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

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

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.

Also from educationalist.substack.com by Alexandra Mihai, see:

Intentional learning design — from educationalist.substack.com by Alexandra Mihai

Excerpt:

My definition
Let’s start with a definition. By intentional learning design I mean designing learning experiences:

    • Focusing on the “why”: ensuring that any decision taken at the design stage is aligned with the overall narrative of the course and, more precisely, with the learning objectives; this requires self-reflection, at least some knowledge of the main pedagogical principles, attention to detail and openness to see learning design as an iterative process and not a box on a checklist;
    • Focusing on students’ experience: designing a course/ programme that is well tailored to students’ needs; this requires knowing your students well, making your design choices explicit to them and involving them in an ongoing dialogue.

Mid-term reflections on my American adventure

Excerpt:

A sneak peek into my research on Centres for Teaching and Learning (CTLs)
With a big part of the data collection already behind me, I thought I’d briefly share here some of my most important- and sometimes surprising- findings so far. While still pretty superficial, this can hopefully give you an insight into the discussions I’ve been having and hopefully make you curious to find out more once I’ll get to publish my results.

    • Positioning of CTLs.
    • Sense of CTL vulnerability.
    • The backgrounds and personalities of CTL leaders.
    • Integrated CTLs.
    • Credibility.
    • Who works in CTLs?
    • Professional development and career paths in CTLs.
    • CTL offer and programming.
    • Graduate student support.
    • Online education.
 

So while we may be a few years from plugging into the Matrix, what is becoming clear is that to survive and thrive in the coming decades, colleges and universities will need to focus on creating an online experience as compelling as their on-campus experience.

Ryan Lufkin

 

Virtual reality gives humans a turtle’s-eye view of wildlife — from phys.org by Laurel Hamers, University of Oregon

Excerpt:

A virtual reality simulation designed by a University of Oregon (UO) professor could help spur people to environmental action.

Participants in Project Shell don a virtual reality headset and take on the body of a loggerhead sea turtle, sporting flippers instead of arms. During a 15-minute immersive experience, they journey from a hatchling to an adult turtle, dodging hazards like ships and wayward fishing gear.

Participating in the simulation increased people’s empathy and concern for environmental issues, new research shows. 

“Embodiment of non-human bodies is a powerful tool that environmental storytellers can use,” said Daniel Pimentel, a professor in the UO’s School of Journalism and Communication who led the work. “I hope that this experience can help raise awareness and hopefully engage the public in a way that trickles down to more support.”

From DSC:
While we’re talking turtles, see these miniature creations!

 

AI Plus VR at Purdue University Global — from er.educause.edu by Abbey Elliott, Michele McMahon, Jerrica Sheridan, and Gregory Dobbin
Adding artificial intelligence to virtual reality provides nursing students with realistic, immersive learning experiences that prepare them to treat patients from diverse backgrounds.

Excerpt:

Adding artificial intelligence (AI) to immersive VR simulations can deepen the learning by enabling patient interactions that reflect a variety of patient demographics and circumstances, adjusting patient responses based on students’ questions and actions. In this way, the immersive learning activities become richer, with the goal of providing unique experiences that can help students make a successful transition from student to provider in the workforce. The use of AI and immersive learning techniques augments learning experiences and reinforces concepts presented in both didactic and clinical courses and coursework. The urgency of the pandemic prompted the development of a vision of such learning that would be sustainable beyond the pandemic as a tool for education on a relevant and scalable platform.


Speaking of emerging technologies and education/learning, also see:

NVIDIA's new AI magic turns 2d photos into 3D graphics

Best virtual tours of Ireland

 

The Future of Education | By Futurist Gerd Leonhard | A Video for EduCanada — from futuristgerd.com

Per Gerd:

Recently, I was invited by the Embassy of Canada in Switzerland to create this special presentation and promotional video discussing the Future of Education and to explore how Canada might be leading the way. Here are some of the key points I spoke about in the video. Watch the whole thing here: the Future of Education.

 

…because by 2030, I believe, the traditional way of learning — just in case — you know storing, downloading information will be replaced by learning just in time, on-demand, learning to learn, unlearning, relearning, and the importance of being the right person. Character skills, personality skills, traits, they may very well rival the value of having the right degree.

If you learn like a robot…you’ll never have a job to begin with.

