Collaboration brings cloud solutions to higher education

A flexible path to the cloud designed specifically to help colleges and universities achieve student success

cloud-ellucianAs colleges and universities continue to transform to meet changing student expectations, senior institutional leaders want to help students access advanced, easy-to-use solutions anytime, anywhere.

They also need better and more timely access to institutional and student data through solutions that inform decision-making, amidst a call for increased accountability.

To that end, Ellucian, provider of higher education software and services, announced that the company has further strengthened its relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS), including offering many of Ellucian’s higher education solutions as cloud-enabled.…Read More

Why higher ed is still a smart investment

Higher education is not just about money…it’s about empathy

higher-ed-investment

Rising college costs and a challenging economy are continuing to intensify the debate over whether a college degree is still worth the investment, both in time and money.

Traditionally, a bachelor’s degree was seen as a no-brainer for many students: a ticket to a comfortable middle-class lifestyle that typically came with at most a manageable amount of low-interest student loan debt.…Read More

3 ways to bolster competency in higher education

Converting a student’s experience into college credits has proven one of the most complex, oft-discussed issues in higher education

competency-educationCompetency based learning, or CBE, has been pushed by educators and lawmakers who want to increase the number of U.S. degree holders by helping nontraditional students — working adults and military veterans among them — turn their professional experience into college credits.

The focus, these CBE advocates argue, should be on a student’s understanding of a subject, not their time re-learning what they already know.

With competency-based learning — which has gained traction over the past decade — student progress is not necessarily linked to traditional grades, textbook chapters, or even semester time-frames, known as seat time. Competency-based learning is instead based on the mastering of key concepts at a more personalized pace.…Read More

11 net neutrality principles from higher ed you may have missed

Higher education verbalizes why net neutrality is critical to higher education

net-neutrality-principlesThe threat to net neutrality is real, and no, it’s not just about how slow your Netflix movie could stream on a Sunday night. Net neutrality has generated a lot of buzz lately, but higher education wants to make clear—11 principles clear—that net neutrality has the power to radically alter education for better or for worse.

In case you missed it, this past January (2014) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit nixed the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) existing net-neutrality rules. In May, the FCC said it would propose new rules that could permit telecommunications companies to charge extra for high-speed delivery of content.

Those in favor of net neutrality (aka pretty much everyone except telecommunications companies) decried the proposal, saying that the new rules, if unchanged, could prove detrimental to everything from personal online streaming services (Hulu, Netflix, et cetera) to education and the ability to access the internet and its vast amount of resources.…Read More

Unbundling and re-bundling in higher education

Just thinking about how higher education will unbundle won’t be enough

online-learning-unbundling

With the explosion of online learning, a disruptive innovation, there has been significant attention paid to the likely unbundling of higher education (see Michael Staton’s AEI piece and this University Ventures Fund piece, for example).

The Clayton Christensen Institute has written unbundling recently. In every industry, the early successful products and services often have an interdependent architecture—meaning that they tend to be proprietary and bundled.…Read More

10 OER resources every educator should know about

These OER repositories and content creators provide higher-ed faculty and students vetted, free learning materials

openresizedAs textbook prices soar, tuition skyrockets, and educators are more pressured than ever to provide innovative courses and lectures packed with multimedia and current materials, the open education movement and its open education resources (OERs) have never been more critical for success than now.

What began in the ‘90s has now evolved into massive national, state, and university repositories that can be accessed by anyone, anytime…and the best part is, almost all OERs are free. What makes these current repositories worth investing time, however, is that thanks to decades of feedback, many are vetted by educators and are organized into highly-accessible repositories.

Many of these OER resources also provide step-by-step guides and OER tools to make multimedia, such as videos and tutorials.…Read More

What does higher-ed look like in 2023?

College could be a very different place when freshmen step foot on university campuses in the fall of 2023. For starters, many students will find that step to be entirely virtual.

student-higher-education
Accreditation could change dramatically by 2023.

A seemingly alarmist prediction from Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen gaining traction among some educators states that more than half of universities will be in bankruptcy within 15 years.

Michael Horn, co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute, recently made a similar prediction, but provided a slightly more optimistic number of 25 percent.

Either way, this would mean that the high school senior class of 2023 will have far fewer options when it comes to picking a school. But that doesn’t mean they’ll have fewer choices in obtaining an education.…Read More

20 NEW facts about Flipped Learning in higher ed

Comprehensive research and case study analysis reveals 20 new facts about Flipped Learning

flipped-learning-factsAs with all types of popular learning models that have the potential to be nothing more than a flash in the pan, it’s important to conduct thorough research on the model’s real potential. And according to a 2014 research and case study review, there are roughly 20 new things higher education faculty and leaders should know about Flipped Learning.

The report, “2014: Extension of a Review of Flipped Learning,” conducted by George Mason University with the support of Pearson and the Flipped Learning Network (FLN), reviews current relevant research—both theory and empirical evidence—to learn more about Flipped Learning’s growth in education, and its effects on student learning faculty teaching.

“The team of collaborating researchers agrees that continued research and evaluation will be required, but current studies support the potential of the flipped learning model,” said co-author of the review and head of Pearson’s Center for Educator Learning & Effectiveness, Katherine McKnight. “The model focuses teachers on how they use instructional time, maximizing their use of learning activities both in and outside of the classroom. A number of well-designed studies testing the impact of the flipped model on student learning suggest a positive impact.”…Read More

5 great platforms for online learning

If you have ever considered distance learning, these educational platforms may have just what you’re looking for

online-learning-platforms

There is no denying that online learning has become popular in recent years. Advocates of this alternative educational experience argue that its rise in popularity is closely linked to soaring higher ed tuition costs.

Moreover, in the case of the massive open online course (MOOC), the advantages of a free, quality education which participants can receive in the comfort of their home – provided that they have an internet connection – are very appealing.…Read More

Common Core for higher education?

New blanket rubric for assessing student work sounds a lot like Common Core State Standards

common-core-rubricIf you’re not familiar, Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is “a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English Language Arts/literacy (ELA),” says the CCSS Initiative, with assessments that are given to students to measure their progress in these standards. Most states have signed on, with controversy. But is a new rubric the Common Core for higher ed?

68 institutions (including both 2-year and 4-year) in 9 states (Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Utah. See: www.sheeo.org/msc for full list of participating institutions) have agreed to pilot a new approach to learning outcomes assessment, according to the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), called Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment (MSC).

The approach, supported in its initial planning year with funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will have participating institutions pilot test a cross-state and cross-institutional effort to document how well students are achieving key learning outcomes like quantitative reasoning, written communication, and critical thinking by assessing authentic student work products using a set of common rubrics.…Read More