Jeffrey R. Young

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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A Slow-Moving Storm: Why Demographic Changes Mean Tough Challenges for College Leaders

The financial crisis of 2008 was tough for the country, but the real impact will hit colleges in the year 2026.It turns out those fiscal anxieties a few years ago coincided with a dramatic "birth dearth"—a reduction in the number of children born, which means that the number of kids hitting traditional college age will drop almost 15 percent around 2026. That could amount to a crisis for colleges, unless they start planning now.

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Can a ‘Family of Bots' Reshape College Teaching?

Can college students tell the difference between a human teaching assistant and a chatbot? A Georgia Tech computer scientist has been pursuing that question for several years. And the answer has profound implications for the future of college teaching.

Do Online Courses Really Save Money? A New Study Explores ROI for Colleges and Students

Many college leaders have looked to online course delivery as a way to reach more students at a reduced cost, in hopes of increasing access to higher education. But so far questions remain about whether high-quality online programs can be delivered for less cost than traditional classes.

This New 2-Year College Is Unlike Any Other. And That Could Be Its Biggest Challenge.

Portland, OR — Wayfinding Academy doesn’t look like a college. In fact, it’s easy to walk past its building without even noticing, since the yellow clapboard structure blends seamlessly with its surroundings in one of the few affordable neighborhoods left in this quickly-gentrifying city.

Can a New Approach to Information Literacy Reduce Digital Polarization?

The internet doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but it should—to give users the skills to separate truth from falsehood so they can distinguish between propaganda and the indisputable and confirmable. And colleges should be the place leading students through this reference book.

VR Could Bring a New Era of Immersive Learning. But Ethical and Technical Challenges Remain.

Some educators tout the immersive power of VR technology, pointing to examples like an app that simulates what it was like to walk on either side of Germany’s Berlin Wall in the 1980s.But what does it mean to teach in an immersive format? What can this technology do that couldn't be done before? And how might it change a professor's approach to teaching, or should it?

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