The Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice — from the-learning-agency-lab.com by Alisa Cook and Ulrich Boser; with thanks to Learning Now TV for this resource
Six Research-Based Teaching Practices Are Put Into Practice

Excerpt:

For the nation’s education system, though, the bigger question is: How do we best educate our children so that they learn better, and learn how to learn, in addition to learning what to learn? Additionally, and arguably just as challenging, is: How do we translate this body of research into classroom practice effectively?

Enter the “Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice.” The goal of the project is to get the science of learning into the hands of teaching professionals as well as to parents, school leaders, and students.

 
 

A Rubric for Selecting Active Learning Technologies — from er.educause.edu by Katie Bush, Monica Cormier, and Graham Anthony
A rubric can be an invaluable aid in evaluating how well technologies support active learning.

Excerpt:

Because the use of active learning is characterized by a broad range of activities in the classroom, comparing technology and determining which option provides more benefit to an active learning classroom can be difficult. The Rubric for Active Learning Technology Evaluation can provide some differentiation when comparing technology offerings. It has been designed to reveal subtle but impactful differences between technology in the context of active learning. The rubric was designed to be a tool for comparative technology evaluation and as such should be quick to use when comparing similar technologies. It is freely available to use and adapt under a Creative Commons license.

 

 

How to integrate storytelling as design thinking in your classroom — from bookcreator.com by Michael Hernandez

Excerpt:

I’ve been thinking a lot about the need to prepare my students for their future and how I can help develop the skills and mindset they’ll need to solve some pretty big global challenges we now face.

While I see my STEM and science colleagues integrating skills like creativity, problem-solving and ideation, technology use and innovation, I often wondered how I could integrate these skills into my journalism, film and photography classes.

Until I realized that I already do.

Often thought of as either a frivolous hobby during our downtime, or a one-way fire hydrant of information from textbooks in school, working with student storytellers over the past 23 years has illuminated the idea that, if done right, student-made digital stories can be a powerful learning experience and creative problem solving exercise.

 

Technology for HyFlex Classrooms: Major Considerations — from hyflexlearning.org by Brian Beatty

Excerpts:

This post describes four aspects of classroom technology that are very important to address when developing a HyFlex approach that can be effective at scale.

The classroom technology needs can be organized into four areas:

  1. two-way audio stream (connection),
  2. incoming video presentation of remote learners
  3. outgoing video presentation of classroom and learners
  4. interactive technology to support interaction, engagement, and formative assessment

Also re: hyflex teaching — where some students are physically present and some are coming into the class remotely– see:

Part I – Motivating Learners by Building Efficacy (Confidence) through Scaffolding and Support— from hyflexlearning.org by Jeanne Samuel

Excerpts:

HyFlex delivery may be new to many learners. Therefore, it is important to provide them with the supports they need to be successful. Regardless of the delivery mode, learners are motivated by success and by instructor presence. In part one of this topic post, we will write about how instructor support and feedback (a form of guidance) can motivate learners and build learner confidence.

PART II- Feedback for Improving Student Success and Satisfaction — from hyflexlearning.org by Jeanne Samuel

Excerpt:

In part 1 of this post, we focused on how feedback and support promote learner confidence. Learner confidence can lead to improved learner retention, progression, and success regardless of the class delivery mode. In part 2, we focus on feedback strategies.

 

College & Career Guide for Students with Disabilities — from study.com by Jamie Julh, Lisa Keith, Nicole Nicholson, Taylor McGillis; with thanks to Alysson Webb for this resource

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Students with disabilities made up 19.4% of enrolled undergraduate students in the U.S. according to the most recent data release from the Department of Education (DoE). However, many of these students may be afraid to or not know how to advocate for themselves and obtain the assistance they need. Data on graduation rates for students with disabilities can be hard to come by, but based on a recent study by the DoE National Center of Education Statistics, only 54.2% had graduated with a bachelor’s degree after six years. One possible reason for this low graduation rate is that only 35% of students with disabilities chose to disclose those disabilities to the college or university they attended, and only 24% chose to utilize accommodations. This guide is intended to help students with disabilities learn about their rights, the laws that protect them, and the resources available to help them see through their goal of obtaining higher education.

Also relevant/see:

 

From DSC:
Hmmm…many colleges and universities keep a close eye on their peers and often respond with similar strategies that their peers are pursuing. But who is an organization’s peer? The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s posting below — “How a College Decides Who Its Peers Are” — stated that “there is clearly no shared definition of what constitutes a peer institution.” 

Plus, I found this item especially interesting:

Harvard University selected only three peer institutions: Yale, Princeton, and Stanford. But 22 institutions, including Bowdoin, named Harvard as a peer. Bowdoin, a small, liberal-arts college with about 1,800 undergraduate students and no graduate programs, chose 98 “peers,” including the entire Ivy League and many large universities, some of which enroll more than 10,000 students. Bowdoin itself was picked by 35 institutions as a peer. All of them were small, liberal-arts colleges or universities that primarily serve undergraduates.

I have often thought that colleges and universities should care far less about what their peers are doing. Rather, they should move forward with their own solid visions, bold actions, and well-thought-through strategies — as there can be a great deal of danger and risk in the status quo.

Too many alternatives have been appearing — and will likely continue to appear — on the lifelong learning landscapes. Most likely, these new organizations will offer in-demand credentials/skills as well as the capabilities of helping people constantly reinvent themselves — with far less expensive price tags associated with these types of offerings.


How a College Decides Who Its Peers Are — from chronicle.com by Susan Poser
Questions of institutional identity are at the core of the process.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The mismatch between whom an institution chose as peers, and the colleges that reciprocated, pervades the data set. It raises the question of how institutions designate peers, which is a mystery. In some cases it is likely to be decided by someone in the Office of Institutional Research or the provost’s office in response to the Ipeds survey, while in others perhaps some process leads to a consensus among administrators. Regardless, there is clearly no shared definition of what constitutes a peer institution.

Also relevant/see:


 

Zoom Announces New Education Features, Enhancing Hybrid [Hyflex] Learning Experience for Educators & Students — from edtechreview.in by Stephen Soulunii

Excerpt:

According to a news release, the features span Zoom’s Chat and Meeting offerings and are designed to support teachers who need to engage and manage students joining class remotely or submitting homework assignments.

Breakout Rooms Enhancements
Breakout rooms, a popular education feature, also received enhancements in this latest release. Program Audio allows meeting hosts to share content with audio to breakout rooms, adding the ability to share videos with audio. With the LTI Pro integration enhancement, educators can populate breakout rooms from the course roster. This can be used to assign breakout rooms in advance, and then automatically sort students into breakout rooms.

Anywhere Polls
Anywhere Polls will allow polling content to live in a central repository that can be accessed from any meeting on an account, instead of being associated with a particular meeting. This will make it easier for instructors to reuse polls and will also be beneficial for grading. This feature will be available this year.

 

Reflections on “Do We Really Want Academic Permanent Records to Live Forever on Blockchain?” [Bohnke]

From DSC:
Christin Bohnke raises a great and timely question out at edsurge.com in her article entitled:
Do We Really Want Academic Permanent Records to Live Forever on Blockchain?

Christin does a wonderful job of addressing the possibilities — but also the challenges — of using blockchain for educational/learning-related applications. She makes a great point that the time to look at this carefully is now:

Yet as much as unchangeable education records offer new chances, they also create new challenges. Setting personal and academic information in stone may actually counter the mission of education to help people evolve over time. The time to assess the benefits and drawbacks of blockchain technology is right now, before adoption in schools and universities is widespread.

As Christin mentions, blockchain technology can be used to store more than formal certification data. It could also store such informal certification data such as “research experience, individual projects and skills, mentoring or online learning.”

The keeping of extensive records via blockchain certainly raises numerous questions. Below are a few that come to my mind:

  • Will this type of record-keeping help or hurt in terms of career development and moving to a different job?
  • Will — or should — CMS/LMS vendors enable this type of feature/service in their products?
  • Should credentials from the following sources be considered relevant?
    • Microlearning-based streams of content
    • Data from open courseware/courses
    • Learning that we do via our Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) and social networks
    • Learning that we get from alternatives such as bootcamps, coding schools, etc.
  • Will the keeping of records impact the enjoyment of learning — or vice versa? Or will it depend upon the person?
  • Will there be more choice, more control — or less so?
  • To what (granular) level of competency-based education should we go? Or from project-based learning?
  • Could instructional designers access learners’ profiles to provide more personalized learning experiences?
  • …and I’m certain there are more questions than these.

All that said…

To me, the answers to these questions — and likely other questions as well — lie in:

  1. Giving a person a chance to learn, practice, and then demonstrate the required skills (regardless of the data the potential employer has access to)
    .
  2. Giving each user the right to own their own data — and to release it as they see fit. Each person should have the capability of managing their own information/data without having to have the skills of a software engineer or a database administrator. When something is written to a blockchain, there would be a field for who owns — and can administer — the data.

In the case of finding a good fit/job, a person could use a standardized interface to generate a URL that is sent out to a potential employer. That URL would be good for X days. The URL gives the potential employer the right to access whatever data has been made available to them. It could be full access, in which case the employer is able to run their own queries/searches on the data. Or the learner could restrict the potential employer’s reach to a more limited subset of data.

Visually, speaking:


Each learner can say who can access what data from their learner's profile


I still have a lot more thinking to do about this, but that’s where I’m at as of today. Have a good one all!


 

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Questions that provoke critical thinking: <a href=”https://t.co/AgSkJbOXO7″>https://t.co/AgSkJbOXO7</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/instructionaldesign?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#instructionaldesign</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/instructionaldesigners?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#instructionaldesigners</a></p>&mdash; Instructional Design Lady (@instructlady) <a href=”https://twitter.com/instructlady/status/1504664266661679104?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>March 18, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

 

The following is a brief excerpt from Beth McMurtrie’s weekly Teaching newsletter from The Chronicle of Higher Education — from the Breaking Bad Habits section:

In a recent Twitter thread, Lindsay Masland, interim director for faculty professional development at Appalachian State University, asked people to describe “pedagogical sins” that they no longer commit. “I’m wondering,” she wrote, “are there things you used to do in your teaching that now fill you with cringe?”

 

Majority of workers who quit a job in 2021 cite low pay, no opportunities for advancement, feeling disrespected — from pewresearch.org by Kim Parker and Juliana Menasce Horowitz

Excerpt:

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that low pay, a lack of opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work are the top reasons why Americans quit their jobs last year. The survey also finds that those who quit and are now employed elsewhere are more likely than not to say their current job has better pay, more opportunities for advancement and more work-life balance and flexibility.

Also relevant/see:

EDUCAUSE QuickPoll Results: The Workforce Shakeup — from by Mark McCormack
A sizable wave of staff departures is headed toward higher education. Staff cite either institutional or personal reasons for staying or leaving, suggesting a range of institutional strategies for attracting and retaining talent.

Excerpt:

Middle-managers and middle-tenure staff, in particular, may be at risk of leaving, suggesting a number of solutions institutions might deploy to help attract and retain needed talent.

Addendum on 3/13/22:

 

How Art Class Became a Rare Bright Spot for Students and Families During the Pandemic — from edsurge.com by Daniel Lempres

Excerpt:

When schools went remote two years ago, the National Art Education Association (NAEA) was quick to offer guidance on how best to reach students who have experienced trauma. They offered strategies for remote learning, as well as mental and emotional wellbeing.

Now more than ever, art educators must employ the tenets of social emotional learning, the NAEA says. In a recent report, the association recommended trauma-informed teaching strategies to promote mental health through self-expression—for their students’ sake and their own.

But with asynchronous lessons and virtual events, the amount of parental participation skyrocketed, she says.

 

Power Lesson: Poetry Gallery Walk — from cultofpedagogy.com by Marcus Luther

Excerpt:

So three months into the school year, it was time to “pay the piper” in our AP Literature classroom in a major way. This meant veering away from normal processes of literary analysis and having students not only write their own reflective narrative poems, but spend time in an incredible, silent space moving around the library and writing notes of affirmation on each other’s writing.

Here is “how” we made it happen, then, as well as “why.”

 

Rethinking the Faculty Role in Students’ Career Readiness — from insidehighered.com by Rachel Toor; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this solid, well-written resource
It’s time for all of us on campuses, not just the people in career services, to step up and help offer the competencies employers say they’re looking for, Rachel Toor writes.

Excerpts:

Career centers on campuses can offer students coaching, resources and connections. But, as Angle points out, they tend to be a just-in-time service. They are also, he says, “scary places for a lot of students.” Many young people don’t want to face the reality of life after graduation. Often, it’s a case of too little, too late.

Instead, they come to people they know—professors like me—for help with cover letters and résumés. And while I can comment on language, until recently I had no idea about how most résumés are read first by a version of R2-D2 and his little robot friends who make up automated tracking systems. If an applicant doesn’t include the right keywords in a résumé or cover letter, into the trash bin they go.

The truth is, I have not applied for a job in 15 years; for many of my colleagues it’s been even longer, and some of them have never worked outside academe. It’s not surprising that employers are seeing recent college grads—smart students, hard workers—who don’t know how to present themselves as potential employees.


From DSC:
I can relate to that part about R2-D2 reading the resumes first (i.e., trying to get by the Applicant Tracking Systems before one’s resume ever makes it in front of the eyes of a fellow human being). Many faculty/staff members and members of administrations haven’t been out interviewing in a long while. So it can be a rude awakening when they/we need to do that.

Also, I wanted to say that it’s not fair to assess the learners coming out of higher education using a different set of learning objectives:

  • That is, faculty members within higher ed have one set of learning objectives and their students work hard to learn and meet those learning objectives. Unfortunately, those students did what was asked of them, and then they…
  • …come to find out that the corporate/business/legal/etc. worlds have different ideas about what they should know and be able to do. That is, these other organizations and communities of practice are assessing them on different sets of learning objectives that these same students didn’t cover. Some (many?) of these graduates leave their interviews discouraged and think, “Well, it must be me.” Or they can leave frustrated and angry at their former institutions who didn’t prepare them for this new assessment.

As I’ve said on this blog before, this disconnect is not fair to the students/graduates. We need more mechanisms by which faculty and staff members within higher ed can work more collaboratively with those within the corporate world to better align the learning objectives and the curriculum being covered. If this doesn’t occur more frequently, the constant appearance and growth of new alternatives will likely continue to build further momentum (as they should, given the incredibly steep price of obtaining a degree these days!).

P.S. This disconnect of learning objectives can also be found in what happens with legal education — including having to pass today’s Bar Exams — and then these graduates get out into the real world to find employers who are frustrated that these graduates don’t have the “right”/necessary skills.

“The incentive structure is for law schools to teach students how to pass the bar exam, not necessarily to do the things that employers expect,” Gallini said.

A quote from this article, which I also
want to thank Ryan Craig for.


 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian