The Future of Higher Education
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The real stuff of schooling: How to teach students to apply knowledge

The real stuff of schooling: How to teach students to apply knowledge | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
An excerpt from a new book on teaching and learning by a veteran teacher.
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Higher Education 2.0 and the Next Few Hundred Years; or, How to Create a New Higher Education Ecosystem

Higher Education 2.0 and the Next Few Hundred Years; or, How to Create a New Higher Education Ecosystem | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
EDUCAUSE Review Online
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

Three important developments stand to dramatically change the way we think about degree programs and pathways:

The rapid adoption of competency-based education (CBE) programs, often using industry and employer authority for guiding the creation of the competencies and thus programsAn eventual move to suborganizational accreditation, with Title IV funds available for credits, courses, and microcredentials offered by new providers in new delivery models, part of the accelerating trend toward "unbundling" higher educationIncreasing recognition that postsecondary education will no longer be contained to the existing and traditional degree levels but will instead be consumed at various levels of granularity—less than full degree programs and continuing throughout lives and careers

If these game changers come to fruition (and they are already taking shape today), we will see an exciting new ecosystem take hold in higher education. Together, these developments are poised to end the monopoly that traditional higher education holds on postsecondary education and to erode the sole authority it has over what counts for quality and relevancy. Smart and agile institutions will respond and even thrive in this changing environment. They will do so alongside new competitors as more providers emerge to compete for students, making the higher education marketplace diverse and robust.

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How ‘Soft Skills’ Tests Could Create Opportunity for Millions

How ‘Soft Skills’ Tests Could Create Opportunity for Millions | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
College degrees that impress employers are harder than ever to obtain and afford. Could innovations in testing level the playing field?Flashback to America in the late 1950’s: A grandchild of immigrants, raised by working class parents, is bright and motivated. He studies hard and earns good grades. Despite his humble background, he scores well enough on the SAT exam to win acceptance to a prestigious college. He earns his degree, climbs into the middle class and joins the ranks of those who hav
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"We’re in the early stages of the next disruptive innovation in testing, the broad adoption in the workforce of the Soft Skills Test. Soft skills, a.k.a. people skills, comprise factors of personality such as Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. These Five Factors contain within them dozens of specific orientations, behaviors, and skills such as attention to detail, personal organization, concern for others, tolerance of stress, etc. After decades of psychological research, there is broad scientific consensus that these personality traits can be accurately measured by means of standardized tests.

 

Personality tests may still be viewed as mainly just for fun, or perhaps for sparking introspection and discussion among friends and colleagues. But an increasing number of employers have begun to adopt standardized personality tests for the very serious purpose of employment screening—the Wall St. Journal cited estimatesthat employment-focused personality tests are a $500 million-plus market, growing 10-15% annually.

 

Why are personality tests so popular with employers? Because according to many surveys including this one, employers rank strong soft skills at the top of the list of attributes they seek in new hires. Soft skills are no longer nice-to-haves—today, they’re need-to-haves. IBM recently announced development of its own competency model for soft skills, to be used in hiring and developing its workforce."

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Alexander's Higher Ed Act Agenda

Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"One issue that emerges clearly in the set of proposals is holding colleges more accountable for their students’ success, including their levels of debt and ability to repay it.

 

The outline backs the concept of risk sharing or “skin in the game” proposals for colleges when it comes to federal student loans. Under those proposals, an institution may be forced to repay some amount of their former students’ defaulted debt or otherwise be held responsible for a share of the federal loans they give out.

In addition, the paper floats the idea of making colleges annually pay into an insurance fund based on risk factors such as the rate at which their students withdraw or drop out.

 

Such risk-sharing proposals would “ensure that colleges and universities have a clear financial stake in their students’ success, debt and ability to repay their taxpayer-subsidized student loans,” the document says.

 

Some of Alexander’s most liberal colleagues in the Senate have called for a similar approach. His policy paper references a proposal in 2013 by Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Richard Durbin of Illinois that would require colleges to pay penalties, on a sliding scale, based on their default rates."

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For Online to Really Matter in Education, We Need to Redefine Competency | WIRED

For Online to Really Matter in Education, We Need to Redefine Competency | WIRED | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
courosa/Flickr In the early ‘90s, I could tell what someone thought about the Internet’s prospects for transforming higher education by listening to their vocabulary. If they used terms like “distance learning” or “distance education,” they’d probably been working in continuing education for some time and saw the Internet as simply the latest in a line…
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

In a decade, online education may be recognized not for making higher education accessible to anyone with a smartphone—but as the midwife who delivered competency-based learning into the world...


