Disrupting Higher Education
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Disrupting Higher Education
Sharing thoughts about constructive disruption in higher education
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What Do Employees Want? They Want Digital Skills

What Do Employees Want? They Want Digital Skills | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
Employees aren't being dragged kicking and screaming into the digital world. They want to be a big part of it.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

In my opinion, there is no excuse for organizations to be non-responsive in helping employees get what they need and want. There must be hundred of folks like me who could provide all kinds of training/PD options that would help employees get the skills they need and want. There might be ways to partner with local schools/universities or to make use of Lynda.com (now part of LinkedIn). No excuse. None.

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What the Rise of the Mega-University Might Mean for the Rest of Us

Vast institutions like Southern New Hampshire University won’t drive all their smaller competitors offline. But they might change the market for students, the nature of faculty roles, and how we judge academic quality, among other things.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Ms. Blumenstyk notes the mega-universities are a lot like the box stores crushing small local businesses, and yet, in many places, other small local businesses manage to thrive, especially as the community becomes more attuned to what they really need and want. That's my perception of the opportunities for brick-and-mortar institutions with an online presence. Rather than trying to compete, get inventive. Find ways to leverage what the big guys are doing and focus more on the core competencies of your individual institution and the communities you serve.

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Here's Why Your Company Should Start Using Chatbots for Talent Acquisition

Here's Why Your Company Should Start Using Chatbots for Talent Acquisition | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
Use bots to take care of the tedious tasks of hiring, and use humans to handle the trickier ones, like cultural fit.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Some corporations have been using AI for a while to help weed through resumes. It's important for college students already looking for jobs to be aware that it's quite likely a human being will not be the first "reader" of that resume. It seems that learning how to communicate clearly with chatbots has to become part of that business communication strategy.

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Blended learning model at University of Central Florida draws business student ire

Blended learning model at University of Central Florida draws business student ire | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
Business students at the University of Central Florida agitate for alternatives to a model that heavily shifts their learning time to outside the classroom and reduces exposure to instructors. Administrators say their approach is educationally sound.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

My 1st thought: If as a student I'm spending more time out of class than in and have to learn most of the content on my own, what am I paying the university for? My 2nd thought: some college students might have the capability and capacity to learn some things on their own, but even some of those students will need or want the expertise of a professor to answer questions, guide discussion, clarify things. My 3rd thought: Ah, this is to manage capacity and a budget. Flimsy cover.

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Chegg's CEO says higher ed isn't set up for today's students

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Interesting how some corporations are beginning to look at their markets differently. Smart.

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Most popular MITx MOOC reaches 1.2 million enrollments

Most popular MITx MOOC reaches 1.2 million enrollments | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
Since its first online offering in 2012, Introduction to Computer Science using Python from MITx has become the most popular MOOC in MIT history; it recently reached a milestone of 1.2 million enrollments.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Some MOOCs are not yet dead. I think this is true for any online learning. It's finding the right courses to offer, finding the right professors to facilitate, finding the right price point, and finding the right options for offering it (audit, certificate).

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Amazon expands its Alexa Fund Fellowship to a total of 18 universities, up from 4 last year

Amazon expands its Alexa Fund Fellowship to a total of 18 universities, up from 4 last year | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

No surprise that Amazon is making its mark in higher education. Some of us are wondering the implications for secondary schools.

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3 things to know about the students arriving on campus

3 things to know about the students arriving on campus | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
They're Generation Z — not millennials — and their interests are different than those of previous generations.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I'm going to continue to dispute the notion that current students are tech-SAVVY. They are tech-fearless, but they aren't as KNOWLEDGEABLE as they think they are, and they don't always show good judgment or common sense about technology.

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Do Student Freelancers Make Better Employees? Microsoft Thinks So

Do Student Freelancers Make Better Employees? Microsoft Thinks So | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
Freelancing offers students the chance to develop essential early career development skills. Parker Dewey is taking student freelancing to the next level, and more and more companies see the potential.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Student freelancers. Micro-internships. Next-gen apprenticeships. Regardless of what they're called, it's clear that organizations recognize the need for students to learn what it really means to work in a workplace at the same time they develop needed skills and build their credentials.

