New technological innovations have been bursting onto the educational scene for more than a century, but they are rarely created or introduced in such a way that promises real change.Ask the average person to define the word “technology” and he or...
This is a time in American higher education history where we’re really in danger of seeing the disappearance of liberal arts college and liberal arts colleges have, in fact, been the backbone of American higher education.
We need the best ideas advanced for redesigning faculty roles, which can come through garnering ideas from all the key stakeholders and having these groups help move that vision into the overall system. We need courageous funders to invest not just in innovations – but in the capacity to innovate.
The Oregon House recently approved a plan for experimenting with a new method of financing higher education: providing students with tuition-free education at state universities in exchange for a percentage (around 3%) of future earnings (over the next 25 years).
The MOOC market (Massive Open Online Courses) has exploded. This month Coursera landed another $20M in funding, bringing their total investment to $63M (even more than edX's original $60M funding by MIT and Harvard).
Concerted efforts have been mounted to bring greater clarity and more widespread agreement about what credentials and degrees should represent by more precisely defining what college students in this country need to know and be able to do and at what level of proficiency. This paper is about the status and aspirations of one such effort, Lumina Foundation's Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP).
Giving students access to affordable, high-quality postsecondary education is one of the key domestic challenges of our time. The problem isn't that we don't know what to do. It's that our most basic democratic institutions are failing right in front of our eyes. Students deserve better than a future of full of kludge.
Education is full of knotty problems that elude easy answers. So Thrun and other educational entrepreneurs, whether traditional academics or outsiders, should be given some latitude to experiment, fail, and pivot. Not every innovation in higher ed makes the perfect media narrative forever.
The peril in which American colleges and universities now find themselves is a result of decades of complacency mixed with their willingness to exploit students financially and their eagerness to ensnare students in leftist ideology. Weak academic programs have been oversold; students who lacked the requisite ability and motivation have been shuffled through; and the public has awakened to the reality that families, in many cases, have paid way too much for way too little. The catchphrase for this is "the higher education bubble." But let's stick with the wolfish metaphor. Higher education has made itself the overfed prey of a ravenous predator.
The impact of innovation in higher education is extraordinary and the possibilities are endless. At a time when we are seeing exciting new approaches in higher education, Congress should be working to promote progressive policies instead of creating additional barriers. Technology innovators stand ready to serve, but will Congress listen?
So the 21st century is becoming the era in which we recognize the importance of soft skills, the role education plays in developing those skills, and the way they evolve throughout the life cycle. And we are developing new education, training, and intervention methods and new assessments in recognition of this importance.
"Before my MOOC launched, I did a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation of how many students I've ever had in the classroom, since I started teaching in grad school. And the number I came up with was, approximately 1400. The number of students who completed my MOOC is approximately equal to the number of students I've had in the classroom in my entire career."
Alberto Acereda, PhD's insight:
A good post by Jonathan Haber @DegreeofFree on MOOCs.
The handy infographic below comes from Nancy White, who wrote on her site that she created the infographic when she was searching for a resource about the importance of modeling these skills for students.