#7: How my university is disrupting higher education

[Editor’s note: This story, originally published on March 29th of this year, was our #7 most popular story of the year. Happy holidays, and thank you for tuning into our 2018 countdown!]

If higher education is a ship, it has struck an iceberg. It’s taking on water rapidly, and while the situation is urgent, many people on board simply refuse to acknowledge what’s happening.

The lifeboats in this metaphor? Disruption.…Read More

Going beyond the hype: How AI can be used to make a difference

Reference to artificial intelligence (AI) has become strategic in higher-ed discourse, joining the terms “big data” and “predictive modeling.” When I was introduced to AI in 2013 by a member of our design team, it captivated my imagination. Since then, as our data grew to proportions that were ripe for AI, I’ve become enthralled by its potential to enrich the accuracy and personalization that leads to better outcomes. That does not make me an expert.

If anything, it could make me equal to all out there who have wondered what these terms actually mean, how they matter to education, and where to draw the line between hype and results.

Defining the terms…Read More

6 big-impact technologies on the higher-ed horizon

Analytics technologies, makerspaces, and redesigning learning spaces are just a few of the numerous technology developments and trends outlined in a preview of the forthcoming annual Horizon Report.

The Horizon Report was on shaky ground after the New Media Consortium unexpectedly shut its doors in early 2018, but EDUCAUSE acquired the rights to the report and continued the research.

The annual report outlines issues, technologies, and trends that higher-ed leaders should follow and keep in mind as they outline institutional priorities.…Read More

9 trends shared by innovative community colleges

Supporting mobile devices is a top priority among a majority of community colleges surveyed in the Center for Digital Education’s annual Digital Community Colleges Survey, which offers an inside look at schools’ technology and innovation priorities.

Other priorities include cybersecurity tools and testing, redesigning or upgrading websites, upgrading classroom technologies, digital content and curriculum, and disaster recovery/business continuity.

According to the survey, 34 percent of community colleges have a strategy in place for the use of mobile devices; 35 percent have a full-time chief information security officer or a similar full-time role; 71 percent of surveyed community colleges’ websites have responsive web design; and 88 percent have off-site data storage redundancies in place.…Read More

Top 10 VR influencers you should be following

Virtual reality (VR) is on the cusp of explosive growth. It seems like every day we see new startups posing innovative solutions to problems in the immersive technology industry. The best way to learn about a new emerging field is to speak to people directly working in the industry right now.

At VeeR, we have rounded up the best minds you should be following in the virtual, augmented, and mixed reality space today.

Do you know of these admirable individuals and how did you discover them?…Read More

10 new trends defining the state of higher education

Establishing innovative strategies for growth and preparing for industry disruption are just two of a number of trends higher-ed leaders should expect to come their way in 2018, according to a new report.

The State of Higher Education 2018, from professional services firm Grant Thornton LLP, offers guidance around emerging and potential higher-education trends in 2018. The leadership challenges and opportunities outlined in the report are shaped by the firm’s interaction with higher-ed clients.

Trends include achieving growth strategies; preparing for disruption; outsourcing via shared services consortia; using public-private partnerships; mergers, partnerships, and collaborations; tailoring fundraising to generational nuances; using independent verification and validation ( IV&V) for cloud implementation success; innovations in campus facilities usage; preparing for social media reputation risks; and new ways to measure success.…Read More

What’s next for higher ed?

Education as an industry has undeniably missed the change cycle. Today’s higher education system is based on foundations that were built centuries ago for a country fundamentally different from the one we live in today. Historically, higher education existed to train the clergymen in subjects that many today consider to be “intellectual nice-to-haves.” Over time, the shift in U.S. population demographics resulted in a need for specialized, almost vocational training programs; however, universities were not able to make that shift.

University tuition has become more expensive, the curricula less useful, and high-paying jobs less accessible for today’s college graduates.

In our lifetimes, we will see three major shifts in the U.S. higher education system:…Read More

How to apply compulsion loop thinking to higher ed

In “4 reasons why student success is misdefined in higher ed and how data can fix it,” we tackled the mis-definition of student success and the need for more actionable data.

Here, we offer a concept of scaling personalized rewards early and often, drawing inspiration and practical lessons from an industry built on “winning”: game theory and the computer gaming industry.

Taking lessons from this industry, especially regarding the concept of a “compulsion loop,” involves acknowledging that some people find this subject controversial. We propose that in the “game” of higher education and completing a degree, personalized rewards fall entirely into the “do no harm” category.…Read More

How real-time communications innovations are disrupting higher ed

As more teaching is being done online and more research is being conducted within and between universities, new collaboration platforms are becoming more valuable than ever.

Communications service providers are now bundling networking services and collaboration applications (voice, video, and messaging) to make real-time communicating easier, more powerful, and less expensive. These systems replace legacy “telephone” services with mobile and desktop collaboration platforms and bring students, teachers, academics, and administrators together for the ultimate end result: learning and innovation.

In fact, educational institutions are one of the largest consumers of capacity, with massive data-collection projects and a requirement to support cross-facility academic collaboration, as well as to support students, faculty, and staff with real-time communications applications.…Read More

Why academic assessment is poised for a scientific revolution

In 1906, Englishman J. J. Thompson challenged the scientific community’s understanding of the atom with his “plum pudding” theory. The model ultimately led to scientific evidence of the first subatomic particle, the electron. Thompson and subsequent pioneers of subatomic theory proved a powerful point: changing the unit of measurement can radically alter how we engage with the natural world.

Contrast this scientific revolution with our experience in the dynamic and changing world of higher education. For too long, higher education has relied on 19th-century definitions and measures to solve for 21st-century needs. The yardstick of academic progress—the transcript—has been the instrument to measure all learning that takes place during a student’s journey.

Students, families, and employers have serious doubts about the value of higher education—doubts that may be well-founded. Far too many students are exiting higher learning without the skills employers and society demand. One survey found that 87 percent of recent graduates felt well-prepared for jobs and careers after earning their diplomas, but only half of hiring managers agreed with them.…Read More