From DSC:
The resource below (from The Chronicle of Higher Education) is one of the best, most useful articles I’ve read in a long time. It’s full of innovative and/or powerful ideas. I like the part about seeking to give students “more voice, more choice, more control.”

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian

 


 

5 No-Cost or Low-Cost Ways to Improve Your Campus — from chronicle.com by Richard J. Light and Allison Jegla
Change doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s often sparked by a simple suggestion and a leader willing to give it a try.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

No. 1: Reward innovative teaching. Lynne Schofield, a professor of statistics at Swarthmore College, has fundamentally changed the way her students learn basic and intermediate statistics. She lectures and assigns problem sets but she also teams up with local Philadelphia organizations such as food banks and blood-donation centers to give students an opportunity to solve real-world problems using their classroom knowledge. The organizations benefit from data and analysis that they may not have had time or bandwidth to collect themselves, and the students see the practical application of what they might ordinarily have perceived as a dry subject.

No. 2: Solicit ideas from students.
They met with a dean and proposed a public event called, “10 Big Ideas, 10 Professors, 10 Minutes Each.”

When the dean agreed, the students took the lead on selecting and inviting professors to each present the “most exciting new idea” in their academic field, in less than 10 minutes.

 


 

 

From DSC:
After seeing the item below, I thought, “Hmmm…traditional institutions of higher education better look out if alternatives continue to gain momentum.” Perhaps it’s wise to double down on efforts to gather feedback from students, families, parents, businesses, and other stakeholders in the workplace regarding what they want and need — vs. what the faculty members of institution ABC want to teach.


A Third of U.S. College Students Consider Withdrawing — from news.gallup.com by Stephanie Marken

Excerpt:

Editor’s Note: The research below was conducted in partnership between the Lumina Foundation and Gallup.

About a third (32%) of currently enrolled students pursuing a bachelor’s degree report they have considered withdrawing from their program for a semester or more in the past six months. A slightly higher percentage of students pursuing their associate degree, 41%, report they have considered stopping out in the past six months. These are similar to 2020 levels when 33% of bachelor’s degree students reported they had considered stopping out and 38% of associate degree students said the same.

 

The rise of alternative credentials in hiring — from shrm.org; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
Increasingly, U.S. workers are turning to alternative credentials as a way to enhance and demonstrate skills and work readiness. But can certifications, badges and apprenticeships stand in for traditional education and work experience when seeking a new job?

Excerpts:

Alternative credentials can be defined as any microcredential, industry or professional certification, acknowledgment of apprenticeship (registered or nonregistered), or badging that indicates one’s competencies and skills within a particular field. Alternative credentials do not include traditional academic degrees or required occupational licensures.

However, one potential barrier to employers’ wider recognition of alternative credentials is actually a technical one. Automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) frequently don’t pick up on them, because often there is still no standard approach to collecting this information as systems do for traditional education and work experience. Only one-third of HR professionals whose organizations use automated prescreening say this prescreening even recognizes alternative credentials. Such inconsistency offers a clear direction for both HR and the providers of applicant screening tools to improve the ways alternative credentials are captured in the application process.

 

2022 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report | Teaching and Learning Edition

 

2022 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report | Teaching and Learning Edition — from library.educause.edu

Sections include:

  • Trends: Scanning the Horizon
  • Key Technologies & Practices
  • Scenarios
  • Implications: What Do We Do Now?

 Also relevant/see:

 


Also relevant/see:

2022 Educause Horizon Report Suggests Change Is Here to Stay; No Return to ‘Normal’ — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpt:

If the COVID-19 pandemic has been a time of unprecedented change in higher education — characterized by rapid pivots to remote work and learning and an explosion in the use of technology across the institution — the future is about reframing those changes into long-term realities, according to the 2022 Educause Horizon Report Teaching and Learning Edition, released this week. Colleges and universities are shifting their mindsets to “reflect an evolution from short-term ’emergency’ or ‘reactive’ modes of offering education during extraordinary circumstances to making strategic and sustainable investments in a future that will be very much unlike our past,” the report suggested.

6 Technologies and Practices Impacting the Future of Higher Education — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

 

The Digital versus Brick-and-Mortar Balancing Game — from educause.edu

Excerpt:

The blended campus required after two years of upheaval calls for out-of-the box thinking about what to keep and what to discard from both digital and physical work and learning spaces. Technology leaders face critical decisions regarding workplace culture, physical classroom design, and traditional campus spaces.

