OPINION: Americans need help paying for new, nondegree programs and college alternatives — from hechingerreport.org by Connor Diemand-Yauman and Rebecca Taber Staehelin
Updating the Pell Grant program would be an excellent way to support much-needed alternatives

Janelle’s story is all too familiar throughout the U.S. — stuck in a low-paying job, struggling to make ends meet after being failed by college. Roughly 40 million Americans have left college without completing a degree — historically seen as a golden ticket to the middle class.

Yet even with a degree, many fall short of economic prosperity.

 


Information Age vs Generation Age Technologies for Learning — from opencontent.org by David Wiley

Remember (emphasis DSC)

  • the internet eliminated time and place as barriers to education, and
  • generative AI eliminates access to expertise as a barrier to education.

Just as instructional designs had to be updated to account for all the changes in affordances of online learning, they will need to be dramatically updated again to account for the new affordances of generative AI.


The Curious Educator’s Guide to AI | Strategies and Exercises for Meaningful Use in Higher Ed  — from ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub by Kyle Mackie and Erin Aspenlieder; via Stephen Downes

This guide is designed to help educators and researchers better understand the evolving role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in higher education. This openly-licensed resource contains strategies and exercises to help foster an understanding of AI’s potential benefits and challenges. We start with a foundational approach, providing you with prompts on aligning AI with your curiosities and goals.

The middle section of this guide encourages you to explore AI tools and offers some insights into potential applications in teaching and research. Along with exposure to the tools, we’ll discuss when and how to effectively build AI into your practice.

The final section of this guide includes strategies for evaluating and reflecting on your use of AI. Throughout, we aim to promote use that is effective, responsible, and aligned with your educational objectives. We hope this resource will be a helpful guide in making informed and strategic decisions about using AI-powered tools to enhance teaching and learning and research.


Annual Provosts’ Survey Shows Need for AI Policies, Worries Over Campus Speech — from insidehighered.com by Ryan Quinn
Many institutions are not yet prepared to help their faculty members and students navigate artificial intelligence. That’s just one of multiple findings from Inside Higher Ed’s annual survey of chief academic officers.

Only about one in seven provosts said their colleges or universities had reviewed the curriculum to ensure it will prepare students for AI in their careers. Thuswaldner said that number needs to rise. “AI is here to stay, and we cannot put our heads in the sand,” he said. “Our world will be completely dominated by AI and, at this point, we ain’t seen nothing yet.”


Is GenAI in education more of a Blackberry or iPhone? — from futureofbeinghuman.com by Andrew Maynard
There’s been a rush to incorporate generative AI into every aspect of education, from K-12 to university courses. But is the technology mature enough to support the tools that rely on it?

In other words, it’s going to mean investing in concepts, not products.

This, to me, is at the heart of an “iPhone mindset” as opposed to a “Blackberry mindset” when it comes to AI in education — an approach that avoids hard wiring in constantly changing technologies, and that builds experimentation and innovation into the very DNA of learning.

For all my concerns here though, maybe there is something to being inspired by the Blackberry/iPhone analogy — not as a playbook for developing and using AI in education, but as a mindset that embraces innovation while avoiding becoming locked in to apps that are detrimentally unreliable and that ultimately lead to dead ends.


Do teachers spot AI? Evaluating the detectability of AI-generated texts among student essays — from sciencedirect.com by Johanna Fleckenstein, Jennifer Meyer, Thorben Jansen, Stefan D. Keller, Olaf Köller, and Jens Möller

Highlights

  • Randomized-controlled experiments investigating novice and experienced teachers’ ability to identify AI-generated texts.
  • Generative AI can simulate student essay writing in a way that is undetectable for teachers.
  • Teachers are overconfident in their source identification.
  • AI-generated essays tend to be assessed more positively than student-written texts.

Can Using a Grammar Checker Set Off AI-Detection Software? — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young
A college student says she was falsely accused of cheating, and her story has gone viral. Where is the line between acceptable help and cheating with AI?


Use artificial intelligence to get your students thinking critically — from timeshighereducation.com by Urbi Ghosh
When crafting online courses, teaching critical thinking skills is crucial. Urbi Ghosh shows how generative AI can shape how educators can approach this


ChatGPT shaming is a thing – and it shouldn’t be — from futureofbeinghuman.com by Andrew Maynard
There’s a growing tension between early and creative adopters of text based generative AI and those who equate its use with cheating. And when this leads to shaming, it’s a problem.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

This will sound familiar to anyone who’s incorporating generative AI into their professional workflows. But there are still many people who haven’t used apps like ChatGPT, are largely unaware of what they do, and are suspicious of them. And yet they’ve nevertheless developed strong opinions around how they should and should not be used.

