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To Combat Huge Dropout Rates, Colleges Find New Ways To Spot At-Risk Students

At most universities, academic advisors historically wouldn’t know a student is in trouble until that first failing grade hit. But even before that, there are often warning signs. A student never swipes her ID card at the library or dining hall. Another doesn’t use the bus service or attend any events on campus. The lack of even small interactions like these indicates a disconnect from the campus. And without that connection, colleges won’t retain those students.

“Once the student has failed a core course or stopped going to class, it’s too late,” says Nicole Engelbert, vice president of Oracle Higher Education Development. “There’s not much that you can do, or the things that you can do are incredibly resource-intensive with very low success rates. Once you’ve lost that student, bringing them back in is really hard to do.”

The US has the highest college dropout rate in the industrial world right now, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports. According to the National Student Clearinghouse, only about half of the 2 million students who started college this past fall will leave college with a diploma. And yet, it’s never been more important for young people to attend college or obtain some kind of post-secondary certification, as the earnings gap between high school graduates and college graduates continues to grow, according to census data analyzed by the College Board.

In the 2018-2019 academic year, colleges have had more freshmen having more difficult times than students in previous years, and academic probation, suspension, or withdrawal from schools seems to be increasing, according to Vicki Tambellini, president and CEO of the Tambellini Group, a market research and advisory firm for higher education.

The changing student demographic is one reason experts cite for low student retention rates. Colleges are seeing more first-generation college students, more students for whom English is a second language, and more students who are living in poverty—people who might not have gone to college at all a generation or two ago. These new types of students are potentially less prepared for college, often coming from K-12 systems with fewer financial resources.

Growth in the number of traditional students—those who graduate from high school and go directly to a four-year college—is slowing and is expected to slow into the foreseeable future. “That is challenging institutions to rethink or transform how they support students and changing how institutions deliver those services,” says Engelbert.

To address the evolving needs of students, faculty and staff need new tools and processes that facilitate a better student experience across the entire student lifecycle. Here are four ways colleges are changing the lesson plan to support their students.

1. Communicate with students the way they communicate with each other.

Students are used to texting. They’re used to getting everything they need on their mobile device. “They’re not used to logging into email every day or going to different portals on a campus website to find the information that they need,” says Tambellini. “When they get to most college campuses today, that’s what they have to do in order to find the information that they need to succeed.” New student systems, including Oracle Student Cloud, are being used to support highly personalized, multichannel communications that deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.

2. Provide proactive support.

Using a single, centralized system, universities can “nudge” students with chatbots to make sure that they’ve bought their books, filed financial aid forms, or registered for next year’s housing. Administrators can use these interactive digital counselors to organize and manage interactions across multiple departments, channels, and devices and to ensure that students are aware of things such as office hours, dining services, and the availability of emergency grants if something happens financially that impacts their attendance.

A powerful aspect of chatbots is that they “scale” and ensure a consistent level of support. Colleges don’t need to hire an army of advisors or worry about whether students are receiving consistent, accurate information and benefiting from the most effective interventions. Chatbots can take care of routine reminders, freeing advisors to address more unusual or complex situations.

3. Use AI to help students choose the right path.

Colleges are also looking at how courses are structured and delivered, and they are employing AI to help students navigate the registration process. There might be 1,000 classes from which students could choose, and according to Engelbert, a common reason why students don’t graduate or graduate later than they should, is because they take the wrong classes in order to fulfill their degree requirements. “A next-generation student system will narrow the field of vision for the student—recommending what courses to take, in what order, to expedite graduation,” says Engelbert. “They may even preregister the student to ensure they get the classes they need.”

4. Use the cloud to better identify risk indicators.

One of the most powerful benefits of cloud applications is that administrators can get to data and identify early indicators faster, and do something about them in real time. Along with focusing on individual student behaviors, the data collected in a cloud-based system allows a university to view patterns and identify behaviors.