Competency-based learning turns higher education on its head – starting not with the curriculum, but rather the competencies one should exhibit upon completion (according to, say, employers). From there, course developers design assessments that test for these competencies. Then – and only then – do we turn to the task of developing the curricula that prepares students to demonstrate mastery on the assessments.


In a competency-based program, failure becomes an anachronism; students continue until they demonstrate competency. In addition, competency-based learning relegates concepts like credits, transferring credits, and perhaps financial aid to the dustbin of higher education history. Equally important, it significantly reduces the cost of delivery – by as much as half vs. seat-time-based online delivery.

 

If this all sounds good to you, you’re probably not an academic. Because when higher education veterans hear the term “competencies” they hear “job-related skills” or “vocational training.” Most faculty don’t see how competency-based learning relates to higher level capabilities such as critical thinking, problem solving, numerical reasoning, and locating information.

 

But these higher level capabilities are rooted in competencies, too. Moreover, we are increasingly able to design and deliver assessments that test for these competencies. ACT, the leading assessment organization, has profiled over 16,000 jobs by sending experts to corporate work sites and found that over 95 percent of all jobs can be expressed as a combination of three to five higher order capabilities, including applied mathematics, reading for information, and locating information.


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Economic Angst, Rose-Colored Views on Race: A Survey of Presidents @insidehighered

Economic Angst, Rose-Colored Views on Race: A Survey of Presidents @insidehighered | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Fewer than 4 in 10 college presidents express confidence in the financial sustainability of their institutions over the next decade.
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"Bad budget news is breaking out all over right now. Politicians in Arizona plan to end all state funding for two major community college districts, officials in states such as Louisiana and Wisconsin are weighing huge cuts in support for public higher education, and the pending closure of Sweet Briar College shocked many observers of independent colleges, as the institution is far from the most financially vulnerable in the sector, at least currently.

 

Fittingly, then, presidential confidence in their institutions’ financial futures seems to be on the decline...

 

Fewer than 4 in 10 college presidents express confidence in the financial sustainability of their institutions over the next decade...

 

Renu Khator, chancellor of the University of Houston System and president of its main campus, said the leaders' confidence probably stems "from their belief in the agility and adaptability of the university system" as a whole, which has found its way to adapt at various points in its history.

 

But Khator said she thinks many presidents are underestimating the impact of the "very serious disruption" that many institutions will see to their business models within a decade, "which will be more than we realize."'


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What Do You Most Want When Hiring Recent College Graduates?

What Do You Most Want When Hiring Recent College Graduates? | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
It’s hiring season for college graduates, and as I research my next book about the transition from education to the workforce, I’ve been asking employers what they most want when they recruit those with newly-minted bachelor’s degrees. I wasn’t interested in hearing about the specific skills for a particular job, but more so about the overall attributes these recent graduates need to succeed in the workplace now and in the near future.Many of the same characteristics came up over and over again in my conversations with employers ranging from Pinterest and Facebook to E
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

Answers: Curiosity, experience with failure, contextual thinking, digital awareness, and social awareness. This one stuck out to me the most. 


"Experience with Failure.

The A is now the most common mark given out on college campuses nationwide, accounting for 43 percent of all grades. Given the rapid rise of grade inflation on college campuses, most college students today have little experience with failure. They rarely have seen the iterative process that most professionals follow to eventually get to success (perhaps those of us who are writers should share our early drafts more often). College graduates who have had some experience with failure whether it’s on the athletic field, in a lab, on a research project, or just in life in general are better able to deal with it on the job."

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How to spot a college about to go out of business

How to spot a college about to go out of business | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Sweet Briar College announced its surprise closure last week. Check a college's bond rating report for warning signs.
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"The surprise announcement last week that Sweet Briar College will close at the end of the academic year caught many of its current students, their families, and alumnae by surprise. It also led to much speculation about whether such closures are about to become the norm in higher education.

 

If you’re a parent in the midst of the college search with your son or daughter, you certainly don’t want to be considering schools on the brink of shutting down. But how do you know if a college is about to go out of business? It’s not like that’s a subject that comes up often on the campus tour."