Gerd Leonhard


Also relevant/see:

The Next 10 Years: Rethinking Work and Revolutionising Education (Gerd Leonhard’s keynote in Riga) — from futuristgerd.com


 

Second Chance Pell helps deliver degrees to over 9,000 incarcerated students — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak

Excerpts:

“Some programs may start as a real passion of an individual faculty member,” she said. “But in order for them to be sustainable, programs need cross-college support. Students need things like academic advising and access to library services. We’re seeing more and more of that, which is terrific.”

The existence and funding of such programs benefits people both in and out of the prison system. Inmates who participate in correctional education programs are 28% less likely to return to prison after their release than those who don’t, according to a 2018 meta-analysis of research. And research suggests that offering postsecondary programs could reduce levels of violence in prison.

 

Research reveals the benefits of online tutoring — from adigaskell.org by Adi Gaskell

Excerpt:

The Covid pandemic resulted in considerable disruption to the education of pupils around the world, with many parents resorting to online tutoring in a bid to ensure their children didn’t fall behind. Research from the University of California San Diego highlights the effectiveness of such tutoring.

While there have long been suspicions around the effectiveness of such schemes, concerns have existed about both the high costs associated with them and the limited availability of tutors.

“Our program explores the possibilities of a low-cost model with volunteer tutors which has the potential to reach more students in need,” the researchers explain.

 

Demarginalizing Design: 3 powerful ways to get started — from ditchthattextbook.com by Dee Lanier

Excerpt:

Get proximate to the pain

  • Gather the people that are most affected by the problem.
  • Listen for pain. Emotions such as outrage and frustration are insights into the source of the problem.
  • Design with them, not for them. Your job is to facilitate the discussion that allows them to come up with their own solutions that affect their community.

From DSC:
You will notice some more postings regarding “Design Thinking” on this Learning Ecosystems blog from time to time. I’m continuing to do this because as we move more toward a reality of lifelong learning, we should probably rethink the entire cradle-to-grave design of our learning ecosystems.

 

From DSC:
Inflation way up. Real wages way down. Not a good mix for higher education. And faculty members aren’t the only ones impacted here. These developments may cause the rise of additional alternatives to institutions of traditional higher education out there. 


One of the resources mentioned in Isha Trivedi’s article out at The Chronicle of Higher Education that’s entitled “Faculty-Pay Survey Records the Largest One-Year Drop Ever” was this one:

The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2021-22 — from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

Key Findings (emphasis DSC):
Provisional results were released in early April 2022, including summary tables and institution-level datasets. Key findings include:

  • From 2020–21 to 2021–22, average salaries for full-time faculty members increased 2.0 percent, consistent with the flat wage growth observed since the Great Recession of the late 2000s.
  • Real wages for full-time faculty fell below Great Recession levels in 2021, with average salary falling to 2.3 percent below the 2008 average salary, after adjusting for inflation.
  • Real wages for full-time faculty members decreased 5.0 percent after adjusting for inflation, the largest one-year decrease on record since the AAUP began tracking this measure in 1972.
  • In 2021–22, 97.2 percent of full-time faculty members were covered by retirement plans, a 2.8 percentage point increase from 2020–21.
  • Institutions reported full-time faculty salaries for women that are 81.9 percent of those for men in 2021–22, on average. The gender pay gap is greatest at the full professor rank.
  • From 2019–20 to 2021–22, the number of full-time women faculty members increased 1.6 percent, compared with a 2.5 percent decrease for men.
  • In 2020–21, average pay for adjunct faculty members to teach a course section ranged from $2,979 in public associate’s institutions without ranks to $5,557 in public doctoral institutions.
  • In fall 2020, about three in five (61.5 percent) faculty members were on contingent appointments.

Also relevant, see:

 

Coursera’s Global Skills Report

Excerpt from the Executive Summary:

Here are some of our top findings:

  • Digital skills are the shared language of the modern economy.
  • Women’s participation continued to rise.
  • The developing world had the highest rate of learner growth.
  • Lower levels of internet access mean lower levels of skills proficiency.
  • Courses in human skills had more learners from developed countries, while those in digital skills had more from developing ones.
  • The U.S. held steady in its overall skills proficiency ranking—yet it lost meaningful ground in core technology and data science skills.
  • Europe leads the world in skills proficiency.
  • Proficiency in technology and data science skills varies widely across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Learners used Coursera to understand the pandemic.
 

