Looking to build the campus of tomorrow? 5 trends you should know — from ecampusnews.com by Laura Ascione
Today’s trends will bring about a new vision for the traditional college campus.

Excerpt:

“Innovations in physical space must be made to accommodate demands for accessibility, flexibility and affordability,” according to The State of Higher Education in 2017, a report from professional services firm Grant Thornton.

Changes in infrastructure are being driven by a handful of trends, including:

  • Digital technology is decoupling access to the classroom and information from any specific geographic location.
  • Learning is becoming more “modular,” credentialing specific competencies, such as certificates and badges,, rather than the model of four years to a degree via fixed-class schedules. This requires a less broad range of academic buildings on campus.
  • Students will engage with their coursework at their own time and pace, as they do in every other aspect of their lives.
  • Price pressure on colleges will create incentives for cost efficiencies, discouraging the fixed-cost commitment embodied in physical structures.
  • Deferred maintenance is a problem so large that it can’t be solved by most colleges within their available resources; the result may be reducing the physical plant footprint or just letting it deteriorate further.

These developments will prompt physical space transformation that will lead to a new kind of campus.

 

 


The State of Higher Education in 2017 — from grantthornton.com

 

Browse the report articles:

 

 

Innovative thinking will be vital to successfully moving into the future.

 

 

The 4 Common Characteristics of Personalized Learning — from thejournal.com by Leila Meyer
iNACOL offers ideas for implementing personalized learning in K-12 schools with the support of families and the community.

Excerpt:

According to the report, there are many different approaches to personalized learning, but most of them share these common characteristics:

  • Student ownership of their learning process;
  • Focus on the learning process rather than “big end-of-year tests”;
  • Competency or mastery-based student progression; and
  • Anytime, anywhere learning.

 

See also:

 

 

From DSC:
In the spirit of pulse-checking the landscapes…those of us working in higher education, take heed.  These are your future students.  What expectations from students might you encounter in the (not-too-distant) future?  What are the ramifications for which pedagogies you decide to use?

Further out, for those of you working in the corporate learning & development world or in corporate training/universities, your time may be further out here…but you need to take heed as well.  These are your future employees.  They will come into your organizations with their expectations for how they prefer to learn and grow. Will you meet them where they are at?

We operate in a continuum…we’d be wise to pulse-check what’s happening in the earlier phases of this continuum.

 

 

DanielChristian-NeedForMoreTrimTabGroupsHE-July2016

 

The need for more “Trim Tab Groups” in higher education — from evolllution.com by Daniel Christian

Excerpt:

So to apply this concept to the world of higher education: what higher education institutions need to develop these days are those smaller, nimbler groups that can innovate and experiment with a variety of things. Those smaller groups can then hand over to the larger organization—or to a brand new branch of the existing organization—what is successful and is showing promise. Then the smaller, nimbler group can move onto something else.

By forming Trim Tab Groups throughout higher education, we gain the capacity to experiment with relatively small projects that will ultimately have much larger impacts on the institutions and the learners that those institutions serve.

 

trim-tab

 

 

As such, many segments of higher education must adapt and change—or risk servicing far fewer learners over the next two to three decades, as they watch their customers head elsewhere. And then it’s a costly game of musical chairs for faculty and staff, as the larger organizations downsize.

— Daniel Christian

 

 

 

 

What Gen Z thinks about ed tech in college — from edtechmagazine.com by D. Frank Smith
A report on digital natives sheds light on their learning preferences.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A survey of the collegiate educational-technology expectations of 1,300 middle and high school students from 49 states was captured by Barnes and Noble. The survey, Getting to Know Gen Z, includes feedback on the students’ expectations for higher education.

“These initial insights are a springboard for colleges and universities to begin understanding the mindset of Gen Z as they prepare for their future, focusing specifically on their aspirations, college expectations and use of educational technology for their academic journey ahead,” states the survey’s introduction.

Like the millennials before them, Generation Z grew up as digital natives, with devices a fixture in the learning experience. According to the survey results, these students want “engaging, interactive learning experiences” and want to be “empowered to make their own decisions.” In addition, the students “expect technology to play an instrumental role in their educational experience.”

 

From DSC:
First of all, I’d like to thank D. Frank Smith for the solid article and for addressing the topic of students’ expectations. These messages were echoed in what I heard a few days ago at the MVU Online Learning Symposium, a conference focused on the K-12 space.

 

MoreChoiceMoreControl-DSC2

 

I want to quote and elaborate on one of the items from the report (as mentioned in the article):

“There is a need for user-friendly tools that empower faculty to design the kinds of compelling resources that will comprise the next wave of instructional resources and materials,” the report states.

Most likely, even if such tools were developed, the end goal from the quote above won’t happen. Why? Because:

  • Most faculty simply don’t have the time — they are being overrun with all sorts of other demands on their time (committees, task forces, advising, special projects, keeping up with the changes in their disciplines, etc.)
  • Even with user-friendly tools, one still needs a variety of skill sets to create engaging, sophisticated content and learning environments. Creating “the next wave of instructional resources and materials” is waaaaaay beyond the skillsets of any one person!!! Numerous skills will be required to create the kinds of learning materials that we can expect to see in the future:
    • Information architecture
    • Instructional design
    • Interaction design
    • Videography and creating/working with multiple kinds of media
    • Programming/coding
    • Responsive web design and knowing how best to design content for multiple kinds of devices
    • User experience design
    • Graphic design
    • Game design
    • Knowledge of copyrights
    • Expertise in accessibility-related items
    • The ability to most effectively write for blended and/or online-based approaches
    • Knowing how to capture and use learning analytics/data
    • Keeping up with advancements in human computer interfaces (HCI)
    • Staying current with learning space design
    • How best to deliver personalized learning
    • and much more!

This is why I continue to assert that we need a much more team-based approach to creating our learning environments. The problem is, very few people are listening to this advice.

How can I say this?

Because I continue to hear people discussing how important professional development is and how much support is needed for faculty members.  I continue to see quotes, like the above one, that puts the onus solely on the backs of our faculty members. Conferences are packed full with this type of approach.

Let’s get rid of that approach — it’s not working!  Or at least not nearly to the degree that students need it to. There may be a small percentage of faculty members who have the time and skills to pull some things off here, but even they will run into some walls eventually (depending upon the level of sophistication being pursued). None of us can do it all.

But for the most part, years have gone by and not much has changed. Rather, we need to figure out how we could use teams to create and deliver content. That would be a much wiser use of our energies and time. This perspective is not meant to dog faculty members — it’s just recognizing realities:

  • One person simply can’t do it all anymore.
  • Tools don’t exist that can pull all of the necessary pieces together.
  • Even if such tools existed, they won’t be able to keep pace w/ the exponential rate of technological changes that we’re currently experiencing — and will likely continue to experience over the next 10-20 years.

If we’re going to insist on faculty members creating the next wave of instructional materials and resources, then faculty members better look out — they don’t know what’s about to hit them.  Forget about having families. Forget about having a life outside of creating/delivering content.  And find a way to create a 50-60 hour work DAY (not week) — cause that’s how much time one will need to achieve any where’s close to mastery in all the prerequisite areas.

 

 

From DSC:
Yesterday, I attended the Michigan Virtual University (MVU) Online Learning Symposium on the campus of Michigan State University. I would like to send a shout out to MVU for putting this event together and to MSU for hosting a solid event, as well as to all of the speakers and presenters throughout the day.

 

MVUOnlineSymposium-April2016

 


Some key points/themes:


  • Online-based learning within K-12 in Michigan continues to increase:
    • Over 91,000 Michigan K-12 students took one or more virtual courses during the 2014-15 school year. This number is up over 15,000 students compared to the number reported last year (increase of 20%).
    • Michigan K-12 students accounted for approximately 446,000 virtual course enrollments in 2014-15, surpassing the 2013-14 figure by more than 126,000 enrollments (increase of 40%). 
  • A side note from DSC:
    Given this growth in online learning in the K-12 space…
    Given the emphasis in K-12 to provide more CHOICE to students…
    Given the emphasis to turn over the ownership of learning to students…….those colleges and universities who will carry on these students’ educations must realize that the K-12 student is changing…their expectations are changing. They want MORE CHOICE. MORE CONTROL. If you only offer a face-to-face delivery approach, that likely won’t cut it in the future.

 

MoreChoiceMoreControl-DSC

 

  • Technology will continue to play a strategic role in the quest to provide greater degrees of personalization as well as provide the data to aid in learning success

 

An insert, dated 4/14/16 from:
We’re already seeing such changing expectations, as identified in the following article from 4/11/16:
What Gen Z Thinks About Ed Tech in College” — edtechmagazine.com
A report on digital natives sheds light on their learning preferences.

Excerpt:

A survey of the collegiate educational-technology expectations of 1.300 middle and high school students from 49 states was captured by Barnes and Noble. The survey, Getting to Know Gen Z, includes feedback on the students’ expectations for higher education.

“These initial insights are a springboard for colleges and universities to begin understanding the mindset of Gen Z as they prepare for their future, focusing specifically on their aspirations, college expectations and use of educational technology for their academic journey ahead,” states the survey’s introduction.

Like the millennials before them, Generation Z grew up as digital natives, with devices a fixture in the learning experience. According to the survey results, these students want “engaging, interactive learning experiences” and want to be “empowered to make their own decisions.” In addition, the students “expect technology to play an instrumental role in their educational experience.”

 


Keynotes/speakers (with some notes on their presentations included):


 

Buddy Berry
Superintendent of Eminence Independent Schools
Eminence, Kentucky

Also see:
School on FIRE (Framework of Innovation for Reinventing Education)

 

Woven throughout all we do is the concept of Surprise and Delight. We want each student, staff, and stakeholder to be continually amazed and engaged each and every day. We want to create and foster an environment where creativity and customer service abound in all aspects of our school. Whether great or small, the element of “Surprise and Delight” is the essence of our organization.

Buddy gave an emotional, powerful keynote address — even while cooking up a delicious dish.

Photo from Eric Kunnen at GVSU

 

The aromas spread throughout the room, even if only a handful of people were actually going to eat the dish (a lesson is in there for education reform as well).  Buddy thinks outside the box and wants those in the Eminence Independent School system to start thinking differently as well. He seeks to have their schools surprise and delight students — awesome! As an example of this, he wouldn’t accept no to some things re: providing WiFi to their students. So he had their buses outfitted with WiFi, then saw to it that those buses were parked overnight in the areas where their students didn’t have access to WiFi. Students within 100 yards of those buses now have WiFi.

As a result of a tragic accident involving one of his former football players, Buddy is truly driven to change the world. He thinks big. He is on a mission, backed up by vast amounts of energy and determination.

Their School on FIRE document mentions the following bullet points re: personalized learning:

  • Student choice in electives
  • Personalized student goals
  • Personalized Learning Environment in all classes
  • ICE (Interventions, Connections, and Enrichments) Model (K-12)

 

 

Brian J. Whiston
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Brian:

  • Mentioned Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 Years Program, striving to put Michigan in the nation’s top 10 performers for education within the next 10 years
  • Mentioned Governor Snyder’s recently introduced 21st Century Education Commission, created to prepare students for the global economy (see the full text of Executive Order 2016-6) which states that “the Commission shall act in an advisory capacity to the Governor and the state of Michigan, and shall do all of the following:”
    1. Analyze top performing states and nations to determine how their systems of education (structure, governance, funding, and accountability) have led to academic and career success for students pre-school through career credentialing/post-secondary education.
    2. Determine, for top performing states and nations, the similarities and differences between their demographic, cultural and economic realities and Michigan’s demographic, cultural, and economic realities.
    3. Based on this analysis of top performing states and nations, identify the structural (configuration of schools,) governance, funding, and accountability enablers and inhibitors impacting the academic success and career preparedness for Michigan students and residents, including distinct demographic and geographic variances as appropriate.
    4. Recommend changes to restructure, as necessary, the configuration, governance, funding, and accountability of Michigan’s education system to significantly improve student achievement and career preparedness, and ensure the high quality of all education options available to parents and students.
    5. Prioritize the Commission’s recommendations for implementation.
      .
      (The report/recommendations are due by 11/30/16.)

 

  • Asserted that students should lead/own their own learning — that students set and pursue their own goals
    (From DSC: I love that goal, as it will serve the students well in their futures; lifelong learning is now required and each of us has to own our own learning.)
  • Suggested that teacher preparation programs should be more akin to what medical schools do — and have student teachers work with kids earlier on in the process; be able to learn something, then immediately apply it. Teacher prep programs need to become more nimble.
    (From DSC: In another panel, it was asked what teacher preparation programs are doing to train future teachers on how to teach online…?  A solid, necessary question — at least for the foreseeable future.)

 

 

 

Joe Freidhoff
Vice President of Research, Policy & Professional Learning, MVU

Joe shared numerous pieces of data from the report that he authored:

Freidhoff, J.R. (2016). Michigan’s K-12 virtual learning effectiveness report 2014-15. Lansing, MI: Michigan Virtual University. Retrieved from http://media.mivu.org/institute/pdf/er_2015.pdf.

MVU-OnlineEffectivenessRpt2016

Some excerpts from the Key Findings section:

  • Over 91,000 Michigan K-12 students took one or more virtual courses during the 2014-15 school year. This number is up over 15,000 students compared to the number reported last year (increase of 20%). Three out of four students taking virtual courses came from the Local virtual learner subset, 15% came from cyber schools, and 10% from MVS
  • Michigan K-12 students accounted for approximately 446,000 virtual course enrollments in 2014-15, surpassing the 2013-14 figure by more than 126,000 enrollments (increase of 40%). High school grade levels continued to account for the largest number of enrollments, though the elementary grade levels showed the largest year-over-year percentage increases. The Local virtual learner subset accounted for 63% of the virtual enrollments.
  • Virtual enrollment patterns suggest that Michigan schools tend to enroll higher performing students in MVS courses, but rarely use MVS for lower performing students. In contrast, when Local schools provide their own virtual solution, they primarily enroll students who have failed several courses taken in the traditional classroom environment.
  • As in past years, virtual enrollments were heaviest in the core subject areas, led by English Language and Literature (20%) and Mathematics (17%).
  • Once again, males and females each accounted for roughly half of the virtual enrollments, and there was almost no difference in the percentage of males and females enrolling in core subjects.
  • Over half (51%) of schools with virtual enrollments had 100 or more virtual enrollments in the 2014-15 school year, though the second most likely scenario was that they had less than 10 (19%). This “all” or “very few” phenomenon continues the trend observed over the past four years, despite the number of schools with virtual enrollments growing from 654 in 2010-11 to over 1,072 in 2014-15.

Joe also shared some items from “A Report to the Legislature” — from 12/1/15.

MVUReportToLegislature-12-1-15

 


Other notes:


  • Professional Development would be ideally experiential, sustained; and staffed by people who have actually done things. Those people would ideally be available to coach/support others.
  • Support is key, as not everyone is highly proficient in using/applying technology.
  • edupaths.org
    EduPaths is a professional development portal for ALL Michigan Educators. EduPaths courses are aligned with school improvement framework, multi tiered systems of support, and designed to expand understanding on a wide variety of topics. Courses are available online and are completely self-paced. They are intended to help educators to personalize their own learning plan any time and any place. Another feature of EduPaths are the strategic partnerships with statewide educational organizations. Our goal is to “Help Educators Navigate their Professional Growth” through providing content and connecting content from our statewide partners.
  • GenNET Online Learning
  • LearnPort.org
    Michigan LearnPort® provides online learning solutions for educators and the educational community. Through Michigan LearnPort, you can access high quality courses and resources, meet professional development requirements, earn State Continuing Education Clock Hours and more.
  • micourses.org
  • mischooldata.org
    MI School Data is the State of Michigan’s official public portal for education data to help citizens, educators and policy makers make informed decisions that can lead to improved success for our students. The site offers multiple levels and views for statewide, intermediate school district, district, school, and college level information. Data are presented in graphs, charts, trend lines and downloadable spreadsheets to support meaningful evaluation and decision making.
  • The culture of a community will be key in determining what happens with that community’s educational system.
  • Several of the sessions dealt with the topic of quality, and some of the organizations/tools mentioned there include:
  • MVU’s iEducator Program

 

MVU-iEducatorProgram-2015

 

Backchannel products/solutions I saw used:

TodaysMeet.com

 

TodaysMeet-April2016

 

BackChannelChat.com

 

BackChannelChat-April2016

 

 

 

Equipped for EQUIP? Here’s a primer — from edsurge.com by Bart Epstein and Ben Wallerstein (on 11/9/15)

Excerpt:

On October 15th, the Department of Education launched a new Experimental Site called Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP), which creates a pathway to federal aid for unaccredited education providers–including the fast-growing bootcamp sector. Here’s what you need to know.

The US Department of Education’s Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI) is a policymaker’s dream. The authority granted though the ESI allows the Secretary of Education to waive certain rules governing federal financial aid to experiment with new models and test their impact. The goal: improve access for low-income students, and increase the return on our $130 billion annual investment in student aid.

As a policy “lab,” Experimental Sites have allowed the Department of Education to provide Title IV access for self-paced and competency-based programs, decouple aid from the credit hour, and fund students who demonstrate prior learning through assessments.

 

From DSC:
As higher ed (as an industry) doesn’t seem to be able to decrease the costs of obtaining a degree, alternatives continue to crop up.

If…

  • The prices don’t start coming down from institutions of traditional higher education
  • Alternatives continue to crop up and gather steam
  • The U.S. Federal Government gets behind such alternatives

…then higher ed (again, as an industry) can only blame itself for not responding more significantly than we did.

We need to respond. We need to address this growing wave of unrest regarding higher ed. We need more innovation. We need lower prices. Towards that end, that’s why I’ve been saying that we need more TrimTab Groups to find ways to maintain quality, but reduce the price.

 

TheTrimtabInHigherEducation-DanielChristian

 

 

Gen Z is about to take over higher education—here’s what to expect — from ecampusnews.com by Lisa Malat
Survey finds digital natives “Gen Z” set to reshape higher ed landscape with focus on careers, dependence on technology.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Educators take note: it’s time to make way for Generation Z (Gen Z).

In a recent study by Barnes & Noble College, 1,300 middle-school and high school students ages 13-18 from 49 different states shared their attitudes, preferences and expectations regarding their educational and learning experiences. The findings from the study are clear: Gen Z is significantly different than previous generations, and these students will bring both challenges and opportunities for the future of higher education.

With Gen Z being a generation of “digital natives,” it stands to reason that the future of educational technology is now. Technology is embraced almost universally by Gen Z. In fact, the students surveyed shared that they are apt to regularly use five different computer tools for their social and educational purposes: laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones and video game consoles.

Unlike Millennials, who have broadly adopted technology, Gen Z has adopted a technology-centric lifestyle. They define themselves in online, digital terms. Gen Z doesn’t distinguish between devices or online territories. It is one continuous, multi-faceted, completely integrated experience – connecting social, academic and professional interests.

Gen Z also has different learning style preferences from past generations. While they are very into DIYL (do-it-yourself-learning), these students also embrace peer-to-peer learning, with 80 percent reporting that they study with their friends and classmates. Fifty percent said they enjoy the element of leadership it presents, and 60 percent reported that it gives them the perfect way to exchange ideas and consider new perspectives.

 

From DSC:
The article/report above prompted me to reflect…

Many throughout higher education are responding to change. But many are not. We aren’t nearly as nimble as we need to be.

I hope that the faculty, staff, boards, administrations, and the heavy-hitting donors at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. appreciate how important it is to be aware of — and respond to — changes within the K-12 world, changes in today’s students, changes within the higher ed landscape, and to changes within the corporate/business world.

We operate in a continuum.

With all of those changes, maintaining the status quo seems to be a dangerous experiment to me.  We are not in control. Rather, we all need to adapt and to respond.

 

DanielChristian-MonitoringTrends

 

 

DanielChristian-what-should-our-learning-environments-look-and-act-like

 

Along these lines, maintaining the status quo shows a blatant disregard of our customers’ preferences — an unwise strategy to take. (And for those of you who don’t like the word customer here, bear with me…because in my mind, any person who pays anywhere near the price of a house to obtain their education has earned the right to be called a customer. Today’s students are paying a heck of a lot more than we did.)

Also, maintaining the status quo seems like a dangerous strategy when we’re talking about recruitment and retention. Remember, we are talking about depending upon the decisions of 18 year olds here.

So as I:

  • Read the above article and the report that it refers to
  • Consider the higher ed landscape that continues to encounter new alternatives
  • Observe that different pathways that are cropping up all the time
  • See that the federal government is moving towards funding such alternative methods

…I am forced to ask myself, “Given all of this, will maintaining the status quo suffice? Really?

This report should encourage us to:

  • Seek to do a better job of pulse checking the K-12 world and the students’ learning preferences coming out of that world — and to develop our responses to those changing preferences.
  • Pursue more instances of blended/hybrid learning and active learning-based classrooms
  • Provide a variety of delivery mechanisms to meet our students’ needs — including a solid line up of online-based courses and programs. Students are often having to work in order to get through college, and they need flexible solutions.
  • Better address our physical learning spaces, which should offer strong/secure wireless networks and means of quickly collaborating via BYOD-based devices.
  • Continue to invest in selecting and investigating how best to use a variety of educationally-related technologies (something which, in my mind, invites the use of teams of specialists).
    (I could, and probably should, think bigger here, but I’ll stop at these reflections.)

I’ll leave you with the following graphic, relaying that often times members of Gen Z tend to prefer active learning-based classrooms:

 

Gen-Z---Barnes-and-Noble-Oct-2015

 

 

Next Generation K-12: 10 Implications for HigherEd — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark and Guest Author

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

There are a growing number of next generation models in K-12 as a result of new thinking about learning design and deeper understandings of college and career readiness, enabled by cheap devices, better tools, and foundation support. They personalize learning in blended and competency-based environments. These models revolve around students and learning, rather than teachers and direct instruction as the primary pedagogy.

We’ve chronicled the development of next-gen schools (here and here) and see hundreds of districts and networks adopting next-gen strategies. We’re optimistic that broader adoption of these strategies will produce better student outcomes. Following are 10 examples of next-gen learning in K-12.

These examples are not single course innovations, they are engineered solutions. The first half are districts or networks; the other half are schoolwide models. There are hundreds of examples and they have big implications for HigherEd.

We see 10 implications for HigherEd; some directly as a result of next-gen models, some resulting from next-gen policies, some from EdTech and consumer variables impacting both K-12 and HigherEd.

 

From DSC:
I post this valuable item from Tom Vander Ark because I’m constantly shouting “Heads up!”  “Heads-up!”  I shout it to those of us working within higher education, and I shout it to those working within the corporate world. 

Why?

Because those of us working within higher education operate in a continuum — and so do you working within the corporate world (especially those of you working within corporate training and corporate universities, as well as those of you producing elearning-based materials).

What happens in the prior stages of a student’s/employee’s life directly impacts us/you.  Expectations are at play here; which impacts engagement; which impacts learning.

 

DanielChristian-what-should-our-learning-environments-look-and-act-like

 

Why there isn’t greater collaboration between these spheres is troublesome to me.  So I want to lift up those people — like Tom Vander Ark — who are trying to do something about it.

 

 

————

Addendum on 11/5/15 that nicely illustrates my point:

2 things you should know about Google ed evangelist’s vision [Educause 2015] — from educationdive.com by Roger Riddell
Jaime Casap says schools aren’t broken, but they do need to adapt

Excerpt:

While that topic was certainly touched on during Casap’s keynote at Educause, the issue at hand on Thursday was a much more generational one. The discussion was, after all, titled “The Digitally Native Generation Z Is Going to College: Are You Ready?”

“There’s a generation of students coming to college that are a little bit different from the ones that they’re used to, and they’re learning in a different way,” Casap said, adding that a lot of the innovation in education is occurring in K-12 and will likely have some impact on higher ed. 

 

Enhancing the student digital experience: a strategic approach — from jisc.ac.uk
Supporting institutions to develop digital environments which meet students’ expectations and help them to progress to higher study and employment

 

jisc-2015

 

Excerpts:

  • How are you responding to the changing digital needs and expectations of your students and staff?
  • Do the experiences and the digital environment you offer to your students adequately prepare them to flourish in a society that relies heavily on digital technologies?
  • What are you doing to engage students in dialogue about digital issues and to work collaboratively with them to enhance their digital learning experience?
  • How well is the digital vision for your establishment embedded in institutional policies and strategies?

 

Contents

Context

Deliver a relevant digital curriculum

Deliver a relevant digital curriculum: make a difference in your organisation
Further resources for delivering a relevant digital curriculum

Deliver an inclusive digital student experience

Inclusive digital experience: make a difference in your organisation
Further resources for inclusive digital experience delivery

Deliver a robust, flexible, digital environment

Robust digital environment: make a difference in your organisation
Further resources for delivering a robust digital environment

Engage in dialogue with students about their digital experience and empower them to develop their digital environment

Students’ digital environment development: make a difference in your organisation
Further resources for students’ digital environment development

Develop coherent ‘bring your own’ policies

‘Bring your own’ policies: make a difference in your organisation
Further resources for ‘bring your own’ policies development

Support students and staff to work successfully with digital technologies

Digital technologies support: make a difference in your organisation
Further resources for supporting staff and students with digital technologies

Take a strategic approach to developing the student digital experience

A strategic approach to student digital experience: make a difference in your organisation
Further resources for taking a strategic approach to student digital experience development

Summary

 

 

With so many competing pressures educational leaders do not always recognise the strategic and operational importance of digital technology or realise the potential transformative effect this could have on their institutions, the wider sector, employers and society.

 

 

What might our learning ecosystems look like by 2025? [Christian]

This posting can also be seen out at evoLLLution.com (where LLL stands for lifelong learning):

DanielChristian-evoLLLutionDotComArticle-7-31-15

 

From DSC:
What might our learning ecosystems look like by 2025?

In the future, learning “channels” will offer more choice, more control.  They will be far more sophisticated than what we have today.

 

MoreChoiceMoreControl-DSC

 

That said, what the most important aspects of online course design end up being 10 years from now depends upon what types of “channels” I think there will be and what might be offered via those channels. By channels, I mean forms, methods, and avenues of learning that a person could pursue and use. In 2015, some example channels might be:

  • Attending a community college, a college or a university to obtain a degree
  • Obtaining informal learning during an internship
  • Using social media such as Twitter or LinkedIn
  • Reading blogs, books, periodicals, etc.

In 2025, there will likely be new and powerful channels for learning that will be enabled by innovative forms of communications along with new software, hardware, technologies, and other advancements. For examples, one could easily imagine:

  • That the trajectory of deep learning and artificial intelligence will continue, opening up new methods of how we might learn in the future
  • That augmented and virtual reality will allow for mobile learning to the Nth degree
  • That the trend of Competency Based Education (CBE) and microcredentials may be catapulted into the mainstream via the use of big data-related affordances

Due to time and space limitations, I’ll focus here on the more formal learning channels that will likely be available online in 2025. In that environment, I think we’ll continue to see different needs and demands – thus we’ll still need a menu of options. However, the learning menu of 2025 will be more personalized, powerful, responsive, sophisticated, flexible, granular, modularized, and mobile.

 


Highly responsive, career-focused track


One part of the menu of options will focus on addressing the demand for more career-focused information and learning that is available online (24×7). Even in 2015, with the U.S. government saying that 40% of today’s workers now have ‘contingent’ jobs and others saying that percentage will continue climbing to 50% or more, people will be forced to learn quickly in order to stay marketable.  Also, the 1/2 lives of information may not last very long, especially if we continue on our current trajectory of exponential change (vs. linear change).

However, keeping up with that pace of change is currently proving to be out of reach for most institutions of higher education, especially given the current state of accreditation and governance structures throughout higher education as well as how our current teaching and learning environment is set up (i.e., the use of credit hours, 4 year degrees, etc.).  By 2025, accreditation will have been forced to change to allow for alternative forms of learning and for methods of obtaining credentials. Organizations that offer channels with a more vocational bent to them will need to be extremely responsive, as they attempt to offer up-to-date, highly-relevant information that will immediately help people be more employable and marketable. Being nimble will be the name of the game in this arena. Streams of content will be especially important here. There may not be enough time to merit creating formal, sophisticated courses on many career-focused topics.

 

StreamsOfContent-DSC

 

With streams of content, the key value provided by institutions will be to curate the most relevant, effective, reliable, up-to-date content…so one doesn’t have to drink from the Internet’s firehose of information. Such streams of content will also offer constant potential, game-changing scenarios and will provide a pulse check on a variety of trends that could affect an industry. Social-based learning will be key here, as learners contribute to each other’s learning. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) will need to be knowledgeable facilitators of learning; but given the pace of change, true experts will be rare indeed.

Microcredentials, nanodegrees, competency-based education, and learning from one’s living room will be standard channels in 2025.  Each person may have a web-based learner profile by then and the use of big data will keep that profile up-to-date regarding what any given individual has been learning about and what skills they have mastered.

For example, even currently in 2015, a company called StackUp creates their StackUp Report to add to one’s resume or grades, asserting that their services can give “employers and schools new metrics to evaluate your passion, interests, and intellectual curiosity.” Stackup captures, categorizes, and scores everything you read and study online. So they can track your engagement on a given website, for example, and then score the time spent doing so. This type of information can then provide insights into the time you spend learning.

Project teams and employers could create digital playlists that prospective employees or contractors will have to advance through; and such teams and employers will be watching to see how the learners perform in proving their competencies.

However, not all learning will be in the fast lane and many people won’t want all of their learning to be constantly in the high gears. In fact, the same learner could be pursuing avenues in multiple tracks, traveling through their learning-related journeys at multiple speeds.

 


The more traditional liberal arts track


To address these varied learning preferences, another part of the menu will focus on channels that don’t need to change as frequently.  The focus here won’t be on quickly-moving streams of content, but the course designers in this track can take a bit more time to offer far more sophisticated options and activities that people will enjoy going through.

Along these lines, some areas of the liberal arts* will fit in nicely here.

*Speaking of the liberal arts, a brief but important tangent needs to be addressed, for strategic purposes. While the following statement will likely be highly controversial, I’m going to say it anyway.  Online learning could be the very thing that saves the liberal arts.

Why do I say this? Because as the price of higher education continues to increase, the dynamics and expectations of learners continue to change. As the prices continue to increase, so do peoples’ expectations and perspectives. So it may turn out that people are willing to pay a dollar range that ends up being a fraction of today’s prices. But such greatly reduced prices won’t likely be available in face-to-face environments, as offering these types of learning environment is expensive. However, such discounted prices can and could be offered via online-based environments. So, much to the chagrin of many in academia, online learning could be the very thing that provides the type of learning, growth, and some of the experiences that liberal arts programs have been about for centuries. Online learning can offer a lifelong supply of the liberal arts.

But I digress…
By 2025, a Subject Matter Expert (SME) will be able to offer excellent, engaging courses chocked full of the use of:

  • Engaging story/narrative
  • Powerful collaboration and communication tools
  • Sophisticated tracking and reporting
  • Personalized learning, tech-enabled scaffolding, and digital learning playlists
  • Game elements or even, in some cases, multiplayer games
  • Highly interactive digital videos with built-in learning activities
  • Transmedia-based outlets and channels
  • Mobile-based learning using AR, VR, real-world assignments, objects, and events
  • …and more.

However, such courses won’t be able to be created by one person. Their sophistication will require a team of specialists – and likely a list of vendors, algorithms, and/or open source-based tools – to design and deliver this type of learning track.

 


Final reflections


The marketplaces involving education-related content and technologies will likely look different. There could be marketplaces for algorithms as well as for very granular learning modules. In fact, it could be that modularization will be huge by 2025, allowing digital learning playlists to be built by an SME, a Provost, and/or a Dean (in addition to the aforementioned employer or project team).  Any assistance that may be required by a learner will be provided either via technology (likely via an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled resource) and/or via a SME.

We will likely either have moved away from using Learning Management Systems (LMSs) or those LMSs will allow for access to far larger, integrated learning ecosystems.

Functionality wise, collaboration tools will still be important, but they might be mind-blowing to us living in 2015.  For example, holographic-based communications could easily be commonplace by 2025. Where tools like IBM’s Watson, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s Deepmind, and Apple’s Siri end up in our future learning ecosystems is hard to tell, but will likely be there. New forms of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will likely be mainstream by 2025.

While the exact menu of learning options is unclear, what is clear is that change is here today and will likely be here tomorrow. Those willing to experiment, to adapt, and to change have a far greater likelihood of surviving and thriving in our future learning ecosystems.

 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems