What could and should replace the IGCSE and GCSE?

“Students don’t currently have the soft skills needed to prepare them for the workplace”

It looks increasingly likely that a new system of post qualification offers from universities will replace the current system of offers being made before IB/BTEC and A Level results are announced.

This change inevitably raises the question about the value and current content of GCSEs and IGCSEs. If they are no longer needed to inform a university offer, are they still fit for purpose? Pat Moores of UK Education Guide looks at the options.

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The new international university aiming to promote women in STEM

“Through my work, I hope I can create opportunities for women”

Like many countries in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Europe, Georgia has conservative socio-cultural norms and gender stereotypes. Change comes slowly in this environment, but we have made significant progress in creating a more enabling environment for gender integration and equality in recent years.

There are no longer any legislative barriers to gender equality in Georgia, but the statistics for school enrolment reveal cultural mindsets that maintain the status quo.

There is parity in enrolment rates among boys and girls at primary and secondary school levels but gender norms and prejudices kick in strongly after school. Kutaisi International University (KIU) Chancellor Magda Magradze explains.

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Will online education outlast the Covid pandemic?

“Workplaces are changing, and the classroom is starting to catch up.”

Whisper it quietly, “there might be an end in sight”.

Increasingly, as I walk along the streets of London, I can see a sense of relief, even happiness, on the faces of those I encounter. It might be that the UK vaccination campaign, that was as ambitious as it has been impressive, is finally bringing the Covid pandemic towards its conclusion. In the summer months Boris Johnson has indicated that we might be able to return to pubs, clubs and hairdressers.

But if Zoom socials are on the way out, what does that mean for online education? Libra Education CEO Oscar Hardy explains.

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Designing learning experiences for Generation Z

“They understand the need for a practical and marketable skill set”

Gen Z was born between 1997 and the early 2010s and are now in high school, university, or looking for their first job. They grew up during the 2008 recession. Their older friends entered the workforce juggling a few part time roles serving the needs of the on-demand economy.

The last year has seen Gen Z’s time at high school, university or their first job disturbed by the global pandemic. Potentially there is also a post-pandemic recession brewing which will further affect their future career opportunities.

In order to tap into their interest in online education and cater to their needs, learning needs to meet three criteria: be affordable, mobile-first and help them future-proof their careers. Hanna Celina, director of insights at FutureLearn.com, explains.

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The US university still sending students on study abroad

“Students seem excited, even if the experience will look different”

Many people were looking forward to 2021, hoping to travel freely and without concern over health and safety. While widespread travel may not be the case just yet, a handful of universities are allowing for limited student travel.

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) is just one of these universities. In a normal year, UTK would send a couple hundred students abroad per semester. This semester, their Center for Global Engagement was able to send dozens of students to a small number of destinations including Ireland, Poland and South Korea.

Anne Hulse, Interim Director of the Center for Global Engagement’s Programs Abroad Office said that many factors were at play when deciding whether or not they would allow students to travel. Terra Dotta’s Emily Robinson explains.

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The campaign trying to make subtitles the default for kids’ TV

“If you suddenly found subtitles on your children’s Netflix account last year – that wasn’t a coincidence”

This story starts back in 2019, when Henry Warren had a conversation with Oli Barrett over coffee about a news article that Oli had read on how turning on subtitles on children’s TV content had a dramatic positive impact on their reading proficiency, writes Nina Hale from the Turn On The Subtitles campaign. 

Slightly sceptical but intrigued, the two sought out the academic who had conducted the study and took his research, along with a mountain of similar studies, to The National Literacy Trust to review.

Once validated, they set off on a quest to make sure this information reached every household with young children.

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Motivation: urgent for both students and teachers

“It is so important to develop strategies to increase both students’ and teachers’ motivation”

As someone who has worked in educational publishing for most of my career, I believe I have a good understanding of the challenges that teachers and learners face in the classroom. However, when, like millions of others, my children suddenly started remote lessons from home, I found myself confronting some of those challenges first hand.

One issue that stood out was the importance of maintaining engagement amidst the disruption of a pandemic and having to balance work, teaching, and domestic life under one roof.

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Data-driven best practices for building skills for online learning

“With eight years of data, we’ve found that, when done well, online learning can be extremely effective”

Teaching and learning online can feel daunting, especially at first. With the pandemic forcing millions of instructors and students abruptly into remote schooling, many have questioned the quality of online learning and its effectiveness.

With eight years of data, at Coursera we’ve found that, when done well, online learning can be extremely effective at helping students acquire and master new skills — including many that are in high demand in the current job market. In fact, 73% of our online learners report a positive career outcome within six months of completing a course.

Drawing on the satisfaction, skill development, and career outcomes of over 200 million course enrolments, the Drivers of Quality in Online Learning report showcases the power of online learning and provides actionable, data-driven insights for how instructors and learners can optimise their digital learning experience.

Here are four of the most effective ways we’ve found to build job-ready skills through online learning.

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Global partnerships: together we are an ocean

“Individual strengths joined together on a global level can, indeed, move mountains”

The esteemed Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa once wrote: “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

As human beings, we know that we are stronger when we work together rather than when we work in isolation, says Class2Class’ Suzanne Orzech. Akutagawa’s words seem to have come to life on a global scale as we look at the plethora of global educational partnerships that have emerged recently, thanks to human ingenuity and the desire to keep moving forward despite extreme global challenges.

Class2Class is excited to provide the technology solutions to many global pioneers who have come together to develop virtually collaborative courses, projects, and internships as an affordable and inclusive model for international education with other universities, NGOs and businesses around the world during a time of limited physical mobility. What is truly inspiring to see is the evolution of collective thought.

As different and varied as all of these partnerships are, they have the same goal in mind: advance international education and make it accessible to all, despite some extremely severe obstacles.

Resilient teaching in times of change

“Minimise the dependency on specific tools or activities so that if we lost those features, the classes would still work”

Resilience is the ability to spring back to your original shape, and that applies to teaching in a big way.

As highlighted in a recent Coursera white paper, resilient teaching is the ability to facilitate learning, designed to be adaptable, to fluctuating conditions and disruptions.

It is a teaching ability that can be seen as an outcome of a design approach that attends to the relationship between learning goals and activities and the environment in which they are situated.

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