How ‘collaborative learning’ is transforming higher education — from by Jennifer Nastu
Technology is enabling more dynamic teaching and learning — both inside and outside of class


All this comes at a time when employers have higher expectations for recent college graduates, and colleges must make sure they’re giving their students the right skills to excel in a faster-paced world.

“Technology is enabling and also forcing students, in some ways, to become self-learners,” says Catheryn Cheal, vice president and senior officer of academic technology at San Jose State University. “They’re going to be expected to have a certain amount of learning initiative throughout their career, and that’s different than how it used to be.”

Students might enter college knowing how to seek out information, Cheal notes—“but we need to teach them to take it deeper … than just Googling.”

She adds: “Our job is to keep up with that, and to help students with that change. It used to be that you’d go to school, and all the information would be poured into you. Now, you get a job, but the software is changing every few years—and you better know how to keep up to date.”

As students come to expect more interactive forms of instruction, colleges are stepping up to meet this need.