Making the move from fully in-person instruction to a learning environment that also accommodates remote students (and remote faculty) requires rethinking and redesigning physical learning spaces to provide an equitable experience for all learners. Technology leaders will need to overcome sizable obstacles to create inclusive classrooms that enable faculty and students to reap the many benefits of hybrid [hyflex] learning.

Also see some of the other most urgent issues in higher education here:

The EDUCAUSE showcase series spotlights the most urgent issues in higher education.

 

Trade Schools Vs. Traditional College: What You Should Know — from forbes.com by Robert Farrington

Excerpt:

We all know that a college education is usually worth the financial cost, but what about attending trade school instead? Unfortunately, many adults with influence over high schoolers never take the time to ask this important question.

I’m not only talking about school guidance counselors and other educators, but I’m also talking about parents themselves. For far too many parents with kids in their junior or senior years of school, the stigma surrounding having a child skip four-year college would just be too much to bear.

Have you tried to hire a contractor lately? How about an electrician? If you have, you probably already know these jobs are in high demand.

These are just some of the reasons to consider trade school, but there are others. And if you have your child’s best interest in mind, you will at least hear me out.

 

Beyond traditional learning programs — from chieflearningofficer.com by Gorana Sandric
To prepare for Industry 4.0 and a diverse, shrinking workforce, we need to open the door of meaningful learning to everyone.

Excerpt:

Hybrid learning creates an ecosystem of various stakeholders and methods that produce a desired outcome. This type of ecosystem is vivid, playful and allure, and therefore capable of transforming attention into intention to learn, grow and reach the maximum potential. Starting with the end in mind (SPP), building blocks of engagement with stakeholders into multifaceted L&D programs delivers a learning experience that is diverse, engaging and inclusive.

 

Shorter Training, Better Skills: Three Predictions For The Future Of Career And Technical Education — from forbes.com by Jeremy Wheaton; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

But in the face of an entrenched and growing skills gap, young people are increasingly questioning the status quo and looking for shorter, less expensive, more direct-to-career options.

Excerpts:

Here [is the first of] three predictions for how the rest of the 2020s will continue to be defined by career education:

  1. The four-year degree will no longer be seen as the default postsecondary education option.
 

EDUCAUSE 2022 Top 10 IT Issues — from educause.edu

EDUCAUSE's 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

 

EDUCAUSE's 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The EDUCAUSE 2022 Top 10 IT Issues take an optimistic view of how technology can help create the higher education we deserve —through a shared transformational vision and strategy for the institution, a recognition of the need to place student success at the center, and a sustainable business model that redefines “the campus.”

See the 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

Almost two years into a global pandemic, it’s clear the higher education we knew will never return and now we can focus on getting the higher education we deserve.

 


From DSC:
I’m assuming that the we in the we deserve (as highlighted above) includes the students, as *the students* are the ones who most need for things to change.

That said, I’m doubtful such profound change will occur within higher education as it stands today. The existing cultures may prevent such significant and necessary change from occurring — and higher ed isn’t used to dealing with the current exponential pace of change that we’re experiencing. Plus, the downward spirals that many institutions are in don’t always allow for the new investments, programs, and/or experiments to occur. But who knows? When institutions of traditional higher education have their backs pressed up against the walls, perhaps such institutions and the people within them will be forced to change. There are innovative individuals and institutions out there. (I’m just not sure how much they’ve been listened to in many cases.)

To help students truly succeed means to change one’s core products/services — one’s story. But higher ed loves to play around the edges…rarely letting the core products/services get touched. 

To me, student success includes having students pay far less and, while still getting a solid liberal arts education/foundation, can get solid jobs immediately upon graduation. At least that’s my hope as we head into 2022. 

But what student success looks like may be different in the future.

Perhaps in 5 years, we will have moved much more towards a lifelong learning situation. Individuals may have joined a global, next-generation learning platform whereby one teaches for X minutes of the day, and learns for Y minutes of that same day. AI-based dashboards let people know which skills are in high demand, and then offer a menu of choices for how to acquire those skills.

A couple of lasts comments:

  • Being data-driven won’t save an institution. Vision might. But being data-driven has its limits.
  • The digital transformations being talked about within institutions of traditional higher education may be too little, too late. This conversation should have taken place a decade or more ago. (I think I just heard an “Amen!” from some folks who used to work at Blockbuster. They didn’t think a transformation was necessary either….but they learned their lesson the hard way. We should have learned from their situation…a long time ago. And I’m sure that you can think of other examples as well.)

 

Why Aren’t Professors Taught to Teach? — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Professors are experts in their subject matters but many have limited training in actually teaching their students.

Excerpt:

“A lot of faculty are just modeling their instruction after the instruction they’ve received as an undergraduate or graduate student,” says Tanya Joosten, senior scientist and director of digital learning at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the lead of the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements.

As a perpetually short-on-time adjunct professor, I understand those who worry about mandatory training and required course reviews, but Pelletier stresses that she’s advocating for a more organic shift and that a top-down approach isn’t best. “That’s not as collaborative and generative as really just embracing that we have these two different kinds of experts, one type of expert is an expert in their subject, and the other expert is an expert in teaching and learning,” she says. More attention is needed to meld these two kinds of expertise. 

From DSC:
It’s not just that colleges and universities are big business — if you have any remaining doubts about that perspective, take a moment to look at this new, interactive database to see what I mean. But it’s also that this type of business often rewards research, not teaching. And yet the students over the last several decades have continued to pay ever-increasing prices for skilled researchers, instead of increasingly skilled teachers. 

Healthcare and higher education face similar challenges and transformations -- costs continue to soar

Image from Inside Higher Ed

 

Would people put up with this with other types of purchases? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t want to…would you?  Would we like to pay for something that we aren’t getting — like paying for all the extra options on a new car, but not getting them?

What goes around, comes around.
But by allowing this to have occurred, a backlash against the value of higher education has been building for years now. In many learners’ minds, they are questioning whether it’s worth taking on (potentially) decades’ worth of debt. At a minimum, the higher the price of obtaining degrees and/or other credentials becomes, the less Return on Investment (ROI) is realized by the learners (i.e., the purchasers of these goods and services). So while getting a degree is often still worth it, the ROI is going down.
And this doesn’t address how relevant/up-to-date the educations are that these learners are receiving, which the employers out there will take issue with.

From an Instructional Designer’s perspective, it isn’t just time that’s the issue here. There continues to exist a tiered hierarchy within higher education. Faculty see themselves as more knowledgeable because they are teaching and because they are the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). But they are not expert teachers. Many full-time faculty members don’t listen to people who are knowledgeable in the learning science world, and they often don’t value that expertise. (This can be true of administrators as well.) But when a fellow faculty member (i.e., their “true peer” from their perspective) suggests the same idea that Instructional Designers have been recommending for years, they suddenly open their eyes and ears to see and hear this seemingly new, wonderful approach.

Some possible scenarios
Thus, a wave has been building against traditional institutions of higher education — readers of this blog will have picked up on this years ago. Once alternatives significantly hit the radar — ones that get the learners solid, good-paying jobs — there could be a mass exodus out of what we think of as traditional higher education. At least that’s one potential scenario.

For example, if a next-generation learning platform comes along that offers teams and individuals the ability to deliver lifelong learning at 50% or more off the price of an average degree, then be on the lookout for massive change. If professors and/or teams of specialists — those who are skilled in instructional design and teaching —  can go directly to their learners — it could be an interesting world indeed. (Outschool is like this, by the way.) In that scenario, below are two potential methods of providing what accreditation agencies used to provide:

  • Obtaining the skills and competencies being requested from the workplace to “pass the tests” (whatever those assessments turn out to be)
  • Voting a course up or down (i.e., providing crowd-sourced rating systems)

Other possible scenarios
Another scenario is that traditional institutions of higher education really kick their innovation efforts into high gear. They reward teaching. They develop less expensive methods of obtaining degrees. They truly begin delivering more cost-effective means of obtaining lifelong learning and development “channels” for educating people.

And there are other possible scenarios, some of which I could think of and many I would likely miss. But to even ask the solid and highly-relevant question as plainly stated in the article above — Why Aren’t Professors Taught to Teach? — that is something that must be dealt with. Those organizations that use a team-based approach are likely to be able to better answer and address that question.

 

2022 Top 10 IT Issues -- from Educause

2022 Top 10 IT Issues

 

From DSC:
Time will tell which institutions have the prerequisite culture of innovation that will help reinvent themselves, stay relevant, and survive. 

