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And the Winners of the Breakthrough Models Academy Competition Were…All Twelve Teams
CloudU … ClassMob … U.Belong … WIL Academy … MapEd … Silicon Valley ed-tech startups, perhaps? In fact, these –and five other designs—are creations of the change agents who emerged from the first-ever Breakthrough Models Academy. The intriguingly titled projects don’t exist in finished form, but they live in the minds of their creators—and, as of last week, in the minds of many who encountered them in the Breakthrough Models Academy competition session at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Anaheim. They debuted Thursday, October 17 in a glassed-in area on the bustling exhibit floor that just managed to contain the energy of twelve innovative teams and their projects. The projects were initially sketched out during the residential segment of the Breakthrough Models Academy, an intensive week in Cambridge, MA last July.
Progress Report: NGLC Learning Analytics Projects
Think of learning analytics as the warning lights of online learning’s dashboard – that gleaming assemblage of dials and icons that alerts a driver at once if gas in the tank is running low, a door is open, or the cooling system isn’t working. Learning analytics makes it possible for faculty members, student support professionals, and students themselves to notice as soon as problems arise, before those problems lead to the student’s failure in or departure from a class – when there’s still time to take action to remedy the situation. And while you’re thinking about learning analytics and the opportunities it affords institutions to identify students at risk and to intervene, we invite you to take some of your own time to learn about what NGLC’s grantees in this area have accomplished. Today we release a report focused on this challenge area, one of four from the very first grant opportunity that our initiative issued.
Trending Now: Recent News in the Postsecondary World of Next Generation Learning
Summer – at least in theory – offers us opportunities to step back, think about the big picture, and consider some of those analyses that have been published in recent months. In that spirit of summertime reflection, here is my take on a few thought-provoking reports that have crossed my virtual desk of late.
What We Learned at the Inaugural Breakthrough Models Academy
“What a week!” That was what one member of the inaugural Breakthrough Models Academy posted to the group listserv as the participants dispersed. We had just spent an intensive week together in Cambridge, July 13-19, during the residential portion of the program. The Breakthrough Models Academy’s goal is to create a “sleeper cell:” a cohort of leaders who have the insight, energy, and commitment to design models that will address the critical issues in higher education and point to future change. NGLC was present as the group began the process of stretching toward that kind of leadership. The week combined opportunities to learn from insightful leaders and thinkers in next generation higher education with time for work in inter-institutional teams, with support from experienced coaches, to design a unique breakthrough model.
Northern Arizona Wins Regional Accreditor’s Approval for Personalized Learning Program
It’s all systems go, at last: Northern Arizona University, one of the ten institutions presently developing breakthrough degree programs with NGLC support, recently got the green light to start enrolling students in their Personalized Learning program. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC), NAU’s regional accreditor, approved their application to offer a competency-based degree program that moves away from the credit hour standard to use an approach referred to as “direct assessment” instead.
Trending Now: Postsecondary
MOOCs dominate recent news and reports in next generation learning, while Southern New Hampshire makes history with competency-based learning.
Last month, Kristen Vogt inaugurated a monthly series on the latest news and reports on next generation learning, contributing the view from the postsecondary sphere. Leading off her inaugural post were notes on the rapidly evolving new federal policies about financial aid funding eligibility for competency-based, self-paced degree programs.
Blazing the Trail in Texas: Work in Progress on the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate
“What we’re talking about is a different satisfactory academic progress model than most of you are used to,” said project leader Van Davis to a large group of faculty from the two Texas campuses implementing the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate. Far from being shocked by his statement, the group appeared eager to dive into the day’s work on that very model.
Peanut Butter Meets Chocolate: Hewlett OER and Deeper Learning Grantees Join Forces for a Day
The San Diego weather was cooler than usual last week, but an occasional chilly breeze off the Pacific did little to cool the enthusiasm among the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation grantees gathered at High Tech High School to exchange ideas and build on one another’s learning. Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) staff joined the gathering because the Hewlett Foundation was a key supporter of NGLC’s first two waves of investment in 2011, “Building Blocks for College Completion” and “Building Blocks for College Readiness.” The Hewlett Foundation supported NGLC’s grants in the areas of open education resources (OER) and deeper learning.
The Future is Bright: Reflections on Innovations 2013
More than 3,600 administrators and faculty from the nation’s most creative community colleges came together in Dallas March 10 to 13 for the 15th annual Innovations Conference of the League for Innovation in the Community College, and more than a few of them heard something about next generation learning while in attendance. NGLC staff were at the front of the room for two of the sessions and in the audience for many others, watching eyes light up. If enthusiasm and awareness spreads so easily, can scaling be far behind?
The following Innovations 2013 presentations featured strategies under development and lessons being learned through the design and implementation of NGLC projects and programs:
Hallmarks of the Breakthrough Models, #4: Competency Approaches
Editor’s Note: This post is the last in a series from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC). Each post highlights a distinguishing design characteristic of NGLC’s recently funded Breakthrough Postsecondary Models, as described in their profiles. This post originally appeared on the NGLC blog at http://nextgenlearning.org/blog