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19 août 2013

College costs have some graduating early

http://www.nwherald.com/images/northwest-herald.pngBy Emily K. Coleman. Taylor Berge didn’t walk into college planning to graduate early. But going through her four-year plan with her guidance counselor, the Johnsburg High School grad realized it was a possibility.
“I looked at it as I can spread everything out and take four years of school and pay for all of that and have a short-term summer job, which barely gets you everything, or I can cram it all into one and I’ll have the loans, but once I get my actual job, it will be a lot easier to pay it off quicker,” Berge said. “I just prioritized that way instead.”
While the decision means the 21-year-old is missing out on what would have been her senior year – she plans on visiting her friends often – it also means she can start graduate school at Elmhurst College a year sooner to get her master’s degree in psychology. More...

19 août 2013

Master’s Degree Is New Frontier of Study Online

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/nytlogo152x23.gifBy . Next January, the Georgia Institute of Technology plans to offer a master’s degree in computer science through massive open online courses for a fraction of the on-campus cost, a first for an elite institution. If it even approaches its goal of drawing thousands of students, it could signal a change to the landscape of higher education. From their start two years ago, when a free artificial intelligence course from Stanford enrolled 170,000 students, free massive open online courses, or MOOCs, have drawn millions and yielded results like the perfect scores of Battushig, a 15-year-old Mongolian boy, in a tough electronics course offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Read more...

19 août 2013

Higher ed should lobby for impact, not dollars

http://blogs.winthrop.edu/president/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/comstockHead.jpgBy Jayne Marie Comstock. In recent weeks, I’ve been asked frequently to comment on the cost of higher education. Of course, I try to turn that conversation into a discussion about the value of higher education, rather than the cost. But, before I make the cost-value flip, I take advantage of the opportunity to explain that there is a direct, inverse relationship between the cost of tuition and fees at public colleges within a state and the funding that state provides to its public colleges and universities.
Consider this: Data from the U.S. Department of Education reveal that South Carolina has the 7th highest average annual tuition and fees for public higher education and ranks 48th in percentage of institutional revenue provided by state funding. In contrast, Florida has the lowest average tuition costs and the 8th highest percentage of college revenue that comes from state budgets. Read more...

19 août 2013

Virtualization

http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/styles/blog_landing/public/confessions_of_a_community_college_dean_blog_header.jpg?itok=rd4sr8khBy Matt Reed. Apparently, this is turning into “begging for ideas” week. Please forgive the dreadful manners. I know juuuuuust enough about IT to be dangerous. I recently heard an IT idea that strikes me as obviously great, but experience has taught me that ideas that look obviously great at first blush can hide great sins among the details. So I’m hoping that some folks who have been through this can shed some light. The idea is “virtualization,” and my bowdlerized understanding of it is as follows. In traditional on-campus computer labs, every computer has its own CPU and performs its own calculations and processes. The computers are networked to each other and to the internet, for obvious reasons, but each is capable of doing some pretty serious internal processing. If you want to run a program on all of the computers in a lab, you have to install it on each computer individually.  Although much of what computers do is online now, we still pay for and maintain all those separate computer brains within each station. Read more...

19 août 2013

Practices of Communities

http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/styles/blog_landing/public/library_babel_fish_blog_header.jpg?itok=qNL3hM7KBy Barbara Fister. I’ve been around long enough that I remember the first e-mail I ever sent (mistakenly putting the entire message in the subject line because I had no idea how it worked; the person I was trying to reply to kindly called me on the phone and talked me through it). I remember the first time I joined a professional Listserv and how amazing it was to be in conversation with several hundred professionals around the world who were interested in the same things as me. Being at a small institution where you represented a subdiscipline felt pretty lonely. You could read the literature and attend a conference once a year, if you could afford it, but otherwise shoptalk was rare and precious. Having a daily conversation with like-minded folks was wonderful. Read more...

