MIT Unveils ‘MicroMaster’s’ and inverted admission

Educational Innovation Weekly Review for Ed Leaders
Curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation
October 13, 2015
Contact us
MIT Unveils ‘MicroMaster’s,’ Allowing Students to Get Half Their Degree From MOOCs
The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • The MIT will begin allowing students to earn half of a master’s degree through online courses, then cap it off with a single semester on the campus.
  • The new program also sets the stage for “a new academic credential for the digital age”: the “MicroMaster’s. 
  • “Inverted admission has the potential to disrupt traditional modes of access to higher education,” said MIT’s dean of digital learning, Sanjay Sarma. MOOCs may soon become a prominent factor in admissions decisions at selective colleges. 
Visit Website:

Keywords: MOOCs, online education, admissions
Younger Students Drawn to Online Higher Education
U.S. News Education
  • Recent trends in K-12 education are giving younger college students more familiarity with learning online, experts say. In Florida, for example, students are required to take at least one online course to graduate high school.
  • Many universities are offering online alternatives now, but what makes the University of Florida's PaCE initiative unusual is its promise to online students of a fully on-campus experience down the road after earning 60 online credits.
Visit Website:

Keywords: online education, higher education
Solving the STEM Skills Gap: Focusing More on Soft Skills
EdTech Review
  • Despite the over $750 million in pledges from tech companies in the last couple years to help “bring schools into the 21st century”, the STEM skills gap, particularly in IT, has only widened.
  • According to Gary Marx, 60% of new jobs will require skills that only 20% of workers currently have. How are supposed to teach our students skills for jobs that don’t exist yet? The answer might just be: to focus more on soft skills. Creativity, innovation, and motivation to learn on the job.
Visit Website:

Keywords: skills gap, soft skills, creativity, innovation
Excelsior College Developing Student Skills Assessment Tool
Campus Technology
  • Excelsior College is developing the Diagnostic Assessment and Achievement of College Skills (DAACS), an open source assessment tool for targeting resources and services to students based on their academic and non-academic skills.
  • DAACS will evaluate the academic and non-academic skills of incoming students to inform them and the institution of their readiness for college-level work. The assessments will provide a more complete picture of students' abilities and enabling targeted interventions based on students' individual needs. 
Visit Website:

Keywords: college skills, non-academic skills, tools 
Digital Badges Hit the Big Time in Higher Ed
University Business
  • Digital badges have become serious commodities in the world of college credentials. More institutions now offer digital badges as a form of micro-credential or “subdegree” to students who want to show potential employers what they’ve learned.
  • Badge programs may be most appealing to professionals who have already earned degrees but need to acquire new skills to advance in their careers and to keep up with what’s happening in their fields. 
Visit Website:

Keywords: digital badges, skills 
On Campus, Older Faculty Keep On Keepin' On
  • Protected by tenure that prevents them from being dismissed without cause, and with no mandatory retirement age, a significant proportion of university faculty isn't going anywhere. A study found that 60 percent of faculty planned to work past 70, and 15 percent to stay until they're 80. This dramatic trend foretells more and more younger Ph.D.s with limited job opportunities. 
  • Herman Berliner has proposed the idea of a time limit on tenure of 30 or 35 years, after which faculty could be rehired on one-year contracts. That would give universities more flexibility to behave like private companies and make changes to their workforce in response to market changes.
Visit Website:

Keywords: postgraduate education, research, universities, tenure track
The Costs of Publish or Perish
Inside Higher Ed
  • Shortly after being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013, Peter Higgs said he doubted he would have gotten a job, not to mention tenure, in today’s academic system. Dr. Higgs said he simply wouldn’t have been “productive” enough, with academe’s premium on publication metrics. 
  • A new study called “Tradition and Innovation in Scientists’ Research Strategies” suggests that publication pressures on scientists lead to more traditional, more likely to be published papers, at the expense of scientific breakthroughs. 
Visit Website:

Keywords: research, science, innovation
Can't Afford School? Girls Learn To Negotiate The Harvard Way
  • In the U.S., it's illegal to take your kid out of school. In Zambia, you have to pay to keep your kid in school. Madalitso Mulando lives in Zambia and she didn't have the money to pay for her 10th-grade tuition. 
  • So gurus at Harvard Business School wrote a curriculum to teach Zambian high school students the art of negotiation. It's part of a multiyear research study to see if a week of negotiation training can help Zambian schoolgirls stay in school and avoid getting pregnant.
Visit Website:

Keywords: education, research, negotiation skills
A Top Proponent of Higher-Ed Disruption Moves to Put His Theories Into Practice
The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • After years of preaching “disruptive innovation” for higher education, one of the most visible proponents of the theory, Michael B. Horn, is going try a little disrupting of his own.
  • Mr. Horn, a co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, stepped down as director of its education program to begin working more directly with companies in the education market. Mr. Horn will be replaced by Julia Freeland Fisher.
Visit Website:

Keywords: disruption, innovation, education, Clayton Christensen Institute, Michael B. Horn
How China Plans to Become a Global Force in Higher Education
The Guardian
  • China contributes about 14% of global economic output and is also a primary engine of growth for international higher education, leading the way in student recruitment, English and Chinese language programmes, transnational education and short-term study abroad. The country, therefore, is critical to the economics of the global higher education.
Visit Website:

Keywords: higher education
More news
Educational Innovation Weekly Review is curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's  Observatory of Educational Innovation. With the highlights of the week on innovation, technology and education. If you require more information about a specific note, please email us: TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2015.

Observatory of Educational Innovation

Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education. 

Tecnológico de Monterrey | Av Eugenio Garza Sada 2501, Monterrey, NL, México