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5 Big Ways Education Will Change By 2020

5 Big Ways Education Will Change By 2020 | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
In the next five years, we'll start to rethink a lot about education, from what's in school lunches to what a college degree really means.
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:
" We might be sending kids to school in self-driving cars by 2020, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be taught by teacher-avatars and given tests via drone. “Education needs will drive technology use, rather than the ‘coolness’ of technology trumping education,” predicts Shannon May, cofounder of Bridge International Academies. Instead of simply finding ways to put more tablets in kids’ hands, education technology will find new ways to supplement the best learning possible--regardless of the "coolness" of new tech. Jake Schwartz, CEO and cofounder of General Assembly, predicts that as technology advances, its limits will become clear. “‘Online’ is not a cure-all for education issues in this country, but it can help provide greater access to new skills training,” he says. “This is powerful when combined with curricula and programming created and led by practitioner educators. The human factor is always important.”
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Southern New Hampshire President to Advise Education Dept. on Competency-Based Learning – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Southern New Hampshire President to Advise Education Dept. on Competency-Based Learning – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, will take a three-month leave of absence to join the Department of Education as a senior adviser to the under secretary of education, Ted Mitchell.

 

Mr. LeBlanc will be involved with the department’s innovation agenda, specifically its experiments with competency-based education and with establishing new accreditation methods for innovative programs.

 

Southern New Hampshire University has been at the forefront of competency-based education with its College for America program, which was the first competency-based degree program approved by the department to award student aid based on the direct assessment of student learning.

 

“I hope to help the department, and all of us, answer the many questions we still have about competency-based education,” Mr. LeBlanc said in a news release."

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Yale Will Offer Web-Based Master of Medical Science Degree

Yale Will Offer Web-Based Master of Medical Science Degree | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Yale is creating a Web-based master of medical science degree for aspiring physician assistants, the latest sign that online learning is gaining acceptance.
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College à la carte: The 'unbundling' of higher education will allow students to earn new kinds of educational credentials.

College à la carte: The 'unbundling' of higher education will allow students to earn new kinds of educational credentials. | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Following other sectors, higher education has begun to "unbundle." Will it mean the end of the residential experience?
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"Among institutions pondering the chopping of their curricula into smaller bits is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A task force on the future of the engineering powerhouse put out a report last year imagining a world in which students could take online courses they assembled themselves from parts they found online. "Much like a playlist on iTunes, a student could pick and choose the elements of a calculus or a biology course offered across the edX platform to meet his or her needs," it says, referring to the online platform led by MIT and Harvard University.

 

That approach would let students retake any module they struggled with before they move on to more advanced material, making it easier for professors to co-teach larger courses by letting each faculty member tackle a portion."

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How can universities use MOOCs to recruit students?

How can universities use MOOCs to recruit students? | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"In an effort to confer academic legitimacy on online learning, and to set an example for other, less digitally oriented faculty, many universities selected distinguished, tenured (read: older) faculty for early MOOCs. 

 

News flash: while there are exceptions, if the purpose of MOOCs is to impress and engage adolescents, such faculty aren’t the best choice.

 

More junior faculty, with more relatable material, could probably do a lot of good for their institutions. So not Jimmy, but someone like 25-year-old Nick Walter, profiled in The Chronicle of Higher Education this month. A recent BYU graduate, Nick dances to techno music in a promo video for his course on Swift (Apple’s new programming language), and is seeing as many as 200 enrollments daily for his $199 course. Young, dynamic faculty, grad students and even undergraduates could help make MOOCs a central component of the college selection and admissions process."

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Education Technology and the Twenty-First-Century Skills Gap

Education Technology and the Twenty-First-Century Skills Gap | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
All too often in many countries, students do not get the education they must have to prosper in the twenty-first century. Education technology can help close this skills gap.
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"Numerous innovations in the education technology space are beginning to show potential for helping address skills gaps. These technologies could both lower the cost and improve the quality of education.

 

A new report by the World Economic Forum, written in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group and titled New Vision for Education: Unlocking the Potential of Technology, examines ways that education technology can enhance learning as one tool in a portfolio. We surveyed the education technology landscape for trends and promising approaches related to developing twenty-first-century skills. On the basis of our research results and interviews with dozens of experts in education, we identified a number of resources and tools, including personalized and adaptive content and curricula, open educational resources, and digital professional-development resources for teachers. The report highlights three school networks from different parts of the world that have deployed technology in innovative ways to improve student outcomes by developing twenty-first-century skills.

 

We found that education technology can complement existing and emerging pedagogical approaches such as project-based, experiential, inquiry-based, and adaptive learning methods, as well as facilitate the teaching of twenty-first-century skills such as communication, creativity, persistence, and collaboration. But much more can be done with education technology to develop higher-order competencies and character qualities."

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How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses | WIRED

How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses | WIRED | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Students in Matamoros, Mexico weren't getting much out of school -- until a radical new teaching method unlocked their potential.
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"To test her limits, he challenged the class with a problem he was sure would stump her. He told the story of Carl Friedrich Gauss, the famous German mathematician, who was born in 1777.

