Monday, May 25, 2015

Online Courses Fail at Community Colleges

More evidence for one of the most uniformly-verified findings I've seen in education: online courses strike out for community college students. From a paper by researchers at U.C.-Davis, presented at the American Educational Research Association's conference in April:
“In every subject, students are doing better face-to-face,” said Cassandra Hart, one of the paper’s authors. “Other studies have found the same thing. There’s a strong body of evidence building up that students are not doing quite as well in online courses, at least as the courses are being designed now in the community college sector.”
More at

Monday, May 18, 2015

Teaching Evolution in Kentucky

A professor discusses teaching evolution in Kentucky. "Every time a student stomps out of my auditorium slamming the door on the way, I can’t help but question my abilities." (Link.)

(Thanks to Jonathan Scott Miller for the link.)

Monday, May 11, 2015

On Definitions

Fromthe MathBabe blog by poster EllipticCurve, here:
Mathematical definitions mean nothing until you actually use them in anger, i.e. to solve a problem...

Monday, May 4, 2015

Quad Partners Buys Inside Higher Ed

From Education News in January:
Although there has been no public announcement made, Quad Partners, a New York private equity firm devoted to the for-profit college industry, recently gained a controlling stake in the education trade publication Inside Higher Ed (IHE).  The publication routinely reports on for-profit colleges and surrounding policy disputes, and the publication is now listed among investments on the Quad Partners website.
Read more here.

Monday, April 27, 2015

ETS on Millennials

A fascinating report on international education and job-ready skills from the Educational Testing Service. Particularly so, as it almost directly impinges on committee work that I've been doing lately. Core findings:
  • While U.S. millennials have far higher degree certifications than prior generations, their literacy, numeracy, and use-of-technology skills are demonstrably lower.
  • U.S. millennials rank 16th of 22 countries in literacy. They are 20th of 22 in numeracy. They are tied for last in technology-based problem solving.
  • Numeracy for U.S. millennials has been dropping across all percentiles since at least 2003.

See the online report here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Causes of College Cost Inflation

From testimony at Ohio State (link):
  1. Decreased state funding
  2. Administrative bloat
  3. Cost of athletics
(Thanks to Jonathan Scott Miller for the link.)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pupils Prefer Paper

You may have already seen this article on the work of Naomi S. Baron at American University: her studies show that for textbook-style reading and studying, young college students still prefer paper books over digital options. Why? Because of reading.
In years of surveys, Baron asked students what they liked least about reading in print. Her favorite response: “It takes me longer because I read more carefully.”...

Another significant problem, especially for college students, is distraction. The lives of millennials are increasingly lived on screens. In her surveys, Baron writes that she found “jaw-dropping” results to the question of whether students were more likely to multitask in hard copy (1 percent) vs. reading on-screen (90 percent).

Read the article at the Washington Post.