What if reducing overhead costs and cutting too-small programs were not the only practical ways to control college costs?
If a department offers five electives to serve 75 students, then the average class size for these electives would be 15 students. If the department adds another elective, all six electives would be likely to have enough students to justify offering these classes under typical policies. However, the department would have just added to teaching load – and costs and potentially staffing – without increasing the actual amount of teaching and learning being done.
Tonight, the finals of the NCAA tournament were supposed to take place - the culmination of three weeks of March Madness. Most likely, the championship game would have featured two powerhouse schools like Duke and Kansas; most of the time, it does. But this tournament has never been defined by the championship game or the big-name schools. This tournament has always been about buzzer-beaters and Cinderella stories. Fans love to watch an upset, like the 13th seed upsetting the 4th seed or the 90th seeded school that sneaks into the sweet sixteen or the elite eight. This tournament has always been a chance for a small school to make a name for itself. Think how big a brand Gonzaga is now thanks to being in the tournament for 10 years in a row. Without the chance to be part of the March Madness showcase, these schools will lose more than just a game or a tournament; they will lose the chance to build a brand, which leads to increased enrollment and more revenue. The impact of a No-Madness March will be felt for years.
For better and worse, COVID 19 will be a watershed for online education. Tens of thousands of students and faculty are being force-marched from on-campus to online programs for the remainder of this academic year. This experience will affect their acceptance of online education for years to come.
This could be a boon for online education. Students may discover that online is fun, engaging, and convenient. Or hastily pulled-together online classes could permanently alienate students and harm their college progress, especially if they have limited technology or bandwidth–so it is likely to be harder on poor and rural students.
This week my children, a high school freshman and a senior, were quarantined at our home and instructed that all classes would be delivered in an online format. This would be an adventure for our children and I was excited to witness them learning in a new modality. But would it all go smoothly? Would teachers be able to get everything online? And would my children be able to access what they needed?
The old saying goes, “We love technology when it works.” We have all had those frustrating moments when just at the critical moment you need technology to work, it does not.
That “we are all coronavirus fighters now” hit me with a vengeance when I cut short my Mexican vacation and settled into a regimen of hand-washing and social distancing. This applies no less to colleges and universities in the United States and across the world. Schools are canceling face-to-face classes, and many are sending students home or telling them not to return from spring break. I wondered how academic resourcing (AR) models—the subject on which I’ve worked during the past decade—will impact institutional efforts to combat the coronavirus and deal with its consequences. To put the matter bluntly, will the momentum toward data-informed decision-making that has been building over the last few years be blunted by the coronavirus emergency? I believe this outcome would be a real setback for higher education—and also that it is not supported, let alone dictated, by the facts of the situation.
With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the country, and the world, many colleges and universities are closed and moving their courses online. If you are new to online teaching, this may seem terribly daunting. Having incorporated a variety of technologies into my teaching over the years, I am glad to share a few perspectives and tips. I will guide you through the process of transitioning your course online and provide steps for staying sane. I hope this information helps make your transition online a bit more manageable.
1. Assess Your Tech
Start by assessing what technology you have and what you will need. Here is a list of the basics:
Video Camera. Do you have a video camera on your laptop? On your phone? A webcam on your desktop? If you have a good camera on your phone, a simple phone tripod may be the best $20 in instructional technology that you will ever spend.
Thank you for joining me on this 5-day exploratory of Emerging Programs. We started pretty far out there and shared programs on the cusp; now we’re wrapping up this series with Esports, a program that’s already here and now for many higher-education institutions.
Esports is driving the Video Game Industry to new heights and rapid growth. In 2019, the Video game industry was bigger than the Movies, Music, NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL industries combined. Keep reading to find out how Esports is changing the world in terms of employment, research, facilities, and programs.
I started this series on Emerging Programs with the caution that one of the programs I’m sharing may not be legal in your state. Today, at long last, you’ll find out which one: Cannabis. The legalization of Cannabis in many states has created new opportunities, and higher education is responding.
Does Cannabis fit your mission?
When you're thinking about starting programs, Cannabis is definitely one that you have to think about in terms of mission fit. For many, the moral issues will dictate their choice about the program. Legal issues may deter many others. As shown below, many states have legalized Cannabis, but it remains illegal under federal law. On the other hand, the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment prohibits federal prosecution of individuals complying with state medical cannabis laws.
How to Choose a new academic program,
Here we are in the middle of our series on Emerging Programs. Today I’ll share a program that’s truly on the cusp: unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs). We've heard about the possibility of unmanned, self-driving, and flying cars for years; now it’s becoming a reality. Why do higher-education institutions need to be watching this field? UAVs will both displace workers and create jobs that require new skills in designing, developing, manufacturing, maintaining, and managing fleets of UAVs.
Full speed ahead: What’s happening in the world of UAVs
Uber recently announced its partnership with Hyundai to launch an unmanned aerial taxi service, using electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircrafts. The plan is to have UAV service rolled out in Los Angeles and Dallas by 2023. The self-driving cars that are already out there have a giant rack of sensors on the roof, so they haven't necessarily nailed down the aesthetics just yet. The technology is evolving every day. In the maritime industry, drones that are essentially mini-submarines are already in action conducting jobs that previously were done by divers. In the delivery space, 2020 is the year that drones are slated to become a major player.
Welcome to day two of our Posts on Emerging Programs. Today’s program is not quite as far out there on the spectrum of emerging programs as Quantum Computing. Instead, the Human Microbiome is widely present in academic research and course catalogs. It’s not yet a stand-alone program, but it already has far-reaching implications for health, science, biology, and medicine. For example, while we will focus on the human microbiome, biologists are engineering the gut biome of waxworms so they can eat plastic.
What is the human microbiome?
Back in high school, I learned that bacteria were “bad,” parasitic creatures that caused infections and disease. We were taught to wash, scrub, and sanitize to remove these nasty critters from our environment.