Students at 50 colleges and universities will this fall use Revel, a digital content platform created by Pearson, as a textbook replacement in three general education courses. The platform, which combines text with interactive elements and multimedia, will first be used to teach introductory sociology and psychology and public speaking. REVEL is an immersive learning experience that enlivens familiar and respected course content with media interactives and assessments. Designed for the way today's students read, think, and learn, REVEL empowers educators to increase engagement in the course, to better connect with students, and to break through to learning reimagined.
Whether MOOCs follow through on their pledge to alter higher education and, in the process, reduce costs and improve outcomes for everyone depends on whether colleges and the MOOC providers tackle the difficult questions facing them in the next few years while they are out of the media spotlight.
More and more, parents feel obliged to steer their children toward those activities that might have a future payoff, already thinking ahead to that harrowing ivy league gauntlet that Deresiewicz describes. Such is the instrumental view, play as a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Just as teaching should be done by those who really know how to teach, assessing should be done by those who really know how to assess. This doesn’t mean all assessments should be multiple-choice, objectively-scored exams — many competency-based programs use trained raters who use complex rubrics to evaluate authentic student projects — but it does mean that having an unbiased third party not involved in the teaching can often provide better information about what students can do than an instructor who may have no training in assessment and a very small and potentially skewed sample of students to work with.
Two years after Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) first emerged as free, online educational opportunities for the public, they are still a growing trend. Platforms such as Coursera, Udacity, and edX continue to add new courses, and participants continue to enroll in classes that feature university professors and industry experts as instructors. However, these courses’ strikingly high dropout rates hide in the midst of louder success stories in online education. Researchers from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology calculated that approximately five percent of registrants for Harvardx and MITx finish their courses and earn a certificate. Less than half of registrants even makes it halfway through the course materials.
The focus of this special issue of INNOQUAL is on MOOCs. It consists of five research papers and four practice-based papers, which together provide a useful summary of some of the state of the art of research and development of MOOCs. Quality in relation to MOOCs is a key issue and the subject of much debate.
In College of Tomorrow, U.S. News & World Report looks at how colleges and universities are adapting as demographics, the economy and technology change the landscape of higher education in the United States.
Different companies are doing some really interesting work just crawling through all the job postings and trying to normalize that data and help institutions understand how to make sense of what skills students actually need to be able to display to employers. There are so many opportunities there to make those connections make more sense.
Southern New Hampshire University, seeing an opening in the market for a learning management system designed around competency-based education, is spinning off the custom-made system it built to support College for America.
The ‘traditional’ markets sought after by institutions catering to non-traditional students are diminishing, forcing institutions to look for new marketplaces to serve. There are a number of elite universities entering the non-traditional marketplace, creating a viciously competitive environment for all universities currently in that space. Institutional leaders are being forced to make tough calls in order to ensure it’s possible to invest in the kinds of technologies and innovations that will help them compete.
Higher education’s future is going to be non-traditional in many senses of that term, including that which might be considered a “back to the future” revival of a reimagined adult and continuing education.
Lumina Foundation will have the official launch of the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP); a framework for defining the high-quality learning that college degrees should signify. For the first time in the U.S., associate, bachelor's and master's degrees have clearly defined learning outcomes that reflect a quality postsecondary education that will serve students well as they prepare for rewarding careers and fulfilling lives. On October 8, Lumina is calling for the DQP and related Tuning process to be implemented more broadly and deeply at colleges and universities across the country.