Posts in IDEAS
Knowing More About Less

For those of you creating workshops of your own, we found some amazing benefits to practicing what we preach.  This is a major differentiator for the Institute, actually leveraging brain science, learning research, and more as we learn and contextualize.  We utilized the most effective practices from cognitive science, persuasion, and perception strategies in each session.  From Interleaving to pattern finding to intentional creation of norepinephrine / dopamine / endorphin moments, we saw the power behind these learning frameworks.  Participants had the opportunity to review and reflect often.  Attendees also networked like crazy, establishing a community of practice that will follow them home.  In other words, I am confident in saying that we all learned.  I am also confident that learning will stick. 

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It Isn't Gaming The Higher Ed System...It's Smart

From an educational perspective, I have never, in all of my years consulting, auditing, teaching, nor even admonishing, seen a 4-year institution with “better” teaching than a community college.  In fact, many of the community college professors I know also teach at 4-year schools. 

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Unintended Consequences

A course based mostly on lecture has negative consequences.  A campus where student affairs and academic affairs don’t legitimately work together has negative consequences.  Schools that resist online learning have unseen negative consequences for students, just as schools who bound into eLearning without strategic considerations for quality and scale also see negative consequences.  Faculty Development being left solely to the discretion of the faculty can have negative consequences.  Athletics integration on campus can have negative consequences.  Hiding school email addresses from the public can have negative consequences.  Creating a school website for marketing purposes and ignoring current students, faculty, and staff can have negative consequences.  Recruiting volunteer faculty as adjuncts can have negative consequences.  And on and on and on…

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Grow Up and Knock It Off!

Higher education is broken.  I’ve talked to educators and administrators from the most famous institutions on the planet.  All of them have horror stories of how impossible it is to overcome the baggage, the traditions, the paradigm that is higher education.  Not the Ivy Leagues, not the most innovative community colleges and not even the for-profits who were designed to do exactly that.  The system is broken and at this point it’s hard to find anyone or any way to fix it.

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Is ASU Innovative?

The normal dysfunction of higher ed was clarified for me by a professor at ASU.  He was explaining how impossible it was to create a curriculum map.  He said that they have potentially 10 or more versions of any given class, often under different departments entirely.  Those 10 versions of the class are taught 10 completely different ways with no more than a nod to outcomes and objectives.  So, trying to find “the” course of truth to use for a large-scale experience is impossible.  They ended up creating yet another version from scratch.  That description is not only the opposite of innovative, it’s not even inline with the most effective practices for education. 

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