“If the school knows that the most successful students on that campus typically eat breakfast three days a week, lunch one day a week, participate in X number of extracurricular activities or clubs, and go to at least one freshman event in the fall, they can track the students that fall outside of those norms and provide those students with more advisor outreach,” says Tambellini.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the institutions that will successfully navigate this period of profound change in higher education are reimagining the work of the institution and investing in the tools that will support that mission. Engelbert makes the case that such change requires new technology that frees administrators to focus on people, process, and cultural change. “We’re seeing the green shoots of the more substantive adoption of cloud technologies and solutions,” she says. For successful schools, this will transform how institutions approach services from residential life, financial aid, and academic support, all the way through career services and beyond.

Margaret Lindquist is senior director of content for Oracle brand marketing.

Source: To Combat Huge Dropout Rates, Colleges Find New Ways To Spot At-Risk Students

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Alexandra Bernadotte founded Beyond 12 to help prepare low-income and first-generation students for a successful postsecondary education.

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We Can Stop Kids From Cheating in School By Eliminating the Need

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As a high school teacher, I’ve seen a lot of cheating. So much, that I’ve concluded most adults don’t realize how many kids, even otherwise good and honest kids, cheat in school.

If you think of cheating as simply acting unfairly or dishonestly to gain an academic advantage, many people reading this column might remember their own experiences cheating. Whether you actively sought to cheat, or the opportunity simply landed in front of you, many of us can recall at least one occurrence with vivid detail. Your heart raced, your palms sweated, and you felt that undeniable sinking in the pit of your stomach, all due to the fear of getting caught. Yet you still did it.

But why? Why continue the act even when the body sends all the signals identical to a near-death fight-or-flight response? For some, it may be for the sheer thrill. But I argue most people who are tempted to cheat choose the better of two evils, both connected to failure.

Today, more so than when you and I were teens, the pressure to excel is unbearable. From the parents who demand it and the peers competing for it, the colleges that require it and the “influencers” who embody it, the pressure to be perfect has become the driving force for many students. And when the need to maintain perfection trumps the actual learning that occurs, you’ll begin to override your body’s natural warnings.

Our kids cheat because they fear the consequences of failing. So many are raised in a bubble, completely protected from failure. Any time it may have approached, those around them, who love them very much, happily deflected that failure for them. So a disproportionate number of adolescents truly feel they are geniuses, that they can do no wrong.

Unfortunately, an educator’s job is to confront his or her students with challenging obstacles to overcome, and they won’t deflect that failure. This forces our inexperienced youth into a corner, and many react by ensuring their success by any means necessary.

I’m one of these educators, and I absolutely challenge my kids, but I made a decision a few years back that completely changed the culture of my classroom: I eliminated the need to cheat.

I made the decision that the goal of my science class was to learn and appreciate science. From that day, I recognized that to pull these anxious kids from the corner they’ve been trapped in, I had to entice them back to the center. I had to establish an environment that eliminated the fear of failing, and I did it with a few very basic but powerful methods.

First, I eliminated due dates within a unit and moved to a mastery grading model. There are many varieties of this, but in my model, the kids receive a list for the unit describing the tasks to be mastered by test day. For every activity, the kids were encouraged to copy from each other and work together, but their grades came from 30-second conversations I had with each student, when I’d ask a variety of questions to gauge their mastery on the topic. Completing an assignment meant nothing if it couldn’t be verbalized, so the kids quickly learned that copying without understanding was a waste of time in my class.

Then, I encouraged cheat sheets. I let students write or draw anything they’d like on the front and back of a 3-by-5 notecard. The card had to be hand-written and turned in with the test. Many teachers may argue that doing so would invalidate their tests, to which I say, if your kids can write the answers to your tests on a notecard, you write bad tests.

We’ve worked hard to build high-level questions that require students to expand beyond the basic content from a notecard, and the sheer process of internalizing and paraphrasing an entire unit into such a small space encourages that level of critical thinking for our kids; moving beyond comprehension and into application. Plus, I save their notecards and return them before semester and state exams, providing the most personalized, hand-written summative reviews they could ever create.

