Shifting to Online Teaching? How to Keep Your Sanity and Create a Great Course

Posted by Seth Houston on Mar 22, 2020 10:55:50 AM

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.

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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.

Topics: Programs, Coronavirus, online teaching


Emerging Programs Blog Series: Esports

Posted by Bob Atkins on Mar 13, 2020 10:43:46 AM

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

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.

Topics: Higher Education, College Courses, Emerging Programs, Academic Programs, Esports


Emerging Programs Blog Series: Cannabis

Posted by Bob Atkins on Mar 12, 2020 12:56:20 PM

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.

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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.

Topics: Higher Education, Online Programs, On-Ground Programs, Emerging Programs, How to Choose a new academic program, Cannabis


Emerging Programs Blog Series: Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles

Posted by Bob Atkins on Mar 11, 2020 12:54:07 PM

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.Unmanned

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.

Topics: Emerging Programs, Program Economics, New Programs, Unmanned Vehicles, Autonomous


Emerging Programs Blog Series: Human Microbiome

Posted by Bob Atkins on Mar 10, 2020 9:00:00 AM

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 Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 5.34.39 PMmedicine. 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.

Topics: Higher Education, Inquiry Volumes, Emerging Programs, Academic Programs, Microbiome


Emerging Programs Blog Series: Quantum Computing

Posted by Bob Atkins on Mar 9, 2020 9:00:00 AM

This week on the Gray Blog, I’ll be offering a five-day series on emerging programs. Join me here everyday and I’ll guide you through five emerging programs that we think are promising. I Bob_Atkins3would be remiss if I didn’t mention that some of these may not even be legal in your state and others are in their infancy (or perhaps before).

The emerging programs spectrum: There's no right place to be.

Some of the best program ideas aren't yet in the traditional data sources like IPEDs or the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We call these emerging programs because the taxonomy doesn’t include codes for these fields.

Topics: Emerging Programs, Academic Programs, New Programs, Quantum Computing, How to Choose a new academic program


Provenance of program economics models

Posted by William F. Massy on Mar 5, 2020 10:47:30 AM

Recently I revisited last summer’s joint statement by AIR, EDUCAUSE, and NACUBO entitled, “Analytics Can Save Higher Education. Really.”  It’s something all of us analytically-minded higher education people can and should get behind.  I’m thrilled that these three organizations have made analytics a priority, and that they are working to spread the information and knowhow that will spur adoption.

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Reading the statement reminded me of the tools we had to rely on before the development of today’s academic resourcing models that I've been writing about in these blogs.  The improvements are relevant for achieving the benefits described in the joint statement referenced above as well as my own Reengineering the University and forthcoming Resource Management for Colleges and Universities.  I'd like to share some of my experience in the early days of higher education analytics to show just how big a change the current models portend, and why that change is so important.

Topics: Undertanding Student demand, Programs, Program Margin, Program Economics


The Emerging Program Pool: What You Need to Know Before Jumping In

Posted by Bob Atkins on Feb 24, 2020 1:27:54 PM

The Emerging Program Pool: What You Need to Know Before Jumping In

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If you saw our recent webinar, 5 Emerging Programs for 2020, you know we have been thinking a lot about emerging programs. As a strategy consulting firm that focuses entirely on higher education, it is our duty to help our clients see what is coming. And we promise to share this crucial information here. We want you to have the latest information on the markets and margins for academic programs, so you can make the best program decisions for your school and mission.

Topics: Inquiry Volumes, Undertanding Student demand, Programs, Emerging Programs


Changing the Conversation

Posted by William F. Massy on Feb 13, 2020 2:01:46 PM

I’ve been writing a lot here about how modern analytics can help a college or university make better academic program portfolio decisions. For example, which programs, if any, should be expanded, downsized, or eliminated. These are mission-critical because it is through degree and other formally organized programs that institutions present their teaching prowess to the marketplace. Faculty usually focus on individual courses, but students look at programs when they decide which school to attend and what they say about it to their parents and peers. Thinking about program portfolios holistically helps schools compete in the marketplace, serve students better, and manage course availabilities and staffing more effectively. These matters fall squarely into the wheelhouse of both academic and financial officers.

Topics: Programs and Cities, Undertanding Student demand, Programs, College Courses, Curricular Efficiency


Blog 3:  Balancing Mission and Margin in University Resource Management

Posted by William F. Massy on Jan 7, 2020 2:44:07 PM

WFM Head Shot 2019It should come as no surprise that margin, the difference between cost and revenue, emerged in blogs 1 and 2 as a key variable in the economics of teaching.  What may be less obvious is that faculty and academic administrators need to take margin seriously.  Conventional wisdom says that academics should focus on mission and its associated teaching and scholarly priorities while leaving the management of margin—and by extension the use of models that measure margin—to the institution's accounting and financial people.  This blog describes why the conventional wisdom is wrong:  why effective academic resource management requires mission and margin to be considered together, and why this is best done by the academic side of the house.

Topics: Undertanding Student demand, Programs, College Courses