Hybrid learning sparks new worries about cheating. Can assessment evolve?

Hybrid mastering sparks new anxieties about cheating. Can evaluation evolve?


Greg Toppo is a longtime training author and author.

Anyone who crossed their fingers hoping the school slide expression would go easily acquired a harsh dose of reality: Regardless of visuals of crowded soccer stadiums and tightly packed convocations, coronavirus variants often designed this fall glance a good deal like final tumble. 

The rise of cases on campus brought the prospect — nevertheless all over again — of distant finding out.

Greg Toppo

Authorization granted by Greg Toppo


In August, California State College, Stanislaus, introduced it was moving all classes online right up until Oct. 1. Others, these kinds of as Rice University, in Texas, took in the same way cautious stances. Meanwhile, Lehigh University, in Pennsylvania, and a few other people allowed professors to determine no matter if or not to shift their courses on line yet again in the face of soaring circumstance counts. 

The variations ongoing late into the phrase. In December, Middlebury School, in Vermont, detected a increase in coronavirus conditions and made the decision to changeover to remote instruction, which include for ultimate exams. The omicron variant is prompting some colleges to start off with on the internet instruction when courses commence following the new 12 months.

With the increase of hybrid and distant discovering, problems about cheating may well spike, as well. According to new reports, university officers say tutorial misconduct instances soared throughout the 2020-21 university year. At Virginia Commonwealth University, these kinds of circumstances additional than tripled, and at the College of Georgia, they extra than doubled. 

Lately, I researched and wrote a paper commissioned by System Hero checking out the existing environment encompassing educational integrity. I spoke to and read through the function of a range of lecturers who are thinking deeply about dishonest. Lots of now see the disruption of typical educational existence not as a crisis to be solved, but as an option to see learners in a new mild: as customers responding to a technique that is, at greatest, battling to meet their wants. 

Fairly than just bemoaning students’ cheating, can we see this moment as a chance to rethink assessment?

As an education writer, I have been pursuing this difficulty for decades. When the 100-yr record of study on educational integrity has concentrated practically completely on college student behaviors and “character,” a escalating amount of scholars are now shining a light-weight on institutional things these kinds of as depersonalization and professors’ insufficient training in fantastic assessment.

We shouldn’t be astonished when in the turmoil of the previous 12 months-and-a-fifty percent, learners who have used their life targeted on earning superior grades obtain new techniques to … gain far better grades.

Michael Feldstein, an sector analyst who runs the education and learning engineering blog site eLiterate, reported in a website write-up that pupils who just take gain of courseware assist web-sites, normally derided as dishonest, have a great, rational reason for doing so: Most instructors are not properly trained in how to use and grade research and assessments correctly. 

But as the pandemic endures — and the persistence of online finding out endures alongside with it — a several students are urging faculty to rethink both the varieties of assessments they offer and, much more broadly, the forms of understanding they assume. 

For 1 point, they say, we should not be surprised when in the turmoil of the earlier calendar year-and-a-fifty percent, learners who have used their life concentrated on earning much better grades discover new strategies to … generate improved grades.

We are inquiring traditional more youthful pupils, normally 17-to-21-12 months-olds whose decision-producing competencies are nonetheless creating, to morally self-regulate, according to Tricia Bertram Gallant, who directs the academic integrity office environment at the University of California, San Diego. And we are inquiring older, nontraditional pupils to realize success in a program that typically gives tiny aid or direction as they juggle academic requires and actual-everyday living obligations to their households and occupations. Either way, we require a new way of aiding learners triumph.

Bertram Gallant is among the a compact team of scholars urging school to rethink regular assessments. Simply submitting a published test on the internet for learners to complete is “just not how superior pedagogy evaluation is effective in on the web mastering,” she mentioned all through a podcast interview in February.

In the experience of the pandemic, Bertram Gallant has famous, faculty in UC San Diego’s engineering school commenced experimenting very last summer months with oral exams, which for students are “extra relevant to currently being an engineer than creating issues out.” The examinations also permit school to connect far more closely with pupils. 

We ought to consider her suggestion critically and leverage this disaster to target additional intently on finding out, competence and proficiency.

We require more institutions to assume even larger about mastering and evaluation.

As it is, our reward-dependent process for tutorial grading and evaluation “is not competency-centered, it’s credential-centered,” explained Ralph Wolff, founder and senior adviser of QA Commons, a nonprofit building new result metrics centered on how perfectly ready college students are for employability in their to start with position.

If we care about planning college students for “citizenship and the globe of do the job,” he said at a latest roundtable event, we must acknowledge that they are going to usually be doing work in groups and collaborating. “We will need authentic assessments that show these capacities to apply expertise.”

Even at storied establishments like West Point — where by an on the internet dishonest scandal final wintertime swallowed up about 6% of the course of 2023 — improvements in contemplating about pedagogy might be obtaining an impact. The faculty has reportedly begun shifting its emphasis, relying far more on cooperative finding out, among the other variations. 

We will need additional institutions to imagine even larger about finding out and assessment. Going ahead, faculties will largely find it much easier to tighten test-having procedures, self-control the cheaters and preserve on giving common assessments. And students will obtain ways to sport the method. But it does not have to be this way. Fantastic educators are usually exploring for new techniques to interact and enlighten college students. Innovating when it comes to assessment is just the upcoming chapter of that research.

American Public Education completes Graduate School USA acquisition

American General public Education and learning completes Graduate School Usa acquisition


Dive Temporary:

  • American General public Training Inc., the for-income business that operates the American Public University System and its American Military College, has closed on an acquisition of Graduate School Usa, which trains federal governing administration workforce.
  • The acquired service provider will be a standalone device of APEI, which will keep on working it below the Graduate Faculty United states name. The transaction, which was productive Jan. 1, was first declared in August as a $1 million asset sale.
  • APEI describes the deal as fitting into a concentration on supplying schooling and degree applications for “company-minded” pupils this kind of as veterans, those people in the army and people in healthcare. It also explained the acquisition would diversify the company’s firms.

Dive Insight:

Graduate College United states is the next acquisition in about four months for APEI, a publicly traded business based in Charles City, West Virginia. In September, APEI finished a obtain of Rasmussen College, a 16,900-pupil, 23-campus institution that emphasizes nursing and well being sciences instruction at places in six states and on the web. That offer was first announced in Oct 2020 for $329 million.

APEI’s American Military University and American Community University alongside one another enroll about 90,000 adults. The Rasmussen acquisition practically doubled APEI’s income to about $600 million. 

The Rasmussen deal also broadened revenue streams for the company, providing it just one-3rd army and veteran students, just one-third nursing students and one-3rd on-line adult college students. It additional about 8,500 nursing pupils on best of 2,300 nursing students that APEI presently enrolled at its Hondros College or university of Nursing in Ohio and Indiana.

Graduate College United states signifies a significantly scaled-down-scale growth for APEI. Graduate College USA’s yearly income averaged a lot more than $20 million more than the last a few decades. It has averaged about 15,000 open up-enrollment students for each yr above the very same time.

The freshly obtained supplier has a catalog of much more than 300 programs. It counts a lot more than 100 governing administration company prospects, which includes the departments of Defense, Homeland Protection, Justice, and Overall health and Human Expert services.

The company has cast the acquire as an essential enlargement into job and workforce teaching. 

“Educating provider-minded pupils is the popular thread that knits alongside one another our shared mission, and we are psyched to welcome GSUSA’s strong federal instruction capabilities to the APEI family,” APEI’s CEO, Angela Selden, stated in a assertion.

When the deal was very first announced, Selden said it delivered opportunities to create new stackable credentials and give Graduate University United states college students the ability to generate levels at APEI establishments.

Social media icons featuring Snapchat icon

Adventures with Snapchat in an On the web Program | Faculty Concentrate


*This article initially appeared in the Teaching Professor on February 25, 2019. © Magna Publications. All legal rights reserved. 

Snapchat is a online video/image-sharing application that has develop into approximately ubiquitous with young men and women because of to a pair of special features. One particular, the shared content material automatically disappears right after a set time. A shared Snap (a one impression or movie) goes absent right after being considered by the receiver, even though a Story (a collection of photos or video clips) disappears following 24 hrs. Second, it enables customers to include cartoon visuals to the material, these types of as the bunny noses that you see reposted on Facebook. It also has filters for transforming the shade and other features of shared images, captioning, and texting options.

I preferred to see how interaction in my course could be improved by leveraging a social media app that students ended up currently employing. Specially, I experienced 4 targets in intellect:

  1. Make improvements to teacher presence.
  2. Engage and hook up college students outside the house of the class internet site to establish neighborhood and persuade the growth of friendships that could possibly lengthen past graduation.
  3. Handle usually asked occupation-connected issues, which appear up often, but are not element of the curriculum.
  4. Investigate the probable use of a new social media platform in on line schooling as a qualified growth activity, transferring us all out of our consolation zones.

Participation was voluntary, so I was careful to not put up any details about the study course via Snapchat that was not also accessible in the LMS. No graded assignments required the use of Snapchat. I in essence invited students to use Snapchat as they wished to see what would take place.


Here are the actions I followed to get the course began with Snapchat:

  1. Program announcement. At the beginning of week two, I invited college students to take part in what I regarded as would be a social media and interaction experience. I furnished a website link to additional facts and emphasised that participation was completely voluntary.
  2. Student guide. I shared a Google Doc that explained my objectives for the undertaking, what learners could hope every single week, how to get begun with Snapchat, and how to connect with me on the Snapchat system.
  3. Exercise scheduling matrix. Mapping out the training course modules, I designed a plan for when and what I would “Snap” or share every week: Mondays – typical announcements, Thursdays – assignment reminders, Friday – vocation suggestions.

Numerous makes use of

A little range of pupils joined my Snapchat journey, but I was confused by the diverse strategies these learners applied the application to converse. Right here are just a few illustrations of the conversation we seasoned via Snapchat:

  1. Assignment clarification. A student snapped a photograph of assignment directions on her pc display with the question: “It states there is a checklist for the peer testimonials. The place can I discover that?” Nicely, there was not a “checklist,” so I was able to rapidly react and immediate her to a rubric, and then alter the wording in the assignment to strengthen the recommendations for everybody.
  2. Building connections. I eventually additional a Saturday Snap to my program, sharing little specifics about my travel, hobbies, etcetera. Just after sharing a Snap that showed lengthy-awaited excellent climate, a college student replied utilizing the chat software to say, “Looks calming. My son had a band concert tonight that was quite fantastic.” On one more Saturday I shared a screenshot of my grading interface (no private facts obvious) with the caption, “Rainy times are excellent for catching up with grading … and potentially a good deal of e mail.” A college student replied “I’m performing the exact nowadays … lesson plans and ending grading. Development reports go dwelling this week.”
  3. Bitmoji integration. I quickly understood that it is straightforward to use Bitmoji with Snapchat. Bitmoji is an application that will allow you to create a personalized cartoon avatar of by yourself. This increased the knowledge as my students and I communicated with Snaps and chat messages employing our Bitmojis to specific ideas and emotions. I puzzled if the use of avatars would enable learners get snug expressing on their own to other individuals and I located that it did look to support us get to know each individual other a small better.

Scholar comments

I deployed two surveys all through the last week of lessons. Of the pupils that participated, 50 percent had not tried using Snapchat prior to the class commenced. All of them observed the Monday bulletins, Thursday reminders, and Friday vocation suggestions “useful,” although 50 percent discovered the Saturday posts “useful” and “fun.”

I also questioned this group to weigh in on my targets. Absolutely everyone agreed that I was capable to enhance my teacher presence in the system, when 50 percent stated that my Snapchat use impacted their engagement and tackled applicable job subject areas.

