Research: Social media has negative impact on academic performance

Perusing Facebook, sending rapid-fire text messages, and tweeting back and forth with friends and celebrities alike might not be the best academic strategy, it turns out.

A new study released by researchers at The Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine shows a link between social media use and poor academic performance. The study wasn’t limited to usage of traditional social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, but instead included popular social technology like texting.

Freshman women spend upwards of 12 hours a day using some form of social media, researchers found. Social networking and watching movies and TV were most negatively associated with academic performance among the study participants.…Read More

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

University introduces new initiative to partner with students to reduce upfront costs of college

Clarkson University has announced that students entering into the 2018-2019 school year will now have access to an innovative student finance model that allows them to reduce the upfront cost of college by paying a set percentage of their income after graduation.

The initiative, known as the Lewis Income Share Agreement (LISA), underscores the mutual commitment between Clarkson and each student to achieve the best career outcome possible.  Students who participate in the program will receive LISA funding as well as intensified career advising focused on developing their leadership skills, and supporting them in career exploration and preparation.

The program is designed to give students an alternative framework for financing education in a way that ignites personal and professional goals leading to accelerated, early career success.…Read More

Company to deliver on promise of “Netflix for Education”

In a move designed to lower student costs and improve access to learning, Cengage, an education and technology company, recently announced Cengage Unlimited. This first-of-its-kind subscription gives students access to all the company’s digital higher education materials—more than 20,000 products across 70 disciplines and more than 675 courses—for $119.99 a semester, no matter how many Cengage materials they use.

“High costs are limiting too many students from being able to access and succeed in their learning,” said Michael Hansen, CEO, Cengage.  “Students are either spending hundreds of dollars a year on materials, or else put off buying them altogether because they can’t afford them.  And, for many students who do find a way, it is because they are taking on student loan debt that will impact them for years.

“With Cengage Unlimited, students finally have an alternative to the traditional and costly approach of paying for each course’s materials individually.  We are taking unprecedented action to break down cost barriers and end the cycle of students having to choose between course materials they can afford and the results they want,” Hansen continued.…Read More

University to offer game-based calculus course as elective in Spring 2018

Texas A&M University is taking a new approach to transformational learning this spring, merging computer games and calculus with the aim of reaching additional undergraduate students who may be interested in earning elective math credit in just four weeks while helping to usher in a paradigm shift in education.

MATH 289: A Game-Based Approach to Calculus is a one-hour, one-credit online course offered by the Department of Mathematics and centered around a Texas A&M-developed computer game intended to provide a more thorough qualitative approach to fundamental concepts in calculus–specifically, limits and continuity.

“The concept of limits is the basis of everything in calculus,” said Texas A&M mathematician Dr. Paulo Lima-Filho, associate head for operations and undergraduate programs for Texas A&M Mathematics. “Lots of courses focus on the mechanics, but this one concentrates on the fundamental framework. If you can instill in people a qualitative understanding of limits, you can teach them calculus.”…Read More

Is this the field best suited for the flipped classroom model?

In a flipped classroom, course content is introduced outside the classroom then followed up with in-class activities that reinforce the material. Pre-work, such as viewing a video lecture explaining select concepts, is completed before a student walks through the classroom doors. This lets students recoup valuable time that was previously spent in lectures, allowing them to instead focus on applying their new-found knowledge to solving cases and practice problems, engaging in teamwork and gaining research experience.

Because it provides both academic and clinical benefits, the flipped classroom model is particularly helpful for medical students for its ability to enhance training—not to mention the growing body of literature indicating that students who engage in this type of active learning perform at higher levels.

Traditional vs Flipped Classroom …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

New postsecondary schools to provide cutting-edge STEM diplomas

As part of the commitment of Philadelphia’s String Theory Schools to cultivate an educational environment where students become the world’s next creative leaders, String Theory is now looking to ensure students have the opportunity to advance in studies beyond high school. A fully STEM + Arts program where students select majors starting in middle school, the plan is to expand education during high school years to provide college courses available in their same school environment.

Jason Corosanite, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of String Theory, announced the development of ”String Theory U”, a post-secondary school which will offer 400-hour diploma based programs in high demand areas such Computer Science, Biotechnology, and Nextgen prototyping & design. “The school will ultimately mature into a four-year degree-granting institution” Corosanite said.

String Theory is applying to the PA. Dept. of Education and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools to develop these programs, and they would be open to current students enrolled at String Theory-managed schools with the hope of offering college credit to students at other area high schools at no-cost/low cost. The first program will be offered later this year at String Theory’s Vine St. campus.…Read More

Hundreds of colleges and universities to offer students more value for their course materials

Cengage, an education and technology company, continues to partner with hundreds of colleges and universities across the US to offer students more value for their course materials. The model, called Cengage Inclusive Access, can save students up to 55 percent and ensures they have access to digital course materials on the first day of class. For the fall 2017 semester, more than 140,000 students are benefitting from the model.

“Immediate engagement with course resources on the first day of the class sets the foundation for a successful semester. This is a more streamlined, student-friendly and cost-effective approach to connecting students with learning material,” said Dr. Jenny Billings, chair of Study Skills, Developmental Reading and English (DRE), and Curriculum English at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “Since launching the initiative three years ago in the liberal arts division, it has expanded to multiple areas of the college and is used in more than fifty courses.”

Dr. Billings, a Cengage faculty partner, noted a 17-point increase in retention after implementing the Inclusive Access model, bringing the DRE completion rate up to 84.5 percent in just two years. Across all campuses of Indiana University, the Inclusive Access model saved nearly 20,000 students a total of more than $1.3 million off print list prices over the 2016-2017 academic year.…Read More

New learner analytics software helps 15 percent more students earn degrees

A UK education technology business recently hit US colleges and universities after a three-year trial of its pioneering analysis and monitoring software. The pilot project, at Nottingham Trent University in the UK, has demonstrated marked improvements in students’ academic performance, with over 15 per cent more of their students now achieving top class degrees.

UK-based Solutionpath, founded in 2012, has developed a software product called StREAM which measures and analyses student digital ‘engagement’, accurately identifying students who are at risk of early withdrawal from their course, or of under-achieving academically.

The software launched in the US at the EDUCAUSE Annual conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 31.…Read More