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Articles: Classroom

In the movie “Idiocracy,” the world has degenerated to garbage-filled state where people don’t know basic farming. Could this fate be avoided by maintaining support for the liberal arts?

Gene Wade

Gene Wade is making it his goal to provide quality education at a low cost. As cofounder and CEO of UniversityNow, which combines an online learning platform with on-campus partners, Wade offers an easily accessible college education that most people can afford without loans or financial aid.
“I became an education entrepreneur because the current system fails far too many people,” he says.

As a consultant to schools on programming for students with autism, I’m used to proposing ideas and hearing, “Sounds great, but sorry, we can’t do that.” Good intentions sometimes can’t overcome limitations in resources. But when I proposed the development of a bachelor’s degree designed to meet the specific needs of students with autism to The Sage Colleges (N.Y.), the response was very different. From the president on down, the prevailing attitude was, “How can we make this happen?”

Flipped classrooms are more of a strategy than a specific collection of technologies and room configurations. As long as
students have the ability to access lecture materials and other online elements in their non-class time, a professor can flip the course. However, there are two components to room setup that tend to work better than others:

Even in a large lecture hall environment, it’s unlikely that professors using a flipped classroom strategy will see anyone dozing off. Part of the class time in a flipped classroom often involves the use of student response systems. As students respond to a quiz, the instructor gets instant feedback on what aspects of the lecture video assigned for homework may need to be reinforced in class.

By now, most of us have heard the term “flipped classroom” and learned that the concept is not as aerodynamic as its name. But it is becoming a movement. In this type of learning space, lectures and other traditional classroom elements are swapped out in favor of more in-person interaction, like small group problem solving and discussion.

In the wake of a slow, mostly jobless recovery, volatile market conditions have chilled the appetite of multinational corporations for creating permanent, full-time employment opportunities with health benefits. Recent seismic tremors in international financial markets have exacerbated these market conditions, and importantly, established the critical need for preparing a new breed of global business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Business school is a laboratory for problem solving where aspiring executives are trained to make organizations more efficient, manage risk, and develop new ways to meet society’s needs. They are trained to manage a wide variety of business tasks such as introducing better detergents or MP3 players, running a theme park, bringing life-saving medicines to market, or establishing micro-lending to improve living standards in the third world.

While community colleges are supposed to be two-year institutions, many students take longer than that to graduate. Some four-year institutions, meanwhile, allow ambitious students to earn a bachelor’s degree in three years. Pima Community College (Ariz.) has come up with a new twist to the accelerated degree trend, giving East Campus students enrolling in the Sprint Schedule pilot program the chance to be done in just one. 

While the role of international campuses of U.S. institutions of higher education has been much debated in recent years, their primary purpose and capacity for constructive, new developments is often overlooked. With much controversy over motives, money and visions of soft power, the critics rarely look at the realities that brought these overseas ventures to fruition in the first place—or the drive that keeps them operating and expanding.

As education leaders and policymakers debate how best to reengineer the university learning experience, we take pause to recognize the quiet renaissance occurring at institutions where the captains of engineering innovation are educated in the new global economy.

The experience students have on campus is what will keep them coming back, both while enrolled and after. But even if they love their classes, that joy can be overshadowed by frustration dealing with student services offices. The new report “Making the Grade: Optimizing the Higher Education Student Experience” from Oracle checks in on how administrators and students think higher education institutions are doing. The good news: 60 percent of students surveyed say their school meets their customer service expectations.

An infographic by analyzes today’s students’ study habits, as well as grade inflation, to suggest that college grading may be getting easier. Whatever the case, grading methods have certainly changed over the years.

James Wollack, director of University of Wisconsin-Madison testing and evaluation services and an expert in educational measurement, says grading used to be dominated by test scores: fail a final and you’d flunk the course.

Sitting back in our local air-conditioned movie theater, on a sweltering hot summer day watching Andrew Garfield scale a sky-scraper in 3D, we are reminded of a recent graduate fast-forwarding from the world of for-profit animation education to the emergent career field of game design.

The Future of Video in Education Summit

Video is changing the way we teach, learn, and do business on campus. How can you harness the power of online video—from lecture capture to campus events to student-generated content—to create new value? That was the focus of the Future of Video in Education Summit preceding UBTech 2012. Sponsored by Sonic Foundry, the summit examined those questions in a series of presentations and panel discussions.