Textbooks are traditional and useful learning resources for college students, but commercial texts books have been widely criticized for their high costs, restricted access, limited flexibility, and uninspiring learning experiences.
There are few published studies investigating the effectiveness of hybrid formats at the program level in graduate legal education. A hybrid Juris Doctorate (J.D.) program launched by a Midwestern institution was the first ABA-accredited law degree program with a substantial online learning component.
SRI convened diverse stakeholders in workshops about midscale research infrastructure for STEM education. Participants discussed challenges and opportunities for transforming our STEM education system and what infrastructure is needed to support necessary research.
The Apple and ConnectED Initiative provides valuable lessons for practitioners, policymakers, and researchers about what it takes to sustain 1:1 programs in schools serving high concentrations of students facing socioeconomic barriers. SRI’s 6-year study of the initiative illuminates how key factors and conditions came together in some schools to keep their programs going and reveals some important lessons for future endeavors.
Experience has shown that sustaining the progress of 1:1 programs in schools serving under-resourced communities is hard, as technology requires upkeep and the initial burst of focused energy sparked by new initiatives can dissipate. The Apple and ConnectED Initiative was designed with an intentional approach to building a foundation for continued use of technology and to create conditions that would set school communities on a new learning trajectory, leading to continued deepening and expansion of technology use in classrooms. This vision of sustainability involved ramping up the provision of technology and integration support as schools were ready and then removing these scaffolds gradually to allow schools to assume local ownership of their 1:1 programs.
Through SRI International’s (SRI) 6-year study of the initiative, the Apple and ConnectED Initiative provided a unique opportunity to observe how sustainability played out across many schools over an extended time period. This report describes findings from the research about the strategies that schools used to address inevitable challenges to sustainability and what factors and conditions appeared to make a difference. It further addresses the dynamic relationship among these factors and conditions, which can lead to positive reinforcement.
Schools that appeared to maintain momentum of their 1:1 initiatives demonstrated a broad commitment to the program and shared vision for how technology could support instructional goals, strong leadership (often but not exclusively from the principal’s office), and community support. This shared commitment and leadership made it possible to put plans in place for mobilizing resources and devising ways to keep the program going. The continued use of technology and, in some cases, continued growth in practices and community engagement using iPad devices, produced visible benefits for key stakeholders which in turn helped to reinforce commitment.
1:1 programs bring initial excitement and, later, deeper learning opportunities. But sustaining and funding over time is a challenge. This paper shares insights on sustaining 1:1 technology programs in economically challenged K–12 settings, based on a large research study of an iPad program.
The research and evaluation of ATD’s OER Degree Initiative provided encouraging evidence regarding the academic outcomes of students who enrolled in multiple OER courses, the economic impacts for both students and institutions, and the experiences of key stakeholders. Students benefitted from unrestricted access to course content and improved course experiences, in addition to saving money that could be used towards other educational or personal expenses.
Overall, the OER Degree Initiative offers an important demonstration of the opportunity, the task, and the challenges of a systemic approach to OER.
Participant Experiences and Financial Impacts: Findings from Year 2 of Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative
This report presents findings from Achieving the Dream’s Open Education Resources (OER) Degree Initiative, which helps colleges reduce the financial burden on students and improve curriculum and pedagogy by developing course pathways using free and openly licensed instructional materials.
Launching OER Degree Pathways: An Early Snapshot of Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative and Emerging Lessons
The Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative, led by Achieving the Dream (ATD), seeks to boost college access and student success by supporting the redesign of courses needed for a degree using OER in place of proprietary instructional materials. ATD’s programs aim to help community colleges throughout the United States increase student success through data-informed decision-making and holistic institutional change. For ATD, the initiative is an opportunity to scale an innovative approach throughout the community college sector with special attention to the colleges that are integrating OER degrees into their overall student success strategy. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, the Shelter Hill Foundation, and the Speedwell Foundation together provided funding for 38 community colleges across 13 states to build entire degree programs using OER.
Can low-Cost online summer math programs improve student preparation for college-level math? Evidence from randomized experiments at three universities
Every year many students enter college without the math preparation needed to succeed in their desired programs of study. Many of these students struggle to catch up, especially those who are required to take remedial math courses before entering college-level math. Increasing the number of students who begin at the appropriate level of math has become an important focus for educators and policymakers. We conducted randomized experiments of low-cost online summer math programs at three universities to test whether this type of intervention can increase access to math preparation, improve placement and enrollment in fall math classes, and improve performance in first-year math courses. Students who received the intervention engaged with the platform, though at relatively low rates, and were more likely to retake the placement test and improve their scores than students in the control group. However, these improved scores did not translate into enrolling in higher level math courses, obtaining more math credits, or improving grades in math-related courses during the first year of college. Thus, providing students access to this online tool did not improve their math skills.