ANALYZING EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
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Conventional college route shifts to “education buffet” | Hechinger Report

Conventional college route shifts to “education buffet” | Hechinger Report | ANALYZING EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY | Scoop.it

“We are at or approaching a point of significant transformation where you will be able to snap modules together from a wide array of choices, or link them in ways that produce what are sometimes called stackable credentials,” says Molly Corbett Broad, president of theAmerican Council on Education, or ACE, the predominant national association of colleges and universities.

All of these alternatives to conventional higher education are growing exponentially, thanks to their flexibility and, often, considerably lower cost.

A new federal report shows that 1.3 million high school students took courses for college credit in the 2010-2011 academic year, up 67 percent from the last time the government checked, in 2003.

More than half of all colleges award at least some credit for military and career experience, according to the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, or CAEL. The number of transcripts from military and corporate training courses submitted for college credit through an accreditation service provided by ACE rose 35 percent in the last 10 years, and a consortium of colleges that agree to accept credit for military experience now awards an average of just under 18 credits per year to each of more than 45,000 service members.

Meanwhile, more than six million people are enrolled in one or more college classes online,the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board report.

“You’re seeing learning becoming much more open,” says Mark Milliron, chancellor of the Texas branch of Western Governors University, which awards degrees based on “real-world competencies” obtained from work experience and elsewhere. “People have access now to lots of different learning resources, and ways to prove what they’ve learned.”

Other than at a handful of accredited alternative universities such as Western Governors, however, getting a degree in this way depends on mainstream schools accepting nontraditional credits toward one, something they’ve been slow to do. After all, it cuts into their business of providing classroom education for a fee. There are also legitimate concerns about quality. Just because ACE accredits certain military and corporate courses for academic credit doesn’t mean that colleges are required to accept them, and there’s no way of tracking whether or not they do.

Last year, when the Department of Defense asked colleges that enroll service members under the department’s tuition reimbursement plan to accept more nontraditional credits—which would have saved the government money—the colleges balked, saying it was undue interference, and the Pentagon backed down.

But under growing pressure to improve graduation rates, more colleges and universities are coming to terms with this new higher-education model.

“What we’re seeing, in dramatic ways, is this kind of informal learning beginning to creep into the more formal learning environment,” says David Theo Goldberg, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, and cofounder of the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, which promotes technology in teaching.

A survey by the education marketing company Stamats found that offering credit for life experience helps attract the lucrative and growing segment of older-than-traditional-age college-goers. It’s also a way to meet the national goal of increasing the number of Americans with university degrees, since an estimated 37 million adults have almost, but not quite enough, college credits to get one, Milliron says.

And public universities, whose funding increasingly depends on graduation rates instead of enrollment, have an incentive to recruit students with career experience, who a CAEL study showed are more than twice as likely to graduate as students without it.

“Institutions of higher education are going to have to ask hard questions about whether internal barriers are stopping students who have learned something from getting credit for that learning because of institutional history or policy,” Milliron says.

Some states, including Colorado, Minnesota, and Vermont, aren’t waiting for their public universities to award credit for military and career experience. They’re ordering them to start that process. And a proposal in the California state Senate would push public universities in that state to accept credit for certain outside online courses, including some provided by for-profit companies.

 

One reason for all of this attention is that unconventional credit is often cheaper than the traditional kind, for both students and taxpayers. Applicants usually must pay fees to prove they’ve actually learned something elsewhere―say, by submitting portfolios or taking assessment tests―but a student who earns 15 credits for career experience can save from $1,605 at a large public university to $6,000 at a private one, according to CAEL. It also saves time. With their credits from “real-world” experience, Western Governors University says its students take an average of 35 months to earn a bachelor’s degree, compared to more than 50 months at other higher-education institutions. In March, the government gave the idea another boost by saying federal financial aid could be applied to the cost of assessing prior learning in this way.

Companies, organizations, and government agencies―including Microsoft, Disney-Pixar, Intel, NASA, and Mozilla, the company that developed the Firefox web browser—are now developing digital “badges,” which would track a person’s experience and skills in addition to, or even instead of, university degrees.

Several websites have sprung up to help students “bank” their credentials, or tell them which institutions will award them academic credit for career experience.

“People are finding themselves taking a smattering of credits and programs and life experiences, and would like to find a way for those to count,” says Ramin Sedehi, director of higher education consulting at the Berkeley Research Group.

Some activists are pushing this movement even further, suggesting that people forgo college altogether and do their higher learning elsewhere. That’s the subject of a new book called “Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will,” by Dale Stephens, head of an organization called UnCollege, who suggests that work experience, internships, online courses, and other alternatives provide the kind of education that employers value.

“I don’t have anything against universities or colleges,” says Stephens, who received a fellowship from billionaire Facebook founder Peter Thiel that pays students under 20 a $100,000 stipend to drop out of college and become entrepreneurs. “My problem is with people going to universities or colleges simply because they think that’s what expected of them.”


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Dr. Steven F. Simmons's curator insight, May 7, 2013 6:11 AM

This trend of a transient student and emergent college experience is in line with the new emergent workforce experience i.e. changing companies and even industries every couple of years. For those individuals who adopt a Protean career attitude (mindset that they are in charge of their career) this type of college experience will be appealing.

ANALYZING EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
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Chromebooks Can Now Wirelessly Connect To Epson Projectors - Chrome Story

Chromebooks Can Now Wirelessly Connect To Epson Projectors - Chrome Story | ANALYZING EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY | Scoop.it
Epson has announced the availability of their iProjection™ App for Chromebooks, allowing them to wirelessly connect to Epson projectors. With the Epson Multi-PC Projection with Moderator function and the Epson iProjection App for Chromebooks, the teacher has the ability to display up to four Chromebook notebook computers simultaneously from a maximum of 50 connected devices …
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Popular Educational Twitter Hashtags - OnlineCollegeCourses.com

Popular Educational Twitter Hashtags - OnlineCollegeCourses.com | ANALYZING EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY | Scoop.it
Education is taking off in Twitter. See which hashtags can keep you in the loop.

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GwynethJones's curator insight, August 28, 10:41 AM

I'm getting a little tired of Word Clouds (don't hate me) but this one with the Education hashtags is grand!

Including: #TLChat #EdChat & MORE!

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Here's to Simple Builds: Or How a Door Stop Changed Our Lives | Make:

Here's to Simple Builds: Or How a Door Stop Changed Our Lives | Make: | ANALYZING EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY | Scoop.it
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Sway: Create and share interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more.

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9 Fascinating Roth IRA Statistics

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The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned From Instructional Design - e-Learning Feeds

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Indiana University distance education enrollment grows as programs meet needs of online students | Distance-Educator.com

Indiana University distance education enrollment grows as programs meet needs of online students | Distance-Educator.com | ANALYZING EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY | Scoop.it
Indiana University distance education enrollment grows as programs meet needs of online students https://t.co/uEfEzpbT4u #edtech
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Some Very Good Apps to Document Students Learning

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The Daring Librarian: A Shockingly Private Blog Post About Social Media

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GwynethJones's curator insight, April 24, 8:54 PM

My latest blog post about what TO or NOT TO Share on Social Media.

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Smallpdf.com - A Free Solution to all your PDF Problems

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Golden Rules for Engaging Students in Learning Activities

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Why the Next 10 Years of Educational Technologies will Smash the Last 10 – UKEdChat.com

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6 ways to bolster STEM education for the future

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How to improve education: Get a better return on investment

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