When Gauss was a schoolboy, one of his teachers asked the class to add up every number between 1 and 100. It was supposed to take an hour, but Gauss had the answer almost instantly.

 

“Does anyone know how he did this?” Juárez Correa asked.

 

A few students started trying to add up the numbers and soon realized it would take a long time. Paloma, working with her group, carefully wrote out a few sequences and looked at them for a moment. Then she raised her hand.

 

“The answer is 5,050,” she said. “There are 50 pairs of 101.”

 

Juárez Correa felt a chill. He’d never encountered a student with so much innate ability. He squatted next to her and asked why she hadn’t expressed much interest in math in the past, since she was clearly good at it.

 

“Because no one made it this interesting,” she said."

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The real stuff of schooling: How to teach students to apply knowledge

The real stuff of schooling: How to teach students to apply knowledge | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
An excerpt from a new book on teaching and learning by a veteran teacher.
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

Teaching for transfer is so simple and yet, especially in higher education, so incredibly difficult. Yet, as the author points out, transfer is THE goal of education. These five basic instructional design principles are dead on.

 

"Many teachers operate under the assumption that transfer happens automatically and, in a number of cases, it does — using basic reading skills in multiple contexts are one example. However, studies show that many students have difficulties in applying knowledge they learned in one class to another and to outside situations. How often in our own classes will students learn new words on a quiz or vocabulary review but not use them in their writing, or second language learners will know grammatical written forms but are unable to use them in conversation? Assuming automatic transfer of learning will more likely lead us to live out the supposed Chinese proverb that says “people have to stand still for a long time with their mouths open before roast chickens will fly into them.”

 

Transfer will not happen magically.

 

Here are some actions teachers can take on a regular basis to increase the chances of both near and far transfer occurring."

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The Next Assault On The Ivory Tower: Unbundling The College Degree

The Next Assault On The Ivory Tower: Unbundling The College Degree | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Colleges and universities should heed the experience of the music industry and prepare for The Great Unbundling by refocusing spending on activities that clearly contribute to student return on investment, and academic energy on programs and courses that clearly advance core cognitive skills.
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"So how will technology unbundle the degree? And what does that look like?

 

The emergence of “competency management platforms” like LinkedIn will usher in the great unbundling of higher education. Students will be able to upload their resumes and transcripts and—using algorithms honed by terabytes of training data—map their competencies to specific job or career goals. Empowered by an understanding of the gap between where they are and where they need to be, students will leverage Netflix-like recommendation engines to find the best courses and credentials to pursue. The bundle will begin to seem anachronistic as students are able to pick and choose the components they think they need.

 

This doesn’t mean universities or accreditation will become irrelevant. Far from it. The university will remain the locus of educational content and talent. Colleges and universities will produce modules that yield the best outcomes on the core cognitive skills most predictive of job performance: critical thinking, reading for information, locating information, applied math."

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Videos Find Their Place In and Out of the Classroom

Videos Find Their Place In and Out of the Classroom | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"Ms. Leonard said she was intrigued by the variety of reasons students had for using videos. “They ranged widely from somebody wanting to brush up on something for a test, to somebody who was fascinated by something they learned in class but wanted to learn more about it, to students who would say that they heard what their faculty were saying, but they just wanted to know what were the other perspectives on that same topic,” she said.

 

In the study, students were asked why they watched educational videos. The most popular response was that the professor played them during class, at 63.4 percent. Help in understanding course material came in second, at 59.3 percent.

 

Perhaps not surprisingly, the study found that students do not like videos with speakers who are monotonous, appear nervous, or do not make eye contact with the camera. Videos with animations, real-world examples, and new material were well received. The ideal length of a video ranged from five to 20 minutes."

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One University Takes Multiple Paths to Improve Teaching

Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"When the leaders of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor envision the world their graduates will inherit, they see a future brimming with political, social, and environmental volatility. If students are going to succeed, they will need to be nimble—able to handle complexity and to reinvent themselves, says James P. Holloway, vice provost for global and engaged education.

 

The institution puts money behind its aspirations. In preparing for its bicentennial, in 2017, it has started a splashy campaign called the Third Century Initiative, using $50-million from its budget. Half of the money pays for multidisciplinary efforts to solve complex societal problems. The other half supports an ambitious competitive grant program to improve undergraduate teaching."

