Category: Edge of Learning

Financial Aid, WGU, and OIG

Quite a few people have asked me for my opinion this week about WGU and the recent OIG finding. I think the underlying problem is not the model employed by WGU, it is how we fund financial aid. When it came to the distribution of financial aid and the tuition rates they charged, WGU was one of the most ethically responsible educational organizations I have ever worked for. The staff worked tirelessly to keep tuition low by any means possible (approximately $3000 per 6-month term, with no raise in tuition for 8 years), and to educate students about the...

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100 Technology Skills for Today’s Workforce

As the “growth” of AI becomes mainstream conversation, we hear more and more about the need to prepare students to be relevant in an increasingly knowledge-based economy. It’s not the facts we teach in school that are important, it’s the skills and ability to think and solve problems. If we want college graduates to enter the workforce being functional and valued workers, we have to make sure they also learn some digital skills as part of their college experience. There is no avoiding digital skills in today’s workplace. Most of our students “use” technology (smartphones, social media, and laptops),...

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Learning at Scale Slides from ICTCM

Learning at Scale: Using Research To Improve Learning Practices and Technology for Teaching Math In the last 5 years, there has been a rise in what we might call “large-scale digital learning experiments.”  These take the form of centralized courses, vendor-created courseware, online homework systems, MOOCs, and free-range learning platforms. If we mine the research, successes, and failures coming out of these experiments, what can we discover about designing better digital learning experiences and technology for the learning of mathematics? Learning at Scale: Using Research To Improve Learning Practices and Technology for Teaching Math from Maria Andersen   Possibly...

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Clickety Click Click: Awful Measures for Learning

I feel a little inspired by Sam Ford’s post The Year We Talk About Our Awful Metrics. Ford writes about the need for change in metrics of online media publications, but we could just as easily be discussing the metrics of learning management systems, ed-tech vendor platforms, and institutional analytics. Ford argues that we need to “get serious” about better forms of measurement in 2017. As long as we are measuring metrics with little meaning, we aren’t really improving learning. Let me give you a few examples to illustrate the similar problems in education. Page Clicks As in, how many pages...

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Why high contextual interference?

This week I followed a hunch and, with the help of a friend who is a music educator, dug into some additional research around this idea of blocked and random practice. In music there are a few goals to achieve with any passage of music: can you play a passage accurately by itself? can you play the passage in the larger context of the piece? can you play the passage to tempo? can you play the passage with the right expression? Think about these goals in your own subject area and see if you can find a similar set...

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