How to Stanch Enrollment Loss — from chronicle.com by Jeff Selingo
It’s time to stop pretending the problem will fix itself.

Excerpt:

The latest enrollment numbers from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, for the fall of 2022, paint an ominous picture for higher education coming out of the pandemic. Even in what many college leaders have called a “normal” fall on campuses, enrollment was down 1.1 percent across all sectors. And while the drop was smaller than the past two Covid-stricken fall semesters, colleges across every sector still have lost more than a million students since the fall of 2019.

At some point, colleges need to stop blaming the students who sat out the pandemic or the economic factors and social forces buffeting higher education for enrollment losses. Instead, institutions should look at whether the student experience they’re offering and the outcomes they’re promising provide students with a sense of belonging in the classroom and on campus and ultimately a purpose for their education.


The Key Podcast | Ep.91: The Pros and Cons of HyFlex Instruction — from insidehighered.com with Doug Lederman, Enilda Romero-Hall and Alanna Gillis

Excerpt:

During the pandemic, many colleges and universities embraced a form of blended learning called HyFlex, to mixed reviews. Is it likely to be part of colleges’ instructional strategy going forward?

This week’s episode of The Key explores HyFlex, in which students in a classroom learn synchronously alongside a cohort of peers studying remotely. HyFlex moved from a fringe phenomenon to the mainstream during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the experience was imperfect at best, for professors and students alike.

This conversation about the teaching modality features two professors who have both taught in the HyFlex format and done research on its impact.

From DSC:
When I worked for a law school, we had a Weekend Blended Learning Program.  Student evaluations of these courses constantly mentioned that these WBLP-based courses saved many students hundreds of dollars for each particular class that we offered online (i.e., cost savings in flights, hotels, meals, rental cars, parking fees, etc.).

Another thought/idea:

  • What if traditional institutions of higher education were to offer tiered pricing? That is, perhaps students participating remotely could listen in and even audit classes, but pay less.

Colleges should use K-12 performance assessments for course placement, report says — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

Dive Brief:

  • Colleges should use K-12 performance assessments like capstone papers or portfolios for student course placements and advising, according to a recent report.
  • Typical methods of determining students’ placement in early college classes — like standardized tests — don’t fully illustrate their interests and academic potential, according to the report, which was published by postsecondary education access group Complete College America. Conversely, K-12 performance assessments ask students to demonstrate real-world skills, often in a way that ends with a tangible product.
  • The organizations recommend colleges and K-12 schools mesh their processes, such as by mutually developing a high school graduation requirement around performance assessments. This would help strengthen the K-12 school-college relationship and ease students’ transition from high school to college, the report states.

From DSC:
I post this particular item because I like the tighter integration that’s being recommended between K12 and higher education. It seems like better overall learning ecosystems design, design thinking, and on-ramping.

Along these lines, also see:

How Higher Ed Can Help Remedy K-12 Learning Losses — from insidehighered.com by Johanna Alonso
Low national scores have spurred discussion of how K-12 schools can improve student performance. Experts think institutions of higher education can help.

Excerpt:

Now educators at all levels are talking about ways to reverse the declines. Higher education leaders have already added supports for college students who suffered pandemic-related learning losses; many now aim to expand their efforts to help K-12 students who will eventually arrive on their campuses potentially with even more ground to make up.

It’s hard to tell yet what these supports will look like, but some anticipate they will involve strengthening the developmental education infrastructure that already exists for underprepared students. Others believe universities must play a role in the interventions currently ongoing at the K-12 level.


Also see:

CIN EdTech Student Survey | October 2022 — from wgulabs.org

Excerpt:

Our report shares three key takeaways:

  1. Students’ experiences with technology-enabled learning have improved since 2021.
  2. Students want online learning but institutions must overcome perceptions of lower learning quality.
  3. Students feel generally positive about an online-enabled future for higher education, but less so for themselves..

5 things colleges can do to help save the planet from climate change — from highereddive.com by Anthony Knerr
A strategy consultant explores ways colleges can improve sustainability.