Finally, after taking the test once on their own, I let them take it again, this time in groups. After grading the exams, I assign them in homogeneous groups; As in one group, Bs in another, etc., but I don’t tell students their scores. Then, I hand them back their original exams to take again. They don’t know which questions are correct, so the intellectual debates that happen over each question are incredible. When they resubmit, the group score is averaged with a student’s individual score.

Of course, there are those who say we need to teach our kids responsibility, to prepare them for the real world by not allowing late work, cheat sheets or group corrections. But it’s these classrooms where cheating is rampant, and it’s specifically because no recovery is possible.

As for tests, consider what every major exam over the course of someone’s professional career has in common: SAT, ACT, CPA exams, MCAT, LSAT, teaching certifications. You can take all of these multiple times for full credit. So where did this fallacy begin that somehow my biology exam is more pertinent to their lives and future success?

In a world that’s constantly demanding risk-taking and creativity, we cannot continue to produce robots of compliance and task completion. As a young gymnast develops her technique, she rehearses in an environment developed to safely take risks, with balance beams low to the ground and foam pits into which she can fall.

So, too should be the goal of every classroom. When kids see that failure is recoverable, the demand to succeed the first time, by any means necessary, is eliminated, and they finally have the freedom to take a leap.

By: Ramy Mahmoud

Ramy Mahmoud is a lecturer at the University of Texas at Dallas Teacher Development Center, a high school science department head in Plano and a two-time TEDx speaker. He wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.

Source: https://www.dallasnews.com/

Have you ever cheated in High School? I kinda might have. Art done with: http://muro.deviantart.com/ Song #1 producer- Harry Gettings: http://www.youtube.com/hgettings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41dHIu… Song #2 producer- Duce Wa: free download: http://www.mediafire.com/?2aalei5hcil… http://twitter.com/DuceWa http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?i… Online Store: http://www.districtlines.com/Swoozie

 

 

 

Using Text To Speech Technology To Assist Dyslexic Students

Davis Graham wanted to participate. His teachers could not understand why he was so resistant to learning. He almost completely gave up on his education. Mr. Graham, a life-long dyslexia advocate, has dyslexia and he was not alone. Eighty percent of children who have a learning disability are also impacted by dyslexia. This is a staggering number of students.

With technology we can tackle some of the challenges facing these students. Even changing how we view these differences.

I asked a friend of mine, Tony Wright, who has two children with dyslexia, what he would change in the world of education. He said we need a change in perception because, “In a perfect world, my children’s learning differences would be accepted as differences, not disabilities. Their peers would understand that they think differently. That they are not inferior. Also, they would be able to be accommodated without disruption to their day. Of course, they have a father who loves reading. I want my kids to enjoy reading. In a perfect world, my kids would be just able to be normal kids and given the chance to excel and succeed in whatever their talent is. I think that’s what most parents want as well.”

With increased early screening we could identify more children who struggle with dyslexia. Early screening could provide a pathway to learning with Text to Speech technology (TTS) and could even lead to a decrease in our total IEP costs. TTS in schools creates an excellent opportunity for a huge impact in schools with very limited budgets.

With regard to how we view reading and writing in education, Mr. Graham points out, “It’s a crossroads. [We should] say look, you can dictate it with speech to text or you can consume it by text to speech or the reading acceleration program.”

The point is the challenges caused by dyslexia in reading and writing can be alleviated. Cost savings for IEPs would be realized in both the short and long-term. Providing students access to TTS technology is the most efficient solution in solving reading challenges that dyslexic students face. In the long-run, districts will see improved comprehension and less frustrating outbursts from students. Very often we see a decrease in the need for assistance from teachers and better test scores often follow. All of these elements combined lead to a positive net impact on students, teachers and schools with limited budgets.

“In the Education delivery system, text to speech will level the hurdles of the printed word in any language, providing a level playing field for all students,” says Mr. Graham.

Despite being severely dyslexic, Mr. Graham went on to receive his Master of Science in Health and Medical Informatics from Brandeis University. When he was diagnosed with dyslexia in the late 60’s, his road to achieving educational success was a long, winding path. With support from many educators along the way, he became passionate about providing access to various content for those who also suffer with dyslexia. Mr. Graham found Bookshare, an ebook library, and began listening to volumes of books converted from a written format to an audio format. This is a life changing experience for someone willing to learn, but who lacks the ability to just sit down and read. Enter the mobile age and the explosion of access to content for those with dyslexia, and we begin to see innovative solutions in solving learning disabilities.

Along with internet access and either a mobile device or tablet, any student with dyslexia can access TTS technology. TTS is not new, but it is dramatically improved over the years.

The increase in processing speed and decrease in costs over time, has allowed for dramatic improvements to TTS technology. Now with programs like Dragon Dictate or Google’s Dictation.io, students can speak into a microphone, or use a dictation feature to “write” papers or take tests.

The problem goes beyond just improving grades

Research by Jean Cheng Gorman, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist who studied youth suicides in 1998, found a staggering 50% of students who unfortunately end their lives have a learning disability, and 40% suffer from dyslexia. There is yet to be a research study showing TTS technology having a causal impact on decreasing suicide. However, helping alleviate barriers to knowledge, while decreasing frustration with learning, will have a positive impact on all student’s lives.

Beyond cost savings, the significance in learning to each student is tremendous. As a child, I personally was slow to read, but I don’t remember when I suddenly “learned” how to read. The act of reading is so automatic for most people, that it is hard for most people to imagine what it would be like to lack the ability to read. Providing solutions to these problems can help make some students feel empowered to learn again. TTS can change the lives of those students who need help with managing dyslexia.

 

Jabez LeBret is Chief of Schools at Sisu Academy, the first tuition-free private boarding high school in California. Cofounder of two companies he is also a regular Millennial Management speaker.

Jabez is embarking on a mission to change the lives of local high school students by opening the first tuition-free boarding high school with a self-funding model in Cal…

Source: Using Text To Speech Technology To Assist Dyslexic Students

7 Things I Always Try to Build into My Online Courses

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1. A welcome video

Everyone is always a little nervous at the beginning of a new semester, including the instructor. Help reduce some of that anxiety by creating a video to welcome students to the class. To quote my coworker, Josh, who’s done a lot of work with video: “Sprinkle that video with tidbits about things that make you human. If your cat jumps into your lap during the recording, don’t start over or delete that part. Introduce your cat.”

You only get one chance at making that first impression with your students. Invite your students to create a welcome video, too, and post them in a discussion board to start building connections.

2. An introduction video of the course

Along with the welcome video that I create, I always record a separate video that helps introduce the course content to the students. This usually covers an overview of the syllabus, course layout in the LMS, assignments and grading policy, contact information, important dates, and possibly a walkthrough of a specific learning module. I try and cover only the most important topics and not the fine details because I don’t want to overwhelm them when everything is brand new. Ease into it and allow the fine details to present itself when it’s time.

3. Consistent weekly updates and reminders

Build online courses with weekly video updates Whether I like it or not, this class is not the only important thing happening in my students’ lives. They may be taking other classes, have a full or part-time job, family obligations, and the list goes on. One way I try to keep students focused is by posting weekly announcements about what tasks need to be completed in the upcoming week. This announcement is typically a video (screen recording and webcam) of me checking in and walking through where we currently are in the course syllabus. I will point out what assignments are due, and answer any questions from students that came up during the prior week, so that everyone is getting the same response. Even though these weekly videos are only generally between five to seven minutes (or less), it’s a great way to keep that visual connection with students in an online learning environment.

Here’s a recent tweet from a former student sharing how being consistent with updates and reminders has been helpful.

4. Guest speakers and content experts

Having field experts join us to share their experiences and answer questions is definitely beneficial to the learning. My favorite way to do this is during synchronous live chats (we have at least five each semester). This is a time to not only connect and engage with each other, but to bring in content experts to share their knowledge. Students get the unique opportunity to hear directly from individuals in their field of study. It also provides them with a different perspective on the topics we’re discussing.

5. Meaningful feedback

I’ll be honest, this is one area where I need to improve. One of the biggest assignments during the course is submitting three separate mini-literature review blog posts. Students always do a great job with these, and I enjoy reading them. My goal every semester is to provide meaningful feedback on their work, and for these written pieces I’ve tried to include spoken/video feedback as well. Here is my process:When you build online courses, use video to give meaningful feedback on student assignments

  1. 1. Take a scrolling screen capture of their blog post (I use Snagit to do this, with its easy-to-use editing tools).
    2. Use editing tools to insert brief comments and highlight specific areas of the blog to provide more detailed spoken feedback later.
    3. Record the mocked-up image with the video capture tool and share my audio and visual feedback with the student.
    4. Share the video to Screencast, Google Drive, or another favorite hosting site, and send the link to the student, along with the mocked up image capture for reference.

Above is an animated gif (blurred, to protect student privacy) to show you what the blog post capture looks like after comments were added. Here is an example screenshot (also blurred for privacy), and a screenshot of the finished video providing my audio/visual feedback.

6. Let students lead

When I first started teaching online, I had a love/hate relationship with discussion boards. I actually still do in a way, but as I build online courses I’ve tried to make improvements to make them more meaningful and engaging. One thing I’ve tried is to require students to moderate a weekly discussion during the semester. These typically cover a chapter or two of the textbook, and students are each responsible for deciding how the chat is run. They will make the first post during their designated week, and will help guide and encourage the conversation.

Instead of having the discussion board last an entire week, I’ve tried targeting a few days (i.e. Wednesday – Friday) when everyone should be participating. This has definitely helped deter the typical ‘wait until the last day and post something’ tendency that has contributed to the love/hate relationship. It has also given the students a chance to experience moderating, or leading a discussion board instead of only participating. I’m always looking for more ways to improve the discussion board experience, so if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below. Thank you in advance.

7. Participate in learning

One thing is for sure, and that is learning is constant. I think the best thing I can do for my students is to participate and support them in the learning process. I try and do this by staying active in our discussion boards, asking questions, and commenting on individual posts by students. When students email me questions, I often share the question and response (usually in a quick video) with everyone in the class, if they can all benefit from it. This also helps avoid getting asked the same questions multiple times. We learn together and all try to improve and grow for the next opportunity ahead.

Thank you for reading and I hope you found useful information to help build online courses. Reach out any time if I can help you, or if you have any advice for me. I will always welcome it.

 

Author

Ryan Eash

Ryan designs, implements, and maintains curriculum that helps educators create images and videos. An adjunct at Lenoir-Rhyne University, he teaches a fully online course in the Online Teaching and Instructional Design program. Prior to joining TechSmith in 2007, Ryan received his bachelor’s in elementary education from Indiana University, his master’s in instructional technology and design from East Carolina University, and taught for 10 years in elementary through higher education.

Blockchain Technology: Can It Change Education? – InformED | Future of Cloud Computing, IoT and Software Market

Source: Blockchain Technology: Can It Change Education? – InformED | Future of Cloud Computing, IoT and Software Market

3 Strategies To Accept Positive Feedback And Own Your Successes

Let’s call this call this curator friend Cynthia. Cynthia wrote back, “Two other curators worked with me on this (and may join us!), so I can’t take full credit.” She asked that I instead reference her with the significantly less exciting descriptor, “one of the curators of this exhibition.” She was understandably hesitant to get all the credit and wanted to make clear that there were other people involved with the exhibition. While accurate, the new version was far less descriptive and complimentary than what I’d suggested.

Feel familiar? The balancing act women navigate surrounding self promotion can be exhausting.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.forbes.com

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