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Articles: Enterprise

Time and again, institutions struggle with properly deploying a new assessment platform. Often that fault lies with the vendor who lacks the knowledge or institutional expertise to provide sound counsel on how it should be accomplished. Take a different approach and it will be a success:

MOOC SuperText could improve the student experience and reduce costs, a research team says.

“SuperText”—the interactive video and assessments within MOOCs—may be a threat or an opportunity to full-time business schools and MBA programs.

It depends on which path officials take in deploying the technology, says the “Will Video Kill the Classroom Star?” report from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Despite technology’s critical role in higher ed, there remains a gap between central IT and the rest of campus that can lead to unnecessary spending.

The classroom furniture and touch-screen displays at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business work in tandem to facilitate collaborative learning. The five-piece desks can be placed in multiple configurations around the displays.

First-year MBA students in the action-based degree program at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business spend seven weeks working with a U.S. or international company. After that, they form seven-member teams to propose a solution to a problem they encountered in the corporate world.

In the past few years, many universities have begun to explore a concept frequently and successfully implemented in the corporate world, but previously rare in higher education: shared services. The term “shared services” refers to a streamlining process where administrative tasks or technology management services that regularly occurred across several departments in the organization are placed under the authority of one unit.

As long as there are assignments for college students to research and write, it’s likely there will be copiers and printers to help. Good news for paper and copier companies, for sure, but bad news for institutions such as expansive Houston Community College, at least until recently. HCC’s six colleges and 27 sites allow it to educate more than 70,000 students a semester, but without centralized print and copy management solutions, efficiency lagged severely.

Until the summer of 2013, the primary sources of technology support services at Fairfield University in Connecticut were the reference librarians and circulation staff at the DiMenna-Nyselius Library—not the technology help desk. Questions about software, using campus printers or accessing the university’s wireless network were most commonly answered by the library professionals who were within earshot.

The setting was big, the company was good and the technology talk was buzzing at this year’s UBTech Conference, held June 16 to 18 at The Mirage Las Vegas.

And based on the feedback from our 1,273 attendees, the “Technology Changes Everything” tagline will be put into practice as administrators and educators from the more than 500 institutions represented at the event share information and propose projects and programs back on their own campuses.

Click to enlarge: UBTech 2014 racked up big numbers in attendees and activities. (Graphic: Rebecca Eller)

The accompanying infographic provides some of the key numbers for UBTech 2014, which took place in June at the Mirage in Las Vegas.

Click to enlarge the graphic to find stats for number of attendees, number of sessions and cups of coffee consumed -- and more. And don't forget to share our graphic on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. We all know a captivating image boosts the power of our posts. 

The average college student now spends about $1,200 per year on course materials. (Click to enlarge)

Textbook publishing has long been seen as an impenetrable business, with five major players controlling most of the nearly $14 billion industry. But in recent years, the shift to digital and open-access content has led to a proliferation of free and low-cost alternatives.

Meanwhile, spiraling costs, massive student debt, changing consumer demands and public as well as legislative efforts have pushed the industry toward a true disruption that is now widely considered to be inevitable.

Four major university systems will share online courses, analytics and learning-management software through a cloud-based digital education platform called Unizin, portions of which launched in July.

Developed by Indiana University, Colorado State University, the University of Florida and the University of Michigan, Unizin will house everything from homework videos to flipped classroom content to distance learning courses—plus all the data that’s generated.

Ben Nelson, CEO of the Minerva Project, says he has created "the most selective undergraduate class in the history of American higher education.”

What if you could create a new kind of university? What would it be like?

For Ben Nelson, CEO of the Minerva Project, it would combine a redefined student body, a reinvented curriculum, rigorous academic standards, cutting-edge technology and an immersive global experience. Nelson launched Minerva in 2011 to provide an Ivy League-like education at a fraction of the cost.

When Ohio State students requested a campus life mobile app, Steve Fischer, director of web and mobile apps (standing, left) and his team collaborated on the project that made it happen.

In today’s higher ed world, no department can work in a vacuum, least of all IT. From understanding the business plan to knowing how a web page or application will be used and by whom before it is designed and built, the days of CIOs and their teams working independently are gone.

IT administrators are spending more time than ever before collaborating with other departments to ensure there is a clear understanding of a project’s mission and to generate a more successful outcome.

When mapping out how wayfinding should be incorporated into digital signage on campus, ease of use for students and visitors should be the top concern. “The more information that can be presented visually, rather than textually, the more easily information can be digested in terms of wayfinding,” says Lyle Bunn, a digital signage expert based outside Toronto.

Colleges and universities must consider students' privacy and other issues when lectures are recorded.

While the benefits of lecture capture and the flipped classroom model have caught widespread attention in higher ed, it is crucial to note its risks—particularly in the area of privacy and copyright violations.