EvaluationKIT Advances Institutional Course Evaluation Process

Powerful New User Interface Improves Access to Key Metrics and
Makes it Easier for Administration to Manage the Entire Survey Process

Denver, CO – October 30, 2014 – EvaluationKIT, a leader in enterprise online course evaluation and survey software for higher education institutions, is bringing new levels of efficiency, real-time analytics and alerts to the student feedback process. Through newly released dashboard, navigation and design functionality, administrators and instructors can more readily access relevant information anywhere, anytime.

“By streamlining the overall usability of our system, we’ve enhanced the way institutions collect and access data so they can make timely continuous improvement decisions based on student feedback,” said Kevin Hoffman, president and CEO of EvaluationKIT. “Through our improved user interface, we’ve further modernized and simplified the online course evaluation experience by making information more accessible, meeting the on-the-go needs of users, and making the entire process even easier to manage.”

A new customizable and more engaging dashboard allows for faster access to key information, analytics and alerts. For example, immediately upon login administrators can instantly view operational metrics and results specific to the areas they oversee. Survey responses can be efficiently monitored and summarized so that they can keep tabs on overall response rates, daily submissions and real-time activity.

Within the system, administrators and instructors can discuss student feedback and alerts will display on the dashboard when new postings are added. Additionally, while taking a survey students now have the option to send alerts directly to the administration or an instructor if they would like to be contacted separately about their experience.

EvaluationKIT’s new responsive design brings a tremendous amount of convenience to all users, allowing for access from any device type. Students can complete their course evaluations from desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones using either their web browser or free mobile apps from EvaluationKIT. Additionally, administrators are also able to check on the status of projects and access survey results from any device.

“The EvaluationKIT system has always been easy to use, and these latest enhancements will make the operational processes even more streamlined for our administrators and faculty,” said Eric Friedman, Director of Boston University’s Office of Distance Education. “Moreover, we feel it’s important for the systems we use to keep evolving as technology evolves and for the user experience to become more intuitive and graphical in its presentation. EvaluationKIT does a great job at continuing to release valuable enhancements every year. We have been very impressed with the work they put into this most recent release.”

About EvaluationKIT
EvaluationKIT is a leading provider of enterprise online course evaluation and survey software to higher education and K-12 institutions. Easy to implement and straightforward to manage, EvaluationKIT includes a variety of features proven to drive response rates, and a robust suite of reporting functionality. An EvaluationKIT video overview is available on our website. Additionally, for more information or to request a free trial, visit us at www.evaluationkit.com.
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Flexibility spurs iPad online degree program

Undergraduate online degree to begin at $35,400, approximately a single year of traditional tuition

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Copyright: Bloom Design/Shutterstock

As of fall 2015, Lynn University will deliver its evening undergraduate degree programs via its award-winning iPad platform. Adult students will be able to pursue their undergraduate degrees online, on campus or through a combination of both for about the cost of a single year’s tuition for a traditional degree program.

“With new tools for learning, less overhead and more flexibility for faculty members, we are able to revisit old assumptions about pricing models,” says Lynn University president Kevin Ross. “Our new online degree program is a mobile ecosystem delivered through the iPad, iTunes U and iBooks, and it addresses the pressing issues of accessibility, cost and quality.”

Accessibility

Students who have work, family and other obligations will now have flexibility in how they earn their bachelor’s degree, says the University. The new program offers accelerated eight-week terms, transfer of college and work experience credits and a “highly individualized experience” with academic advising and professional coaching services, noted the University. SAT/ACT scores are not required.

Cost

The evening and online bachelor’s degrees at Lynn will cost $35,400 ($295 per credit hour) for an entirely online program and up to $42,600 ($355 per credit hour) for an entirely on-campus program. Students may use a combination of both the online and on-campus credits toward their degree. The iPad-enabled curriculum also aims to create substantial cost savings with faculty-produced iBooks and affordable e-books, explains Lynn. The university will also reduce its application fee for the evening and online programs to $30.

Quality

Lynn’s iPad-enabled curriculum provides mobile access to interactive content for busy adults and professionals. Lynn has been utilizing the iPad ecosystem with daytime students since fall 2013, and has seen increased engagement from students enrolled in those courses. In recent surveys, 99 percent of students and 97 percent of faculty reported that the iPad ecosystem significantly enhanced the learning experience. The university has been honored as an Apple Distinguished School, CIO 100 award recipient and winner of the Association of College and University Telecommunications Administrators (ACUTA) Institutional Excellence in Information Technology Award.

Material from this article comes from Lynn University’s press release.

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Faculty aren’t using OER—here’s why

New report reveals issues of definition, copyright, and ease of use are stalling widespread adoption

OER-faculty-reportFaculty across institutions aren’t using OER—and the few who are often don’t know it, says a new industry report; leading to concerns about definition and copyright understanding.

This data comes from a new Babson Survey Research report that aimed to determine whether or not faculty (who chief academic officers, and faculty themselves, say are the main adopters of classroom materials) are using OER.

After surveying a national sample of over 2,000 faculty members, the report highlights that 75 percent of faculty are unaware of OER. It also revealed that, if it were up to faculty, they’d be 67 percent unaware.

That’s because many faculty who think they know OER don’t provide the right explanation of what OER is via open-form questions.

And that’s not the only fascinating tidbit: According to the report, while only about 33 percent of faculty claim to be aware of OER, nearly 50 percent report that they use OER. There are even some faculty who said that they were “not at all aware of OER” who report that they have used it…once the concept is explained for them.

The cause for these seemingly perplexing findings is a general confusion among faculty (and institutions overall) as to what defines OER and the copyright uses attached to OER.

“There appears to be two causes [of the confusion],” say the report’s authors, Elaine Allen, professor of Biostatistics & Epidemiology at the University of California San Francisco, and Jeff Seaman of the Babson Survey Group: “the lack of faculty understanding of the term ‘Open Educational Resources,’ and the fact that faculty often make resource choices without any consideration to the licensing of that resource.”

(Next page: Understanding barriers to OER adoption)

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IT ranks 1st in study of the top 50 STEM majors

A new study of career earnings, educational opportunities, degree affordability and job growth potential highlights the 50 STEM majors with the best value

STEM-major-bestRanking #1 for employment opportunities nationally, and in the top ten for program availability, Information Technology was determined the best Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) major by WorldWideLearn.com in their study of the 50 STEM Majors with the Best Value 2014.

The spotlight career for this major, Information Security Analyst, has a projected growth rate of 36 percent between 2012 and 2022. This fact, along with a national average salary of $91,210, landed the major in the top spot.

Coming in a close second is Computer and Information Sciences, with an average national income of $93,000 in 2013, as well as a solid rating in the educational opportunities category. The field of Mathematics asserted itself as a strong third for best overall value. Mathematics ranked particularly high in the accessibility category, with more than 500 programs available nationally, and an average national salary of $103,310.

Here are the top 10 STEM majors, according to WorldWideLearn.com’s study:

(Next page: The best STEM majors; methodology)

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How to navigate the real driver behind the STEM gap

Amanda Henry, a STEM professional, gives 5 steps on navigating ‘intersectionality’ for career success

STEM-gap-intersectionality My own “eureka” moment about the challenges I face as both a woman and a minority in the STEM fields did not come until I began to read more about women in other industries.

UCLA law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality” in 1989 to describe how various forms of oppression, domination, or discrimination are interconnected and cannot be analyzed separately. This idea perfectly sums up my own experiences in pursuing a STEM education and career.

Research suggests that the concept of intersectionality can help us reframe the way we think about women and ethnic minorities in STEM fields. For instance, Moin Syed and Eileen Zurbriggen made the following points in their presentation, “Women and Ethnic Minorities in STEM: An Intersectional Analysis,” at the IDEA Diversity Through Disciplines Symposium: (1) gender stereotypes are often referenced in terms of white male and white female, and (2) ethnic/racial stereotypes often come from the male perspective.

Syed and Zurbriggen’s presentation:

 

According to Syed and Zurbriggen, race/ethnicity and gender are often treated as distinct challenges, when in reality, being a woman of color in STEM presents its own unique challenges that cannot be understood in terms of just being black, or female. The challenges and opportunities that women and minorities encounter in the STEM fields are multifaceted and cannot be easily classified—and educators, practitioners, and other STEM professionals must be willing to examine these issues through a wider lens.

As a woman of color in STEM, here’s my 5 pieces of advice for girls and young women interested in a STEM-related field:

(Next page: Understanding ‘intersectionality’ can lead to more successful career planning)

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New competency-based education service launches for higher ed

Educate Online debuts CBE program management services to drive new student enrollments

CBE-competency-educateEducate Online recently launched their new Competency-based Education (CBE) Program Management Partnership for higher education institutions at the New England Board of Higher Education’s (NEBHE) conference “The Case for Competency-based Education: A New Age for Teaching and Learning.”

Educate Online has been bringing competency-based instructional services producing “documented outcomes” to the K-20 market since 2002, says the company,  and is now building on its “expertise in competency-based education to provide program management services to higher education institutions that want to bring differentiated CBE degree programs to their students.”

“There is great momentum in higher education around CBE programs, but it’s not always easy for institutions to quickly develop, launch and manage these types of programs with their existing resources”, said Carol Vallone, Chief Executive Officer of Educate Online. “We have a business model that leverages our expertise, history and partners to bring a comprehensive CBE program management model to higher education institutions and enable highly-differentiated CBE programs that will drive new enrollments.”

In 2012 CBE was in its infancy with just a limited number of higher education institutions either offering or considering CBE. However, over the last 24 months “now more than 350 institutions currently offer or are seeking to create such degree tracks,” noted a recent Inside Higher Ed article. This number is expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace.

The Educate Online Program Management Partnership model comes at a time when many colleges and universities are considering how to identify and drive new student enrollments, noted the company, and graduate students with the competencies they need to be “job-ready” candidates.

Educate Online CBE Program Management Partnerships aims to help institutions:

  •     drive enrollments that generate incremental revenue to fund strategic initiatives
  •     provide competitive differentiation to attract students focused on job-readiness
  •     educate non-traditional students that require more flexibility
  •     align with employer needs and boost economic development

Using a capital efficient business model, Educate Online says it delivers their Competency-based Program Management Partnerships through services including program assessments, marketing, recruiting, enrollment management, program design, program hosting, student and business services; and a “next-generation CBE technology platform to develop and deliver CBE programs.”

“Competency-based education is top-of-mind at institutions of all types and across the nation. They understand the opportunity it presents to deliver on the promise of high quality, personalized, outcomes-based experiences for all types of learners. [The] NEBHE event is a strong validation of that—bringing together nearly 500 educators from a wide variety of institutions, “ said Michael Thomas, president and Chief Executive Officer of the New England Board of Higher Education. “Educate Online’s new service launch positions them as leaders in responding to our member institution’s emerging CBE needs and objectives.”

This press release originally appeared on PRWEB.

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5 policy gaps hindering higher education’s success

Policy analyst says it’s a policy gap, not a skills gap, keeping students from careers

gap-policy-skillsIs it really a skills gap that’s preventing college graduates from getting jobs, or is it a policy gap in how higher-ed institutions are governed and funded?

It’s the policy gap, says author of a new report, Mary Alice McCarthy, a senior policy analyst in the Education Policy Program at New America. According to McCarthy, colleges and universities are doing a good job of creating new career pathways and competency programs, as well as partnering with industry…they’re just not getting the right support.

“I explore the skills gap from a different perspective—as a gap between the policies governing higher education and the skill development needs of students, employers, and communities,” explains McCarthy.

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In the report, McCarthy explains how the U.S. higher education system has become the largest provider of job training programs and what that means for students and institutions. She also delves into why current policies for delivering higher education do not work well for matching education and jobs.

Making her point, she identifies what she says are five policy gaps that are driving the poor results for students and employers.

“These policy gaps make it too easy for institutions to provide very low-quality career education programs while also making it too difficult for institutions to build the partnerships and programs that will facilitate student transitions to jobs and careers.”

(Next page: The 5 policy gaps in higher education; reframing the HEA)

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Online tool to replace print AND online resources

REVEL weaves text-based reading with multimedia to solve the challenge of engaging students in critical discussion

revel-tool-pearsonA digital learning tool half the price of a textbook is taking on the market as a one-stop online resource with the goal of better engaging today’s multimedia-consuming students in meaningful class discussions.

The tool is called REVEL, one of Pearson’s latest products aimed at fostering deeper thinking to prepare students for higher-level courses, all why trying to design material in a way today’s students consume content.

By providing what the company says is engaging study materials that can replace both the printed textbook and existing online learning tools for General Studies courses via a fully mobile experience [the tool is also available on the computer], Pearson hopes to solve what it explains is one of the biggest challenges for educators today: dealing with students who are unprepared for critical discussion.

According to the company, students’ lack of preparation is often due to not fully completing reading assignments and not coming to class fully prepared to do college-level work.

REVEL quizzing on an iPad.

REVEL quizzing on an iPad.

However, students often say that in many of their courses, and particularly some of their elective courses, the study materials are passive, laborious and not reflective of how they interact with content.

“In many general education courses, we consistently hear faculty lament that students come into class having not read the book or completed the assignment,” Pearson’s managing director of Higher Education, Paul Corey, said. “Reading remains a core and critical foundational skill, and with the ubiquity of information today, it could be argued that ‘critical reading’ is even more important than ever.”

“With all the advances made in technology, pedagogy and learning science, reading can now be augmented with rich media and interactivity to spark engagement, curiosity and the excitement of learning new things in new ways,” he continued. “We created REVEL as a response to what we have heard from scores of faculty and students over the years, and also as part of our public pledge to have all our products and solutions be on a path to demonstrated efficacy.”

(Next page: Breaking down how the tool works)

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