Foreseeable future uses

As my consolation stage with Snapchat grows, I will be giving more significant options for college students to interact using the app. For instance, as soon as I understood you could increase an attachment to a Snap, a host of sharing alternatives opened up (e.g., sharing the study url via a Snap). It would also be fascinating to tie Snapchat into an assignment. Students could, for example, submit an write-up critique by way of a narrative sequence of photos and movies as a Snapchat Story, in its place of a paper or presentation.

If you are intrigued in striving Snapchat in your classes, do not be concerned to share your newness with making use of the application with your college students. Students are extra inclined to  enable you master about the application. It also helps to have a “buddy” in the approach. Come across a colleague who is intrigued in hoping a little something new with you and share your successes, failures, confusion, and discoveries alongside the way. Stepping out of my convenience zone never ever seems to get much easier, but just about normally proves to be worth the effort and hard work.

For extra content articles like this, check out a Teaching Professor membership for $19 regular monthly or $149 yearly.

Melissa A. Venable teaches instructional style and job management at the University of South Florida and Saint Leo College.

Write-up Views:

President Speaks: Stop asking whether online learning is 'worth it.' Start focusing on how it helps working adults.

President Speaks: Prevent asking no matter whether on the internet understanding is ‘worth it.’ Commence focusing on how it will help doing the job adults.


Don Kilburn is the CEO of UMass On the internet, the on-line arm of the College of Massachusetts. 

I hope we are, particularly in mild of new gatherings, very well earlier the stage where the price of on-line finding out as a modality is in any question. Indeed, there can be a stupefying spectrum of high quality of on the net finding out plans, ranging from the shoddy to the environment class, but that same spectrum applies to encounter-to-experience studying.

Alternatively than participating in a discussion about whether or not on the web mastering is “worth it,” we need a much more advanced debate that examines the nuances of strong online applications and how we can make them operate much better for present-day learners, especially all those now in the workforce.

As we’ve all seen, the needs of today’s learners and personnel are considerably transforming in reaction to the pandemic and a host of other existing-day challenges. As a common rule, folks are overstretched, are overworked and their monetary predicament is tenuous. They will not have a ton of time to spend in instructional programs that may perhaps or may perhaps not support them on the job. That applies similarly to the 38-yr-outdated who wants to upskill for a advertising and the 18-calendar year-aged leaving higher college. In 2022 America, issues are moving quickly, and increased training wants to adapt.

Don Kilburn


In a lot of of the rapidly made applications that popped up mid-pandemic, online finding out is practically nothing far more than, as Harvard Enterprise Overview states, “easy ‘remote learning’ through reside Zoom courses, a method very little evolved from movie conferencing from the late-1990s.” But, the greatest-intended on the internet finding out systems are in truth truly worth the financial investment due to the fact they really put together men and women, even in the midst of a disaster, to demonstrate their readiness to employers.

So what does superb on the internet learning for functioning grown ups glimpse like? The earlier decade has witnessed so significantly innovation in this room, and it truly is useful to break down that innovation into two distinctive areas that matter most to modern doing work adult pupils.

Relevance. This is the most essential spot of innovation and in which so considerably work has taken spot in the best on the net plans. A person concern is essential: “How can we additional carefully tie our students’ instructional practical experience to their workplace ordeals?” When set up leaders of field and larger instruction be a part of forces all over the prevalent aim of making more robust, faster, extra successful pathways from training to operate, persons will receive the qualifications and develop the capabilities that result in better position alternatives and a richer expertise pipeline. 

A person these types of alliance has been recognized in between the University of Massachusetts and the commonwealth’s premier personal employer, Mass Common Brigham. Jointly, we have produced a certificate and degree completion pathway for health care pros, letting them to gain an on the net bachelor’s degree in organization administration as element of Mass Common Brigham’s workforce advancement tactic. 

The method specifically relates to what folks in the healthcare discipline have to have to know ideal now. In this on the internet plan, Mass Typical Brigham’s staff get courses through the clinic system’s educational assistance system, construct their expertise and position by themselves to progress inside of the health care market, whose occupations are projected by the Bureau of Labor Stats to improve by 16% — or 2.6 million careers — from 2020 to 2030.

Here, the fast relevance of what pupils master is value its body weight in gold for the employee and the employer.

Flexibility. For any discovering style and design, sound pedagogy and strong industry partnerships to necessarily mean nearly anything, learners first need to have to access the instructional experience in a way that fits their lives. Other than for the uncommon students who are really fiscally unbiased, the times when learners could fall all the things to go after increased instruction are rapidly drawing to a near. 

Realistic and flexible scheduling will have to be part of the offer for functioning grownups, and that generally appears to be like like an asynchronous understanding natural environment, a single that pupils can dip in and out of as their agenda permits. We see this variety of versatility designed into several of the online degree systems now made available by major businesses this kind of as Disney, Walmart and AAA. The best among the these partnerships also enable employees to leap around some of the hurdles that may well generally hinder anyone from pursuing a diploma. 

By Guild Education and learning, UMass Global is part of a network of universities enabling numerous important U.S. companies, including Walmart, to present free school as a place of work reward. 

In the Walmart instance, 3 establishments — UMass World-wide, the University of Florida, and Bellevue University — removed obstacles to entry by aiming to settle for anyone from the organization who applies. They delivered academic coaches and help at all those essential junctures in which a potential university student may possibly get tripped up, this sort of as the instances of software, fiscal assist or degree decision. 

Imagine the difference people touchpoints and assist methods make for a to start with-generation higher education scholar or a one dad or mum who requires assistance throughout the entire process? On-line learners have earned to know they usually are not just “fortunate to be listed here,” as they may encounter with some “elite” establishments, but that they are certainly welcome to discover and grow together with their peers. 

Only by means of online mastering can someone in rural New Mexico have specifically the exact significant-quality understanding working experience as a person sitting down on a College of Massachusetts campus. That is the evidence of online education’s equalizing power. 