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The Babel Problem with Big Data in Higher Ed | Digital Tweed

The Babel Problem with Big Data in Higher Ed | Digital Tweed | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
Rather that creating a “data gumbo” rich with integrated data sources, most colleges still experience “data babel” – critical operational challenges that involve applications, platforms and data bases that do not “talk” with one another and are difficult to integrate.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Each professor should think honestly and objectively about what data they think they need to refine the design and delivery of their classes and provide the best learning opportunities for the their students; each department chair should think objectively about the short- and longer-term data needs to know how to assist students in their learning paths and to determine what courses need to be offered when but they also need to think about what else they think they need to know to run the department effectively and efficiently. This objective assessment of data needs should funnel UP and then realistic conversations can be had about the data that is gathered, how it is aggregated and for whom, and how/how often it is disseminated. I think most folks make this harder than it needs to be.

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Survey: Students say textbooks costs have 'big impact' on finances

Survey: Students say textbooks costs have 'big impact' on finances | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it

A new report says that students are forced to make tradeoffs, such has not buying food or changing majors, to buy course materials.

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

It's too late for the fall semester, but professors can ask these questions before placing book orders for the next term: 1) How much of this book do students actually need to learn for this course? 2) Is it less than 50%? If so, are there are other resources students can use to learn what they need (and want) for this course? 3) If not, how much has the newest edition changed from the last edition? If the changes are minimal, do students really need the newest edition or will one of the previous edition(s) work just as well? 4) Do students have to have their own copy of this book? If not, would it make more sense to have copies available for students to access in the college library and/or in the department library? 5) If students don't really need a textbook but they need resources, what is keeping me from using OER resources?

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Why Talent Development Shouldn’t Fear AI

Why Talent Development Shouldn’t Fear AI | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
AI will help talent development making hiring and training more intelligent, personalized, and effective.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Skim the content until you get to the 9th paragraph, then slow down and read carefully. Especially those of you doing career counseling and those of you looking for a first or a new job. The folks behind the resume matching software (https://ideal.com/resume-matching-software/) are likely to tell you that everybody wins when AI is involved, and maybe the hiring manager gets a good candidate, maybe even a great candidate. But now writing a cover letter and a resume to match the job description just became even more complex because candidates will have no idea what the AI resume matching system is really looking for. Now go back and re-read about the hair appointment (and the little unrecognized pun about the system combing for appointments). I think we have to accept that AI is a thing and will continue to evolve. We also have to remember that AI is only as smart as the designers and developers behind it, so if they miss something, AI will too.

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Maintaining online courses into maturity requires substantial investment

Maintaining online courses into maturity requires substantial investment | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
The cost of maintaining an online course for several years can eventually outstrip the launch cost -- but the investment might just pay off.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Having done online course development and maintenance, I can speak to the challenges of keeping a course updated. Texts become unavailable, links go 404, new research is published, permissions are lost, and so it goes. Or, the course simply needs to be refreshed, which is true for any f2f course, too. A modularized online course MIGHT be easier and less expensive to maintain, but that depends on the course design and how each module connects to any others. Video or no video and what kind of video? What about new technologies or resources within the course? What does your platform allow? What happens when the platform introduces updates or changes? How do those impact features within the course? There are a lot of factors to consider with online courses and the first one to recognize is that they will not be quick or big moneymakers. Though a university could partner with other organizations and other institutions to share a database of courses so you don't have to reinvent the wheel.

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How One University Uses ‘Sneaky Learning’ to Help Students Develop Good Study Habits

How One University Uses ‘Sneaky Learning’ to Help Students Develop Good Study Habits | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
The strategies that students employ are typically based on intuition, not science. How can colleges persuade them to learn more effectively?
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I've long been a fan of "sneaky learning," when kids don't realize what they've learned and how much they've learned until they have time to reflect on it. While I agree that students need good study habits, I think they need better learning habits. I see this at all grade levels: students who simply don't know how to learn. We spend so much time encouraging students to finish a task, they learn the most important thing is the end result, the product. They don't learn that learning is a process and one of the most important things they can accomplish at any grade level is to learn how to learn.

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AI talent pipeline clogged by education programs slow or unable to change

AI talent pipeline clogged by education programs slow or unable to change | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
Should schools revamp existing programs for topics like AI, or are new research areas required? 
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Universities can be slow to change, dithering about direction and vision. Even when universities want to be nimble, accreditation agencies don't provide much assistance or boost.

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Some 43% of College Grads Are Underemployed in First Job

Some 43% of College Grads Are Underemployed in First Job | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
Liberal-arts majors often fare better in avoiding underemployment than those who pursue more vocationally geared majors, such as degrees in parks, recreation, leisure and fitness studies and homeland security.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

And people keep wanting to tell us the humanities are a waste of time. Pshaw.

