30 mars 2013

Inside the inverted transition-to-proofs class: What the students said

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/casting-out-nines.pngBy Robert Talbert. In my series of posts on the flipped intro-to-proofs course, I’ve described the ins and outs of the design challenges of the course and how the course was run to address those challenges and the learning objectives. There’s really only one thing left to describe: How the course actually played out through the semester, and especially how the students responded.
I wasn’t sure how students in the course would respond to the inverted classroom structure. On the one hand, by setting the course up so that students were getting time and support on the hardest tasks in the course and optimizing the cognitive load outside of class, this was going to make a problematic course very doable for students. On the other hand, students might be so wed to the traditional classroom setup that no amount of logic was going to prevail, and it would end up like my inverted MATLAB class did where a small but extremely vocal minority simply refused to try anything that wasn’t lecture. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:35 - - Permalien [#]

NodeXL: Learning from Visualizations of Social Media Networks

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/profhacker-nameplate.gifThis is a guest post by Lisa Rhody, who works for the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University as the project manager for WebWise 2013.
In last week’s post about social network analysis, I introduced NodeXL and its potential use for understanding online social networks. In this post, I want to focus on what we can learn from conference Twitter backchannel conversations, and how we can use software like NodeXL to improve the way we use social media to build computer-mediated scholarly networks.
During this year’s annual meeting of the Modern Language Association, I worked with Marc Smith, co-founder of the Social Media Research Foundation and chief social scientist for Connected Action, to upload several sample datasets that mapped Twitter networks at the conference. On Friday, January 4, 2013, Marc uploaded a social media network graph of tweets that included the hashtag from this year’s MLA convention to the NodeXL Gallery. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:31 - - Permalien [#]

Write a Grant Proposal, Start a Company, Create Your Own Job

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/on-hiring-nameplate.gifGiven reports that fewer recently minted life-sciences Ph.D.’s are landing full-time academic jobs while more are spending an increasing number of years as postdocs, it may be time to consider some alternatives.
One alternative is to create your own job. If you are a graduate student or a postdoctoral fellow working on a project that has potential commercial value (i.e., it could result in a product that someone will buy), consider turning the project into your first job.
How? First, disclose your idea to your university’s technology-transfer office. The personnel there can help you determine whether your idea has merit, and whether it can be protected by patents, trademarks, or copyright. If you are conducting your research at a university, the university probably has ownership rights; and if your idea is a good one, the university may file for intellectual-property protection on its own dime. Fortunately for you, it is obligated by U.S. law (under the Bayh-Dole Act, aka the Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act) to share the proceeds with inventors, who typically receive 25 to 35 percent. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:29 - - Permalien [#]

The Global Challenge of Scaling Up Higher Education

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/worldwise-nameplate.gifBy Nigel Thrift. A recent trip to India I took underlined the challenge that higher education faces worldwide. It must change what it does and how it does it to meet the growing demand. In India, for example, one estimate is that 500 million people will need training in vocational skills by 2022 and 40 million will need a university education by 2020. The consequences of these kinds of numbers for colleges and universities—not only in India but elsewhere, too—are still only being thought through.
I can think of five consequences. First, higher education will have to become even more involved in secondary and adult education. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:26 - - Permalien [#]

Auto-da-fé for the Façade of Diacritics

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/lingua-franca-nameplate.pngBy Lucy Ferriss. They’re going the way of the Lord God bird. Those umlauts, tildes, cedillas, accents aigus and graves and very occasionally the circumflex—all those funny little decorations that we used to have to retype or ink in, that we now access by way of the Option key, that get their own keys on those maddening foreign keyboards—they’re on their way out. Are you mourning yet?
New Yorker is apparently a holdout, at least when it comes to the diaeresis—those two dots over a second syllable that are often confused with the German umlaut. As Mary Norris posted at the magazine’s Culture Desk last year, the decision was made when The New Yorker was just getting under way, when someone debating among cooperate, co-operate, and coöperate “decided that the first misread and the second was ridiculous, and adopted the diaeresis as the most elegant solution with the broadest application.” These days, “The diaeresis is the single thing that readers of the letter-writing variety complain about most.” In 1978,  The New Yorker’s style editor indicated that he would soon send out a memo changing the style rule for words like reëlect and zoölogical, but he died soon thereafter, and no one has dared upset the applecart since. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:23 - - Permalien [#]

