Top Three of the Week

Top Three

1. Flipping the Office

Harold Jarche points out that time spent at work frequently kill productivity because the number of meetings that take place.  He suggests that organizations look into flipping the workplace much like the classroom is being flipped.  Creative work should be encouraged at home and face to face meetings should be reserved for essential times of collaboration and team effort.

2. Using Data to Improve Student Success

Dian Schaffhauser of Inside Higher Ed challenges institutions to collect data from their students, staff, and faculty and to also use this data in effective ways. Data must be consolidated into one repository for disaggregation to be efficient and effective.  The author gives three tips for the collection and use of learning analytics:

Collaborate with other institutions

Find out what other schools are doing and see where they have found success. Research to see if these best practices are appropriate for your context.

Don’t jump into an analytics product willy-nilly

There are many new products out there that promise the world, but do your research before leaping at the first “shiny” thing you see.

Take care with ethics and data privacy considerations.

Make sure that you are collecting your data with the knowledge of the staff, faculty, and students and that you only use this data as intended.

3. Online Bookseller Impact College Bookstores Sales

Author Rebecca Koenig describes the reactions of many college bookstores to online book retailers as stand-offish at best.  Many colleges have even banned advertisements for these retailers and have made book resellers know that they are not welcome within so many miles around the colleges.  It appears that students are just trying to save money on their textbooks while college bookstores are trying to save their dying sales model.


What type of program is more rigorous – Traditional or Online?

The 2014 IHE Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology is a revealing look at how traditional faculty view online/hybrid/blended programs and courses. It basically shows, among other things, that the majority of traditional faculty members do not believe that online/hybrid/blended programs are as rigorous as their traditional counterparts . Much of the reason that this perception exists, is because traditional faculty and distance education departments have been working in silos. This non-collaborative working environment leads to inconsistencies that include courses/programs that vary in academic rigor  across the modalities.

There are many cases where the online courses and the associated programs are more rigorous than the equivalent traditional programs.  Many online programs audit their courses through services/rubrics like Quality Matters. This is rarely done in traditional programs. According to Joshua Kim of Inside Higher Ed Blog U, we “need to insist on a baseline of adequate instructional design, project management, and technology support for every online and blended course.”

The truth is that we need to insist that this baseline is applied in every program and modality institutionally. This is the only way that any institution can successfully guarantee academic rigor across the board.

Supporting College Student Success By Rethinking Remediation

Student success should the the number one priority at all colleges and universities, but many schools are not ready to support their students in the area of Math and English remediation.  Most colleges and universities in the United States have a system of lower level, non-transferable remediation classes that a student has to go through before proceeding on to the classes that count toward their degree.  This system costs the student more money in the long run and may lead to frustration, class drops, and potentially school withdrawal.  There has to be a better way! The video below starts the conversation about how we can rethink and redesign how remediation is done.

Effective Policies, Procedures, and Systems to Support Students from Inquiry to Alumni