Many are uncertain about going back to campus this fall

The COVID pandemic continues to wreak havoc on higher education: 86 percent of institutions have yet to announce their plans for the fall semester and, when factoring in enrollment, this leaves more than half (62 percent) of college students uncertain about how to plan their lives come fall.

The data appears in a new infographic from Cengage, and includes information gathered from a public listing of fall campus plans tracked by The Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as public data from the federal IPEDS system aggregated with an ongoing Cengage faculty survey.

Related content: Why online learning is here to stay

Of the four-year schools that have announced plans, the majority (68 percent) are planning for in-person courses: 3.5 percent are planning for online-only; 5 percent are proposing a hybrid model; and others are “considering a range of scenarios” (11.5 percent) or have announced they are “waiting to decide” (10 percent).

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McGraw Hill and TutorMe Partner to Offer Free On-Demand Tutoring

McGraw Hill, a leading learning science company, and TutorMe, a subsidiary of Zovio, an online education platform offering on-demand tutoring, will expand their work together in 2020 to offer college students using the McGraw Hill Connect® digital learning platform a free 60-minute tutoring session with TutorMe.

As online and blended learning continues to be the new normal for many students, the collaboration between McGraw Hill and TutorMe seeks to ensure that students receive the support they need and remain engaged as their learning environment shifts throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Through the partnership, students will receive a one hour, one-on-one tutoring session free of charge. TutorMe live tutors are available 24/7 and highly trained in the relevant subject matter to help foster deep student understanding and fluency.

Tutoring sessions will be available to users of the McGraw Hill Connect digital courseware in an effort to elevate college students’ online learning experience. Connect digital courseware adapts in real-time to a student’s activity and adjusts to the individual’s performance and confidence levels. As students identify areas where they are struggling, they will be able to access a TutorMe tutor to help them address comprehension and coursework challenges. McGraw Hill registered more than 4.3 million college student activations of Connect in its 2020 fiscal year.

The TutorMe support is the newest capability being made available to students through McGraw Hill digital course materials, which are designed to improve learning outcomes for students, while ensuring affordability and high value. TutorMe and McGraw Hill offered a pilot program in the fall of 2019 in four course areas and are now expanding the program offer to all Connect courses.

“We believe in providing all students with the tools and support they need to succeed, no matter where they start,” said Michael Ryan, President of Higher Education at McGraw Hill. “And this is especially important with online learning programs continuing to expand due to COVID-19. By making TutorMe tutoring available to all students who use Connect, more students will have access to help when they need it.”

“TutorMe and McGraw Hill share a foundational commitment to the academic success of students,” said Myles Hunter, CEO and co-founder of TutorMe. “We are excited that following an initial trial program, McGraw Hill has decided to offer TutorMe to all its Connect students. Their decision speaks volumes to their commitment to putting their students’ learning first.”

About McGraw Hill
McGraw Hill is a learning science company that delivers personalized learning experiences that drive results for students, parents, educators and professionals. We focus on educational equity, affordability and learning success to help learners build better lives. Headquartered in New York City, McGraw Hill has offices across North America, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions for PreK-12, higher education, professionals and others available in more than 75 languages. Visit us at mheducation.com or find us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.

About TutorMe
TutorMe is the online tutor of the future—as a leading provider of online tutoring, the platform connects students with highly-qualified tutors on average in less than 30 seconds. TutorMe provides instruction via video chat, screen sharing, and virtual whiteboards archived for future reference. They work with learners and parents from K-12 to higher education, either directly or through partnerships with academic institutions or via employer-provided benefits. TutorMe is part of the Zovio (Nasdaq: ZVO) network.

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Virginia Tech readies online orientation experience

Virginia Tech is welcoming new Hokies and their families through an online orientation experience this summer. The university began working to implement the new format after announcing in the spring that orientation would be online in response to COVID-19.

“We have worked hard to navigate the current landscape and create a robust experience,” said Lizette Rebolledo, director of New Student and Family Programs, the department within Student Affairs that manages orientation. “We know this has been a difficult year. We wanted to try to make the experience as beneficial and meaningful as possible.”

As in years past, students can expect assigned orientation leaders, Q&A sessions, valuable content, a sense of community, and as much Hokie spirit as ever.

Related content: Why online learning is here to stay

Orientation team members — student leaders chosen to welcome new Hokies and assist them in their transition — reached out to new students at the end of May.

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Infobase Acquires Professional Development and Training Platform

Infobase, the award-winning provider of the Infobase Learning Ecosystem, which delivers interactive learning experiences and award-winning digital reference content to the school and library community, today announced the acquisition of Hoonuit’s Professional Development and Training Platform, the leading solution for educators needing to improve student learning and meet district, state, and department objectives. With this purchase, Infobase empowers educators with the professional development and training resources they need to create college- and career-ready students.

Helping Educators Close Student Learning Gaps

Infobase is now positioned to connect educators with the solutions they need to fill learning gaps, provide social-emotional learning support, and successfully utilize distance learning technology through the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.

“Over the last few months, we’ve listened to teachers, professors, and librarians describe their struggle to deliver the right content effectively and efficiently to students and parents,” explained Paul Skordilis, president and CEO of Infobase Holdings. “With the purchase of Hoonuit’s courses and learning delivery system, Infobase meets educators where they are, providing the knowledge they need to take action and help their students—and themselves—excel.”

“With our hyper-focus on providing industry-leading analytics to education, we’re excited to see Infobase further develop and enhance the professional development and training solution,” said Paul Hesser, CEO of Hoonuit. “This sale and ongoing partnership will allow us to continue delivering aligned professional learning content through our analytics platform, benefit from improvements that will be made by Infobase, and have greater flexibility to focus more efforts and innovation on data management and analytics.”

Infobase’s rich history of providing factual and trusted content to K–12, academic, and public library educators is now enhanced by Hoonuit’s robust coursework and professional learning delivery system, which provides the ability to create content, assessments, and competency-based micro-credentials.

Digital Technologies Transform Learning
The coronavirus pandemic forced educators into new methods of teaching, and students into new learning environments. While 87% of educators report the move from face-to-face to online instruction was a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” obstacle (Educators for Excellence, May 28, 2020), most studies suggest that online learning, when done well, increases retention and engagement. Hoonuit’s professional development and training opportunities support educators in facing these challenges.

 

The content from this acquisition offers more than 1,600 courses, including 100,000 videos across 50+ topics:

  • Digital Literacy and Citizenship
  • Digital Tools and Technology Integration
  • Whole Child Social-Emotional Learning
  • College and Career Readiness
  • Special Populations
  • Personalized Learning
  • Instructional Strategies
  • New Teacher Induction and Onboarding
  • School Improvement

Educators Can Earn Professional Development Credit, Utilize Their Own Content, and Assess Learning

Hoonuit’s learning pathways are aligned to all 50 states’ teacher evaluation standards, as well as the Danielson Framework for Teaching, Marzano’s Instructional Framework, ISTE Standards for Students and Educators, the McREL Teacher Evaluation System, and the Standards for Professional Learning.

Beyond its robust content library, Hoonuit’s delivery platform provides the ability to upload courses a district has already built in order to meet certain district initiatives, including adding custom assessments.

Closing Learning Gaps and Using Technology to Enhance Learning

With the purchase of Professional Development & Training Solutions, Infobase empowers educators to optimize their virtual classrooms, engage students through distance learning, and employ social-emotional best practices to reach the whole child, especially through this challenging time.

While educators will be adapting new teaching strategies and online management tools this fall, the professional learning requirements they’ll be obligated to meet, from teacher relicensure expectations to national and state standards, remain the same. With this addition to the Infobase Learning Ecosystem, educators across the globe can truly manage their entire educational experience with Infobase.

Hoonuit Continues an Investment into Analytics

By divesting itself from professional development, Hoonuit will be able to accelerate its innovation in intuitive dashboards, the use of predictive analytics, research-based workflows, student goal setting, school and program improvement planning tools, and mapping technology—providing educators with the most complete education data management and analytics solution available.

About Infobase:

Infobase, a Centre Lane Partners portfolio company, is a leading provider of award-winning digital reference content to the school and library community. Under such well-known brands as Facts On File, The World Almanac®, Learn360, Credo, The Mailbox®, and Films Media Group, Infobase provides students, educators, and librarians with a broad range of products that both enhance and enrich the learning experience. For more than 75 years, Infobase has been a reliable, authoritative resource for supporting the needs of schools, colleges and universities, and public libraries, providing flexible options for accessing educational content whether in school, at the library, or at home.To learn more, visit www.Infobase.com.

About Hoonuit:

Hoonuit, a leading provider of data management and analytics solutions in education, is on a mission to empower educators and communities with knowledge and insights to improve student outcomes. With robust analytics solutions, Hoonuit is a trusted partner to education agencies of all sizes. Hoonuit supports more than 300 active implementations nationwide and serves over five million students. To learn more, visit www.hoonuit.com/.

Contact: Laurie Katz, Content Director, Email: LKatz@Infobase.com

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College in the age of COVID

There’s no debating the immense disruption COVID-19 brought to campuses across the globe.

And now, while students are on summer break, higher-ed leaders are scrambling to produce reopening plans that abide by health and safety regulations while, at the same time, prioritizing student learning and their academic success.

COVID has undoubtedly impacted life for students, faculty, and staff in colleges and universities.

Related content: Student retention is a top priority for higher-ed leaders

Here’s a look at some of the changes:

According to a new infographic, the COVID-19 outbreak has 1 in 6 high school seniors rethinking their plans to attend full-time college in the fall.

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3 ways remote learning changed my instruction forever

The world has changed–and the fact is that all of our lives have been disrupted. And right now one of the most affected sectors is education, as students take finals on their kitchen tables or graduate from their living rooms, and teachers wrap up the semester with virtual goodbyes.

As the school year comes to an end, educators are looking at how our classrooms have changed over the past few months and the various possibilities of what the future of learning will hold.

Related content: Stepping away from technology to avoid burnout

And while my school, like many, has not made its final decision on how learning will take place in the fall, I’ve taken an opportunity to look back at the successes with online learning to understand how my class will forever be changed, for the better.

My biggest takeaway: Hybrid instruction is here to stay.

Traditionally, hybrid learning is defined as the combination of face-to-face and online delivery of course materials. The disruption of COVID-19 meant that all the face-to-face interactions for my classes took place online. However, I find that offering a blend of asynchronous and synchronous instruction has been key to the success of my virtual classroom.

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COVID-19 is still impacting college students’ mental health

An overwhelming majority (85 percent) of college students say they continue to experience increased stress and/or anxiety as a result of COVID-19, according to a new survey from telehealth company TimelyMD.

Of that majority, women report higher rates of coronavirus-related stress than men (93 percent vs. 78 percent).

Related content: Telehealth grant opportunities for universities

The top three causes of student stress and anxiety include: Students’ uncertainty about the future of their education (72 percent), fear of falling behind in coursework (61 percent), and experiencing struggles with remote learning (60 percent). Worries about future career and job prospects (50 percent) and fears about their health and/or the health of loved ones (49 percent) rounded out the top five most common concerns.

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U.S. universities should focus on work placement, IT support

Universities across the globe are facing tremendous pressure to evolve and innovate to meet the demands of today’s job market. Not only are they tasked with optimizing operations and academic programs with the latest technologies, but they also must fight back against a growing cultural cynicism about the value a degree provides students in the real-world.

Related content: Using workforce data to improve student outcomes

The challenges of student loan debt, scarce public financing and a hyper-competitive job market in a digital economy are making prospective students ask tough questions about the return on investment of higher education.

Upending decades of cultural emphasis on the value of higher education in the U.S., many of today’s hottest companies like Netflix, Google and Apple no longer require a college degree for employment. Top CEOs are speaking out and challenging universities to make programs that are relevant to industry or encouraging drastic reimagining of course delivery to drive vocational relevance.

According to Gartner, Inc., a research and advisory company, “analyses about the future of work focus on the impact of automation, the need to work alongside smart machines, the gig economy and the emergence of new types of careers.” Gartner suggests that “a shift toward more skills-based and practical training and a shift toward lifelong learning will be necessary.”

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