a process “in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating those learning outcomes.” (See reference at the end of this article.)

 

 

 

“How has your school delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times?”

YouTube Contest, “With Justice for All,” Seeks Submissions from Students About the Effect of Covid-19 and Recent Tragedies on Their Educational Experience

Prizes include 11 scholarships for students who best address the question, “How has your school delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times?”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Center for Education Reform (CER), in partnership with the Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools, the Children’s Scholarship Fund, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, today launched “With Justice for All,” a national YouTube contest for students.

Over the last few months, students and schools have faced significant challenges from distance learning and national tragedies. Times like these highlight how a great education is the most important asset a student has to effectively change the world.

So CER decided to ask students directly: Has your school delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times? Tell us how well your school did — or didn’t do — in providing you a great education.

“We want you to be able to take charge of your education,” said Jeanne Allen, CER’s founder and chief executive. “We want to assist you in writing the next chapter of your education story. Tell us your story, and we’ll tell everybody who needs to know, especially those in power.”

Videos must be shorter than three minutes, hashtagged with #MyEducationVideo, and submitted to MyEducationVideo.com by 11:59 PM EDT on July 4, 2020. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of celebrity judges. Awards include 10 $2,500 scholarships — and one $20,000 scholarship — to the high school or college of a student’s choice. Winners will be announced during a live-streamed ceremony (date and time T.B.D.), and their videos may be shown to delegates at both of the 2020 national conventions this summer.

“We’ve designed this contest for students ages 13 and older, because we know it can be hard to get your ideas about education heard when you’re a kid,” said Allen.

For more information, visit MyEducationVideo.com.

https://www.myeducationvideo.com/

 

Also see:

“If we are not centering equitable student success, we’re gonna be put back decades and decades. And we’re already trying to retrofit.”

 

Blockchain Can Disrupt Higher Education Today, Global Labor Market Tomorrow — from cointelegraph.com by Andrew Singer
Blockchain can play its part in the education sector — record-keeping in 2–3 years and then adoption by the labor market?

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In the post-pandemic world, individuals will need to seize ownership and control of their educational credentials — documents like degrees and transcripts — from schools, universities and governments. That notion received key support last week from the American Council on Education in a study funded by the United States Department of Education focusing on the use of blockchain in higher education.

“Blockchain, in particular, holds promise to create more efficient, durable connections between education and work,” wrote Ted Mitchell, the president of ACE, in the foreword to the study published on June 8, adding: “In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, learners will be more mobile, moving in and out of formal education as their job, health, and family situations change.”

A key theme of the report is personal data agency — i.e., how “distributed ledger technologies [DLT] can ‘democratize’ data and empower individuals with agency over their personal information.”

 

Blockchain has been described as a hammer in search of a nail. If so, academic credentialing appears to be as obvious a nail as one can find. The current international trade in fake academic degrees, after all, is “staggering,” as the BBC reported, and with a global labor market increasingly mobile, the world could badly use a decentralized, borderless, tamper-free ledger of verifiable credentials — both for education and the broader labor market.

 

 

 


Below is a snapshot from a video that
Kim O’Leary, Professor at the WMU-Cooley Law School did regarding the topic of giving (and receiving) individualized feedback.

As a relevant aside here, I want to send a shout out to Kim, as she is incredibly devoted to the craft of teaching and learning and to developing solid, competent learners and lawyers. She is a fantastic professor, as well as a caring, hard-working person — an excellent colleague whom I’m very grateful to have the privilege of working alongside.

Daniel: Do our learning environments and systems promote our students' self-motivation? I don't think so. No way.

When I saw this quote from Thomas Friedman, I wondered…

  • Are our school systems creating students who are self-motivated?

Sorry…but my answer (based on what my own learning experiences in K-16 were like as well as from having observed the learning experiences of our three kids) was, “No way…at least not yet.” And the ramifications of this are getting increasingly serious as our kids need to be able to navigate an often chaotic, quickly-changing world from here on out.

  • We don’t offer nearly enough learner agency.
  • We create gameplayers who only focus on grades.
  • We tell students what to learn.
  • We don’t offer nearly enough choice and control to students.

 

 

Per Kim O’Leary, here are some resources re: the topic of giving/receiving feedback:

 

Other items re: feedback worth checking out:

How ‘Learning Engineering’ Hopes to Speed Up Education — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

One insight Lepper brought is that when education software tools simply list all the errors students made and points out what they should have done instead, what many end up hearing is, “You’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong.” For students, this is a discouraging engagement, Lepper says.

“That kind of feedback would be perfect if you had a robot learner on the other end,” he says. “The robot learner would be delighted to have you say, ‘Okay, you made three errors in problem number one,’ and being a robot learner, they’d be able to take out those bugs and do better the next time. Real kids, especially real kids who are kind of phobic about math and who think they can’t do it, they leave and say, ‘See I can’t do it.’”

Don’t water down feedback to your student — from teachingprofessor.com by John Orlando

RetrievalPractice.org/feedback

From OLC session “Carl Rogers, Teaching Presence, and Student Engagement in Online Learning” Cheng-Chia (Brian) Chen, Denise Bockmier-Sommers, & Karen Swan (emphasis DSC)

  • Use student’s first name in feedback
  • Speak directly to them
  • Paraphrase their words
  • Provide video feedback
  • Sandwich method — Include the strengths of student’s reasoning or responses in addition to your constructive critique(s)
  • Acknowledge student contributions
  • Let them know you care and appreciate them
  • What’s timely feedback? The quicker the better, but whatever your availability is, tell what students can expect, and stick to that. Put that into your syllabus along with communication methods (email, LMS message, phone, other)

Leveraging Feedback Experiences in Online Learning — from er.educause.edu by Erin Crisp

4 dimensions of feedback

Here are some design tips to increase the probability for success.

  • Structure the course so that there are opportunities for instructors and peers to provide formative feedback several weeks before final projects/papers are due.
  • Identify key time frames in the course when instructors will be heavily engaged in providing written or video feedback that is individualized and moves the learning forward.
  • Create a bank of content-specific feedback comments that instructors can use for common issues and errors.
  • If end-of-course survey evaluations are low, implement strategies to provide feedback that directly connects to learners as individuals.
  • If you teach and grade papers in a professional discipline, provide feedback related to the course and program learning outcomes, and focus less on grammar and language usage.
 

Remote collaboration and virtual conferences, the future of work — from forces.com by Charlie Fink

Excerpts:

Ten weeks ago, Jesse Damiani, writing on Forbes.com, told the story of a college professor who turned his course about XR into a research project about remote collaboration and virtual conferences.

He and his students reimagined the course as an eight-week research sprint exploring how XR tools will contribute to the future of remote work—and the final product will be a book, tentatively titled, Remote Collaboration & Virtual Conferences: The End of Distance and the Future of Work.”

This is a chapter of that book. It will be available on June 15.

The thing everyone wants is not a technology, it’s engagement. The same kind of engagement that you would have in real life, but better, faster, cheaper *and safer* than it was before.

Also see:

 

From DSC:
I’m embarking on a journey to discover how our emotions impact our cognition. Why? I have a suspicion that the Socratic Method is actually hurting some students’ learning, vs. helping them.

 

 

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