And for people (who have worked in higher education for years) who don’t like to see learners as customers…well…when those learners are often paying $100,000-$250,000 or more for a four-year degree, those folks don’t have much say or credibility any longer. The price increases that they never stepped in to stop from occurring have forever changed the learning ecosystems within higher education. The idea of supporting  the perspective that says:

Well, we’re proud (and content) that our institution will have the lowest price increase in X (where X is a city, state,  or geographic region)
or
We’re proud that our institution will have the lowest price increase within our group of similar/comparative institutions.

…well, that type of perspective hasn’t cut it for years now. But the danger of that status quo perspective is only becoming apparent to many now that one’s very survival is at stake.


Addendum/also see:


 

 

A LIFETIME OF LEARNING — from continuum.uw.edu

Excerpts:

The 60-year curriculum is the modern approach to a lifetime of learning. Getting a degree, getting a job and never setting foot in a classroom again are not today’s reality.

A discussion paper from the McKinsey Global Institute predicts that in the next 10 to 15 years, the need for new tech skills will accelerate. We will also need people who will develop, innovate and adapt those technologies. The paper asserts that, right now, 80% of the workforce doesn’t have the skills for most of the jobs that will be available in the next five to 10 years.

The 60-year curriculum. Lifetime learning is now a requirement.

From DSC:
It would be good to integrate more vocational types of pathways/items in here as well.

 

Coursera: The ‘Amazon’ Of Online Education May Grow By Magnitudes — from seekingalpha.com

Summary

  • Increasing student dissatisfaction and declining enrollment suggest that many people are rethinking traditional methods of higher education.
  • The historical value of universities is becoming defunct as the internet allows a more efficient, less expensive, and more accessible vector of transmitting knowledge.
  • Innovative platforms like Coursera offer students a huge “marketplace” of high-quality courses far less expensive than those in traditional universities.
  • Given Coursera’s minimal barriers to growth and its massive total addressable market, I would not be surprised to see its annual revenue rise by 10X or more within years.
  • COUR may be one of the few recent IPOs which is actually trading below its fundamental fair value – subject to the assumption that online education will eventually supersede traditional models.
 

Planning for a blended future: A research-driven guide for educators — from everylearnereverywhere.org by Every Learner Everywhere in partnership with Online Learning Consortium (OLC) & National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA)

Excerpt:

The purpose of this guide
This resource is a collaboration among the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advances (DETA), the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), and the Every Learner Everywhere Network. It is designed to serve as a resource for educators — faculty, instructors, instructional staff, instructional improvement staff, instructional designers, learning experience designers and developers, technological support staff, and other stakeholders — to guide strategic planning for blended learning courses and programs.

Therefore, blended learning is instruction that blends technological, temporal, spatial, and pedagogical dimensions to create actualized learning. Students feel they are successful when they actually learn and that does not always equate to grade and course completion.

Blended learning is instruction that blends technological, temporal, spatial, and pedagogical dimensions to create actualized learning.

KEY IDEAS

  1. Designing courses to meaningfully integrate the different environments and temporal cadence (online and onsite, live and overtime) while incorporating an active learning approach can improve student outcomes in blended and hybrid courses.
  2. Faculty must become guides for students and their engagement by intentionally and strategically using a variety of modalities to scaffold learning.
  3. By designing and scaffolding blended courses effectively, faculty can avoid the common pitfall of course and-a-half-syndrome, which occurs when the online portion of a course is tacked on, creating busywork for students.
 

Flipped Learning Can Be a Key to Transforming Teaching and Learning Post-Pandemic — from edsurge.com by Robert Talbert

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

What is flipped learning? A common and oversimplified answer is that it is an approach that asks students to watch lecture videos at home before class so that class time can be used for more interactive activities.

But the best way to describe it is to contrast it with traditional teaching frameworks. In the traditional framework, students get first contact with new concepts in class (the “group space” as I call it in my book on flipped learning) and then higher-level interactions are all on the student side through homework and so on (in the “individual space”). Flipped learning puts first contact with new ideas before group space activities, then uses the group space for active learning on mid- and upper-level tasks.

It’s worthwhile to compare flipped and traditional frameworks by contrasting the assumptions that each framework makes…

We can no longer assume that a pure lecture pedagogy is an acceptable teaching model or that banning technology is an acceptable practice.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian