“Placements & Salaries 2017: Librarians Everywhere”


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Suzie Allard has published "Placements & Salaries 2017: Librarians Everywhere" in Library Journal. Here’s an excerpt: Overall, 2016 graduates have been successful in finding jobs, with 83% of those employed reporting that they have full-time positions. That is up slightly from last year and matches the level of the 2014 survey. Most of these are […]

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Cengage Launches OER Product


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Open Educational Resources

Cengage Launches OER Product

Cengage today introduced OpenNow, a digital content platform for general education courses based on curriculum-aligned open educational resources (OER).

All content in OpenNow is openly licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY), which allows users to share, adapt, remix and build upon any work, as long as appropriate credit is given. The platform includes content from OpenStax and other OER sources, new open content created by Cengage, plus content previously under a Cengage copyright. “All Cengage content in OpenNow will become open and can be reused, modified and used elsewhere,” the company explained in a news announcement. The platform is also ADA-compliant and universally designed.

OpenNow is launching with content for three courses: Introduction to Psychology, American Government and Introduction to Sociology. Additional courses are coming out this fall, including College Algebra, General Chemistry, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Introduction to Biology, U.S. History, College Success, Composition and Developmental English.

Pricing starts at $25 per student per course. For more information, visit the Cengage site.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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National Academy of Sciences Starts Framing Data Science Education


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National Academy of Sciences Starts Framing Data Science Education

As the use of data proliferates through business, government and academia, a new job title — the data scientist — has emerged, sweeping away seemingly less compelling occupations in its wake. For the second year in a row, for example, job website Glassdoor named “data scientist” as the top career based on the number of job openings, salary and overall job satisfaction rating. PwC projected in 2015 that 2.3 million open jobs asked for the kind of analytics skills on which data scientists thrive.

That kind of workforce opportunity has inspired hundreds of colleges and universities to open certificate and undergraduate- and master’s-level degree programs. Yet, no two programs are the same. As a new interim report from the National Academies of Sciences stated, the field is heaped with “new principles for data collection, storage, integration and analysis.” Plus, new tools abound in the field. Yet, “the main concepts, skills and ethics powering this emerging discipline of data science” haven’t been identified yet. Data science, as the report stated, “is still in its infancy.”

The goal of the project is to envision what the field might look like in the future to help institutions better understand what they need to do “to move data science education in that direction.” While the interim document focuses on the undergraduate level, it also examines issues at the middle and high school levels as well as community college and master’s-level programs.

The report offers information and comments gathered from an extensive committee of educators through two workshops, provides perspectives on the current state of data science education and poses questions that could help shape the way data science education evolves.

Now the project leaders are seeking public input on a series of questions related to themes about data science and analytics, among them:

  • Which components should be included in data science curriculum, now and in the future, and how should they be prioritized for distinct types of programs?
  • How can partnerships between industry and educational programs be encouraged?
  • Would a focus on real problems serve to attract more diverse students?
  • How can students gain access to real-world data sets?
  • How can ethical considerations be best incorporated in data science curriculum?
  • What types of training would benefit faculty? And
  • How can partnerships between two- and four-year institutions be facilitated?

Now the committee is hosting a series of webinars, in which speakers discuss aspects of data science education. The next one is taking place Oct. 17, and the subject is ethics. Previous webinars on building data acumen, using real-world applications, training faculty, developing communication skills and teamwork and collaboration among departments and institutions are available in recorded form.

The committee is also requesting case studies from schools that are providing data science education.

The group expects to release its final report laying out a vision for future data science education in early 2018.

The current report is available for free PDF download on the Academies website; a paperback edition of the final report is available for pre-order for $32.40.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media’s education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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Portland State U Developing a Degree Planning Tool to Boost Student Completion


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Student Success

Portland State U Developing a Degree Planning Tool to Boost Student Completion

Portland State University is working with Barnes & Noble Education LoudCloud to co-develop a degree planning solution that will help students chart a path to graduation.

The project is part of the university’s strategic goals to “improve the student experience through digital services innovation” and improve degree completion, according to a news announcement. It’s also enabled by PSU’s participation in the Frontier Set, a group of 29 U.S. higher education institutions and state systems “committed to significantly increasing student access and success, and eliminating racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in college attainment.” The Frontier Set was convened earlier this year by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and other supporting organizations.

Increasing degree completion, particularly for disadvantaged students, “is a problem worth solving to benefit millions of students across the country and stems from our extensive research and design thinking work to revamp advising,” said Sukhwant Jhaj, PSU’s vice provost for innovation, planning and student success, in a statement. “Our institutions and the higher education ecosystem can do more to help the new non-traditional majority. We can minimize silos that send students running around campus. And we can create more transparency with costs and financial aid. We are excited to partner with BNED LoudCloud because of their eagerness to tackle the challenges students face, particularly around academic and financial planning, and how their analytics expertise can improve degree planning. This degree planning platform will be transformational in helping students save time, save money and reduce stress.”

The new degree planning tool will allow students to set long-term goals, track progress toward graduation, understand financial aid options, navigate pathways to employment and more. BNED LoudCloud analytics will “provide students with insights based on their academic context/performance and career goals, so that they can work with advisers to identify degree paths that will maximize their chance of success,” the announcement said.

“This partnership lays the foundations for degree planner to tackle a number of student challenges, such as how to link degree paths to an ever-changing job market and how to provide a clear credit-taking path from community colleges to universities,” said Kanuj Malhotra, chief operating officer at BNED Digital Education, in a statement. “And more broadly, our degree planning solution will enhance our institutional analytics to help partners enrich student-adviser interactions and tackle the challenges around demand planning. We are thrilled to partner with PSU on this forward-thinking initiative.”

“This is a much-needed personalized advising tool for our students that not only puts each one on a direct path to a degree but also supports them in tracking the progress of their major, grades, financial aid and other vital information,” added Jhaj. “Over time, this tool will help bolster PSU’s retention and graduation rates and ultimately will reduce costs for students by enabling them to stay on a more efficient course to graduate.”

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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Why Higher Ed Is Poised to Lead the Way in Digital Signage


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AV Smarts

Why Higher Ed Is Poised to Lead the Way in Digital Signage

Colleges and universities have not always been known for innovation in AV technologies, but advances in digital signage are putting higher education at the forefront of the field.

Courtesy of the University of Michigan

Let me begin with a bit of candor. Over the years, I have observed that when those in the AV integration industry speak about typical projects for the education market, they usually sound mundane and it is easy to assume what the project will entail. Since the turn of the century, most AV designs have embraced a standard cookie cutter approach, with simply a projector (with a screen) or a flat panel display setup in the classroom. For the more advanced designs, perhaps a sound system and remote control of some sort.

Until recently, the status quo meant that little creativity was inspired in education AV, and certainly few instances of pushing the technological envelope. For those out there who have more advanced systems, save the e-mails: I do know there are some examples of creativity and pushing the envelope, but most classrooms are just basic AV at the core. Rarely less, but rarely more.

There are a lot of reasons for this. First and foremost, there are budgets to consider. Education has always been budget conscious with variations in funding region by region, school by school and department by department. The largest portion of funding tends to go to the most visible (read: profitable) departments and the more obscure ones tend to languish money-wise.

A second issue is a lagging knowledge and acceptance of more advanced AV technologies in many schools. Again, this varies by department, but university technicians (a.k.a. the people who make the systems work) tell me that many professors are reluctant to learn how to use the systems, and have concerns that the systems are unreliable and will impede their teaching effectiveness. The fact is that whether we are speaking about budgets, total cost of ownership or learning curves (and acceptance) by the teaching community, education has not been a bastion of AV technological advancement until recently.

Of course this begs the question, what has changed? The answer lies within two concepts: the ubiquity of networks and digital signage. These two elements have altered the way things are done on many university campuses, and the combination involves a rapid expansion far beyond the confines of a projector or flat panel display in the student union that might have been a typical example a few short years ago.

Conventional wisdom tells us that educational institutions should be a driving force of innovative ideas and applications, but the hallowed halls of academia have not always lived up to that ideal — at least in the case of AV technologies and advanced communications. The good news is that colleges and universities are now beginning to exceed previous expectations. In fact, the world of education is becoming the incubator of AV technologies and digital signage applications, design and acceptance in the market. Advances in digital signage are permeating other market niches as well, such as corporate and healthcare, with education rightfully leading the way. Bold claims aside, let’s examine some specifics on how this has become a reality.

As an umbrella to all of this, we need to consider the impact that instant information and connectivity have had on all our lives, and how it has radically changed how we think and act over the last few years. As a population, we have changed the way we send and receive information in every way — from our TV viewing habits at home, all the way to business and yes, education. We are not only acclimated but in many cases addicted to our smartphones, tablets, laptops and even smartwatches with e-mails, text messages and tweets. We don’t write personal letters anymore, we communicate via Facebook or Twitter and connect professionally via LinkedIn. People are expecting and demanding that information come to them immediately where they are and not vice versa. This is the genesis of the new wave and expanded view of communication and uses of digital signage.

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