Colleges and professors teaching MOOCs or thinking about jumping in can learn a few things from these students, who have spent more time in these new virtual classrooms than just about anyone else on the planet.
Among their observations:
- Clarity and organization are key.
- Professors are the stars.
- Text still matters.
- Passion matters most.
Showing 125 posts tagged highered
Are professors who develop and teach MOOCs responsible for how those MOOCs are used?
There are many grads and current teachers out there on #education looking for jobs. While this really interesting interactive search committee on The Chronicle is geared towards highered hiring, it may provide some insight into the process and help you push your application higher in the pile.
Using a data set with about 900 high school valedictorians, she asked whether students applied to highly selective colleges, if they got in, and whether they matriculated.
She found a stark class difference on all these variables, especially between high socioeconomic status (SES) students and everyone else. Over three-quarters of high SES valedictorians (79%) applied to at least one highly selective college. In contrast, only 59% of middle SES and 50% of low SES valedictorians did the same. Admission and matriculation rates followed suit.
According to the annual pay report by The Chronicle of Higher Education, four public university presidents had compensation packages topping $1 million.
This is disgusting. You try not to have a knee jerk reaction, but while tuition and fees rise, why are university presidents earning anything more than $100K? Is there a context behind this not related to greed? How does one not be upset? How can any student be ok with this? Research your school and find out what the overhead is costing you.
“According to the Chronicle report, the median total compensation for the presidents of public research universities was $441,392, up 4.7 percent from the previous year’s $421,395. The median base salary, $373,800, was up 2 percent from $366,519 the previous year.”
My major concern is the increasing standardization of the college experience. In order to make online learning worth the cost of development, institutions must achieve economies of scale so as to spread its costs over a large number of students. But achieving these economies of scale means losing certain intangible aspects of the classroom environment; indeed, online education makes no room for the interpersonal interactions that are an essential part of an authentic education.
My second concern is that cost-saving technologies will have different consequences for rich and poor institutions and for rich and poor students. Public institutions have faced decreased taxpayer subsidies for years and feel acute pressure to reduce costs through standardization. In contrast, wealthy private universities have little incentive to standardize and cheapen their learning environments.
But it turns out that — when asked privately — most presidents don’t seem sure at all that MOOCs are going to transform student learning, or reduce costs to students — two of the claims made by MOOC enthusiasts and an increasing number of politicians and pundits.
“For a while it really felt like a rocket ship, with folks desperate not to be left behind,” says Peter Stokes, executive director of postsecondary innovation at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies.
“I think that phase has passed, and the folks who are starting to do the work are starting to realize that these efforts … have real costs for the institution,” says Mr. Stokes. “And I think that’s creating a little bit more sobriety about how folks view the opportunity.”
The study found that students motivated by a desire for autonomy and competence tended to earn higher grades and show a greater likelihood of persistence than did other students.
Why did you decide to go to college?
Hailey Schnorr has spent years peering into the bedrooms, kitchens, and dorm rooms of students via Webcam. In her job proctoring online tests for universities, she has learned to focus mainly on students’ eyes.
“What we look for is eye movement,” says Ms. Schnorr. “When the eyes start veering off to the side, that’s clearly a red flag.”
The result is a monitoring regime that can seem a bit Orwellian. Rather than one proctor sitting at the head of a physical classroom and roaming the aisles every once in a while, remote proctors peer into a student’s home, seize control of her computer, and stare at her face for the duration of a test, reading her body language for signs of impropriety.
Even slight oddities of behavior often lead to “incident reports,” which the companies supply to colleges along with recordings of the suspicious behavior.
image via flickr:CC | joeythibault
How much proctoring is enough?
THE problem with human-resource managers is that they are human. They have biases; they make mistakes. But with better tools, they can make better hiring decisions, say advocates of “big data”. Software that crunches piles of information can spot things that may not be apparent to the naked eye. In the case of hiring American workers who toil by the hour, number-crunching has uncovered some surprising correlations.
For instance, people who fill out online job applications using browsers that did not come with the computer (such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer on a Windows PC) but had to be deliberately installed (like Firefox or Google’s Chrome) perform better and change jobs less often.
It could just be coincidence, but some analysts think that people who bother to install a new browser may be the sort who take the time to reach informed decisions. Such people should be better employees. Evolv, a company that monitors recruitment and workplace data, pored over nearly 3m data points from more than 30,000 employees to find this nugget.
How long before highered admissions start using similar methods?
photo via flickr:CC | IntelFreePress
New survey results from the ACT assessment organization, made public Wednesday, show a disconnect on the crucial question of college readiness. Eighty-nine percent of high school teachers surveyed said students who finished their classes were well or very well prepared for college work in those subjects.
But 26 percent of college instructors say incoming students are well or very well prepared for first-year courses, the survey found.
With the growing number of MOOCs, online classes, and blended learning, does the current pricing of highered make sense anymore?