Beyond the Post: 10/23/20

Beyond Academics asks to hear your thoughts, comments, and opinions on the topics we’ve covered throughout the week. Let’s keep the conversation about Higher Education going.

BA Is On YouTube!

Beyond Academic has two YouTube channels: Beyond Academics and the recently launched FutureX Podcast.

Watch the latest videos from Beyond Academics, or listen to Joe Abraham on the FutureX podcast as he interviews the top leaders in higher education.

Matt Alex Discusses the Value of Microlearning

Joe Abraham Interviews Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc, President of SNHU

Be sure to subscribe to both of these channels to stay up-to-date with the latest in Higher Ed from Beyond Academics.

Other Posts

“Who Should Take College-Level Courses?” by Elisabeth A. Barnett, Elizabeth Kopko, Dan Cullinan, and Clive R. Belfield for CAPR

Are standardized tests a good way to determine if a student can succeed in college-level Math and English courses?

Virtually all schools use placement test to evaluate if a student is ready for college level math or English courses. 68% of community college students and 40% of students at public four-year colleges take at least one of these developmental courses. Many students are assigned to multiple levels of math and English developmental courses—which further delay their entry into full college work. The more developmental courses they have, the less likely they are to complete their degree.

The  Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR)  completed a study at seven community colleges in the State University of New York System (SUNY) to determine if using a multi-criteria approach to place students in college-level or developmental courses were more likely to complete college-level work. The results were interesting:

  • Using multiple criteria,  placement in college-level English jumped 34 percentage points, from 46 to 80 percent of students.
  • Students who placed into college-level courses because of multiple measures were 8–10% more likely to complete college-level math or English course within three semesters.
  • Students who were placed into developmental courses were 8–10 percentage points less likely to complete college-level math or English course within three semesters.

Read the full post >>>

“Where Are Most International Students? Stranded Here, Needing Colleges’ Help” by Karin Fischer for The Chronicle of Higher Education

There has been a lot of focus on the drop in enrollment of foreign students in American universities. However, according to the Institute of International Education 9 of 10 foreign students who were enrolled in American universities at the time COVID lockdowns started are still in the US, stranded.

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • How can Higher Ed best accommodate and aid these students who are stranded in the US due to the pandemic?
  • What part does Higher Ed play in the national scheme of getting COVID-19 under control and thereby allowing these students to return to their families?

Let us know your thoughts and answers to these questions.

Read the full post >>>

Tell Us Your Thoughts

Comment on this post, reach out on LinkedIn, or submit your take on any of these topics via email. We want to talk with you about the future of Higher Ed.

No comments to show.

The Value of Microlearning in Higher Ed

Matt Alex, talks about microlearning and the new competition of Google and Amazon in the world of e-learning. Higher Ed provides the necessary social skills for people entering the workforce, but colleges and universities can also benefit from introducing microlearning into their curriculum.

Beyond the Post: 10/16/20

Beyond Academics asks to hear your thoughts, comments, and opinions on the topics we’ve covered throughout the week. Let’s keep the conversation about Higher Education going.

Matt Alex Talks Microlearning

Matt Alex, talks about microlearning and the new competition of Google and Amazon in the world of e-learning. Higher Ed provides the necessary social skills for people entering the workforce, but colleges and universities can also benefit from introducing microlearning into their curriculum.

Has your organization considered, or even introduced, microlearning options as part of the curriculum? If so, we’d love to hear about them!

Other Posts

“A Community College Reopens. At What Cost?” by Madeline St. Amour for Inside Higher Ed

Miami Dade College doesn’t rely on room and board and is located in a COVID-19 hotspot. So why are they reopening despite pushback from faculty and students? Their vice president, Lenore Rodicio, says it’s because “students have different preferences for how to learn.”

  • 73% of students, or 1,762, said they preferred face-to-face instruction.
  • In a more recent study, 51% said they have a preference for face-to-face instruction.
  • 600 out of 700 faculty are teaching remotely.

BA Bold Thoughts:

Should flexibility replace safety, especially in a place where COVID-19 cases are still very high? If not, when is the right time to reopen? (COVID hotspot or not.)

Read the full post >>>

“A Generation Defined by the Pandemic” by Greta Anderson for Inside Higher Ed

This article outlines how students are feeling about the fall semester and what they have found to be the most challenging thing about attending class during a pandemic.

BA Bold Thoughts:

Students in 2020 are feeling isolated, stressed, and are experiences feeling of self doubt. How can we as Higher Ed leaders ease these concerns?

