The saying “never trust a skinny chef” has been applied to academia by education entrepreneur Mat Jacobson, who said university lecturers who’ve never run a start-up should not be teaching courses in entrepreneurship.
Jacobson, founder of Dūcere Global Business School, which partners with universities to deliver business degrees that align to industry needs, said when you look into the backgrounds of those teaching entrepreneurship subjects and courses, they’re career academics, not business people.
Eddie Maloney, executive director of Georgetown's Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, makes the case for a new academic discipline built around the study of educational technology, learning analytics and instructional design.
For more than 25 years, Curtin University’s Associate Professor, Iain Murray, has been dedicated to assisting people with vision impairment through the development of assistive technology. It’s this dedication that has earned him an Order of Australia.
The Curtin alumnus, now academic, was named on the Queen’s Birthday 2016 Honours List for his extensive service to people who are vision impaired and for his contribution to education in assistive technology as an academic and researcher.
As trends to do, these are changing almost yearly. Consider how quiet iPads in the classroom have been recently, whereas three years ago they were going to replace teachers and were (unsarcastically) compared to magic. While mobile devices like the iPad can indeed parallel a kind of magic in the learning process, it obviously has to ‘fit’ into a progressive supporting ecology of assessment, curriculum, and instruction.
With that in mind, we’ve created a list of 15 (the graphic plus 3 bonus items below) new ideas every teacher should try. Not all will fit or work–again, it depends on the ecology of the classroom, school, and so on. But each of these ideas below–some learning models, some concepts, and some technologies–can be transformational for students, and your teaching.
It is within this contemporary landscape that higher education institutions are reordering themselves to adapt to the forces of globalisation.
Internationalisation – the strategic adaptive response to globalisation – is a primary way by which these institutions are adapting. For instance, internationalising the curricula and learning activities is a common institutional strategy to increase enrolment of international students and faculty. Also, developing more international partnerships with other institutions allows universities to expand their reach in ways they could not otherwise do.
Within this global context therefore, it is no surprise that more universities are emphasising global citizenship and intercultural competencies for both students and faculty, as well as a greater emphasis on developing an inclusive leadership mindset for educational administrators and leaders.
It is also no surprise that higher education has become an increasingly multi-purpose enterprise focused on the development of personal agency and lifelong learning which help to strengthen democracy and extend the democratic social contract to all.
Professional support staff's crucial role in improving student outcomes is often overlooked by senior management, a study claims.
While academic support staff are often credited with keeping a university ticking over, their direct contribution to raising student satisfaction scores, reducing dropout rates and aiding graduate employment rates is felt to be largely ignored, according to the analysis, published in the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management last month.
Based on interviews with 28 academic support staff at universities in the UK and Australia, the paper, titled “Exploring the contribution of professional staff to student outcomes: a comparative study of Australian and UK case studies”, says that while “middle managers (immediate supervisors) were viewed as positively valuing their staff that was not the case with senior management”.
Teaching satisfaction scores, as measured by the UK's National Student Survey, were a good example of where the contribution of professional service staff was overlooked, with the lion’s share of credit generally going to academics, one of the report’s authors, Julie-Anne Regan, an education developer at the University of Liverpool's Centre for Lifelong Learning, told Times Higher Education.
Standardised curriculums adopted by many universities in India are not helping to raise students' academic outcomes.
Over-regulation in the Indian higher education sector has led regulators like the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education and the Pharmacy Council of India to insist on a standardised curriculum being followed by all colleges and universities.
UGC proposed the model curriculum for almost all programs and courses as it assumed standardising the curriculum would help to establish a minimum standard of quality. And for the courses that this didn’t apply to, such as the professional ones, other regulators like AICTE stepped in.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Seems to be an issue whenever standardised approaches are introduced into contexts that rely on personalisation to be successful.
However talented, no one is a natural-born teacher. Honing the craft takes significant care and effort, not just by the individual, but also by the school at large. Though experience does matter, it matters only to the extent that a teacher -- regardless of how long he or she has been in the classroom -- commits to continued professional development to refresh his or her status as a transformational teacher. Along those lines, even after a decade in the classroom, I don't claim to be beyond criticism -- not in the least. Still, I wish to offer some advice on constantly striving toward perfection, however elusive that goal will always remain.
We’d all agree that to teach a subject, you must know the subject. So you’d think that experts would be the best teachers, but they’re not. The question is why?
To understand why experts have trouble teaching well, you have to understand what makes experts different from the rest of us. People who are truly experts in a subject have knowledge most of us don’t. But that does NOT make them a true expert.
Group of university presidents say university lifespan now dependent upon faculty work-life balance options; give list of 10 issues to consider.
The first stage of a faculty career should last 30 years. Then all subsequent stages could come in five-year intervals, with reevaluation at every stage in order to allow for readjustment of career goals.
Sound radical? Not according to Charles Middleton, president of Roosevelt University, Ill., who said this idea would help fit faculty’s desired goals and accomplishments before entering the culminating stage of their career, finally transitioning into early retirement.
New study adds to evidence that student reviews of professors have limited validity.
A number of studies suggest that student evaluations of teaching are unreliable due to various kinds of biases against instructors. (Here’s one addressing gender.) Yet conventional wisdom remains that students learn best from highly rated instructors; tenure cases have even hinged on it.
What if the data backing up conventional wisdom were off? A new study suggests that past analyses linking student achievement to high student teaching evaluation ratings are flawed, a mere “artifact of small sample sized studies and publication bias.”
“Whereas the small sample sized studies showed large and moderate correlation, the large sample sized studies showed no or only minimal correlation between [student evaluations of teaching, or SET] ratings and learning,” reads the study, in press with Studies in Educational Evaluation. “Our up-to-date meta-analysis of all multisection studies revealed no significant correlations between [evaluation] ratings and learning.”
These findings “suggest that institutions focused on student learning and career success may want to abandon SET ratings as a measure of faculty's teaching effectiveness,” the study says.
Charles: It is an unpredictable world. What does it mean for Curriculum?
The unpredictable context requires a paradigm switch so that the goal of education is no longer to impart information but to teach students to navigate an ever-changing world. For this they will need versatility i.e.breadth as a hedge against rapidly changing conditions, an increased capability i.e. depth to engage with complex challenges, along with a diverse set of competencies such as adaptability, increased collaboration between cultures, etc. towards the goal of a sustainable humanity via fulfilled individuals.
A professional learning network (PLN) – it’s something teachers are told about at conferences. It consists of the people a learner interacts with and derives knowledge from. In PLNs, people connect with other people for the specific purpose of learning something new.
The idea of the PLN has been around at least since Austrian philosopher Ivan Illich published De-Schooling Society, in which he advocated for the de-institutionalisation of education. Illich argued PLNs were essential to this.
New innovations in higher-ed technology and practice are popping up daily in higher education's reinvention—but that doesn’t mean they have seals of approval
eTextbook engagement analytics, cloud systems, career training programs, MOOCs, flipped learning, virtual worlds, game-based instruction…the list could continue for pages. And while institutions emphatically communicate that many of these technologies and practices part of higher education’s reinvention need further research, even some of the seemingly accepted innovations have yet to receive a clear green light.
There are still many disagreements about how to improve the education system so that children graduate with the skills and dispositions they will need to succeed in life. Education reform discussions often center on how to tweak existing mechanisms, but what if the system itself is creating the problems educators and policymakers are trying to solve? That’s the theory favored by author and TED-talk sensation Sir Ken Robinson.
“If you design a system to do something, don’t be surprised if it does it,” Robinson said at the annual Big Picture Learning conference called Big Bang. He went on to describe the two pillars of the current system — conformity and compliance — which undermine the sincere efforts of educators and parents to equip children with the confidence to enter the world on their own terms.
Universities are facing major disruption. Technology and availability of material are constantly changing, forcing teaching and learning to do the same.
Traditional tertiary structures need to adapt, become flexible, and innovate if they are to survive.
Critical to this shift is the niche focuses Learning Innovation Week will cover, for each has a crucial role in propelling teaching and learning forward, developing strategy, encouraging innovation and changing the game when it comes to education.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Kim Flintoff from Curtin Learning Futures team will be presenting at this event.
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