Megatrends | September 25, 2022 — by Michael Moe, Tim Juang, Owen Ritz, & Kit Royce

“The trend is your friend.” – Martin Zweig

“Follow the trend lines, not the headlines.” – Bill Clinton

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” – Coco Chanel

“I don’t set the trends. I just find out what they are and exploit them.” – Dick Clark

Megatrends are powerful technological, economic, and social forces that develop from a groundswell (early adoption), move into the mainstream (mass market), and disrupt the status quo (mature market), driving change, productivity, and ultimately growth opportunities for companies, industries, and entire economies.


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The metaverse is not a vertical trend; it’s a horizontal trend that will impact sectors ranging from healthcare, education, socialization, entertainment, commerce, and more.

 

New Directory of Innovative School Models Aims to Encourage Experimentation — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Excerpt:

A new online library called the “Innovative Models Exchange,” unveiled Monday, hopes to give educators an easy place to quickly consider some possibilities. The exchange—developed by the nonprofit Transcend Education with funding from the Gates Foundation—allows schools to search through a database of “innovative” models that Transcend says are ready to be adopted by schools.

The nonprofit hopes that the database will shake up the education system.

 

From DSC:
I signed up to receive some items from Outlier.org. Here’s one of the emails that I recently received. It seems to me that this type of thing is going to be hard to compete against:

  • Professionally-done content
  • Created by teams of specialists, including game designers
  • Hand-picked professors/SME’s — from all over the world
  • Evidence-based learning tools

Outlier dot org could be tough to compete against -- professional-executed content creation and delivery

 

From DSC:
Now you’re talking! A team-based effort to deliver an Associate’s Degree for 1/3 of the price! Plus a job-ready certificate from Google, IBM, or Salesforce. Nice. 

Check these items out!


We started Outlier because we believe that students deserve better. So we worked from the ground up to create the best online college courses in the world, just for curious-minded learners like you.

The brightest instructors, available on-demand. Interactive materials backed by cognitive science. Flexible timing. And that’s just the beginning.

Outlier.org

MasterClass’s Co-Founder Takes on the Community-College Degree — from wsj.com by Lindsay Ellis
A new, online-only education model promises associate degrees via prerecorded lectures from experts at Yale, NASA and other prestigious institutions

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

One of the founders of the celebrity-fueled, e-learning platform MasterClass is applying the same approach to the humble community-college degree—one based on virtual, highly produced lectures from experts at prestigious institutions around the country.

The two-year degrees—offered in applied computing, liberal studies or business administration—will be issued by Golden Gate University, a nonprofit institution in San Francisco. Golden Gate faculty and staff, not the lecturers, will be the ones to hold office hours, moderate virtual discussions and grade homework, said Outlier, which is announcing the program Wednesday and plans to start courses in the spring.

Golden Gate University and Outlier.org Reinvent Affordable College with Degrees+ — from prnewswire.com

Excerpt:

For less than one-third the price of the national average college tuition, students will earn an associate degree plus a job-ready certificate from Google, IBM, or Salesforce

NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Golden Gate University is launching Degrees+, powered by Outlier.org, with three associate degrees that reimagine the two-year degree for a rising generation of students that demand high quality education without the crushing cost. For annual tuition of $4,470 all-inclusive, students will earn a two-year degree that uniquely brings together the best of a college education with a career-relevant industry certificate.

Beginning today, students can apply to be part of the first class, which starts in Spring 2023.

“Imagine if everyone had the option to go to college with top instructors from HarvardYale, Google, and NASA via the highest-quality online classes. By upgrading the two-year degree, we can massively reduce student debt and set students up for success, whether that’s transferring into a four-year degree or going straight into their careers.”

Aaron Rasmussen, CEO and founder of Outlier.org
and co-founder of MasterClass

Outlier.org & Universities Call for Greater Credit Transfer Transparency — from articles.outliner.org

Excerpt:

“Outlier.org is working with leading institutions across the country to build a new kind of on-ramp to higher education,” said Aaron Rasmussen, CEO and Founder of Outlier.org. “By partnering with schools to build bridges from our courses into their degree programs, we can help students reduce the cost of their education and graduate faster.”


From DSC:
All of this reminds me of a vision I put out on my Calvin-based website at the time (To His Glory! was the name of the website.) The vision was originally called “The Forthcoming Walmart of Education” — which I renamed to “EduMart Education.”

