2023 Higher Education Trend Watch — from educause.edu

2023 Higher Education Trend Watch

Also see:

2023 Strategic Trends Glossary — from educause.edu

Excerpts:

  • Closer alignment of higher education with workforce needs and skills-based learning
  • Continuation and normalization of hybrid and online learning
  • Continued adoption and normalization of hybrid and remote work arrangements
  • Continued resignation and migration of leaders and staff from higher education institutions
  • Declining public funding for higher education
  • …and more
 

New Report from Global Google Research Project Considers the ‘Future of Education’ — from thejournal.com by Kristal Kuykendall
Global Trends and ‘Preparing for the Future’ Highlighted in First of Three Reports

As we march towards a radically different future, what should the role of education be and how might it look? To begin to answer this question, we collaborated with research partner Canvas8 to conduct a global study in 24 countries that synthesizes insights from 94 educational experts, two years of peer-reviewed academic literature, and a media narrative analysis across the education sector.

Excerpts:

Google for Education has released the first report from a massive, two-year study considering the role of education in a “radically different future,” and what that might look like.

Part 1 of Google’s Future of Education report focuses on big-picture themes seen as most likely to impact education and the future workforce in the coming years and decades.

Parts two and three of the Future of Education project will be released in the coming months, said Magiera, who was a K–12 classroom teacher for a decade in New York City and Chicago before working as a district leader, a chief information officer, and as an advisor for the Obama administration’s ed tech planning efforts. Part two will focus on “evolving how we teach and learn” and part three will be about “reimagining the learning ecosystems and the spaces,” she said.

Reimagining Learning Ecosystems -- by Google for Education

 

 

Can a Group of MIT Professors Turn a White Paper Into a New Kind of College? — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

A group of professors at Massachusetts Institute of Technology dropped a provocative white paper in September that proposed a new kind of college that would address some of the growing public skepticism of higher education. This week, they took the next step toward bringing their vision from idea to reality.

That next step was holding a virtual forum that brought together a who’s who of college innovation leaders, including presidents of experimental colleges, professors known for novel teaching practices and critical observers of the higher education space.

The MIT professors who authored the white paper tried to make clear that even though they’re from an elite university, they do not have all the answers. Their white paper takes pains to describe itself as a draft framework and to invite input from players across the education ecosystem so they can revise and improve the plan.

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

The goal of this document is simply to propose some principles and ideas that we hope will lay the groundwork for the future, for an education that will be both more affordable and more effective.

Promotions and titles will be much more closely tied to educational performance—quality, commitment, outcomes, and innovation—than to research outcomes. 

 
 

Accelerated Learning — Schools’ Answer for ‘Learning Loss’ — Hits Some Speed Bumps — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo

The main finding? Accelerated learning simply requires more. More staff, more resources, more energy, more buy-in from teachers.

As district leaders talked about their day-to-day realities, they shared how those things were all tough to come by when everyone in the system was already stretched thin.

Not necessarily related to the above item, but I wanted to pass this one along to you as well:

QAA Report on Badging and Micro-Credentialing: How Education and Employment Can Benefit from Using Skills Profiles  — from gettingsmart.com by Rupert Ward

Key Points

  • Skills profiles make it easier for educators and employers to understand how skills gained in learning can be transferred to those required in earning.
  • This QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project Report demonstrates both how badges and microcredentials can be incorporated into a range of higher education courses and, through doing this, how we can ultimately personalise learning and earning.
 

The Digital Divide 2.0: Navigating Digital Equity and Health Equity in Education — from edsurge.com by Mordecai I. Brownlee

Excerpt:

Luckily, we don’t have to do this work alone. Mainstream awareness of the access gap is growing, which has encouraged corporations like AT&T and Comcast and organizations like United Way to respond by creating employee and community campaigns to bring forth solutions.

Such awareness has also inspired a surge in federal, state and local governments discussing solutions and infrastructure upgrades. For example, nationally, the Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program aimed at providing affordable broadband access for work, school, health care and more. It is important to note that participants must meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines eligibility standards to receive such benefits.

Also relevant/see:

Can Colleges Reach Beyond Campus to Foster ‘Digital Equity’ in Communities? — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

So his organization is working with the city of Orangeburg and Claflin University to extend the university’s broadband out into the surrounding community at affordable rates. And because research from McKinsey suggests that more than 80 percent of HBCUs are located in “broadband deserts,” it’s a strategy that may work elsewhere in the country, too.

