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

6 steps to gain faculty support for online learning

I have the unique privilege of viewing the development of online learning through three different lenses: as former chaired and tenured faculty and program head at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, as former dean at Babson College in Mass., and now, as principal learning strategist at ExtensionEngine. I’ve had many conversations with institutional leaders, and too often they are complaining about how their faculty get in the way of plans for online programs.

Recently, a case at Eastern Michigan University came to light in which the administration and faculty had very different experiences with online efforts. Unfortunately, most situations that I’ve encountered are more similar to this than they are different.

Faculty are often seen as barriers to change, the “opposition” of administration in leading a school to greatness. This doesn’t have to be the case. Let me point out a few changes that would make the process more successful.…Read More

Final Four: Having “nun” of the old-school analytics

There may be two kinds of higher powers at work in this captivating March Madness tournament. Sister Jean has become the darling of the 2018 NCAA tournament for her powerful belief in offering better analysis to support her team’s coach, even as she occasionally breaks with data and turns to a different higher power.

As each of these teams are deep into statistical analysis to define their path to victory, let’s draw inspiration from Sister Jean and look at how asking better questions yields more actionable data that can strengthen team performance.

You could ask, “What is the average number of points Duncan Robinson gets in a game?” and the data would show that he averages 9.5 points a game. Or, “How many points does Ibi Watson score per game?” and the data would show that he averages 2.3 points per game.…Read More

How to use social media to boost your alumni network

We started doing the Instagram Takeover to showcase what life is like as a graduate of Northeastern University. Instagram Takeovers, which cultivate a stronger sense of community and connection through conversation, collaboration, and sharing ideas and stories, last for seven days—Monday to Sunday. During that time, we expect alumni to post as least one photo a day that gives our followers a look at their life. These photos do not need to be in the office: They can depict a city, hobbies, volunteer work … it’s up to them.

The idea for the Instagram Takeovers was sparked by a case study presentation made at the CASE Social Media and Community Conference in Chicago in 2016. On the last day, DePaul University shared how they would let students take over the university Instagram account for a week to share their experiences while studying abroad, working an internship, or just living on campus. As I walked out of the presentation, I started brainstorming ways to bring this behind-the-scenes concept to the alumni community. Internal support for the idea was so overwhelming that in May of 2016, I rebranded the @northeastern_alumni Instagram account to be solely alumni Instagram Takeovers. I haven’t personally posted a photo to our account in 660 days and counting.

Through this strategy, we are able to leverage passionate alumni to help us create valuable, personal content that we would not have otherwise been able to capture and share.…Read More

4 smart strategies to make your cloud transition smooth

Despite tightened budgets and fewer resources, universities are under increased pressure to sustain enrollment, maintain a competitive edge in attracting students and staff, and subsequently meet growing student and staff expectations. According to a report by the University of New Hampshire, funding for public two- and four-year colleges in the U.S. is nearly $10 billion below recession levels. This challenge has left administration and campus leaders wondering how they’ll navigate this new era of higher education.

To overcome such obstacles, leading universities have turned to a unified cloud-based infrastructure that can deliver the data and insights needed to keep pace with the demands of students, faculty, researchers, and other institutional stakeholders. Like many other sectors, changes to the education landscape are driving the transition to the cloud and making digital transformation an absolute necessity for thriving, growing universities.

While many colleges recognize the need to upgrade legacy systems and processes, unanswered questions often put these initiatives into a holding pattern. How big is the project? What technologies should they be looking into? How much budget will this take? What are the first steps? What to do with legacy systems? Are these new technologies secure? And what will they need to think about once new technologies have been implemented?…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

Artificial intelligence: Enhancing learning or threatening the academy?

A recent Northeastern University/Gallup poll found most Americans optimistic about artificial intelligence’s (AI) impact on their futures while, at the same time, expecting the net effect of AI to be an overall reduction in jobs. If we manage AI effectively, I believe it can be a net benefit to both society and the economy.

The question is: How will higher education manage AI?

Unfortunately, higher education does not have a reputation for managing change effectively. Our experience is much more one of coming late to the party—and not of our own accord. We cannot and should not do this with AI.…Read More

What do you know about Intelligent Capture?

In the world of higher education, many chief information officers are looking ahead to virtual reality, gaming, and the role of artificial intelligence, yet there’s a vital technology, available now, that has gone untapped. Intelligent Capture is a straightforward solution that can revolutionize departments across campus.

Intelligent Capture uses optical character recognition (OCR) to convert different types of documents, such as scanned papers, PDF files, or images into editable and searchable data. This seemingly simple process is actually an advanced technology that’s causing a fundamental shift in the way institutions read and process content, unlocking its value in real time.

Adopting Intelligent Capture isn’t about technology for technology’s sake. Rather, tech solutions should solve a problem and add value, such as accuracy, efficiency, and productivity.…Read More

How to foster innovation while keeping data private

IT infrastructure at colleges and universities has become increasingly complicated as availability, performance, and student success compete with security. But the threat landscape continues to expand, as evidenced by the growing number of cyber attacks in the sector (education institutions are the number-one target for ransomware attacks). To meet these technical demands, as well as increased cyber risks, IT teams must assume both a strategic and practical position as they seek to deploy innovative learning systems.

As higher education navigates digital transformation in an age of sophisticated cyber attacks, it’s important to look at what is expected of IT, and how they can enable technical innovation while maintaining a campus-wide focus on cybersecurity.

Technology’s role in higher ed…Read More

Creating successful teachers with video coaching

Teaching elementary math—especially explaining the conceptual basis of algorithms and procedures— can be particularly challenging for novice teachers. Therefore, teacher-preparation programs need to provide robust support to help education preservice teachers (EPTs) acquire this specialized content knowledge and teach a high-quality math curriculum.

At the University of Indianapolis, technology-driven initiatives have helped our elementary EPTs master these instructional skills while engaging them in reflective professional learning. In particular, video coaching has been instrumental to our EPTs’ growth.

Implementing video coaching
Nearly four years ago, our junior-level EPTs were struggling to create rich mathematical tasks during their student teaching at a local highly diverse, high-needs elementary school. EPTs were challenged with transforming their lessons from procedures and worksheets to more authentic, child-centered, and culturally-appropriate tasks.…Read More