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A16z Podcast: A ‘Full-stack’ Approach to Education | Andreessen Horowitz

A16z Podcast: A ‘Full-stack’ Approach to Education | Andreessen Horowitz | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

Minerva meets Montessori in an Uber design for K12. A network of micro schools that personalize instruction for the student, but not reliant on screen-based learning. The emphasis is not on technology in the classroom. Rather, technology is used to differentiate instruction in a face-to-face environment. The AltSchool structure is highly adaptable and amenable, which is facilitated by a completely different design than traditional schools.

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Stanford president offers predictions on a more digital future for higher education @insidehighered

Stanford president offers predictions on a more digital future for higher education @insidehighered | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:
Hennessy advocated for hybrid courses -- based on a relatively small set of top-quality digital lectures, enhanced by simulations. He said he believed not in MOOCs, but in LSOCs, or large selective online courses. He said, for instance, that introductory courses could be "more compelling" if the best instructors produce courses, and they are enhanced and distributed, with on-campus faculty members acting as in-class coaches, leading group exercises, offering extra help to those who are struggling, and so forth. He said that research already demonstrates that high-quality hybrid courses can improve student learning. He said that if these courses are "done well," they will be better than most of those offered by individual colleges. "Only the very best instructors will be able to compete with very high quality courses," he said.
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Harvard and MIT release working papers on open online learning

Harvard and MIT release working papers on open online learning | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today released a series of working papers based on 17 online courses offered on the edX platform.
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Don’t Divide Teaching and Research – The Conversation - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Don’t Divide Teaching and Research – The Conversation - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"With an increased national emphasis on graduation rates, student persistence, and student learning, rising undergraduate tuition costs, and the need to distinguish brick-and-mortar institutions from online offerings, teaching has become a much higher priority for all public institutions.

 

Merits and promotions are shifting to take teaching into greater account, new faculty are being given increased resources and encouragement to develop their pedagogy, and in some cases new positions are being created for tenure-track faculty who undertake what a recent National Research Council report has called “Discipline-Based Education Research.”

 

Whether current graduate students ultimately apply for traditional tenure-track research positions or in such new positions as pedagogy experts, they will be well served if their time in the classroom is time when they are encouraged to study how students learn in their field and adapt their practices for greatest success. Studying how undergraduates learn in a field actually also strengthens graduate students’ research processes in their own work. Breaking down the barrier between “discipline-based research” and “research into teaching” offers a win-win."

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Teaching revival: Fresh attention to the classroom may actually stick this time.

Teaching revival: Fresh attention to the classroom may actually stick this time. | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"Today the pressure comes from new places: concerns about the return on the investment in increasingly expensive degrees, shifting student demographics, discoveries in the science of learning, and the influence of new technology.

 

Academe may finally be taking notice. Rising numbers of professors report using teaching methods that demand more of students than the traditional lecture often does. They are increasingly using class discussions, incorporating student-selected topics in their courses, and assigning group projects and cooperative learning.

 

In the early 2000s, campus conversations about learning, assessment, and academic rigor were rare, says Josipa Roksa, co-author of Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, the 2011 book that argued that many students showed meager gains in their critical-thinking skills during college. While faculty members once dismissed concerns about teaching and rigor, she says, they rarely do now.

 

Even elite institutions acknowledge that the classroom experience is not all it should be. Harvard University and the University of Michigan have dedicated tens of millions of dollars to support experiments to improve teaching, particularly at the undergraduate level.

 

"We’re at a moment in which there is no dogma about what’s going to work," says Peter L. Galison, a professor of history of science at Harvard. "Everyone accepts that this is an experimental time."...

 

Two distinctive dynamics of the craze over MOOCs helped spark renewed attention to teaching, says Fiona M. Hollands, associate director of the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

 

The first is that these courses are designed for a general audience. Faculty members have had to think carefully about who their students are, and how to appeal to and motivate them.

 

The other is the peculiar ecology of prestige in higher education. Elite institutions like Stanford University got the MOOC ball rolling. That made it acceptable for professors elsewhere, Ms. Hollands says, to teach MOOCs and tackle questions about teaching. And when institutions like Harvard and Michigan signal through their grant programs that they’re interested in improving instruction, others are likely to follow suit."

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Gates Foundation announces four priority policy areas on college completion, with data system to come @insidehighered

Gates Foundation announces four priority policy areas on college completion, with data system to come  @insidehighered | The Future of Higher Education | Scoop.it
Sandra Loughlin, Ph.D.'s insight:

"After spending roughly half a billion dollars on the college completion agenda during the last seven years, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is ready to be more assertive about what it thinks should happen in four key areas of higher education policy.

 

The foundation lays out what an official there calls its "strategy reboot" in a newly released document. It describes a focus on data and information, finance and financial aid, college readiness, and innovation and scale."

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