“That makes HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions, and universities more broadly, really interesting and powerful partners in bridging the digital divide,” Ben-Avie said.

 

Teaching: Flipping a Class Helps — but Not for the Reason You’d Think — from the Teaching newsletter out at The Chronicle of Higher Education by Beckie Supiano

Excerpt:

The authors propose a different model of flipping that gives their paper its title, “Fail, Flip, Fix, and Feed — Rethinking Flipped Learning: A Review of Meta-Analyses and a Subsequent Meta-Analysis.”

Their model:

  • Fail: Give students a chance to try solving problems. They won’t have all the information needed to arrive at the solution, but the attempt activates their prior learning and primes them for the coming content.
  • Flip: Deliver the content ahead of class, perhaps in a video lecture.
  • Fix: During class time, a traditional lecture can deepen understanding and correct misperceptions.
  • Feed: Formative assessment lets students check their level of understanding.

I find this paper interesting for a number of reasons. It ties into a challenge I’d like to dig into in the future: the gap that can exist between a teaching approach as described in research literature and as applied in the classroom.

From DSC:
Though I haven’t read this analysis (please accept my apology here), I would hope that it would also mention one of the key benefits of the flipped classroom approach — giving students more control over the pacing of the content. Students can stop, fast-forward, rewind, and pause the content as necessary. This is very helpful for all students, but especially for students who don’t have English as their primary language.

I like this approach because if students fail to solve the problem at first, they will likely be listening more/very carefully as to how to solve it:

Drawing on related research, we proposed a more specific model for flipping, “Fail, Flip, Fix, and Feed” whereby students are asked to first engage in generating solutions to novel problems even if they fail to generate the correct solutions, before receiving instructions.

Plus, students will begin to recall/activate their prior knowledge on a subject in order to try to solve the problem. That retrieval practice in and of itself can be helpful.

 

How AI will change Education: Part I | Transcend Newsletter #59 — from transcend.substack.com by Alberto Arenaza; with thanks to GSV’s Big 10 for this resource

Excerpt:

You’ve likely been reading for the last few minutes my arguments for why AI is going to change education. You may agree with some points, disagree with others…

Only, those were not my words.

An AI has written every single word in this essay up until here.

The only thing I wrote myself was the first sentence: Artificial Intelligence is going to revolutionize education. The images too, everything was generated by AI.

 

Using Virtual Reality for Career Training — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Indiana have had success using virtual reality simulations to teach students about career opportunities.

a Woman with a virtual reality set on occupies one half of the screen. The other shows virtual tools that she is controlling.

Excerpts:

Virtual reality can help boost CTE programs and teach students about potential careers in fields they may know nothing about, says Lana Taylor from the Indiana Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

One of those other resources has been a partnership with Transfer VR to provide students access to headsets to participate in career simulations that can give them a tactile sense of what working in certain careers might be like.

“Not all kids are meant to go to college, not all kids want to do it,” Taylor says. “So it’s important to give them some exposure to different careers and workforce paths that maybe they hadn’t thought of before.” 


AI interviews in VR prepare students for real jobseeking — from inavateonthenet.net

 

Coursera is Evolving into a Third-Wave EdTech Company — from eliterate.us by Michael Feldstein

Excerpts:

This is the vision of Coursera’s three-sided platform at scale, connecting learners, educators and institutions in a global learning ecosystem designed to keep pace with our rapidly changing world.

Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda

Coursera's diversified model with 3 segments -- consumer, enterprise, and degrees

The point of this slide is to show the diversification of Coursera’s business. Degree programs may be down, but enterprise licenses and direct-to-consumer certificates are up. But it also indicates Coursera’s ability to diversify revenue streams for its university content providers. The enterprise business provides a distribution channel between universities and employers. From what I can tell, it’s a Guild competitor, even though the two companies look very different on the surface. The consumer segment started as the MOOC business and has expanded into the “tweener” space between courses and degrees: certificates, microdegrees, whatever.

 

Get Ready to Relearn How to Use the Internet — from bloomberg.com by Tyle Cowen; with thanks to Sam DeBrule for this resource
Everyone knows that an AI revolution is coming, but no one seems to realize how profoundly it will change their day-to-day life.

Excerpts:

This year has brought a lot of innovation in artificial intelligence, which I have tried to keep up with, but too many people still do not appreciate the import of what is to come. I commonly hear comments such as, “Those are cool images, graphic designers will work with that,” or, “GPT-3 is cool, it will be easier to cheat on term papers.” And then they end by saying: “But it won’t change my life.”

This view is likely to be proven wrong — and soon, as AI is about to revolutionize our entire information architecture. You will have to learn how to use the internet all over again.

Change is coming. Consider Twitter, which I use each morning to gather information about the world. Less than two years from now, maybe I will speak into my computer, outline my topics of interest, and somebody’s version of AI will spit back to me a kind of Twitter remix, in a readable format and tailored to my needs.

The AI also will be not only responsive but active. Maybe it will tell me, “Today you really do need to read about Russia and changes in the UK government.” Or I might say, “More serendipity today, please,” and that wish would be granted.

Of course all this is just one man’s opinion. If you disagree, in a few years you will be able to ask the new AI engines what they think.

Some other recent items from Sam DeBrule include:

Natural Language Assessment: A New Framework to Promote Education — from ai.googleblog.com by Kedem Snir and Gal Elidan

Excerpt:

In this blog, we introduce an important natural language understanding (NLU) capability called Natural Language Assessment (NLA), and discuss how it can be helpful in the context of education. While typical NLU tasks focus on the user’s intent, NLA allows for the assessment of an answer from multiple perspectives. In situations where a user wants to know how good their answer is, NLA can offer an analysis of how close the answer is to what is expected. In situations where there may not be a “correct” answer, NLA can offer subtle insights that include topicality, relevance, verbosity, and beyond. We formulate the scope of NLA, present a practical model for carrying out topicality NLA, and showcase how NLA has been used to help job seekers practice answering interview questions with Google’s new interview prep tool, Interview Warmup.

How AI could help translate extreme weather alerts — from axios.com by Ayurella Horn-Muller

Excerpt:

A startup that provides AI-powered translation is working with the National Weather Service to improve language translations of extreme weather alerts across the U.S.

Using GPT-3 to augment human intelligence — from escapingflatland.substack.com by Henrik Karlsson

Excerpt:

When I’ve been doing this with GPT-3, a 175 billion parameter language model, it has been uncanny how much it reminds me of blogging. When I’m writing this, from March through August 2022, large language models are not yet as good at responding to my prompts as the readers of my blog. But their capacity is improving fast and the prices are dropping.

Soon everyone can have an alien intelligence in their inbox.

 

What does the ‘metaverse’ mean for education? — from hechingerreport.org by Javeria Salman
Experts warn educators to think twice before jumping on new technologies

Excerpt:

Sometime in the past year or two, you’ve likely heard the word “metaverse.” It’s the future, the next big frontier of the internet, if you ask technology CEOs or researchers.

While the term has become the latest buzzword in education circles, what it means for teaching and learning largely remains to be seen. Experts say much of what we see marketed as the metaverse from education technology companies isn’t actually the metaverse.

In a true metaverse experience, your digital identity travels between the physical and virtual worlds, Platt said. With the help of blockchain technology, that identity — your preferences, your achievements, your educational records, other elements of who you are — is maintained across platforms and applications.

 

How to Stanch Enrollment Loss — from chronicle.com by Jeff Selingo
It’s time to stop pretending the problem will fix itself.

Excerpt:

The latest enrollment numbers from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, for the fall of 2022, paint an ominous picture for higher education coming out of the pandemic. Even in what many college leaders have called a “normal” fall on campuses, enrollment was down 1.1 percent across all sectors. And while the drop was smaller than the past two Covid-stricken fall semesters, colleges across every sector still have lost more than a million students since the fall of 2019.

At some point, colleges need to stop blaming the students who sat out the pandemic or the economic factors and social forces buffeting higher education for enrollment losses. Instead, institutions should look at whether the student experience they’re offering and the outcomes they’re promising provide students with a sense of belonging in the classroom and on campus and ultimately a purpose for their education.


The Key Podcast | Ep.91: The Pros and Cons of HyFlex Instruction — from insidehighered.com with Doug Lederman, Enilda Romero-Hall and Alanna Gillis

Excerpt:

During the pandemic, many colleges and universities embraced a form of blended learning called HyFlex, to mixed reviews. Is it likely to be part of colleges’ instructional strategy going forward?

This week’s episode of The Key explores HyFlex, in which students in a classroom learn synchronously alongside a cohort of peers studying remotely. HyFlex moved from a fringe phenomenon to the mainstream during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the experience was imperfect at best, for professors and students alike.

