Improved Student Engagement in Higher Education’s Next Normal — from er.educause.edu by Ed Glantz, Chris Gamrat, Lisa Lenze and Jeffrey Bardzell
Five pandemic-introduced innovative teaching adaptations can improve student engagement in the next normal for higher education.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The five teaching enhancements/adaptations discussed above—collaborative technologies for sense-making, student experts in learning and technology, back channels, digital breakout rooms, and supplemental recording—are well positioned to expand the definition of “student engagement” beyond traditional roll call and attendance tracking. Opportunities to include students at a distance have permitted inclusion of students who are reticent to speak publicly, students whose first language is not English, students with disabilities, and students less engaged through “traditional” channels. With these new conceptions of engagement in mind, we are prepared to be more inclusive of all students in the next normal of higher education.

 

More Employers Are Awarding Credentials. Is A Parallel Higher Education System Emerging? — from edsurge.com by Sean Gallagher and Holly Zanville

Excerpt:

As the acceptance of new types of credentials grows, a number of employers have become learning providers in their own right, in a way that could shake up the broader higher education landscape.

A growing number of companies have moved beyond training their own employees or providing tuition assistance programs to send staff members to higher education. Many of these employers are also developing their own curricula and rapidly expanding their publicly-facing credential offerings.

But the current boom in employer-issued credentials is different—and potentially transformational. Unlike the traditional IT certifications of decades past, these new credentials are less focused on proprietary technologies related to a given tech vendor, and are instead more focused on broadly applicable tech skill sets such as IT support, cloud computing and digital marketing.

 

Altered Work Landscape Points to New Directions for L&D — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Pamela Hogel

Excerpt:

Learning and development (L&D) leaders emerged from 2020 with increased respect and influence in their organizations—presenting opportunities to shape workers and drive readiness for further changes. Many organizations emerged from 2020 with an increased openness to digital transformation and an accelerated timetable for achieving online learning maturity.

The 2021 LinkedIn Learning Workplace Learning Report, released in early March, bears this out.



From DSC:
Which fits nicely into this vision. 

 

It’s Time to Rethink Higher Education: What if our goal was creating social impact, not preserving the status quo? — from chronicle.com by Brian Rosenberg (president emeritus of Macalester College and president in residence of the Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Higher education should in its ideal form lead to more economic security for more people, a more equitable and innovative society, and a well-functioning democracy. Add whatever goals you would like, but these seem like a reasonable starting point and, given the present state of the country, more than a little aspirational.

But if we fail to explore — if we fail to go beyond superficial change and interrogate our most fundamental assumptions about how and what we teach, how and why we organize ourselves in the current way — we will have no one but ourselves to blame if the system as we know it shrivels to the point where it collapses from within or is painfully disrupted from without.

Also see:

The Pandemic May Have Permanently Altered Campuses. Here’s How. — from chronicle.com by Francie Diep
Trends accelerated by Covid-19 may make more sense than ever in the future, experts say.

Excerpt:

The Covid-19 crisis has transformed all aspects of higher education, and the physical campus is no exception. The Chronicle recently released a special report, Rethinking Campus Spaces, that offers strategies for doing more with less space, to save money and prepare for an uncertain future. Here is an adapted excerpt from the report.

The Chronicle asked more than 40 architects, campus planners, and leaders in student life and housing about how several categories of campus spaces might look different in the future. As colleges navigate difficult financial straits, many interviewees predicted more public-private partnerships, and renovations instead of new construction — which can be less costly and more environmentally friendly. Overall, their answers paint a picture of future campuses that are more adaptable, perhaps smaller, and focused on what’s most valuable about seeing one’s peers in person.

 

Today’s Teens Questioning the Status Quo When It Comes to College — from prnewswire.com by with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
National survey finds high schoolers want lower-cost, quicker paths to careers: 50 percent are open to something other than a four-year degree

Excerpt:

For those who have been following the discussion, it will not come as a shock that this demographic is extremely concerned about the cost of higher education. In fact, the number one thing teens would change about college is the price tag. Their second top concern is making sure the path they take directly connects them to a future career. Specifically, the top three things Gen Z teens are most concerned about:

  • 50 percent—graduating with a high amount of debt
  • 44 percent—not getting a job after they graduate
  • 40 percent—not being prepared for a job after school ends

From DSC:
I sometimes use the tag “surviving” and it often has to do with individuals and families. But over the last few years, I have found myself using it for institutions of traditional higher education (as I did for this posting).

