“Worth Reading” is a hand-picked weekly collection of new and not-so-new articles, ideas, events and other items for busy professionals in higher education.
By eCampus News
After reviewing the major Postsecondary Success projects, several features were identified as having positive effects on student learning:
- Instructional designs or redesigns for entire courses produced significantly greater learning effects compared to less intensive approaches such as designs for supplemental resources.
- Learning effects from digital courseware implementation were greater in community colleges than in four-year colleges.
- Courses in mathematics produced more positive learning effects than courses in other subject areas such as science or the humanities.
- Course implementations using individualized pacing had more positive impacts than those with class-based or a mixed form of pacing.
- Online courses in which students’ dominant role was solving problems or answering questions had more positive effects than those where most of the students’ time was spent reading text or listening to lecture videos.
- Adaptive learning technologies demonstrated larger learning effects than non-adaptive technologies.
By Brendan O’Malley
Excerpt: “Part-time student enrolments in higher education fell by 22% in the two years since university tuition fees were allowed to triple, according to new figures released last Thursday by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, or HESA.
Few magazine editors—myself included—can resist a dash of apocalypse in a cover line, which is why I don’t fault writer Graeme Wood for the question on the front of this month’s Atlantic: “Is College Doomed?” I’ll answer that question anyway: no. The appetite for college is huge. A larger percentage of Americans are pursuing some sort of post-high-school degree than ever before—70 percent in 2009, compared to 45 percent in 1960—and that number keeps rising. Undergraduate education isn’t going away any time soon.
By Keith Hampson
Excerpt: “In higher ed circles, discussions about of UoPeople typically frame the initiative in philanthropic terms: it’s grand and generous, but quite removed from higher education proper. Certainly, generosity came to mind when I spoke with Shai Reshef (pictured above); the Founder and sponsor is modest and plain-spoken, and clearly has a sincere desire to help students. But UoPeople can also be understood as a highly resourceful example of business model innovation. It has hallmarks of textbook disruptive innovation.”
By David J. Deming, Claudia Goldin, Lawrence F. Katz, and Noam Yuchtman, University of California, Berkeley
Excerpt: “We find some evidence that colleges are charging lower prices for online coursework, suggesting that advances in online learning technology might be able to “bend the cost curve” in higher education.”
By Elizabeth Weir
Excerpt: “Let’s say that again- TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS. Let that number sink in. That is the average cost of an intro-level college textbook, with some in the sciences reaching or exceeding $300. To give it context think about this: The average family of four is spending $151 a week on groceries. Most who are paying attention to this problem know the stats: 82% increase in textbook costs between 1982 and 2012 , students are spending an average of $1200 a year on textbooks and materials, up to 65% of students are just opting out of buying materials entirely even when they know it could cause them to fail. Have you ever wondered why the books, and now digital materials, are so expensive? It all starts with the inherently broken market.”
By Maggie Severns
Excerpt: “Got student loans? You are far from alone: More than 38 million Americans have outstanding student loan debt totaling nearly $1 trillion, and those numbers are rising fast. This month, Congress will consider proposals to keep the interest rates on direct federal student loans down. (If it doesn’t act by July 1, the rate for one kind of loan will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.) Regardless of what lawmakers do, many students and graduates will still have to take on large amounts of debt to pay for college.”