Category: Future of Higher Ed

Reimagining Calculus Keynote

Yesterday I gave the keynote at the Reimagining Calculus Conference held at Stevens Institute of Technology. I was able to record the audio/slides from my laptop. So if you want to revisit the talk or share it with colleagues, you can. This may very well be the talk remembered for “Maria blowing up factoring” (a bit controversial) and the themes from the talk were revisited throughout the day in the other talks and panel. Possibly Related Posts: Adjuncts shouldn’t have to fix a broken system Financial Aid, WGU, and OIG 100 Technology Skills for Today’s Workforce Learning at Scale...

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Adjuncts shouldn’t have to fix a broken system

For 10 years I taught as a full-time professor at a community college. My loads were between 4-4-0 and 5-5-4, depending on the year. Typically I had 2-4 preps each semester. With a PhD and two Master’s degrees my hourly wage was somewhere around $40/hr if I truly worked a 40-hour week and I received health care and retirement benefits on top of that. Realistically, benefits probably made my hourly wage more like $60/hr, but then working 60-hour weeks brought it back to about $40/hr. I left academia in 2012 to pursue a career in the corporate world, and...

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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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Interdisciplinary Courseware to the Rescue?

In the midst of all the bling of media-rich, adaptive, personalized, [insert-buzzword-here] digital products, there is a lurking underlying problem:   Teaching the same 100-yr old curriculum via innovative digital methods is not solving the real learning problems. #DLNchat #needbetter — Maria H. Andersen (@busynessgirl) October 11, 2016 The general education curriculum in higher education has barely changed. Today’s world is cross-disciplinary, culturally diverse, and team-oriented. There is almost no problem that can be solved in a silo content area with a team of one. We need new cross-disciplinary curriculum. We need courses that are more engaging and reflective of today’s...

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Adding Future Proof Skills to Course Syllabii

There are many college-level courses that are required but not beloved by students. Math requirements, in particular, are particularly disliked by most students. I believe that we teach mathematics to help students develop logical thinking, attention to detail, and a method for attacking problems of all types. The subject of mathematics provides a common language and structure to allow the development of these skills. Unfortunately, in our zeal to explain “when we are going to use this” we wander into the dark land of contrived application problems and ridiculous problem constraints. But what if there were another way to...

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