A new research report, Effective practice in the design of directed independent learning opportunities shows the need to direct independent learning through integrating it into programmes and ensuring its benefits are clearly communicated to students. These benefits include the development of deep understanding, taking personal responsibility for learning, and the enhancement of skills expected of graduates.
Higher education is characterised by independent learning. The study, which was conducted by Professor Liz Thomas, references recent debates about what determines the quality of the students’ educational experiences, including whether contact hours are a useful measure, and the ways in which students engage in their learning.
The research shows that effective independent learning involves providing a clear structure and ongoing support for students, especially as they make the transition to higher education learning. A collection of good practice from across different disciplines has been created.
"The PDF is the digital equivalent to the desk drawer – a place where scientific results are hard to find and easily forgotten. And yet the PDF is still the default way for scholarly publishers to disseminate research on the web.
To communicate research efficiently today, we need a new format for the digital age: one that’s open, easy to work with and social."
Are universities about to be disrupted the way Kodak, Borders, and Blockbuster, all recently in bankruptcy, were disrupted? Blended courses, online learning, and MOOCs are moving at light speed compared to the typical university. ... Higher education institutions must modify their business models in response to technology-driven influences.
Location-based social networks are allowing scientists to study the way human patterns of behavior change in time and space, a technique that should eventually lead to deeper insights into the nature of society.
Clayton M. Christensen and Michelle R. Weise: JOURNALISTS, AS 2013 ended, were busy declaring the death of MOOCs, more formally known as massive open online courses. Silicon Valley startup Udacity, one of the first to offer the free Web-based college classes, had just announced its pivot to vocational training — a sure sign to some that this much-hyped revolution in higher education had failed. The collective sigh of relief from more traditional colleges and universities was audible.
The news, however, must have also had the companies that had enthusiastically jumped on the MOOC train feeling a bit like Mark Twain. When newspapers confused Twain for his ailing cousin, the writer famously quipped, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” Undoubtedly pronouncements over MOOCs’ demise are likewise premature. And their potential to disrupt — on price, technology, even pedagogy — in a long-stagnant industry is only just beginning to be seen.
In Canada today, it’s estimated that more than half of all undergraduates are taught by contract faculty. They often teach the large introductory courses that tenured faculty like to avoid. They put in 60- to 70-hour weeks grading hundreds of essays and exams, for wages that sometimes barely break the poverty line.
It’s what Kimberley Ellis Hale calls the university’s “dirty little secret.”
Our universities are rightly celebrated for their great achievements in research. That’s what attracts the money, the prestige and the distinguished scholars. But the core of the teaching is being done by the most precarious of academic labourers.
The professor from the West Coast stepped out of the taxi and looked around, head tilted back and swivelling from one looming grey tower to another as she assessed the flint-studded concrete ramparts of the library. ‘Oh, wowww!’ she cried, ecstasy lifting her voice above the wind . . .
Sedentary bodies bombarded with chaotic sensory stimulation are resulting in delays in attaining child developmental milestones, with subsequent negative impact on basic foundation skills for achieving literacy.
One school in Pennsylvania is using open-source tools wherever possible to keep students close to the code behind the machines they use. This stance is opposite to the very restrictive policies of many schools, but could allow students more freedom to explore what makes devices work.
In the rush to online education, faculty members have been signing contracts that abrogate the ownership of their classes, erode their collective interests, and threaten the quality of higher education. No standard (let alone best) practice has yet emerged, and faculty members are largely in the dark about what is at stake.
Put simply, the stakes are huge. Online education is the new frontier where the traditional rights of faculty members and the quality of instruction are up for grabs. It is a frontier that threatens to turn all faculty members, including those on the tenure track, into teachers who “work for hire.”
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