Wait for It: Delayed Feedback Can Enhance Learning – Scientific American

Report on a nice bit of cognitivist research – as the title suggests, delayed feedback (ie don’t give the answer right away) assists retention, and is best done after an unpredictable delay of a few seconds. What’s most interesting about it is the hypothesized reason: it’s curiosity. It only works if it piques your interest enough to want to know the answer, and your level of attention is raised when the timing of an upcoming anticipated event is uncertain. Like so many things in learning, motivation plays a big role here. 

Address of the bookmark: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wait-for-it-delayed-feedback-can-enhance-learning/

Government to close two in every five universities – University World News

This is pretty bad news for universities in Russia, coming on top of existing major cuts. It is notable that this mostly affects certificate mills with dubious credentials and very shady practices that have sprung up since the 90s, but will also affect some state-funded institutions. While there is clearly a long-overdue crackdown in progress on unethical companies pretending to offer education but really just selling certification, this doesn’t seem to tell the whole story and the article does not explain the underlying problems that this is a solution for. It makes me wonder whether this is just a local problem in Russia, or whether it is a part of a more general trend. I presume there may be some places where universities are gaining ground but, for the most part, the news I read suggests that most, the world over, are in more or less worsening straits. Is there any research out there on this as a global phenomenon? 

Address of the bookmark: http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150417043945585

Open University’s numbers dive 28% as pool of part-timers dries up

Quite a slide in just five years!

It is blamed by the incoming VC on general drops in student numbers in the UK, that most notably affect part-time students (like AU, all of the OU’s students are part-time). A recent article suggested a 37% drop in recent years in the UK HE sector overall, so 28% is perhaps not that awful, in relative terms.

The drop is not too surprising, given that UK fees have risen precipitously in recent years thanks to decades of attack on higher education by both labour and conservative governments. In the OU’s case, according to one of the commenters, this equates to an increase from £500 (a bit over $900 Canadian) to £1600 (about $3000) for a course. When course costs rise, part-timers (many of whom are self-funding and were, in the past, doing it for love as often as for career change or advancement) are inevitably going to be the first casualties.

Address of the bookmark: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/open-universitys-numbers-dive-28-as-pool-of-part-timers-dries-up/2018593.article