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Engineering Education
Updated: 4 hours 44 min ago

World Campus researches effectiveness of VR headsets and video in online classes

Thu, 2018-08-02 17:02

by the Penn State University

Penn State instructional designers are researching whether using virtual reality and 360-degree video can help students in online classes learn more effectively. Designers worked with professors in the College of Nursing to incorporate 360-degree video into Nursing 352, a class on Advanced Health Assessment. Students in the class, offered online through Penn State World Campus, were offered free VR headsets to use with their smartphones to create a more immersive experience while watching the video, which shows safety and health hazards in a patient’s home. Bill Egan, the lead designer for the Penn State World Campus RN to BSN nursing program, said students in the class were surveyed as part of a study approved by the Institutional Review Board and overwhelmingly said that they enjoyed the videos and thought they provided educational value. Eighty percent of the students said they would like to see more immersive content such as 360-degree videos in their online courses, he said.

https://news.psu.edu/story/529049/2018/07/25/research/world-campus-researches-effectiveness-vr-headsets-and-video-online

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Inconsistent Use of Credentials by Manufacturers

Wed, 2018-08-01 17:24

By Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Employers in the manufacturing industry use credentials inconsistently, generally not relying on them as a major factor in hiring or promotion decisions, according to the results of a survey conducted by Workcred, an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute, and the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, an operating unit of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The survey’s 945 respondents from across the industry identified several primary reason for their inconsistent use of credentials, including a lack of awareness, a preference for on-the-job training and a recognition that experience is a more valuable predictor of performance.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/07/26/inconsistent-use-credentials-manufacturers

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Montana sets example for other states by using data to drive policy

Wed, 2018-08-01 17:20

By Jenna Leventoff, National Skills Coalition

Montana sets example for other states by using data to drive policy
A new case study, How Montana is using data to drive policy change, written in collaboration between the Montana Department of Labor and Industry and the Workforce Data Quality Campaign shows how data-driven decision making can help states create education and workforce policies that can help them compete in a 21st century economy. The paper outlines how Montana educational institutions, employers, and policymakers have used data to not just understand the effectiveness of their state’s education and workforce policies, but to make decisions that will help the state meet labor market demand.

https://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/news/blog/montana-sets-example-for-other-states-by-using-data-to-drive-policy

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Cybersecurity worker shortage a national security issue amid infiltration of utility companies

Wed, 2018-08-01 17:14

by Matt Parke, Working Nation

The vulnerability of the U.S. energy infrastructure to outside intrusion from hackers was exposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during a briefing on Monday. The agency’s warning about a cyberattack on electrical grids underscores a cybersecurity worker shortage and a brewing national security issue of protecting critical infrastructures. The Wall Street Journal reported that Russian hackers have come close to disrupting critical services with stolen credentials from trusted vendors. According to DHS’ Jonathan Homer, they were within reach of causing catastrophic electrical blackouts and their threat signals the potential for an attack in the future. The DHS did not say whether a cyberattack was imminent.

Cybersecurity worker shortage a national security issue amid infiltration of utility companies

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Inconsistent Use of Credentials by Manufacturers

Wed, 2018-08-01 17:05

By Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Employers in the manufacturing industry use credentials inconsistently, generally not relying on them as a major factor in hiring or promotion decisions, according to the results of a survey conducted by Workcred, an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute, and the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, an operating unit of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The survey’s 945 respondents from across the industry identified several primary reason for their inconsistent use of credentials, including a lack of awareness, a preference for on-the-job training and a recognition that experience is a more valuable predictor of performance.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/07/26/inconsistent-use-credentials-manufacturers

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Cybersecurity worker shortage a national security issue amid infiltration of utility companies

Wed, 2018-08-01 17:02

by Matt Parke, Working Nation

The vulnerability of the U.S. energy infrastructure to outside intrusion from hackers was exposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during a briefing on Monday. The agency’s warning about a cyberattack on electrical grids underscores a cybersecurity worker shortage and a brewing national security issue of protecting critical infrastructures. The Wall Street Journal reported that Russian hackers have come close to disrupting critical services with stolen credentials from trusted vendors. According to DHS’ Jonathan Homer, they were within reach of causing catastrophic electrical blackouts and their threat signals the potential for an attack in the future. The DHS did not say whether a cyberattack was imminent.

