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While universal adoption of mobile-friendly technology among alumni associations lags behind other industries, University of Virginia’s new mobile app feature looks to reshape how schools spark alumni participation and engagement. Through augmented reality technology, the feature allows alumni to take a video or picture with a 3-D hologram of the university’s mascot, the Cav Man. Accompanied by a social media campaign, this capability goes beyond those of other alumni mobile apps tracked by Corporate Insight’s Alumni Monitor.
Developed by UVA alumnus Shawn Flaherty—whose firm Balti Virtual develops augmented and virtual reality technology—the digital mascot poses and dances in sync with the university’s fight song, “The Good Ol’ Song.” The app allows users to either pose for a picture or take a video with the hologram Cav Man.
In a survey of 1,500 "past, present and prospective fully online students," most are taking advantage of — or want — the option to use smartphones or tablets for their class work. Among current and past students, 67 percent completed at least some of their online coursework on a mobile device. The most common activities handled that way: accessing course readings (referenced by 51 percent of respondents), communicating with professors (51 percent) and fellow students (44 percent), accessing the learning management system (45 percent), doing research for reports (41 percent) and finishing assignments (40 percent). Less than a third (31 percent) of online students said they were accessing lectures via mobile.
The research was conducted by Learning House, a company that manages online programs for colleges and universities, and Aslanian Market Research, a research arm of EducationDynamics, which performs student prospecting and enrollment management.
Imagine a college classroom buzzing with activity: Students conduct research and build presentations using a customized, interactive tool on their laptops. Through the learning management system, the instructor can peek at their work and provide feedback—even to those taking the course online or at a satellite campus.
Suddenly, in the middle of class, the research and presentation tool locks up. Neither students nor instructor can access it from the LMS.
No more ID cards for University of Alabama students with an Apple Watch or iPhone.
Apple said in a statement said only have to raise their wrist to gain access to places including the library, dorms and events, pay for snacks, laundry and dinners around campus, the Tuscaloosa News reported . The software was presented this week as students with an Apple Watch or iPhone can add their ID cards to the wallet for usage this fall.
UA president Stewart Bell spoke more in depth about the pilot program at a board meeting last week. The new software is cost free.
“We have actually been working on this project for some time a little bit under the cloak of secrecy,” Bell said. “It is a next-generation technology program that will allow our students to have access to security issues and things they pay for.”
The college affordability crisis is a familiar story to most Americans. A simplified version often goes that state funding for higher-ed institutions has decreased dramatically over the years, which has translated into massive tuition hikes for students and their families.
Sandy Baum, a fellow in the Education Policy Program at the Urban Institute, watches the issue—and its proposed solutions—closely. The story usually gets encapsulated into examples of students trapped in hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. And while this may be the case for some students, Baum notes that it’s not always the full picture.
The workplace of the future will be marked by unprecedentedly advanced technologies, as well as a focus on incorporating artificially intelligent algorithms of automation to drive higher levels of production with fewer resources. Employers and education stakeholders, noting the reality of this trend, question whether students will be workforce ready in the years to come.
This has become a significant concern for higher education executives, finding that their business models could be disrupted as they fail to meet workforce demands. A 2018 Gallup and Northeastern University survey shows that of 3,297 U.S. citizens interviewed, only 22% of those with a bachelor’s degree said their education left them “well” or “very well prepared” to use AI in their jobs
A new report repeats a familiar call for higher education to better train graduates with the skills employers need, but also makes a series of recommendations about how institutions can initiate such “demand driven education”, which it claims will be the third wave of higher education reform.
The Demand Driven Education report says higher education has had stages of reform that first focused on access for all types of students and then their success. Now, the report says, it should turn attention to better preparing students for jobs available now and that will develop in the future.
There is a large body of work on change management (search “change management books” to see for yourself), any number of consultants to help out in the process, and ideas like “Total Quality Improvement” and “Disruptive Innovation” are now part of many managers’ playbooks these days. Why so much attention, so many competing theories and ready consultants? Because culture change is hard. Harder still if you are trying to drive an innovation agenda in higher education, one of the most change-averse industries in our society.
Southern New Hampshire University is often cited as one of the most innovative universities in the country. College presidents often bring their teams here to visit and the question often asked is, “How do we create a culture of innovation?”
Tolstoy wrote: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” In a sense, the struggle to create a culture of innovation is similar: It is different for every institution and the solutions will thus look different for every institution. There is no standard playbook, but there are three constants that, when ignored or mishandled, almost always condemn the effort to failure. While the list of things that worked for SNHU may or may not work for another institution, these three factors are critical to reshaping institutional culture.
The prevailing narrative about higher ed has been that many universities are averse to risk, unresponsive to the realities of the changing political economy, and generally suspect of change. This narrative, however, oversimplifies the narrow definition of “innovation” in higher education and disparages the hard work of those faculty and staff who have been asked for decades to do more with less.
With the rapid changes to the higher ed environment, it’s unfair to say that there is no innovation or creative change within our institutions. In fact, those in higher ed have little choice but to adapt to the rapidly shifting context of their work for and with students. But the pressures to engage in certain kinds of innovation—toward a model of the revenue-first public university with a streamlined curriculum that eschews difference—continues. And, as it does, the image of the conservative academy takes center stage, an august body of scholars unwilling to adapt their long-held traditions.
In March 2018, the EdPlus Action Lab at Arizona State University released Making Digital Learning Work: Success Strategies from Six Leading Universities and Community Colleges. The comprehensive study, conducted in partnership with Boston Consulting Group, provides actionable data, rich case studies and best practice recommendations for institutions looking to scale digital learning. In this interview, Lou Pugliese discusses some of the study’s findings and shares his thoughts on how to stoke innovation in a postsecondary environment.
The EvoLLLution (Evo): What were some of the driving forces that led you to look at best practices for digital learning?
Lou Pugliese (LP): There were two main forces driving our study.
The first was that no one had done a comprehensive “deep dive” for the digital learning marketplace. All other studies had a more targeted focus on topics like online efficacy or descriptive statistics. We felt that there was a need for an overarching analysis that looked at the digital learning environment at multiple institutions over the long term to determine proven best practices.
To accomplish this, we triangulated three dimensions which determine whether an institution will be successful in scaling up their online environment: economic, organizational and operational. From there, we pulled a minimum five years’ worth of data from each of the six institutions we studied to get a longitudinal growth pattern for their online programming.
Eight elite private high schools in the Washington area this morning announced that they are dropping out of the Advanced Placement program.
In a joint statement, they said that they were responding to "the diminished utility of AP courses and the desirability of developing our own advanced courses that more effectively address our students’ needs and interests. Collectively, we believe a curriculum oriented toward collaborative, experiential, and interdisciplinary learning will not only better prepare our students for college and their professional futures, but also result in more engaging programs for both students and faculty. We expect this approach will appeal to students’ innate curiosity, increase their motivation, and fuel their love of learning."