Notes in the Margins: Flash seminars, college values and computerized grading

Educators Seek Out More Minorities To Study Abroad Educators want more minority students to study abroad. Foreign study is seen as crucial to student development and even as a key to national security, yet minority participation badly lags their overall presence on college campuses. (The Associated Press via The Huffington Post)

A University of Virginia student has a bright idea: ‘Flash seminars’ Once or twice a week, students at the state’s flagship public university collect in some idle classroom or lounge for a “flash seminar,” an ad hoc performance of pedagogy. The time and place, professor and students are always different. (The Washington Post)

Democrats join GOP in voting to block tighter regulation of for-profit schools The 289-136 vote attached the anti-regulation measure to a Republican spending bill that has little chance of becoming law. But the move illuminated sharp divisions among Democrats weeks before the administration is expected to unveil the final version of a rule advocates say will help ensure that for-profit schools prepare students for “gainful employment.”(Washington Post)

Economy shuffles Princeton Review’s Best Value Colleges Economic uncertainty in recent years is reflected in changes to The Princeton Review’s 100 Best Value Colleges. (USA Today)

Grading essays: Humans vs. machine If a computer can win at Jeopardy, can one grade the essays of college freshmen? At a conference at George Mason University this weekend, the Educational Testing Service presented evidence that a pilot test of automated grading of freshman writing placement tests at the New Jersey Institute of Technology showed that computer programs can be trusted with the job. (USA Today)