Around the world, participation rates in tertiary education are on the rise and one of the key challenges facing educators is finding ways to engage these students. We present the results of a project that assesses the impact of an engagement strategy in which a cohort of students entering their first year of university (1) establish and maintain a clear goal of their ideal future career and (2) make use of a web-based digital curation tool to research and present their findings.
We use the directed networks between articles of 24 Wikipedia language editions for producing the Wikipedia Ranking of World Universities (WRWU) using PageRank, 2DRank and CheiRank algorithms. This approach allows to incorporate various cultural views on world universities using the mathematical statistical analysis independent of cultural preferences. The Wikipedia ranking of top 100 universities provides about 60 percent overlap with the Shanghai university ranking demonstrating the reliable features of this approach. At the same time WRWU incorporates all knowledge accumulated at 24 Wikipedia editions giving stronger highlights for historically important universities leading to a different estimation of efficiency of world countries in university education. The historical development of university ranking is analyzed during ten centuries of their history.
Wikipedia Ranking of World Universities José Lages, Antoine Patt, Dima L. Shepelyansky
"With the Internet exploding with information resources and tools for learning, teachers can be facilitators of information with a greater emphasis on explanation and critical thinking as opposed to the dissemination source. Formal learning systems have in some cases been slower to adopt this model, rightfully concerned with accuracy of material and consistency; yet with ever increasing numbers of individuals accessing information in learning environments, the necessity of these formal systems to adopt technological change is very clear."
The sheer scale of numbers of students led to bold proclamations of education disruption and a sector on the verge of systemic change. However, from the perspective of 2015, these statements appear increasingly erroneous as moocs have proven to be simply an additional learning opportunity instead of a direct challenge to higher education itself. Many of the issues confronting early mooc development and offerings could have been reduced if greater consideration was given to research literature in learning sciences and technology enabled learning.
Data and research on education including skills, literacy, research, elementary schools, childhood learning, vocational training and PISA, PIACC and TALIS surveys., Schools have yet to take advantage of the potential of technology in the classroom to tackle the digital divide and give every student the skills they need in today’s connected world, according to the first OECD PISA assessment of digital skills.
“Most of the people that I know who got into science and technology benefited from a set of informal experiences before they had much formal training,” said Dale Dougherty, editor of Make Magazine and founder of Maker Faire on KQED’s Forum program. “And I mean, like building rockets in the backyard, tinkering, playing with things. And that created the interest and motivation to pursue science.”
That spirit of play and discovery of knowledge is missing from much of formal education, Dougherty said. Students not only have no experience with making or the tools needed to build things, they’re often at a tactile deficit. “Schools haven’t changed, but the students have,” Dougherty said. “They don’t come with these experiences.”
"Do you sometimes feel like you are out of strategies for a particular student or several students in your class even though you have tried many different instructional approaches? You are not alone. All students learn differently – and teachers work hard to meet the various needs in their classrooms. However, when I was a teacher, I didn’t feel like I was prepared to meet all of my students’ needs, nor did I feel like professional learning experiences were personalized to what I needed or how I learned most effectively. The Learning Differences MOOC for Educators addresses this gap by providing educators with rich information about students’ learning differences, while also using an online platform designed to personalize learning for educators to meet their learning needs."
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