Thursday, September 19, 2013

Harvard Magazine Article about Physics Professor Eric Mazur and Classroom Flipping

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Online Classes and Degree Programs (2013)

from New York Times
Online Classes Move Closer to Degree Programs
By TAMAR LEWINPublished: September 17, 2013
Coursera and edX, the two largest providers of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are inching closer to offering degree programs, although the courses so far carry no academic credit. Coursera is now offering courses from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, covering most of its MBA program’s first year curriculum. And Edx is starting two “sequences,” linked courses in a particular discipline. Both are from MIT: Foundations of Computer Science, a set of undergraduate courses that will begin this fall, and Supply Chain and Logistics Management, a set of graduate level courses that will begin in fall 2014.

Example of Embedded Google Doc Allowing Comments

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ten Part Washington Post Series on Higher Education (2013)

Dylan Matthew's ten-part series "TUITION'S TOO DAMN HIGH" on the Washington Post's "WonkBLOGS" appeared this summer. Matthews is a young journalist new to the education beat.  Some criticism of the series emphasized its "book report" quality (in contrast to "real reporting"), but it does a decent job of bringing lots of things folks are talking about onto our radar screens in these short pieces. -DR

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Myth of Learning Styles

A piece from Change Magazine by our former colleague Cedar Reiner.

How to Get a Job With a Philosophy Degree: Career Services and the Liberal Arts

From New York Times Magazine.  

Ostensibly a profile of Andy Chan, Wake Forest's VP for "Personal and Career Development," this article suggests a conversation about the role of career services in the context of liberal arts education. On the one side is the idea that pairing vigorous career services with liberal arts has three results: 1) students DO major in liberal arts subjects, 2) they get jobs, 3) donors (especially parents) love it. On the other is the concern that "[i]t reduces an education to the marketplace."  The comments on the article make for interesting reading.

How to Get a Job With a Philosophy Degree 
Published: September 13, 2013 
On a Friday in late August, parents of freshmen starting at Wake Forest University, a small, prestigious liberal-arts school in Winston-Salem, N.C., attended orientation sessions that coached them on how to separate, discouraged them from contacting their children’s professors and assured them about student safety. Finally, as their portion of orientation drew to a close, the parents joined their students in learning the school song and then were instructed to form a huge ring around the collective freshman class, in a show of support. 
For years, most liberal-arts schools seemed to put career-services offices “somewhere just below parking” as a matter of administrative priority, in the words of Wake Forest’s president, Nathan Hatch. But increasingly, even elite, decidedly non-career-oriented schools are starting to promote their career services during the freshman year, in response to fears about the economy, an ongoing discussion about college accountability and, in no small part, the concerns of parents, many of whom want to ensure a return on their exorbitant investment.

See Also

Website of the Office of Career and Personal Development at Wake Forest

Saturday, September 14, 2013

King & Sen. 2013. "The Troubled Future of Colleges and Universities."

King, G. and M. Sen. 2013. "The Troubled Future of Colleges and Universities." PS: Political Science and Politics 46, no. 1: 81--113.

Recent Pieces from AAUP


What Presidents and Boards are Reading About

The most recent issue of Trusteeship Magazine, a publication of the Association of Governing Boards.

A Feminist Alternative to MOOCs?

Feminist Anti-MOOC
Inside Higher Ed August 19, 2013 
By Scott Jaschik 

At first glance, "Feminism and Technology" sounds like another massive open online open course. The course will involve video components, and will be available online to anyone, with no charge. There are paths to credit, and it's fine for students to take the course without seeking credit. An international student body is expected.

But don't look for this course in any MOOC catalog. "Feminism and Technology" is trying to take a few MOOC elements, but then to change them in ways consistent with feminist pedagogy to create a distributed open collaborative course or DOCC (pronounced "dock").

NYT 9/2013 Study Sees Benefit in Courses With Nontenured Instructors

National Bureau of Economic Research study based on data from more than 15,000 students who arrived at Northwestern University from 2001 to 2008.

Study Sees Benefit in Courses With Nontenured Instructors 
Published: September 9, 2013  

While many higher education experts — and parents — bemoan the fact that tenured professors are a shrinking presence, now making up less than a quarter of the academic work force, a study released Monday found, surprisingly, that students in introductory classes learned more from outside instructors than from tenured or tenure-track professors.

Students taught by untenured faculty were more likely to take a second course in the discipline and more likely to earn a better grade in the next course than those whose first course was taught by a tenured or tenure-track instructor, the report said.

See Also
  1. Berrett, Dan. "Ad­juncts Are Bet­ter Teachers Than Tenured Professors, Study Finds." Chronicle of Higher Education September 9, 2013.
  2. Figlio at SSRN
  3. Jaschik Scott. "The Adjunct Advantage." Inside Higher Ed September 9, 2013
  4. Safdar, Khadeeja. "Students Learn Better From Professors Outside Tenure System." Wall Street Journal Blog
  5. Schapiro President of Northwestern Page 

NYT 9/13 "New Metric for Colleges: Graduates’ Salaries" ranks over 1000 institutions in terms of what their graduates earn and what kinds of jobs they get.

New Metric for Colleges: Graduates’ Salaries
Published: September 13, 2013 

U.S. News & World Report released its eagerly anticipated annual rankings of universities and colleges this week, and two of the usual suspects — Princeton University and Williams College — came out on top. Prospective students and their parents can evaluate these institutions on a variety of measures deemed important by U.S. News.

What they won’t find is any way to assess what some consider the most important issue in this still-tough economy: How much can graduates of these schools expect to earn?

King. 2013. "Restructuring the Social Sciences"

King, Gary. In Press. Restructuring the Social Sciences: Reflections from Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Forthcoming PS: Political Science and Politics

King & Sen. 2013. "How Social Science Research Can Improve Teaching"

King, G. and M. Sen. 2013. "How  Social Science Research Can Improve Teaching" PS: Political Science and Politics 46, no. 3: 621-629..

2013 AAUP Report on the Economic Status of the Profession

Salary Survey

Mills Page