I am energized the countrywide dialogue is relocating past, “Is on the internet as superior as experience-to-deal with?” Instead of squabbling above the virtues of on the net vs . in-particular person learning, let’s as an alternative take pleasure in the energy this modality retains, when done suitable, to help working grown ups make significant changes in their lives, significantly at a time when so several Us citizens have to have all the assist they can get.

Instructor performs online lab with video

Tactics to Elicit Engagement in On-line Labs | Faculty Target


Nonverbal interaction is important for engaged finding out and effective teaching. In-man or woman classes allowed me to assess the usefulness of my lessons by reading through the facial reactions from college students. Confusion, disengagement, awareness, and epiphany times all experienced unique facial signatures that I could use to my benefit as an instructor. Such in-the-instant, on-the-location responses enable me know when some thing wanted to be repeated or explained in another way for better being familiar with. This sort of gauging system can still be utilized to the distant classroom, but only to learners who have their cameras turned on. However, it is widespread for learners to have their cameras off and there is no way to formally mandate their use. There are techniques, nevertheless, to nevertheless elicit engagement.

Training into the void

In remote options, scholar engagement can be improved by contacting on blank-screens for responses, featuring compact quantities of additional credit rating for answering challenging in-class concerns, completing impromptu assignments, and participating in breakout place team pursuits. Modifying some of these can prompt reciprocal visible participation as very well! For instance, when talking about macromolecules and their marriage to nutrition and food plan, I check with my learners to maintain up a food stuff item from their kitchen area that has a proportionately higher information of a distinct macromolecule. College students frequently existing salmon, burger meat, sweet, oil, etc. all of which (to many degrees) foster classroom conversation, personalize the matter to the students (even outside of that of which can be acquired with in-human being instruction), and promote consolation with cameras becoming on. I do a little something identical when discussing microbial product organisms for our genetics laboratory. I describe to my college students the sorts of microbes made use of to make the info they will be analyzing the similar species they would have utilised for their fingers-on and in-man or woman experiment. Then, in breakout rooms, I have learners get a couple of minutes to investigation people model organisms and exactly where they are generally observed. The college students are then informed to come across an item or man or woman from their house symbolizing a source of this kind of microorganism (I normally remind college students to keep the demonstrate-and-tell ideal). Students maintain items to their cameras such as a shower sponge to depict a locale for Serratia marcescens and many foodstuff items to stand for prospective locations for varieties of E. coli.

These shorter, basic exercise routines make remote sessions not only easy, but pleasant, lively, and significant to the college students. Also, by selling reciprocal video feeds, these tactics participate in towards a person of my teaching strengths: my enthusiasm for the articles. Teacher enthusiasm is usually contagious to pupils and additional engages them. With a heightened reciprocity in movie feed, social interaction will become a good comments loop the place I turn out to be additional engaged with pupil existence.

When university student screens are off, remote finding out has occasionally been referred to as “teaching into the void.” Having said that, by employing quick scavenger hunt-like routines, an teacher can transform a hard subject matter into a discovering knowledge that has customized added benefits even over and above that of in-human being modalities.

Connectivity problems

Dependence upon computer software, hardware, and online connectivity can generate issue for interruptive situations to college student mastering. Even so, this can be primarily averted by the teacher and students proactively selecting the most dependable equipment right before the semester and prior to every single course. Reducing the quantity of browser tabs, home windows, and lively qualifications plans, to only individuals crucial to class time, should really be a exercise employed by all distant instructors and promulgated to all distant learners.

Repurposing remote lab learning

Whilst I have not taught the laboratory component of our introductory biology study course for numerous semesters, I do instruct a corresponding lecture. As these kinds of, it was an honor to enable repurpose the laboratory guide for distant-mastering final summer time. I also amended my usual genetics laboratory routines. Numerous of these modified laboratory exercise routines had wonderful utility in this emergency situation. For case in point, in a cells and molecules lab I applied interactive atomic modeling to foster comprehending on molecular buildings and houses of useful groups. In an additional lab’s supplemental activity on osmosis, pupils dissolved shells from eggs in vinegar, placed the eggs in syrup (representing a hypertonic resolution), and then manufactured observations on the adjust in egg dimension/shape. In an exercise on hydrophobicity, learners had been requested to attempt mixing oil and drinking water from their kitchens. Yet again, these small, uncomplicated pursuits personalize and energize distant mastering labs, but also aid pupils kinesthetically visualize distinctive principles.

Molecular modeling during workplace hrs with Dr. Aguiar

I also utilized a free, on the net, recreation-based mostly finding out software to enhance my genetics labs that was creatively found out by colleagues. Both equally Geniverse and Geniventure (by Concord Consortium) permitted learners to fortify genetic ideas by manipulating virtual dragons by way of breeding experiments. The rules of chromosome segregation, numerous modes of inheritance, and genotypes’ affect on phenotype are just a handful of of the ideas visually reiterated by these pleasurable game titles. And being world-wide-web-based, these can nutritional supplement future courses considering that pupils can do them remotely and from anywhere! This is an component that lots of pupils certainly recognize.

Photograph of Dev Patel (Airforce mechanic and genetics scholar to Dr. Regulation) carrying out a Geniventure Mission even though on break at the Airforce Academy.

All modified workouts that fostered pupil collaboration and effectuated any at-house, hands-on application appeared to be optimum for engagement/mastering.

The ostensible takeaway: distant learning laboratories have special troubles, but they certainly have strengths, some of which surpass these of in-particular person lessons. In addition, many of the issues for remote discovering can be mitigated and even manufactured helpful, merely by applying small educating methods. Most importantly, in emergencies these types of as this pandemic, it is crucial that learners can be provided substantive, carefully crafted remote labs that can complement their science lectures!

Adam Aguiar, PhD, started performing toward his PhD dissertation investigate on prostate cancer development and metastasis at the College of Delaware.  In late 2011, Aguiar received his PhD in molecular biology and genetics.

All over Aguiar’s graduate and article graduate many years, he has published many peer-reviewed posts in scientific journals. Additionally, Aguiar teaches classes at Stockton College in genetics, cells and molecules, biodiversity and evolution, and cell biology and biophysics, as well as his personal self-made general reports course on ecology and saltwater fishing. In addition to becoming an assistant professor at Stockton for the last 10 a long time, Aguiar has also taught introductory biology courses at Brookdale Local community University, and anatomy and physiology at Ocean County College. In all of his programs, he tries to use many instructing methods to tackle various modes of discovering among the the pupils in class.  These ways consist of course conversations, analogies, films, props, and both of those instructor and university student principle drawing. The most important software Aguiar makes use of is only his enthusiasm for the material—it’s said to be infectious and will get learners more engaged and to treatment far more about the material.   

Put up Sights:

The chess game behind senators' inquiry into OPMs

The chess game behind senators’ inquiry into OPMs


Last year, a decade-old $115,000 online master’s degree in social work made waves. 

The two-year program, at the University of Southern California, left many of its graduates with low salaries and high debt, The Wall Street Journal reported. Its recent graduates who’d taken out federal loans owed a median $112,000. Half earned just $52,000 per year or less two years after graduating.

But USC didn’t develop the online program alone — it contracted with 2U, an education company that does business with nonprofit universities such as Georgetown and Rice to launch and run online degree programs in exchange for a cut of their tuition revenue. 2U performs an array of services for its university clients, including marketing and recruiting, student support and content creation. 

The Journal placed some of the blame for the USC situation on 2U, reporting that the company’s recruiters persistently contacted prospective students and an admissions counselor informed them that the program may be willing to consider GPAs as low as 2.5.

The news triggered debates about who should be held accountable for the program’s poor student financial outcomes. It also caught the attention of Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and Tina Smith, who sent a letter last month to 2U and seven similar companies requesting information about their contracts with colleges and the types of students they recruit. 

Their request is the latest development in an ongoing argument over whether these companies — called online program management firms, or OPMs — are harming students and taxpayers. The information OPMs provide in response might shape regulations that could affect the sector, higher education experts said. It could also uncover the scale of the OPM market and how much money these companies derive from federal financial aid. 

‘An oversized focus’ on for-profit companies?

Critics often take issue with OPMs’ use of tuition-share agreements, in which the companies shoulder the costs of launching online programs in exchange for a portion of their tuition revenue, often somewhere between 40% and 60%. Opponents worry these arrangements are contributing to the rising cost of higher education and can result in colleges losing control over their own programs

2U publicly shared its response to the January letter on its website Feb. 2, giving a glimpse into the scale of degree offerings the company supports and the types of students it recruits. As of September, it had current contracts with 85 nonprofit universities, 28 of which worked with the company on degree-granting programs. Some of those institutions contracted with 2U for more than 10 degrees, including Simmons University, in Massachusetts, the University of Southern California and Fordham University, in New York. 

In its degree programs, 2U said half of students are Black, Indigenous or people of color and 66% are women. In 2020, per-credit prices for 2U master’s degree programs ranged from $352 to $2,592 — costs that the universities decide. 

The company also defended its tuition-share agreements, which are in place for virtually all the degree programs it has built at universities. 

Higher tuition prices don’t necessarily benefit 2U, as they reduce student demand for programs, 2U argued. That in turn increases marketing costs that 2U alone must pay under its contracts. 

“We are, therefore, incentivized to keep programs affordable,” said a letter signed by 2U co-founder and CEO Chip Paucek.

2U has been responding to concerns about the company by attempting to be more transparent, said Trace Urdan, managing director at investment banking and education consulting firm Tyton Partners. 

“Their approach has been, ‘Hey, we don’t have anything to hide, we’re proud of what we do, and you can have the information,'” Urdan said.

Several of the other OPMs named in the January inquiry said they also responded to the letter but did not share their responses at Higher Ed Dive’s request. When asked about the inquiry, Wiley, Kaplan and Grand Canyon Education said in separate emails that colleges retain control of admissions requirements. Wiley also said the company offers fee-for-service as an alternative to tuition-share deals.

Grand Canyon Education’s client universities set their own tuition prices, according to the company. It recruits students solely based on the instructions clients provide, Grand Canyon CFO Dan Bachus said in an email. 

We fail to understand why Congress continues to place an oversized focus on for-profit education providers which educate or provide services to those that educate a very small percentage of students attending universities in this country,” Bachus wrote. “With that said, we have no problem with them asking these questions as we are very proud of the services that we deliver.” 

Fishing for trouble or understanding an industry? 

Warren and the other senators are concerned tuition-share agreements disincentivize lower tuition costs, they wrote in their January letter. The senators suggested the arrangements may play a role in rising student debt loads and could lead to aggressive recruiting practices. 

Sens. Warren and Brown sent a similar letter in January 2020 to five OPMs, including 2U, that asked for some of the same information. Stephanie Hall, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, said the information requested by the recent letter could help shine a light on how much colleges are relying on third-party providers to manage their online degree programs. Research from the left-leaning think tank recently found that an OPM brought in more than 40% of enrollment at a handful of colleges — raising questions about whether those institutions were part of a larger trend

The 2022 letter casts a wide net to understand the sector, Hall said.

“The answers to it can help lead to a diagnosis — or maybe there is no problem to diagnose,” Hall said. 

But not all higher education experts agreed about the letter’s intent. 

“It depends, I guess, on how cynical you are,” said Phil Hill, a partner at ed tech consultancy MindWires. “If you read it on its surface, the data requested would be very valuable data.” 

But Hill interprets the January letter as a political calculation by the lawmakers, who he said now have allies in the Education Department who share their goal of reining in the OPM market. “If you read the letter with that cynical view — which not everybody has, but I certainly do — then it reads as a fishing expedition,” Hill said. 

