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.
Expect to see lots of free online courses and degrees appearing in subsequent years—perhaps even from old institutions with strong reputations. If the economists who project that government subsidies make tuition more expensive are right, then feds are unintentionally forcing a process of creative destruction in the university system. Who would have guessed that inflation and subsidies would become more important market forces than supply and demand?
In NILOA's twentieth occasional paper, author Rebecca Klein-Collins, Senior Director of Research and Policy Development for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), discusses the methodology, practices, and policies surrounding competency-based education.
There is growing interest from members of both parties in Congress to make it easier for alternative models of higher education -- such as competency-based education -- to gain access to federal funding.
The Hewlett Foundation’s Education Program just presented a white paper with a roadmap for transforming teaching and learning by shifting OER from a small-scale movement to standard education practice.
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.
But the high cost of higher education hasn’t gone away, it is still far from clear that MOOCs are much, if any, worse than big lecture classes routinely taught at universities, and MOOCs can still offer advantages, including scheduling flexibility, self-paced learning, and instant feedback, that brick and mortar colleges are not in a good position to offer. Udacity has rivals, including EdX and Coursera, who have no intention of abandoning the field. I do not think that MOOCs are as transformative as Thrun once did, but there is no good reason to dismiss them either.