This conversation about the teaching modality features two professors who have both taught in the HyFlex format and done research on its impact.

From DSC:
When I worked for a law school, we had a Weekend Blended Learning Program.  Student evaluations of these courses constantly mentioned that these WBLP-based courses saved many students hundreds of dollars for each particular class that we offered online (i.e., cost savings in flights, hotels, meals, rental cars, parking fees, etc.).

Another thought/idea:

  • What if traditional institutions of higher education were to offer tiered pricing? That is, perhaps students participating remotely could listen in and even audit classes, but pay less.

Colleges should use K-12 performance assessments for course placement, report says — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

Dive Brief:

  • Colleges should use K-12 performance assessments like capstone papers or portfolios for student course placements and advising, according to a recent report.
  • Typical methods of determining students’ placement in early college classes — like standardized tests — don’t fully illustrate their interests and academic potential, according to the report, which was published by postsecondary education access group Complete College America. Conversely, K-12 performance assessments ask students to demonstrate real-world skills, often in a way that ends with a tangible product.
  • The organizations recommend colleges and K-12 schools mesh their processes, such as by mutually developing a high school graduation requirement around performance assessments. This would help strengthen the K-12 school-college relationship and ease students’ transition from high school to college, the report states.

From DSC:
I post this particular item because I like the tighter integration that’s being recommended between K12 and higher education. It seems like better overall learning ecosystems design, design thinking, and on-ramping.

Along these lines, also see:

How Higher Ed Can Help Remedy K-12 Learning Losses — from insidehighered.com by Johanna Alonso
Low national scores have spurred discussion of how K-12 schools can improve student performance. Experts think institutions of higher education can help.

Excerpt:

Now educators at all levels are talking about ways to reverse the declines. Higher education leaders have already added supports for college students who suffered pandemic-related learning losses; many now aim to expand their efforts to help K-12 students who will eventually arrive on their campuses potentially with even more ground to make up.

It’s hard to tell yet what these supports will look like, but some anticipate they will involve strengthening the developmental education infrastructure that already exists for underprepared students. Others believe universities must play a role in the interventions currently ongoing at the K-12 level.


Also see:

CIN EdTech Student Survey | October 2022 — from wgulabs.org

Excerpt:

Our report shares three key takeaways:

  1. Students’ experiences with technology-enabled learning have improved since 2021.
  2. Students want online learning but institutions must overcome perceptions of lower learning quality.
  3. Students feel generally positive about an online-enabled future for higher education, but less so for themselves..

5 things colleges can do to help save the planet from climate change — from highereddive.com by Anthony Knerr
A strategy consultant explores ways colleges can improve sustainability.

Overwhelming demand for online classes is reshaping California’s community colleges — from latimes.com by Debbie Truongs; with thanks to Ray Schroeder out on LinkedIn for this resource

Excerpt:

Gallegos is among the thousands of California community college students who have changed the way they are pursuing higher education by opting for online classes in eye-popping numbers. The demand for virtual classes represents a dramatic shift in how instruction is delivered in one of the nation’s largest systems of public higher education and stands as an unexpected legacy of the pandemic.

Labster Hits Milestone of 300 Virtual Science Lab Simulations — from businesswire.com
Award-winning edtech pioneer adds new STEM titles and extensive product enhancements for interactive courseware for universities, colleges, and high schools

Excerpt:

Labster provides educators with the ability to digitally explore and enhance their science offerings and supplement their in-classroom activities. Labster virtual simulations in fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, and physics are especially useful for pre- and post-lab assignments, so science department leads can fully optimize the time students spend on-site in high-demand physical laboratories.

AAA partners with universities to develop tech talent — from ciodive.com by Lindsey Wilkinson
Through tech internships and for-credit opportunities, the auto club established a talent pipeline that has led to new feature development.

5 enrollment trends to keep an eye on for fall 2022 — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
Although undergraduate and graduate enrollment are both down, some types of institutions saw notable increases, including HBCUs and online colleges.

 

How do colleges decide when to schedule courses? — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer

Dive Brief (excerpt):

  • Two-thirds of colleges are thinking about the courses students will need to complete their degrees on time when they build their schedules, according to a survey released Tuesday by Ad Astra, a scheduling software and analytics provider.
  • Meanwhile, 51% said they considered when they could offer courses to help students avoid conflicts in their schedules, and 30% looked at balancing in-person, online and hybrid courses.
  • Almost two-thirds of respondents, 65%, said they use retention rates and enrollment ratios to gauge the effectiveness of a course schedule.

From DSC:
This is a tough one, as faculty members and staff members have obligations outside of work as well. They may have families. They may need to transfer kids to/from school or drop them off at music lessons, sporting events, etc. So many people working within higher education like to keep to “normal business hours” as much as possible. Obviously, that’s not always true and I’m likely painting with too broad a paintbrush.

That said, online-based learning opens up a lot of possibilities for faculty members as well as for students. Schedules can often be opened up quite a bit. This level of flexibility is becoming increasingly important, given the prices of obtaining degrees out there. Students often need to work as well — and their places of employment don’t always provide the required flexibility.

 

Higher Education in Motion: The Digital and Cultural Transformations Ahead — from er.educause.edu by John O’Brien

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

In 2015 when Janet Napolitano, then president of the University of California, responded to what she saw as a steadily growing “chorus of doom” predicting the demise of higher education, she did so with a turn of phrase that captured my imagination and still does. She said that higher education is not in crisis. “Instead, it is in motion, and it always has been.”

A brief insert by DSC:
Yes. In other words, it’s a learning ecosystem — with constant morphing & changing going on.

“We insisted then, and we continue to insist now, that digital transformation amounts to deep and coordinated change that substantially reshapes the operations, strategic directions, and value propositions of colleges and universities and that this change is enabled by culture, workforce, and technology shifts.

The tidal movement to digital transformation is linked to a demonstrably broader recognition of the strategic role and value of technology professionals and leaders on campus, another area of long-standing EDUCAUSE advocacy. For longer than we have talked about digital transformation, we have insisted that technology must be understood as a strategic asset, not a utility, and that senior IT leaders must be part of the campus strategic decision-making. But the idea of a strategic role for technology had disappointing traction among senior campus leaders before 2020.

From DSC:
The Presidents, Provosts, CIO’s, board members, influential faculty members, and other members of institutions’ key leadership positions who didn’t move powerfully forward with online-based learning over the last two+ decades missed the biggest thing to hit societies’ ability to learn in 500+ years — the Internet. Not since the invention of the printing press has learning had such an incredible gust of wind put in its sails. The affordances have been staggering, with millions of people now being educated in much less expensive ways (MOOCs, YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, other). Those who didn’t move forward with online-based learning in the past are currently scrambling to even survive. We’ll see how many close their doors as the number of effective alternatives increases.

Instead of functioning as a one-time fix during the pandemic, technology has become ubiquitous and relied upon to an ever-increasing degree across campus and across the student experience.

Moving forward, best of luck to those organizations who don’t have their CIOs at the decision-making table and reporting directly to the Presidents — and hopefully those CIO’s are innovative and visionary to begin with. Best of luck to those institutions who refuse to look up and around to see that the world has significantly changed from the time they got their degrees.

The current mix of new realities creates an opportunity for an evolution and, ideally, a synchronized reimagination of higher education overall. This will be driven by technology innovation and technology professionals—and will be made even more enduring by a campus culture of care for students, faculty, and staff.

Time will tell if the current cultures within many traditional institutions of higher education will allow them to adapt/change…or not.


Along the lines of transformations in our learning ecosystems, also see:


OPINION: Let’s use the pandemic as a dress-rehearsal for much-needed digital transformation — from hechingerreport.org by Jean-Claude Brizard
Schools must get ready for the next disruption and make high-quality learning available to all

Excerpts:

We should use this moment to catalyze a digital transformation of education that will prepare schools for our uncertain future.

What should come next is an examination of how schools can more deeply and deliberately harness technology to make high-quality learning accessible to every learner, even in the wake of a crisis. That means a digital transformation, with three key levers for change: in the classroom, in schools and at the systems level.

Platforms like these help improve student outcomes by enhancing teachers’ ability to meet individual students’ needs. They also allow learners to master new skills at their own pace, in their own way.

As Digital Transformation in Schools Continues, the Need for Enterprising IT Leaders Grows — from edtechmagazine.com by Ryan Petersen

K-12 IT leaders move beyond silos to make a meaningful impact inside and outside their schools.According to Korn Ferry’s research on enterprise leadership, “Enterprise leaders envision and grow; scale and create. They go beyond by going across the enterprise, optimizing the whole organization and its entire ecosystem by leading outside what they can control. These are leaders who see their role as being a participant in diverse and dynamic communities.”

 

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian