The technology that prevents ‘hotbeds of fraud’ in higher ed

Fraud in test taking and student loans can threaten the very existence of online colleges and universities

fraudManually documenting student identities before they take an online exam or receive student loan payments are labor intensive and very costly for schools coping with stagnating technology budgets.

Ensuring students are who they say they are, using the decidedly old-school approach, is also an inefficient system that has fallen short in many online college programs over the past decade as web-based learning grows.

The problem of identity fraud has become so pervasive in higher education that officials from the U.S. Department of Education have issued suggestions — and warnings — to colleges.…Read More

The best colleges for teachers

New report reveals the best teacher preparation programs

teacher-preparation-programThe National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its 2014 Teacher Prep Review – an annual assessment of the nation’s teacher preparation programs – with what the Council says is a much expanded and more comprehensive evaluation.

The Review uncovers early evidence that teacher preparation programs are beginning to make changes, which the report says arrives at a time of “heightened, unprecedented activity across the nation to improve teacher preparation.”

According to the report:…Read More

Apps and analytics: The key to student engagement?

Bolstering engagement with students could hinge on how colleges and universities use real-time analytics.

analyticsInsight into how, when, and even why students interact with campus technologies has become a linchpin in maximizing efficiency, saving money, and optimizing the student experience in higher education.

Could these insights — analytics — be the key to bolstering student engagement on college campuses too?

Campus Quad, creators of a real-time mobile communication platform designed specifically for colleges and universities, has answered this question with a definitive “yes,” and their higher-ed customers, so far, agree.…Read More

Innovation corner: Hitting back against data attacks

Colleges and universities have more data than ever, and with that exponential increase in sensitive information has come the prying eyes of hackers hoping to find their way into those massive data silos.

dataData breaches aren’t just disastrous public relations for universities — they can also be terribly expensive, with schools having to purchase credit monitoring services for thousands or tens of thousands of students, parents, and campus employees.

Just ask officials at the University of Maryland, which suffered a nightmarish cyber attack that compromised more than 280,000 records stored on campus servers. It marked one of the largest higher education breaches in recent memory.

UM decision makers pledged to identify sensitive information in university databases to determine whether they are needed and how to better isolate them, along with examining national cybersecurity policies and best practices to establish an appropriate balance between centralized security and broad access on university networks.…Read More

The best and worst colleges for career success

New ranking system measures colleges and universities on their return-on-investment (ROI)

ranking-colleges-career In today’s economy, nothing seems more important to incoming students than whether or not their college or university will help them land a career after graduation…and for good reason.

As part of a recent proliferation of new ranking measurements outside of U.S. News & World ReportTIME’s social media ranking, and eCollegeFinder’s rankings based on graduation rate—a new ranking by Educate to Career lists colleges and universities by which do the best job of improving the earning and attainment of “quality employment” by their students.

“The Index empirically determines the economic value added by each of the over 1200 colleges ranked within our system,” said Michael Havis, founder of Educate To Career, in a statement. “We calculate the improvement in earnings and employability of persons who attended specific colleges, relative to persons who are similarly situated in other colleges.”…Read More

INFOGRAPHIC: Why digital education?

New infographic details the business and benefits of providing digital tools and online classes

digital-education-infographicAs trends like using multimedia resources for courses and incorporating blended learning classes on campus become ubiquitous, what are the motivating factors behind these trends…and do businesses profit off of them? What are some of the advances in tech spurring digital education’s growth?

According to a new infographic by Knewton, and based off of recent data from the Sloan Consortium, the New Media Consortium, the Gates Foundation, and many other sources (including multiple universities), the rise of digital education is the cause of multiple factors; the main one being the booming business of education.

From understanding why these trends are taking off in colleges and universities to a breakdown of digital education providers by type of institution, and from digital education’s potential for lowering dropout rates to making learning more affordable, this infographic provides a detailed snapshot of the digital education landscape.…Read More

Why it’s either death or moving online

Local student shortages, demand for flexibility are pushing smaller colleges to move online

online-colleges-learningColby-Sawyer College is a classic New England school, with 176 years of undergraduate history amid 200 acres of brick buildings and tree-lined walks, nestled in a pretty New Hampshire town.

So why would anybody want to get a Colby-Sawyer degree via web browser, never touching the campus?

To save about $100,000, for one thing: The school’s first online-only bachelor’s degree programs will cost about one-quarter as much as a degree “on the ground.” It will also require a lot less commuting and provide more flexible schedules.…Read More

Innovation corner: Big Data for colleges large and small

Many colleges and universities are just beginning to understand how to leverage vast amounts of data.

big-data-skillsWhile the definition of Big Data remains in flux among campus technologists, the growing importance of tools that help schools distill mountains of information is an emerging focal point for college IT officials.

Any company or organization that can help a campus — no matter its size — make sense of data and help improve the learning experience will prove more than a little valuable in higher education.

The ways in which data usage and distillation is changing basic college campus operations are numerous and continuing to grow.…Read More

Research says a college’s return-on-investment depends on this offering

A college’s return-on-investment (ROI) depends on the STEM majors offered

college-investment-stemIn what seems like a no-brainer, the relationship between college majors and salary potential is becoming ever stronger in the wake of staggering student debt. Thanks to recent research, students and colleges now have a better idea on what majors offer the best ROI in today’s complex market.

To put the research’s importance into perspective, new findings from a Pew Research Center study show that college graduates earn $17,500 more annually than their peers with high school diplomas aged 25 to 32. However, those who collect student debt have a lower return on investment over time.

While salary levels have stagnated for the past ten years, the cost of a college has risen over five times the rate of inflation since the 1980s.…Read More

One shocking fact about Flipped Learning-and why it matters

New report touts Flipped Learning; but are colleges really on board?

flippedresizedNew results from a national survey reveal just how popular Flipped Learning has become. But with all of the hype on this teaching and learning style that’s grown in practice at an accelerated rate over the last two years, are colleges and universities really seeing results?

According to the recently released 2013 Speak Up National Research Project findings, Flipped Learning—defined in the survey as using lecture videos as homework while using class time for more in-depth learning such as discussions, projects, experiments, and to provide personalized coaching to individual students—is surpassing all other digital trends, including mobile apps and technology…at least, that is, in K-12.

But is higher education as enthusiastic? And if not, why?…Read More