For Libraries, MOOCs Bring Uncertainty and Opportunity

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/wired-campus-nameplate.gifBy Jennifer Howard. A lot of the discussion about massive open online courses has revolved around students and professors. What role can academic librarians play in the phenomenon, and what extra responsibilities do MOOCs create for them?
At a conference held here at the University of Pennsylvania last week, librarians talked about the chances and challenges that open online courses throw their way. The conference, “MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?” was organized by OCLC, a library cooperative that runs the WorldCat online catalog and provides other services and library-related research.
Lynne O’Brien, director of academic technology and instructional services at Duke University, said the “rapid uptake” of MOOCs had taken many people by surprise. As she put it, “These courses don’t seem to fit anything of the model that we have for how to do online education well.” She’s been hearing from instructors that “the process of preparing courses for this environment made them rethink” how they teach their on-campus courses. “Faculty have said it’s a huge amount of work but that it’s also a wonderful opportunity,” she said. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:21 - - Permalien [#]

Shared Governance and Enrollment Management

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/headcount-newnameplate.gifBy John M. Baworowsky. Working with faculty members can lead to better decisions in enrollment management, John M. Baworowsky writes in a guest post today. Such a partnership can be valuable in designing new programs, marketing the institution, and more, says Mr. Baworowsky, vice president for enrollment management at Dominican University of California.
The concept of shared governance is a cornerstone of our decision-making structure. In 1920 the American Association of University Professors issued a statement calling for shared responsibility between faculty members, administrators, and boards. The organization asserted that higher-education institutions cannot adequately prepare students in an environment where faculty members have no input or control. Consequently, governance, or decision making, is shared between the administration and the faculty with the ultimate goal of producing better outcomes for students. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:18 - - Permalien [#]

Federal Budget Cuts Will Have ‘Limited Impact’ on Universities, Moody’s Says

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/bottom-line-header.pngBy Don Troop. As universities raise alarms about the potentially devastating effects of more than $1-billion in looming cuts in federal research spending, a leading credit-rating agency issued a report on Thursday that seemed to say: “Calm down. This will sting for just a moment.”
The vast majority of American universities and nonprofit organizations will “face only minimal effects” from the budget cuts in the 2013 fiscal year, according to the report by Moody’s Investors Service. Just 1 percent of institutions—”primarily stand-alone research institutes”—are at risk of losing more than 3 percent of revenue during the first year of the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration.
Moody’s issued a grim report in January on the general outlook for higher education, but Thursday’s report—part of a series about the effect of sequestration—was optimistic, if measured. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:16 - - Permalien [#]

7 of 8 Ivy League Schools Report Lower Acceptance Rates

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs_v3/thechoice/thechoice_post.pngIt was a little more difficult this year to get admitted to an Ivy League school, as tens of thousands of college applicants learned Thursday evening.
Seven of the eight colleges and universities that make up the Ivy League have lowered their acceptance rates since last year. The trend to tiptoe toward increased selectivity seems to hold true whether the institution received more or fewer applications than last year.
A word of caution before we crunch the numbers: Although these admission statistics may seem startling, even prohibitive, prospective students and parents would be wise to remember that a quality college education is still within reach. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:46 - - Permalien [#]

Online higher education may be where credit is due

HeraldNet Logo"There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit."
While the original author of this quote isn't known, it has been attributed to all sorts of prominent people: a 19th century Jesuit priest, a longtime CEO of Coca Cola, U.S. Presidents Harry S. Truman, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush and many others. They all liked it and used it, and it is worth remembering.
Despite the quote, though, getting credit has been the economic fulcrum of modern higher education. The cost of education is measured in credit hours as are graduation and degree requirements. And for both the academic supply side and the demand side -- employers and society in general -- it appears that what a student actually learns matters less than the credit, in the form of a diploma or degree, that they obtained. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:38 - - Permalien [#]