The 19th century educational concepts we imported from Germany are not working well any more.That is the big argument that University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds makes in his just-published book.
It’s great that colleges are engaging in more learning assessment for their own reasons or due to pressure from groups like accreditors. Hopefully that will translate into higher-quality educational offerings. But simply saying “if you improve it, they will come is not enough.” Consumers should play a more active role in demanding these kind of efforts too and rewarding those colleges that are willing to do such hard work.
Competency based education (or competency based learning) is one of those buzzwords that I hear thrown around often in the education world, but I talk to a lot of people who don't really grasp the concept well .
Accreditors "can and should be doing more" on site visits and in their standards to address concerns about adjunct faculty employment and its effect on student learning, says a report out today from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Soon, the recession will end and the aftermath will demonstrate that the place of higher education in a global economy will be different. Higher education must stake out its turf, add value, differentiate and admit that external forces washing over it represent unprecedented opportunity.
The key opportunity for institutions is to take the concepts developed by the MOOC experiment to date and use them to improve the quality of their face-to-face and online provision, and to open up access to higher education. Most importantly, the understanding gained should be used to inform diversification strategies including the development of new business models and pedagogic approaches that take full advantage of digital technologies.
Beyond MOOCs Sustainable Online Learning in Institutions (PDF)
Assessment of student learning continues to climb higher on the national agenda. There are multiple reasons for this, including persistent prods from external bodies such as accrediting and governmental entities and institutions recognizing that they need more and better evidence of student accomplishment.
The report on higher education sets out how quality assurance is helping to establish quality goals and address challenges such as the expanding student population in Europe, which has grown by more than 25% to 20 million since 2000. It underlines the importance of making the most of ICT-based technologies. Transparency is also vital: quality assurance results should be publicly available and feed into strategic decision-making.
Electronic portfolios may help academic officers plug gaps in their programs, advisers guide students to a degree, and graduates find employment, but at a daylong conference on the increasingly popular tool, presenters urged their audiences not to get caught up in the hype.
The studies on MOOC users concur: students come to MOOCs not as replacements for college, but as supplements. The average MOOC user is more likely to work from an office desk than a classroom desk. Many of the colleges that extend transfer credits for MOOCs have seen a tepid reception. Traditional students who participate in MOOCs see them as complements to their classrooms--as do most of the professors who've incorporated MOOCs into their syllabi.
On weekend mornings all this winter, anxious high school juniors and seniors will be filing into school cafeterias to sweat through the SAT, ACT, and similar college entrance examinations as stern-looking proctors hover over them.
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