Category Archives: education

On being non-academic as well

By | June 17, 2015

On the Quora answer site, the question was recently posed, “Do PhD students get time to pursue their hobbies?” By the time I saw it, they were already some 41 answers posted, many of which spoke negatively about opportunities for extra-academic activity. For me, this seems like an opportunity to reflect on the other half of what I… Read More »

Is competency-based education disruptive?

By | May 4, 2015

Michelle Weise just published an interview in Management & Strategy Issues in Digital Higher Ed called “Competency-Based “Hire” Education”, which became the focus of a LinkedIn discussion on whether CBE ought to be considered a “disruptive innovation”. The idea of innovations as disruptive was popularized by Clayton Christenson of the Harvard Business School, and has received a lot… Read More »

Stories in research – Two parts in search of a message

By | May 4, 2015

In response to an interesting piece called “The Danger of a Single Student Story” published in Medium by Shawn White, I offered an extended comment dealing with the importance of stories in research. This follows up on and relates to another article I published in the LinkedIn Pulse blog, called “Research is Hardwired“, in which I contended that… Read More »

Truth and consistency – a meditation on meaning

By | April 16, 2015

“What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.” (Francis Bacon) There’s been a LinkedIn discussion on the question of whether there are “multiple truths” to be acknowledged in the classroom. I participated in that discussion; what follows is adapted from my comments there. But I thought it an interesting enough question that it… Read More »

Parsing knowledge: Courses, competencies, or whatever? (Part 2)

By | April 6, 2015

(Part 1 of this discussion is found here.) Having chaired a curriculum committee at one university and been a member of the same committee at a couple of others, I’ve seen curricula defined in many different ways.. Some schools require that courses be taken in a particular sequence; others allow courses to be taken more or less at… Read More »

Parsing knowledge: Courses, competencies, or whatever? (Part 1)

By | April 4, 2015

The term “curriculum” has been around since the Middle Ages as a term to describe the set of offerings made available by an educational institution, at any level. Precisely prescribed sequences of educational events are a relatively new phenomenon in education, and are by no means practiced everywhere. Universities in the UK, for example, tend to have somewhat… Read More »

The new credentialing

By | February 14, 2015

Bernard Bull writes a consistently interesting blog on a variety of topics related to education. In his latest edition, he describes himself as “An academic who cheers for badges and the demonopolization of higher education”. Once I got past my initial reading of his topic as relating to the prevalence of demons in higher education (a point with… Read More »

MOOC, we hardly knew ye

By | February 10, 2015

There’s an interesting article in the Chronicle of Higher Education this week by Steve Kolowich, entitled “The MOOC Hype Fades, in 3 Charts”, reporting on a new survey of academic leaders about their attitudes toward the MOOC phenomenon. Essentially, the results indicated a high degree of disillusionment with this approach, reflecting its failure to deliver on promises related… Read More »

Competency-based Education (Part 4)

By | February 1, 2015

A good many years ago, when we were first putting together the curriculum for the all-online university, TUI (that would later become Trident University), I suggested a version of competency-based education that would entail the assembly of a degree out of a series of specific sub- degrees. Although I never worked out all the details of this approach,… Read More »

Competency-based Education (Part 3)

By | January 30, 2015

In this part of the discussion, I’m going to present an example of how CBE thinking interacts with a real-world problem. As part of the recent LinkedIn dialogue, I tried to think about how CBE might approach one of my own experienced areas of competence – data analysis. Our personal case studies (N=1) are always good sources of… Read More »