Posts Tagged: COVID-19

5 Ways Open Educational Resources Can Help Students Succeed This Fall 

The shift to online learning has challenged instructors to create courses that are as engaging online as they are in person. As many faculty prepare for online learning again this fall, open educational resources (OER) can be part of the solution to help students stay safe and be successful. OER are free and openly licensed online teaching and learning materials that support instructors and stu...

Land-Grant Mission Tailor-Made for Boosting Post-Pandemic Recovery

Gracing the back wall of my office at the University of Vermont is an antique wooden desk that’s more than 150 years old. While it’s an undeniably handsome piece of 19th century craftsmanship, it serves much more than a decorative purpose. As the desk of Vermont Sen. Justin Morrill, the author of the Morrill Act of 1862 establishing the country’s first land-grant universities, it is m...

Hey Big Spenders: Spend a Little Less on Phone Lines and Package Delivery?

College and university leaders are fighting the battle of their lives to maximize their institutions’ financial wellbeing. With COVID-19 further weakening institutions’ financial positions, are there any hidden sources of savings still to be had? The answer, often, is yes—even for the many institutions who have already made substantial cuts. It is possible that 15% to 20% of expense...

And Now For Something Completely Uncomfortable: Estate Planning for Academia During COVID-19

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” Her words are excellent guideposts as New England colleges and universities navigate the unknowns of educating students during COVID-19. Despite the precautions that institutions are taking, on-campus teaching and research are not totally risk-free. Neither, of course, is life itself...

Good Online Instruction Must Prioritize Student Motivation, Not Just Engagement

For the past several decades, student engagement has been an increasingly popular subject of research in higher education. A raft of studies, surveys and op-eds have put engagement at the center of the national narrative around student success—and at the top of the priority list for institutions seeking to support an increasingly diverse generation of learners. All that research suggests that in...

It’s Time for a Safe Return to Campus

This op-ed was written by NEBHE President and CEO Michael K. Thomas in conjunction with leaders and representatives of public and private institutions in all six New England states, including: Mark E. Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities; Jennifer Widness, president of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges; Dannel P. Malloy, chancellor of the Universit...

Can Online Learning Be Trauma-Responsive?

With the growing number of colleges moving to online learning, I have been asked: Can online learning incorporate trauma-responsive strategies? The short answer is yes. Before turning to specific pedagogical approaches, it is worth reiterating why trauma-responsiveness is so critical to learning at this moment. Pre-pandemic and before the current racial tensions and economic uncertainty, we wer...

Out of the Wreckage of COVID, the Rebirth of College Career Services

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the labor market, with more than 40 million Americans who have filed for unemployment. Even as some states have attempted to reopen their economies, allowing 4 million people to head back to work, the unemployment rate still hovers around 16%. And we’re still in the early innings of recovery—perhaps even just batting practice. The recovery ...

Landscape Measure: Animating the University Campus to Promote Social Distancing

As many higher education institutions in New England grapple with how to safely reopen in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the physical setting of campuses becomes paramount. Indeed, NEJHE recently published a piece on the advantages of small rural campuses in the age of social distancing. Here, Leonard Yui, an associate professor of architecture at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I....

Practitioner Perspectives: OER and a Call for Equity

About a year ago, I attended a meeting at the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) focused on reducing the cost of learning materials for college students in our region. I have been pleased since then to work with colleagues across the New England states on NEBHE’s Open Education Advisory Committee that is looking into how best to support institutions and faculty as they replace high-co...