Quoted from The New York Times
Law school applications are headed for a 30-year low, reflecting increased concern over soaring tuition, crushing student debt and diminishing prospects of lucrative employment upon graduation. …
- Such startling numbers have plunged law school administrations into soul-searching debate about the future of legal education and the profession over all. …
- The drop in applications is widely viewed as directly linked to perceptions of the declining job market.
Many of the reasons that law jobs are disappearing are similar to those for disruptions in other knowledge-based professions, namely the growth of the Internet.
- Research is faster and easier, requiring fewer lawyers, and is being outsourced to less expensive locales, including West Virginia and overseas.
- In addition, legal forms are now available online and require training well below a lawyer’s to fill them out
- In recent years there has also been publicity about the debt load and declining job prospects for law graduates, especially of schools that do not generally provide employees to elite firms in major cities.
Even lawyers (of the middling kind) are prone to disintermediation. MOOCs will probably have a similar impact on lecturers.
The jobs that survive are jobs that cannot (for the time being) be routinized:
- those at the very top – which demand exceptional skills
- those that require complex personal and practical skills
Candidates to (1) are recruited by competition. Candidates to (2) are recruited through long processes of formal and on-the-job training.
Cut and pasted:
How can students best judge educational quality?
- viewing their university experience differently
- questioning their money’s worth
Source: Higher Education Network
John Hattie is probably the world’s best known educational researcher.
Hattie is basically asking: which teaching methods work? Which conditions are conducive to learning?
In his book Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning (2011) he compares eight hundred metastudies on teaching methods and their impact. These overviews summarize more than fifty thousand individual studies.
I have not read the book. Yet …. But I found a useful summary of the summary on Twitter.
This suggests that the most important inputs teachers can provide are:
- Pervasive feedback (1.13)
- High instructional quality (1.00)
- Direct instruction (0.82)
The terms are explained below. The numbers indicate the potential size of the effect. The value 1.0 corresponds to a major impact on grades: an improvement of two grade levels (e.g. from C to A).
Hattie has made clear that ‘feedback’ includes telling students what they have done well (positive reinforcement), and what they need to do to improve (corrective work, targets etc), but it also includes clarifying goals.
- This means that giving students assessment criteria for example would be included in ‘feedback’.
- This may seem odd, but high quality feedback is always given against explicit criteria, and so these would be included in ‘feedback’ experiments.
The future of culture is largely digital.
We will, of course, continue to visit monuments like the pyramids and Parthenon on the spot. Digital images cannot replace the experience of being there. But digital artifacts can enrich the physical visit. Good reproductions can also substitute for “the thing itself”. A virtual Forum Romanum and a digital Beowulf allow much closer interaction with the historical objects than is possible in real life.
Web access is fast, cheap and convenient. Families cannot spend years and years traversing Europe in search of culture. For most of us, physical visits must be the exception. Virtual access will be the rule.
Last Friday we had an excellent conference on entrepreneurship in higher education at Oslo and Akershus University College.
I missed the opening, since I had to get my visum for China (where we’ll do a LATINA course in mid-December). I arrived in the middle of Vesa Taatila’s keynote on Passion, inspiration, networks and a little bit of Learning by Development.
Taatila works as a special advisor at the Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland, where learning basically takes through real projects that students do off campus. He did not use the standard (unreflected) expression R&D (research and development), but referred to RDI: Research, Development and Innovation. The growing importance of innovation – or real changes in the world of production – has been clear in public policy making for the last two or three years, I think.
If you plan a walking trip, you should check the terrain. Scaling cliffs and wading muddy swamps is no fun when you just wanted a friendly walk in the forest.
Since my college plans to walk towards a future university, we should check the financial landscape. Dealing with debt, overloaded teachers and discontented students is no fun.
Lloyd Armstrong, a professor at the University of Southern California, has a very clear understanding of education economics. He explains the rising costs of HE as follows: (more…)
The debate about higher education is heating up. I quote from a UK blog:
The increased marketisation of higher education means that
- universities will want to appear successful in having its graduates finding paid work.
- students will want to attend an institution that can deliver the best rates of employment.
- government will want to see figures
Janet Beer (vice-chancellor of Oxford Brookes University)
- “I am worried about an over-emphasis by students on employability…
- [students want] employability, but we offer a much richer experience…
- We must not get sucked into thinking that we are providing some kind of production-line product”.
In market terms: universities want to offer a brand, not a staple. We serve HighEd Cola.
A brand-new report helps teachers evaluate Twitter as a professional tool.
Tweeting for teachers: how can social media support teacher professional development?. The Pearson Centre for Policy and Learning, October 19, 2011
I summarize a few points:
- Research shows that teacher quality is by far the most important factor in driving up standards in schools.
- Effective ongoing professional development is the key
- Teachers learn best from other professionals
This September, I had the chance to spend four days in Ramallah followed by four days in Jerusalem.
In Ramallah I was part of an e-learning teaching team from Oslo and Akershus University College. In Jerusalem I was a tourist. The visit brought the personal aspects of the conflict very close. The notes below is an effort to put the immediate experiences into a wider context.
The conflict centered on Palestine has been a concern to the world community since 1947/48. It has been a part of my own political landscape since 1956.
I discovered the Middle East conflict in 1956, when Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal. This was in the early days of decolonization. India, Pakistan and Indonesia had achieved independence a few years earlier.
In Kenya, a violent struggle against British rule – the Mau-Mau rebellion lasted from 1952 to 1956. The Bandung Conference (Wp) was held in 1955. The terrible war for the liberation of Algeria from had started in 1954.