Put me in, coach: Coaching the digital educator (part 2)

Coaching can provide a networked community to jumpstart implementation


Welcome back. In Part 1 of this series, we discovered the downside to technological integration: that some educators remain uncertain about the best approaches, practices, and implementations for technology in the learning environment.

One method for breaking down these barriers is to incorporate coaching that supports and mentors educators, while providing a rich, supportive communal atmosphere that fosters collaboration and innovation.…Read More

Here’s proof that adaptive learning works

A look at the efficacy of an adaptive learning platform

adaptive-learning-collegeSandra Connelly, an assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, said when she teaches a general biology course, she’s always struck by how varied her students are.

“This year, I have almost 65 different majors spread across 400 students,” Connelly said. “Teaching them is a matter of trying to keep the attention of business majors, art majors, poetry majors, and then physicians assistance majors who really need this biology background.”

So, in 2009, she started using Pearson’s adaptive learning platform called Mastering in an attempt to create a more personalized experience. It’s really helped, Connelly said, and, of course, Pearson is happy to report the same. But the company no longer expects anecdotes like Connelly’s to be enough evidence that their products are effective.…Read More

Persistence vs. retention

Terminology has large impact on graduation rates

persistence-retention-PearsonStudent persistence. Student retention. These terms are used daily in higher education, often interchangeably. Are they really the same thing?

According to Hagedorn (2005), the National Center for Education Statistics defines “retention as an institutional measure and persistence as a student measure” (p. 6). This boils down to institutions do the retaining and students do the persisting. Clear as mud right? Throw in attrition, graduation, stop-out, and drop-out and one quickly realizes why so much effort and research exists in the world of persistence and retention.

[Read: “Why online courses have low retention rates-and how to boost them.”]…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

Pearson launches ed-tech incubator for startups

Publishing giant Pearson has launched an incubator program for ed-tech startups, following in the footsteps of other educational companies like Kaplan, Mashable reports.

Pearson Catalyst, the new program, will match educational startups with Pearson brands and resources. The company’s vast amount of content will be available to help participants further develop their products to target and personalize online learning.

Sharing industry insight and connecting with new companies will allow Pearson to promote learning and take advantage of new ideas, says Diana Stepner, head of future technologies.…Read More

College students: Tablets will replace textbooks by 2017

The Apple iPad still dominates among tablet owners on campus.

Interest in computer tablets has been consistently high on college campuses since the Apple iPad hit the market in April 2010, but not until this year did tablet ownership spike in higher education.

Only 7 percent of college students surveyed in 2011 owned a computer tablet. In 2012, that number has spiked to 25 percent, and students now see their sleek new tablets as the inevitable replacement for their bulky, pricey textbooks.

Six in 10 college students – and seven in 10 high school seniors – believe tablets will replace traditional textbooks within five years, according to findings from the Pearson Foundation’s Second Annual Survey on Students and Tablets, which was made public March 14.…Read More

Computerized tutor helps students pass college-level math

Educators say immediate feedback in crucial to math lessons.

Erika Northcutt, 18, has not had a math class since she was a junior in high school, more than two years ago. The freshman at the University of Memphis was anxious enough about college calculus that she considered changing her major.

Nearly three weeks into the semester, her calculus homework scores are averaging 98 percent. She’s confident she can pass and plans to register for calculus 2.

“I think I can get an A, actually,” she says, relief shining in her eyes.…Read More

Electronic books now come in snack sizes

Who has time to read a whole book anymore? That’s the thinking behind a new publishing venture by the FT Press, a unit of Pearson, which has introduced two series of short, digital-only titles for professionals who want quick snippets of advice for $2.99 or less, reports the New York Times. The publisher, through a new imprint named FT Press Delivers, has quietly begun selling what it is calling Elements and Shorts through the Kindle electronic bookstore on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble’s e-bookstore. The Elements, which the publisher has priced at $1.99, are stripped-down, 1,000- to 2,000-word versions of already-published books, while the Shorts are newly written essays of about 5,000 words, priced at $2.99. Titles include “Reengineering the Rules of Management,” by James Champy, the co-author, with Michael Hammer, of “Reengineering the Corporation,” one of the biggest business best sellers of the 1990s, and “Keeping It Honest, From Kitchen to Coca-Cola,” by Seth Goldman, co-founder and chief of Honest Tea, the maker of organic drinks. “It’s a good idea to be able to provide people with shorter, more expedient, more time-sensitive” content, said Timothy C. Moore, publisher of the FT Press…

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