Jeffrey R. Young

The Brief Life of a College Alternative: MissionU Will Cease Operations After Sale to WeWork

Traditional colleges don’t open, or close, very often. But in the world of experimental higher education, new entities can pop up quickly, and can shut down with little fanfare.

Why the Lumina Foundation Is Betting Big on New Kinds of Credentials

A college degree isn’t the only path to meaningful work. In fact, these days it seems like there are more kinds of credentials than ever, some with trademarked names like Nanodegrees and MicroMasters.

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Should Professors (a) Use Multiple Choice Tests or (b) Avoid Them At All Costs?

Multiple-choice questions don’t belong in college. They’re often ineffective as a teaching tool, they’re easy for students to cheat, and they can exacerbate test anxiety. Yet more professors seem to be turning to the format these days, as teaching loads and class sizes grow, since multiple-choice quizzes and tests can be easily graded by machines.

Longtime Higher Ed Leader (and Former U.S. Congressman) Argues For a ‘Networked College’

The campus of the future will be “networked,” argues Peter Smith, meaning that more and more academic-related services will be outsourced. That, in theory, will allow each campus to focus its energies on what it can do best and turn to outside companies and nonprofits for the rest.

Startup Aims to Help Colleges 'Tune' Their Curriculums

Professors can be “haphazard” in designing their courses, and a course often changes considerably when a new faculty member comes in to take it over. As a result, college departments don’t always have a clear sense of what it is they are trying to teach students.

How Harvard Is Trying to Update the Extension School for the MOOC Age

You could call extension schools the original MOOCs. Universities first opened these offshoots more than 100 years ago, and at the time they were innovative—throwing open the campus gates by offering night classes without any admission requirements.

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Why Competency-Based Education Stalled (But Isn’t Finished)

The phrase “competency-based education” is quite a mouthful, but it was all the rage a few years ago among college leaders looking to expand access to their programs. The idea can sound radical, since it often involves doing away with course structures as we know them, to focus on having students prove they can master a series of skills or concepts one at a time.

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Bringing Order to 'Badges': Nonprofit Works With Colleges on Framework to Measure Soft Skills

If a student masters a subject such as English or Chemistry, then professors give them letter-grades for their transcripts indicating their level of mastery. But students learn much more than that at college, and some higher ed leaders are looking for ways to measure the other, softer skills student pick up while on campus.But efforts to issue “badges,” or lightweight credentials for things like leadership and resilience, come with plenty of challenges, including convincing employers to take them seriously.

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How Facebook Can Improve Privacy By Talking More With Academics

It all started with a seemingly playful personality quiz called “thisisyourdigitallife,” coded by a researcher named Aleksandr Kogan from Cambridge University. It has evolved into the most prominent data scandals in Facebook’s history, after personal information from some 87 million Facebook was passed along by Kogan to the political consulting company Cambridge Analytica.

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Angela Duckworth Says Grit Is Not Enough. She’s Building Tools to Boost Student Character.

Angela Duckworth’s research on encouraging “grit” in students has been hailed as groundbreaking, popularized in bestselling books and TED talks.

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