From DSC:
Yes…that sounds like how many faculty members viewed online learning, even though they had never taught online before.

 

Navigating the Changing Landscape of Lifelong Learning — from prsa.org by Susan B. Walton, Ph.D.

The first step to finding the right PR learning program is understanding what’s currently available to learners:

  • Undergraduate and graduate degree programs remain the pathway to earning a college degree in public relations, and now include more online options than ever before.
  • Certificate programs are shorter courses of study that often focus on strengthening specific skills, such as crisis communications or knowledge of a specific industry such as health care. They are offered through professional associations, employers, private entities or academic graduate programs, especially programs geared toward working professionals.
  • Microcertificate or microcredential programs may be even shorter and more focused than certificate programs. They can be a series of short courses and are usually focused on skills needed for a specific employer or job, such as analytical tools for a particular web platform. Successful completion of the microcertificate(s) may earn a microcredential, such as a badge, which can be displayed on the recipient’s social media sites.

If you’re a professional who’s considering jumping back into school, then certificate and microcertificate programs are excellent ways to dip a toe in the water.


On somewhat related notes:

Public Infrastructure on Skills — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain
The search for population-level solutions to strengthen links between education and work.

The new Center for Skills by C-BEN seeks to bring clarity and coordination to the skills space. Launched this week with a $1.5M grant from Walmart, the center will attempt to create objective, reliable ways to assess and validate skills, to help bridge the gap between education and the workforce.

The center could help the millions of employers who are looking for skills-based solutions and aren’t going to build their own skills academies, says Clayton Lord, director of foundation programs at SHRM.

“It’s hard for small and mid-sized businesses to find their way into this conversation,” he says. “We can’t create something that is more arduous for employers.”


Closing The Skills Gap: An Inside Look At The Achievement Wallet — from forbes.com by Dr. Sarah DeMark

In the dynamic realm of today’s workforce, skills gaps are increasing. Highly skilled talent is out there, but information gaps and traditional hiring methods make it challenging for skilled talent and employers to find one another. While digital recruiting systems have made it more efficient to find prospective candidates, qualified candidates are often vetted out of the hiring process when they do not match the exact criteria, according to a study conducted by Harvard Business School.

With the rapid pace of change — think automation, new technology, and artificial intelligence — businesses must innovate and think about the best ways to create career mobility and career pathways for their workforces into the roles of tomorrow.

In Pursuit of Agency
Imagine a future where learners can instantly see where they stand in a crowded job market, assess their abilities and gaps, and identify opportunities for growth. Or where employers can identify candidates with specific, often hard-to-spot competencies and skills. Possible? Yes. Western Governors University (WGU), the country’s largest competency-based, workforce-relevant online university, is reimagining that future by deploying the Achievement Wallet for WGU students nationally and working students at educational institutions across the state of Indiana.

Also see:

 

Colleges are now closing at a pace of one a week. What happens to the students? — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
Most never finish their degrees, and alumni wonder about the value of degrees they’ve earned

About one university or college per week so far this year, on average, has announced that it will close or merge. That’s up from a little more than two a month last year, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, or SHEEO.

Most students at colleges that close give up on their educations altogether. Fewer than half transfer to other institutions, a SHEEO study found. Of those, fewer than half stay long enough to get degrees. Many lose credits when they move from one school to another and have to spend longer in college, often taking out more loans to pay for it.

Colleges are almost certain to keep closing. As many as one in 10 four-year colleges and universities are in financial peril, the consulting firm EY Parthenon estimates.

Students who transferlose an average of 43 percentof the credits they’ve already earned and paid for, the Government Accountability Office found in the most recent comprehensive study of this problem.

Also relevant:

 

Making your campus neurodivergent friendly — from timeshighereducation.com
How to create a university where neurodivergent staff and students feel welcome and thrive in the classroom, in the lab and throughout campus

Neurodivergent students and staff think about, interact with and see the world differently from their neurotypical peers and colleagues. Universities that adopt inclusive practices to welcome people with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and other disabilities to campus also foster their distinct strengths and talents in the classroom, labs, boardrooms and social spaces. This collection of resources offers advice for teachers, researchers, PhD supervisors and administrators for supporting neurodiversity in higher education.


Some Colleges Will Soon Charge $100,000 a Year. How Did This Happen? — from nytimes.com by Ron Lieber; via Ryan Craig
Some Vanderbilt students will have $100,000 in total expenses for the 2024-25 school year. The school doesn’t really want to talk about it.

It was only a matter of time before a college would have the nerve to quote its cost of attendance at nearly $100,000 a year. This spring, we’re catching our first glimpse of it.

One letter to a newly admitted Vanderbilt University engineering student showed an all-in price — room, board, personal expenses, a high-octane laptop — of $98,426. A student making three trips home to Los Angeles or London from the Nashville campus during the year could hit six figures.

This eye-popping sum is an anomaly. Only a tiny fraction of college-going students will pay anything close to this anytime soon, and about 35 percent of Vanderbilt students — those who get neither need-based nor merit aid — pay the full list price.

But a few dozen other colleges and universities that reject the vast majority of applicants will probably arrive at this threshold within a few years. Their willingness to cross it raises two questions for anyone shopping for college: How did this happen, and can it possibly be worth it?


‘Running Out of Road’ for FAFSA Completion — from insidehighered.com by Liam Knox
The number of students who filled out the federal aid form is down nearly 30 percent. The ramifications for access and enrollment could be devastating.

And that’s probably an optimistic estimate, said Bill DeBaun, NCAN’s senior director of data and strategic initiatives; if the pace of completion doesn’t pick up, the decline could be closer to 700,000 students. That could translate to up to a 4 percent drop in college-goers come fall, DeBaun said, which would be the largest enrollment drop since the COVID-19 pandemic—and one that’s likely to be made up primarily of low-income and first-generation students.


Study: Nearly 40 Percent of Students Started, Never Finished College — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
Federal researchers followed the post-secondary outcomes of 23,000 students for 12 years. 

Only 60 percent of students who enrolled in college earned a degree or credential within eight years of graduating high school.

That’s one of the biggest takeaways from a new report the National Center for Education Statistics released Monday that analyzed the enrollment, completion and financial aid outcomes of students.

The researchers tracked the postsecondary educational outcomes of roughly 23,000 students beginning in 2009 when they were freshman in high school through 2021, when the cohort was eight years out from graduating high school.


Race to the Finish | The rise of faster bachelor’s degrees raises the question: What is college for? — from chronicle.com by Kelly Field; from Jeff Selingo

Taken together, the two recent decisions illustrate a blurring of the lines between the two- and four-year sectors that is taking place not just in Idaho, but nationwide, as colleges struggle to overcome enrollment declines and skepticism about the value of a bachelor’s degree.

“It’s pretty clear that higher education is in a funk,” said Robert M. Zemsky, a University of Pennsylvania professor, who has been advocating for three-year programs for more than 15 years. “There’s a sense that we have to do something to make the product better, more relevant, and less costly to students.”


Excerpt from Next — from/by Jeff Selingo

Bottom line: While critics of a shorter degree see it as a lesser replacement for the four-year baccalaureate degree, advocates see it as another option for students who might not be interested in college at a time when enrollment is falling.

  • “We need to use this opportunity to redesign and do things better,” Carrell said. “That means that we all need to stay curious. We need to be a learning enterprise…and learn from the evidence we produce.”

Job-Ready on Day One — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain

The U.S. faces a serious shortage of workers in the skilled trades—fields like HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar, and construction. And those labor gaps are likely to widen as the federal government spends billions on infrastructure projects.

Employers in these industries are desperate for hires, says Doug Donovan, the founder and CEO of Interplay Learning. Yet the “challenge is not employer demand for workers,” he says, “but rather ensuring that learners learn about skilled trades careers and pursue them.”

The Austin-based Interplay offers online and VR training for workers in the skilled trades. The company was founded in 2016 with a focus on upskilling the hands-on worker. Even before the pandemic exacerbated labor shortages, Donovan says companies in these trades needed to hire workers who didn’t have all the skills required for jobs.

Interplay’s online courses and 3D, interactive simulations get close to what a learner is going to see on the job, says Donovan. “We aren’t trying to replace hands-on, instructor-led training,” he says. “We are trying to deliver tools that enhance that hands-on time or make it more efficient.”


 

 

Corporate Learning Is Boring — But It Doesn’t Have to Be — from hbr.org by Duncan Wardle; via GSV

Summary:
Most corporate learnings aren’t cutting it. Almost 60% of employees say they’re interested in upskilling and training, but 57% of workers also say they’re already pursuing training outside of work. The author, the former Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney, argues that creativity is the missing piece to make upskilling engaging and effective. From his experience, he shares four strategies to unlock creativity in trainings: 1) Encourage “What if?”, 2) respond “How else?” to challenges, 3) give people time to think by encouraging playfulness, and 4) make training a game.

 

[Report] The Top 100 AI for Work – April 2024 — from flexos.work; with thanks to Daan van Rossum for this resource
AI is helping us work up to 41% more effectively, according to recent Bain research. We review the platforms to consider for ourselves and our teams.

Following our AI Top 150, we spent the past few weeks analyzing data on the top AI platforms for work. This report shares key insights, including the AI tools you should consider adopting to work smarter, not harder.

While there is understandable concern about AI in the work context, the platforms in this list paint a different picture. It shows a future of work where people can do what humans are best suited for while offloading repetitive, digital tasks to AI.

This will fuel the notion that it’s not AI that takes your job but a supercharged human with an army of AI tools and agents. This should be a call to action for every working person and business leader reading this.

 

The New Academic Arms Race | Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology. — from chronicle.com by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Now, after the pandemic, with the value of the bachelor’s degree foremost in the minds of students and families, a new academic arms race is emerging. This one is centered around academic innovation. The winners will be those institutions that in the decade ahead better apply technology in teaching and learning and develop different approaches to credentialing.

Sure, technology is often seen as plumbing on campuses — as long as it works, we don’t worry about it. And rarely do prospective students on a tour ever ask about academic innovations like extended reality or microcredentials. Campus tours prefer to show off the bells and whistles of residential life within dorms and dining halls.

That’s too bad.

The problem is not a lack of learners, but rather a lack of alignment in what colleges offer to a generation of learners surrounded by Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram, where they can stream entertainment and music anytime, anywhere.

From DSC:
When I worked for Calvin (then College, now University) from 2007-2017, that’s exactly how technologies and the entire IT Department were viewed — as infrastructure providers. We were not viewed as being able to enhance the core business/offerings of the institution. We weren’t relevant in that area. In fact, the IT Department was shoved down in the basement of the library. Our Teaching & Learning Digital Studio was sidelined in a part of the library where few students went to. The Digitial Studio’s marketing efforts didn’t help much, as faculty members didn’t offer assignments that called for multimedia-based deliverables. It was a very tough and steep hill to climb.

Also the Presidents and Provosts over the last couple of decades (not currently though) didn’t think much of online-based learning, and the top administrators dissed the Internet’s ability to provide 24/7 worldwide conversations and learning. They missed the biggest thing to come along in education in 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). Our Teaching & Learning Group provided leadership by starting a Calvin Online pilot. We had 13-14 courses built and inquiries from Christian-based high schools were coming in for dual enrollment scenarios, but when it came time for the College to make a decision, it never happened. The topic/vote never made it to the floor of the Faculty Senate. The faculty and administration missed an enormous opportunity.

When Calvin College became Calvin University in 2019, they were forced to offer online-based classes. Had they supported our T&L Group’s efforts back in the early to mid-2010’s, they would have dove-tailed very nicely into offering more courses to working adults. They would have built up the internal expertise to offer these courses/programs. But the culture of the college put a stop to online-based learning at that time. They now regret that decision I’m sure (as they’ve had to outsource many things and they now offer numerous online-based courses and even entire programs — at a high cost most likely).

My how times have changed.


For another item re: higher education at the 30,000-foot level, see:


Lifelong Learning Models for a Changing Higher Ed Marketplace — from changinghighered.com by Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Amrit Ahluwalia
Exploring the transformation of higher education into lifelong learning hubs for workforce development, with innovative models and continuing education’s role.

Higher education is undergoing transformational change to redefine its role as a facilitator of lifelong learning and workforce development. In this 200th episode of Changing Higher Ed, host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guest Amrit Ahluwalia, incoming Executive Director for Continuing Studies at Western University, explore innovative models positioning universities as sustainable hubs for socioeconomic mobility.

The Consumer-Driven Educational Landscape
Over 60% of today’s jobs will be redefined by 2025, driving demand for continuous upskilling and reskilling to meet evolving workforce needs. However, higher education’s traditional model of imparting specific knowledge through multi-year degrees is hugely misaligned with this reality.

Soaring education costs have fueled a consumer mindset shift, with learners demanding a clear return on investment directly aligned with their career goals. The expectation is to see immediate skills application and professional impact from their educational investments, not just long-term outcomes years after completion.


 

The $340 Billion Corporate Learning Industry Is Poised For Disruption — from joshbersin.com by Josh Bersin

What if, for example, the corporate learning system knew who you were and you could simply ask it a question and it would generate an answer, a series of resources, and a dynamic set of learning objects for you to consume? In some cases you’ll take the answer and run. In other cases you’ll pour through the content. And in other cases you’ll browse through the course and take the time to learn what you need.

And suppose all this happened in a totally personalized way. So you didn’t see a “standard course” but a special course based on your level of existing knowledge?

This is what AI is going to bring us. And yes, it’s already happening today.

 

Edtech Unicorns Are Evolving Rather Than Disrupting — from bloomberg.com by Alex Webb

Consider Coursera Inc., the most prominent survivor of that early edtech hype. It’s now a public company, with a hefty $2.3 billion valuation. Finally, 12 years after it was founded — by, incidentally, another Google veteran in Andrew Ng — it’s set to report its first profit this year, according to analyst estimates. And the enterprise business is considerably more profitable, enjoying a 68% gross margin in 2023, compared to the consumer business’s 53% margin.

Figuring out the right match between training and utility is how several business schools seem to have developed successful online courses — which they are charging top dollar for. They’re in close contact with the sort of large corporations who hire their graduates, giving them a more intimate understanding of what those businesses seek.

Harvard Business School is one example. It made $74 million from online courses in fiscal 2022, the most recent year for which data is available

 

LinkedIn Learning: Workplace Learning Report 2024 — learning.linkedin.com

L&D powers the AI future

The AI era is here, and leaders across learning and talent development have a new mandate: help people and organizations rise to opportunity with speed and impact. 

As AI reshapes how people learn, work, and chart their careers, L&D sits at the center of organizational agility, delivering business innovation and critical skills. This report combines survey results, LinkedIn behavioral data, and wisdom from L&D pros around the globe to help you rewrite your playbook for the future of work. 

 

Accenture to acquire Udacity to build a learning platform focused on AI — from techcrunch.com by Ron Miller

Excerpt: (emphasis DSC):

Accenture announced today that it would acquire the learning platform Udacity as part of an effort to build a learning platform focused on the growing interest in AI. While the company didn’t specify how much it paid for Udacity, it also announced a $1 billion investment in building a technology learning platform it’s calling LearnVantage.

“The rise of generative AI represents one of the most transformative changes in how work gets done and is driving a growing need for enterprises to train and upskill people in cloud, data and AI as they build their digital core and reinvent their enterprises,” Kishore Durg, global lead of Accenture LearnVantage said in a statement.

.


.

 

Ecosystems for the future of learning — from thebigidea.education-reimagined.org by Education Reimagined and the History Co:Lab

The intent of this report is to help communities build their capacity for transformation of education, advancing toward what our society needs most—a system that works for young people. It draws on the experiences and insights of innovators across the United States who are already answering this challenge—creating learner-centered, community-based ecosystems.

This report includes:

  • a landscape analysis of select communities creating learning ecosystems;
  • a framework that emerged from the analysis and can be used by communities to consider their readiness and appetite for this transformation;
  • an invitation to communities to explore and discover their own path for reimagining education; and
  • a call for national and regional institutions to listen, learn from, and create the conditions for communities to pursue their visions.

From DSC:
The above items was accessed via the article below:

Where Does Work to Imagine a Learner-Centered Ecosystem Begin? — from gettingsmart.com by Alin Bennett

Key Points

  • The Norris School District in Wisconsin exemplifies how learner profiles and community connections can enhance authentic learning experiences for young people, fostering a culture of belonging and responsibility.
  • Purdue Polytechnic High School demonstrates the importance of enabling conditions, such as creating microschools with access to shared services, to support a learner-centered approach while ensuring scalability and access to a variety of resources.
 

6 work and workplace trends to watch in 2024 — from weforum.org by Kate Whiting; via Melanie Booth on LinkedIn

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

The world of work is changing fast.

By 2027, businesses predict that almost half (44%) of workers’ core skills will be disrupted.

Technology is moving faster than companies can design and scale up their training programmes, found the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report.

The Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024 found that “lack of economic opportunity” ranked as one of the top 10 biggest risks among risk experts over the next two years.

5. Skills will become even more important
With 23% of jobs expected to change in the next five years, according to the Future of Jobs Report, millions of people will need to move between declining and growing jobs.

 

Thriving in an age of continuous reinvention — from pwc.com
As existential threats converge, many companies are taking steps to reinvent themselves. Is it enough? And what will it take to succeed?
.

.

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian