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Highlights from Higher Ed: Bringing Online Students into College Classrooms and What College Students Want From Their Libraries

Bringing online students into college classrooms

At EDUCAUSE’s recent annual conference, administration from different schools shared how they were working to prepare students for their online classes. At California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI), officials rolled out a self-paced course designed to teach students the skills they need to succeed in a virtual classroom. The course included photos of CSUCI campus as well as messages from the university’s president, faculty and students in order to make online students feel more connected to the community. At Harvard’s Online Extension School faculty introduced HELIX, a new course format that allows students the option to participate in live class streams through the use of webcams. Multiple cameras capture the lecture and students watch with their own webcams on. This way professors can see online learners raise their hands and call on them just like a traditional classroom. 

Source: Education Dive

Who benefits from early admission?

With the rise in universities enrolling early-decision applicants, a National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) panel recently answered the hard-hitting question, who exactly is benefiting from early admission? Panelists agreed that early decision benefits students fortunate enough to be able to plan for college while in high school and pledge to a large financial commitment before seeing financial aid information. According to NACAC’s most recent “State of College Admission” report, the number of early applications increased by 4% from Fall of 2016 to Fall of 2017. Early decision can help universities allocate money for need-based aid students by controlling the number of students who would not need those aid services, thus allowing schools to collect more net tuition revenue from wealthier students and use that money to help students. 

Source: Inside Higher Ed 

Neuromyths and learning

Professors should be aware of the misperception of neuromyths, including the idea that “students learn best when they’re taught according to their preferred learning style.” According to a recent survey, there is no evidence to support this idea. In fact, teaching in a student’s preferred learning style can be detrimental or hinder the student’s learning because it may lead to students only looking for information presented in their preferred way.

Another widely believed neuromyth is the idea that people can be either “left brained” or “right brained.” The report recommends that colleges have instructors learn more about the brain and ensure that “their professional development materials for instructors are scientifically accurate” in order to mitigate the spread of these neuromyths.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education 

College students and what they want from their libraries

The rise of the internet makes many campus libraries fear obsolescence. Since the 1980s the percentage of higher education budgets allocated to libraries has been dwindling, with a recent drop in campus spending on print materials and electronic resources growing. According to survey data, students generally “appreciate libraries most for their simple, traditional offerings: a quiet place to study or collaborate on a group project, the ability to print research papers and access to books.” A 2016 study by Duke University found that students prioritized book delivery as one of the most important services their campus library offered. Much lower on the list were more modern services such as data-visualization and instant messaging. Although campus libraries may feel pressured to reinvent themselves with new technology, many students appreciate the traditional offerings their campus library already has. 

Source: The Atlantic