The 10 most inventive cheating attempts on online exams

Exams are just around the corner and there is so much of the syllabus still left to cover. It’s the story of every student’s life.

Anxiety and fear has often pushed us to cheat. We all have seen, heard or even participated in some form of cheating. I had a friend who would use all his time making crib notes before exams instead of studying.

His argument: most of the subjects are unimportant and a waste of time.

Call it genius at work or another smart innovation, but here are some of the smartest ways in which candidates have cheated in exams. And by no means, intentionally or unintentionally we are advocating in favor of cheating.…Read More

How to revolutionize video on your campus

In 2016, the media capture and storage system we used at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Fla., had reached maturity. Cooperation between faculty and IT staff had yielded a video system that benefited students and teachers, but it was time to take the next step.

We wanted to expand the reach of our video offerings by introducing mobile delivery, as well as provide meaningful metrics to faculty and staff. The current system did not provide any margin for growth, yet we could not abandon the existing progress. FAU looked for the next generation of video delivery that would offer the new features needed, while also preserving the existing media. With these requirements in mind, we selected Mediasite as the new media capture, management, and delivery platform.

Start with a pilot…Read More

This is how you measure the viability of academic programs

One of the most frequent questions I hear when visiting colleges and universities is, “What about a tool for measuring the viability of our academic programs?” Institutions are seeking greater insight into the true value of programs beyond traditional metrics or accounting methods, especially as budgets continue to shrink and regulatory accountability for student outcomes increases.

This is difficult to achieve through traditional higher education accounting, in which revenues, program needs, and student success initiatives are often opaque to each other and treated as discrete functions.

To gain greater insight into program and institutional ROI, more institutions are looking at the way businesses use activity-based costing to determine the bottom line value of products and services. The goal is to tie the cost of these discrete functions to the big picture of operational and student success.…Read More

Breaking records: How this Texas university achieved its best fundraising year

The world of higher education fundraising has changed considerably over the past three decades. It’s noisy out there; your message and your asks are at risk of being lost or forgotten. Not to mention, alumni from your institutions are being marketed to and solicited by thousands of relevant, deserving causes. Plus, higher education institutions are increasingly reliant on small pools of major donors for anywhere from 75 to 95 percent of their annual fundraising totals (source: Forrester Consulting).

The loss of only a few donors could have a damaging impact on fundraising goals. What can you do about it?  Well, universities and schools must prioritize building, growing and retaining relationships with their donor base; moreover, the opportunity to achieve record-breaking revenue awaits those who adopt new processes, technologies and data.

In a recently commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Blackbaud*, Forrester found that the University of North Texas (UNT) received a record-breaking 176 major gifts in 2017 — 56 percent over its ten-year average and 24 percent over the height of its 2012 major giving campaign.…Read More

Top 5 ways universities can amplify the student experience

Modern students are more connected and empowered than any generation in history. As consumers, they expect the brands they patronize to understand their needs and deliver consistent, great online experiences. And as students, they demand similarly fulfilling encounters.

Unfortunately, most institutions of higher learning would barely receive a passing grade if tested on their ability to deliver appropriate levels of service and support from the moment students enroll to the day they graduate and become alumni.

Why? Because it can be extremely difficult. Indeed, large corporations have struggled for years to meet the rising expectations of digitally sophisticated consumers, such as millennials who grew up with mobile and connected technology. It takes time and money to deploy the big data infrastructure and roll out the types of mobile apps people increasingly demand. And companies only recently began recognizing the fact that competing in today’s environment means prioritizing customer experience–despite the initial costs.…Read More

Top 5 ways small colleges can save money with tech

Budgetary restrictions and cutbacks are making life harder at small colleges across the nation. In fact, “about a third of small private colleges rated by Moody’s generated operating deficits in the 2016 fiscal year, an increase from 20 percent in 2013,” noted Inside Higher Ed. “In contrast, just 13 percent of large comprehensive universities posted operating deficits in 2016, down from 20 percent three years before.”

Shortfalls that cannot be made up because of restrictions on raising tuition fees or a decline in alumni donations will force smaller colleges to make some changes in how they do business. Identifying and evaluating technology and software innovations will be crucial to your ongoing success.

If your institution is struggling to make ends meet, it’s time to explore options to reduce expenses and increase available capital before resorting to drastic cutbacks in service. Here are five top ways that small colleges can save money now.…Read More

Courageous coaching: How one HBC turned around an enrollment shortfall

For those on the frontlines of college business and finance, enrollment math can be cruel.

Higher education institutions—of all types and sizes across the country—are struggling to attract and enroll new students. Nationally, only 34 percent of colleges and universities have met their new student enrollment goals, according to a recent Inside Higher Ed survey of enrollment management leaders. Only 22 percent of public universities met their May enrollment targets, and just only 27 percent of community colleges reported meeting their enrollment goals.

Most bedeviling for institutional leaders is that the causes of enrollment declines are complex—and difficult to attribute to a single issue. Are rising tuition rates and student debt to blame? Are students skeptical of whether an academic program is worth it? Is it simply demographics? Or are high school graduates choosing to go straight into jobs or short-duration vocational training programs?…Read More

4 ways to eliminate university cybercrime without closing the network

Everybody is talking about the need to train more cybersecurity specialists and invest heavily in research and development related to cryptography, machine learning and AI–all necessary ingredients in cutting edge cybersecurity systems. Academia is destined to play a crucial role in this effort, both in training the next generation of scientists and cybersecurity professionals, and in developing new technologies to fight cyber crime.

Israel’s Ben-Gurion University and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute, for example, are renowned both for  their theoretical research and for spinning off (or incubating) cybersecurity startups to commercialize such technologies.

But a lesser known fact is that academia is also a very lucrative target for cyber criminals, nation-state hackers and cyberpunks. More than 1,150 intrusions into UK university networks were recorded in 2016-17, and universities all around the world are experiencing similar attacks. But why are academic institutions being targeted, and by whom?…Read More

6 musts when selecting an A+ identity and access management solution

Summer is over, and most colleges and universities are back in session. As with every year, the biggest challenge for IT departments presents itself during the lead-up to the first day of class and the first couple of weeks that follow. Unlike other industries, the education sector has specific identity and access management (IAM) needs. Provisioning accounts for new students and teachers, de-provisioning accounts of students and staff who have left, providing users secure access to the right resources, frequently changing users’ roles, and tracking changes to meet regulatory requirements are just the start.

With IT becoming an important part of the classroom, choosing an IAM solution that can meet all these demands is crucial for the day-to-day function of colleges and universities. Here are some pointers to keep in mind while shopping for an IAM solution that’s a fit for the education industry.

1. Dynamically Provision Accounts for Students …Read More

University’s webstore harnesses this tech for success

Like many other universities, the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Ill., has an e-commerce site for downloads and access to academic software. Like many other e-commerce sites, the U of I’s WebStore ran its shop from department-owned, physical servers until it switched to virtual machines, hosted in a data center; in this case the university’s own.

We sat down with Phil Nyman, lead training specialist at U of I’s Technology Services department, to see how his organization handled one of the effects virtualization had on their operation: specifically, how they managed physical USB-key licenses when they had no physical ports in which to plug them.

Q: Tell us a little about Univ. of Ill. Technology Services’ role in the WebStore.…Read More