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One-third of community college students in remedial courses don't need them

One-third of community college students in remedial courses don't need them | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
A new report suggests looking beyond test scores to GPA and non-cognitive assessments to reduce the number of students required to take such classes.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Once again we are reminded that higher education needs to continue to self-assess how well it is doing its job.

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Hard Copy or Electronic Textbooks? Professors Are More Concerned About Keeping Them Affordable

Hard Copy or Electronic Textbooks? Professors Are More Concerned About Keeping Them Affordable | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
A university jacked up the price of an online book to push students toward the print version. But are hard-copy requirements becoming a thing of the past?
 
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

In a world of #OER, publishers and professors need to take note. We've long known that one textbook is rarely a perfect fit but we can't adopt one textbook for 3 chapters and another textbook for 1 chapter and still another for 2 more chapters. Or can we? And as writers get savvier, they will find other ways to make their research and knowledge accessible to their professorial colleagues without signing their lives away to a publisher.

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Schools expand programs to increase postsecondary opportunities

Schools expand programs to increase postsecondary opportunities | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it

Districts are cultivating college and career readiness programs by allocating more resources to guide students, by building new partnerships and by focusing efforts beyond high school.

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Partnerships can and will make a LOT of difference for students, potential employers, and the folks who provide these educational opportunities.

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Amazon to train community college students in cloud computing

Amazon to train community college students in cloud computing | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it

The tech giant is creating a certificate program with several Los Angeles-area institutions and hopes to launch a two-year degree.

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

As you'll see from the article, Amazon isn't the only corporation making sure the employees it needs are trained the way it wants them trained. Google and Facebook are doing similar programs. Higher ed has got to get with the program to survive. Everything is changing and much has changed. We're seeing a concerted difference in education vs. training, and that is important, too. Providing education in education or anything else has got to be more agile. Period.

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College Presidents Land a New Gig: Podcasting

College Presidents Land a New Gig: Podcasting | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
The online recordings, produced in-house, serve as another vehicle to promote the institution.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Podcasting is fast becoming a new way for administrators to reach out to communities and constituents--parents and students. Podcasting can be an easy way to keep everyone in the loop and a level of personalization often not found in writing, which pains me, but too many administrators write with too formal a voice which makes them sound inaccessible and maybe a little pompous.

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New analysis of English departments says numbers of majors are way down since 2012 but it's not a death sentence for departments

New analysis of English departments says numbers of majors are way down since 2012 but it's not a death sentence for departments | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
Report documents decline in numbers of majors but growth in new tracks. Of the specializations within major, writing is doing relatively well, and literature not so much.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

As an English major, I'd love to see this major survive and evolve. Literature tracks have to be far more insightful and inventive in the way they think about literature and not just in terms of various hyphenated genre studies. 

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In-class cellphone and laptop use lowers exam scores, a new study shows

In-class cellphone and laptop use lowers exam scores, a new study shows | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
New study shows that splitting attention between lecture and cellphone or laptop use hinders long-term retention, and those in class suffer from others' use of devices.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

We all think a quick minute checking our smartphone isn't distracting. Until we're at a stoplight and someone beeps because we've gotten lost in our social media stream. This isn't new news, but it's good to be reminded so professors can figure out policies. I wouldn't go so far as to ban laptops, but, depending on the class (general ed or majors course), I would definitely have some strategic guidelines for devices.

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Why I Was Wrong About Liberal-Arts Majors 

Why I Was Wrong About Liberal-Arts Majors  | Disrupting Higher Education | Scoop.it
WSJ Small Business Expert David Kalt says his experience has proven a liberal arts education produces great programmers.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

"Critical thinkers can accomplish anything." Ahhhh. And, as an English major who became a computer programmer/systems analyst, I can attest to the value of a liberal arts approach to thinking and learning.

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Tech Training and Apprenticeship Startup Kenzie Academy Raises $4.2M | EdSurge News

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Next-gen apprenticeships. This is a really interesting idea and one that could have a positive impact on higher education and various workportunities. (I just coined that word, I think). What do I mean by any of that? So universities need to recruit students but many of those students aren't interested in traditional four-year degrees but there are some courses they might need to take; I'm thinking some business fundamentals but maybe even some art or design courses, depending on the workportunity. The workportunity comes from the partnerships or the possible pathways--so this isn't just for coding or technology. Think more robust work-study programs or more expansive and potentially meaningful practicum experiences. Universities have a lot of the components in place already; they just need to re-imagine them.

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