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.

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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

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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 >>>

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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.

Beyond the Post: 9/25/2020

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.

BA Featured

On September 20, Matt Alex and Joel Mathew of Beyond Academics were featured on the radio show Get Down To Business with Shalom Klein. During the show, Matt, Joel, and Shalom discuss the extreme need of innovation, entrepreneurship, and more student-centric values in higher education.

As always, comment below or send us an email. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what we discussed during the show.

Higher Ed in the Press

Strategic Education, Inc. and Noodle Partners Unite to Provide Employers with Access to a Variety of Education and Upskilling Programs from the Nation’s Leading Universities” press release via Business Wire

The ability for professionals to return to university alongside their career does not have to be the rarity that it is today. With the right innovations and technologies like this one, returning to higher education will become more accessible for people already in the workforce.

“The new WorkforceEdge platform will streamline employers’ access to a network of top educational programs and provide full administration of employee education benefits.”

Read the full press release >>>

Other Posts

“Vouchers Over Virus: How the Department of Education Prioritized Private School Vouchers Over Responding to COVID-19” by Neil Campbell for Center for American Progress

There is a trend in higher education (and primary education, too) of not putting their students first and focusing on revenue. Not only does this hinder the safety of student, it also hinders their potential for better learning.

“Rather than urging schools to follow reopening advice from health experts, the Education Department wasted critical months this summer fighting unsuccessful legal battles to divert additional money to private schools…”

Read the full post >>>

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Beyond the Post: 9/18/2020

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 Premiere

On September 15, we launched our new podcast, The FutureX Podcast. Listen as host Joe Abraham interviews Dr. Rufus Glasper, CEO of The League For Innovation in the Community College. They talk about the culture that fuels innovation and what leaders in Higher Ed should be considering in 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

“UMass Launches Inter-Campus Course Exchange To Expand Offerings For Students by Leveraging Distance Learning Technology” from University of Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts is setting a great example for Higher Ed with a brand new course exchange initiative to make all courses available across all UMass campuses.

BA Bold Thoughts:

What does this mean?

  • More flexibility for students
  • More course seats filled
  • More diverse course offerings

What does this really mean?

This opens the door to national, even global, course exchanges creating limitless opportunities for students.

Read the full post >>>

“Are Universities Going the Way of CDs and Cable TV?” by Michael D. Smith for The Atlantic

Just like television, film, and music, higher education will have to adapt and become digital in order to survive. Doing so may even create a boom in education quality and availability.

“But remember, just because new technology changed the way entertainment was delivered doesn’t mean it impeded the industry’s underlying mission.”

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • There will always be a need for higher education, especially in a time of economic struggle.
  • Traditional learning is a thing of the past, and this false trust in tradition is inhibiting higher education from reaching its full potential.
  • Education needs to become more accesible and moving to digital is the way to do that.

Read the full post >>>

“How to Save Higher Education” by Kevin Carey for Washington Monthly

Higher education is failing. It’s failing itself and it’s failing its students. The only way to save it is to completely reimagine and recreate a system that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

“The need for college won’t go away, however, particularly with widespread unemployment. For-profit colleges backed by private equity will surge into the gap, using aggressive and deceptive marketing tactics to sign up naive students who will pay outsized tuition with no-questions-asked loans from the U.S. Department of Education. Much of that debt will never be repaid, ruining credit, wasting lives, and costing taxpayers billions.”

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • Higher education can benefit greatly from a network of schools that work together to make education more accessible and more sustainable for the institutions.
  • What Higher Ed needs is a realignment of the incentives that cause many organizations to put profit before students.
  • Higher education must become more accessible and affordable in order to remove its burden from an already strained economy.

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.

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The FutureX Podcast: Ep. 01

The FutureX Podcast Premiere

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?

About the Episode

What’s keeping Presidents and senior leaders of higher education institutions up at night these days? Is it any different now than before the pandemic hit? What should leaders in Higher Ed be considering in times of existential change?

These are just a few of the questions we cover in this segment with the CEO of The League For Innovation In The Community College, Dr. Rufus Glasper. Dr. Glasper also shares insight into what questions we need to be asking about our “innovation readiness” and culture within the campus staff.

Beyond the Post: 9/11/2020

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

“An Entrepreneurial Approach to the Higher Ed Solution” by Joe Abraham

Joe Abraham, serial entrepreneur, writes about the importance of viewing higher education through a business lens. Innovation, transparency, and humility are all crucial in fixing a broken system and serving the customer (student) better. Is your organization innovating? Or are you just re-paving old roads?

“Okay Higher Ed, Now What?” by John Thompson-Haas

There is no return to the way things were pre-COVID. Higher Ed must adapt to the new world, change their process, and create student-centric value. In this article, JTH poses some important questions. Do you have the answers?

Other Posts

“Where Does Higher Education Go Next?” by David Rosowsky for Forbes

The pandemic has forced higher education organizations to transform—

“The upside: change was needed and perhaps long overdue. The downside: it’s expensive and not everyone will be successful.”

BA Bold Thoughts:

While it will be expensive, it will be more costly if schools don’t shift.

Opportunities to transform:

  1. Create value by designing an institution that is more “Fit for Purpose” for who you serve
  2. Develop digital culture that’s welcoming, productive, and efficient
  3. Use online presence to differentiate and scale to a broader market

All three of these opportunities are not only very attainable but critical. Schools must recognize the value.

Read the full post >>>

“Designing the Future of Liberal Education” by Steven Mintz for Inside Higher Ed

Is the best way to save liberal education to radically reimagine it? This article talks about the heightened emphasis on applied or experimental learning. The goal is to identify a path in life and develop sense of purpose and opportunity.

“We mustn’t kill liberal education in order to save it, but we must also recognize that it is under genuine threat and that if it fails to adapt, it will only become even more marginal and peripheral.”

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • Liberal Education needs to rewrite the narrative, framing itself as a viable way to prepare for the workforce.
  • For Liberal Education to survive, must it prioritize the practical? If so, when do the previous topics of importance—ethics, art appreciation, history, logic, rhetoric—become overrun by utilitarian needs?

Read the full post >>>

“The Pandemic and Community College Enrollment” by Iris Palmer for New America

There is a lot of uncertainty during this time, especially for the demographics that make up the majority of community college students. As a result, there has been a considerable drop in enrollment.

“We shouldn’t just be concerned about colleges but also about the people who will need to seek training to rejoin the labor market.”

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • Community colleges are essential to strengthening the post-pandemic economy.
  • Community colleges must do everything they can to accommodate students in the new world, and change their models to be more student-centric.

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.

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