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At Indiana-based Purdue University, a social networking-powered mobile Web application called "Hotseat" allows students to provide near real-time feedback during class. Using Facebook, Twitter, and Internet-enabled cell phones, students can post comments and online questions while professors deliver their lectures. Students can vote on posted messages, pushing collective questions to the top of the instructor's agenda. The program is being tested in 2 Purdue courses, and the university plans to roll Hotseat out in all of its classrooms at the beginning of the 2010-11 academic year. Toronto Star | Hotseat

"Hotseat" allows Purdue students to engage with profs digitally in real time Top Ten Fri, 11/06/2009 - 15:46
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The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations recently published the proceedings from its January 2009 conference. The document includes several articles, including one by Academica Group's Ken Steele, that touch on the conference's theme of "Accounting or Accountability in Higher Education." In his article, Ken writes that student survey results need to be interpreted carefully, with a detailed understanding of the methodology, and ideally with benchmarking or comparative trend data to provide context, lest there be a misinterpretation or misrepresentation of findings. OCUFA 2009 Conference Proceedings

OCUFA releases proceedings from 2009 conference Top Ten Thu, 11/05/2009 - 15:46
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Brescia University College, an affiliate of the University of Western Ontario, has launched Package of Profs, a new initiative to respond to high school students who may have reservations about going to university. Over a dozen Brescia professors have volunteered to make tailored presentations about any aspect of university life to local grade 12 students. Since the program's inception in September, local high school teachers and guidance counsellors have been very receptive to the initiative. With just under 30 high schools in the region targeted, one third have requested presentations. Brescia News Release

Brescia profs promote university education to local high school students Top Ten Wed, 11/04/2009 - 15:53
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Like Purdue University, Arizona-based Rio Salado College has developed a predictive modeling system on student success using information collected from learning management systems. The college assesses the risk level of students based on when, and how frequently, they log into their course homepage. Instructors are notified a week into classes about the medium-risk students so they can reach out to those students and try to get them on track. Unlike Purdue, Rio Salado and Capella University, a for-profit online institution, do not inform students about their risk status; however, both schools will eventually start to inform students when a bad outcome is predicted. Inside Higher Ed

Using learning technology to predict student success Top Ten Tue, 11/03/2009 - 14:44
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With the number of 18-year-olds on the decline in Japan, the enrolment crisis at the country's private universities has reached "ridiculous" proportions. Government figures show 47% of Japan's 550 private 4-year universities are falling below their government-set recruitment targets, and more than 40% are reportedly in debt. Worst-case scenarios predict that a third of the country's private universities could go bankrupt or merge within the next decade. Japan has so far taken a laissez-faire approach to the matter by refusing to either rescue troubled institutions or shut them down. Some in Japan's private-university sector blame the enrolment crisis on free-market fundamentalism. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Declining youth cohort a threat to Japanese private institutions Top Ten Mon, 11/02/2009 - 15:26
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According to new research from Ambient Insight, nearly 12 million PSE students in the US currently take some or all of their classes online, and this number is expected to rise to over 22 million by 2014. Some 1.25 million students currently take all of their classes online, while another 10.65 million take part of the classes online. By 2014, the majority of PSE students will be taking a combination of online and in-class courses. Ambient estimates that 18.65 million students will take some of their classes online, 3.55 million will take all of their courses online, and only 5.14 million will have classes in a physical classroom. Campus Technology

22 million US students expected to take classes online by 2014 Top Ten Fri, 10/30/2009 - 15:40
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The University of Manitoba has revamped its "U of More" prospective student microsite. The portal features videos exploring campus life and programs options, faculty news, and a "Why More?" section where visitors can look up information on the university. This year, uManitoba has 9 new student bloggers, whose entries and profiles can be accessed through the microsite. uManitoba News | U of More

uManitoba launches redesigned recruitment portal Top Ten Thu, 10/29/2009 - 15:46
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On Tuesday, Apollo Group Inc., the parent company of the University of Phoenix and Fredericton-based Meritus University, announced that its fourth-quarter revenue for the 2009 fiscal year increased 29.4% from the fourth quarter the year before, jumping from $831 million to over $1 billion. The company reports that total degree enrolment at uPhoenix grew by 22.3% in the fourth quarter to 443,000. Selling and promotional expenses increased 17.6% to $262.5 million. Apollo also reports that it has taken an $80.5-million charge against its fourth-quarter earnings to cover the costs of a possible settlement in a federal whistle-blower lawsuit the company is in negotiations to settle. Apollo Group News Release | Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Apollo Group Q4 profits jump 29% Top Ten Wed, 10/28/2009 - 15:49
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Margin Notes," a University Affairs blog written by deputy editor Léo Charbonneau, won the best blog award in the Blue division (business-to-business, professional association, farm, and scholarly websites) at the first-ever Canadian Online Publishing Awards on Monday. University Affairs, published by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, was a finalist in 3 award categories: overall best magazine website, overall best design, and best blog. University Affairs' "Career Sense" blog was also nominated. Canadian Online Publishing Awards | Margin Notes

University Affairs blog picks up online publishing award Top Ten Tue, 10/27/2009 - 16:48
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Yesterday the University of British Columbia launched a contest challenging teachers and students worldwide to show how they are using learning technologies to foster a broader understanding of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in their classrooms. The Global Minds Challenge asks K-12 classrooms to demonstrate how they are using Twitter, mobile phones, and other digital technology to help promote student engagement with the Games. An international panel of judges will award up to 5 prizes of $2,010 each to the best submissions. Winners will be announced in February. UBC News Release | UBC Global Minds Challenge

UBC launches worldwide challenge on students' engagement with Winter Games Top Ten Mon, 10/26/2009 - 17:07

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