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Synthesis 2013

Dartmouth Strategic Planning


Strategic Planning

Digital and Web in Higher Ed

Seven more New Year’s predictions for ed tech trends to come in 2013 – in addition to MOOCs, learning analytics, optimized mobile content, and other oft-mentioned advances, this list predicts the end of free social media, the proliferation of digital higher ed marketing tools over traditional methods, and a “visual content takeover” that has already been initiated by the use of infographics and sites like Pinterest. For social media, institutions seeking to engage the majority of their alumni, students, and fan base must rethink their marketing budgets if they are to adapt to more monetized platforms on sites like Facebook and Twitter, according to the article. Joly, Karine. “Digital and Web in Higher Ed.” University Business, 10 Jan. 2013. Read article »

Downturn Still Squeezes Colleges and Universities

“An annual survey of colleges and universities found that a growing number of schools face declining enrollment and less revenue from tuition. The survey, released by the credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday, found that nearly half of colleges and universities that responded expected enrollment declines for full-time students, and a third of the schools expected tuition revenue to decline or to grow at less than the rate of inflation.” Martin, Andrew. “Downturn Still Squeezes Colleges and Universities.” The New York Times, 10 Jan. 2013. Read article »

Growth for Online Learning

Although overall college enrollment is flattening in the U.S., the number of students taking at least one online course increased by 9.3% from 2010 to 2011, according to the Babson Survey Research Group's 2012 Survey of Online Learning. While this increase was the smallest rate of growth for online enrollment in a decade, online enrollment now comprises an even larger proportion of all enrollments in higher education, at approximately 32%. Here are some other findings from the survey: • A small fraction (2.6 percent) of the roughly 2,500 responding colleges said they currently have massive open courses, and another 9.4 percent said they are planning one. • Nearly 7 in 10 chief academic leaders (69.1 percent) now say that online learning is critical to their long-term strategy. And just 11.2 percent say it is not. • More than three-quarters (77.0 percent) of chief academic officers rate the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face courses, up from 57.2 percent when Babson first asked the question in 2003. Lederman, Doug. “Growth for Online Learning.” Inside Higher Ed, 8 Jan. 2013. Read article »

Mission, MOOCs, & Money

“Since their explosive “arrival” in fall 2011, MOOCs have been the subject of more than 100 articles and blog posts at the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.” This article provides a brief history of online and distance learning efforts, suggesting that “MOOCs really are just one point—if an admittedly large and very visible one—on the continuum of online education.” The article also recommends every institution ask three questions about their involvement with MOOCs: 1) “Why are we online?” 2) “How do we assess quality?” and 3) What will it take in terms of capital, expertise, and culture change in order to meet online learning objectives? Green, Kenneth C. “Mission, MOOCs, & Money.” Trusteeship Magazine, Jan./Feb. 2013, Vol. 21, No. 1, 9-15. Read article »

At U. of Maryland, an Effort to Make Introductory Courses Extraordinary

The University of Maryland at College Park is experimenting with newly retooled introductory courses for its undergraduate students. The university’s “I-Series” draws its name from the buzzwords of higher education that start with the letter “I”: “imagination,” “inspiration,” “innovation,” etc. After a two-year pilot, the new intro courses are now campus-wide at U. Maryland, with all incoming freshmen taking at least two I-Series courses this fall. The courses, while still offering much of the same content as standard intro courses in the same type of large lecture setting, are “organized around provocative questions or propositions” like “Is America Destined to Fall by 2076?" and "Rise of the Machines: Artificial Intelligence Comes of Age.” Berrett, Dan. “At U. of Maryland, an Effort to Make Introductory Courses Extraordinary.” Chronicle of Higher Ed, 17 Dec. 2012. Read article »

Liberal arts colleges launch strategy for diversifying faculty, partner with research universities

Three top liberal arts colleges will partner with two top research universities as part of a strategy to increase faculty diversity on their campuses. Middlebury, Williams, and Connecticut College will join forces with Columbia University and UC Berkeley in a three-year project called the Creating Connections Consortium (C3). The consortium is funded by a $4.7 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and will involve faculty and grad student visits from Columbia and Berkeley to member colleges of the Liberal Arts Diversity Officers Organization (LADO). “Liberal arts colleges and research universities do not typically work with one another,” said Middlebury College President Ron Liebowitz. “By bringing these two types of institutions together and sharing our resources, we’re creating a clearer and wider pathway to the professoriate for underrepresented groups.” “Liberal arts colleges...partner with research universities.” Middlebury News Room, 12 Dec. 2012. Read article »

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We want to scour the world to try to find those things that strike us as truly forward-looking. President Jim Yong Kim