Instructure Is Back on the Stock Market, But Not Much Change Expected For Canvas Users — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

Instructure is officially a publicly-traded company—again.

Officials from the company, which makes the Canvas learning-management system used at many colleges and schools, rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange today, marking its IPO.

 

OPM + MOOC = OPX. 244 University Partnerships in the first half of 2021 — from HolonIQ

OPX has well and truly arrived. 2U’s acquisition of EdX. Coursera’s IPO. SEEK’s 50% stake in FutureLearn and their ownership of OES. UpGrad’s rumored $4B valuation. Shorelight Live. Minerva’s OPM pivot. The list goes on, and meanwhile 244 University Partnerships were forged in the first half 2021.

 

 

2U, Inc. and edX to Join Together in Industry-Redefining Combination — from transformingdigitaleducation.com

  • 2U to acquire substantially all edX assets, including edX brand, website, and marketplace
  • Together, 2U and edX will reach over 50 million learners, serve more than 230 partners, and offer over 3,500 digital programs on the world’s most comprehensive free-to-degree online education marketplace
  • Proceeds of the transaction will go to a nonprofit led by Harvard and MIT focused on transforming educational outcomes, tackling learning inequities

Other items related to this:

 

 

Optimizing High-Quality Digital Learning Experiences A Playbook for Faculty — from onlinelearningconsortium.org

 

Optimizing High-Quality Digital Learning Experiences A Playbook for Faculty

Excerpts:

This playbook is a collaboration between the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the Every Learner Everywhere Digital Learning Network. This playbook is designed to serve as a concise guide to address faculty needs for online course design, teaching, and continuous improvement.

One strategy that can enhance teaching presence in an online course is to provide audio and video content that can be developed with relative ease using multimedia applications. Creating micro-lectures along with other multimedia is a great option for designing online course content.

Creating your own closed-caption video content, along with video transcripts, is a practical option for communicating course concepts to students. You might also consider providing supplementary written materials or curating content from other sources to help students master course concepts.

 

Teaching: Why an Active-Learning Evangelist Is Sold on Online Teaching — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

Excerpts:

Now, says Mazur, the results are in and he’s convinced: online teaching is better. Not in all circumstances, to be sure. But in his applied-physics courses, students showed larger learning gains and felt more supported than students had in in-person classes. In fact, they appear to have learned so much more effectively in this new format that he wonders if it’s “almost unethical,” to return to the classroom this fall.

“I have never been able to offer a course of the quality that I’m offering now,” he says. “I am convinced that there is no way I could do anything close to what I’m doing in person. Online teaching is better than in person.”

One benefit of this setup, says Mazur, is that students go at their own pace. He has thought a lot about how classroom-based work, even when it is student-led, is hostage to the clock and the instructor. Not every group works at the same pace, yet everyone has to wait until others are ready, or rush ahead when they fall behind. When groups set their own pace, it gives them the space to work through problems or get help as needed. The value of self-paced learning is also evident outside of class, says Mazur, who built more asynchronous work into his online course.

“I have never seen students work this hard for my course,” he says. “Never. And so consistently.”

Also see:

A snapshot of Eric Mazur's physics class from Canvas.

But he’s so convinced of how valuable this model is that he asked Harvard to allow him to keep teaching online this fall. 

Also relevant/see:

 

President Speaks: 5 higher education trends the pandemic is accelerating — from highereddive.com by Adam Weinberg
Technology, student choice and career prep will factor more heavily into colleges’ decision-making going forward, one president explains.

Excerpt:

Over the last several weeks, it has become clearer what the post-COVID-19 higher education landscape will look like. The trends that will shape the sector’s future are not new. But the pandemic has accelerated them.

Trends are like water. As they run faster, they cut deeper and in unexpected ways. Here are five that COVID-19 has given momentum to.

 

 

Student Experiences Learning with Technology in the Pandemic — from educause.edu

Excerpts:

However, as most institutions pivoted to remote learning as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic in 2020, we also pivoted to conduct a special fall 2020 study to gain insights on the student experience during what has been an exceptional time of disruption. In this report, we share results from the study related to student experiences with technology in the for-credit courses they were taking in fall 2020 in which they felt they were learning the most. Specifically, we asked students to think about their best course—the one in which they learned the most—and tell us about the learning environments and modalities of those courses, as well as instructors’ uses of technology in, the organizational and design features of, and the most and least effective uses of technology they experienced in those courses.1

Steps You Can Take
Institutional leaders should consider the following steps as they continue to respond to the most immediate needs of students and plan for a post-pandemic future.

  • Invest in the design, development, and implementation of hybrid course models and the people who support them.
  • Connect faculty with instructional designers and instructional technologists.
  • Put students at the center of your teaching.

The best student experiences were the ones that were focused on student learning experiences and did so from a position of empathy, care, and flexibility. If we learn one thing from higher education’s pandemic year it’s that higher education needs to invest in promoting caring, student-centered, and adaptive pedagogies.

 

Nearly Half of Faculty Say Pandemic Changes to Teaching Are Here to Stay — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Among the findings:

  • Fifty-one percent of faculty said they feel more positive about online learning today than pre-pandemic. Faculty were most satisfied with how efficiently they were able to communicate with students — but across the board, a majority of faculty were also satisfied with how efficiently the technology worked, how well students learned and how well students engaged in class.
  • Fifty-seven percent of faculty said they feel more positive about digital learning materials than pre-pandemic.
  • Seventy-one percent of faculty reported they make considerable use of digital materials today, compared to 25 percent pre-pandemic. And 81 percent said they expect digital material use to remain the same or increase post-pandemic.
  • Fifty-eight percent reported considerable use of online homework and courseware systems, more than doubling the pre-pandemic share of 22 percent. Seventy-four percent expected the use of those systems to remain the same or increase post-pandemic.
  • Only 8 percent of faculty said they would revert to their pre-pandemic teaching practices after the pandemic is over.

Also see:

Two-thirds of people in the education sector expect to see a continuation of remote work post-pandemic. Sixty-five percent of respondents in education agreed that due to the success of remote collaboration, facilitated by videoconferencing, their organizations are considering a flexible remote working model.

 

In 2019, 2 in 5 instructors had not consulted with an Instructional Designer in the last year -- from Educause

Also see:

EDUCAUSE QuickPoll Results: Assessment and Learning Design — by Mark McCormack

Excerpt:

Respondents expressed confidence that recent increases in faculty engagement with instructional design and technology will continue in future academic years, as will institutions’ adoption of hybrid/online education. Respondents are less confident that larger changes in institutional policy and practice will persist, and they do not anticipate that institutions will be investing in key instructional needs in the future. Increases in cross-department collaboration hold great promise for leaders seeking to engage faculty and make wider and more lasting strategic changes. Long-term success for new approaches to teaching and learning may rely at least in part on clear and consistent policies and practices across the institution, as well as a shift in institutional narrative from “short-term crisis mitigation” to “innovation for the future.”

 

Over 27,000 students share how colleges and universities could improve digital learning — from jisc.ac.uk

Excerpt:

A Jisc survey of 27,069 higher and further education students reveals that most are pleased with their digital learning, but areas such as wellbeing, mental health and staff digital skills need more attention.

Between October and December 2020, 21,697 higher education (HE) students and 5,372 in further education (FE) took part in Jisc’s digital experience insights student survey. The surveys seek to support the sector in adapting and responding to the changing situation as a result of COVID–19 policies.

 

Instructure: Building an Effective Learning Ecosystem — a recorded webinar from instructure.com from 3-4-21 (NOTE: You will need to provide some basic contact information to view it.)

Excerpt:

Hear from an expert panel of district leaders as they share their experiences with creating a learning ecosystem that includes integrating their learning management and assessment systems with quality benchmark and formative assessments. You will learn how a learning ecosystem has been an integral part of transforming teaching and learning during a challenging year.

Webinar from Instructure -- on 3-4-2021 -- Building an effective learning ecosystem

 

8 Higher Education IT Trends to Watch in 2021 [Stone]

8 Higher Education IT Trends to Watch in 2021 — from edtechmagazine.com by Adam Stone
Keep your eye on these trends as higher education prepares for a post-pandemic future.

Excerpt:

1. Get Used to More Advanced Learning Management Systems
At Virginia Tech, the Canvas learning management system (LMS) was critical for coordinating synchronous and asynchronous learning. Such systems will only become more sophisticated moving forward, says Randy Marchany, the university’s IT security officer. “With COVID, instructors have become more video savvy,” he says. “We’re all getting smarter about how we use these tools.”

2. A Rise in Sophisticated Videoconferencing Platforms
Even after the pandemic, educators might continue lecturing over Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms. However, they’ll be doing it in more sophisticated ways. “People will be making these experiences more collaborative, more authentic — with much richer interactions and conversations,” Grajek says. “We are all becoming more experienced consumers, and we will see a lot of innovation in this area.”

From DSC:
Yet another step closer…

Yet another step closer to the Learning from the Living Class Room vision

 

The top content management systems — from w3techs.com

Excerpt:

38% of the websites use none of the content management systems that we monitor.
WordPress is used by 39.7% of all the websites, that is a content management system market share of 64.1%.

From DSC:
Though I love WordPress and it continues to do well market share-wise…for people who want to get into blogging and/or who want to get their voice out there, I’m disappointed that WordPress has gone the way of web design and production (i.e., into major complexities). WordPress needs a WordPress-Lite version or an easier-to-use interface/theme/template section for beginners (or something along those lines).

 

 

HolonIQ North America EdTech 100 — from holoniq.com
HolonIQ’s annual list of the most innovative EdTech startups across North America.

This annual list helps to surface the innovations occurring across all parts of the market, and the teams who are supporting institutions, teachers, parents, learners and employers.

HolonIQ North America EdTech 100 HolonIQ’s annual list of the most innovative EdTech startupsacross North America.

 

A new category of devices from Cisco -- the Webex Desk Hub

From DSC:
In yesterday’s webexone presentations, Cisco mentioned a new device category, calling it the Webex Desk Hub. It gets at the idea of walking into a facility and grabbing any desk, and making that desk you own — at least for that day and time. Cisco is banking on the idea that sometimes people will be working remotely, and sometimes they will be “going into the office.” But the facilities will likely be fewer and smaller — so one might not have their own office.

In that case, you can plug in your smart device, and things are set up the way they would be if you did have that space as a permanent office.

Applying this concept to the smart classrooms of the future, what might that concept look like for classrooms? A faculty member or a teacher could walk into any room that supports such a setup, put in their personal smart device, and the room conditions are instantly implemented:

  • The LMS comes on
  • The correct class — based on which day it is and then on the particular time of day it is — is launched
  • The lights are dimmed to 50%
  • The electric window treatments darken the room
  • The projector comes on and/or the displays turn on
  • Etc.
 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian