Are you teaching the way you were taught?

As academics, we tend to model our teaching style on the way we were taught. In some courses this works well, but in other courses it may not. Learning how to teach the students we have and not the students we want can be an eye opener.

So, were you taught in a large lecture hall with a very smart faculty member lecturing? And did you then go and take a test to summarize what you learned in a lecture? For some courses, this works. Facts are facts and the muscle names in the human body are not going change, nor will the sum of 2 + 2. But in other courses, such as Business Ethics, content changes from day to day. There are always ways to bring students into a very engaging discussion.

Structuring your style for the course you teach

Recently, I was working with a faculty member who was teaching an Ethics course. He wanted to just use the textbook and give students a weekly quiz online. After a lengthy discussion, I suggested that he conduct three different discussions in his face-to-face course: a local ethics issue on Mondays, a national ethics issue on Wednesdays, and an international ethics issue on Fridays. I also recommended switching up the summative assessments by analyzing a current case study (one from the last three years) every other week, based on one of the ethical issues discussed in class.


5G brings new capabilities to the University of Miami

The University of Miami is set to become the first campus to deploy AT&T’s 5G+ and Multi-access Edge Computer (MEC) technology, opening the door for a new level of internet.

A magnified, computer-generated strand of DNA that could be viewed and manipulated by several students wearing spatial computing headsets. Sensors that can detect the slightest change in weather and send that information to phones and tablets to be processed in near real-time.

Imagine art history students viewing some of the most iconic artworks from museums around the world at unprecedented fidelity with experts at their home institutions providing instruction. And instead of it taking several minutes for a feature film or video game to load on students’ phones and tablets, that time would be shaved to seconds.

Related content: How to secure IoT on campus

These are some of the capabilities of 5G and Edge technology, computing experts say.

“In collaboration with AT&T, the University of Miami will be able to support 5G using millimeter wave spectrum (“5G+”) and Edge technology on its Coral Gables campus, placing the university at the forefront of digital transformation impacting every field,” says Ernie Fernandez, vice president of Information Technology and chief information officer for the University. “It will allow students, faculty, and staff to develop, test, and use the next generation of digital apps, including Magic Leap’s spatial computing platform, in new and exciting ways.”


Are we doing enough to develop creativity in students?

Creativity is one of the key skills people will need to thrive as the digital workforce evolves–but alarmingly, most students don’t have it.

Aside from creativity, employers are seeking candidates with complex problem-solving skills, critical thinking, people management, and the ability to coordinate with others.

A new report from Adobe analyzes the skills employers say they need most, and it also takes a hard look at why job applicants don’t promote these skills more on their resumes. Could it be that the soft skills gap leaves many applicants lacking these all-important talents?

Related content: How creative thinking transformed my classroom

Adobe analyzed 2 million job postings and 2 million resumes, conducting a gap analysis across 18 diverse and in-demand career fields.

That research found that soft skills such as creativity, collaboration, and communication are critical to hiring managers as they evaluate job applicants. But applicants with strong soft skills–also called employability skills–are hard to find, which begs the question: why?


5 university leaders discuss higher ed’s biggest challenges

The U.S. must produce talented workers in order to remain competitive in an increasingly technological economy. But how, exactly, can higher-ed institutions tackle this formidable challenge as the cost of higher education soars, as student loan debt becomes burdensome, and as many students question the value of their educational investment?

During an insightful hour-long chat, five higher-ed leaders touched on college cost and affordability, the value of a liberal arts education, and how to best prepare students for tomorrow.

Related content: 10 higher-ed IT challenges

Led by Charlotte Talks host Mike Collins, the audience heard from Clarence D. Armbrister, J.D., president, Johnson C. Smith University; Kandi Deitemeyer, Ph.D., president, Central Piedmont Community College; Philip L. Dubois, Ph.D., chancellor, UNC Charlotte; Daniel G. Lugo, J.D., president, Queens University of Charlotte; and Carol Quillen, Ph.D., president, Davidson College.

The full conversation can be streamed here.

1. Does the function of a liberal arts education in 21st century tie in with technical education?

Quillen: “When we think about preparing students for tech-enabled jobs of the future in all sectors, not just in tech but in any sector, you’ll have to have some technological proficiency. How do we do that? … There are programs you can do to get students ready for day 1 of any tech job independent of their major. And then we need to think about how we expand the value of a liberal arts degree, which to me is largely life-long learning and navigating the unfamiliar in an economy where those two things are going to be crucial skills. Our job is to think about how we can deliver that to more and more people, cheaply and quickly, so we can be part of the solution to this broader education challenge our society faces.”


Here’s why your college should create learner profiles

Registrars have long been advocates of student-centered policies and processes. However, the Registrar’s Office can also play a role in working with faculty to create a student-centered pedagogy. Consider how far we have come with modifying the generic system class roll. Today, faculty have access to student pictures, pronouns, academic standing, notification that the student has applied for graduation, or even to submit an e-warning if they are not performing well. We thought: Why don’t registrars provide additional information about students to help faculty adjust the way they teach an individual section of a course?

A report is born

To experiment with this idea, Elon University Registrar’s Office created a report for instructors teaching capstone courses in the core curriculum. While capstone courses may vary by institution, most seek to serve as the pinnacle of a program of study, designed to give students experience in the practical applications of their coursework.

Related content: Are you reaching the “new normal” student?

At Elon, the capstone is an opportunity for students to integrate and apply what they have learned during their Elon experience. The capstone also challenges students to consider larger themes of the program—ethical reasoning, personal and social responsibility, and global citizenship. The new report illustrated the distribution of completed courses by students enrolled in each capstone, enabling the instructor to further tailor their multidisciplinary approach by knowing the disciplines in which their students excel or may require additional focus.


UK launches landmark esports program

The University of Kentucky is moving forward with a global gaming and esports program, driving home the growing trend of esports on campuses across the globe.

UK has partnered with global esports company Gen.G to build the program, which will be jointly led by two UK officers: Student and Academic Life and Information Technology Services.

“We view technology, not as an end, but as a tool to help us maximize the success of our students–in their educations and as they pursue all that’s possible at the University of Kentucky,” says University of Kentucky Provost David Blackwell. “We want to provide them tools and learning opportunities that will help them succeed at UK, but also as they pursue jobs and careers that will help them succeed throughout life.”

The esports program will focus on three specific pillars, according to a UK press release.


5 higher ed developments you should have on your radar

As we all know, technology is constantly evolving, leading to advancements in higher-ed edtech.

These advancements have a big impact on teaching and learning, on efficiency in higher ed, on policy, and on instructors’ ability to personalize instruction for students.

Related content: Higher ed must use data more wisely

Here are some of the most interesting developments in higher-ed policy and technology from the past couple weeks.

1. From MarketScale

After nearly 200 years in existence, Green Mountain College in western Vermont is no more. The same goes for Southern Vermont College, the College of St. Joseph and Atlantic Union College. All of them, gone. The fact that some smaller colleges come and go should surprise nobody. Change is inevitable in any industry, and higher education is no exception. But I believe there are more fundamental issues at play with these recent closures. As we look toward 2020, we are hearing that many traditional colleges and universities — unable to adjust to technological and other socioeconomic changes — will essentially go out of business. 


3 reasons access management has a place on campus

In an era where technology serves as the connective tissue between people, organizations, and resources, certain truths are increasingly self-evident. Most people today rely on their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices to do their jobs and manage their daily lives. In turn, though, that reliance makes all of these end users more vulnerable to malicious cyber actors.

Perhaps nowhere are these truths more relevant than modern college campuses. After all, college students effectively originated the bring-your-own-device movement as they arrived with their own smartphones, computers, gaming systems, and other connected devices. They also came in with certain expectations: ubiquitous connectivity, easily accessible online tools for communication and collaboration, and apps that can address virtually any and every need.

Related content: Cybersecurity is complex–here’s how to do it right

For college students today, that’s all they’ve ever known. But for cybersecurity, the deluge of devices, applications and data eliminates traditional perimeters and lowers barriers against hackers.

While technology can be a boon for colleges, juggling these expectations and IT security can be tough. Universities also face unique challenges, perhaps most significant being the constant flow of digital identities—all of which must be provisioned and managed—as students come in and out of the organization. While they’re in, they need access to a plethora of online capabilities, from scheduling classes to crowdsourcing class notes to managing financial aid and tuition payment.


Climate change’s challenge for education

Greta Thunberg’s testimony before the United Nations has sparked a renewed discussion of the world we are handing our children, and it caused me to reflect on the role of our educational systems and myself as a teacher. There is no question that climate change will define the lives of our students. Addressing it will require a series of complex decisions the likes of which humanity has never faced before.

There may be technological advances that save us, but these will not be easily found. No technology will, by itself, save us from the consequences of our societal decisions. Climate change is a consequence of our inability to adapt our institutions and our economic and political thinking even as the science has become clearer and clearer. If we had had the political will and foresight to face mounting evidence that dates back for decades, then perhaps we would not be in as dire a situation as the one we are heading into now.

Related content: 7 alarming problems with students’ critical thinking

Blame for this failure is often directed at our political institutions, but we should not underestimate the role our educational processes and priorities played in the formation of the individuals and ideas that underpin these systems.

Education is also central to meeting these unprecedented challenges, but this will require that we rethink some of our basic priorities and approaches to teaching and learning.


These are the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

What makes a great college or university? Some say an Ivy League reputation, while others focus more on affordability or graduation rates. Now, a new report from WalletHub ranks the top colleges and universities in the U.S. based on 33 key measures.

According to College Board research, average tuition and room and board at a four-year college ranges from $21,000-$48,000 per year. When students and/or their families make that kind of investment, they want to be sure they’re putting their money toward a high-quality education.

Related content: College ranking now looks at social mobility

In its ranking, WalletHub compared more than 1,000 higher-education institutions in the U.S. across 33 key measures. The data set is grouped into seven categories, such as Student Selectivity, Cost & Financing and Career Outcomes. The metrics range from student-faculty ratio to graduation rate to post-attendance median salary.

Institutions with the highest admission rates include Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Columbia. Those with the lowest student-faculty ratios include the California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, Princeton, and the University of Chicago.

Schools with the highest graduation rates include Harvard, Yale, the University of Notre Dame, Princeton, and Columbia University in the City of New York.