Kevin Bell is the Executive Director for Online Curriculum Development and Deployment at the College of Professional Studies (CPS). Bell leads Northeastern University’s efforts toward the goal of high-quality, professional online programs based on industry and academic standards.
Bell’s heads the team at Northeastern within CPS that aims to make online programs challenging and engaging while increasing the means by which students retain and internalize information and competencies. Bell’s team works with Northeastern faculty and deans to adapt programs to an online format.
Northeastern has been a pioneer in web-based delivery of programs since 1998. Northeastern offers 51 online degree programs across a wide range of disciplines and in 48 states. There are currently 10,000 online and hybrid students across 8 colleges.
The U.S. Department of Education in 2010 completed a study titled “Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online” that combined more than a thousand previous studies into one report. One key finding was the fact that students who took all or part of their course online performed better on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction. As Bell outlined though, thoughtful course design and student focus and effort are still much-needed components.
The Northeastern online model takes into account elements of cognitive science – a field attempting to understand how the human brain assimilates and stores information. Bell’s team’s goal is to develop a model that dramatically increases the efficiency and effectiveness of students’ learning, memory, and application of concepts.
Northeastern is piloting and pioneering innovative work in adaptive learning. Using new technologies and industry partners, the team at Northeastern are leveraging current computing power to adapt the presentation of educational material according to individual student learning needs, as indicated by early responses to questions and tasks. In an adaptive system, learners study carefully sized “chunks” of information before checking their understanding through interactive tests. The pace of a student’s progress through materials can be moderated based on their performance with these low-stress, evaluative but not evaluated tests. Students needing further practice can be directed to specific topics to review – confirming that the solid foundations of knowledge are in place before they progress to the next challenge.
Bell’s team is also using data analytics to improve courses and delivery techniques. Student, and faculty, behavioral data is reviewed and shared in order to propagate and encourage behaviors that are typical of successful participants. Data about the class in general is also sent back to curriculum designers for evaluation and discussion with faculty to in a “continuing improvement” model for materials and course content. Through these means, online education is moving from “One size fits all” to “Individualized Instruction”, with learning captured and confirmed rather than simply assumed based on a form of attendance and persistence beyond course end dates.
Bell’s team is also focused on developing new forms of Online Experiential Learning (OEL), based on the cornerstone of the Northeastern educational model. Most deliverables are real world based, including on occasion efforts to include unique circumstances and environment changes, as might happen in the real world. As Bell explained, often the essential ability gleaned from “experiential” is the experience developed to abstract and reapply knowledge and strategies to many, diverse situations as opposed to rote learning with one fixed set of rules.
Finally the group discussed criteria that promote student success in online learning. The main elements discussed by the group were:
- Self-Motivation – the will to direct the learning experience, fulfill course requirements, and achieve individual academic success.
- Independent learning –an understanding of the online environment, how it facilitates learning at an individual pace, and how this pace relieves the stress of feeling pressured thus promoting an enjoyable learning experience.
- Computer Literacy – while advanced computer skills are typically not necessary, basic knowledge of electronic email, the Internet, and keyboarding skills are needed.
- Time Management Skills – an ability to organize and plan the best time to learn is needed. Students who are able to organize consistent, regular work sessions tend to have better results than those who fall behind or assume they can put in 12 hour days at some point in the future.
- Effective Written Communication Skills – since communication with peers and instructors is accomplished via the use of electronic formats, the ability to communicate ideas and assignments clearly and concisely is important to student success.
- Personal Commitment – sustained success in learning and attaining knowledge and skills via online courses requires a strong commitment to participate, and as much as possible, empathy and support from family, friends and colleagues!
Have you heard about the G.A.M.E.S. – S.T.E.M. Program?
The G.A.M.E.S. Program (Girls Advancing Mathematics, Engineering and Science) is an ambitious, broad-based effort to use the power of gaming to engage girls in middle school, in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as technology-related arts (we call it “STEM”). The specific initiative: to launch, by fall 2017, three commercial-quality video games that achieve the goal.
This is not the first effort of its kind, and it is true that so-called edutainment games have a spotty record, at best, in terms of reaching their ambitious goals. But this one promises to be different, given what we have learned and who is involved.
We are at a tipping point for getting girls engaged in gaming, and there is greater momentum than ever before for connecting girls and women to STEM – related careers. Fact: The Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles introduced a Game Design merit badge this year, and it goes beyond a similar merit badge introduced by the Boy Scouts, requiring girls to program as well as design their games.
Unlike a number of past efforts sponsored and funded by public entities, we are proposing a realistic game development timeline and philanthropic funding sources to help ensure that the winning games are not just professional, but also scalable.
And G.A.M.E.S. already includes an impressive array of sponsors and participants. In addition to Northeastern University Seattle, the sponsors include the Institute for Systems Biology and the National Girls Collaborative Project, a consortium of “girl-serving” STEM organizations in over 40 states with over 7 million girls members across the United States.
More than two-dozen leaders from the worlds of game design, education, interactive media, science, and public service have committed to be actively involved in the G.A.M.E.S. Program.
The stakes are well known by now. America’s advancement in STEM education and STEM fields is the key to a robust innovation-based economy. But by the time they enter high school, most young women in America have lost interest in STEM fields, draining away the talent pool that the country needs, and depriving girls of rich opportunities to be tomorrow’s leaders in technology, engineering, and other STEM-related fields
Because girls were not engaged in science and mathematics at the right time in their lives, there may be diseases uncured and energy challenges unmet.
Follow along and contribute online with #Games4STEM .
Help us reverse the trend.
Find out more at northeastern.edu/seattle/games
Employer branding is a process of establishing an organization as a great place to work. The goal of employer branding is to attract, engage and retain talented candidates and employees. Employee turnover is becoming increasingly expensive and retention can reduce costs. An employee value proposition is used to define an organization’s employment offer. The principles of both employee branding and the employee value proposition are structured around the same core values of marketing; attractive and retaining customers, clients and consumers. The currently ranked #1 employer brand is Google Inc.
A large impetus for employer branding stems from a change in the thinking of today’s modern workforce. From Employerbrandingtoday.com “Today’s young generation brings a brand new set of values to the workplace. The emerging workforce is not just looking for a high salary, or a successful career; young people want more. They want purpose. They want to know why: “Why should I work here, how does it fit into what I want with my life and why does this company do what it does?” ” A big part of this change is coming from the younger generation who have recently joined or will soon join the workforce.
How do you make your company most attractive to the best talent? Join your colleagues in the recruitment community to share insights and best practices at an upcoming Northeastern University forum. The discussion will include a presentation from Universum, the global leader in employer branding, to provide an overview of the results from the 2013 Global Student Survey and Ideal Employer rankings. Joining Universum will be David Lee, former consultant and current Global Employer Brand Leader at Amazon.
Learn more about the event and register here.
Faculty in Northeastern Seattle’s Doctor of Education program help students tackle regional education issues through key partnerships, collaborations
Northeastern University has one of the largest Doctor of Education programs in the nation. The Seattle Campus recently launched it’s own cohort of nearly 30 students. For the first wave of students who recently began their studies in the Doctor of Education (EdD) program, the quality and rigor of the Northeastern’s EdD program will remain the same, but students in Seattle will effect change in a geographically focused way through a unique cohort model addressing regional and local needs.
Dr. Angela Walmsley, Associate Dean, speaking to the first Doctor of Education cohort
“Through this cohort model, our students will get to know one another very well, working and collaborating together on problems and issues with the intent to be change agents,” said Dr. Chris Unger, who teaches one of the foundation courses, Transforming Human Systems, which focuses on investigating issues in the work setting with a researcher’s mindset. Along with a faculty appointment, Unger is the regional mentor for the Seattle EdD program.The EdD cohort in Seattle will complete the program’s first four foundation classes, which will take approximately six months, together. These 30 students from around the Seattle region (and some beyond) have backgrounds in K-12 and higher education, engineering, business entrepreneurship, counseling, and nursing, among others.
As regional mentor, Unger helps address Seattle’s education issues through the program’s cohort by: supporting students’ progress and journey through the program; making sure they stay connected so that they can learn from one another; and accessing and making connections with other individuals and organizations in the region who are trying make an impact in education.
Having worked with Seattle public schools for three years on high school improvement and redesign efforts, Unger has been able to build and maintain connections while understanding the education issues of that particular region.
To build and recruit the first cohort, Unger, along with other EdD faculty members and senior program staff at the College, made several visits to Seattle to meet with leadership members at community colleges, administration officials at other colleges and universities, as well as with prospective students participating in the Seattle campus’ roundtable information sessions.
The contacts that Unger built over the years while working in Seattle came in handy when launching the first cohort; during one visit, Unger and Dr. Mya Mangawang, senior assistant dean of Academic and Faculty Affairs and director of the Graduate School of Education at the College, met with leaders in Washington’s State Department of Education, various school districts, schools, and other organizations and groups who are stakeholders in the state’s education decisions to inform them of the College’s intent to contribute to effective change in the region. Mangawang is and continues to be an instrumental leader in the direction and vision of the EdD program. Additionally, Dr. Joseph McNabb traveled out to Seattle to teach the first set of classes for the cohort, specifically the foundation course Introduction to Doctoral Studies, which lays the groundwork for developing students’ understanding of the complex relationship that exists between research and innovation in the practice setting.
“The point was to let them know that we’ve started a new doctoral program in education in Seattle and that we are looking to develop partnerships and collaborations with them,” explained Unger. “Additionally, we wanted them to know that we were recruiting for our program that we knew was either of interest to them or to their colleagues.”
After the doctoral students finish their four foundation courses together they will go on to pursue their concentration classes where they interact with and learn from students all over the world.“The more partnerships and collaborations that result between our students and other people and organizations who have a vested interest in education, the more likely it will be that our students will have an impact, with the shared intent of having an overall impact on the region’s education systems,” Unger continued. “Our program connects locally to other initiatives, organizations, and movements so that our students can be part of that activity.”
Students from the first Doctor of Education cohort in Seattle
“When students are learning in these intensive courses in a hybrid fashion, they are making connections with people from various fields such as K-12, higher education, and human resource management,” said Unger.
As students progress through the program, Unger, as regional mentor, will create ways to stay in touch with them and vice versa. For example, in the future, all students in the Seattle EdD program will convene either virtually or face-to-face to touch base and reconnect. In the meantime, the program’s faculty and staff are working on developing many ways for the students to stay in touch and expand their learning with all of the other doctoral students nationally and internationally.
“The excitement and enthusiasm of these students and of the administration at the Seattle campus is absolutely infectious,” said McNabb. “We all have benefited from a new, developing sense of collegiality with this group of committed and engaged educators.”
Soon, a similar framework for the newly established EdD program at Northeastern’s Charlotte, NC, campus will come into effect, where Dr. Karen Reiss Medwed will act as the regional mentor. The program, whose first cohort will begin this winter, will also take on regional issues, such as rural education, which Unger notes is a challenging issue in that region.
“The point of the EdD program is to develop our students into scholar-practitioners who can use their knowledge and skills to better support and engender change in their organizations for the better,” said Unger.
Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a comprehensive, global research university. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and more than 165 graduate programs, ranging from professional master’s degrees to interdisciplinary PhD programs. Northeastern’s research enterprise is aligned with three national imperatives: health, security and sustainability. Northeastern students participate in co-op and other forms of experiential learning in 90 countries on all seven continents.
On August 14th Dr. Themis Papageorge, Associate Clinical Professor and Director of Northeastern University’s Graduate Information Assurance Program, gave a presentation at the Northeastern University – Seattle campus with over 20 people attending. The topic for his presentation was “Information Assurance and Cyber Security – The Security Risk Management Challenge”.
Dr. Papageorge started with a definition of Information Assurance (IA) as a “set of measures that protect and defend information and information systems”. The five metrics that IA is based upon are confidentiality, integrity, authentication, availability, and non-reputiation. Dr. Papageorge gave a background on some notable IA breaches including the TJX credit card scandal in which nearly 130 million credit card numbers and $100 million were stolen. He also touched upon the recent Edward Snowden NSA and CIA breach where Snowden leaked information to the press about U.S. and U.K. governmental mass surveillance programs.
The amount of attention in congress and the news has exponentially increased recently. The amount of act/laws passed in the last 10 years exceeds the amount of acts that occurred in the past 40 years. This is due to the larger amount of attacks that have occurred. There are two types of IA threats:
- Hurricane, power shortage, sprinkler failure
- Man made (malicous)
- State sponsored, personal, terrorists, commercial groups
Northeastern University is a national leader in IA. It has been designated by the Department of Homeland Security as one of four universities in the nation as a National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations. Northeastern’s program allows much flexibility for students to customize courses to ensure that they and/or their employer gets exactly what are looking for in the curriculum.
To learn more about Northeastern University – Seattle’s Information Assurance program and to request information click here.
By Elizabeth Gehrman
YOU’VE READ THE HEADLINES:
Despite some improvement in job growth for recent college grads, many are still trying to adjust to post-Great Recession life. They’re out of work, working part time, or cobbling together some kind of living by walking dogs, cutting lawns, and painting houses while volunteering in their preferred fields and living in their parents’ basements.
But some of those with bachelor’s degrees, both new to the workforce and not, are coming to a perhaps counterintuitive solution: They’re spending more money, not less, banking their futures on further schooling in the form of master’s degrees, professional certificates, and non-matriculating adult education.
Read the full article here>>
By Katherine Landergan
Graduation rates among black students at Northeastern University are on the rise, according to a study by The Education Trust.
According to the report, in the past decade, the graduation rate among African-American students at Northeastern has grown 27.4 percentage points — from 42.1 percent in 2002 to 69.5 percent in 2011. From 2010 to 2011 alone, the graduation rate for blacks rose 4.8 percentage points.
The Education Trust’s mission is to “close the gaps in opportunity and achievement” among low-income families and minorities.
Read the full article here>>
Northeastern University is a world leader in Homeland Security and Information Assurance. In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) selected Northeastern as one of 11 universities nationwide for a DHS Center of Excellence. The $10 million grant established the Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT) center at Northeastern. Northeastern’s Marine Science Research Center in Nahant, Mass., is developing robotic technology to detect underwater mines and other coastal threats.
In 2011 Northeastern University established the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security Research. The Kostas Institute gave Northeastern the capacity and clearances to conduct secure research within a restricted environment in areas ranging from cyber security to explosives detection, mitigation and response to terror attacks.
The Pacific Northwest is also a leader in Homeland Security and Defense. Washington houses one of the largest military bases in the United States, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). The facility is an amalgamation of the United States Army’s Fort Lewis and the United States Air Force’s McChord Air Force Base. JBLM houses a large-scale airspace protection program. They process over 12,000 air tracks a day.
Seattle is also the location where Boeing started in 1916. Boeing is a world leader in defense and commercial air travel.
Dr. Themis Papageorge
Over the week of August 11th Dr. Themis Papageorge, Associate Clinical Professor and Director of Northeastern University’s Graduate Information Assurance Program will be in Seattle for a series of meeting and a presentation on campus. His presentation topic is “Information Assurance and Cyber Security – The Security Risk Management Challenge“.
To learn more about Northeastern University – Seattle’s Information Assurance program and to request information click here.
Dean Washburn vs. City Councilmember Licata
This week there was a different kind of launch for Northeastern University – Seattle, which took place in Seattle’s City Hall at high noon before several TV stations and members of the public. The City of Seattle’s Deputy Mayor and City Council President first thanked Northeastern for providing a creative and magnificent addition to a lovely public space in City Hall – a Ping Pong Table!
The gift of this Ping Pong table was very intentional and mindful of the global and local role Ping Pong has played. Pong brings people and nations together, having fun. It was Ping Pong Diplomacy back in 1971 that led to normalization of relations between China and US, a milestone that allowed Seattle in subsequent years to serve as a Gateway to China. Even today, Seattle has one of its local leaders, former Governor Gary Locke, serving as the US Ambassador to China. Here in the Puget Sound region today, startups, tech companies, gamers and researchers of all types all turn to Ping Pong to relieve stress and generate creativity. Given our growing ties with all these companies and love for the game, it was only natural for Northeastern to enter a fun and creative public-private partnership with the City of Seattle. In coming years the Northeastern University – Seattle Ping Pong table in City Hall will allow residents, policymakers and the general public to come together, relax and have good old plain fun in the magnificent setting at City Hall. If YOU want to play, bring a friend and check in at the 5th Floor entrance, where you will get a ball and paddles.
The Battle for Seattle between Councilmember Nick “The Shark” Licata and Tayloe “Big Daddy Ping” Washburn served as the opening match. It was a lot of fun and very challenging for The Shark and Big D, as both players had excellent paddles, a spectacular setting at City Hall, and a table that had never been played on.
By Josh Keletey
City hall is now sporting the entertaining new attribute of a Ping-Pong table, available for public use, and to put a cherry on top Councilmember Nick Licata and Northeastern University Dean Tayloe Washburn will go head-to-head in the table’s first match.
In a gesture of generosity and partnership, Northeastern University practically donated the Ping-Pong table, paddles, and balls to the city for a humble cost of one dollar. Northeastern is a private non-profit research university that has a campus in South Lake Union, and apparently like to throw down on the green court.