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Online Learning Consortium unveils new e-book

The collection of excerpts from prominent digital learning leaders' writing touches on teaching, data analytics and institutional strategy.

How to be a more effective tutor (essay)

Teaching Today

Do the students know what they’re supposed to be doing in their tutoring sessions? Or after? And how can we best guide them? Rachel Wagner explores some answers.
 

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Ball State Control of School District Wins OK

Ball State University is officially taking over the financially challenged local school district in its home of Muncie, Ind., after the state’s governor signed a measure last week that was approved during a special legislative session.

The university’s board then voted to take on the task of running the district Wednesday. Ball State will appoint a seven-member school board for Muncie by July 1. That university-appointed board will operate Muncie Community Schools.

“They do not report to me,” Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns said, according to Indiana Public Media. “They’ll report to the public.  They are a public school board, they’ll have public meetings the way any school board would.  Again, the only difference is how they get to that seat, not how they operate once they’re in that position.”

Ball State leaders had expected the plan to pass earlier this year because it was being advanced by Indiana’s Republican-controlled legislature. It proved divisive amid concerns about local control and union rights, and time ran out on the takeover plan before lawmakers could approve it during their scheduled 2018 session, which ended in March.

The legislation that ultimately passed gives Ball State the choice between recognizing or not recognizing the existing Muncie Teachers Association as the collective-bargaining agent for teachers, The Star-Press reported. Ball State will chose one school board member from a group of three nominees chosen by the Muncie mayor and one from a group of three nominated by its city council.

Ball State’s interim provost, Marilyn Buck, will be the university’s main liaison to the school system.

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Prepublication Disclosure of Scientific Results

More scientists disclose results before publication than not -- at least in some fields -- according to a new study in Science Advances. The study is a based on a survey of 7,103 active faculty researchers in nine fields. Researchers in seven fields said they disclose results prior to publication, but they reported different reasons for doing so. Particularly in what the authors call “formulaic fields,” scientists disclose results to attract new researchers to the field and to "deter others from working on their exact problem," the study says.

A probability model shows that 70 percent of field variation in disclosure is related to differences in respondent beliefs about “norms, competition and commercialization,” reads the study, led by Jerry G. Thursby, Ernest Scheller, Jr. Chair in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “Our results suggest new research directions -- for example, do the problems addressed or the methods of scientific production themselves shape norms and competition? Are the levels we observe optimal or simply path-dependent? What is the interplay of norms, competition and commercialization in disclosure and the progress of science?”

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U of Akron Professor Wanted to Boost Women's Grades

The University of Akron told a professor of information sciences not to award higher grades to women on the basis of gender, according to Fox-8. In an email to students in his systems analysis and design class that has since been made public, Liping Liu reportedly wrote that women “may see their grades raised one level or two” as part of a “national movement to encourage female students to go [into] information sciences.”

Rex Ramsier, university provost, said in a statement that the institution “verified that there were no adjustments to grades based upon the gender of individuals in the class.” While Liu’s intentions may “be laudable, his approach as described in his email was clearly unacceptable,” he added. “The University of Akron follows both the law and its policies and does not discriminate on the basis of sex. The professor in question has been advised accordingly, and he has reaffirmed his commitment to adhering to these strict standards.” 

Nine of 68 students majoring in information systems at Akron this spring are women. Of 484 students majoring in computer information systems, 68 are women, Fox-8 reported.

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Blended master's program proves ideal fit for indigenous student population

Residents of First Nations communities can earn a master's degree in school psychology thanks to a blended program that accounts for their needs.

Tips and resources for instructional designers entering the field

Tips, links, resources and words of wisdom for early-career instructional designers.

The risks of treating 'academic innovation' as a discipline (opinion)

Calls to create a discipline around the term risk reinforcing existing problems with how it is used -- and misused -- in higher education, Rolin Moe writes.

Crime scene simulation uses virtual reality to unite disparate police courses

Police officers in the making at George Washington University can tap into a virtual crime scene as the foundation for learning across multiple courses.

Hiram College redesign would nix majors in math, philosophy, economics; add interdisciplinary arts and criminal justice programs

Leaders at Ohio’s Hiram College are proposing a sweeping redesign of the liberal arts college, with plans to discontinue several bedrock majors including mathematics, philosophy, economics, art history, music and religious studies.

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