  • We must create a campus affinity for digital learning so that students feel they are not in this alone.
  • We must optimize the digital campus so that students can continue to learn in the way they learn best.
  • We must create real value for digital campuses that go beyond what is offered at physical campuses: this includes more classes, more specialized classes, and learning that promotes both Human-Centric Values and real-world skills.

Read the full post >>>

Tell Us Your Thoughts

Comment on this post, reach out on LinkedIn, or submit your take on any of these topics via email. We want to talk with you about the future of Higher Ed.

No comments to show.

The FutureX Podcast: Ep. 02

Embracing the Mindset of Transformation

In this episode, Joe Abraham interviews Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc, President of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Forbes Magazine has listed him as one of its 15 “Classroom Revolutionaries” and one of the “most influential people in higher education.” Listen in on their conversation.

Joe gets a refreshing perspective from Dr. LeBlanc where they discuss these discussion points and more.

• What Higher Ed’s role is in preparing students for the future of work?
• What does the future of learning look like?
• What role does an entrepreneurial mindset play in Higher Ed?
• How does the word “consensus” fit into times of existential change?

You will leave this episode inspired, intrigued, and optimistic about the future.

About the Podcast

In The FutureX Podcast, host Joe Abraham interviews the best and brightest minds inside and outside higher education. It’s fun, informative, and inspirational. What does the future hold for Higher Ed?

Beyond the Post: 10/9/2020

Beyond Academics asks to hear your thoughts, comments, and opinions on the topics we’ve covered throughout the week. Let’s keep the conversation about Higher Education going.

The FutureX Podcast

Tune in to the second episode of The FutureX Podcast. In this episode, host Joe Abraham interviews Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc, President of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Forbes Magazine has listed him as one of its 15 “Classroom Revolutionaries” and one of the “most influential people in higher education.”

What Higher Ed’s role is in preparing students for the future of work? What does the future of learning look like? What role does an entrepreneurial mindset play in Higher Ed? How does the word “consensus” fit into times of existential change?

As always, sound off in the comments or send us an email. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Other Posts

“4 Steps To Turn Makeshift Digital Transformation Into Long-Term Success” by Tomoko Yokoi for Forbes

This week, Forbes posted an excellent article on how to turn your quick digital response to COVID into long term success.

BA Bold Thoughts:

Institutions need to take these steps:

  • Empower a well-funded team focused on digital transformation. This will shorten the decision cycle and cut through bureaucracy.
  • Set up a process to capture great ideas from within your institution as well as from your students, alumni, and the local community.
  • Create a “Rapid Test and Learn” environment. The mantra “fail fast and fail often” can waste precious time and resources when the life of your institution may be at stake. It is better to create a “test-and-learn” environment that supports hypothesis-driven experiments and tests, coupled with a rapid turnaround of the results.
  • Think about how your short-term response will support you over a long period of time. Ask questions like: “Is the short-term solution flexible enough to accommodate changes in an evolving technical environment?” “What is the purpose of our overall digital transformation?”

Read the full post >>>

“3 Biggest Reasons Why a Company’s Digital Transformation Fails” by Mike Stahnke for The Next Web

This article compliments the above article from Forbes. When transforming to digital, here are some things you should avoid doing.

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • Digital has a connotation of being cold, unfeeling, and not human, but it’s 2020 and that’s not the case.
  • Digital culture is more important than the technicalities of learning online. You have to create campus affinity.
  • Higher education must be willing to make the necessary changes to truly adapt and transform. Ingrained traditions cannot stand in the way of making a successful digital shift.

Read the full post >>>

Tell Us Your Thoughts

Comment on this post, reach out on LinkedIn, or submit your take on any of these topics via email. We want to talk with you about the future of Higher Ed.

No comments to show.

Beyond the Post: 10/2/2020

Beyond Academics asks to hear your thoughts, comments, and opinions on the topics we’ve covered throughout the week. Let’s keep the conversation about Higher Education going.

Our Posts

“Technology Enables. Ideas Transform.” by John Thompson-Haas

This week, John Thompson-Hass continues to write about “what’s next” for Higher Ed. He explains how technology is only a tool. But not all tools are built for the job.

“To succeed schools must seek out those consultants and firms that truly understand the business of higher education and how it operates, rather than those firms whose primary expertise is a specific software or technical solution.”

What technologies has your organization implemented and do you think they are truly adding value to your school? Do the tools enable transformative thinking?

As always, comment below or send us an email. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Other Posts

“COVID-19 Info on Your Website: A Few Best Practices” by
Michael Stoner for Inside Higher Ed

This article from Inside Higher Ed feeatures some best practices for making COVID-19 information easily accesible to student and parents via your website.

“It should be easy for visitors to find information about campus reopening and COVID-19 information from your homepage and on-site search.”

BA Bold Thoughts

We often talk about how colleges and universtiies need to be more student-centric. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Finding COVID-19 information should be easy. Students should see it on the front page of your website and through your on-site search feature.
  • Stay in constant contact with students and parents via email.
  • Keep information up-to-date

How is your school keeping students, parents, and faculty updated?

Read the full article >>>

“Campus Life Sans Covid: A Few Colleges Write the Playbook for Pandemic Success” by Juan Perez Jr. for Politico

How do campuses remain open during a global pandemic? It may seem obvious, but:

“Schools finding success are deploying methods health experts have recommended for months for the whole country to keep the virus under control.”

This article from Politico calls out some colleges who have opened their campuses the right way and have the best chances of keeping it that way.

BA Bold Thoughts

An unusual  story in this day and age, these schools share certain characteristics:

  • Stringent testing requirements
  • Strict monitoring of social distance rules and mask-wearing
  • No sports
  • Are located in communities that have control over the situation

These may seem simple, but is your school doing these things and doing them right?

Read the full article >>>

No comments to show.

Technology Enables. Ideas Transform.

Technology won’t solve our problems. Technology is a tool, like a hammer or a saw. A power saw will only make you more efficient at building something—it won’t make you a better designer or a better carpenter.

But that is not what most consulting companies will tell you. Article after article, pitch after pitch, consulting firms will tell you that this or that technology is going to “transform your school” and make your institution “better faster and more competitive.” But, until you know your goals and the outcomes you are striving for, you won’t be able to select the technology you actually need. It would be like going to your tool chest and grabbing a saw before knowing if you need to cut a board or change a faucet.

The view that technology alone is transformational is deeply rooted in the 1990s and 2000s. In those eras, technology had a significant impact on higher education—automating paper processes while making transactions faster and easier to track. Massive amounts of paper disappeared as processes moved online. But, in the end, the technology didn’t transform higher education; it only transformed how day-to-day administrative processes were executed.

Yet, consultants continue to promise technology will “transform your business.” And the technology that firms tell you will transform your business happens to be what is sold by the vendors they are aligned with. Most consultants are experts on how a software package operates within a school, not on how a school operates and delivers value.

Technology enables. Ideas transform.

The world is changing fast. You need to step back and ask: What do I do, now? What do I do to develop and deliver on my institution’s vision and mission? What do I do to deliver value to students for their tuition dollars? What do I do to ensure my students are able to use our institution to become lifelong learners? How do I best prepare my students for a rapidly changing job market that has opportunities for graduating seniors that did not exist four years ago when they were first-year students?

None of these “Now what?” questions are answered simply by implementing an updated software.

To serve our industry, consultants must move away from the techno-centric answer to every question. They must learn to answer the “Now what?” questions schools are asking as they face this tidal wave of change. We need to change our focus from what is simply enabling to what is truly transformational.

Only after these questions are answered can the “How do we do it?” question be answered. The answer to that question doesn’t have to be new software. It can be a change in the business process. Or it can be a change in who the school targets to recruit, what programs it offers, or how it supports its community.

So, now what?

First, institutions need to focus on developing strategies and actions to meet the challenges they face and worry about technology later. To succeed, schools must seek out those consultants and firms that truly understand the business of higher education and how it operates, rather than those firms whose primary expertise is a specific software or technical solution.

To succeed, schools must seek out those consultants and firms that truly understand the business of higher education and how it operates, rather than those firms whose primary expertise is a specific software or technical solution.

Consultants need to start the hard work of understanding how higher education operates and what its challenges actually are. They must change their focus from technology-only solutions to business outcomes. They should only propose a technical solution that supports specific outcomes, and only after those outcomes are well understood.

Consulting firms need to drive their business knowledge lower in the staffing pyramid. The practice of sending in a team of new, industry-inexperienced consultants to do the day-to-day work of the project, with the real experts making infrequent visits should end. Experts should be readily available to guide your institution in creating a strategy as well as sharing their knowledge with the rest of their team.

Clients need to choose only those consulting firms that are willing to build long partnerships with them that go beyond technical implementation. Time and money are too tight to pick a consultant who simply installs your software and walks away.

Institutions need to find partners who will help them answer the “Now what?” questions today, tomorrow, and long into the future. They need partners who understand what they are trying to do, ones that won’t simply hand them a power saw to fix a faucet.