Higher ed investments in student systems doubled last year, report finds — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz

Dive Brief:

  • Higher education investments in student technology systems doubled in 2021 compared to the year before, marking the largest annual increase over the past decade, according to a new report from the Tambellini Group, a technology research and advisory firm.
  • However, many college leaders are hesitant to invest in modern cloud student systems because most of these products still lack the functionalities institutions seek. The Tambellini Group based its findings on technology spending by more than 3,600 U.S. institutions.
  • Vendors are adding new tools and enhancements to their student technology systems to respond to increased pressures on colleges to improve their enrollment, retention and other student success metrics. That includes by providing engagement analytics and automated alerts.

Also from highereddive.com:

 
 

How to Learn about Learning Science — from christytuckerlearning.com by Christy Tucker
How do you learn about learning science? Recommendations for people to follow, books to read, and other resources.

Excerpt:

I have written before about how research informs my work. As instructional designers, LXDs, and other L&D professionals, I think it’s important for us to learn how to design more effective learning experiences. Our work should be informed by research and evidence. But, how do you learn about learning science, especially if you don’t have a graduate degree in instructional design? These are my recommendations for people to follow, books to read, and other resources.

 

 

Shifting Skills, Moving Targets, and Remaking the Workforce — from bcg.com by Matt Sigelman, Bledi Taska, Layla O’Kane, Julia Nitschke, Rainer Strack, Jens Baier, Frank Breitling, and Ádám Kotsis; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
Our analysis of more than 15 million job postings reveals the future of work.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Jobs do come and go, but even more significantly, jobs change. Day by day, skill by skill, the basic building blocks of a job are repositioned, until the role looks much different than it did just five years ago. Yet the job title—and the worker in the job—may remain the same.

But even company leaders may not realize how profoundly and rapidly the jobs throughout their business and industry are evolving. A comprehensive look at job listings from 2016 through 2021 reveals significant changes in requested skills, with new skills appearing, some existing skills disappearing, and other existing skills shifting in importance.

The challenge for employers and employees alike is to keep up—or, better yet, to get ahead of the trends.

Four Big Trends
We see four big trends in skill change:

    • Digital skills, like technical fluency and abilities including data analysis, digital marketing, and networking, aren’t limited to jobs in IT.
    • Soft skills, like verbal communication, listening, and relationship building, are needed in digital occupations.
    • Visual communication has become increasingly important even outside of traditional data occupations. Experience with tools such as Tableau, MS Power BI, and Adobe Analytics is in high demand.
    • Social media skills, such as experience with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Adobe Photoshop, are in demand in the current media climate.

Also from Ryan Craig, see:

How to Really Fix Higher Ed — from theatlantic.com by Ben Sasse
Rather than wiping the slate clean on student debt, Washington should take a hard look at reforming a broken system.

Excerpts:

Most young Americans never earn a college degree, and far too many of those who do are poorly served by sclerotic institutions that offer regularly overpriced degrees producing too little life transformation, too little knowledge transmission, and too little pragmatic, real-world value.

Far too often, higher education equates value with exclusivity, and not with outcomes. The paradigmatic schools that dominate higher-ed discussions in the pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post measure themselves by how many high-school seniors they reject, rather than by how many they successfully launch, by how much they bolster the moral and intellectual development of the underprivileged, or even by a crude utilitarian calculus such as the average earnings of their recent graduates.

Each of these changes will depend on breaking up the accreditation cartels. College presidents tell me that the accrediting system, which theoretically aims to ensure quality and to prevent scammers from tapping into federal education dollars, actually stifles programmatic innovation inside extant colleges and universities aiming to serve struggling and underprepared students in new ways. 


One last item here:

Learning Should Be Like Cooking — from linkedin.com by Cali Koerner Morrison

Excerpt:

We need systems of record that are learner-owned, verifiable and travel across all types of learning recognition. 1EdTech is making great strides in this direction with the comprehensive learner record and the T3 Innovation Network with the LEROpen Skills Network and Credential Engine are making great strides to level the playing field on defining all elements of skills-based learning and credentialing. We need pathways that help guide learner-earners through their career progression so they are in a constant swirl of learning and earning, leveling up with each new achievement – from a microcredenial to a master’s degree.

 

What I Learned When Visiting a Colleague’s Hybrid Class — from edsurge.com by Bonni Stachowiak (Columnist)

Excerpt:

Though I usually use this space to offer answers to teaching advice questions from professors, I wanted to try something different. So for my next few installments, I’m writing letters to people who have exemplified what it means to be an effective teacher. This column, the first in the series, is to my friend and colleague, Elizabeth Powell. Her discipline is psychology and she invited me to come observe one of her final classes at our university.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian