EDU news curated by Kiosk: The future of in-person lectures and other higher ed news

Navigating the Currents of Learner Expectations: A Guide for Enrollment Marketers

From Kiosk: Nothing speaks louder than silence. And the record low class attendance in US universities can be viewed as a reflection of the impact of Covid, as well as possibly a difference of opinion between students and professors on pedagogy. Students may not know pedagogical terms, but they have shown a bias towards interactivity. And marketers have seen how prospective students have shifted in their media behaviors (continued use of social media, streaming and on-demand entertainment), which can start to become indicative of the bias within the student body.


Class attendance in US universities ‘at record low’

From Times Higher Education: “Class attendance in US universities is thought to be at a record low, as a technologically fortified brew of stress, mercenary attitudes and – in some cases – low-quality teaching makes pandemic-era no-shows permanent. Academics said that Covid lockdowns had normalised the idea of students skipping classes or watching them remotely.”


No More Attending Classes: These Community Colleges Let Students Learn at Their Own Pace

From The74: “Supporters see the spread of competency-based education as a boon to working adults and other nontraditional students who want additional training and credentials to advance their careers. But critics, including some professors, say it’s a poor substitute for traditional learning. While a few colleges around the country have used competency-based education for some courses, California is set to become the first state to coordinate competency-based programs across eight community college campuses using state-backed curricula. More states may seek to follow that example, according to Amber Garrison Duncan, executive vice president of the Competency-Based Education Network.”


Donor support holds strong for US higher ed

From Times Higher Education: “US colleges and universities are enjoying historically high levels of philanthropy, an annual tally has found, just as the nation’s higher education system grows increasingly concerned about the influence of private donors. US higher education institutions collected $58 billion of donations in the fiscal year that ended this past June, second only to the record level of nearly $60 billion set the previous year, according to the annual survey results from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (Case).”


Colleges counteract a lack of public confidence in higher education with outreach

From NPR: “UVM senior lecturer Kelly Hamshaw, along with her students, are helping KTP and other (mobile home) parks tackle overdue projects, like assessing flood risk … UVM isn’t the only college doing this. Auburn University in Alabama and the University of Wisconsin received money from the same federal program that funds UVM’s work. Glenda Gillaspy at the University of Wisconsin says they’re setting up weather stations to help cranberry farmers time their harvests, which involves flooding their fields. … University officials say restoring trust in higher education isn’t the primary reason they’re doing this work. In Vermont, residents in rural areas like Lisa Mitchell are glad that UVM is making the effort.”


There Are More Good Jobs in Rural America Than It Might Seem. That’s Bad News for Colleges.

From The Chronicle: “The stereotype of rural Americans ‘left behind’ by the economy doesn’t hold water, according to a report released Thursday by Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce. The report’s analysis of data from the U.S. Census shows that rural men are just as likely as their urban counterparts to have jobs with middle-class wages, and that rural workers with a high-school diploma or less are more likely to have such jobs than their urban counterparts.”


Pandemic learning loss could create another enrollment hurdle. What can higher ed do?

From Higher Ed Dive: “Colleges should proactively seek to counter enrollment challenges that could stem from pandemic-era learning loss among K-12 students, including potentially fewer high school graduates — and less prepared students among those who do graduate, according to recent recommendations from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.  Gathering information on what to expect is key, WICHE said. Colleges can analyze assessment results from local school districts and identify readiness challenges affecting students from middle school and onward.”


Talent Disrupted. College graduates, Underemployment and the Way Forward

From Strada Education: “In spite of a historically tight labor market, the underemployment of college graduates remains stubbornly high. Overall, 52 percent of graduates are underemployed a year after graduation. Even a decade after graduation, 45 percent of graduates are underemployed. The first job after graduation is critical. Graduates who start out in a college level job rarely slide into underemployment, as the vast majority of them (79 percent) remain in a college-level occupation five years after graduation. Of those employed in college-level occupation five years after graduating, 86 percent were still in a college level job 10 years out.”


Some employers are wary of Gen Z workers. What can colleges do?

From Higher Ed Dive: “… Career development experts say it’s time to acknowledge that proficiency in empathy, critical thinking and collaboration are required to be successful in most jobs. And some younger employees aren’t cutting it. They say a less-than-perfect storm of events has left Gen Z, generally considered young adults born after 1997, lacking in competencies that, in some cases, have been expected of workers but not explicitly named. … To this end, the Education Design Lab has designed microcredentials for nine core competencies: self-directed learning, empathy, oral communication, critical thinking, resilience, intercultural fluency, collaboration, creative problem-solving and initiative. Over 800 higher ed institutions are offering the courses for free.”


The software says my student cheated using AI. They say they’re innocent. Who do I believe?

From The Guardian: “… If universities treat this as an arms race, it will inevitably harm students who rely on additional support to survive a system that is overwhelmingly biased to white, middle-class, native English speakers without disabilities, and whose parents went to university. Students who don’t fall into those categories are also more likely to turn for support to spelling and grammar checkers like Grammarly, which also uses generative AI to offer stylistic suggestions, putting them at risk of running foul of AI detectors even when the substantive ideas are original. Innocent students will inevitably find themselves in a kind of Kafkaesque computational scenario – accused by one automated software of improperly relying on another.”


Transfers on the Rise

From Inside Higher Education: “The annual ‘Transfer and Progress’ report, found transfers are on the rise, over all and markedly for historically disadvantaged groups, including low-income students, Black and Hispanic students, and rural students. The National Student Clearinghouse researchers analyzed the transfer patterns of 11.7 million undergraduates in fall 2023 at a fixed set of colleges and universities. They found that the number of students who transferred that fall grew 5.3 percent compared to fall 2022. That overall growth included lateral transfers, that is, transfers between four-year institutions or between community colleges, but the surge was mainly driven by a 7.7 percent increase in upward transfer—transfers from two-year colleges to four-year institutions.”


Standardized testing bounceback alarms critics

From Times Higher Education: “Dartmouth College and Yale University recently announced that they would resume requiring standardised admissions test scores, following the Massachusetts Institute of Technology … The three elite institutions said they had come to realise that standardised test scores were the single best predictor of their students’ academic performance, and that considering them in admissions processes helps disadvantaged students who lack other methods of proving their competence. In response, the nation’s leading anti-testing alliance, the National Centre for Fair and Open Testing, or FairTest, has begun sliding into a more caustic tone in its arguments about the issue, declaring that it is getting ‘tired of having to rehash truths’ that it still sees on its side of the debate.”

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