Link: Facing Flattening Enrollments? Alternate Student Pathways Might Help

David Godow, “Facing Flattening Enrollments? Alternate Student Pathways Might Help.” Education Advisory Board, October 2014.

Godow argues that enrollment growth can most sustainably be sourced from four previously underrepresented populations: international undergraduate students, community college transfers, adults returning to complete degrees, and professional master’s degree students. While institutions have historically shied away from targeting these populations due to the perception that such students have inadequate preparation for the university environment, developing targeted programming for these groups, including alternative paths to the degree, has proven successful.

Successful institutions have found that the different needs of these populations can often be met through “pathways” offering an alternative route to a degree. Pathways acknowledge that these students start from a different point and need a unique set of services and pedagogical approaches to be successful.

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Link: Cheating, Student Authentication and Proctoring in Online Programs

Dennis Berkey and Jay Halfond, “Cheating, Student Authentication and Proctoring in Online Programs.” New England Journal of Higher Education, July 20, 2015.

Educators in conjunction with UPCEA and WCET created a survey to learn more about what was being done about cheating in online programs, and how technology itself is being used in solutions.

By far the most frequently cited means of ensuring program integrity, specifically the deterrence of cheating, was reliance on honor codes or clearly articulated institutional policies. Three-quarters of these online leaders felt that establishing, articulating and enforcing such policies provided the essential foundation for online integrity, if not fully satisfactory solutions.

Link: U Wisconsin Campuses Kick Off Online Master’s in Data Science

Dian Schaffhauser, “U Wisconsin Campuses Kick Off Online Master’s in Data Science.” Campus Technology, July 2015.

University of Wisconsin-Extension is partnering with six small-to-medium size campuses in the Wisconsin system to offer a fully online master’s degree in data science.

Courses will cover statistics, programming, data warehouses, high performance computing, data mining, data visualization and communicating about data, prescriptive analytics and the ethics of data science, among other topics.

The degree is not dependent on state funding or budget allocation–it will be run off of student tuition dollars.

File: Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership

University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership, April 2015 and updated in June 2015.

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.

 

Link: Online Test-Takers Feel Anti-Cheating Software’s Uneasy Glare

Natasha Singer, “Online Test-Takers Feel Anti-Cheating Software’s Uneasy Glare,” New York Times, April 5, 2015.

Once her exam started, Ms. Chao said, a red warning band appeared on the computer screen indicating that Proctortrack was monitoring her computer and recording video of her. To constantly remind her that she was being watched, the program also showed a live image of her in miniature on her screen.

Even for an undergraduate raised in a culture of selfies and Skype, Ms. Chao found the system intrusive. “I felt it was sort of excessive,” she said.

Examining recent efforts by Rutgers University to require virtual proctoring in online courses, the author considers the challenges of technology aimed at impeding academic dishonesty in online class activity. Issues of intrusiveness, cost, and privacy protection are raised, and remain unresolved, as universities struggle to create appropriate practices and policies.

Link: Arizona State U Teams with Private Partners on Adaptive Learning

Leila Meyer, “Arizona State U Teams with Private Partners on Adaptive Learning,” Campus Technology, April 4, 2015.

This article presents the partnership between Arizona State University, Cengage Learning and Knewton to develop active learning tools that can be personalized for students in introductory college courses.

Link: Arizona State and edX Will Offer an Online Freshman Year, Open to All

Charles Huckabee, “Arizona State and edX Will Offer an Online Freshman Year, Open to All,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 23, 2015.

This article introduces the Global Freshman Academy partnership of Arizona State University and edX that “reimagines the freshman year.” The program offers eight courses meeting the general education requirements of ASU. All courses are offered as MOOCs, with an option to take a final examination and pay a fee for credit.

Link: Defining Competency

Fain, Paul. “Defining Competency.” Inside Higher Ed, June 17, 2015.

New letters from the U.S. Department of Education and the seven regional accreditors that make up the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions articulate a common framework for the assessment and approval of competency-based academic programs.

In addition to describing what, exactly, constitutes a direct assessment program — which has been an area of confusion for some — the department’s letter touches on the faculty role in competency-based programs, many of which are online only.

Link: Research: 6 in 10 Millennials Have ‘Low’ Technology Skills

Schaffhauser, Dian. “Research: 6 in 10 Millennials Have ‘Low’ Technology Skills.” Campus Technology, June 11, 2015.

Digital natives aren’t as tech-savvy as they may think they are — at least, not according to their employers. American millennials (those between the ages of 16 and 34) may be the first generation that grew up with computers and Internet access, but all that time spent glued to a small screen hasn’t translated to technology competence.

A gap is emerging between what skills employers are looking for–including basic skills such as finding and analyzing information, communicating with others, and performing practical tasks (such as sorting, searching for and e-mailing data form a spreadsheet)–and what skills so-called “digital natives” have when they enter the workplace. There are concerns that this could limit the earning power of the millennial generation. The full report is also available.

Link: Where Flipped Learning Research Is Going

David Raths, “Where Flipped Learning Research Is Going,” Campus Technology, April 15, 2015.

While most agree that the flipped classroom model benefits learning, researchers are delving into the details and exploring the many facets of a flip.

Raths examines a number of research efforts to analyze the effect of active learning within flipped class models on student outcomes. Efforts include side by side comparison of ‘traditional’ and ‘flipped’ courses in the same subject, as well as close analysis of active learning elements to measure the effectiveness of individual components.

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