Overwhelming demand for online classes is reshaping California’s community colleges — from latimes.com by Debbie Truongs; with thanks to Ray Schroeder out on LinkedIn for this resource

Excerpt:

Gallegos is among the thousands of California community college students who have changed the way they are pursuing higher education by opting for online classes in eye-popping numbers. The demand for virtual classes represents a dramatic shift in how instruction is delivered in one of the nation’s largest systems of public higher education and stands as an unexpected legacy of the pandemic.

Labster Hits Milestone of 300 Virtual Science Lab Simulations — from businesswire.com
Award-winning edtech pioneer adds new STEM titles and extensive product enhancements for interactive courseware for universities, colleges, and high schools

Excerpt:

Labster provides educators with the ability to digitally explore and enhance their science offerings and supplement their in-classroom activities. Labster virtual simulations in fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, and physics are especially useful for pre- and post-lab assignments, so science department leads can fully optimize the time students spend on-site in high-demand physical laboratories.

AAA partners with universities to develop tech talent — from ciodive.com by Lindsey Wilkinson
Through tech internships and for-credit opportunities, the auto club established a talent pipeline that has led to new feature development.

5 enrollment trends to keep an eye on for fall 2022 — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
Although undergraduate and graduate enrollment are both down, some types of institutions saw notable increases, including HBCUs and online colleges.

 

How Might Engineering Education Transition From In-Person To Hybrid and Online Modalities? — from insidehighered.com by Joshua Kim
Three questions for Rick Hill, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Excerpts:

Tools I use in my classroom, including MATLAB and Simulink, are key to recreating the in-person lab experience and giving engineering students access to the same equipment as engineers in the field. Students can gain experience analyzing data, developing algorithms and creating models. They’re developing skills in the design of systems with multidomain models, simulation and deployment without the need for code.

Virtual labs allow an instructor to easily introduce “experiments” into nonlab classes, either in the middle of a lecture or in homework. I do this with live scripts and simulation models. It saves me and the students the time of having to set up and debug the lab hardware and saves the cost and space of the physical laboratory while providing a very quick and controlled environment for doing experiments.

 

Higher Education in Motion: The Digital and Cultural Transformations Ahead — from er.educause.edu by John O’Brien

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

In 2015 when Janet Napolitano, then president of the University of California, responded to what she saw as a steadily growing “chorus of doom” predicting the demise of higher education, she did so with a turn of phrase that captured my imagination and still does. She said that higher education is not in crisis. “Instead, it is in motion, and it always has been.”

A brief insert by DSC:
Yes. In other words, it’s a learning ecosystem — with constant morphing & changing going on.

“We insisted then, and we continue to insist now, that digital transformation amounts to deep and coordinated change that substantially reshapes the operations, strategic directions, and value propositions of colleges and universities and that this change is enabled by culture, workforce, and technology shifts.

The tidal movement to digital transformation is linked to a demonstrably broader recognition of the strategic role and value of technology professionals and leaders on campus, another area of long-standing EDUCAUSE advocacy. For longer than we have talked about digital transformation, we have insisted that technology must be understood as a strategic asset, not a utility, and that senior IT leaders must be part of the campus strategic decision-making. But the idea of a strategic role for technology had disappointing traction among senior campus leaders before 2020.

From DSC:
The Presidents, Provosts, CIO’s, board members, influential faculty members, and other members of institutions’ key leadership positions who didn’t move powerfully forward with online-based learning over the last two+ decades missed the biggest thing to hit societies’ ability to learn in 500+ years — the Internet. Not since the invention of the printing press has learning had such an incredible gust of wind put in its sails. The affordances have been staggering, with millions of people now being educated in much less expensive ways (MOOCs, YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, other). Those who didn’t move forward with online-based learning in the past are currently scrambling to even survive. We’ll see how many close their doors as the number of effective alternatives increases.

Instead of functioning as a one-time fix during the pandemic, technology has become ubiquitous and relied upon to an ever-increasing degree across campus and across the student experience.

Moving forward, best of luck to those organizations who don’t have their CIOs at the decision-making table and reporting directly to the Presidents — and hopefully those CIO’s are innovative and visionary to begin with. Best of luck to those institutions who refuse to look up and around to see that the world has significantly changed from the time they got their degrees.

