23 février 2013

Changing England’s ‘Downton Abbey’ View of Higher Education

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/worldwise-nameplate.gifBy Nigel Thrift. All higher-education systems have their pros and cons. In previous posts, I have mentioned things that make me nervous about higher education in the United States, including legacy admissions and how American universities have embraced market-oriented thinking.
But there are of course good aspects, too, aspects that other systems could learn from. In England, universities tend to be stuck in a rut occasioned by the Downton Abbey class—or should I say, caste—habits, which often still pertain when it comes to higher education. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:22 - - Permalien [#]


Are Career-Oriented Majors a Waste of a 4-Year Higher Education?

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/next-nameplate.gifBy Jeff Selingo. Even as President Obama, a handful of governors, and several private foundations continue to push American higher education to graduate more students so that the United States has the world’s highest portion of people with college credentials, a sobering report in this week’s New York Times detailed the real-world impact of producing more degrees simply to reach a goal. The article looked at degree inflation in Atlanta and the proliferation in that city of college-educated workers who hold low-paying jobs that, just a few years ago, didn’t require degrees. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:20 - - Permalien [#]

Professor Leaves a MOOC in Mid-Course in Dispute Over Teaching

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/wired-campus-nameplate.gifBy Steve Kolowich. Students regularly drop out of massive open online courses before they come to term. For a professor to drop out is less common.
But that is what happened on Saturday in “Microeconomics for Managers,” a MOOC offered by the University of California at Irvine through Coursera. Richard A. McKenzie, an emeritus professor of enterprise and society at the university’s business school, sent a note to his students announcing that he would no longer be teaching the course, which was about to enter its fifth week.
“Because of disagreements over how to best conduct this course, I’ve agreed to disengage from it, with regret,” Mr. McKenzie wrote. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:18 - - Permalien [#]

Competing MOOC Providers Expand Into New Territory—and Each Other’s

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/wired-campus-nameplate.gifBy Steve Kolowich. Two major providers of massive open online courses have announced new expansions of their stables of university partners, which now overlap for the first time.
Coursera, already the largest MOOC provider, announced that it would build courses with 29 new partners, nearly doubling the number of universities in its network, to 62.
Meanwhile, edX, a nonprofit project started last year by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, announced it would add six new partners, including three universities—Rice University, the University of Toronto, and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (in Switzerland)—that already offer MOOCs through Coursera. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:16 - - Permalien [#]

Of MOOCs and Mousetraps

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/wired-campus-nameplate.gifBy Karen Head. Generally people approach new problems by beginning with what they already know, so early conversations are rooted in clichés about reinventing wheels or building better mousetraps. However, MOOCs aren’t like the existing structures we know—they are neither traditional lecture courses nor traditional distance-learning models. The “massive” component changes every aspect of what we are attempting to do and requires innovative approaches, especially for a course on freshman composition.  With technologies evolving so rapidly, it is easy to overestimate the available tools, and we find that we may not be able to adapt our courses for massive audiences in all the ways we might like. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:14 - - Permalien [#]


Online Courses Could Widen Achievement Gaps Among Students

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/wired-campus-nameplate.gifBy Jake New. Low-cost online courses could allow a more-diverse group of students to try college, but a new study suggests that such courses could also widen achievement gaps among students in different demographic groups.
The study, which is described in a working paper titled “Adaptability to Online Learning: Differences Across Types of Students and Academic Subject Areas,” was conducted by Columbia University’s Community College Research Center. The researchers examined 500,000 courses taken by more than 40,000 community- and technical-college students in Washington State. They found that students in demographic groups whose members typically struggle in traditional classrooms are finding their troubles exacerbated in online courses. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:11 - - Permalien [#]

Ranking Colleges by ‘Desirability’

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/headcount-newnameplate.gifBy Eric Hoover. This weary planet might not need yet another set of college rankings, but new models keep popping up. The latest is a rating of colleges based on their “desirability,” as determined by the choices applicants make.
In a new paper published by The Quarterly Journal of Economics, four researchers propose a method of ranking colleges according to students’ “revealed preferences”—the institutions they choose to attend over others that have accepted them. Using survey data from a national sample of high-achieving students, the researchers determined the winners and losers of each applicant’s “matriculation tournament.” They then used those outcomes to rank about 100 selective colleges. Harvard University topped the list, but you already knew that; the University of Notre Dame nearly cracked the top 10. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:09 - - Permalien [#]

Social Media: Could Ya, Should Ya, Would Ya?

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/headcount-newnameplate.gifBy Diane Lambart Fleming. For several years I have been wrestling with social media as a means of communicating financial-aid information to enrolled students. Years ago colleges and universities depended on the printed word to provide information, request action by a student, or both. With the advent of e-mail, the printed word has become almost obsolete. Electronic communication became an acceptable and, more important, legal mode of communication, at least as far as the U.S. Department of Education was concerned. We have e-award letters, e-verification documents, e-satisfactory-academic-progress notifications, e-Master Promissory Notes, and more, all of which have received the blessing of the department.
Now, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are all the rage. We are told that students do not pay attention to letters or e-mails. Goodness, they don’t even answer their cellphones anymore! Unless one sends a message to a student via Facebook or Twitter, it will go ignored. Recently Pope Benedict XVI’s use of Facebook and Twitter was cited as the best way to communicate with the masses—or at least those who are technologically savvy. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:06 - - Permalien [#]

The case for liberal arts universities in India

By Nikhil Ravishankar. Rahul Sharma was extremely unsure of whether he wanted to pursue physics or psychology. On one hand, he knew that the future of neuroscience lay in Physics. On the other, he knew that psychology would fulfil his immediate goal of studying the mind . Giving to parental pressure, he opted for Physics, abandoning his dream to pursue Psychology.
This, the problem of choice, is perhaps one of the biggest problems plaguing higher education in India. While there are definitely bigger problems related to access to education, increasing tuition fees and outdated syllabi, this is the one that will make the biggest impact in the next few decades.One might argue that parental pressure and problems of choice are factors about which nothing can be done by the government and universities. Fortunately, the argument does not hold good, because the solution to this problem lies in one phrase: ‘Liberal Arts’. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 18:57 - - Permalien [#]

What happened to arts students when the fees went up?

The Guardian homeBy Dany Louise. They became increasingly anxious about their prospects – so universities redoubled efforts to make their graduates employable. When tuition fees tripled last year, with many universities setting their rates at the highest possible amount of £9,000, arts professionals in the country held their breath.
Would the introduction of higher fees create a "dearth of training for people who don't have independent wealth or rich parents", as actor Clare Higgins put it?
The truth is, it's still hard to pinpoint the impact of last year's fee rises. Although applications to creative arts and design course fell by about 15% in 2011-12, this year's Ucas figures show some signs of a recovery. The number of students hoping to study art and design in September is up 2.4%. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 18:54 - - Permalien [#]