TEACHING & LEARNING
Last year, eight universities across the country embarked on a bold experiment to see if they can scale up the use of adaptive courseware to increase retention and graduation rates. With support from the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU), these schools have set a target of using adaptive courseware for 15 to 20 percent of general education course enrollments between spring 2017 and fall 2019. APLU's Personalized Learning Consortium is overseeing the grant program, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
College is over. Not today, and not next week, but it’s time has come. The evidence is simple and easy to decipher. Consider this:
The U.K. offices of Ernst & Young have announced they will stop requiring degrees, but instead will offer online testing and search out talented individuals regardless of background. Why? They say there is no correlation between success at university and success in careers.
Maggie Stilwell, EY’s managing partner for talent, said the changes would “open up opportunities for talented individuals regardless of their background and provide greater access to the profession”.
Why would E&Y do this and why do I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg? Last month, the US Department of Defense awarded my company a large contract to train Cyber Attackers and Defenders. The Pentagon official in charge who awarded this contract, told me that at the start of World War II, the US knew it needed to train 10,000 fighter pilots quickly. Do you think they were concerned about whether their future pilots had college degrees?
The modern massive open online course movement, which began when the first “MOOCs” were offered by Stanford professors in late 2011, is now half a decade old. In that time, MOOC providers have raised over $400 million and now employ more than a thousand staff.
The spotlight on these companies have since dimmed, yet they continue to expand their footprint. In 2016, 23 million people registered for a course for the first time ever, according to data collected by Class Central. A quarter of them signed up through regional MOOC providers such as XuetangX (initiated by Tsinghua University and the Ministry of Education in China) and Miríada X (a joint initiative of Telefónica Educación Digital and Banco Santander through Universia in Latin America). The total of number of students who signed up for at least one course is 58 million, up from an estimated 35 million last year.
Learning trends in higher education this year may have a common goal: combatting the decline in student enrollment. The steady decline in student enrollment in recent years will continue to have a far-reaching effect on campuses across the country.
As recruiters battle for new students that are wary of ever-increasing tuition costs, a greater focus on personalization will be critical to attracting new students and to improving student retention rates.
Additional higher education learning trends in 2017, such as those encountered in employee onboarding, include microlearning, the use of virtual reality, and high-velocity learning to engage, retain and prepare students for a rapidly evolving world.
It's not an exaggeration. I follow news feeds from TNW (thenextweb.com) regularly, the quantum of disruptive technology getting launched is mind-boggling. The learning industry has been like a good kid sitting in "B" stand of the big stadium, watching the action on the field. I am not indicating that there isn't any action happening on the ground, but the impetus is not there. It is about time things change, here are my thoughts around what should the change look like in the next 12 quarters.