Solutions for a New Majority by Daniel Greenstein


– Go corral him and
tell him we’re starting. Jeff, whenever, we’re out? Okay. Alright, um, I need my glasses. So, um, Daniel Greenstein is here with us for the next session of the day, and he is the director of education
and post-secondary success at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, in their US program and I
am so pleased and delighted that you left your kids and
winged your way over here, and then are turning around
and going back right away, and I’m just so very happy to welcome you to New York and to this conference, and to say thank you for coming. – Thank you, it’s
actually home to New York. Um, as you’ll see in the upcoming remarks, this is going to be a really
throw-back kind of lecture. Here we are talking about online learning and I’m doing a kind of standard lecture. But I hope you’ll bear with me. So good afternoon, I am just now emerging from a process that may be
familiar to many of you. My eldest is headed to college in the fall after several years of
preparing for admissions and evaluating the costs and
the value of the different educational options that
he has in front of him. And ironically I’m finding
that many of the issues that I sort of deal with
on a day to day basis from my perch, the Gates foundation, have found their way to
my dining room table. So, during the process I’ve
been struck by how much our expectations of higher
education have changed in a relatively short period of time. So, personal story. I grew up in Rochester New York, feeder high school to the
Munroe Community College and to the SUNY Geneseo. And I was at the tail
end of the baby boomer, oh and I occasionally spent
time at the Finger Lakes driving by the community
college of the Finger Lakes. So I grew up at tail end
of the baby boom generation and I attended a large, diverse, urban public high school in Rochester in which the majority of the students qualified for a free or reduced lunch. So maybe 20 or 30 of us in
a graduating glass of 350, went on to a four year college. About 40 of us went on to
Munroe Community College. Going to college then was the
exception, it wasn’t the rule. The vast majority of the kids in my class, they went to work at places
like Kodak, or Xerox, or in decent semi-skilled or manual jobs, jobs that at that time
afforded their entry into the middle class. So we flash forward one generation and the world is fundamentally different. The jobs for high school graduates at Kodak and Xerox, they
are pretty much gone. A high school education
alone is no longer a ticket to the middle class, it is a ticket, it is a sentence to the minimum wage. And in survey after
survey for this reason, we see that the vast majority
of parents, rich and poor, black, white and brown, they recognize that higher education
is the surest route into the middle class and they see
it in their children’s future. So I see this in my son’s experience too. In Seattle, he is also attending a large, diverse, urban public high school, where a majority of students qualify for a free or reduced lunch. And at his freshmen orientation
I remember looking at him, sitting on the bleachers with
450 of his new classmates, and a high school councilor walks in and he asks the kids how many
of you are going to college when you graduate from
high school, what happens? They all raised their
hand, virtually all of them raised their hand, and
that happens in high school after high school across this country, except perhaps in areas
in Southwest Texas, which we could go into. Because that’s their aspiration. It’s a part of their American dream. And that aspiration grows
out of one of the greatest success stories in American history. Faced with unprecedented
opportunities and threats we as a nation, we opened the doors of public higher education
to millions of Americans. States, including New York State, built scores of new campuses
to serve those students. In short, higher education became a bridge to opportunity, and we as a country, we built a new middle class. And I’m encouraged by the
progress we’ve made as a nation, I’m in awe of the progress
we have made in the nation. Since that time, that progress is evident in the diversity of our student body, which is evolving rapidly
to more closely reflect the diverse people of this great country. And our progress is
apparent in the success of our efforts to guide
more of those students not just into college
but to the completion of a certificate or a degree. Our progress is evident in the fact that college access and college completion have emerged as key issues
on the national agenda. Who would have thought
that even a decade ago the President of the United States would call us to action
on college attainment. Or that Presidential
candidates would offer competing visions of higher education? At the same time our progress
with our access agenda has brought us to a fork in the road. Demand for education after
high school has never been greater, by 2025, 2/3 of the jobs in this country will require education after high school. Today, how many adults
have a post high school certificate or degree? 40%. There’s a new majority of students on our campus at the same time, the days where the
average college student, and you know this, is
18, living on campus, going to school for four
years, they are long behind us. Today the majority of our students, they work while they are going to college, many of them full time. Four in ten of our students
are 25 years old or older. And together with the first
generation college goers, and the low income and non-white students, they are the face of
higher education today. They’re students, like students
I’ve met this past year, Kathryn, a sophomore at
Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina. Kathryn’s overcome enormously long odds as a foster child, to
even make it into college. But she did make it into college, and she’s now thriving
because of the mentoring and the support that she’s finding there. There’s students like
Shaun, a Native American who is studying at the Rio
Salado College in Arizona. Shaun came back to
college after dropping out and enduring a series of low paying jobs. He’s balancing his studies
with the responsibility of fatherhood, his job,
which makes the flexibility of Rio Salado, largely
online community college, a good fit for him. While the face of our student
body has changed a lot, the educational experience that we offer them hasn’t much. That’s at least part of the reason why nearly half the students who begin college in this country fail to complete it. The system as a whole is not built for students like Kathryn and Shaun. So we have to do much better
in meeting today’s students. Where they are, helping them to get to what’s next in their lives. This new student majority brings high, but as you know often fragile
aspirations into our colleges, and too often our colleges
are not equipped to meet them. And meeting them where they are, it’s not just about equity,
it’s an economic issue as well. Our nation’s work force
will require 11 million more credentialed workers by 2025. 11 million more credentialed workers than our colleges and
universities are capable of producing at current rates, and respecting current
estimates about growth. For the statisticians amongst us, that’s a 4.5% or 5%
compound annual growth rate in the number of credentials produced by every college across this nation. And if you look at the New York state work force requirements, that 4.5 – 5% is very much alive here in this room. How many of you are
associated with institutions which are planning today,
and actively producing today, 5% more credentials year on
year for the next 10 years. I’ve never asked this question, once I asked this question and it got… it was Western Governors University. That’s a problem. Meeting that need is gonna
require a both/and approach. We both need to enroll more students, and we need to graduate more of the ones who already attend. Especially those in this
new student majority. Meeting that need is also gonna demand that we face a very inconvenient truth. Today, educational
opportunity and attainment is correlated with socioeconomic status. Higher education, once
heralded for its potential as a great equalizer, is increasingly reproducing privilege in our country. Those in the top economic quartile, who have a post secondary
degree, stand at 90%. The lowest quartile? 8%. Today a low income
student has a 10% chance of acquiring a college degree by age 24. 90% in the top quartile. 10% chance for a low income student of acquiring a college degree by age 24, that’s unacceptable. And these are more than just numbers. They represent people,
like Kathryn and Shaun, they represent decisions
with consequences. Decisions that we take with consequences. Where’s the nation going to
get the talent that it needs for a knowledge driven economy? What will the widening
rift between the haves and the have nots mean
for social cohesion? Particularly apparent today
in an election contest, which is incredibly divisive. The bridge to opportunity
that is higher education has become too narrow,
too hard to navigate, with a toll that is too high for too many. And we have reached a time for decisions, a time for choice about how and for whom we deliver, we fund, and we
measure higher education. Those decisions, decisions
that you will take, or not, on a day to day basis
will have a real impact on the America we see, on the New York that we see in 2025. Higher education will
either serve as a bridge to opportunity and a better
life for more New Yorkers, or it will stand as a
barrier to opportunity, reinforcing privilege and driving a wedge between the haves and the have nots. So, I’m a historian by training, so I’m more familiar with looking back than looking forward, in fact, looking forward fills me with horror. But the trend lines are clear,
and if we fail to consider the possible outcomes of
our action or our inaction, we will be shaped by our
future rather than shaping it. So I see two New Yorks, I see
two scenarios for New York. Looking ahead to 2025,
one in which we have met our higher education
opportunities and our challenges with innovation and a commitment
to quality and equity, and one in which we haven’t. We’ve allowed self-satisfaction and the politics of the
status quo to prevail, at the expense of economic development and social mobility. In the optimistic scenario
a majority of New Yorkers have a post high school
certificate or degree. There’s no gap between what our higher education system produces and what our work force needs. And race, and income,
and gender and ZIP code, they are no longer as they are today; predictors of achievement
in higher education. Where will that leave us as a nation? Where will that leave us as New Yorkers? It will leave us as healthier, stronger, more engaged, and less saddled with debt, because all of those things are associated with increased educational
attainment and employment. So now for the other scenario. It’s one in which 2025 arrives
and our post high school attainment rate hasn’t
budged to more than 40%, where it is today. Employers with high skilled jobs, they are so desperate for
workers to fill those jobs that they move their
operations across statelines or to other countries,
as they are doing today. The likelihood of getting
a certificate or a degree depends more than ever on
your race, your gender, your income, and your ZIP code. And the consequences, we will
be a poor and weaker state with more New Yorkers under employed and scrambling to make ends meet, less engaged, deeper
in debt, more divided. So if some of you may be thinking that I’ve just painted an
excessively positive scenario on the one hand, and a rather
harsh one on the other, and perhaps I have. But those scenarios are
rooted in todays realities. Our economy is changing, the
face of our society is changing and a higher education
system that celebrates who it keeps out as much as who it lets in won’t cut it in the
world that’s unfolding. So how do we navigate towards
that more optimistic path? So there are no silver bullets, there’s no simple answers when it comes to basically transforming
higher education. But years of work and
research and trial and error, some of it with those of you in this room, underscore two imperatives that we must meet in higher education for it to remain our
bridge to opportunity. One is the need to dramatically increase students success rates,
especially for the new majority of students that I described earlier. And campuses and systems that are making real strides in this area,
they will be the first to admit that the changes that are
required are fundamental, they are structural, they are operational, and they are cultural. But the other imperative is
that we introduce these changes in ways that insure the long
range financial viability of the campuses that are changing, or the system in this case. Let’s face it, demand for higher education is not perfectly in
elastic, and public funding will be constrained for
the foreseeable future. And we can’t simply
keep pumping up tuition, I know not in New York, because of the certain controls
that are exercised upon it, at the rates that have applied
over the past two decades. Something has to give. So we must look carefully and creatively at the revenue and the
spending sides of the ledger. So what we’re seeing in
institutions that are really making the most progress in ensuring their students succeed, in the completion agenda,
in graduating more majority, new majority students with
affordable quality credentials, we’re seeing that they have
tied their completion agenda directly to their long
range, analytically modeled, and I’m going to call
it this, business plan. I sometimes say when it
costs more to lose a student than to keep the student,
you keep the student. Innovative, innovators,
leaders, frontrunners in higher education that
are knitting together their completion and
sustainability agenda, what are they doing? They’re integrating in some combination at least four things. One of them you’re very familiar with. They are making, teaching
and learning smarter using technology. Technology as we’ve already heard isn’t replacing the human
element of learning, but it is enhancing it. In blended courses, the
University of Central Florida is seeing better student performance than in comparable on ground courses. Consistently better in
20 years worth of data. Using adaptive courseware, faculty at Florida International
University are figuring out exactly where their
students need assistance, and faculty are targeting
extra support to those areas. At the University of Maryland system, we’re seeing that effect sized
across all student groups in blended, adaptive courses up to .37, which basically means they
are doubling the chance that a student will complete a course. And while it’s early days,
we’re seeing how courseware, not only improves student outcomes, it also introduces efficiencies
that help an institution tie it’s completion agenda
to its sustainability. University of Central
Florida online learning didn’t do anything to
change the operating costs of instruction, but the
campus was able to deliver better student outcomes and
grow its student enrollment by 30,000 undergraduate FTE, thereby increasing
enrollment driven revenues. And the capital expenditure
required to do that was $20,000,000. To have accommodated an
additional 30,0000 annual undergraduate enrollments
in an on-ground environment would have cost them just
south of $400,000,000. Technology is also being
used to guide students along their educational
journeys by connecting different parts of the campus
through integrated planning and advising services, you call them IPAS, colleges in your universities
are providing more and better just in time support to
students, to faculty members, to advisors, and to student
service professionals. Imagine if a student could
pull up an online dashboard, that tracks their progress
through their program, provides bench-mark data
about students like them and how they are doing, and raises flags on things such as missed registration or financial aid deadlines. Imagine if that student advisor could view that same dashboard to provide virtual real-time guidance because of the work of
providers like Civitas, Hobson StarFish, EAB, a handful of others, and some very good home-grown solutions. We don’t have to imagine. This stuff is real, it’s happening now. And it’s happening in ways, again, that contribute directly to an institutions financial viability. Predictive analytics in advising aren’t just driving student retention, and they are by double digits, they enable retention of tuition dollars. Delaware State University
has modeled this to a T. Demonstrating what retention levels they need to achieve in order
to remain financially viable without driving up student tuition. And they serve very low income and fragile at risk students. Completion agenda tied to a very capable and analytically driven financial model. Second, we made the road to a certificate and degree simpler, and
shorter for students by giving them clearer pathways
to and through college. Our students, especially
those in the new majority, they come to us through many doors. Some of them are not completely
ready for college level work some of them do not come
directly from high school, some come with credits from
one or more institutions. They need help plotting their course and too many times we have failed them, effectively handing them a
catalogue and saying good luck. Or placing them in courses
that neither helped nor counted or forcing them sometimes
to retake courses they have already taken simply because the credits were being transferred. And just like the GPS in our
cars and on our smartphone can give us multiple routes
to the same destination, factoring in traffic and
even weather conditions, we have the opportunity
with todays technology, and we have the responsibility
with todays technology to provide similar
supports to our students. Could do this by redesigning
remedial education courses, which I know is an active activity here. Remedial education has been
the road out of college for too many students for too long. Work done by our partners
at Complete College America to combine remedial
and credit bearing work into a single course, co-req
model is showing no results. Pass rates at places like
Austin Peay University at Tennessee are doubling,
and when students pass those early classes they
are far more likely, the data show us, to graduate. We can also do this by creating
flexible but focused maps for students to follow in
building their programs of study. So yes, college is about exploration, but getting lost in an exploration, and too many of our students do, is not what college ought to be about. We can also do this by
adopting and implementing credit transfer policies that
reduces the amount of rework that students have to do when
they change institutions. Nearly 40% of all students
who graduate with a BA degree attend more than one
institution along the way. Some of them in transferring credits lose a semester or more
at considerable cost. The current state is not just
unfortunate, it’s unfair. And once more, we’re
seeing in the most advanced institutions how the cost of acquiring and installing that GPS, that
cost frankly is often paid in terms of hiring more advisors, is more than offset by the
gains that are measured in terms of student revenue retention. Miami Day College is also
poised to demonstrate that its data systems
that enable and support these kinds of analytics,
these kinds of GPS, coupled with these highly
structured pathways, enable them to predict one,
and two, and three terms out, how many sections of any particular course they are going to require,
they can predict their capacity planning needs in terms of section sizes, faculty and adjuncts. Classrooms, they can
optimize around those things in order, not just to drive
retention improvement, but to introduce efficiencies
into the way they operate. So third, we can empower
students, educators, and policy makers with better
data for decision making. Higher education is a half
trillion dollar enterprise in this country and yet
there are critical questions that we can’t answer because the data aren’t available or they don’t exist. A low income student can
easily figure out their odds of winning Powerball, but not their odds of graduating college. Just doesn’t make sense. So, fortunately, leading states,
institutions, associations, have created improved
measures of student progress and outcomes and institutional performance through a range of voluntary efforts. So now it’s time to
build on those efforts, to build on that work and make sure that we have basic
information about access, progress, completion,
post-college outcome, and costs, for all students and all institutions. To realize that goal we’re
going to have to modernize and better connect our
data and our data systems at the campus level, at the state level, at the federal level, and
several of our key partners are already exploring
options for doing this. The payoff of having and
using better data is real. It drives the analysis of where
students are falling away, and why, and it enables… and it enables all of the institutions I’ve mentioned previously
to tie their completion and their sustainability agenda together. So fourth, and finally,
we could get more students to and through college
with better financial aid. This starts with simplifying
the aid application process, which stands as a barrier we reckon for 2 million students a year. 2 million students who
would otherwise be eligible, financial aid, do not get it because the application process
is too complicated. Actually 2 million
students even graduating at todays rate for low income students add significantly to
that 11 million number. Just solving that one problem. The good news is we’re seeing,
starting to see progress. Here, students will no
longer have to apply for Federal Financial
Aid because of a new rule that allows them to use prior prior year, they’ll have longer to apply
for Federal Financial Aid because they can use
prior prior tax year data, and there are standalone
bills being considered in the congress which
will simplify and reduce the number of questions, so we’re hopeful that 2016 even though it may not produce a higher education reauthorization, might actually produce significant simplification of the FAFSA. And we’re also seeing promise
in timely distribution of emergency aid as a
means of keeping students in college when they find
themselves with a flat tire or in need of a small injection of money. So, what will it take to succeed? It will take integration
of all of these things, all of these things I’ve just named, individually they’re incredibly powerful, but the real power is
in their intersection. We see this, again, at the
institutions I’ve mentioned, but we see it perhaps most clearly at Georgia State University,
an urban institution that has eliminated attainment gaps between rich and poor, between
black, white and brown. Eliminated, not reduced,
eliminated attainment gaps. They started with data,
which led them to pinpoint their retention problems,
and opened up a conversation about solutions, which led
them to integrated planning and advising systems for students, which led them to emergency aid programs as a means of helping
students who are struggling with small financial crisis. It will take a laser like focus. We can’t pilot our way to
closing the kinds of gaps we’re talking about, whether between income, race and gender,
or between the gaps in what our economy requires
in terms of degree… college graduates and the number of graduates we’re producing. We can’t pilot our way
out of this problem. This is tough for higher education which culturally needs to
reinvent all of its solutions one campus at a time. You can imagine my colleagues
at the Gates foundation who work on the global health side, they are appalled by this. They imagine what their
world would look like if every hospital had to
run its own drug trials on the latest miracle drug. It doesn’t make sense. And it will take a sense
of urgency for action. The new majority of students
is already on our campuses. They are already making
our way to our campuses. Students like Kathryn and
Shaun don’t have time to lose and they’re counting on us, on all of us. It will take desire by
institutions to find affordable, sustainable models for
offering high-quality education to todays students. Recognizing that
education is going to look a whole lot different than the
one we have known and loved. And it’s going to take an
unyielding commitment to equity. Closing gaps in educational
access and success, is an economic necessity
and a moral imperative, and that work needs to permeate every nook and cranny of our institutions. I think actually it will take a movement to widen and strengthen higher education as the bridge to opportunity. To make it more accessible
and more navigable. Which is why I’m actually really excited by the energy that’s shown in this room and by all of you who are gathered here. And it leads me to a final question, which is are you ready to join,
or even lead that movement? What does that mean? It means sending a clear message that I mentioned earlier,
that we as a nation are at a fork in the road, we as a state are at a fork in the road when
it comes to higher education. We either innovate and make hard choices that are necessary to expand opportunity and increase student success, or, we will watch higher
education become a wedge between the haves and the have nots. It means redefining prestige
in terms of how many students make it onto and across the bridge, rather than how many we turn away. In other words it means
measuring our success not in terms of who we exclude but in terms of who we include and how well they succeed. It means pursuing aggressive
goals for sustainably increasing student access and success, implementing proven solutions at scale in order to achieve them, I’m
talking about eliminating, not reducing attainment gaps. I’m talking about reaching tens and even hundreds of thousands,
not hundreds of students, with proven innovation. Many institutions are not
prepared to answer this call. Perhaps they can sustain
themselves on endowment funds or on high-fee/high-aid models, or by attracting more and
more out of state students. But many are answering the call because they have to,
because their futures and the futures of their
communities, and the new majority of students that they serve depend on it. Our vision is that those
who do answer the call will serve as beacons for
others who wish to follow, sparking an interaction
effect that will transform this industry for the
benefit of our students and for the good of the
state and our country. The road to 2025 will not be paved with bold proclamations
from people like me. It will be paved with the
actions and the choices that you and your
institutions take everyday that reflect your data,
that reflect your values, and that reflect your priorities. And they will draw on your
extensive and distinctive expertise that you have
and that you bring. While still only three
years old, Open SUNY, or I guess it’s Open SUNY
2.0, as of yesterday? That’s good, provides
an enormous opportunity for people across the
SUNY system to stand up, and through their actions to choose, and to choose the path
to a more equitable, to a more just, healthier,
and more successful society. Why Open SUNY? Open SUNY, well, I think of it kind of as a platform. Probably not the right word, with the potential to
combine courseware, GPS, and to leverage data in
ways that can improve student outcomes, bolster quality, and with due attention
to data and to execution, secure a more sustainable future for the system, its campuses,
its students, and the state. Leveraging the power and the
promise of this great system, Open SUNY seems to me
to have the potential to enable campuses to do something they couldn’t do as cost effectively or as quickly on their own. And I could actually, I will sit here and pencil out the numbers with anyone who wants to contest that proposition. Open SUNY potentially
enables campuses not only to catch up with the front
runners that are in the race transforming higher
education into an engine of economic development
and social mobility, but potentially eventually
to surpass and to lead them. As I noted earlier, I’m
a historian by training, and I’ve observed in my study that moments of true transformation
are all about convergence. The combination of
people, ideas, and time. I believe that we have the people, I believe that we have the ideas, and I believe that now is the time. So choose, please choose wisely. The state and the nation
need you to do that. So thank you very much. And I can take questions. – [Voiceover] Questions for Daniel? – Hi, um, I’m aware of
two instances historically of education leading a
societal transformation or education going through
a huge transformation like you’re talking about, one of them is the United States after
World War ll with the GI bill and the other is Europe, Western Europe in the same time frame with a great deal of governmental support. Is there, are you aware
of any historical examples of educational institutions operating as private business
enterprises with consumers, um, being able to pull off a transformation like you’re talking about? – Without the level of
support, this is actually an interesting debate I
just had with respect to the health industry, because
it has recently been through a massive transformation
and the question I was asked by people who are very active
in guiding that transformation said what are the incentives? And you know I talked about
financial aid and accountability and they talked about
Medicare and Medicaid, and they said they are weak
incentives in higher education. Um, so the answer I think
to your question is yes, while we can point to instances
of private institutions doing phenomenally interesting things, even with federal financial
aid dollars being relatively restricted and not rising
at the rate of inflation, I think we’re going to have,
frankly, to embrace the fact that public revenues which
are already constrained are going to become more constrained as public pensions come
under enormous pressure. And as K12 budgets claim the lionshare of available education money. But it’s not about whether
it’s possible or not, it’s about what are the consequences for our not trying? This is not about not advocating for greater public investment,
of course we advocate for greater public investment,
and when we get more public money we will know how to spend it. But what is plan B, and I would
conjecture that aside from maybe a dozen or two dozen
institutions, we don’t have one. And our nation is at risk as a result, so I think that is the compelling
nature of this challenge, and I do think it’s soluble. – Probably 150 years ago there
was another transformation, at that point, 2/3 of jobs
required a high school diploma, and progressive educators
came together and realized we have to make high school free. Fast forward to today, we
have Barack Obama saying community colleges should be free, we have Bernie Sanders saying
all colleges should be free. What would you say to those who argue that this is not a matter
of constrained resources and finances, it’s a
matter of prioritization and allocation of resources
in different directions? And should Bernie Sanders become President with an agenda to make college free? Wouldn’t that be a parallel similar to when we made high school free, when the demands of the economy made universal high school necessary? – Yeah, and we have a really
interesting debate about free college and whether or not it solves a real problem for low income students. I mean, there’s a real debate to be had, and you know, if you do the numbers, low income students because
their access to Pell Grants and loans, their tuition is largely taken care of. So, what does free community college do and to what social groups does it… I’m not taking a point of view, I’m just repeating analysis
that you and I have both seen. – [Voiceover] I think
you’re playing both sides of the street saying students
are coming out in major debt, trillion dollars in debt by last count, and that their tuitions
free, it can’t be both ways. – So, I didn’t want to get into the community college is free debate. There is a debate to be had about whether the free community college does in fact solve the problem that
we’re talking about. I think it’s a good debate to have, it’s an important one, but I still think the answer that I gave
before is the same answer. It is about political will,
you’re absolutely right, political will and political priorities. My understanding is that state revenues and federal revenues are: A.
significantly constrained, they will become more constrained with healthcare and pension costs, that higher education
is not a high priority and I just, I’m a pragmatist. I can be an aspirational
and wishful thinking, but I am a pragmatist, and
my care is for students. And then I look at places
like Delaware State University or Miami Dade College,
or Rio Salado College, all of which are public
institutions which are substantially more revenue constrained
than any SUNY institution and they are far exceeding
expectations with respect, if you do input adjusted measures of how well their students perform. So while we’re advocating
for public investment shouldn’t we think also
about Shaun and Kathryn, and the millions of
other students like them, and ask ourselves the audacious question is it really true that we can
do no more for those kids? While we wait? It’s again, plan A, I know what plan A is, and I knew how we’d spend the money. I don’t see plan B and
I think we need one. – So, two things came to mind looking at this whole situation. Going back to the badging
discussion that we had before, do you see this whole
situation as sort of minimizing the need or the value
of a college education for the next generation coming through, and number 2, do you see the availability of free education like Kahn
Academy and all the open courses the MOOCs and everything else, filling in this gap anywhere? For years, I’ve been pointing
my community college students to those resources and they do use them. So between that and
badging, perhaps the crisis that you’re predicting,
which is very dire, might not happen in that way. Maybe they’ll, the big
move will be more towards these other self-guided resources? – Yeah, and these are the
kinds of innovative solutions I think we’re going to
have to continue to look at and evaluate, our work at the foundation is to identify innovations
and then research the heck out of them so you
get a sense of what works for whom and why, and how much you know, what the real affect sizes are. Um, you know, badging
is really interesting. Micro-credentialing is really interesting. If you think about it, and
you think people talk about stackable credentials over
a lifetime of learning, you’re really advertising
the cost of education. It allows us to raise
the cost of education and just advertise it over a lifetime. So that could be a good thing, but let’s address it for what it is. It’s also super hard because
we haven’t really nailed assessment of competency so if I encounter in my institution a student
who received a badge in yours, how do I know that student
mastered the skills that I care about, so I mean, I think these are tractable problems, but it really gets it,
forms of assessment, which really gets it, are
creating a free market, or a currency in assessment that we can all agree to understand together, so credits or badges transfer really well. But these are exactly
the kinds of innovations that I think we’re gonna need to explore. And they do a number of things, right? They give students
incremental opportunities to improve their life circumstances while progressively improving their… investing in their human
capital and their education. That seems to be a good thing. – It was a very inspirational speech but in some ways, and I say
this with all due respect, you’re kind of preaching to the converted. Um, everyone that’s in this room is on the forefront of trying to provide you know, open educational
resources and access to all sorts of students,
and that’s our mission. I would say, probably to
a person in this room. Um, my question has
more to do with the fact that what do we do when
we have these lofty goals, and they’re not lofty,
but the problem is that our institutions don’t
give us adequate support. Not just financial
resources but that there’s absolutely no prestige
given to work online. Um, I’m in my own department,
I’m in an art department, and as the art historian I’m already the red-headed step-child
because I’m with studio, you know, creators/makers,
and then the fact that I offer this online class
to general education students they see as, you know, kind of fluff. They think it’s not worth anything. And that’s my own department, you know, despite the revenue it’s bringing them. And so what suggestions do you have for changing the mindset
of not the general public, because I think they’re behind us, but the people who are in charge? – Yeah, there’s an
interesting question about the general public, the data that I see suggests that the general
public is losing faith in the higher education,
in higher education. – [Voiceover] No but I mean
they are behind online learning. – Not opposed to it, is
that what you’re saying? – [Voiceover] They’re
not opposed to it, right, it happens to be our administrators, our other faculty
members, um, and you know, the continuing model of higher
education as an ivory tower and a place where you
play rugby and you know, you have rock climbing walls and Starbucks on your campus. – So this is where I’m super keen on data, maybe it’s just because I’m a geek, uh, and I’ll admit that. Because in my experience,
in countless institutuions and actually states, when you begin to pull the data together and look longer term at cost revenues and student outcomes, it
is undeniable where we are. And it is undeniable that we need to make profound shifts in order
to make those changes. And there are institutions,
I mentioned a bunch of them, which are developing some
pretty sophisticated models with their faculty,
sharing with the faculty, not saying to the administrators this is what we have to do folks, but saying shit, here’s a problem. How do we enlist the intelligence in the collective faculty to solve it? So I think the ideological
inspirational discussions can only get you so far, I think when you begin to
pull the analytics together, so and I would say, and
you’re doing great work, don’t take anything what I’m
about to say as criticism, it is not intended as that. But I would actually challenge you to do the math on the
model that you’re deploying in terms of cost per
student credit hour, right? Because I think, I don’t
know what you’ll find, but I would you know, what
I understand you’re doing, I was just listing an idea
while browsing around, the opportunity to generate new revenues while going after mostly
post-baccalaureate certificates, etc, great thing, don’t stop doing it, revenues are important,
but the real propane point is the cost, is how do you break out of what they call the iron triangle? The cost and quality of the
undergraduate education. And I’m not… I don’t know
the answer to this question, but I’m not certain that
the answer is taking in… So, we have a model
where individual faculty manage their own courses,
now doing that online, I’m not sure that actually… I’m sure it improves learning outcomes, or it can improve learning
outcomes where it’s done well. I’m not sure, and that’s
why I kept coming back to sustainability, I’m
not sure it actually addresses that other challenge. And so I think the real
challenge that we face is what are the incentive structures and educational delivery models that allow us to leverage technology delivering the highest possible outcome at a cost that we can… at a cost that our revenues can afford? And so I would challenge
you to think about this. Frankly, I’m so excited about
the potential for Open SUNY because when, if done really, really well, and there’s an opportunity
for real leadership here, if done really, really well,
it potentially reduces, not in a bad way, reduces
the cost individual faculty of getting the gains that you’re getting in the art history department. But I would want to see that, I mean, I’m really a data driven guy,
and I would want to see that on paper rather than
ideologically, you know, the debate that you’re referring to in your department, and I’ve
seen this up close and personal it’s a different discussion
when the data are there. Meaning reasonable people can
disagree about interpretation, they can disagree about methodology, and they will disagree about methodology, and then they’ll get into the ad hominem, but eventually you have to… the data forces a real
focus on the problem and incentive structures such
that you’re talking about, the reward structures, they’re really hard to talk about in the abstract. It’s never easy, maybe better facillitated with a data driven discussion that says here’s a problem, here are the costs, here are our revenues, how are we gonna… how are we gonna change this, and let’s have an honest debate. Recognize that you have
the power of a platform that very few others have, I mean, I know it’s in development and
there’s a lot of stuff to do. – That really triggered something when you were talking about… oh sorry. That really triggered something, I’m sitting here, and you know, coming out of the
discussion since yesterday, we were talking a lot of
innovations and, you know, we are so happy with a lot of things. And I’m here, I’m a director
of distance learning, I have done training of
more than 100 faculty, developed more than 100 courses, and migrated ANGEL to Blackboard, and I really don’t know what’s
happening to the courses. – [Daniel] You don’t know
what’s happening to the… – To the courses in terms of,
and I totally agree with you, I’ve been pushing StarFish
for the longest time, I’ve been waiting for StarFish to happen, I’m trying to find ways and means, my supervisors very
much sold with StarFish. But then again, you’re looking at… I’m thinking as I sit here, and as I’ve been contemplating on this, how do I go back to these courses? How do I know what’s going on? And this is really a challenge
that I’m giving to Cody. – [Daniel] And I think this is honestly, I think you’ve nailed
your collective challenge and far be it for me to point it out. For this group, and this level
of intelligence and expertise to operate on multiple
different platforms, it adds so much cost and
it adds so much redundancy, and I’m thinking wait a minute, you can’t tell me there
isn’t another world where the business faculty,
we are seeing this in a guy named, um, Drawer, Smart
Sparrow is the company, and Drawer… I’m gonna forget his name, it’s the guy who runs it, but it… he’s building, they’re building…
their special sauces… they build courses using
a network of faculty who get together and create the course on a common platform across systems. So, the intelligence of the crowd improves the quality of the content and no one loses anything. – And if you look at this
in the product life cycle, we are now I believe at
the crux of maturity. We have built so many courses, we have had so many technologies, what are we doing to ensure
that what we’re delivering is what our students need? What are designs that are adaptive? What is it really, and
then, even with efficiency of data analytics, you’re
looking at numerics again, and then you’re not looking
at the qualitative side of it. And I think this is a
real challenge to us. I’m sitting here and I’m saying, okay, I have built more than 100 courses. Guerrilla tactic-ing the faculty who refuse to do it, I went on my adjunct and developed more than 100 courses. How am I now going to them and tell them, okay guys, are we doing the right thing? Are you updating your courses? What are your learning outcomes? Are these learning outcomes
the real, readable analytics that will address the needs
of our students going forward? I’m right there. – You know, just to
add one more challenge, because you’re challenging
your colleagues, I’ll jump in. Um, yeah, common platform,
imagine what you could pull off following a master course model? I realize, I’m a dyed in
the wool faculty member, I can do the handshake and
I can show you the scars, but you know, the master
course actually enables more creative teaching, right? Especially because they’re
adaptive and adaptable. So, forget sustainability and
efficiency, although I can’t, what’s the cost of redundant
development of basic content? Right, so between you, in this
room on a common platform, you can’t tell me there’s
not an opportunity to develop and to continuously
improve through the network of the most intelligent system
level faculty in the country? The best courses, I don’t get that. And to enable the most powerful teaching, which after all, then has an opportunity to engage with students, use data, integrate research,
where that’s appropriate, you know, I know that’s orthogonal, I know it’s heretical, but that’s when I take
these questions about you know, well, we need more money. I’m like, okay, but are we so convinced that the only model to
deliver quality education is the one we’ve been doing for 150 years? I do not believe that, in fact, the data suggests it isn’t true. One last factoid, Scott Freeman, University of Washington,
research scientist, gets into active learning,
nothing to do with online. Active learning is the
stuff that I did not do when I was reading my…
when I was doing my lecture. Active learning is more like
this kind of engagement. Active learning shows an effect
size of something like .45 in a meta-study that he did,
pretty reliable meta-study. In the drug industry, if you’re not… if you’re a hospital, and
you’re not adopting a drug which is showing a .25 effect size, you’re gonna get sued
for medical malpractice. So, I’m sitting here thinking, and I’ve heard others
say this, not just me, when in a public institution, because that’s the place to do it, is some kid, some low income kid gonna take a suit because
they’re not engaging in… because the institution’s not
engaging in active learning. Active learning shown demonstrably to help low income students, first-gen
students better, right? When is that, you know,
so you talk about change and sort of industry legal stuff, I’m not taking the suit and
I’m not suggesting it happens, but you know, the point is, it just… it sometimes just astonishes
me that an industry which is driven by empirical method and will apply empirical method to every force of nature and society is not desperately interested in applying that empirical method to
learning and learning outcomes, and assumes that there is a
single way of doing business. So, I’m sorry, I’m getting passionate. There was one other
question, and then I know you’re gonna interrupt me. – I think we have to wrap
it up, I’m sorry Brandon. (inaudible) So if anyone has additional
questions for Daniel, we’re gonna take a break right now. (applause) We’re gonna take a break for 15 minutes and set up for the, um, um, (inaudible)


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