Urdan and Hill argued the OPMs wouldn’t be able to share some of the data requested, as the colleges — not the companies — would have access to the data. Indeed, Wiley and Grand Canyon Education told Higher Ed Dive they could not provide some of the information the 2022 letter requested because it is tracked by their partner institutions. Likewise, 2U said in its response that it could not provide some program-level data because that data belongs to their partner institutions.

“If you read the letter with that cynical view — which not everybody has, but I certainly do — then it reads as a fishing expedition.”

Phil Hill

Partner, MindWires

Shortly after President Joe Biden won the election, six think tanks and policy organizations, including The Century Foundation, called on his administration to rescind 2011 guidance from the Ed Department that allows colleges to contract with third-party providers like OPMs for enrollment services — but only if enrollment services are part of a larger package of services. The organizations voiced concerns that this exception, known as the bundled services exception, could incentivize these companies to use predatory tactics to enroll students. 

“I don’t think there’s this sense that folks want to crack down on OPMs per se,” Hall said. “The concern that I would assume folks inside and outside of the department have is how much schools are relying on that guidance and to what extent reliance on that guidance has led to pressurized recruitment for online degree programs.”

New letter scrutinizes converted for-profits

While the 2020 letter was sent to just five companies, the senators added three other firms to the new version: Kaplan, Grand Canyon Education and Zovio. Each of those companies formerly owned for-profit colleges that they sold to nonprofit entities. All three now provide services to those spun-off schools in exchange for a cut of tuition revenue. 

Student works at desk on computer with headphones

The Worth of Worksheets for Asynchronous On the internet Programs | College Concentration


When I started teaching 15 many years in the past, I arrived to the occupation with the belief that worksheets were an elementary school-stage illustration of lazy training. I’m not absolutely sure where that plan originated, but it was a strongly held notion—and it was shared by other faculty as perfectly. Since then, I have found that worksheets are typically vital to high-excellent student do the job, and I use them in all of my lessons. I employ them most frequently in my on the internet courses, but there are times when they are a must have in human being as properly. The next report focuses on the value of worksheets in asynchronous on-line courses, simply because I have observed them necessary for this sort of format.

When to apply worksheets

When I am adding new content to a course or building a new class, I are inclined to begin simple and include worksheets when it gets to be crystal clear they will be effective. For example, for just one rather long nonetheless critical looking at, I assigned a shorter prompt: “Please examine chapter 10 and write a paragraph of at minimum 200 phrases about how the substance in the chapter relates to your research and goals, and what you can master from it.” For my on line classes in distinct, the paragraphs college students wrote indicated that most of them experienced either browse only section of the chapter or, in some situations, did not study at all. This was a distinct problem given that we did not have the capability to explore and interact with the product in man or woman. I later on additional, “Please be absolutely sure to reference several concepts mentioned in the chapter,” but that produced very little big difference. The leading five p.c of students in people courses carried out properly on the assignment but the rest did not. This was a failure—not of the learners but of the assignment—and I was decided to correct it.

In getting ready for slide 2021, I began creating important alterations. A single noticeable remedy was to crack up the examining into two elements. I also expanded the “purpose” section of the assignment to make it very clear why I request college students to do the looking through, and what benefit they will achieve by reading it. But the most critical transform was developing a pair of worksheets (just one for every single part of the reading through) that necessary pupils to mirror on critical ideas in the looking at and then apply them to limited situations I developed and to their individual scientific tests. Although I did not have proof right up until following I examine the accomplished responses to the two worksheets, I was certain the success would be a spectacular improvement—and they ended up.

Modifying worksheets

There are nevertheless variations I am studying I will have to make. For example, I want to question concerns separately and not in pairs usually some learners will respond to only a single of the queries. When I requested the adhering to queries, “In what techniques are you engaged in your neighborhood? How may you enhance your civic engagement?” the latter question was regularly ignored—perhaps simply because they didn’t want to grow on the next part following placing believed into the very first element. Assignment advancement is a ongoing approach, but the college student get the job done I see from these worksheets is presently so substantially superior. Learners were engaged with the material, they analyzed the readings and applied it to actual-lifetime scenarios, and I feel they obviously have an understanding of the ideas much better now than when they started.

I also generally use worksheets for in-class and asynchronous workshopping of papers (crucial!), reflections, and evaluations of team customers for team shows. These are plainly far more practical for me, but the responses are exponentially additional considerate, insightful, and also handy for learners. Worksheets also develop an prospect for reflecting on assignments, which is a excellent way to enhance scholar finding out. And mainly because it is so complicated to phony acquiring carried out the operate, when a worksheet is built properly, you have an indication of no matter if a university student is battling or knowledge the substance.

Worksheet issues

An space where by worksheets can be problematic is if there is a segment that learners are frequently lacking or disregarding. I have this problem with a worksheet in an interdisciplinary research class in which students give their knowledge of every single individual discipline they are operating in, adopted by a discussion of their intersections and difficulties. Because students perform with a unique amount of disciplines, most frequently two or three, my worksheet provides 3 spots for them to go over their disciplines adopted by a last prompt. In practice, those college students who focus on only two disciplines normally just delete the stop of the worksheet and simply call it carried out. I do give them a chance to add to the ultimate area to make improvements to their quality if they missed it, and they normally do, but this is time consuming.

There are a couple excellent ways for resolving this type of challenge. The best, but likely a lot less efficient strategy, is to set a notice in the assignment directions indicating that the previous and ultimate prompt portion requirements to be done. This resolution is dependent on your college students entirely examining and following the recommendations. Each and every professor will have to ascertain for by themselves if their students will be very likely to do that. Also, generating the rubric visible to pupils might also have a equivalent impact. Even though for a smaller sized, reduced-stakes assignment, learners may well not acquire the time to completely study by way of a rubric.

The future solution, which I have located highly efficient, is to develop the worksheet as a quiz in Canvas. (Notice, I have in no way tried out to do this in Blackboard so I cannot comment on whether it would be productive, but I have colleagues who use Google Types for a equivalent outcome, and they are pretty enthusiastic about that solution.) Each individual quiz problem can incorporate textual content, links, illustrations or photos, and even video, and each issue response is in the type of an essay (or other remedy format). Canvas lets college students to get started, conserve, and finish their get the job done later, as lengthy as you don’t restrict the time authorized to take the quiz or set a pretty very long time limit. Based mostly on my encounter, nonetheless, I would limit how a great deal examining learners need to do for every quiz question. You could also want to assure college students that this is not a quiz, in spite of the identify, but an assignment they often inquire and are concerned.


Worksheets are fundamentally directions that convey to college students the methods necessary to comprehensive a activity or describe what particular benefits we want to see. Too often we supply brief instructions, these kinds of as my reflective prompt illustration, and think this is sufficient or picture that pupils will dig in and persist even when it’s not crystal clear to college students just what you are on the lookout for. Conversations about the extent to which we need to have to offer you in-depth recommendations to pupils can be interesting—yet the key concern is no matter whether the work is becoming done and understood. Although making worksheets does choose time, the success can be unquestionably marvelous if we do it well. The reward for me as a instructor and a facilitator of finding out has been great.

Worksheet illustrations

Meriah Crawford, PhD, is an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth College in the Division of Concentrated Inquiry, where by Crawford been educating for 15.5 a long time. Crawford has an MFA in creative composing from the College of Southern Maine, and a PhD in literature and criticism from the Indiana College of Pennsylvania. She has posted several shorter tales, a co-authored novel, a wide variety of nonfiction, and two poems. Her scholarly work focuses on level of see and trauma. For much more details, remember to pay a visit to Crawford’s website: www.meriahcrawford.com

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Higher Ed Dive's 2022 Outlooks

Bigger Ed Dive’s 2022 Outlooks


In the initial couple of months of the new year, we appeared in advance at important trends to watch and questions to check with for higher education directors — and any other leaders who care deeply about the increased education sector.

These 2022 outlooks provide a chance to move back and acquire inventory of concerns that will be with us through the calendar year. We gathered them listed here for you in after place.

Simply click the back links beneath to check out them out.

Teacher records themselves on video with smartphone and additional technology

Video Killed the Radio Star Textual content-based mostly Educational Procedures | College Concentration


The issues introduced by the coronavirus pandemic have exposed a variety of methods in which higher education has lagged guiding the rest of culture and pressured a swift evolution in educational approaches. We have observed a “regression to the mean” in a lot of respects, but the amplified desire for on the net instruction (and entry to on the web products even in traditional courses) really should have us pondering about how we can make the ideal use of the know-how offered in our classes. One particular avenue that offers a wonderful payoff in price tag vs. reward is making authentic online video content. Creating your own online video material is more simple than you may well feel and has enormous likely to increase your connection with pupils, strengthen your perception of existence in the classroom, and make your understanding supplies extra accessible for students.

Why really should I incorporate video into my tutorial technique?

Though there are a multitude of factors to use online video in your classes, 3 of the most important positive aspects are familiarity, accessibility, and link. First, learners have wonderful familiarity with the medium of online video. Producing and making use of video clip permits you to hook up with pupils applying a engineering that is already familiar to them.

Video also presents the gain of accessibility because your college students will be in a position to access your video clips at the time and by means of the technologies that works most effective for them. One college student could like to watch your lecture on their phone while they just take the bus house from function at 2:00 AM. One more may well favor to look at on their laptop computer even though they try to eat breakfast. Asynchronous video presents the adaptability and mobility for pupils to access the material in the way that ideal satisfies their understanding desires.

Eventually, employing online video has the possible to appreciably greatly enhance your link with college students. It can get really lonely out there, specifically for learners in courses that are principally digital and/or asynchronous. Seeing your confront and hearing your voice (even in a pre-recorded announcement or lecture online video) gives an vital reminder that there is a real human being on the other close of that class. You’ll be astounded at the sense of engagement and link that it can foster!

Won’t I will need a ton of highly-priced gear?

The quick answer is, “No.” Of study course there are all forms of fancy tools and toys that you can use in making films. In truth of the matter, while, the equipment that you require to get started out is probable by now laying all over your dwelling or workplace.

There is a good chance that you can funds in on the positive aspects reviewed (familiarity, accessibility, and link) with what you by now have on hand and what you can get for no cost. If you are teaching on-line then you possible already have a sensible telephone, tablet, notebook, or desktop laptop with an integrated camera and microphone. It will not be extravagant but you can get the ball rolling with just these things. You can step up your video game by employing a online video/display capture application like Screencast-O-Matic to report both yourself and your lecture slides. A lot of of these application programs have a “free” edition with stripped down selections that will continue to supply lots for beginning creators.

After a while, you might determine that you want to commit a small money to boost the output price of your films without having absolutely breaking the bank. For a lot less than $150, you can put together a good gear deal that will make a noticeable distinction in the ultimate merchandise. My personalized “every day” manufacturing setup consists of a Samson Q2U microphone ( about $60), a Mee CL8S webcam (about $60), and an annual subscription to the deluxe variation of Screencast-O-Matic (about $20/yr). This small financial commitment has had a massive payoff in the high quality of generation values and relieve of development for my personal video clips.

You could also acquire the “go major or go home” tactic and expend a few thousand dollars on a studio-excellent mic, a mirrorless digicam, and the Adobe Imaginative Suite. Your videos would no doubt be astounding! Nonetheless, it is essential to issue in all of the charges associated in that sort of procedure. You will have to have an isolated area in which to record, knowledge in the numerous complex programs in use, and a higher time motivation to get ready, record, and edit movies at this amount. You may get bitten by the production bug and come to a decision to consider the plunge, but I would persuade you to start off scaled-down and see in which it sales opportunities.

Alright, I’ll give it a shot. What else really should I preserve in brain?

Generating effective instructional material online video has a lot in typical with algebra there are a good deal of variables. You have to account for what functions best for your college student population, your discipline, and your own temperament and instructional type. Not almost everything similar to producing videos should be found as universal. Obtaining stated that, here are a couple normal tips with wide application:

Preserve it shorter – We stay in an age of snippets, not prolonged lectures. Attempt to maintain your videos in the 5-moment vary. You might require to “chunk” out more time lectures into smaller sized parts to make the written content more workable for pupils.
Be visible – This is no time to be digicam shy! Remaining on-display is a major portion of establishing connection with your pupils. You don’t need to have to be a Hollywood superstar. You just require to be noticed so that they know you are authentic.
Know your reason – Is this a lecture or a tutorial? Are you breaking down a sophisticated idea or notion? Or is this a a lot more simple “how to” oriented explainer? The design and group of the movie must match the over-all intent.
Provide the energy – Presumably you are passionate about the subject of your video, so let your enthusiasm occur by means of! Also, retain in thoughts that the approach of traveling by the ether results in a 27% diminishment of power in your video clip. Alright, which is not a genuine statistic, but you do need to give a very little additional on the front stop to retain the enthusiasm at an powerful amount for the close viewer!

Received it. So what now?

Now will come the most basic (and also the most difficult) part of the overall journey—getting started out. It is incredibly widespread for school to hesitate, procrastinate, and appear up with each individual reason in the ebook to not make a video. My advice here is simple: Just commence. Really do not around imagine it, really don’t around system it, and really don’t about strain it. Just get started!

Listed here are two difficulties to get you going:

Mission ImAttainable #1: Produce a unit announcement video

  • Use only machines that you have on hand appropriate now.
  • Abide by the “best practices” reviewed in this write-up.
  • Set a 3-moment optimum time restrict for the closing product or service.
  • Collect suggestions from students, colleagues, and random passerby to know what worked and where you can increase.

Mission ImFeasible #2: Develop a written content video clip

  • Focus on just one particular notion or principle.
  • Use only equipment that you have on hand right now.
  • Comply with the “best practices” mentioned in this article.
  • Established a 5-moment utmost time restrict for the final solution.
  • Collect feedback from learners, colleagues, and random passerby to know what labored and the place you can enhance.

With far more than 15 several years as a college member and administrator in better instruction, Josh Rockey serves as direct school for on line interaction programs at Colorado Complex University. The use of online video and other new media technologies has been a hallmark of Rockey’s teaching strategy throughout his career. His instructional video clips for communicators are applied by educational facilities across the nation and have much more than 600,000 sights on YouTube. In addition to instructional videos, Josh has generated, edited, and offered voice talent on jobs ranging from audiobooks and commercials to going for walks tours and party emceeing.

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2U plans for international expansion as it integrates operations with edX

2U plans for international expansion as it integrates operations with edX


Dive Brief: 

  • 2U, a company that helps colleges launch and manage online programs, has set its sights on international expansion as it merges operations with edX, a MOOC platform it bought in November. 
  • The company plans on making edX the face of its consumer brand, with the aim of attracting the platform’s users to 2U’s paid programs. Together, 2U and edX have 43 million registered learners, up 3 million since the acquisition, 2U co-founder and CEO Chip Paucek told analysts on a call Wednesday to discuss the company’s 2021 earnings. 
  • About 80% of edX’s registered learners live outside of the U.S., Paucek said. To meet their demand for online education, he said, 2U is contracting with universities in international markets. For instance, the company announced Wednesday it is working with the University of Sydney, in Australia, on four new online graduate degrees that will launch next year. 

Dive Insight: 

Last year proved to be pivotal for 2U, which announced plans in June to acquire edX for $800 million in a bid to lower marketing costs and grow the company’s reach. Now, officials are integrating the two teams and working to update the edX platform, including by adding personalized recommendations and cross-selling programs. 

“You’ll see us presenting our offerings in smarter ways, including bundling and stacking complementary programs to create clearer and more affordable pathways for learners to achieve their goals,” Paucek said. 

More than 27 of the universities working with 2U have committed to having free and open course content on the edX platform, Paucek said. The company has also added hundreds of 2U-powered programs on the edX website, including boot camps and undergraduate and graduate degrees. 2U works with more than 230 colleges.

The company plans on building up its work educating corporate employees, the fastest-growing part of its business. Paucek said revenue in this segment has doubled year over year. 

2U and edX have a combined 1,200 corporate clients, to whom the company plans to cross-sell its broader portfolio of offerings. The company also plans to grow its relationship with Guild Education, a tuition benefits platform that helps employers offer access to online degree programs for their workers. 

“With the Great Resignation underway, we believe there’s growing recognition from businesses worldwide that upskilling and re-skilling employees is imperative to build a sustainable talent pipeline that enables them to execute their business plan,” Paucek said. 

2U’s net loss for the year shrank to $194.8 million, an improvement from a $216.5 million net loss the year before.

The company’s revenue reached $945.7 million in 2021, up 22% from the prior year. That includes a 22% increase in revenue from the company’s degree programs, which Paucek said the company plans on strengthening. 

Nearly 59,000 students were enrolled in 2U-powered degrees in 2021’s fourth quarter, up from about 58,400 students the year before, according to documents filed with the SEC. Revenue per student also grew slightly over that time, from about $2,200 to $2,600. 

Revenue for 2U’s alternative credential segment also saw strong growth, rising 23% from the year before to $353.4 million. The company had about 21,200 students enrolled in its alternative credential offerings in 2021’s fourth quarter, down slightly from 22,200 students the year before. Revenue per student in the segment grew from about $3,800 to $4,300.

Costs and expenses increased to $1.1 billion, rising almost 17% from the year before. Marketing and sales continue to be 2U’s largest cost, at $456.1 million, up about 17% year over year. 

Paucek said officials expect the edX acquisition will lower paid marketing expenses by 10% to 15% by the beginning of 2024.

2U’s stock tumbled Thursday, falling nearly 48% by the time markets closed.