The current mix of new realities creates an opportunity for an evolution and, ideally, a synchronized reimagination of higher education overall. This will be driven by technology innovation and technology professionals—and will be made even more enduring by a campus culture of care for students, faculty, and staff.

Time will tell if the current cultures within many traditional institutions of higher education will allow them to adapt/change…or not.


Along the lines of transformations in our learning ecosystems, also see:


OPINION: Let’s use the pandemic as a dress-rehearsal for much-needed digital transformation — from hechingerreport.org by Jean-Claude Brizard
Schools must get ready for the next disruption and make high-quality learning available to all

Excerpts:

We should use this moment to catalyze a digital transformation of education that will prepare schools for our uncertain future.

What should come next is an examination of how schools can more deeply and deliberately harness technology to make high-quality learning accessible to every learner, even in the wake of a crisis. That means a digital transformation, with three key levers for change: in the classroom, in schools and at the systems level.

Platforms like these help improve student outcomes by enhancing teachers’ ability to meet individual students’ needs. They also allow learners to master new skills at their own pace, in their own way.

As Digital Transformation in Schools Continues, the Need for Enterprising IT Leaders Grows — from edtechmagazine.com by Ryan Petersen

K-12 IT leaders move beyond silos to make a meaningful impact inside and outside their schools.According to Korn Ferry’s research on enterprise leadership, “Enterprise leaders envision and grow; scale and create. They go beyond by going across the enterprise, optimizing the whole organization and its entire ecosystem by leading outside what they can control. These are leaders who see their role as being a participant in diverse and dynamic communities.”

 

 

How Long Should a Branching Scenario Be?— from christytuckerlearning.com by Christy Tucker
How long should a branching scenario be? Is 45 minutes too long? Is there an ideal length for a branching scenario?

Excerpt:

Most of the time, the branching scenarios and simulations I build are around 10 minutes long. Overall, I usually end up at 5-15 minutes for branching scenarios, with interactive video scenarios being at the longer end.

From DSC:
This makes sense to me, as (up to) 6 minutes turned out to be an ideal length for videos.

Excerpt from Optimal Video Length for Student Engagement — from blog.edx.org

The optimal video length is 6 minutes or shorter — students watched most of the way through these short videos. In fact, the average engagement time of any video maxes out at 6 minutes, regardless of its length. And engagement times decrease as videos lengthen: For instance, on average students spent around 3 minutes on videos that are longer than 12 minutes, which means that they engaged with less than a quarter of the content. Finally, certificate-earning students engaged more with videos, presumably because they had greater motivation to learn the material. (These findings appeared in a recent Wall Street Journal article, An Early Report Card on Massive Open Online Courses and its accompanying infographic.)

The take-home message for instructors is that, to maximize student engagement, they should work with instructional designers and video producers to break up their lectures into small, bite-sized pieces.

 

Creating a Culture to Support Student Voice & Choice — from techlearning.com by Matthew X. Joseph
Encouraging student voice and choice helps foster a more engaging learning environment

Excerpt:

During my time as a district and school leader, I observed and conferenced with students entering high school, and only about a third of those reported feeling engaged with their education. I believe education should provide students with meaningful learning experiences in a classroom of engaged learners.

One way to enhance student engagement is to allow for student voice. Students who feel their voices are heard are more likely to feel academically engaged and respected in the school community. In addition, students feel valued when they feel heard. Students learn for someone, not just from someone. Thus, feeling valued is essential in creating a safe culture for students to share their voice.

Providing students with multiple options for an assignment helps them choose the content that is relevant, meaningful, and exciting to them. As a result, they are a part of their own learning process, rather than having to move through assignments that are not engaging.

 

 

What might the ramifications be for text-to-everything? [Christian]

From DSC:

  • We can now type in text to get graphics and artwork.
  • We can now type in text to get videos.
  • There are several tools to give us transcripts of what was said during a presentation.
  • We can search videos for spoken words and/or for words listed within slides within a presentation.

Allie Miller’s posting on LinkedIn (see below) pointed these things out as well — along with several other things.