Cybersecurity worker shortage a national security issue amid infiltration of utility companies

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Temple Rankings Scandal: From Bad to Worse

Wed, 2018-08-01 17:01

By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

The rankings scandal at Temple University keeps getting worse.  This month, after an independent investigation, the university admitted that its Fox School of Business had for several years intentionally submitted false data to boost the rankings of its online M.B.A. program. The falsehoods were about standardized admissions tests, grades of new students, debt of graduates and more. The independent investigation hinted that the lies might have extended beyond the online M.B.A. On Wednesday, the university said that was in fact the case. A statement it released said that false data had been submitted for rankings purposes by six other programs at the business school.

https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2018/07/26/temple-admits-it-provided-false-rankings-data-six-more-programs

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How Essay-Writing Factories Reel In Vulnerable Students

Tue, 2018-07-31 17:20

By Daphne Taras, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Two years ago I decided to prove that the essay-writing business is a scourge, and that professors must become more aware of the allure of bespoke cheating. I googled “essay writing services” and selected, at random, one of many websites. I logged onto it, and I was given a number of promises, including that none of the work would be plagiarized (yes, I see the irony), and that all the essays would be written exclusively for my needs. But the real discovery for me wasn’t that I could cheat. Cheating is ubiquitous. The lesson was how well the essay labs have adopted new technologies. The amount of follow-up, the creation of a dashboard, the customization to suit my needs, and the relentless pressure to purchase. College recruiting could learn a thing or two about how to land customers using similar data analytics. This is a serious industry that operates in the shadows, and it is a threat to our own industry of advanced education. Take it seriously. Buy an essay and see for yourself. It’s worth the $120 investment.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/How-Essay-Writing-Factories/243878

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The Best Learning Blends Online and Instructor-Led Courses

Tue, 2018-07-31 17:15

by Adam Hickman and Shane McFeely, Gallup

Companies increasingly see the need to have workers who are continuously learning — which is to say, they see the need to be a culture of learning and development. In a competitive, market-driven business environment, success can depend on workers who can develop and apply knowledge, who can take advantage of opportunities and who can create more. But to be a learning organization requires a culture of development and that takes a real investment in employee education. That investment, the research shows, will get the best return when it’s geared toward individual learning preferences — which is the great advantage of a blended learning approach. Blended learning strategies are most effective to help managers and their teams learn and grow.

https://www.gallup.com/workplace/237743/best-learning-blends-online-instructor-led-courses.aspx

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Moody’s: Private-College Closures at 11 Per Year

Tue, 2018-07-31 17:10

By Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed

Private college closures have risen to a rate of about 11 per year, and the rate at which campuses are shut down is expected to increase in the future, according to a new report published by Moody’s Investors Service Tuesday. The report comes a few years after a notorious prediction the ratings agency made in September 2015 — that closure activity would as much as triple and mergers would double by 2017. As of the prediction, private nonprofit closures were averaging five per year, meaning as many as 15 institutions could have been ending operations annually by 2017. Although the headline-grabbing tripling of closures has yet to come to fruition, a significant uptick has indeed taken place. And Moody’s is still projecting a future increase in closures toward the range of 15 per year.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/07/25/moodys-private-college-closures-11-year

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How Essay-Writing Factories Reel In Vulnerable Students

Tue, 2018-07-31 17:04

By Daphne Taras, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Two years ago I decided to prove that the essay-writing business is a scourge, and that professors must become more aware of the allure of bespoke cheating. I googled “essay writing services” and selected, at random, one of many websites. I logged onto it, and I was given a number of promises, including that none of the work would be plagiarized (yes, I see the irony), and that all the essays would be written exclusively for my needs. But the real discovery for me wasn’t that I could cheat. Cheating is ubiquitous. The lesson was how well the essay labs have adopted new technologies. The amount of follow-up, the creation of a dashboard, the customization to suit my needs, and the relentless pressure to purchase. College recruiting could learn a thing or two about how to land customers using similar data analytics. This is a serious industry that operates in the shadows, and it is a threat to our own industry of advanced education. Take it seriously. Buy an essay and see for yourself. It’s worth the $120 investment.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/How-Essay-Writing-Factories/243878

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The Best Learning Blends Online and Instructor-Led Courses

Tue, 2018-07-31 17:02

by Adam Hickman and Shane McFeely, Gallup

Companies increasingly see the need to have workers who are continuously learning — which is to say, they see the need to be a culture of learning and development. In a competitive, market-driven business environment, success can depend on workers who can develop and apply knowledge, who can take advantage of opportunities and who can create more. But to be a learning organization requires a culture of development and that takes a real investment in employee education. That investment, the research shows, will get the best return when it’s geared toward individual learning preferences — which is the great advantage of a blended learning approach. Blended learning strategies are most effective to help managers and their teams learn and grow.

https://www.gallup.com/workplace/237743/best-learning-blends-online-instructor-led-courses.aspx

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Why We Need To Rethink Conventional Graduation Rates As A Measure Of Colleges’ Success

Mon, 2018-07-30 17:24

by Marvin Krislov, Forbes

In the academic world, we have run into a statistical dead end in assessing how our students are performing. I want to propose a way of breaking through the issue so that our colleges and universities are able to keep pace with, and measure, the deep changes impacting our economy and society and the role higher education must play. The main storehouse of data on college performance is the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, called IPEDS. IPEDS produces an “overall graduation rate” for every college in the country, and that statistic is a key factor in college rankings, from U.S. News & World Report to the College Scorecard to the newly prominent Google college search results.   Under the IPEDS definition, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, both of whom transferred colleges, and Mitt Romney, who both transferred and took time off for his Mormon mission, would be considered nongraduates. An alternative metric to the federal graduation rate is the Student Achievement Measure, or SAM. Developed by a consortium of higher-education associations with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, SAM is designed to provide a more accurate picture of student progress and success. It includes transfer students and part-time students alongside full-time students, and it tracks progress at public and private colleges and universities and two- and four-year institutions.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marvinkrislov/2018/07/23/why-we-need-to-rethink-graduation-rates-as-a-measure-of-colleges-success

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What are the top trends in ed tech?

Mon, 2018-07-30 17:20

by James Paterson, Education Dive
The use of big data or cloud computing and the expansive and unpredictable inroads made by online learning were among the most important changes in higher education brought on by technology, according to a review of trends by Educause as it celebrated its 20-year anniversary.  According to a report from EdTech, Educause asked IT experts about “the most significant moments of the past, the most promising trends of the future and everything in between.” The experts said data analytics were being used in very different ways at institutions, and that it had become critical in many aspects of college operations, including recruitment, measuring student success and fundraising. Cloud computing has also dramatically changed how colleges operate, they said, and willingness to make IT a key part of operations has had a significant impact.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/what-are-the-top-trends-in-ed-tech/528449/

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Enterprise Analytics: A Driver of Student-First Culture

Mon, 2018-07-30 17:15

Enterprise Analytics: A Driver of Student-First Culture
by James Willey, Educause
When institutions begin to look at their data as an institutional asset, not departmental property, they unlock the true potential of advanced analytics systems. Even more important, they elevate students over siloes and begin to change a culture that made sense in an analog world but now stands in the way of digital transformation. In an April 2018 Ellucian survey of higher education leaders’ attitudes and actions regarding advanced analytics, we see more and more recognition of the value they bring to institutional governance. Of respondents, 61 percent reported that they have implemented an analytics program at their institution to date. Only 1 percent reported that they do not have and are not considering an analytics program. Given the recent push for more data-informed decision-making on campus, it’s no surprise that higher education analytics continue to gain traction. What is surprising is the type of analytics solution that some institutions are choosing to implement. According to the survey, just under half of the institutions actively engaged in an analytics program opted for departmental systems that are walled off from one another, rather than enterprise systems that leverage data from across the campus.

https://er.educause.edu/blogs/sponsored/2018/7/enterprise-analytics-a-driver-of-student-first-culture

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To expand pool of skilled workers, North Carolina to help students finish college

Mon, 2018-07-30 17:08

by Riia O’Donnell and Jean Dimeo, Education Dive
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has announced a program that will provide $7 million in federal funds to help community college students in the state who face unforeseen financial emergencies, according to a statement. The Finish Line Grants program can assist with course materials, medical or dependent care needs, housing, or other financial issues. “We must maintain a strong workforce to continue attracting companies and helping business thrive in North Carolina,” said N.C. Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland in a statement. “The Finish Line Grants program will further expand our pool of skilled workers by eliminating barriers that prevent talented students from completing their training and getting rewarding jobs that support them and their families.” Funding for the program will be made available via the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Beginning in school year 2018-2019, students will have access to up to $1,000 per semester and will be able to apply either through their school’s financial aid office or through the NCWorks Career Center. The governor’s office directed participating local colleges and workforce development boards to establish a joint review process for funding requests made by students who have completed 75% of their degree or credential.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/to-expand-pool-of-skilled-workers-north-carolina-to-help-students-finish-c/527977/

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Ivy League Degree for the Nontraditional Student

Mon, 2018-07-30 17:05

By Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed
Coursera expands its online degree push for working adults, this time going Ivy League, with a new master’s in computer and information technology from the University of Pennsylvania.  The new master’s degree in computer and information technology from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science will be the engineering school’s first fully online degree. The program is aimed at working adults who are unable or unwilling to enroll in Penn’s established, on-campus version of the master’s, and who want to work in software development or high-demand fields like bioinformatics, medicine, finance and telecommunications. “This is a meaningful expansion of what we can do,” said Wendell Pritchett, the university’s provost. He said the new online degree is designed to appeal to nontraditional students “who are talented but can’t get to us on campus.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2018/07/25/penn-announces-online-masters-degree-coursera-platform

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Enterprise Analytics: A Driver of Student-First Culture

Mon, 2018-07-30 17:02

by James Willey, Educause
When institutions begin to look at their data as an institutional asset, not departmental property, they unlock the true potential of advanced analytics systems. Even more important, they elevate students over siloes and begin to change a culture that made sense in an analog world but now stands in the way of digital transformation. In an April 2018 Ellucian survey of higher education leaders’ attitudes and actions regarding advanced analytics, we see more and more recognition of the value they bring to institutional governance. Of respondents, 61 percent reported that they have implemented an analytics program at their institution to date. Only 1 percent reported that they do not have and are not considering an analytics program. Given the recent push for more data-informed decision-making on campus, it’s no surprise that higher education analytics continue to gain traction. What is surprising is the type of analytics solution that some institutions are choosing to implement. According to the survey, just under half of the institutions actively engaged in an analytics program opted for departmental systems that are walled off from one another, rather than enterprise systems that leverage data from across the campus.

https://er.educause.edu/blogs/sponsored/2018/7/enterprise-analytics-a-driver-of-student-first-culture

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What’s Better for an Online Quiz Aid–Multiple Choice or Fill in the Blank? This Study Says it Doesn’t Matter

Sun, 2018-07-29 17:25

By Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside

Quizzing is a fundamental aspect of any course, unit, or learning module. Numerous studies confirm that quizzes help in the learning process and improve long-term retention, especially if the assessment includes feedback. But not every online quiz aid is created equally. One main difference is testing for recognition vs. recall, or in other words, multiple choice vs. fill-in-the-blank, respectively. While a good deal of studies show that recall requires more work and leads to more effective learning outcomes, these studies typically produce results in a lab setting, and not in a classroom. For this reason, researchers Piers Howe (University of Melbourne, Jason Lodge (University of Queensland), and Meredith McKague (University of Melbourne) recently carried out a study on online quiz aids to see which would actually improve student performance. The paper was published this month in Frontiers in Education and draws some surprising conclusions.

What’s Better for an Online Quiz Aid–Multiple Choice or Fill in the Blank? This Study Says it Doesn’t Matter

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What is 5G? Everything you need to know about the new wireless revolution

Sun, 2018-07-29 17:20

By Scott Fulton III, ZdNet
It is a capital improvement project the size of the entire planet, replacing one wireless architecture created this century with another one that aims to lower energy consumption and maintenance costs. Sure, you’ll download movies faster on your phone, but that’s not the real reason 5G’s arrival is being accelerated.  It is the fourth time in history that the world’s telecommunications providers (the telcos) have acknowledged the need for a complete overhaul of their wireless infrastructure. This is why the ever-increasing array of technologies, listed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) as “Release 15” and “Release 16” of their standards for wireless telecom, is called 5G. It is an effort to create a sustainable industry around the wireless consumption of data for all the world’s telcos. One key goal of 5G is to dramatically improve quality of service, and extend that quality over a broader geographic area, in order for the wireless industry to remain competitive against the onset of gigabit fiber service coupled with Wi-Fi.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/what-is-5g-everything-you-need-to-know/

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