It’s time for reinvention if we want those institutions to survive. Those who can’t wait until the status quo returns are likely in for a disappointment, if not outright shock. Over the last several years, many people have already lost their jobs throughout higher ed, positions have gone unfilled, and early retirement offers were made (and often snatched up). The headcounts have been decreasing for years and the workloads have increased for the survivors of such cuts. The use of adjunct faculty members has been on the increase for many years now. 

Those institutions that have cultures that support experimentation, innovation, and support strategic, nimble, entrepreneurial thinking have a better chance of surviving.

 

From DSC:
This is what we’re up against –> Reskilling 1 billion people by 2030” — from saffroninteractive.com by Jessica Anderson

Excerpts:

According to the World Economic Forum, this statistic is a critical economic imperative.

Does this shock or scare you? Perhaps you’re completely unflappable? Whatever your reaction, this situation will undoubtedly impact your organisation and the way you tackle skills development.

What are the roadblocks?

So, we’ve laid down the gauntlet; an adaptable, agile, multi-skilled workforce. What stands in the way of achieving this? A recent survey of the top 5 challenges facing learning leaders sheds some light:

1. Building a learning culture
2. Learning in the flow of work
3. Digital transformation
4. Learner engagement and ownership
5. Keeping informed of best practices

From DSC:
The article mentions that nations could lose billions in potential GDP growth. And while that is likely very true, I think a far bigger concern is the very peace and fabric of our societies — the way of living that billions of people will either enjoy or have to endure. Civil unrest, increased inequality, warfare, mass incarcerations, etc. are huge concerns.

The need for a next-gen learning platform is now! The time for innovation and real change is now. It can’t come too soon. The private and public sectors need to collaborate to create “an Internet for learning” (in the sense that everyone can contribute items to the platform and that the platform is standards based). Governments, corporations, individuals, etc. need to come together. We’re all in the same boat here. It benefits everyone to come together. 

Learning from the living class room -- a next generation, global learning platform is needed ASAP

 

A message about learning from the C-suite — from chieflearningofficer.com by Patricia A. McLagan
Executives are increasingly saying they want to create “learning organizations” and support “lifelong learning.” So, what should executives be saying to their workforce about learning today? Consider this sample letter to employees from the C-suite.

Excerpts:

How are you keeping up your skills and knowledge in our increasingly complex and fast-changing world of work? As today’s pandemic turmoil reminds us, it is hard to predict how the future will evolve. But one thing we do know is that continuous learning will be a key survival meta-skill for all of us — learning that each of us consciously guides every day, moment to moment, alone, in teams, with any resource, anywhere and anytime.

Consider: More than 50 percent of today’s jobs will probably disappear or change radically within 10 years. There are many reasons for this.

Beyond technology, companies like ours need more agility, innovation and self-management from everyone. We used to manage more by job descriptions, and you were best described as a box on the organization chart — probably with little expectation that you could experiment, take risks, and act with discretion and autonomy. But today and into the future, your skills and creative thinking matter more. Your “job” responsibilities shift as you move into and out of teams and as we call on you to support new strategies, customer groups and priorities.

From DSC:
I really appreciated reading this solid article from Patricia McLagan. She captured so many solid points. That said, I was bummed to see the following item included in this article (emphasis DSC):

Of course, our company is committed to supporting your learning and development, to providing formal training and access to learning opportunities for everyone. But even in the best of times, we will only be able to formally support a small part of what you will need and want. This is why I am sending this note to you: to tell you that we care about your learning and development, that we will do our best to support it, but that 95 percent of your learning is in your hands.

Of course, our company is committed to supporting your learning and development, to providing formal training and access to learning opportunities for everyone. But even in the best of times, we will only be able to formally support a small part of what you will need and want. This is why I am sending this note to you: to tell you that we care about your learning and development, that we will do our best to support it, but that 95 percent of your learning is in your hands.

Our company is committed to supporting your learning development — yeh…right…all 5% of it. 
Whoopie. The other 95% of it belongs to you and me. (Which reminds me that words are so easy to say but much harder to truly back up.) And you and I will likely do it on your/our own time. That seems to be more of the reality…the expectation…especially when job cuts are occurring all over the place and the job plates continue to expand for those who survived the cuts.

My experience over my career has been that corporations used to promote and truly support their employees’ professional development. They sent more people to courses and significantly helped many people obtain their MBA’s as well as other relevant master’s degrees and/or certifications/ and/or just to support some professional interests.

For example, I’m forever indebted to one of my formers bosses, Irvin Charles Coleman III. I worked for Irv at Kraft Foods’ HQ’s and he once let me go to a seminar on Photoshop. Though I used Photoshop in my work, it wasn’t in my formal description. That seminar changed many things for me. It supported my growth and learning and it fed my passion for designing and creating content.

I’m sure this kind of thing still occurs, but from what I can tell, it doesn’t happen at nearly the level that it used to. That said, I don’t blame the corporate world for getting bummed out at their employees that they had invested in — only to see those same employees grab the degrees and credentials and leave for greener pastures. Through the years, it seemed like the corporate world backed off from providing such a level of training/professional development.

These days, it seems like the corporations and the businesses out there have the hiring expectation that you will hit the ground running from day one. Learning and development are up to you and me. Nevermind that the way learning is supposed to go is that you:

  • introduce the learning objectives to someone
  • give them the information/content
  • provide the relevant and aligned learning activities that help them truly engage with the content
  • provide aligned formative and summative assessments along the way to ascertain whether they learned the material/concepts or not.

So I’m amazed that corporations are putting recent grads through their own tests on things that many of these students have never actually studied. (Yeh, I can hear the push backs now…and while I agree with some of them, it’s not fair to the students. They just followed what the colleges and universities offered for$100,000-$400,000+).

I could go on, but I need to go do my taxes. Gotta run. I hope to pick this line of thought up later.

 

2U, Guild Education Partner to Expand Online Education for Adult Workers — from edsurge.com by Tony Wan

Excerpt:

But the current crisis is anything but, and an increasingly remote workforce will only accelerate the need for new skills and habits to keep companies running.

2U, a publicly traded company, will make its degree programs, short courses and online coding “bootcamps” available to Guild Education’s network of employers. That’s over 500 programs, spanning more than 30 disciplines, that they will have access to. It’s largely up to the employer to choose which ones they want to subsidize for their workers, Freedman says.

“Businesses are eliminating some roles, yet are desperate to hire for others. But you cannot hire away to solve what is fundamentally a training problem.” In other words, it makes more sense to invest in training internal talent, rather than firing people and hiring replacements.

 

Public Viewpoint: COVID-19 Work and Education Research — from cci.stradaeducation.org

Excerpt:

In the recovering economy, employers will play a central role as Americans look to reskill, upskill, and compete in the workforce. But what do people want and expect from employers’ hiring, advancement, and training practices? In this research we explore the public’s perceptions on skills-based hiring, preferences for employer-provided education and training benefits, and beliefs about who should fund education and training.

This week’s data are based on the Strada Student Viewpoint and Strada-Gallup Education Consumer surveys. The research is intended to provide insights to the education and training providers, policymakers, employers, and individual Americans who are navigating the COVID-19 crisis.

 

 

 

Time for Reinvention, Not Just Replication or Revision — from insidehighered.com by Ray Schroeder
With enrollments falling, college budgets under strain and employers dissatisfied with the relevance of graduates’ learning, now is a time for more than replication or revision — it is time for reinvention.

Excerpt:

We are at the confluence of massive economic, technologic and social changes that demand higher education do more than small fixes. We will not thrive if we merely tweak the system to replicate practices of the lecture hall in an online delivery system. This is not an empty warning — universities across the country are closing programs, laying off staff and faculty, and teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. I have personally been tracking these economic disadvantages for some time now.

Here are the key factors we must consider…(see rest of article)

Our centuries-old model of admitting 18-year-old high school graduates for a four-, five- or six-year baccalaureate, then sending them out for lifelong careers in business and industry is no longer relevant.

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room: Adobe — via Behance — is already doing several pieces of this vision.

From DSC:
Talk about streams of content! Whew!

Streams of content

I received an email from Adobe that was entitled, “This week on Adobe Live: Graphic Design.”  (I subscribe to their Adobe Creative Cloud.) Inside the email, I saw and clicked on the following:

Below are some of the screenshots I took of this incredible service! Wow!

 

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

 

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

 

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

 

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

 

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

 


From DSC:
So Abobe — via Behance — is already doing several pieces of the “Learning from the Living [Class] Room” vision. I knew of Behance…but I didn’t realize the magnitude of what they’ve been working on and what they’re currently delivering. Very sharp indeed!

Churches are doing this as well — one device has the presenter/preacher on it (such as a larger “TV”), while a second device is used to communicate with each other in real-time.


 

 

January hiring slips 2.8%; bright spots in U.S. are legal, software and finance — from linkedin.com by George Anders

Excerpt:

If you’re looking for further evidence that U.S. industry is running on two different tracks these days — in which “laptop economy” professions such as legal and finance are doing fairly well, while face-to-face jobs are facing tough times — that message is starkly clear in the latest edition of LinkedIn’s Hiring Report.

For January, the U.S. Hiring Report showed a 2.8% decline from December’s reading, and an overall 7.6% drop from a year earlier. What looks like relatively mild slippage in aggregate turns out to be two trends pointing in sharply different directions once the focus switches to industry-by-industry outcomes.

Three industries remain ahead of their hiring tempo a full year ago, in spite of the overall decline. They are legal (+3.8%), finance (3.4%) and software and information technology (+3.0%).

 

How Much Has Covid Cost Colleges? $183 Billion — from chronicle.com by Paul N. Friga

Excerpt:

How bad is it? To answer that, my colleagues and I sought to go beyond surveys. We conducted an extensive review of publicly announced revenue and budget news from the top 400 universities in U.S. News & World Report, as well as its top 100 liberal-arts colleges, drawing from news released from March through December. We were able to obtain data from 107 of those institutions (21 percent). The results are dire. Our research suggests that we are experiencing the biggest financial losses our sector has ever faced. The institutions we tracked averaged an estimated 14-percent aggregate decline in revenues across fiscal years 2020 and 2021, and further losses loom as drops in enrollment, tuition freezes, and Covid-related expenses continue.

What do these cuts and losses add up to? We estimate the impact as follows: $85 billion in lost revenues, $24 billion for Covid-related expenses, and $74 billion in anticipated future decreases in state funding. That adds up to a whopping $183 billion.

Also see:

 

Nearly three-quarters of pandemic affected parents feel students should learn subjects they’re passionate about, not those of little interest — from newswire.ca by Unschooling School

Excerpt:

TORONTO, Feb. 1, 2021 /CNW/ – A nation-wide survey of Canadian parents released today finds that nearly three in four of them (73%) believe the education system today would be better for students if it were structured to give them more choice and time to just learn those subjects and topics, they are either excited or passionate about.

Also, more than two-thirds (67%) want a school reset, so students learn more of the subject areas they’re passionate about and not those of little interest to them.

From DSC:
I feel the same way about many K12 systems here in the United States. Our youngest daughter — who has been studying at home this past year — has so much more energy and passion when we give her more agency to do the things that *she* wants to do and to learn about the things that *she* wants to learn about.

Learning channels of the future will provide us with more choice, more control.

And readers of this blog know that I’m all about the love of learning (or even liking it better), seeing as we all need to be lifelong learners these days.

The more we enjoy learning = The better, more fulfilling, enjoyable that our lives will be! (Not to mention how much more productive we’ll be as well.)

 

 

Amazon plans to retrain millions — from linkedin.com by Jessica Hartogs

Excerpt:

Amazon will reskill 29 million people globally for cloud-computing careers. The company says the programs, which will stem from existing ones as well as newer partnerships with nonprofits and schools, will retrain millions of workers by 2025. According to The Wall Street Journal, the online giant is making the move after the pandemic disrupted millions of careers and is aimed at people not employed with the company, as of yet. While Amazon plans to hire some of these newly trained workers, “the idea is to equip people with the education needed to work in … high-tech positions.”

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian