Tools of the Trade: March 2020

The latest resources, products, and tools for educators.

Tools of the TradeCompanies have announced the newest options to help educators teach climate change fundamentals to MBAs, track the faculty lifecycle, and detect academic plagiarism, among other tasks:

Climate Change Dossier

The Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in Durham, North Carolina, has released “Climate Change & Business: What Every MBA Needs to Know,” a free six-page briefing intended to help students understand the business implications of environmental challenges. It features examples from companies such as Toyota, Starbucks, and Amazon as well as research reports from Blackrock and Munich Re. Through these examples, the brief highlights how rising temperatures and sea levels will affect everything from where organizations locate their manufacturing facilities to how they source raw materials to what materials will be available to them in the future.

“Climate change will affect almost every industry in coming decades—whether that’s through direct risks to physical assets or through supply chain disruptions or reputational pressure from customers or employees,” says Katie Kross, the center’s managing director. “Every MBA student today should be thinking about where the opportunities will be, and how they will adapt their investment portfolios and operations in the future.”

HR Tools for Students

Caliper, a talent management company, has launched its Caliper On Campus program to help universities embed workplace assessments tool into their HR curricula. Students will learn how HR professionals use assessments to address employee selection, career planning, performance management, diversity, and organizational development issues. Once students have engaged in their own professional development and have participated in a series of data-driven learning experiences, they will have the opportunity to become Caliper certified.

Career Tracker

Interfolio, based in Washington, D.C., has released its new Lifecycle Management module, as part of its Faculty Information System. The digitized faculty roster and advancement system is designed to help schools manage the complex data related to professors’ lifetime career development from initial hire to retirement.

Lifecycle Management centralizes all faculty information to help institutions more easily understand the makeup of their faculty at any given time—how many faculty are full-time, how many are adjuncts, how many teach in each discipline represented, and how many are on leave and for how long, for example. Faculty and adjuncts also can use the tool to better track their own contributions and career advancement.

The module also supports transparency by incorporating details about the institution’s policies and procedures at the appropriate points in the review, tenure, and promotion process.

Travel Tips

AIG Travel, which offers global travel insurance and assistance services, has launched an educational initiative  designed to boost awareness of student travel safety considerations and to help students journey safely throughout the world. The initiative—which encompasses a dedicated Student Travel Safety microsite, a webcast, and social media outreach—shares practical advice, actionable tips, and helpful resources for students, their parents, study abroad organizations, universities, and other stakeholder.

Searching Scholarship

Turnitin, which provides solutions to help faculty detect plagiarism, has partnered with CORE, a service provided by The Knowledge Media Institute. The institute is a multidisciplinary research and development lab based at The Open University in the U.K., which operates in partnership with Jisc, a membership organization providing digital solutions for U.K. education and research. Turnitin will use its web crawler to search through CORE’s global database of 135 million metadata records from more than 3,700 data providers to check for text similarity. The partnership means that Turnitin can detect academic plagiarism in scholarly publications that have been historically behind paywalls or limited to use at a single institution.

Swift Training

A new curriculum is available from Instructure, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, to train students to use Swift, Apple’s app programming language to create a fully functioning app. Instructure, creator of the Canvas learning management system, has created the App Development with Swift curriculum, which features lessons, teacher guides, and developer tools. The course also includes a certification offering, available through Certiport, to recognize students’ skills in Swift, app developer tools, and core app components. App Development with Swift is available as a free download on Apple Books, as well as in Instructure’s Canvas Commons, a digital library for educators within the Canvas Learning Management Platform.

Data Organization

Education research and technology company EAB has launched Education Data Hub, a platform specifically designed to organize data from disparate campus IT systems into a unified, vendor-agnostic source of information. The organized data can then be exported into other applications—including business intelligence software—or accessed directly within the platform. EAB has also published a white paper, “Activating the Analytics Mandate,” which examines the challenges universities face as technology systems grow more complex and suggests better ways for institutions to optimize their use of data.

Application Platform

Tech startup Education Index has launched Libereka, a blockchain-enabled international student recruitment platform. Libereka claims to reduce the cost of recruitment for universities by cutting the time and effort spent on verification, documentation, and making admissions offers.

On the platform, students receive a blockchain education account where they store their academic credentials, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Libereka also gives students a personalized dashboard to recommend degrees and programs based on their profiles and goals. The Libereka Common Application & Scholarship System (LCASS) allows students to apply to multiple universities and accept scholarships with only one application form and one set of documents. A portion of the money that Libereka collects from universities to access LCASS is earmarked for student funding. Each student using the platform is guaranteed to receive a minimum of US$500 from that pool to pay for the costs of their studies abroad.

Learning Supplement

The online learning platform Coursera has announced its new Coursera for Campus program. Coursera for Campus allows universities to integrate the content on its platform into their curricula, even they are not currently Coursera partners. Through the program, universities can use any of the platform’s more than 3,600 free online courses to supplement their for-credit or extracurricular learning options or to offer alumni, faculty, and staff lifelong learning and upskilling opportunities. Faculty also can use labs on the platform to design hands-on projects; learning analytics tools to track learner outcomes; and authoring tools to publish lessons, assignments, courses, and assessments available only to their students and alumni.

Analytics for All

The University of Illinois–Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics has released its second course in Foundations of Analytics. Like the first course released by the school, it is free, online, and available to anyone who wants to use it for an educational mission. The second course addresses machine learning and covers topics such as algorithms, overfitting and regularization, clustering, and anomaly detection. The center also is releasing five mini-case studies designed to build students’ understanding of management control systems (MCS) and their data analytics skills in investigating MCS-related issues.