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Articles: Teaching & Learning

SCHOLARLY PURSUITS— SUNY Oneonta awards badges to participants in its annual Research and Creativity Day. Each April, students present projects—from research papers to video documentaries—they’ve completed independently and with faculty mentors.

Diplomas—those venerable printed documents that lack hotlinks and interactivity features—have lost some of their luster.

Badges have not just motivated students to take a deeper look at the skills they’ve earned. Several institutions also issue badges for professional development. 

David Rovnyak is professor of chemistry at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. George Shields is provost and professor of chemistry at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.

The discussion of research at primarily undergraduate institutions often begins and ends with a discussion of the benefits for students.

Amid students cutting textiles, making shoes, firing ceramics and making prints at the Parsons School of Design’s Making Center in midtown Manhattan is a whole wall of 3D printers.

The essence of 3D printing is a concept called additive manufacturing that builds up the item one layer at a time.

Three actions for school administrators to take when spotting fraud.

The growth of online education has brought a wave of what’s often referred to as Title IV fraud, in reference to the federal student aid program.

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT—At  The University of Arizona, academic advisors know that every student matters when it comes to retention, not just because each individual’s success is important but also because they realize that retaining just a few extra students raises overall retention rates.

There’s no doubt that higher ed institutions have access to tons of student data these days, but what separates actionable insights from analytics overload?

James Muyskens is a professor at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and former president of CUNY Queens College.

The weakest link in the expanding instructional continuum—where we are least successful—is in general education and freshman introductory courses.

LANGUAGE LESSONS—Instructor Mary “Betsy” Bissell teaches a new Niagara U course that introduces students to Tuscarora, a dialect of the Iroquoian language spoken in western New York state.

A handful of campuses teach Native American languages to support the efforts of local tribes to preserve their language and expand their culture’s influence on public education, film and other arenas.

Phishing is just one type of “social engineering”—the criminal act of manipulating people to surrender confidential information. In the past five years, it’s become a constant threat, and many college leaders see it as the No. 1 cybercrime they face.

In 2015, Moravian College created a new rehabilitation sciences department—but administrators knew these wouldn’t be traditional classrooms. They wanted students to master the physical sciences using hands-on learning and cutting-edge technologies. A similar approach can be used for any higher ed facility looking to boost interest and enrollment. 

James Martin is a professor of English at Mount Ida College in Massachusetts. James Samels is the CEO and president of The Education Alliance and the founder of Samels & Associates, a law firm concentrating in higher ed law.

In Consolidating Colleges and Merging Universities (2017, Johns Hopkins University Press), James Martin and James Samels bring together higher education leaders to discuss how institutions might cooperate with their competitors to survive.

1. Set some ground rules. After introducing Slack, some users felt it was hard to cut through the clutter of irrelevant information, says Dominic Abbate, the creative director at The George Washington University. So they responded by setting up specific channels designated for non-work chit-chat like #food and #just-for-fun.

2. Listen to feedback. When Cherwell’s adoption rate was lagging because the tool was too complex and IT-focused, The University of New Mexico’s IT team redesigned the portal to make it more customer-friendly.

Yammer (free)

Good for: Collaboration and communication

Who’s using it: Penn State

From event planning to website redesign, setting up Yammer networking groups to share ideas, get feedback and check in on the progress of projects can help large campuses stay connected.

Trello (free)

Good for: Tracking projects

Who’s using it: The George Washington University

Higher ed administrators are using apps and platforms behind the scenes to help create efficiencies, increase productivity, and manage projects and workflow.

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