19 août 2013

Mobile Learning Lessons From the Audible App

http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/styles/blog_landing/public/technology_and_learning_blog_header.jpg?itok=aQthgJ91By Joshua Kim. My goal is to read a book a week. You?  The majority of my book reading is audio, and nowadays my preferred reading platform is an iPhone 5 and the Audible app. The Audible app is interesting because it demonstrates both the advantages and limitations of a mobile and app-centric approach. There may also be some lessons in how Audible has designed the app, and how audiobook listeners interact with the app, for mobile learning. The most important advantage of the Audible app is that I can utilize the device (the iPhone) that I always have with me. Consuming audiobooks from my phone means I never need to remember to take another device, never need to worry about syncing, charging, or managing yet another piece of technology. Read more...

19 août 2013

Debating the Dropout Data on Argentina

http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/styles/blog_landing/public/the_world_view_blog_header.jpg?itok=P3OlGEpQBy Cristina Bonasegna Kelly and Daniel Levy. A Few Final Comments on the Dropout Problem, Cristina Bonasegna Kelly
Ana Fanelli has written a most thoughtful response to my piece and she adds very interesting and valuable data. I was aware that, since students take longer than the scheduled five years to graduate, the best way to count the drop-outs would be to compare the number of enrollees and graduates of each cohort. But since the figures are unavailable,  I figured that I could establish a reasonable estimate of the graduation rate by comparing  the number of enrollees with the number of graduates each year, given that the level of enrollment remains more or less stable at public universities.  I know it is a very simple methodology but it compensates for the fact that in Argentina it is not uncommon for students to  take 10 years to graduate, or even longer. Read more...
Complexities in Understanding Argentina’s High Dropout Rate, Daniel Levy
The blog Argentina at the Top — For Its Dropout Rate! highlights an alarming fact: Argentina’s dropout rate. It is put at 73%. Beyond being alarmed and saddened, however, what are we to make of the situation, its causes, and what might be done? As I reflect on the blog’s quite reasonable interpretations, and offer some additional interpretations, I’m impressed by how uncertain such interpretations are. Read more...

19 août 2013

Ratings

http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/styles/blog_landing/public/provost.jpg?itok=k-3W3N__By Herman Berliner. In my last blog, I noted my high regard for the ratings and more importantly the objectivity of Consumer Reports. But there are so many goods and services not ranked by Consumer Reports or any other objective judge that in many cases we are left to our own improvised rankings or, and even worse, questionable third party judgments. I have for many years used my own ratings system for rankings of hotels. Within a particular star category, I judge a hotel by the orange juice available at breakfast.  If the juice tastes like it comes from watered down concentrate, I immediately downgrade the hotel; if the orange juice tastes fresh squeezed, the hotel rises in my opinion.  Bathrooms are also often good proxies for the quality of a hotel.  In a recent trip, the bathroom provided was so small that even my 15 pound dog would find the accommodations tight.  Chocolate on the pillow, on the other hand, has turned out not to be a good proxy for hotel quality, though I do believe that providing chocolate mints is a good indication that the provider doesn’t understand and appreciate the richness and quality of chocolate. Read more...

19 août 2013

Controlling Your Web Destiny

http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/styles/blog_landing/public/technology_and_learning_blog_header.jpg?itok=aQthgJ91By Joshua Kim. What is your web presence? Can colleagues, bloggers,  journalists, or potential employers find you online? What would they find if they searched for you? Is your CV updated and viewable online? Do you have one place that brings together your employment history, professional accomplishments, educational background, and links to your writing and presentations? 
If you are like me, the answer to all these questions would be no.
This past weekend, with some pushing and guidance from my brother Max, I finally changed that and created my own professional web page. Read more...

19 août 2013

A Call for Nuance

http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/all/themes/ihecustom/logo.jpgBy Scott Jaschik. Derek Bok can hardly be accused of being unwilling to criticize American higher education. His 2007 book, Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More, lived up to its title. But in his new book, Higher Education in America (Princeton University Press), Bok appears impatient with the cottage industry producing books saying that colleges are doomed to fail, cost too much, are too liberal (politically), are too conservative (in terms of unwillingness to change) and any number of other criticisms. Bok -- the former president of Harvard University -- notes very real problems in American higher education. But he writes that "the principal problems with many of the criticisms ... is not that they are wrong, but that their sweeping nature diverts attention from significant weaknesses that can and should be remedied." Read more...

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