EDU news curated by Kiosk: Online learning update…and other higher ed news

Online and hybrid learning are increasingly popular. Now colleges have to keep up.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Eighty-one percent of the administrators surveyed reported that enrollment of traditional-age undergraduates in in-person courses stagnated or declined between the fall of 2021 and the fall of 2022, the time period examined. Meanwhile, 56 percent of them said that enrollment in online or hybrid classes grew. The report defines traditional-age undergraduates as younger than 25 years old. … Colleges, meanwhile, are still figuring out how to respond, the survey found. Around 40 percent of administrators surveyed said they are prioritizing the demand for online learning. Thirty-six percent agreed that their institutions are ‘reexamining our strategic priorities in light of demands,’ while 10 percent said the push to online learning is ‘difficult to keep up’ with.”


The next iteration of community college?

From Inside Higher Ed: is the brainchild of Tade Oyerinde … Campus’s goal is building a national online community college that uses the CUNY ASAP model of high-touch student support and full-time instruction, taught by adjunct professors from prestigious universities, to achieve a completion rate of at least 50 percent. Oyerinde has bought an existing for-profit college as the foundation for Campus and raised $29 million so far. Enrollment now stands at about 800 students, and its first cohort is due to graduate early next year, with a completion rate he expects to be in the low 40s. … And the focus is on affordability. In Campus’s case, tuition, fees and books are meant to be covered by a full Pell Grant, which totals roughly $7,000.”


Majority of students cheat in online exams – study

From Times Higher Education: “A majority of students cheated in online exams conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic, a landmark study suggests. A review of 19 surveys with more than 4,600 participants in total found that 54.7 per cent of respondents admitted cheating in online exams during the pandemic, compared with 29.9 per cent before coronavirus. … Professor Newton and co-author Keioni Essex found that many students cheated simply because an easy opportunity presented itself.”


Direct admissions boosts applications, but not enrollment

From Inside Higher Ed: “Large-scale study finds that guaranteeing free, simplified admission increases college applications from minoritized, low-income and first-gen students, but cost still deters them from enrolling. … The results showed that students who received direct admission offers were nearly twice as likely as those who didn’t to apply to the institution that made the offer and 2.7 percentage points more likely to apply to any college or university. … But those applications did not translate into higher rates of enrollment. … Direct admission ‘is still not sufficient to yield positive impacts on college enrollment,’ the study said. ‘Affordability constraints represent a growing barrier to college access, and direct admissions is not a replacement for financial aid.’”


Spending summer in class means these college students will be done in three years

From The Hechinger Report: “ROCHESTER, Minn. — As her friends return to college this fall, Kelsey DeSmith is way ahead of them. DeSmith has been taking in-person classes throughout the summer at the University of Minnesota Rochester, or UMR, while also spending 12 hours a week in a paid internship, on her path to graduating with a bachelor’s degree and getting out into the working world in three rather than the conventional four years. … There are 10 students in this program, their presence a quiet challenge to two long-held assumptions about getting a bachelor’s degree: that it has to take four years or longer and that students don’t want to go to college in the summer, when most four-year universities and colleges all but shut down.”


Why fixing the transfer process is an equity issue for colleges

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Two-year colleges enroll a disproportionate number of Black and Hispanic undergraduates, who rely on the transfer process to save time and money while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. So community colleges would seem to be a natural recruiting ground for colleges that are now legally banned from considering an applicant’s race in admissions. … But transfer plans are too often dashed by confusing requirements, red tape, and unexpected setbacks, several experts told The Chronicle last week in a virtual panel on transforming the transfer process. The result? While four out of five students who start at a two-year college hope to complete a four-year degree, fewer than one in five do so …”


What just happened at West Virginia University should worry all of us

From The New York Times: “In proposing last week to eliminate 169 faculty positions and cut more than 30 degree programs from its flagship university, West Virginia, the state with the fourth-highest poverty rate in the country, is engaging in a kind of educational gerrymandering. If you’re a West Virginian with plans to attend West Virginia University, be prepared to find yourself cut out of much of the best education that the school has traditionally offered … The planned cuts include the school’s program of world languages and literatures, along with graduate programs in mathematics and other degrees across the arts and pre-professional programs. The university is deciding, in effect, that certain citizens don’t get access to a liberal arts education.”


Students need SEL, too

From Inside Higher Ed: “Adolescence is a time of phenomenal physical and cognitive growth. For the cohort of young people arriving on college campuses this fall, these internal changes have unfolded amid an external world that is evolving even more rapidly, causing intense growing pains in the process.The meteoric rise of social media and smartphone technology has mirrored a similarly steep increase in adolescent mental health concerns … Research confirms that SEL improves students’ relationships, reduces their emotional distress and increases their academic engagement and accomplishment. Plus, it does so sustainably and equitably, across categories including race, ethnicity, income, gender and age.”


Gen z’s declining college interest persists — even among middle schoolers

From The 74 Million: “Consumed with pandemic-era grief, Gen Z’s apathy towards attending college has grown — even influencing students as young as middle schoolers. A new YPulse report found two in five Gen Z students agreed with the statement: ‘The pandemic has made me less interested in pursuing higher education.’ Middle school students, generally 11 to 13 years old, not only contribute to the trend but also lead the view that work experience is more valuable. That attitude has translated into an 8% decline in college enrollment from 2019 to 2022, showing how attending college is no longer a given for Gen Z.”


ChatGPT calls for scholarship, not panic

From Inside Higher Ed: “’The truth is that we don’t really know (yet) how students are engaging with ChatGPT, Andrew C. Higgins writes. … This summer, I taught an online course on grammar, which I also taught in the spring. In March, ChatGPT struggled to accurately complete the exercises I fed it, but when I resubmitted those exercises in July, I noticed a marked improvement in the bot’s ability to identify the different components of sentences. My students could easily have been using ChatGPT to complete the assignments. But their work looked the same as it did in the spring, or in the many iterations of this course that I taught before ChatGPT arrived. … for many college students, revision is difficult, and blending documents with distinct voices and styles into a cohesive whole is a daunting task.”


In UK Education News

A-level results: students securing university places drops again

From Times Higher Education: “Fewer UK 18-year-olds have gained a place at their first-choice university following attempts to reverse the grade inflation of the past few years. Ucas data for the 2023 results day shows that 230,600 UK 18-year-olds have been accepted on to courses – down slightly from last year, and 6 per cent from the peak of 245,330 in 2021.”



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