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Articles: Teaching & Learning

Research has shown that active learning—asking students to engage in class with each other and their instructor—is more effective than traditional lecturing.

The nine schools recognized as Summer 2016 Models of Excellence have found that innovation leads to innovation when it comes to student success. Administrators who find new opportunities to provide support encourage students to be creative in making the most of a higher education.

Thanks to a concept called the Internet of Things, anything—really, anything—can and will be hooked up to a network.

While little pockets of IoT are springing up in higher ed—both in the form of institution- and student-owned devices—campuswide installations are predicted to be a few years away. That’s not an excuse for sitting back and waiting for smart coffee makers to pop up in every residence hall, however.

Susan West Engelkemeyer is the president of Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts.

With increasing urgency, today’s colleges are being asked—by business, government and the nonprofit field—to impart so-called “21st century skills” of communication, collaboration, problem-solving and creativity to their students. What’s often missing from the list is leadership.

More than 1,100 campus tech leaders and innovators from across the nation flocked to Las Vegas for the June 6-8 event, descending upon The Mirage Convention Center for three days of insight and inspiration.

The first new academic building added to Trinity’s historic Washington, D.C. campus in more than half a century, provides much needed instructional space for the school’s growing nursing and health programs as well as a step into modern architecture.

The University of Central Florida, a campus of 60,000, decided to virtualize applications rather than entire desktops.

UCF Apps lets users access the specific software needed for coursework. After downloading and installing a Citrix receiver client, students can log in and get the apps that have been provisioned to their account based on their area of study.

In regard to desktop virtualization, what aspects of implementation do higher ed institutions tend to overlook?

“It’s easy to overlook security when implementing new technologies, and a good example of this is desktop virtualization. It’s an efficient way to deploy the same functionality across multiple machines, however, you’ll most likely need to adjust security practices to fit the new virtual environment.”

—Slawek Ligier, vice president of Security Engineering, Barracuda

Before a campus goes virtual, there are real issues to consider.

Virtual desktop technology allows students and staff to access sophisticated software on a laptop or mobile device. It also can strengthen network security and lower expenses by reducing the need for actual computers and lab space on campus.

Fred Lokken, a professor of political science at Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada, sees several reason why community colleges have made big strides in online learning.

Online learning has significantly changed the landscape of higher education over the last decade. In a survey by the Instructional Technology Council , 94 percent of students said their online courses were equivalent or superior to traditional courses.

Portfolio providers: What are some uses for ePortfolios that you believe aren’t as common at colleges as they should be?

“We’d like to see more colleges using ePortfolios with guided learning pathways through a program or institution to assess learning at key points. The full potential for ePortfolios to encourage more integrative, deeper learning won’t be realized without a deliberate plan, ongoing assessment and higher stakes (such as program completion or graduation).”

—Webster Thompson, president, Taskstream

Kelly Walsh, CIO of The College of Westchester in New York, is a UBTech conference speaker. He writes the “Emerging Ed Tech” blog.

The growing availability of custom and commercial software applications allows colleges and universities to transform classroom laboratory experiences into virtual equivalents that offer advantages over their physical precursors.

David Seelow is the founding director of the Center for Game and Simulation-based Learning at Excelsior College.

Watching preschoolers play on touchscreen devices makes it clear that the future college students of America are the connected generation. Higher ed must embrace game-like learning just as progressive Silicon Valley companies have, or risk bored, disengaged, unprepared students in the classroom and in the workplace.

The success of the studio concept does not just resonate for a graduate student audience, but can and should be articulated for undergraduates as well. If MBAs must work collaboratively, digitally and dynamically, so should undergraduate students.

At Juniata College in Pennsylvania, students took Arabic for the first time last fall by enrolling in a course at Gettysburg College via video conference.

Amherst College students, meanwhile, can major in architectural studies by taking classes at four neighboring colleges. And at Cabrini College near Philadelphia, students from five institutions researched viruses last summer in a new undergraduate science program.

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