This raises some ideas/questions for me:

  • What might the ramifications be in our learning ecosystems for these types of functionalities? What affordances are forthcoming? For example, a teacher, professor, or trainer could quickly produce several types of media from the same presentation.
  • What’s said in a videoconference or a webinar can already be captured, translated, and transcribed.
  • Or what’s said in a virtual courtroom, or in a telehealth-based appointment. Or perhaps, what we currently think of as a smart/connected TV will give us these functionalities as well.
  • How might this type of thing impact storytelling?
  • Will this help someone who prefers to soak in information via the spoken word, or via a podcast, or via a video?
  • What does this mean for Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and/or Virtual Reality (VR) types of devices?
  • Will this kind of thing be standard in the next version of the Internet (Web3)?
  • Will this help people with special needs — and way beyond accessibility-related needs?
  • Will data be next (instead of typing in text)?

Hmmm….interesting times ahead.

 

2022 Students and Technology Report: Rebalancing the Student Experience — from library.educause.edu by Jenay Robert

2022 Students and Technology Report: Rebalancing the Student Experience

Excerpt:

In this report, we describe the findings of the survey in four key areas:

Key Findings

  • Educational technology impacts student wellness.
  • Physical campus spaces continue to play an important role in students’ access to education.
  • The online versus face-to-face dichotomy is being disrupted.
  • Device access is not a simple issue when examined through an equity lens.
  • Assistive technology can help all students.
  • Students are whole people with complex learning needs and goals.
 

What researchers learned about online higher education during the pandemic — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
Its massive expansion created a worldwide laboratory to finally assess how well it works

Excerpts:

Now the results of this experiment are starting to come in. They suggest that online higher education may work better than pre-pandemic research showed, and that it is evolving decisively toward a combination of in-person and online, or “blended,” classes.

“Initially when we were doing that research it was always on the class or the course level and very rarely were you able to see how online education worked across programs and across institutions,” never mind across the world, said Michael Brown, assistant professor of higher education and student affairs at the Iowa State University School of Education.

By last year, more than half of all faculty said they “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they wanted to combine online with face-to-face instruction, a Bay View Analytics survey found. A Harvard University task force found that 82 percent of faculty there were interested in adding digital tools they adopted while teaching remotely to their in-person classes.

“It’s going to take years for us to really be able to see, out of the things coming out of the pandemic, what works well, what works well in some settings and what works well for some students and not for others,” Hart said.


Also from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus, see:


 

Digital Learning Definitions — from wcet.wiche.edu

Excerpt:

Higher education uses many variations of terms to describe slightly different digital learning modalities,  such as: “in-person,” “online,” “hybrid,” “hyflex,” “synchronous,” “asynchronous,” and many more. These variations have long confused students, faculty, administrators, and the general public,

WCET has worked on this issue in the past, and continues to advocate for simple, easy to understand terms that can bring consistent agreement to the use of these phrases. The WCET Steering Committee has made it a priority to attack this issue.

In 2022, WCET sponsored and led a partnership with Bay View Analytics and the Canadian Digital Learning Research Association to conduct a survey to explore the use of the terms by higher education professionals. The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Quality Matters (QM), and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) assisted with survey participation and promotion. The works published below highlight the findings of the study.

Also relevant/see:

 

What’s next for online education? — from educationalist.substack.com by Alexandra Mihai

Excerpt:

An ecosystem not a dichotomy
As you’re hopefully already getting from my thoughts so far, I personally see our options for quality education in the future more like an ecosystem and not a series of mutually exclusive paths. It’s time to discard- or at least question-the “online vs. in person” dichotomy, almost always unfavourable to online education. It’s time to think in a more nuanced way about this. And, yes, you’ve guessed, more nuanced is always more difficult. Seeing the shades of grey requires a critical lens that we don’t need to see black and white.

The extent to which online education will be used in the future does not depend only on people (micro level), it depends on institutions (meso level) and policies (macro level).

The learning ecosystem, in my view:

  • includes various modalities used in a complementary way and as a continuum;
  • serves a multitude of audiences, at different stages of learning, with different aims and degrees of engagement;
  • requires comprehensive and interconnected support structures at institutional level, for students and faculty.
 

