3 Tips for Handling Discussions in Online Courses

I’ve been teaching a large online class for the first time this semester, and as the course involves looking at a number of challenge interactive works and games I put a lot of emphasis on discussion forums and critical debate. However, discussion forums of this kind present a lot of potential problems in an online … Continue reading

Overcoming Online Persistence Challenges With The Trojan Café (Part 2)

One of the first ideas that came out of the planning phase was to create student forums that would allow interaction between users. Students were already utilizing Blackboard discussion boards to meet course requirements, therefore the infrastructure was ideal for hosting casual student forums. Forums are moderated by staff and have been a significant attraction … Continue reading

Overcoming Online Persistence Challenges With The Trojan Café (Part 1)

Vincent Tinto’s conceptual “Schema for Dropout from College” correlated academic and social engagement with student success and learning. However, several factors make social engagement more difficult for non-traditional, online students. They don’t have the opportunity to participate in social engagement and institutional extracurricular activities that are afforded to traditional, on-campus students. Consequently, online students often … Continue reading

Think Students Can’t Declare Bankruptcy? Think Again

In 2005, Chuck Stewart’s life had come to a screeching halt. His partner was in the hospital with a terminal illness and he had only $300 in his bank account. He couldn’t find a job, and the $60,000 in student loans he took on for a doctorate in education weren’t going anywhere. That’s when he … Continue reading

Seven Practices of Enlightened Leadership in Higher Education

This is the story about how truly enlightened leadership combined with authentic faculty engagement has the power to transform college culture and amplify student success. It is the story of Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, where we intended to study the implementation of a new course recommendation system. We quickly realized, however, that Austin … Continue reading

How One University Uses a ‘Mental-Health Kiosk’ to Reach Students

Drexel University has become the first American college to deploy a “mental-health kiosk” on campus. The sleek iPad-like device is stationed in the heavily trafficked student Recreation Center and is just one of several Drexel programs designed to support students’ mental health. The hope is that omnipresent touch-screen technology might make that first call for … Continue reading

20 Colleges and Universities Launch Innovative Orientation Activities to Retain STEM Students

As this academic year begins, 20 higher education institutions are welcoming their incoming students in a unique way as part of a national STEM initiative called #uifresh (University Innovation Freshmen). Through this initiative, participating institutions are exposing incoming freshmen to design thinking, entrepreneurship, and innovation in order to attract and retain more students in STEM … Continue reading

State Gives Up On Public Schools, Turns To Community Colleges

Apparently teaching kids to read and do math is not being done very well by the North Carolina public schools system. And the state legislature is considering giving up on the public schools to educate children and turning over the responsibility to the community colleges, which, according to statistics, are doing a lot of it … Continue reading

Students Ask Education Department to Discharge College Debt

Almost 12,000 students are asking the federal government to discharge their college loan debt, asserting that their school either closed or lied to them about job prospects, according to government data released Thursday. Already, claims totaling about $40 million in loans have been approved. That’s only a fraction of the potential cost to taxpayers if … Continue reading

Who is to Teach Ethics to The University?

The narratives that help illustrate the lack of professional ethics at American universities occur with greater and greater frequency, though most often we fail to note them as such. If we put our minds to it, we can remember quite a number of unethical stories at American universities in recent years: the sex abuse case … Continue reading