Miami U. looks to streamline assessment

Assessment-LMS integration will support professors as they analyze learning outcomes.

assessment-integrationHigher education assessment provider Chalk & Wire has become a certified partner with Instructure, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company and creator of the Canvas learning management system (LMS), to integrate its assessment platform with Canvas for Miami University.

Through the integration, Miami University professors will be able to assess gains in competency over time while in the same session grading student coursework in a single, unified system.

Chalk & Wire appears at the course level as normal assignments directly in the Canvas user interface. Miami University uses Chalk & Wire to define, document, assess and analyze student learning outcomes for individuals within its College of Arts and Science, College of Creative Arts, College of Education, Health and Society and for some of their General Education programs.

(Next page: How the integration could benefit the university)


Community college boosts BYOD security

North Hennepin Community College partners with Good Technology for secure mobile BYOD solution.

BYOD-mobileIn an effort to improve its BYOD security, North Hennepin Community College is using Good Technology’s Good Enterprise Suite for its BYOD solution, enabling secure access to work emails, student assignments, strategic plans, and more.

North Hennepin Community College, part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is one of the largest community colleges in the state with over 10,000 students and 500 employees. Faculty and administrators have demonstrated a desire to grade assignments and review documents from their personal devices, and the college’s IT department needed a BYOD solution that protects student information and intellectual property, while separating work and personal data.

“With so much back and forth between classrooms and meetings, higher education employees need the ability to work from their personal devices,” said Kristine Boike, Dean of Academic and Technology Services, North Hennepin Community College. “In addition to providing top security and usability, our faculty is saving hours each week through Good’s efficient workflows.”

(Next page: How the suite addresses the university’s BYOD needs)


3 ways one university created a new higher-ed model

Building their new model on an open approach, a university found exceptional student outcomes.

open-model-kaplanSince their launch in fall of 2014, Open College at Kaplan University (OC@KU) has had approximately 4,000 unique learners access their course website, and enrolled in 4,800 courses. 104 have developed portfolios for assessment, and college credit has been issued for 711 courses—translating to what the University says is over $1M in tuition savings at Kaplan University.

And though the current enrollment numbers may not be record-shattering, considering OC@KU relies only on word-of-mouth marketing, and uses an all-open, “Amazon”-like platform, the outcomes are certainly food for thought.

For today’s learners, “the expectation for an educational experience doesn’t differ much from their Amazon experience!” exclaimed Susan Huggins, co-author of a report on OC@KU’s model, and director at the University. “OC@KU represents the power of technology and open resources to increase the personalization and quality of both informal and formal higher education while reducing cost.”

In fact, OC@KU has found so much success in their open approach model, Huggins and Dr. Peter Smith, co-author of the report and president of OC@KU, believe that the model can be used in multiple delivery environments for a number of institutions.

(Next page: 3 ways OC@KU created an innovative higher-ed model)


University ramps up mobile network protection

Using Vectra Networks, Santa Clara University implemented automated threat detection.

mobile-networksSanta Clara University (SCU) has deployed Vectra Networks’ X-series platform to protect private university and student information on its campus network from malware and today’s advanced persistent threats.

SCU will use the automated threat detection to secure private data and address FERPA, HIPAA and PCI compliance concerns from security risks, including those introduced by the highly mobile nature of students and the university community.

“Security on campus would be a lot easier if we were dealing with just staff and faculty, but students bring on to our network a host of BYOD devices that we have little control over and are often infected,” said Bryan McClenahan, Senior Security Analyst at SCU.

(Next page: SCU’s security challenges)


Purdue students use tech to demonstrate experiential learning

Online portfolios help students showcase their learning experiences and skills.

learning-portfolioCareer-minded Purdue University Calumet students intent on impressing prospective employers with the fruits of their Purdue education will be able to do so in a more accessible manner using a new resource that goes beyond the traditional résumé.

Purdue Calumet announced in mid-May that it has contracted with educational service provider Seelio to help students showcase their academic accomplishments and provide immediate access to projects and publications via multimedia online portfolios.

Essentially, students will be able to use their portfolio to readily demonstrate successful hands-on learning.

(Next page: How the online learning portfolios work)


6 major trends in college and university admissions

Many four-year colleges and universities are seeking to keep application growth on the rise by recruiting a greater number of transfer and international students.

transfer-international-studentsAccording to the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s 12th annual State of College Admission report, which examines the transition from high school to postsecondary education, many higher education institutions are reaching out to transfer and international students in order to sustain continued growth in applications.

More transfer students

Of the four-year colleges and universities surveyed, 58 percent indicated that the importance of recruiting transfer students will increase over the next three years, while less than 2 percent of schools stated the opposite. While the average acceptance rate of transfer students (62.6 percent) was slightly below the acceptance rate of freshman (64.7 percent) in fall 2013,  54 percent of transfer applicants who were admitted ultimately enrolled, compared to only 33 percent of the admitted freshman.

More international students

Additionally, many institutions are taking steps to enroll a greater number of students from other countries. The fact that 45 percent of private high schools and 4 percent of public high schools actively recruit international students has been a major help, as they often stay in the U.S. to pursue higher education.

One of the primary reasons for schools reaching out to these diverse groups (which are featured for the first time in this year’s report) stems from the plateau of high school graduation rates in the U.S., which grew for about 20 years before peaking in 2011-12.

“The landscape of higher education is changing, and that is prompting colleges and universities to look for new ways to serve students,” said Jeff Fuller, NACAC president and director of student recruitment at the University of Houston.

(Next page: Identifying trends in recruiting transfer and international students)


University begins project to help blind students with math

Pilot draws on algorithm to break math problems into sequences

math-visionUntil he was 13, Logan Prickett did everything a normal child did.

However, anaphylactic reaction to contrast dye in an MRI test left him blind and confined to a wheelchair, without proper use of his motor skills and unable to speak louder than a whisper. Despite this, he graduated high school and recently completed his first year at Auburn Montgomery.

One subject Prickett is interested in is math, but because of his blindness, he was unable to solve problems the way other students could. His case ultimately became part of a pilot project launched this week to give blind students and those with lower vision the opportunity to solve math problems in normal classrooms.

“I’m probably the most excited person here,” Prickett said during the May 18 kickoff.

(Next page: How the Logan Project will help students with vision challenges navigate complicated math courses)


Rice U. receives $50M for leadership development

Leadership expert from Yale and West Point will head new institute funded by largest gift in school’s history.

leadership-riceRice University is planning an unconventional approach to developing students into leaders with a $50 million gift from venture capitalist John Doerr and his wife, Ann, through their private family foundation.

Retired Brig. Gen. Tom Kolditz, who has headed leadership training at Yale and West Point, will direct the Doerr Institute for New Leaders to maximize the leadership capabilities of all students at Rice.

The Doerr Institute for New Leaders will offer each student an innovative combination of proven, timeless techniques together with modern, next-generation practices. The strengths of each student will be assessed and their potential will be developed in a four-year comprehensive, custom-made plan of classroom instruction, hands-on, real-world experience and guidance from personal coaches.

(Next page: Three measurable goals)