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1.4.16 Higher Ed Weekly Read: Articles Worth Reviewing
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Here are some industry articles that caught our eye recently.

How Strayer University’s new president plans to move the for-profit college ahead. “We believe that coaching is an important part of the experience. Our previous approach really had coaching set outside of the classroom, kind of a separate vertical. You’ve got your classroom experience and separate from that you’ve got your success coach. What we’re testing this term in a few sections is a model that actually has an instructor who serves as both a content instructor as well as a coach for the first year. A lot of these students are coming to us having been outside of the classroom for a while, so let’s create an environment where you’ve got someone who’s providing the instruction, someone who knows the student well, somebody who is engaging with the student regularly.”

MOOCs in 2015: Breaking Down the Numbers. “With a distinct focus on monetization in 2015, many MOOC providers and partner universities offered more courses covering in-demand skills in technology and business fields. The percentage of Computer Science and Programming courses grew more than 10 percent. This growth in technical and business courses has correlated with a decrease in the humanities and social science courses, but overall there is still a healthy balance of technical and non-technical courses.”

6 Questions to Ask About Course Delivery in Online Programs. “1. How often and how much will students interact with the instructor and other students? Whether it’s through video conferences, discussion forums, email or social media, the ability to interact with others is crucial in an online program, experts say.”

The New College Degree: In an Unbundled World, Curation is King. “While the structure and order of experiences that comprise a degree will need to look quite different from the traditional model, we believe a college’s ability to curate learning experiences remains critical. An increasingly adult student population will not enter college as Jean Piaget’s ‘empty vessels’ to be filled with knowledge. In order to respond to the needs of this student population, universities will have to create accelerated pathways for students with work experience and job skills. Seat-time requirements will need to be rethought as courses—and financial aid—are decoupled from the credit hour. Busy adult learners will expect custom, guided academic programs that help them accomplish their career goals. Likewise, employers still value a degree for more than its component parts.“

A Closer Look at Race and Education in the Classroom. “Sometimes it is just a failure of instructors to relate, to understand how students of color process emotions (including frustration and ebullience), how they perceive power dynamics in a classroom, the things an instructor does that discourages their participation and hinders their learning, that contributes to a persistent achievement and engagement gap for students of color.”

What Is the Future of Higher Education? “Reason for despair: The continued dominance of a narrowly ‘practical’ approach at all levels. This is the attitude that says that the exclusive purpose of education is to prepare workers for the labor force. It shows up, among other places, in the overwhelming focus on math and reading in K-12 and the fetishization of STEM fields and universal disparagement of the liberal arts in college. It also underlies the continuing privatization of public education through the promotion of charter schools and other aspects of the ‘reform’ agenda as well as the ongoing defunding of state universities—the idea being that if education serves the purposes of the market, it should be under the control of the market.”

Unizin RFP FOR LMS: An offering to appease the procurement gods? “So why would Unizin issue a public RFP for an LMS? Neither Unizin nor Instructure would agree to provide commentary on the subject due to the RFP rules, but I am quite certain that this move is all about the procurement processes at public universities and not about Unizin looking to change their common usage of Canvas as the LMS.”

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