Can ditching letter grades improve student learning and engagement?

educationdive | February 15, 2019

Eliminating letter grades is appealing idea to many educators and gaining momentum among those who advocate for standards-based grading, competency-based grading or other alternative models. Ditching traditional letter grades reduces stress levels and competition among students, levels the playing field for less advantaged students, and encourages them to explore knowledge and take ownership of their own learning, Education Week reports. However, many critics — including a large percentage of parents — fear that eliminating letter grades lessens accountability and personal responsibility for students and does not adequately prepare them for the reality of college or future careers. A switch to non-traditional grading methods also requires strategic planning, careful implementation and great deal of support from all stakeholders involved. Another approach to grading — the “no-zero” policy — advocates for making a 50% the lowest score a student can receive on an assignment. But among educators, the practice is the most controversial when a student turns in no work at all. At a time when many states issue letter or number grades to schools, some educators are advocating the abolishment of such practices when it comes to students. Letter grades, they say, cause undue stress in students who become too competitive and miss the joy of education altogether. In fact, some school districts have redefined or abolished the practice of naming a valedictorian and salutatorian for this very reason.

Spotlight

Dramatic growth of number of students reflects successful emancipation of lower/middle class. Participation changed from about 5% to 40% in OECD countries (Netherlands) - growth is stalling now (see Hesa report UK regarding growth HE). At the same time, and ironically, HE contributes significantly to the growing divide between have’s and have-not’s. A society with about 50% highly educated (and the remainder not), is not sustainable given division of welfare and opportunities on the labour market.

Spotlight

Dramatic growth of number of students reflects successful emancipation of lower/middle class. Participation changed from about 5% to 40% in OECD countries (Netherlands) - growth is stalling now (see Hesa report UK regarding growth HE). At the same time, and ironically, HE contributes significantly to the growing divide between have’s and have-not’s. A society with about 50% highly educated (and the remainder not), is not sustainable given division of welfare and opportunities on the labour market.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Luleå University of Technology Transforms Delivery of Education with Citrix®

citrix | August 17, 2022

Just like work, education today can happen anywhere. And students want the freedom and flexibility to choose where and how they learn best. Luleå University of Technology (LTU) understands this, and is using solutions from Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS) to tear down the walls of the traditional classroom and deliver a modern experience that empowers its student to learn from anywhere and perform at their best. “Teaching has become space independent. “We are a university of technology and we are expected to be at the forefront in using IT to provide a superior educational experience in the classroom, the dorm room and anywhere in between.” Daniel Ström CIO, LTU When the pandemic hit, LTU did just this, leveraging Citrix DaaS to create cloud-based workplaces through which teachers and students could access everything they needed to stay connected and continue learning. LTU’s students use 300 different applications, some of which require significant computing power traditionally provided by powerful workstations available in on-campus computer labs. And for students to continue learning remote - often using low-powered, personal laptops and other devices - LTU needed to provide access to these applications. It was a tall order. But LTU was able to fill it using Citrix DaaS to provide students with secure access to their desktops and applications from anywhere and Microsoft Azure to allocate the processing power and computing resources required to support them. “With Citrix, it was very easy for us to step up and make this available for all the students through their own computers,” said Lennart Isaksson, Head of Student Computer Lab Administration, LTU. And it was able to do it quickly, enabling full remote availability for 19,000 students in a matter of days. “When it comes to remote desktop use cases, nothing comes close to Citrix,” Ström said. Simplified Management One of the biggest advantages of Citrix, according to Isaksson, is the time saved in application management. “With the traditional PC model, it would take several hours to install all the necessary applications on each PC. And we have over 800 student computer lab PCs,” he said. “With Citrix, it’s much better. We have a single, base image with all the applications and we just replicate it to all the virtual machines that we are spinning up.” Enhanced Security Another key benefit of Citrix DaaS is the enhanced security it provides. “It’s a much safer approach than the traditional PC model,” Isaksson said. “All the apps are up to date and always available from any endpoint device.” Modern Education And of importance to Ström, Citrix makes it easy for LTU to keep pace with technology as it evolves and deliver the IT performance and experience that its students expect. “Young people today are raising the bar,” he said. “When you build a new computer lab under the traditional model, you get only 12 to 24 months when it is modern. After that, the students get less and less satisfied. With the Citrix model, we can add new machines in the background as the technology evolves, so the computer labs are always new and fresh.” LTU joins hundreds of educational institutions around the world who are using Citrix to transform learning. Click here to read the stories of their success. About Citrix Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS) builds the secure, unified digital workspace technology that helps organizations unlock human potential and deliver a consistent workspace experience wherever work needs to get done. With Citrix, users get a seamless work experience and IT has a unified platform to secure, manage, and monitor diverse technologies in complex cloud environments. For Citrix Investors: This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the impact of the global economy and uncertainty in the IT spending environment, revenue growth and recognition of revenue, products and services, their development and distribution, product demand and pipeline, economic and competitive factors, the Company's key strategic relationships, acquisition and related integration risks as well as other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Citrix assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein. The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion and is subject to change without notice or consultation. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions or incorporated into any contract.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

KPA Compliance Training Receives Online Learning Library Top 20 Honor for Fifth Consecutive Year

KPA | July 16, 2022

For the fifth consecutive year, KPA has been recognized as one of Training Industry’s annual Top 20 online learning library companies for its extensive and impactful library of Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) content. This compliance training award demonstrates KPA’s commitment to producing compelling, relevant, high-quality training content. “It’s an honor to be recognized by Top 20 Online Learning for the fifth consecutive year. “It’s a strategic imperative for KPA to ensure we have the best and most comprehensive EHS training catalog in the industry. We create our own content to ensure a high standard of relevance and quality and design a curriculum that most effectively helps businesses train their employees on creating a safer work environment. Receiving the Training Industry award affirms our strategic intent and reinforces to the marketplace that KPA is the top creator of EHS training content.” KPA President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Fanning KPA’s award-winning online learning library includes an expansive collection of over 700 online and mobile compliance training topics that incorporate common real-world scenarios as well as video and interactive technology to engage employees and their learning styles. It provides clients with a core library of workforce and workplace compliance training and allows clients to incorporate courses from the library that are specific to their industry and their business. Training Industry is a trusted, expert resource on the business of learning. Its annual list of top online learning library companies highlights the most innovative providers of training services and technologies. The criteria for recognition on Training Industry 2022 Top 20 list included an analysis of a company’s breadth and quality of courses, features, and capabilities, industry visibility, innovation and impact on the online learning library market, client and user representation, as well as business performance and overall growth. KPA’s high-quality compliance training is an integral and differentiating component of the software and services that KPA provides its customers. In addition to being named a Top 20 Online Learning Library awardee for five consecutive years, Training Industry Inc. previously recognized KPA as a Top 20 Health and Safety Training Company. With a wide variety of EHS training, KPA also provides certifications on specialized topics like A/C 609 Training as well as continuing education credits for organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). About KPA KPA provides Environment, Health & Safety (EHS), and Workforce Compliance solutions for a wide range of businesses. Offering a unique combination of software, consulting services, and award-winning training, KPA helps organizations minimize risk so they can focus on what’s important—their core business. For over 30 years, KPA has helped 10,000 + clients comply with regulations, reduce costs, and increase productivity.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Anthology's Blackboard Learn Ultra Wins Gold Stevie Award for Postsecondary Learning Management Solutions

Anthology | August 26, 2022

Anthology, a leading provider of education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, today announced that its Blackboard Learn Ultra solution was named the winner of a Gold Stevie® Award in the Postsecondary Learning Management Solution category in the 19th Annual International Business Awards® (IBA). The 2022 IBAs received more than 3,700 nominations from organizations in 67 nations and territories. "We're continuing to accelerate the development of new features for Learn Ultra with the goal of delivering the premier teaching and learning experience, and we're honored to see that work reflected in this recognition,. "The LMS is at the center of learners' educational journey and our team is focused on delivering innovation that fuels their success while also meeting the needs of faculty and institutions." JD White, Chief Product Officer at Anthology Blackboard Learn is Anthology's flagship learning management system, designed to support the student experience while enabling pedagogical best practices for faculty. Blackboard Learn Ultra delivers a simpler, more powerful teaching and learning experience that fosters student self-expression, offers a leading test-taking experience, and delivers the ability to surface actionable data insights that help learners, instructors and institutions meet their goals. With a modern, intuitive, fully responsive interface, Learn Ultra better engages students, removes barriers for instructors and clears the path to success. Last month, Anthology announced a 46 percent increase in the number of courses using Blackboard Learn Ultra, and a 30 percent increase in the number of institutions deploying Learn Ultra courses, year-over-year. Following the merger with Blackboard, Anthology tripled Learn Ultra development resources and increased opportunities for client feedback in the development process. The expanded resources powered the largest Learn Ultra release to date, delivered in July. "Statistics show that the stress and mental health experienced by students over the past couple of years has increased significantly. Products like Blackboard Learn Ultra are an essential tool to 'normalizing' the experience of students and helping them to reduce the mental health load. Congratulations to Anthology for creating a product that is making a significant impact in the lives of generations to come," commented one Stevie Award judge. The International Business Awards are the world's premier business awards program. All individuals and organizations worldwide – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small - are eligible to submit nominations. "We're thrilled that we're able to return to celebrating Stevie winners in person this year," said Stevie Awards president Maggie Miller. "This year's class of honorees are as innovative, adventuresome, persistent and successful as we've ever had. We look forward to celebrating their achievements with them during our October 15th awards banquet in London.www.StevieAwards.com/IBA. About Anthology Anthology offers the largest EdTech ecosystem on a global scale for education, supporting more than 150 million users in 80 countries. With a mission to provide dynamic, data-informed experiences to the global education community through Anthology Intelligent Experiences™, we help learners, leaders and educators achieve their goals by offering over 60 SaaS products and services designed to advance learning.

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