What if smart TVs’ new killer app was a next-generation learning-related platform? [Christian]

TV makers are looking beyond streaming to stay relevant — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers and Nick Statt

A smart TV's main menu listing what's available -- application wise

Excerpts:

The search for TV’s next killer app
TV makers have some reason to celebrate these days: Streaming has officially surpassed cable and broadcast as the most popular form of TV consumption; smart TVs are increasingly replacing external streaming devices; and the makers of these TVs have largely figured out how to turn those one-time purchases into recurring revenue streams, thanks to ad-supported services.

What TV makers need is a new killer app. Consumer electronics companies have for some time toyed with the idea of using TV for all kinds of additional purposes, including gaming, smart home functionality and fitness. Ad-supported video took priority over those use cases over the past few years, but now, TV brands need new ways to differentiate their devices.

Turning the TV into the most useful screen in the house holds a lot of promise for the industry. To truly embrace this trend, TV makers might have to take some bold bets and be willing to push the envelope on what’s possible in the living room.

 


From DSC:
What if smart TVs’ new killer app was a next-generation learning-related platform? Could smart TVs deliver more blended/hybrid learning? Hyflex-based learning?
.

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

.

Or what if smart TVs had to do with delivering telehealth-based apps? Or telelegal/virtual courts-based apps?


 

Per Adobe today (emphasis DSC):

And we’re live! Starting 9:30am pst on Adobe Live’s YouTube Channel

After years of partnering with the Creative Cloud YouTube channel to bring our community inspiration and advice, Adobe Live will be streaming to our own YouTube channel (+Behance!) starting 9/6! This gives the Adobe Live team an exciting opportunity to connect closely with YOU, our community, through tailored content, YouTube’s community tab and, of course, LIVE streams.

Make sure to subscribe to the Adobe Live channel NOW!
.

Adobe Live is now on YouTube -- as of 9-6-22

 

EdTech Giant Unacademy Launches 50 New Channels On YouTube To Democratise Online Education — from edtechreview.in by Shalini Pathak

Excerpt:

Unacademy, an Indian EdTech unicorn and one of the leading online learning platform, has recently launched 50 new education channels on Google-owned YouTube. The channels significantly help in increasing accessibility for millions of learners across academic and non-academic categories.

Few of these 50 channels are built on the existing content categories as offered by Unacademy. They mark Unacademy’s foray into newer terrains such as ‘Tick Tock Tax’- to simplify the direct and indirect tax concepts, and Life After IIT – a platform to crack JEE and discuss success stories of top rankers.

 

How to Use Edtech to Engage Introverted Learners — from edsurge.com by Stacey Roshan

Excerpts:

But we can leverage technology to create more equitable and empowering forums for discussion—to shift from a culture that praises the first person to raise their hand, to one where every individual has a platform to make their ideas seen and heard. I’m talking about using simple web apps.

As an introverted perfectionist who needed time to process and formulate a response before I was ready to share, I began to confuse faster with smarter. Because I saw my peers answering more questions than I was in class—and getting praised for it—I struggled to feel like I measured up.

And so, as a math teacher, it has become my mission to find ways to spotlight all of the unique voices and personalities in my classroom, and to celebrate the diverse approaches students choose to share, rather than valuing one.

 

Top Tools for Learning 2022 [Jane Hart]

Top Tools for Learning 2022

 

Top tools for learning 2022 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

In fact, it has become clear that whilst 2021 was the year of experimentation – with an explosion of tools being used as people tried out new things, 2022 has been the year of consolidation – with people reverting to their trusty old favourites. In fact, many of the tools that were knocked off their perches in 2021, have now recovered their lost ground this year.


Also somewhat relevant/see:


 

Future of Higher Education: Fully Shift to Hybrid Model by 2025 — from fierceeducation.com by Susan Fourtané, with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn

Excerpt:

The full shift to a blended teaching and learning model for higher education will become effective by 2025, according to a new report.

The pandemic acted as a catalyst to change the higher education landscape accelerating online learning adoption. Chief Online Officers (COOs) who took part in the CHLOE 7: Tracking Online Learning from Mainstream Acceptance to Universal Adoption, The Changing Landscape of Online Education report indicated that student interest in online learning has increased substantially in the past two years. The majority of COOs predict that is a trend that will continue to grow in the next several years.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian