Blackboard Trend Report: 5/18/2018


Looking to learn more about what’s trending in education? Here’s a recap of some of this week’s top education news. Let us know what you think about this week’s news in the comments below.

Don’t Know the Graduate Next to You? You’re Not Alone. One-Third of Students Take at Least One Class Online.
Washington Post
Once the backwater of higher education, online learning is now mainstream. At a time when overall enrollment in higher education is declining, the number of online students continues to climb. More than 6.3 million students took at least one online class in 2016, according to an annual analysis of federal data by the Babson Survey Research Group. That represents 32 percent of all students in higher education, up from 26 percent in 2012.

For Free Community College, Online Learning Isn’t Always Part of the Recipe for Success
Free community college programs are springing up around the country, aiming to bring more students to local higher-ed institutions. But several colleges experimenting with such programs are avoiding a tactic that other public institutions are increasingly using to boost numbers: online learning.

States’ Ed-Tech Directors Working to Make Student Data More Useful for Instruction
Education Week
States are collecting more student data than ever, but aren’t managing it in a way that helps districts make decisions that support teaching and learning. A new, national report hopes to change that, based on suggestions from state ed-tech and academic leaders that could improve the use of that data by educators.

Commentary: The Perils of Trashing the Value of College
The Chronicle of Higher Education
…For millions of others — especially those attending the community colleges and less-selective public institutions that serve the vast majority of American students — college is the place that hones skills and knowledge, builds professional networks, and clarifies life goals. It’s the place where you learn to devote close attention to a hard task, to work alongside others on complex problems, to stick with a long-range challenge. Those “signaled” virtues are well-earned. Data from the Collegiate Learning Assessment show that some of the sharpest student gains happen at regional public universities — institutions that prize opportunity above exclusivity.

Pioneering College for Adults Struggles in Middle Age
Inside Higher Ed
Excelsior College, founded to help adults complete degrees online, staggers after curtailing its biggest program over quality concerns. Administrators say “repositioning” is working, but a more competitive market awaits.

‘Schools Can’t Police Providers.’ Education Leaders Call For Restoration of Net Neutrality Rules
Last December the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality, a set of rules prohibiting broadband providers from prioritizing web traffic. In response, this Wednesday, senators will have the opportunity to vote on a resolution under the Congressional Review Act that could block the FCC’s repeal, restoring net neutrality rules.

Georgia State Reinvents Itself as an Engine of Social Mobility
New York Times
For decades, Georgia State was downtown Atlanta’s rather unremarkable commuter school, founded “as a night school for white businessmen,” as the college’s spokeswoman, Andrea Jones, says, and kept racially segregated until the 1960s.But the college has been reimagined — amid a moral awakening and a raft of data-driven experimentation — as one of the South’s more innovative engines of social mobility. By focusing on retaining low-income students, rather than just enrolling them, the college raised its graduation rate to 54 percent in 2017 from 32 percent in 2003.