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Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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'It was not our intent to destroy universities ... . That's not why we did it.'

'It was not our intent to destroy universities ... . That's not why we did it.' | SCUP Links |

Love this.

"It wasn't our intent, I just want to be clear about that now, it was not our intent to destroy universities. That's not why we did it. We want to change universities, and we want them to work for the better.

Thinking in Models: for Design, for Learning…

A large part of this talk is about that change. It's interesting. We go from the first slide about people wanting to be relevant, wanting universities to be relevant, all the way to the last slide about what's going to replace universities, without doing all the thinking that we need to do in between. We need to do this thinking in between.

Let's begin our thinking with where the current trends, we're told, are going. We're told there will be tiered service models at universities. We're told there will be analytics and data-driven management. We're told there will be alternative credentials. To a certain degree, all of these three things are true.

To a certain degree, none of these three things are going to work themselves out in the way that the economist or economists or education reformers predict. When you look at that, basically it's like they have this model or design in their head of how we could rebuild the university system, wipe it all out, start over, and we'll have a new model.

Figure 1 - workflow process employed to assist LMS selection

This model of accountability and cost frameworks and all of that will solve all the problems that the current system has. Models are popular in education too. Here's a model (Figure 1) of a workflow-processed employee to assist LMS selection. You can't really read the small writing there. It goes from enrollment to program administration to learner interactions to content creation to assessment.

It's a fishbone diagram. If you're in economics or business, you're probably familiar with it.Models of how to select educational technology including customized lists of LMS features, a way of picking among those 305 features of a learning management system that you might want to solve the educational problems at your institution."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

You really need to read this. Or at least skim it. This is not your ordinary POV. "I criticize Coursera. I criticize the Stanford MOOCs and all of that, but when Norvig and Thrun launched their artificial intelligence MOOC, in the first week, 150,000 people signed up. Overall, I think it was something like 250,000 people signed up for one course, a really hard course that's really difficult to understand, in artificial intelligence.

Forget the fact that a lot of them dropped out. A lot of them didn't. Tens of thousands finished. This, by itself, indicates that the old model wasn't working. There was such a pent-up demand for upper-level university courses in artificial intelligence that, when one was finally made available, people knocked down the doors trying to get to it."

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Exploring Vocation: Reframing Undergraduate Education as a Quest for Purpose

Exploring Vocation: Reframing Undergraduate Education as a Quest for Purpose | SCUP Links |

"In sum, reflection on vocation taking place in a community of shared interest and support shifted the framing of higher education for both students and faculty. The three elements of the PTEV programs—vocational narrative as basic structure, the grounding of this narrative in learning communities, and the cultivation of reflective practices—invited students to experience their college education not as passive consumers but as protagonists in a serious enterprise with life-long consequences. These programs demonstrated that it is possible to recover the formative power of liberal education, even at a time when fixation upon its merely instrumental value threatens to overwhelm the deeper and more public ends of higher education."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

For 10 years the Lilly Endowment resourced a Program on the Theological Exploration of Vocation (PTEV) that appears to have strengthened liberal education on their campuses: 

"[T]his project challenged a group of 88 colleges and universities affiliated with a variety of Christian denominations, from Orthodox and Roman Catholic to Evangelical Protestant and Quaker, to think anew about what they were trying to achieve for their students (for a list of the campuses that participated, as well as articles discussing the PTEV, see the Lilly Endowment website at The theme of life purpose, or 'vocation' in the language the project drew from the religious language of calling."

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Higher Ed Consultants' Best Case Scenarios Rarely Reality, Seen as Necessary

"According to the new research, colleges reported saving only 2 percent on average so far. That might increase to 2.2 percent when all is said and done, though, because of cuts the colleges are still making. That's pretty close to the low-end "base case" of savings consultants gave colleges, of 2.6 percent in savings, but a long way from the best-case scenario of 4 percent.while colleges may enjoy working with consultants to diagnose their problems, the consultants’ recommendations end up being fairly similar. ...

'There’s a playbook, so to speak, for this,' he said.

Still, he did not find a college that lost money using a consultant, only colleges that saved much less than the best-case scenario."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

And : "[C]olleges in the study felt they needed consultants, and some of the projects they worked on required hundreds if not thousands of people. So they might not have been able to achieve much or any savings without the aid of consultants."

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