The future of higher education: How emerging technologies will change education forever

The following infographic, “The Future of Higher Education”, is based on the book The Future Of Higher Education: How Emerging Technologies Will Change Education Forever by Lasse Rouhiainen, an international author on artificial intelligence and keynote speaker on artificial intelligence and digital marketing:

Rouhiainen (n.d.)
THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Rouhiainen outlines how three emerging technologies – e-learning, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality – will change education.  Of particular interest to me is virtual reality, which Rouhiainen argues will change education through the following outcomes:

  1. powerful emotional experiences for students
  2. increased motivation for students
  3. less time in training
  4. more access to education

My general research interests in engineering education lie somewhere near the intersection of transfer of learning (primary area), collaborative learning (secondary area), and student motivation and engagement (secondary area).  Positive transfer of learning requires transfer appropriate processing (TAP) during training.  Morris, Bransford, and Franks (1977) initially argued that TAP “emphasizes that the value of particular acquisition activities must be defined relative to particular goals and purposes.  Furthermore, assumptions about the quality and durability of the resulting memory traces can only be determined relative to the appropriateness of the testing situation.  The concept of transfer appropriate processing suggests that it is no longer beneficial to simply assume that the traces of certain items are less durable or adequate than others because those items were processed at a shallower level.  The evidence that appears to support this latter assumption involves test situations that are not optimal for assessing what was actually learned” (p. 528).

Proctor and Van Zandt (2008) clarified that “[t]ransfer will occur to the extent that the productions acquired to perform one task overlap with those required to perform a second task.  In other words, the specific stimulus and response elements do not have to be identical for transfer to occur; rather, the acquired productions must be appropriate for the second task” (p. 323).  Transfer of learning is especially important for the development and implementation of simulators as training devices, including, but not limited to, flight simulators deployed to train novice pilots.  Again, Proctor and Van Zandt (2008) explained that, “[i]f training on a simulator transfers to the operational system, then money can be saved that would have been spent for the operation of the system itself.  Moreover, the risk of physical harm and damage to the real system can be minimized” (pp. 387-388).

Therefore, virtual reality, or augmented reality, can function as a vehicle for overcoming the challenges to obtaining rich, authentic learning experiences and, thus, have the potential to foster greater transfer of learning.

References

Morris, C. D., Bransford, J. D., & Franks, J. J. (1977). Levels of processing versus transfer appropriate processing. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 16, 519-533.

Proctor, R. W., & Van Zandt, T. (2008). Human factors in simple and complex systems (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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Advances in Engineering Education (AEE), not so proud to be open access

Advances in Engineering Education (AEE) is an open access peer-reviewed journal dedicated to “disseminate significant, proven innovations in engineering education practice, especially those that are best presented through the creative use of multimedia[,]” including, but not limited to, “innovations in course and curriculum design, teaching, and assessment both within and outside of the classroom that have led to improved student learning.  AEE is biannually produced in Washington, DC by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the preeminent professional organization of “individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology.

AEE was initially proposed by ASEE as a complimentary publication to the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE), the premier peer-reviewed international journal purposed “to help define and shape a body of knowledge derived from scholarly research that leads to timely and significant improvements in engineering education worldwide.  Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, and Litzinger (2013) succinctly explain the further development of AEE as follows: 

 

When the idea of a new journal was proposed by ASEE, it was in response to a perception that engineering instructors needed a resource for articles that describe innovative applications of rigorous research in engineering education.  While AEE would focus on applications, whether in the classroom or out of the classroom, it would not be just any applications.  We specifically chose the name Advances in Engineering Education to emphasize that we would publish articles based on scholarly work that would truly be an advance as judged by peer reviewers.  Therefore, the advance would need to be supported by an appropriate literature review, a recognized pedagogy, rigorous methodology, and appropriate assessment. (pp. 224-225)

 

Upon further review, ASEE does not appear to position AEE within the emerging movement of open education resources for enhancing research and teaching.  In fact, ASEE does not appear to frame AEE as open access whatsoever.  Moreover, ASEE goes out of its way to present AEE like JEE.   Again, Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, and Litzinger (2013) succinctly describe the rigor of AEE as follows: 

 

Articles go through a rigorous review process.  It is the exception for an article to be accepted as submitted with only minor editing.  Rather, the large majority of the articles we have published have been revised at least once, and in some cases twice, while responding to reviewers’ constructive comments and suggestions.  One result is that only about a quarter of submissions are published – a rate that is consistent with those of higher impact journals, but now substantially more than JEE’s ten percent. (p. 225)

 

Furthermore, authors of papers accepted by the editors of AEE are required to pay a publication charge of $250.00.  I would hypothesize that ASEE avoids referring to AEE as open access in order to avoid any or all of the negative stereotypes often associated with the open access movement (e.g., a fixed and oversimplified image of open access materials as lower quality than commercially produced materials).

 

Reference

Shuman, L., Besterfield-Sacre, M., & Litzinger, T. (2013). Guest editorial – AEE and JEE: Where are the boundaries? Should there be boundaries? Do we need boundaries? Journal of Engineering Education, 102(2), 224-226.

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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services ORI (only Biomedical, not Social Behavioral) Research Misconduct

A quick review of the research misconduct case summaries via the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity reveals one recurring theme.  Of the 34 researchers who currently have imposed administrative actions against them due to findings of research misconduct, all 34 of them were conducting biomedical-related research.

 

For example, consider the following:

2005 – Kornak, Paul H. – Stratton VA Medical Center

2005 – Poehlman, Eric T. – University of Vermont – National Institute of Aging & National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

2007 – Sudbo, Jon – Norwegian Radium Hospital – National Cancer Institute & National Institutes of Health

2009 – Thomas, Judith M. – University of Alabama at Birmingham – National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, & National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

2012 – Thiruchelvam, Mona – University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, & National Institute on Drug Abuse

2012 – Smart, Eric J. – University of Kentucky – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, & National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

2015 – Potti, Anil – Duke University School of Medicine – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, & National Cancer Institute

 

Why are all of the research misconduct case summaries biomedical-related?  Are biomedical-related research falsifications or fabrications more detectable?  Is it simply that biomedical-related research misconduct exposes participants to significantly greater harms and, thus, warrants the full resources of the governing body?

 

As a graduate student in the Department of Engineering Education, all of my interests are related to social behavioral research.  Since social behavioral research is also within the purview of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity, do they also investigate social behavioral research misconduct?  If yes, what explains the absence of any social behavioral research misconduct case summaries?  Is social behavioral research misconduct more difficult to detect?

If no, what governing body does investigate social behavioral research misconduct?

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Higher Education Mission Statements

I chose to search for mission statements from Purdue University-West Lafayette (IN) and Case Western Reserve University (OH).

Purdue University-West Lafayette (IN)

Purdue University-West Lafayette is the flagship campus of the Purdue University System.  A public Research I (i.e., very high research activity) institution located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant college.  Related to its designation as a land-grant college, Purdue was established, in part, with funds provided by the Morrill Act of 1862, “where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts” (7 U.S. Code § 301 – Investment of proceeds of sale of land or scrip).

The mission statement from Purdue does not appear to be published online.  However, a Statement of Integrity and Code of Conduct is available here.  Specifically, the Preamble to the Statement of Integrity and Code of Conduct will be considered in lieu of an explicit mission statement.  The Preamble reads as follows:

Purdue University has a tradition of ethical conduct spanning its history. As a land-grant institution, we demonstrate our responsiveness to our constituencies and extend to them access to our knowledge resources. We nurture relationships with other partners in education who support our vision or join us to foster common interests. We integrate our mission with our responsibilities. We contribute our knowledge resources impartially in serving our public purposes. As faculty, students, staff, and administrators, we are a community of dedicated learners, scholars, professionals, and practitioners — all contributing our talents to uphold our standards, and improve ourselves and the broader community in which we live and work. Our responsibilities and obligations toward the advancement of learning, discovery, and engagement in the University and in Indiana extend to our nation and the world.

Albeit without reference to its original purpose of teaching specific disciplines, including, but not limited to, military tactics, engineering, and agriculture, Purdue continues to be strongly committed to the mission of the land-grant colleges as a contributor of knowledge for the public good.  This is evidenced by action items such as “demonstrate our responsiveness to our constituencies and extend to them access to our knowledge resources[,]” “nurture relationships with other partners in education who support our vision or join us to foster common interests[,]” and “contribute our knowledge resources impartially in serving our public purposes”.  Moreover, the Preamble also emphasizes general principles universal to institutions of higher learning, calling for “faculty, students, staff, and administrators” to ethically contribute to “the advancement of learning, discovery, and engagement” within their “community of dedicated learners, scholars, professionals, and practitioners” and beyond.

Case Western Reserve University (OH)

Established by the merger of Western Reserve University, best known for its programs in the liberal arts, and Case Institute of Technology, best known for its programs in the sciences and engineering, Case Western Reserve University is a private Research I (i.e., very high research activity) institution located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Case Western Reserve publishes not only a mission statement but also a vision statement and a core values statement.  All three statements are available here.   For purposes of this assignment, the mission statement reads as follows:

Case Western Reserve University improves and enriches people’s lives through research that capitalizes on the power of collaboration, and education that dramatically engages our students.

We realize this goal through: 

  • scholarship and creative endeavor that draws on all forms of inquiry.
  • learning that is active, creative and continuous.
  • promotion of an inclusive culture of global citizenship.

Recall that the Preamble to the Statement of Integrity and Code of Conduct at Purdue emphasizes general principles universal to institutions of higher learning, calling for “faculty, students, staff, and administrators” to ethically contribute to “the advancement of learning, discovery, and engagement” within their “community of dedicated learners, scholars, professionals, and practitioners” and beyond.  Similarly, the mission statement of Case Western Reserve calls for an institution of higher-learning that “improves and enriches people’s lives through research that capitalizes on the power of collaboration”.  However, Case Western Reserve also places a specific priority on its students, calling for “education that dramatically engages” based on preeminent research, modern pedagogy, and open community.

 

Interestingly, “What do universities want to be? A content analysis of mission and vision statements worldwide”, a December 2017 blog post by Julián David Cortés-Sánchez, principal professor at the Universidad del Rosario’s School of Management (Colombia), includes the following finding: “Public universities were more focused on individuals … while private universities were more focused on process”.  This is actually contrary to the mission statements from Purdue and Case Western Reserve, with the former public university focusing on process and the latter private university focusing on students.

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