Study of Colleges Shows ‘Encouraging’ Texts Dramatically Cut Dropout Rates
Excerpt: “A study of three colleges has shown that sending regular encouraging text messages to learners can dramatically cut dropout rates.
The experiment was carried out by the Behavioural Research Centre for Adult Skills and Knowledge (ASK), which was launched last September by social purpose company the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) in partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.”
Will the University of Adelaide’s Lecture Phase-Out Be A Flop?
Excerpt: “The University of Adelaide is planning to completely phase out lectures. In their place will be online materials and small group face-to-face sessions. According to University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor Warren Bebbington, the lecture is dead – and it is not coming back.”
Pricing Online vs On-Campus Courses
Excerpt: “Pricing online courses is an important issue for managing online education. This research note reports a statistical analysis of price differences between online courses and on-campus courses at 103 US educational institutions based on the data available on the Internet. The finding indicates that educational institutions set significantly lower prices of their online courses than that of on-campus courses, private educational institutions set significantly lower prices of their online courses than public institutions, and small institutions or large institutions set significantly lower prices for their online courses than medium-sized institutions.”
Feds Mull Experiment on Aid and Accreditation for Alternative Providers
Excerpt: “The U.S. Department of Education continues to work on its plan to grant experimental federal aid eligibility to partnerships between accredited colleges and alternative providers, such as job skills boot camps, coding academies and MOOCs.
A wide range of experts have been summoned to the White House for a meeting at the end of July to discuss this growing space. And department officials say they are seeking comments on how best to spot and ensure quality with nontraditional providers.
“We think that a new set of quality assurance questions will need to be developed to ask hard, important questions about student learning and outcomes,” said Ted Mitchell, under secretary of education, in a blog post last week. “These questions will help students, taxpayers and those evaluating educational programs separate programs that are high quality from those that do not meet the bar.”
Growing numbers of students are enrolling in noninstitutional programs. For example, roughly 16,000 students are expected to graduate from boot camps this year, Fast Company reported, which is up from 6,740 last year.”
The Fundamental Way That Universities Are an Illusion
Excerpt: “Most colleges, presumably, aren’t harboring in-house credit mills. Yet in its underlying design, organizational values and daily operations, North Carolina is no different from most other colleges and universities. These organizations are not coherent academic enterprises with consistent standards of classroom excellence. When it comes to exerting influence over teaching and learning, they’re Easter eggs. They barely exist.”
Internet Economics: Scale and Online Higher Education
Excerpt: “The challenge of scale in higher education is not merely technological – it’s organizational and social, as well. While achieving scale is fundamental to most enterprises, it can be deleterious in higher education. Increasing access and reducing price can actually hamper an institution’s value in the marketplace. Value is based, in part, on maximizing exclusivity: an institution’s reputation typically increases when it admits fewer applicants than competing institutions.”