I recently attended my third CBExchange and this year, I had the pleasure of serving on the program and welcome committees. The number one benefit to being a Competency-Based Education Network (CBEN) member and/or attending CBExchange is learning from the experiences of those who participate. The community is open in sharing the good, the bad, the challenges, and the triumphs of starting, fostering, and scaling CBE programs. While I wasn’t around at the beginning of the online education movement, the comradery I’ve seen forged in those who built online education is reflected in the relationships established through CBEN.
The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) held its biannual Internet, Policy, and Politics conference on September 20-21, 2018 at St. Anne’s College, Oxford University. The conference is one of academia’s leading venues for examining the interplay between technology, politics, and the development of innovative new policy. This year’s event, “Long Live Democracy?”, examined the challenges and opportunities for democratic processes in a digital world.
The conference was organized by OII and the journal Policy and Internet, in collaboration with the European Consortium of Political Research’s standing group on Internet and Politics, Policy Studies Organization (PSO), and American Public University System. Scholars attended from all over the world, including Bar Ilan University, Cornell University, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul Bilgi University, London School of Economics, McGill University, Northwestern University, St. Petersburg State University, University of Amsterdam, University of Helsinki, University of St. Andrews, University of Sydney, University of Texas at Austin, and World Bank Group, among others.
We operate in a turbulent higher education marketplace. Many forces are impacting the foundational pillars of higher education, from economic and demographic to social, cultural, and, especially, technological. Knowing how these forces will impact higher education helps leaders adjust, adapt, and plan for the future. This awareness can help an institution to survive or even flourish.
One established source for understanding trends has been the New Media Consortium’s (NMC) annual Horizon Report, which assesses short-, mid-, and long-term trends in the adoption of technology in higher education. The report also looks at the anticipated timeframe for the adoption and the challenges that might impede the adoption of that technology. Over the last 16 years, NMC has used the Delphi Method, engaging industry experts like consultant Bryan Alexander to develop, discuss, and forecast the likelihood and strength of these trends. I have used the report as homework for my academic leaders and it has been suggested reading for all university leadership for many years.
Our core mission at American Public University System is to provide quality higher education to our military and public service community to prepare these learners for service and leadership in our society. One way we fulfill this mission is through our participation in the Credential Engine, a nonprofit with the complementary mission to enhance credential transparency and literacy to empower learners to make more informed decisions about credentials and their career value.
In 2016, APUS joined the Credential Transparency Initiative (CTI), a collaborative project to research and develop a centralized registry of credential information, a common credentialing language and supporting search engine. In January 2017, APUS became a founding member of the newly-formed Credential Engine to contribute more substantively to the development of this organization and its first offering, Credential Finder.
APUS Provost and former EDUCAUSE Board member Dr. Vernon Smith has a keen understanding of the contributions technology can make to advance the academic mission. In this recent EDUCAUSE Review interview, he discusses where IT and higher education are, and where they're heading.
Innovative institutions of higher learning are increasingly incorporating Open Educational Resources (OER) in their curricula to improve instruction and lower students’ education costs.
OER brings together teaching, learning and resource materials in any medium that have been released under an open license. Open Educational Resources include textbooks, curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation products. In 2017, APUS converted 222 courses to OER.
Warren Buffet has noted that the key to innovation and success is the voracious consumption of information. Amid today’s unceasing push of content and media to your mobile device, it might surprise some that many luminaries ranging from investors to leading technology companies undertake their information gathering the old-fashioned way: through books.
In mid-April 2018, APUS received the highly anticipated news of its designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) through 2023 by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). By achieving this coveted status, the university joins an elite group of approximately 200+ schools nationwide, further strengthening its cyber programs and enabling graduates to enhance their industry qualifications with prospective employers. In fact, we first established the APUS Center for Cyber Defense in mid-2017 in support of our pursuit of this rigorous certification and national standard for maintaining quality of cybersecurity education.
On December 15, over 40 teachers, administrators, and support staff from three recipient schools gathered at our campus to meet WeatherSTEM CEO Ed Mansouri.
APUS showcased a variety of faculty research and innovation at the Policy Studies Organization’s recent 10th annual Dupont Summit in Washington, D.C. This year’s conference proved to be an excellent event for APUS faculty to showcase the advances in online higher education about which we are most passionate.