This technology can boost student retention

Teacher and tech expert says retention comes easiest with visual understanding

visual-technology-retentionAs teaching moves from ‘sage on the stage’ to ‘guide on the side,’ educators are still mulling over exactly how technology tools can best help guide student learning. The problem is, as faculty is quickly coming to understand, technology for its own sake is not enough.

Nowhere is this more evident than in MOOCs and the current crisis with retention. Plopping a student in front of a video lecture provides a new medium, but a boring lecture will still be a boring lecture on video.

The key to student engagement (and therefore, retention) says one teaching and technology expert, is to use technology to make the information relevant and understandable.…Read More

5 technologies for student recruitment

Getting personal means making connections through technology

recruitment-students-collegeWith Millennials increasingly becoming more reliant on technology as a means of communication, colleges and universities eager to recruit the best and brightest are using innovative tools, both online and on campus, to attract potential students.

According to the 2014 Social Admissions Report—a survey of college-bound high school students designed to identify trends in digital, social and mobile tools represented in a student’s college search and enrollment process—as new tools are created to help people organize, share and collaborate online more students are using them as a way to aid their college search, leading colleges to use these tools in their recruitment process…or they should.

From creating communities of current students at college on social media platforms like Facebook, to creating customized acceptance videos, higher education is using the digital technology at-hand to attract increasingly creative and tech-savvy generations.…Read More

10 technology hallmarks for every campus

These campus musts may seem like no-brainers, but they’re critical for success

technology-campus-hallmarksWith so many technology options available today to help support and promote an institution’s campus culture, students and faculty, it’s not surprising that many IT and campus leaders feel overwhelmed with what they should invest in now and what they should implement later, especially with tight budgets.

But from having a good social media strategy to planning for Big Data collection, there are at least 10 technology hallmarks every campus should plan for immediately, if not implement as soon as possible.

Many of these hallmarks may seem simplistic, but can get caught in the solution shuffle if you’re not careful; for example, providing high-speed wireless broadband that can support multiple devices, or offering continuous IT support to students and faculty.…Read More

Helping students land the right STEM internship

These tips will help students land the best-fitting internship for future career goals

stem-internshipInternships provide fantastic on-the-job training and often lead to job offers after graduation.

Many students find themselves stuck when it comes to finding and securing an internship. This is likely their first experience with applying for jobs in this type of environment, and it involves more than filling out an application and talking to a manager in charge.

Take a look at the following tips to help you find internships that will benefit you and align with your career goals, as well as for some helpful information on best practices for landing the internship you want.…Read More

Innovation corner: Technology solutions for boosting retention

Student retention vexes campus decision makers who need solutions

technological-retentionStudent retention, once a back burner issue for many colleges and universities, has emerged as a pressing issue for campus decision makers, who have increasingly looked to technology for solutions.

Concerns about retention are particularly acute in online courses.

Forty-one percent of chief academic officers in a recent survey said they agreed that retaining students was a greater problem for online courses than for face-to-face classes.…Read More

How to support faculty developing online and flipped courses

Virginia Tech rethinks instructional design and faculty development support

support-faculty-onlineIn an ideal world, we would all have custom, personalized support standing at the ready to provide just-in-time response to our need for guidance and support. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could provide this for faculty developing online courses for our institutions?

But we don’t live in an ideal world; we live in a world of increasing demand and limited resources. The reality is that the assistance and support we provide to faculty developing online courses needs to be manageable, scalable, and effective all at the same time.

At Virginia Tech, we recently went through a period of rethinking, redesigning and revising the instructional design and development support we provide to faculty who are developing online, hybrid, and flipped classrooms. The process of review and revision continues – and always will – but the results of our new approach tell us we’re on the right track. I’ve been asked to share the approach so that others can follow us on this path and make it their own.…Read More

5 reasons why the lecture is on its last leg

Here’s how the basis of ‘modern education,’ Team-Based Learning, is pushing the lecture to the past

lecture-learning-DukeThough there are still many proponents of lecture as the main method of teaching in higher education, the lecture (while still integral) is becoming less of a ‘must-do’ for instructors as learning objectives change with the 21st Century. What’s taking its place? A method that Duke University says is strengthening course design.

Many new trends in learning, including Flipped Learning and online learning, say that instead of focusing on what the educator would like to impart, or what the institution would like to teach, the needs of the learner should come first.

[Read: “One shocking fact about Flipped Learning-and why it matters.“]…Read More

New guideline identifies modern types of ‘blurred cheating’

Plagiarism Spectrum identifies the blurred lines of cheating, and how to respond

spectrumresized Access to technology, and a propensity for students to share images and text on social media in their everyday lives is blurring the lines of original thought and plagiarism in higher education.

Turnitin, a company that provides a web-based application to help instructors determine if a student’s work contains plagiarism, surveyed more than 800 secondary and higher education instructors in an effort to create a Plagiarism Spectrum.

The spectrum outlines the frequency and severity of 10 common forms of plagiarism, and is designed to help educators determine how to discipline students caught plagiarizing material in their assignments.…Read More

Here’s how to meet the needs of online learners

Online learners still stuck with traditional scheduling, funding models

online-learners-demandWhen Title IV funding for higher education began in 1965, colleges and universities never imagined a day when learners would take classes online or create their own academic schedules. Their systems were hardwired for traditional academic terms and students, which start in the fall and end the following spring, and typically assume a full-time schedule.

In this respect, not much has changed since then. Most school calendars and student information systems are still locked on this rigid academic schedule.

Generations later, almost all institutions have added online learning courses to their academic menus to help meet the demands of current and prospective learners. But when you look at most course catalogs, you still see online course offerings that adhere to the traditional academic semesters and financial aid models built into those early systems.…Read More

5 ways to get the most out of your course technology

Comprehensive study reveals it’s less about using actual course tech and more about the preparation

coursetechresizedImplementing technology—personal devices, blended environments, et cetera—definitely comes with a learning curve in terms of functionality. But outside of knowing which apps are great for the course material, there are steps faculty can take to make sure the use of technology isn’t just a passing fad or failed experiment.

In one of the most comprehensive compendiums of efficacy studies on a technology solution for higher education, Pearson researchers discovered five best practices across 47 different case studies from courses across the U.S., Canada, the UK and Asia, on how faculty can best improve learning with their education technology implementation.

“Each successful case study provides insight into the experiences of instructors and their students,” said the over 100-page report. A team of PhD-level statisticians, experts in psychometrics, educational statistics, and journal publications learned how instructors addressed today’s most common academic challenges, including low pass and retention rates, the need to maintain course quality with fewer resources, the need for more-frequent assessment, and academic dishonesty.…Read More