Boot camps have become the activities of choice to build new skills through intensive, engaged training, especially in tech and information management fields, for individuals who do not want to commit to the longer – and often more expensive – graduate degree programs. Until recently, these have not been associated with formal colleges and universities. Northeastern University is deploying one of the first boot camp programs from a traditional university, called “Level”, as a non-credit, two-month long program on data analytics. Northeastern’s boot camp will run alongside of its existing graduate degree programs in urban informatics and information design and visualization.
Colleges and universities have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on technology they believe will improve student outcomes and simplify administrative tasks. Educational technology companies continue to demolish investment records on a quarterly basis. With all this money raised and spent under the guise of improving postsecondary education, the 2015 Inside Higher Ed Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology suggests that many instructors believe the gains in student learning justify the costs — even if the results are perhaps less significant than desired.
A white paper produced by Clemson University and Software Secure (RPNow) presenting the use of RPNow for proctoring services to help grow online learning programs at the university.
“I believe that in many cases – academic integrity is kind of the red herring of online education. At the same time, we’ve got questions from legislators and accreditors that want to know what we’re doing to protect academic integrity. I think this is a great way of demonstrating we’re putting a requirement and solution in place – without overburdening any one person or group.”Witt Salley, Chief Online OfficerClemson University
In August, UPCEA and OLC sent a letter about online learning to the leadership of the House Committee on Education and Workforce as well as the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in response to recent public statements which appear to question the integrity of online education.
As early as 2010, a Department of Education meta-analysis of research into the relative effectiveness of online and classroom-based learning put to rest any remaining question that what goes on in a classroom is inherently superior to what can be accomplished online; indeed, that study, and others that have followed, indicate that online learning is often superior in achieving measurable learner outcomes2. To question the inherent “integrity” and “quality” of online learning in 2015 is simply unsupported by overwhelming evidence.
CampusTechnology provides a snapshot of how students consider and use mobile devices in their Student Mobile Workspaces Infographic, including:
- The value of technology from the students’ perspective
- How students feel their devices are viewed by their institution
- Ed tech leaders weigh in on the importance of remote access for students
- Bridging the gap between user expectations and higher ed capabilities
94% of higher education leaders agree that students should have access to applications and data anywhere, on any device, but 55% said their institution does not provide this level of access to students today.
If you are a member you can read more about this infographic in CampusTechnology, September 17, 2015.
A research report produced by five faculty from NorthCentral University, a fully online institution, exploring the effects of using learning contracts with students pursuing graduate degrees in their institution’s programs.
This quantitative study provides evidence of the benefits of learning contracts in online higher education. In this study, data were gathered from doctoral students who had completed all course work and comprehensive exams, but failed to make expected progress on dissertation. The students were given the opportunity to participate in a voluntary program requiring the execution of a learning contract.
Melanie Shaw, Diane Blyler, Jama Bradley, Scott Burrus, and Raymond Rodriguez. “The Use of Learning Contracts to Promote Student Success in Online Doctoral Programs.” Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, (University of West Georgia, Distance Education Center) Volume XVIII, Number 3, Fall 2015.
This article addresses recent research of student behavior through an analysis of data from 1.9 million course participants in 115 MOOCs offered by HarvardX and MITx from fall 2012 to spring 2015. In a small number of cases, the researchers uncovered a unique from of cheating, that can be stopped by a few simple steps.
The researchers are ultimately hoping that course content creators will put some of the prevention strategies in place. “One of the most interesting lessons from the paper is that there are ways to mitigate cheating that are straightforward and implementable by the teams creating online course content,” Chuang said. “We also expect platform improvements, such as virtual proctoring, to help reduce cheating.”
Tara García Mathewson, “With increased video use comes greater copyright concerns for higher ed: From the use of stock footage to audio clips, students and faculty face intellectual property concerns” EducationDIVE, July 29, 2015.
The question for colleges and universities is what role they should be obliged to play in educating faculty and students about copyright laws in the first place. And then, as video becomes even more entrenched, what role should they play in providing a royalty-free catalog of content?
This article points to the growing challenge of using video, and other digital media, by faculty and students at U.S. colleges and universities, while following the rules so that digital content is “fairly sourced.” Institutions and private companies are seeking ways to help faculty and students find and use digital media while meeting copyright and fair use standard.
Gardner Campbell, vice provost for learning innovation and student success at Virginia Commonwealth University, says he’s seen an increase in the last five years in what he calls “self-service production facilities” — on-campus studios that require minimal setup and are easy for any faculty member to use. Indeed, those facilities seem to be appearing more and more frequently; Ohio State University’s studio opened just last fall, and one at Dartmouth College, called the “Innovation Studio,” opened in May.
The article examines the increasing efforts on college campuses to provide video production support for online and hybrid course instruction.
This report is part of a process to identify the range of what will constitute successful online leadership on America’s campuses—not merely what many might be doing now, but those standards, aspirations, and principles essential far into future. The intent is to provide information to help establish the full array of professional skills and services necessary to successfully support online learning, and to guide university leaders, faculty, students, and the public at large to embrace online education as integral to academe.
The Hallmarks of Excellence identify seven areas of concentration in online course and program leadership and development: Advocacy and Leadership Within the University; Entrepreneurial Initiatives; Faculty Support; Student Support; Digital Technology; External Advocacy and Leadership Beyond the University; and Professionalism. Each of these facets includes useful definitions and justifications, providing suggestions for specific implementation strategies, structures, and plans.
UPCEA’s Hallmarks of Excellence have been endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE), the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), Quality Matters (QM), and EDUCAUSE.