UNLV Boyd School of Law to launch gaming and regulatory online courses - Yogonet International

UNLV Boyd School of Law to launch gaming and regulatory online courses - Yogonet International UNLV Boyd School of Law to launch gaming and regulatory online courses - Yogonet International Posted: 10 Nov 2020 12:00 AM PST T he UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law announced today that it will develop an online training program for operators, regulators, lawyers and others who work in and around the worldwide gaming industry. The mostly asynchronous classes, which will launch during the first and second quarters of 2021, will be created and taught by instructors with decades of professional gaming and teaching experience. The online courses, funded by a gift from the GVC Foundation U.S. , will ultimately consist of eight classes designed to prepare professionals to meet the sophisticated regulatory and operating challenges facing the gaming industry. Students are not required to hold a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or first degree of law requi

6 Ways College Might Look Different In The Fall - NPR

6 Ways College Might Look Different In The Fall - NPR

6 Ways College Might Look Different In The Fall - NPR

Posted: 05 May 2020 08:20 AM PDT

Online vs. in-person college.
Hanna Barczyk for NPR
Online vs. in-person college.

Hanna Barczyk for NPR

What will happen on college campuses in the fall? It's a big question for families, students and the schools themselves.

A lot of what happens depends on factors outside the control of individual schools: Will there be more testing? Contact tracing? Enough physical space for distancing? Will the coronavirus have a second wave? Will any given state allow campuses to reopen?

For all of these questions, it's really too early to know the answers. But one thing is clear: Life, and learning for the nation's 20 million students in higher education, will be different.

"I don't think there's any scenario under which it's business as usual on American college campuses in the fall," says Nicholas Christakis, a sociologist and physician at Yale University.

So why are so many colleges announcing they will be back on campus in the fall?

In many cases, it's because they're still trying to woo students. A survey of college presidents found their most pressing concern right now is summer and fall enrollment. Even elite schools, typically more stable when it comes to enrollment, have reportedly been tapping their waitlists.

In the midst of all this uncertainty, it's worth looking at some of the ideas out there. With the help of Joshua Kim and Edward J. Maloney, professors and authors of the book Learning Innovation and the Future of Higher Education, here are some potential scenarios for reopening colleges and universities:

All virtual

Perhaps the most obvious option for the fall is to continue doing what they've been doing this spring. Colleges have signaled that they're planning for this option — even if it's a last resort. California State University, Fullerton, was one of the first to announce publicly it was planning for a fall semester online.

"Obviously we want to resume in-person teaching as soon as possible, but we also need to make sure that we're safe," says Ellen Treanor, who helps lead strategic communication at the school. Treanor says it made a lot of sense to assume the school would start online. "What would be the easier way to transition? It would be easier to transition beginning virtually and then transitioning in person," she said. "The faculty [needs] to be prepared."

With virtual classes, students can remain at home, although some colleges are exploring bringing them back to campus, where they could use the school's Wi-Fi to take online classes.

Delayed start

A delay in the semester would allow a school to wait it out until it was safer to reopen. One option is to push back a month or two, starting in October or November. Another idea is to push a normal start to January. In that case, the spring semester would become the fall semester, and potentially students could stay on campus through next summer to make up the spring semester. Boston University floated a version of this January start date when it announced a number of plans it was exploring.

One downside to a late start is what students will do in the meantime, especially those who don't have financial stability and rely on campus or the university to be a safe and stable home.

Some online, some face-to-face

This would be a hybrid model, with a combination of virtual and in-person classes. It may be a good choice for campuses that don't have enough classrooms to allow adjusting face-to-face teaching to the requirements of social distancing.

"You might have some of the larger classes being taught online simply because it's harder to imagine a 150- or 350-person classroom," says Maloney, who leads the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship at Georgetown University. "So you might see that class split up into multiple sections." For large, entry-level classes, colleges may have a lecture component online and then meet in smaller groups in person.

"The hybrid model doesn't have to just be about modality," Maloney says. "It can be, but it could also be about fundamentally rethinking what the core structure has been for those large classes."

Of course, shifting larger classes online may not be enough, by itself, to alleviate the health concerns of having students on campus. Early research from Cornell University found that eliminating very large classes still left the small world network of the campus intact.

Shortened blocks

In block scheduling, students take just one course at a time for a shorter duration, typically three or four weeks. Colorado College, a liberal arts school south of Denver, has been using this model for 50 years. The college adopted this style of classes because "it allows [students] to take a deep dive and really focus in unique ways on the single subject," says Alan Townsend, the provost there. In a typical year, the school offers eight blocks.

In addition to its intensity, block scheduling is attractive right now because it allows flexibility. Colleges that use it have the opportunity to change the way classes look every three weeks — since there are multiple start and stop points. (With a semester, you have only a single start and then, often 16 weeks later, an end.)

"It's easier for us to now think creatively for next year," Townsend says. "Different students can make different choices. That's really hard to do with a semester-based system, but the blocks allow us to do that a little bit more flexibly."

The school is also entertaining the idea of sending faculty abroad to teach a block for international students who might not be able to enter the U.S, or adding summer blocks to give students even more opportunities to take classes.

Only some on campus

Some colleges have suggested bringing only freshmen back to campus and having upperclassmen either delay their start, or be online and remote.

The idea centers on research that shows just how important a student's first year of college is as a predictor of graduation. Adapting to campus can be a challenge, so this would allow first-year students to get comfortable and have extra support on campus.

Since upperclassmen are already familiar with how campus and classes work, the theory goes, they can more easily adapt to an online environment. Other versions of this approach would have students who have housing needs come back to campus first, and then, over time, phase in other groups of students.

All these options seek to keep the population density of the campus lower while still maintaining some face-to-face interactions.

On campus, with some changes

Social distancing, improved testing and contact tracing could help colleges reopen their campuses.

"Every school is trying to figure out a way to have students come back and do whatever we can while also protecting public health," says Learning Innovation co-author Joshua Kim, director of online programs and strategy at Dartmouth College.

"At the same time, we know that, however that works, things will be different. It's probably unlikely that we'll be able to cram students together in large, packed lecture halls or put doubles and triples in residence halls or have big events."

To follow social distancing, professors are measuring their classrooms, calculating how many students could fit in the space if they were 6 feet apart. Deans are planning out how students could enter and exit the classrooms safely.

But it's not just the classrooms that pose a challenge. For residential colleges, it's the dorms.

"Whether or not students are actually learning in the classroom, it's incredibly important for them to have an on-campus experience," Maloney says. So schools are thinking about how they can spread their students out, putting them in places where they normally wouldn't go.

Some ideas include housing students in offices that aren't being used, local hotel rooms or off-campus housing. Institutions are also reimagining campus events, like freshman orientation, since it's unlikely hundreds of students will be in a packed auditorium.

"Rethinking how we do everything we do at a university is part of the process," Maloney says.

Some California colleges decide to offer all fall classes online - EdSource

Posted: 03 May 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Salma Ramirez, of San Marcos, is taking virtual tours of college campuses since real tours are canceled.

This story was updated on May 3 to include the Los Angeles Community College District.

An increasing number of California community colleges plan to offer all fall classes online to protect students and staff from the coronavirus. The nine colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District, Santa Monica College, Sierra College, College of the Desert and Santa Rosa Junior College, announced this week most classes will be offered remotely in the fall.

Meanwhile, officials at UCLA plan to give students the option of how they want to attend their fall 2020 classes.

"The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and maintaining the quality of our teaching and learning programs are of utmost importance for the college," said Joel Kinnamon, president of College of the Desert, which has about 10,000 undergraduates in Palm Desert. "With an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the college's service area, combined with the lack of a vaccine and the possibility of a second wave of infections, we felt this was the most prudent path."

The announcements foreshadow the decisions that other California colleges may end up making, including the state's 111 other community colleges. (Calbright College is the state's only online-only community college.)

Many colleges and universities across the country are considering how they will offer classes for the fall academic term, either in-person, virtually or a mix of the two. But only a handful of institutions have decided what they will do, despite growing anxiety from students and families over how these decisions will affect them.

"At a minimum, since we know it might not be possible for some students to safely travel to campus, we plan to offer the option of remote learning at least for fall quarter, even if some classes are held in person," said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and Emily Carter, an executive vice chancellor and provost to the university, in a message to students.

One thing the UCLA campus can't guarantee is housing for students this fall because of the need for safety precautions need to keep students safe from the virus. Because of the pandemic and national travel restrictions, university officials don't know how many students will be able to live in apartments or dorms this fall.

"In normal times, UCLA is able to offer housing to a majority of incoming and returning students," according to the message. "At this point, it is unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact our operations in student housing and residential life during the 2020-21 academic year and therefore we are unfortunately unable to provide a housing guarantee."

Officials at Sierra College, in the Sacramento area, tweeted that they wanted to give students as much advance notice as possible, and so decided fall classes would be online-only.

"Making this decision early allows us to better prepare for online learning and gives staff more time to prepare for this format," according to the college, which has about 16,000 students enrolled. "With the potential for a resurgence of the virus in the fall, students will not have to worry about making an abrupt transition to remote learning."

However, some classes can't happen in an online-only setting. Sierra College officials said they will continue looking for alternatives, such as a mix of virtual and in-person classes, to help students complete their courses.

"We understand this situation is not ideal for anyone," the tweets continued. "But we hope by making this decision early we can prepare better for the fall semester and continue to help our students complete their educational goals as best we can."

Francisco Rodriguez, chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District, said they've been working to find flexible solutions for classes that require labs, clinical experience or other hands-on requirements.

"We ask for your patience and support as we work through these issues," he said, in a message to students about offering most fall classes online.

Santa Monica College, which has about 26,000 students, decided earlier this week that its nearly 3,000 classes would be offered remotely this fall starting Aug. 31.

The decision to continue online-only instruction through this fall was based on two factors. Santa Monica officials don't think a COVID-19 vaccine will be available until 2021 and it would be "nearly impossible" for the campus, which is described as "open-access," to monitor and identify the differences between people who have the coronavirus and those who have the typical flu. The college will also examine where to offer hybrid courses for those classes that can't move online.

Until they're able to safely reopen the Santa Monica campus for in-person classes and services, students can continue to access mental and physical health counseling online. The campus will continue its Chromebook laptop lending program, which has given more than 200 students the technology they need to access classes online, and access to the school's drive-thru pop-up food pantry will continue, said Kathryn Jeffery, Santa Monica's president, in an email to students.

Jeffery said faculty members and counselors would continue building their skills to help students pursue their academic experience remotely.

"Your instructors and counselors are learning new skills, software and tools so that they can give you the best possible academic experience," she said.

Santa Rosa Junior College President Frank Chong Thursday issued a statement saying that the college would offer its fall classes online.

"There may be some courses that require in-person instruction, such as those that require hands-on labs and those offered at the Public Safety Training Center." Chong said.  "Where possible, we will work alongside faculty and staff in these areas to offer in-person instruction" utilizing the college's social distancing protocols.

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College Consensus Publishes Aggregate Consensus Ranking of 100 Best Online Colleges and Universities for 2020 - AiThority

Posted: 21 Apr 2020 12:00 AM PDT

College Consensus, a unique college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews, has published their ranking of the 100 Best Online Colleges and Universities 2020 at https://www.collegeconsensus.com/online/best-online-colleges/.

The University of Florida takes the first spot again this year, with Rutgers University-New Brunswick, The University of Illinois, Western Carolina University, and The University of Iowa rounding out the top five.

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To identify the Best Online Colleges and Universities for 2020, College Consensus combined the latest results from the most respected college rankings with thousands of real student reviews to produce a unique consensus score for each school. According to Consensus editors, "College Consensus gathers the publisher rankings and student reviews from around the web and distills the results into simple, easy to understand scores so students can quickly and easily compare schools." While most rankings only provide one perspective – such as student experience, surveys of administrators, or expert opinion – the Consensus philosophy is to open up and show prospective college students the full range so they can make the most informed decision possible.

As the editors explain, "The College Consensus methodology pulls together rankings from:

  • Forbes
  • Money
  • U.S. News & World Report
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Wallethub
  • Washington Monthly

Then we average student reviews from sites like Cappex, Niche, Student Review, and more, to get the full picture of how students see their colleges, which we call the Student Review Rating. Put them together, and we have the College Consensus."

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To help prospective college students and their families evaluate the educational options open to them, College Consensus has identified the best online colleges and universities, according to the combination of published rankings and student reviews. To qualify for the ranking institutions have to have a Consensus Score and offer at least 5 fully online bachelor's degree or bachelor's completion programs.

Rounding out the top 25 (in alphabetical order) are:
Appalachian State University
Dickinson State University
Florida International University
Fresno Pacific University
George Mason University
George Washington University
LeTourneau University
Rutgers University – Newark
Southwestern Adventist University
University of Arizona
University of Central Florida
University of Denver
University of Massachusetts
University of Minnesota-Crookston
University of Missouri
University of Utah
University of West Florida
Valley City State University
Washington State University
Webster University

"Online college education has come a long way," Consensus editors note; "a child born in the same year as the first fully online degree could very well be earning their doctorate online right now." Online education has gone from being a novelty or suspect to being a standard for higher education, especially for working adults: "While predatory, unscrupulous online 'colleges' once threatened to make online degrees a punchline," according to the editors, "today the most prestigious colleges and universities – from the Ivy League to research giants like MIT and Stanford – offer fully online programs." In other words, " The best online colleges for undergraduates are some of the best colleges, period."

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That's why the College Consensus ranking of the Best Online Colleges & Universities is a valuable guide for college-bound young people, nontraditional-aged students, working professionals, and everyone else. As the editors explain, "Online degree completion programs offer affordable options and unmatched convenience, especially when compared to their 'brick and mortar' counterparts." With flexible scheduling, affordable tuition costs, and a wide variety of format options (such as accelerated courses, cohort plans, asynchronous lectures, online collaboration, and more), online programs have become ideal for working adults. The College Consensus Online Colleges & Universities ranking points them to programs that are really concerned with their success.

College Consensus is an innovative approach to college rankings. We combine the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student review scores. College Consensus also offers expert advice and guidance on all aspects of college life, from finding the perfect college, to getting accepted, paying for it, and finding your professional path after graduation.

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