By the way…because I’m not crazy about Walmart, I’m not crazy about that name. In today’s terms, it might be better called the new “Amazon.com of Higher Education” or something along those lines. But you get the idea. Lower prices due to new business models.

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

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


 

From DSC:
Below are some reflections based on an article entitled, Understanding learning transfer through Archwell Academies. It’s from chieflearningofficer.com and was written by Erin Donovan and Keith Keating.

Excerpt:

To capitalize on learning transfer and extend learning beyond traditional training periods, practitioners have established capability academies. According to Josh Bersin, capability academies are the evolution of traditional training and self-directed learning. Bersin posited:

Capability academies are business-driven, collaborative learning environments that facilitate learning retention. . . . Going beyond rote lessons, capability academies help companies prepare for transformation by helping employees develop complex skills and providing guidance on how to apply them in the context of the business.

The core concept of capability academies rests on the importance of collaboration between the trainers and the business. The intention is to provide learners with practice of conceptual understanding and comparative scenarios in the context and environment where they will ultimately apply their skills. Capability academies focus on providing training distinctly aligning with learners’ job responsibilities.

From DSC:
First of all, I have a lot of respect for the people that this article mentions, such as Josh Bersin and Will Thalheimer. So this article caught me eye.

It seems to me that the corporate world is asking for institutions of traditional higher education to deliver such “capability academies.” But that makes me wonder, could this even be done? Surely there aren’t enough resources to develop/deliver/maintain so many environments and contexts, right? It took Archwell, a global mortgage services outsourcing provider, an entire year to systematically design and develop such customized capability academies — just for their clients’ businesses. 

The article goes on:

The core concept of capability academies rests on the importance of collaboration between the trainers and the business. The intention is to provide learners with practice of conceptual understanding and comparative scenarios in the context and environment where they will ultimately apply their skills. Capability academies focus on providing training distinctly aligning with learners’ job responsibilities.

Context. Skills. Acquiring knowledge. Being able to apply that knowledge in a particular environment. Wow…that’s a lot to ask institutions of traditional higher education to deliver. And given the current setup, it’s simply not going to happen. Faculty members’ plates are already jammed-packed. They don’t have time to go out and collaborate with each business in their area (even with more sabbaticals…I don’t see it happening).

I’m sure many at community colleges could chime in here and would likely say that that’s exactly what they are doing. But I highly doubt that they are constantly delivering this type of customized offering for all of the businesses in each major city in their area.

I can hear those in corporate training programs saying that that’s what they are doing for their own business. But they don’t provide it for other businesses in their area.

So, what would it take for higher education to develop/offer such “capability academies?” Is it even possible?

We continue to struggle to design the ultimate learning ecosystem(s) — one(s) whereby we can provide personalized learning experiences for each person and business. We need to continue to practice design thinking here, as we seek to provide valuable, relevant/up-to-date, and cradle-to-grave learning experiences.

The problem is, the pace of change has changed. Institutions of traditional higher education can’t keep up. And frankly, neither can most businesses out there.

I keep wondering if a next-generation learning platform — backed up by AI but delivered with human expertise — will play a role in the future. The platform would offer products and services from teams of individuals — and/or from communities of practices — who can provide customized, up-to-date training materials and the learning transfers that this article discusses.

But such a platform would have to offer socially-based learning experiences and opportunities for accountability. Specific learning goals and learning cohorts help keep one on track and moving forward.

 

Teens Have Changed Their Higher Ed Plans — Survey Shows They May Never Go Back — from the74million.org by John Kristof & Colyn Ritter
Kristof & Ritter: COVID-19 forced HS students to re-evaluate their learning plans. If colleges want enrollment to recover, they must adapt

Excerpt:

Each of the nearly 4 million students who graduated high school this spring faces major decisions this summer. Do they want to pursue further education? If so, what do they want to study and where? How will they afford it? Will they begin working immediately? If so, are they moving out of their family home? Are they prepared for the hassles of adulthood?

According to a recent survey we at EdChoice conducted in conjunction with Morning Consult, teenagers are embracing their agency in an increasingly broad array of choices. What they told us might worry institutions of higher education — because the next generation appears less interested in the traditional college pipeline.

 

Fluid students flowing in and out of education are higher ed’s future. Here’s how colleges must adapt. — from highereddive.com by Anne Khademian
The Universities at Shady Grove’s executive director adapts the fluid fan idea reshaping the business of sports, shedding light on higher ed’s future.

We need less tweaking and more rethinking of how to deliver greater access, affordability and equity in higher education, and we must do it at scale. We need a new paradigm for the majority of students in higher education today that commits to meaningful employment and sustainable-wage careers upon completion of a degree or credential.

The challenge is the same for the business of higher education in serving future, more fluid students — and today’s nontraditional students. Many need to flow in and out of jobs and education, rather than pursue a degree in two or four years. Increasingly, they will seek to direct their educational experience toward personalized career opportunities, while stacking and banking credentials and experience into degrees.

From DSC:
Coming in and going out of “higher education” throughout one’s career and beyond…constant changes…morphing…hmm…sounds like a lifelong learning ecosystem to me.

#learningecosystems #learningfromthelivingclassroom
#highereducation #change #lifelonglearning

75% of master’s programs with high debt and low earnings are at private nonprofits — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke
Urban Institute report undermines narrative that programs with poor student outcomes are all at for-profit colleges and in the humanities.

Although private nonprofit institutions accounted for 44% of all master’s programs in the data, they made up 75% of programs with high debt and low earnings.

Tuition increases, lower capital spending likely in store for higher ed as inflation persists, Fitch says — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer

The next inflation-driven worry: Rising college tuition — from washingtonpost.com by Nick Anderson and Danielle Douglas-Gabriel
Families are concerned about affordability of higher education

Spiraling rents are wreaking havoc on college students seeking housing for the fall — from by Jon Marcus
Big hikes are forcing students deeper into debt, risk pushing more out of school altogether

From DSC:
From someone who is paying for rent for a college student — along with tuition, books, fees, etc. —  this has direct application to our household. If there isn’t a perfect storm developing in higher ed, then I don’t know what that phrase means.

#costofhighereducation #inflation

HBCUs see a historic jump in enrollments — from npr.org with Michel Martin; with thanks to Marcela Rodrigues-Sherley and Julia Piper from The Chronicle for the resource

Also from that same newsletter:

What would Harvard University’s ranking be if the only criteria considered was economic mobility? According to The Washington Post, it would be 847th out of 1,320. First place would go to California State University at Los Angeles.

A New Vision for the Future of Higher Education: Prioritizing Engagement and Alignment — from moderncampus.com with Amrit Ahluwalia and Brian Kibby

Excerpt:

Change is a constant in higher ed, just as it is in the labor market. Staying up to date and flexible is more important than ever for colleges and universities, and through the pandemic, many relied on their continuing and workforce education divisions to support their agility. In fact, 56% of higher ed leaders said the role of their CE units expanded through the pandemic. 

The pandemic led to some of the biggest innovations in continuing ed in recent memory.  

Students Lobby Lawmakers to Improve College Experience for Neurodiverse Learners — from edsurge.com by Daniel Lempres

Excerpt:

Lobbying for more support for students with learning disabilities in higher education, the students called for increased funding for the National Center for Special Education Research and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA Act) — legislation which requires that children with disabilities be given a free and appropriate public education, and makes it possible for states and local educational agencies to provide federal funds to make sure that happens. They also encouraged lawmakers to pass the RISE Act, a bill designed to better support neurodiverse students in higher education.

What a Homework Help Site’s Move to Host Open Educational Resources Could Mean — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

How can leaders bridge the gap between higher ed and employers? — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke

Dive Brief:

  • Partnerships between higher education institutions and employers can be difficult to create, often because of misalignment between the cultures, structures and values of the two groups, according to a July report from California Competes, a nonprofit policy organization focused on higher education.
  • Higher ed leaders could improve employer relations by making industry engagement an expected responsibility of both faculty and staff, said the report, which drew from 28 interviews with people at colleges and employers.
  • Robust employer engagement can strengthen enrollment and job outcomes for students, the authors argued, while also benefiting state and local economies.

Price-fixing lawsuit against 568 Group of top-ranked universities can continue, judge rules — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer

Termination of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools as an ED Recognized Accrediting Agency — from blog.ed.gov

 

What a New Strategy at 2U Means for the Future of Online Higher Education — from edsurge.com by Phil Hill

Excerpt:

The acceleration is that 2U is going all in on the education platform strategy that started with the company’s acquisition of edX last year. The idea at the time was to rely on a flywheel effect, where edX can upsell to its tens of millions of registered learners taking free or low-cost online courses known as MOOCs, thus driving down the marketing costs required for the OPM business, while offering a spectrum of options—from free MOOCs to stackable certificates, to bootcamps and short courses, all the way to full degrees. The flywheel aspect is that the more the strategy succeeds, the more revenue is made by institutional partners and by the company, leading to more free courses and registered learners. It’s a self-reinforcing strategy that is the same one followed by Coursera.
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A Best-Selling Textbook Is Now Free — from insidehighered.com by Liam Knox
A popular chemistry book’s jump from a publishing titan to an OER pioneer could be pivotal for the open access movement. For the author, it’s also a fitting tribute to his late son.

Excerpt:

John McMurry’s textbook Organic Chemistry has helped millions of students across the globe pass the infamous gauntlet of its namesake class — also known among stressed-out pre-med students as “orgo” — since the book was first printed in 1984.

For his bestseller’s 10th edition, McMurry has decided to part ways with his longtime publisher, the industry giant Cengage, which has published the book since the beginning. He recently sold the rights to OpenStax, a nonprofit based at Rice University that is dedicated to developing open education resources (OER), learning and research materials created and licensed to be free for the user.

From DSC:
From someone paying for a young adult to get through college, I hope this kind of thing happens more often! 🙂 But seriously, there are too many instances when students have been treated as cash cows, when we should have been bending over backward to help them get their educations.

For example, if I pay an invoice from our son’s university by credit card, I get a 3% charge — of the total invoice/$$ amount!!! — added to the bill. Are you kidding me? I have to pay several hundred dollars just for an electronic transaction?!

Can you imagine if the same thing happened to the rest of us at restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, etc. out there? Consumers would throw a fit! And I’d be right there with them.


Also related, see:

Millennials have money problems — from linkedin.com by Taylor Borden

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The average millennial is $117,000 in debt, but don’t blame avocado toast. According to new research, more than 70% of millennials have some form of non-mortgage debt, typically linked to student loans and credit cards.

Too Broke to Finish a Ph.D. Program? Tell Us About It — from the chronicle.com by Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez

Excerpt:

Doctoral programs can be long, trying, and expensive — even cost-prohibitive, depending on your circumstances.


 

Average Student Not on Track to Graduate in 5 Years — from insidehighered.com by Susan H. Greenberg

Excerpt:

The average full-time college student doesn’t even attempt to take enough credits to complete a bachelor’s degree within five years, according to a new Postsecondary Data Partnership Insights report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

The report evaluated the credit-completion ratio—the ratio of credits earned to those attempted—and the credit-accumulation rate of more than 900,000 first-time students at 342 postsecondary institutions during the 2019–20 school year.

College students average less than 22 credits in their first year, too few to graduate on time — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer

(Excerpt from Dive Brief)

  • Barely over half of a group of first-time, full-time students — 51% — earned 24 or more credits in their first year of college, meaning most aren’t on track to graduate in four or even five years, according to research released Tuesday by the National Student Clearinghouse.
  • The average full-time student took classes worth under 27 credit hours and earned fewer than 22. Just 28% of students earned 30 hours of credit or more in their first year, which is the annual pace typically required to graduate on time from four-year bachelor’s programs.

More High School Students Are Taking College Classes. But Not Everyone Gets the Chance. — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig
Can better pathways help schools, colleges and students avoid “random acts of dual enrollment”?

Excerpt:

Dual-enrollment programs help nearly 1.4 million high school students take college courses each year. It’s an opportunity that offers lots of proven benefits, like enabling more people to graduate from college, saving families money on higher education and helping community colleges attract more students during an era of falling enrollments. It’s even popular across the political spectrum.

But as dual enrollment grows across the country, access to the option is not distributed equally, according to a new report produced by nearly two dozen higher ed researchers and experts, with funding from the Joyce Foundation.

College is increasingly out of reach for many students. What went wrong? — from npr.org by Terry Gross; with thanks to EdSurge.com for this resource

Excerpt:

Journalist Will Bunch says instead of opening the door to a better life, college leaves many students deep in debt and unable to find well-paying jobs. His new book is After the Ivory Tower Falls.

What’s working in community college baccalaureate degree programs — from ccdaily.com by Tabitha Whissemore

Excerpt:

A growing number of community colleges are offering baccalaureate degree programs.

According to a national inventory published in 2021 by the Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCBA) and New America, there are nearly 570 community college baccalaureate (CCB) programs in the United States, operating at 148 community and technical colleges across 25 states. Most of the programs focus on healthcare or business, though newer programs also are being offered in computer and information sciences, and other STEM fields, as well as education.

It’s Time to End Higher Ed’s Gimmicky Sales Tactics — from chronicle.com by Barmak Nassirian
Teaming up with online program managers comes at a steep reputational cost.

Excerpt:

 Initially trumpeted as an innovative model to expand access and drive down costs, the programs have seen a spate of recent media stories that paints a far less favorable picture: College-OPM partnerships are Faustian bargains that drive up tuition costs and reduce educational quality.

How did it come to this?

From DSC:
Though much of what Barmak is saying may be true, the gimmicks were going on long before OPM’s came into play. We should stop blaming everything on OPMs, or on the pandemic, or on online learning, or on this or that technology. The causes of higher education’s current issues go back a long way — such as approving standard/annual cost increases over the last several decades.

 

Online Learning, From the Margins to the Center — from insidehighered.com by Ray Schroeder
Online learning has evolved over the past 25 years from a niche position on the margins of higher ed to the leading driver of growth in enrollment and innovation.

Excerpt:

Online learning has grown from a marginal niche of higher ed to the largest provider of postsecondary learning in the world. We are now on the cusp of yet another technological evolution in the delivery of online learning. The advent of the metaverse in higher education is closer than many casual observers may think. By 2025, we will begin to see significant numbers of offerings using avatars and immersive technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and extended reality engaging learners at a distance.

Do you have developmental immersion laboratories for your faculty and staff to prepare for 2025? Who at your university is advocating for the integration of VR, AR and XR into online delivery? Are you already collaborating with industry and business in developing the most effective and relevant technology-enhanced online programs that will meet their needs? Those who lead in these ventures will set the standards and gain the recruiting advantage in higher education.

 

Two Years After Promising a ‘Transformational’ Partnership, the U. of Arizona and Zovio Part Ways — from chronicle.com by  Dan Bauman

Excerpt:

The University of Arizona Global Campus announced on Monday it would take over management of its online education programs from Zovio Inc. — the same company that two years earlier transferred its for-profit college holdings to the University of Arizona in what was touted then as a “transformational” agreement.

The news marks a precipitous end for the original deal, Arizona acquired Zovio’s Ashford University in 2020 and created the University of Arizona Global Campus, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the traditional public university.

The article links to “An Open Letter from Paul Pastorek” (President of the University of Arizona Global Campus) — from uagc.edu

Excerpt:

As an institution, this new chapter reflects our belief that our mission demands that the governance and control of critical functions, in particular enrollment, marketing, student advising, and financial aid, rest exclusively with UAGC leadership. It is grounded in a conviction that outsourcing such functions is inherently at odds with our aspirations and desired outcomes. Placing all of our services under one roof, we believe, will increase efficiency, reduce costs, and is a necessary precondition to making good on our commitments to our students.

 

 

Impatient for workers, businesses help students take college shortcuts — from hechingerreport.org by Lilah Burke
Employers and states are adding faster-paced skills training for people who want to forgo college

Excerpt:

It’s part of an accelerating movement of noncredit, short-term training programs, not just in technology, but in many fields for which students are impatient for jobs and employers for workers who want to leapfrog their way to careers — and do it without necessarily spending the years and money it takes to earn a university degree.

These are among the ways “employers are creating the solutions they need in order to deal with their talent demands,” said Bridgette Gray, chief customer officer at Opportunity@Work, a nonprofit that encourages employers to hire more people without degrees.

Now some companies, motivated by a mix of corporate social responsibility and the need for talent, are edging toward a new model in which they create their own, or hire from other, training programs.

 

2U announces layoffs and new approach to tuition-share agreements — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
The online program manager expects the restructuring will lead to about $70 million in annual cost savings.

Excerpt:

2U announced across-the-board layoffs and changes to its business strategy on Thursday, as it reorients the company around edX, a prominent MOOC platform it acquired last year.

2U officials announced the company is updating this part of the business model, saying it will offer tuition-share agreements starting at 35% of a program’s revenue — with higher rates available to colleges that want more services.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian