Research Question 3: Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher Education

What trends do you expect to have a significant impact on the ways in which higher education institutions approach their core mission of teaching, learning, and creative inquiry?

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NOTE: The Key Trends are sorted into three categories: short-term impact, mid-term impact, and long-term impact.

Short-Term Trends
These are trends that are driving edtech adoption now, but will likely remain important for only next one to two years. Virtual Worlds was an example of a fast trend that swept up attention in 2007-8.

Mid-Term Trends
These trends will be important in decision-making for a longer term, and will likely continue to be a factor in decision-making for the next three to five years.

Long-Term Trends
These are trends that will continue to have impact on our decisions for a very long time. Many of them have been important for years, and continue to be so. These are the trends -- like mobile or social media -- that continue to develop in capability year over year.

As you review what others have written, please add your thoughts and comments as well.

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Compose your entries like this:

Trend Name
Add your ideas here with a few of sentences description including full URLs for references (e.g. And do not forget to sign your contribution with 4 ~ (tilde) characters!

Advancing Cultures of Innovation
Many thought leaders have long believed that schools can play a major role in the growth of national economies. In order to breed innovation and adapt to economic needs, schools must be structured in ways that allow for flexibility, and spur creativity and entrepreneurial thinking. There is a growing consensus among many thought leaders that school leadership and curricula could benefit from agile startup models. Educators are working to develop new approaches and programs based on these models that stimulate top-down change and can be implemented across a broad range of institutional settings. In the business realm, the Lean Startup movement uses technology as a catalyst for promoting a culture of innovation in a more widespread, cost-effective manner, and provides compelling models for school leaders to consider.
1-3 years - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Sep 11, 2016
Will backlash set in? There's already an anti-disruption current, and a political argument that "innovation" is, all too often, a cover for venture capital investment and agendas. - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Sep 19, 2016
In Ordos, China, Tsinghua University has set up an innovation institute to promote and develop innovations for the future city. Curtin University is partnering with Tsinghua in this effort, building on its foundations in supercomputing, solving industry-led challenges and commercialization of new ideas, which is advanced via the Curtin Institute for Computation. A trend in the advancement of cultures of innovation may be include industry-led degrees (co-branded degree programs custom designed to meet industry leadership development needs in global businesses as well as global NGO outreach and training being integrated into higher education programs) and MOOC-based MicroMasters (see edX Consortium, MIT, Curtin, etc.) and early stage innovation pilots with investment risks (and potential rewards) shared by industry and higher education co-investing into private venture funds. - david.c.gibson david.c.gibson Oct 4, 2016
The Australian Government has taken an important stance on this area:
- kevin_ashford_rowe kevin_ashford_rowe Sep 19, 2016Indeed...many of our academic departments are supporting "enterprises" in culinary, horticulture, oenology. 1-3 years.
- bsmith bsmith Sep 24, 2016
Now the US News has a report on Most Innovative Schools with Arizona State being ranked top followed by Stanford and MIT
- mayaig mayaig Sep 25, 2016
I don't know if we can call it very innovative, however the eCampus Ontario initiative funded by the Govt of Ontario to support every year for the last 3 or 4 years Ontario colleges and universities to develop online courses, open source materials, and fully online programs has certainly had an impact on the ways faculty of these Ontario institutions are looking at what could be higher ed in a few years. The notions of flexibility in formats of delivery, of complementary between formal and informal learning, of re purposing in different formats open source teaching materials for different needs, are making progress and are bit by bit changing a culture of academic environment, and in its own slow way, advancing cultures of innovation. - agermain agermain Sep 26, 2016
I think this is a mid term to long term trend (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016) There are schools left in the dust of the 50 min lecture, and there are those like Arizona State, and some of the Australian Schools who are advancing learning by creating open learning tools. It will all continue to swirl and evolve. (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016) And those institutes of HE that do not make the change to a learner centered and personalized learning opportunity will find themselves wondering where their students have gone. (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016) I heartily agree with these comments! - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016 - DaveP DaveP Oct 2, 2016
This is going to be a long term trend overall because of the lead time it takes to really have innovation move across higher ed or even a campus for that matter. Early work in blended learning tested a few models of intrapreunership. That idea will need to be really developed further. Throwing incentives to get early adopters works, but we found (in an admittedly small sample) when faculty were incented to develop internal groups with funding designed for innovation and with a key component of diffusion among colleagues, we had a better adoption and sustenance trend. But that took 3 years to fully develop. - sunay.palsole sunay.palsole Sep 29, 2016
Advancing cultures of innovation in Technology enabled learning is an emerging movement in Singapore. This could be through national level technology enabled learning conferences, ministry funded grants as well as institution specific conferences and grants. In general, there is also an awareness and move towards Scholarship of Teaching and Learning which promotes taking a scholarly approach and evidence-based teaching and learning. - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016.
There has been much written about universities developing cultures of innovation through innovation centers on their campus (The Next Hot Trend On Campus: Creating Innovation; Leveraging Incubators and Innovation Centers to Drive Interdisciplinary Thinking on Campuses), but to the point in the leading paragraph, universities are also seen as catalysts reviving local economies by acting as the hub of innovation districts. A good primer is The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America by Bruce Katz and Julie Wagner of the Brookings Institute. Good examples of Innovation Districts centered around universities are the East Baltimore Development Initiative near Johns Hopkins, Kendall Square surrounding MIT, and the Research Triangle Park in Raleigh-Durham.- mreese mreese Sep 30, 2016
In France, a student with an entrepreneurship project can get a student-entrepreneur status and work in a PEPITE (innovation, transfer and entrepreneurship center) - Jean-Pierre.Berthet Jean-Pierre.Berthet Sep 30, 2016
A key part of the innovation trend is thinking about and planning for integration of a full innovation ecosystem. IBM Research has been looking at this issue for many years via its focus on developing "service science" (e.g., "The Evolution of Life Science Ecosystems: Five Effective Innovation Approaches for Higher Education"
and this paper by Lusch and Wu (2012), "A Service Science Perspective on Higher Education" ted ted Oct 1, 2016
Advancing cultures of innovation in digital learning is an emerging trend. Whether it is applied innovation, such as the flipped classroom or online learning, or developing and piloting new innovations of the sort that happen at larger research universities, innovation is indeed a trend that is here. Even small, liberal arts, teaching institutions have to develop their institutional cultures to be conducive to digital learning innovations. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016 - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 5, 2016
In the Netherlands I see much of what is described above, support centers within (Technical) Universities that support students who start businesses during their studies. - M.vanWetering M.vanWetering Oct 2, 2016
Advancing cultures of innovation ranges from the individual campus to larger educational movements. In addition to those noted above, consider the work of Ashoka which advocates for social innovation. AshokaU, the university division of Ashoka, the leading global network of social entrepreneurs, defines social innovation as, “New strategies, concepts, ideas and organizations that meet social needs of all kinds — from working conditions and education to community development and health — and that extend and strengthen civil society.” Some of these strategies leverage technology, such as Girl Trek,, which seeks to engage more African-American women in exercise through coordination via social media, while changing their image in social media, as well.- rebeccad rebeccad Oct 2, 2016
Building on a comment noted above about SoTL as a driver for innovation, at St. Edward's University, the Innovation Fellowship frames innovation as a pedagogical experiment and trains fellows in conducting and assessing their experiment, with SoTL as an ultimate goal: - rebeccad rebeccad Oct 2, 2016
Innovation should become a transversal topic in every program. There are disciplinary areas where we seem to think that entrepreneurial approaches aren't a god fit; however, if we provide students with a solid background in product development, business, user experience design, creative methodologies, etc., we can open their minds and release a creative expression that sometimes get underestimated. In the University of Chihuahua, we are beginning to work on a distributed network of innovation offices, that will identify and incubate the most viable entrepreneurial projects (using UC Berkeley's Lean Start Up methodology and platforms: Generador30 acceleration program). - fledezma fledezma Oct 5, 2016

Over the years I've seen one "innovation" after another come and go. Some have stuck, most have not. There are many reasons for the failures: inability to scale, only adopted by a small group of faculty (or only one), high barriers to entry, an unclear definition of the ends of the project, etc. Some of these projects represented excellent thinking that just wasn't systemic. Others represented muddled thinking and obsession with a particular technology rather than seeing where that technology would take you. We need to focus on teaching our faculty and staff how to process ideas and adapt them to the needs at hand rather than forcing the latest and greatest on them. We've spent a lot of time trying to figure this out at the West Houston Institute - our "Innovation" Center. I am hopeful that some of these efforts figure these profoundly people-drive problems out. We're going to give it our best try and know that facilitating innovation is an innovation in and of itself. - tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 31, 2016

Blended Learning Designs
Over the past several years, perceptions of online learning have been shifting in its favor as more learners and educators see it as a viable alternative to some forms of face-to-face learning. Drawing from best practices in online and face-to-face methods, blended learning is on the rise at universities and colleges. The affordances of blended learning offers are now well understood, and its flexibility, ease of access, and the integration of sophisticated multimedia and technologies are high among the list of appeals. One notable form of blended learning is the flipped classroom, a model that rearranges how students spend their time. Rather than the instructor using class time for lectures, students access learning materials online at home, freeing up class time to allow student-teacher interactions that foster more active learning. Conversely, the recent rapid rise and burnout of other online offerings, such as massive open online courses (MOOCs), has led to skepticism in the field. However, progress in learning analytics; adaptive learning; and a combination of cutting-edge asynchronous and synchronous tools will continue to advance the state of blended learning and keep it compelling, though many of these methods are still the subjects of experiments and research by online learning providers and institutions.
Flipped learning relies on highly effective pedagogical practices. 'flipping' something of itself (ie putting the 'homework' first) is meaningless unless what happens next is properly designed and students have actually done the task before turning up. The single greatest need in tertiary contexts is that more and more people need to understand the centrality of great pedagogical practices that can occur with or without digital technologies. n.wright- n.wright n.wright Aug 22, 2016
Agree with this that the sequencing and integration of online/f2f lessons are important. It is about flipping teaching as well. I feel that in time to come, academics will get more fluent with flipped classroom and that this may become a normal mode of teaching and learning. In my views, lecturing and self directed learning will be more on line ( also to save cost) and f2f teaching may become more of the premier kind of education with more active learning. Also, flipped classroom is a great strategy to make the transition from teacher-centered to student centered learning.
- nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016.- deone.zell deone.zell Oct 1, 2016
We'll know this has succeeded when we no longer call it blended learning - just "teaching". - paulo.dantas paulo.dantas Oct 3, 2016 !!! - deone.zell deone.zell Oct 1, 2016- alexandra.pickett alexandra.pickett Oct 5, 2016 !!! - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Sep 9, 2016 - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 5, 2016 The sooner the better - ole ole Sep 11, 2016 - helga helga Sep 19, 2016- kumiko.aoki kumiko.aoki Sep 19, 2016- agermain agermain Sep 27, 2016This is my feeling aswell, why do we use a separate term 'blended' for something that should be common practice by now!- M.vanWetering M.vanWetering Oct 2, 2016- jantonio jantonio Sep 27, 2016 (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016)- nwitt nwitt Oct 2, 2016totally agree with you! Consider the continuous virtual-non virtual; presencial-non presencial and so on, as the natural way to learn today. faculty training should go this way to normalize the interaction with current students - jnosanchez jnosanchez Sep 27, 2016
Just a minor detail: A my center we use Dee Fink's castle top metaphor for describing blended learning and the many - good and relevant - details n.wright mentions above. - ole ole Sep 20, 2016
My Institution is funding a large scale Blended Initiative with the goal to increase the number of blended courses, and the number of professors using blended learning for the next several years. The Teaching and Learning Support Service that I head has for mandate to help faculty rethink their pedagogical approach and practices and to help them transform their classroom courses into blended courses. The task is not an easy one, as we see that a large number of our faculty still have a hard time to understand the notion of 'added value' and 'complementarity' when considering integrating technology in their courses, still struggle with the notion of 'designing learning activities' and not just putting content into videos that students can watch at home (too many still thinks that blended learning means putting videos of a lecturer explaining content on the web, and then doing some activities in class: a too simplistic definition of blended learning and/or flipped classroom), etc. This short article reminds us quickly what is, and what is not a Flipped Class: It is not, for instance, "a synonym for online videos", and it is "an environment where students take responsibility for their own learning": Which means that Faculty development is still a huge issue and necessity before we can see, on a large scale, the development of quality blended learning courses and learning environment. Absolutely!!! (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016)That said, one model of flipped learning that I am working on more and more with faculty is the model in 4 steps developed by Marcel Lebrun of the University of Louvain La Neuve in Belgium. I like this model because from the start students are in active learning mode (instead of starting with a lecture style video that they watch online at home. Step 1 of the model happens before class, at home, on line, where students are asked to research information and resources about the topic, the concept, etc. Step 2 is in class, and students, in small groups, pairs or all together share, organize, prioritize, discuss, the information and resources they have collected about the topic. The product of this work in class can be concept maps, summaries, essays, presentations, debates, etc... Step 3 happens outside of class, online, where the professor can via videos or readings explain the theories related to the concept or topic, add important information, concepts, synthesize, etc. This 3rd step is in fact what we usually see in the more traditional flipped class model (which starts often with a video of a teacher explaining the concepts. But the difference here is that this explanation phase is now even more relevant since students already have been active researching and learning about the concept). And the 4th step is back in class, where students have now all the elements to solve a problem or develop a project using what they have researched, discussed, learned during the 3 preceding steps. For those who can read French (sorry I could not find an equivalent in English, here is Marcel Lebrun's blog explaining his approach) agermain agermain Sep 26, 2016 - Jean-Pierre.Berthet Jean-Pierre.Berthet Sep 30, 2016 One day, everything students need for learning, examples, interaction will be online and the faculty will be the person who still brings it all together. One day... sigh.... (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016)
An important issue here is teacher´s support and feedback during online sessions. Many students feel "abandoned" by their teachers at long and difficult online sessions.Collaboration tools of LMS still fail to offer flexible spaces such as social networks.The combination of formal and infomal learning spaces remains as a crucial element in this field. - Jorge.bossio Jorge.bossio Oct 1, 2016 Also, depending on the course, especially when it comes to the learning of foreign languages, where real-time interaction is very, very important, blended courses can be very challenging. - paulo.dantas paulo.dantas Oct 3, 2016
Different ways of blending learning are being used and invented all the time. Blended is a key trend in higher education, in my opinion. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016
Blended learning no longer feels like a future trend; it's happening now in very creative ways, and for me is one of the key short-term horizon trends that guides me in much of the work I do. I find that if a learning opp isn't blended, it feels incomplete and less productive than it might otherwise have been. And regarding the Flipped Classroom model: I successfully incorporated it into an online session (a webinar) for adult learners (librarians) by having them watch a couple of videos on the model before attending a one-hour webinar centered on a discussion of how participants could and would begin incorporating the model into their own learning landscapes. If I sound a bit excited about this, it's because I am--and I think we're seeing a wonderful pivotal moment in the expansion of blended learning (so it becomes "learning") right now - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 5, 2016 Flipped Classroom What happened to this topics? Did I miss it? This is a concept that has been around for a while, so it it hardly emerging. However, there is quite a bit of activity in the very near future that is important. This is especially applicable in the higher ed space. The Flipped Classroom concept came from high school faculty and grew rapidly. The salient point for now is to identify creative ways that the concept is being applied in post secondary learning. For example, The University of Vermont College of Medicine just announced a plan to flip all of its lecture-based content, creating video that will be accessed by medical students on their own. The radically changes the role of the faculty to allow for more hands-on, experience-based, and team-based learning.U of Vermont #medicalschool to get rid of all lecture courses - Lawrence.Miller Lawrence.Miller Sep 26, 2016 - gilly.salmon gilly.salmon Sep 26, 2016 reinvention I guess and possibly mainstreaming, still good to consider it, maybe its more about 'new models of learning' suitable for mobile/ blend - this is still emerging in the HE as we are seeing more faculty adopt it. However, it is just starting to become more well known. - lkoster lkoster Sep 30, 2016- deone.zell deone.zell Oct 2, 2016
Yes, the flipped classroom is currently emerging. Faculty are increasingly adopting it or are at least curious about it. But, like designing an online class, help is needed to plan and implement it well. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016
Help indeed. Check out the size of that University of Vermont grant: $66 million.
On the other hand, what happens if universities and colleges decide to tell adjuncts to flip their classes? They're the largest body of faculty in the US, have zero academic freedom, and every incentive to follow directives. - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Oct 2, 2016- rubenrp rubenrp Oct 2, 2016 [Editor's Note: This discussion of flipped classroom added here from RQ2.]

Collaborative Learning Approaches
Collaborative learning, which refers to students or teachers working together in peer-to-peer or group activities, is based on the perspective that learning is a social construct. The approach involves activities that are generally focused around four principles: placing the learner at the center, emphasizing interaction and doing, working in groups, and developing solutions to real-world problems. Collaborative learning models are proving successful in improving student engagement and achievement, especially for disadvantaged students. Educators also benefit through peer groups as they engage in professional development and interdisciplinary teaching opportunities. An added dimension to this trend is an increasing focus on online global collaboration where contemporary digital tools are used to engage with others around the world to support curricular objectives and intercultural understanding. 1-3 years - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Sep 11, 2016 The sooner the better - ole ole Sep 11, 2016 - helga helga Sep 19, 2016- kumiko.aoki kumiko.aoki Sep 19, 2016- jantonio jantonio Sep 27, 2016(- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016)Yes, in the field of World Languages, the CLIL approach (Content and Language Integrated Learning) and the use of social media technology has certainly changed the landscape of this field: students are interacting with each others across the world while solving problems or working on interdisciplinary projects, building on their language and intercultural skills through these interactions facilitated by videoconference tools such as Skype or Google Hangout, etc. In Europe, for K-12 schools, the eTwinning platform launched in 2005 by the European Commission provides a free and safe environment for teachers of all disciplines and students to connect and develop collaborative projects between schools across Europe. 10 years after its launch, eTwinning counts today 400 000 teachers, for 51 000 projects that involve 165 000 schools. The numbers are impressive, and show that the use of collaborative learning approches is values by more and more educators, and that more and more students will expect to learn in such environments when the arrive at university.- agermain agermain Sep 26, 2016 This is where VR, game technologies, and other platforms that develop for team interactions will take off as a learning tool. It is not always possible to put students in groups in the classroom, but in a world where a student can log on 24/7 and interact with peers as teams this is where the real value of teaching tools that improve collaboration will be helpful to faculty. Again they must provide assessment, and not just about the number of click, but the number of interactions, how those interactions where achieved and how the student and team achieved goals. (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016)- deone.zell deone.zell Oct 1, 2016
I do recognize the ambition to develop collaborative learning environments, personal learning environments even, but most institutions struggle to find the right balance between their own platforms which are often inflexible and underused and the very diverse collection of platforms used by students to collaborate on assignments. The former offers structure and registration, the latter lacks structure and observation of the learning process but are much more popular. Horizon talked about the PLE before and I think its important to revisit that theme to open the conversation about the tooling needed to foster collaborative learning. - M.vanWetering M.vanWetering Oct 2, 2016
One of the biggest challenges here is to move students, especially those who have excelled in the K12 system through individual achievement, away from their expectations for how to succeed. Working collaboratively and non-competitively is new for many of them. Faculty, too, face challenges in re-thinking their course outcomes and approaches as they shift to collaborative learning approaches.Tensions still exist between content mastery and content coverage. - anthony.helm anthony.helm Oct 2, 2016
Not sure that this really is a horizon topic; I was doing online collaborative projects as a learner while earning my MLIS nearly a decade ago; found it very useful; and continue to thrive in this setting as a learner as well as in my role as a learning facilitator. And although I continually see articles (in the various newspapers, magazines, and blogs I read) about the death of the MOOC, I found that immersion in a few connectivist MOOCs honed my online collaboration skills tremendously, and I'm about to dive into another (not-so-dead) MOOC if I can carve out the time to be a contributor among learning peers.- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 5, 2016

Deeper Learning Approaches
There is a growing emphasis in higher education on deeper learning approaches, defined by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as the mastery of content that engages students in critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and self-directed learning. In order to remain motivated, students need to be able to make clear connections the real world, and how the new knowledge and skills will impact them. Project-based learning, challenge-based learning, inquiry-based learning, and similar methods foster more active learning experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. As the enabling role of technologies learning crystalizes, educators are leveraging these tools to connect the curriculum with real life applications. These approaches are decidedly more student-centered, allowing learners to take control of how they engage with a subject, even brainstorming solutions to pressing global problems and beginning to implement them in their communities. 1-3 years- deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Sep 11, 2016 Tradition is a difficult opponent, and still many HE teachers are not prepared to leave the well-trodden paths. But with the huge changes of HE new ways of teaching are more than needed. We are back to teachers' pedagogical knowledge and technology literacy. 1-3 years - ole ole Sep 11, 2016
This relates to my point above - "This is an effect of the more student centered pedagogies and technology enabled learning in my view. And this in turn will certainly accelerate technology adoption in teaching and learning". - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016 - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 5, 2016
Deep learning, meaningful learning, engaged learning, student-centered learning, regardless of the buzz word used, in higher education we must get to higher learning rather than memorization and regurgitation. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016 - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 5, 2016 Competency-Based Learning The current drive towards competency-based learning, seen in multiple contexts in higher ed, is a very strong accelerating factor in the adoption of technology. Good competency-based learning requires fine-grained subdivision of traditional courses, complex navigation and tracking of multiple learning paths, greater sophistication in both formative and summative assessment design, and student access to multiple resources for each learning unit. These four factors, when taken together, make it almost impossible to undertake serious competency-based learning without strong technological scaffolding. That said, this also highlights a significant challenge impeding tech adoption, that of Lack of Faculty Training in Required Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills, which I have added as an item in the Challenges section.- rubenrp rubenrp Oct 2, 2016 [Editor's Note: Competency-Based Education is a facet of Deeper Learning so this discussion has been added to "Deeper Learning Approaches."]
I view this as the true meaning of "flipped" learning. It's been far too easy to lapse into theoretical discussions and those are important to the academy, but not necessarily our students past a certain point. Our goal in starting up a MakerSpace is not to support the Physics or Engineering Departments (although that will be function as well) but to get students in there trying things that don't necessarily apply directly to their curriculum or a particular class. If you are trying to make a drone or robot work or even a quilt physics usually intrudes pretty quickly. Then you have to learn the physics because you want to. We are seeing this already with our D-Lab prototyping space, which is itself a prototype of our larger MakerSpace concept. One of the things we are discovering as we start to develop programs around this kind of thinking is that we actually have to uncouple this process from the traditional instructional mechanism and we are planning on offering a lot of Continuing Education classes in support of people doing projects in the spaces. In addition, we are developing an explicit Design Thinking Academy to create a framework and scaffolding to help students work their way through problem-solving methods. All of this is directed toward "deeper learning" through doing. I am confident that more traditional academic programs will benefit from this process as well as we develop thinkers who are ready to grasp the nuances of the Scientific Method, critical thinking, and Engineering Principles. - tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 31, 2016

EdTech Accelerators and Incubators
EdTech accelerators and incubators are popping up across universities and tech giants with the purposeful goal to develop applications for education. From Inter, Microsoft to NYU and ASU startups are invited on campus and at major tech conferences to develop and pitch new innovative EdTech solutions for education - mayaig mayaig Sep 24, 2016 [Editor's Note: This is great but reads more like a trend, therefore it is being added to RQ3 Trends.]

Growing Focus on Measuring Learning
The growing focus on measuring learning describes a renewed interest in assessment and the wide variety of methods and tools that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, or educational needs of students. As societal and economic factors redefine what skills are necessary in today’s workforce, educational institutions must rethink how to define, measure, and demonstrate mastery of subjects, skills, and competencies. The proliferation of data mining software and developments within online learning, mobile learning, and learning management systems are coalescing toward learning environments that leverage analytics and visualization software to portray learning data in a multidimensional and portable manner. In online and blended courses, data can reveal how student actions contribute to progress and learning gains. A recent development in measuring learning is learning analytics, which aims to track students interactions with online environments and learning materials to instructors with an accurate snapshot of learner progress and challenges. This continuous data collection and analysis empowers students to take an active part in their learning, targets at-risk student populations, and assesses factors affecting completion and student success. - kevin_ashford_rowe kevin_ashford_rowe Aug 10, 2016if assessment is the single most important thing that we do for students then ensuring that it is aligned and appropriately measured then is crucial. After all, our graduates, and their quality, are really the ultimate exemplar of our own excellence (or otherwise). Whilst I am personally a champion for authentic learning and its assessment, even mediated via technology, I do thing that we need to understand that the final determination of a student's capability and competence is one that requires expert judgement.- kumiko.aoki kumiko.aoki Sep 19, 2016 The objective assessment measures that can be built into the learning tools used by faculty may help us as an academy move away from the A,B,C and Fail mentality to a new view of competency achievement. There is much work to do to get there. While this in the short term is affecting many health professions educational programs and others due to accreditation standards, general education is not far behind in needing to show learner preparedness. (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016) I agree very much with this idea. We should measure knowledge, skill, and the affective. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016, - rc_sharma rc_sharma Oct 2, 2016
I agree with measuring more dimensions than in current practice! A trend (or perhaps this is better as a big challenge?) is to use data mining techniques along with model-based methods to represent the signatures of learning, knowledge and capabilities via evidence captured in digital learning experiences. The theory of the field is currently ahead of the common practice, but there are promising research pilots in narrow areas of curriculum, knowledge and performance that illustrate the potential - so the longer term timeline will see the emergence of increasingly more sophisticated understandings, methods, and examples of measuring learning in new ways - and these new ways will not either answer the timeless questions inherent in the conflicts of who is measuring what and for what reasons. Will these fundamental questions always have to be answered in each specific context and will they always resist being shoe-horned into a universal set of 'answers'? Or will a new general set of methods emerge based in data science and applied va a new ethical framework? - david.c.gibson david.c.gibson Oct 4, 2016
There is a strong argument that timely feedback and feedforward are two very critical components of effective learning. Is that always synonymous with assessment? I would think it more synonymous with good pedagogical practices. n.wright- n.wright n.wright Aug 22, 2016It is definitely synonymous with good formative assessment - which should be a component of good pedagogical practice.- rubenrp rubenrp Oct 2, 2016
1-3 years - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Sep 11, 2016 The sooner the better - this is much sought after by the students. Agree but it is also important to include other supports for learning in general such as counselling, scaffolding, other students and feedback (Bates, 2014).
3-5 years - bsmith bsmith Sep 24, 2016 We shouldn't forget peer feedback which according to research is a very efficient way og learning - though the students must be convinced that feedback given by a teacher is not the only and the best way.- ole ole Sep 19, 2016. Look at this peer feedback game - ole ole Sep 19, 2016
Worth mentioning two parallel initiatives in the UK, Learning Gain and the Teaching Excellence Framework. What is striking for me is the reliance on the gathering of (often substantial) additional data, and the oddly undertheorised nature of much of this work. It can feel for some like 100+ years of Education Research is being ignored. - dkernohan dkernohan Sep 20, 2016 Agree with dkernohan, the lack of undestanding about Learning Gain and a potential reliance on poor quality data to hudge 'teachign excellence' is a threat - nwitt nwitt Oct 2, 2016
With the question of Measuring learning comes the questions of what and how are we measuring. A competency-based approach in learning assessment has s transformative impact in Higher Ed: the notion of time spent in a classroom being replaced by acquired competencies, assessment of knowledge being replaced by demonstration of competencies, the notion of course credits being replaced by micro-credentials, the notion of semester course being replaced by modular learning units that students can organize in different ways according to the specific goals they have for their education, etc... These are directions and conversations that are more and more present in our institutions, and which will truly change the landscape of Higher Ed in a few years. Here is an interesting read published last May in EDUCAUSE REVIEW - agermain agermain Sep 26, 2016
(- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016) The Bridge to Quality was written in 2003 following a summit on Health Professions Education. The call for competency based education with assessment has been ongoing and will continue to be called for in all areas of education. (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016)..
Another example is the National Academic Initiative Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education- mreese mreese Sep 30, 2016
See also U.K. HEFCE learning gain - DaveP DaveP Oct 2, 2016
This is a point I have raised repeatedly in RQ4. I see this as important factor to consider moving forward. However I see too many confounding factors that I see that this may not be an accelerating factor. - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016. I thin it is, because higher education is moving into competency-based models that are difficult to measure and measurement is needed to show (tangible) results. - Jorge.bossio Jorge.bossio Oct 1, 2016- deone.zell deone.zell Oct 1, 2016
Measuring learning may go hand-in-hand with the cultural acceptance of competency-based learning, however, progress toward this will take a long time because ultimately it will seem to require the dismantling of the credit hour and the creation of assessments that will need to be validated across institutions.- deone.zell deone.zell Oct 1, 2016 - paulo.dantas paulo.dantas Oct 3, 2016 Not to mention a growing backlash from faculty, who question the methods and results of contemporary assessment techniques (small sample sizes, lack of a viable "control" class, and too many variables to keep consistent), as well as viewing the efforts as running counter to a successful liberal arts program.- anthony.helm anthony.helm Oct 2, 2016 There's also the issue of social acceptance of formative assessment; in South America, if you don't sit an examination or present a tangible product of your learning such as a presentation, it is as though as no learning has taken place. - paulo.dantas paulo.dantas Oct 3, 2016
The most effective elements in learning are (from research in general): exercises that match the students capabilities (achieved through adaptive learning materials using the data from the learning process), repetition repetition repetition (which requires the patience only a machine has ;-) and receiving (immediate) (peer) feedback as mentioned above (this can also be done by software based on immediate evaluation of exercises). What needs to be done is identifying the type of learning activities that benefit most by this approach and use the time saved to develop other skills and competencies. Nothing wrong with measuring but put the data to good use and be explicit when and where the 'data driven' approach is effective and when other teaching methods are more effective. - M.vanWetering M.vanWetering Oct 2, 2016
Measuring learning needs to make these measurements and data available to the students to use themselves so that they develop the agency to drive their own learning. No public citation handy, but one of our faculty members has been using excel spreadsheets to share progress on granular learning outcomes with students, for example.- rebeccad rebeccad Oct 2, 2016
It seems like we are beginning to overeglorify the idea of expressing every step and advancement on a students learning process by numbers. When we talk about approaches like STEAM, by example, we are dealing with such inaprensible disciplines like arts, design and creativity. If we insist and try to express everything through numbers, we can suffocate the creative spark, spiritual expression and intuition in our students. Taking this into account, Susan Riley shares an "Arts assessment tool kit" -created by the Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute- that includes measurable aspects generally present in art related activities (Assessing the Arts Toolkit). - fledezma fledezma Oct 5, 2016 Making Data-Driven Educational Choices As learning and achievement becomes outcome-oriented and dashboards become pervasive, from indicators of course quality to learning outcomes, decisions can be made based more on data, revealing patterns of effectiveness and creating transparency that will enable added accountability, for better or worse. 1-3 years - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Sep 11, 2016 - ole ole Sep 20, 2016 - agermain agermain Sep 27, 2016. - paulo.dantas paulo.dantas Oct 3, 2016
Mobile devices and technology devices allow for collection and data, analysis and data visualization. So learning itself becomes more data-driven/data oriented. Also learning analytics, data analysis allow for data educational choices at the individual teacher/faculty and administration level. This would in turn mean adoption of such technology tools.- nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016 [Editor's Note: Moved from a new trend to part of this existing trend because they are so related.] Learning Analytics I was surprised to see this gone from the list of topics - others connect with it, but none cover the same range. I would strongly suggest bringing it back, together with the description/discussion from the previous Report: - rubenrp rubenrp Oct 2, 2016- alexandra.pickett alexandra.pickett Oct 5, 2016 - gilly.salmon gilly.salmon Oct 5, 2016 sure agree, this is definately still at the beginning I'd add 4. supporting students self efficacy and responsibility in learning - a form of electronic mentoring. 3 areas:
  1. Institutional: predict at risk students
  2. Program and course: engagement analytics: page views, contributions in discussion, student completed assignments, number of logins.
  3. Student: learner analytics: what have students mastered, struggled with, misconceptions about curriculum, what topics require more attention? [Editor's Note: Learning analytics discussion added here from R2.]
Quality Metrics/Human-Scale Indicators
Big Data is so three years ago. I'm seeing a week signal around people looking for metrics that are more reliable and accurate than the "count all the things" mania of the early teens. Altmetrics have become a more nuanced proposition - in the UK "The Metric Tide" felt like a watershed moment on the insane research power metrics that kill academics - Jisc's Code of Practice for Learning Analytics would be another example. - dkernohan dkernohan Aug 15, 2016- gilly.salmon gilly.salmon Sep 26, 2016 mmm maybe its more about the 'so what factor' maybe its more about using learning ananlytics to directly support students achievements - self efficacy- rather than prediction and policing. Totally agree to the use learner analytics to support learners needs which is increasing within the VET sector rather than the use of academic analytics - yvette.drager yvette.drager Sep 29, 2016 Possibility of improved metrics visualisation using VR or similar - see Architecture of Radio app by Richard Vijgen - DaveP DaveP Oct 2, 2016 [Editor's Note: Added to Measuring Learning discussion from RQ2.] Digital Assessment Admittedly, I have suggested this on previous occasions, bit still I find it an important field: At my main academic area at Aarhus University, Denmark, all examns are now digital .The company that has developed WISE-flow and colleagues from my centre have started a research project with a Korean university and a Korean company that aims at avoiding plagiarism in all senses of the word. The technology has been a success and concepts like this should be spread to all universities. - ole ole Sep 11, 2016 2015-2016 140.000 exams have been completed digital assessment at Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, DK. - ole ole Sep 12, 2016 [Editor's Note: Added to Measuring Learning discussion from RQ2.]

Increasing Cross-Institution Collaboration
Collective action among schools and districts is growing in importance for the future of higher education. More and more, institutions are joining consortia — associations of two or more organizations — to combine resources or to align themselves strategically with innovation in K-12 education. Today’s global environment is allowing universities to unite across international borders and work toward common goals concerning technology, research, or shared values. Support behind technology-enabled learning in classrooms has reinforced the trend toward open communities and university consortia, as educators and administrators recognize collective action as a sustainable method of supporting upgrades in technological infrastructure and IT services.
So far cross-institutional collab. has been slow to grow. - MarwinBritto MarwinBritto Oct 1, 2016 Academic and research libraries are very engaged in consortial arrangements out of necessity---tremendous increases in publisher costs and diminished state budgets. | Yes, libraries are moving this way out of necessity, but I think that smaller schools may need move this way as well for similar reasons. There are already successful examples where this has been happening for years--the 5 colleges in Western Massachusetts allow students to take certain courses across the five schools.- anthony.helm anthony.helm Oct 2, 2016
My favorite exceptional example is increasing connections between California State University campuses and local high schools. - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Sep 9, 2016 1-3 years - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Sep 11, 2016 - helga helga Sep 19, 2016
I also agree that cross-institutional collaboration must see more cases and is on the rise. - rc_sharma rc_sharma Oct 2, 2016
I think that we should be challenging ourselves to find cross sector institutional collaboration (i.e. pathways) as well as in-sector - kevin_ashford_rowe kevin_ashford_rowe Sep 19, 2016 - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 5, 2016
There also is international cooperation to take into consideration. This of course covers much more challenges than building national 'joint ventures' - not last regarding teaching and learning culture. - ole ole Sep 19, 2016OntarioLearn is a great example of cross-institution collaboration for college-level online courses with increasing enrollments over two decades. Ontario universities are now focusing efforts in this direction also with the newly established eCampusOntario 1-3 yrs. - bsmith bsmith Sep 24, 2016 Yes, eCampus Ontario is a great catalyst to push institutions to collaborate even more in the development of online resources, and the new Research and Innovation Call this year by eCampusOntario will push even more this cross-institution collaboration to ensure the quality of the online resources being develop.- agermain agermain Sep 26, 2016 I think that the technologies available are likely to help this Cross Institution Collaboration grow. Not the LMS, but the cloud structure, the blockchain, and micro-credentialing will increase the ease with which learners can access faculty and gain knowledge and skills in this kind of collaboration. (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016)
For the next one to three years we will see faculty from different institutions creating common resources for the students due to the implementation of the flipped learning model. For instance, faculty sharing the same or almost same course in several jesuits universities, have flipped the classroom by creating and curating a pool of contents to build a common virtual learning space for individual instruction. Faculty of each university then, could guide on their own way the presencial small group sessions. I guess that this could be the seed to a more deeper cross-Institution collaboration to become a kind of global universities in four or five years. - jnosanchez jnosanchez Sep 28, 2016.
Technology in my views has accelerated collaboration in many ways - across space and time. This Horizon report is an example. People who have never met, in different locations, over different time zones have been collaborating together to contribute to these reports. Is not that amazing. Universities organize tele conference seminars, virtual meetings, etc. and promote inter university collaborations. This will continue on many fronts. There is generally an openness in sharing and working together in this time and age( compared to the days of highly confidential/secretive research environments in universities of not even opening the door to the next lab). The millennial university, academics and learners will have to be collaborators. The socio-constructivist theory of learning seems to be well-timed for the current times. This also links to the point below. - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016.- MarwinBritto MarwinBritto Completely agree with this; it's what I'm seeing in the work I do, and it spurs my learners and me to explore and learn in some very exciting and productive ways.- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 5, 2016 Yes, topical example of an effective model!
The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) is a consortium of 47 R1 research universities that is working together to improve undergraduate STEM education by developing and sharing professional development opportunities for graduate students and post-docs who aspire to obtain faculty positions with teaching responsibilities.- mreese mreese Sep 30, 2016
- MarwinBritto MarwinBritto Oct 1, 2016 I have found increasing numbers of funding agencies are requiring cross-institutional collaboration. - DaveP DaveP Oct 2, 2016 agreed not just. Cross sector but across industry and discipline.
8 consortium in France called UNT (Unviversités Numériques Thématiques - Thematic Digital Universities) have produced more than 30 000 OER ressources . Another consortium helps 50 universities to share their experience about Learning Spaces - Jean-Pierre.Berthet Jean-Pierre.Berthet Sep 30, 2016
In the Netherlands universities do cooperate on certain levels, they organize their IT-infrastructure through SURFnet (high speed bandwidth and cloud services among others). They cooperate applying for research grants and financing joint programs though NRO (a national organization coordinating research programs in the Netherlands). - M.vanWetering M.vanWetering Oct 2, 2016
More evidence of inter-instituional collaboration: CIC Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction. This project is in its second round. See the reports on the first round compiled by Ithaka Research: There are 20 institutions in each consortium. The project aims to revitalize upper level humanities instruction by aggregating need across institutions, enabled by asynchronous online courses. One goal of this project is also studying whether it saves money.- rebeccad rebeccad Oct 2, 2016

Instructional Design and Instructional Design Assistance
As the use of digital learning technologies become more prominent in higher education, and as the quantity and scrutiny of the quality of online courses and programs are increasing, instructional designers are becoming a necessary resource on campuses. Faculty don't have the time to keep up with the developments in digital learning technologies and usually don't have the knowledge of learning design necessary to design classes using Universal Design Principles or that must meet standards such as Quality Matters. - alexandra.pickett alexandra.pickett Oct 5, 2016 and openly licensed rubrics like SUNY's OSCQR. It seems likely that the field of instructional design will become more popular and increasingly important in higher education. Instructional designers will not only help with the mundane work of designing face-to-face classes and online classes, but will increasingly specialize in topics like flipped classroom design, online learning design, virtual and augmented learning design, gamification design, personalized learning design, adaptive learning design, and so on. While not a technology, I believe that instructional designers are a critical necessity in the age of digital learning and innovation in digital learning. Therefore, I would like to assert that Instructional Design and Instructional Design Assistance is a currently emerging trend in higher education, and one that will grown in importance and complexity. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016 - alexandra.pickett alexandra.pickett Oct 5, 2016 i couldn't agree more about the emerging professionalization and speciallization of the role of instructional design and the instructional designer in higher ed. I was the first online instructional designer in SUNY in 1994, have trained over 400 online instructional designers since, and have witnessed first hand the specialization mentioned. Here are a couple of cool historical documents: you will see in this illustration that the ID (instructional designer is central to the online faculty development and course design process. Here is an historical description of the role: While I completely agree in the need for quality standards and reviews at the course and instructional levels, as well as the need for faculty development support and professional development - course quality and effective online faculty alone cannot ensure high quality in online programs. We have created an institutional readiness program to onboard campuses into online education using the OLC Quality Scorecard. The OLC quality score card identifies 9 categories essential for online program quality including course and faculty supports.
I am in agreement that all of the trends mentioned above on this page are indeed important and are in various stages of implementation on the timeline. I would like to add the increasing use and importance of instructional designers in higher education to the list of trends. Where the rubber meets the road, in face-to-face and distance learning of all types, the advances in digital learning technologies is relentless. Most faculty are subject matter experts, not learning design experts. And especially with so many innovations in digital learning being implemented and on the horizon, the chief enablers of success in this age of digital learning is increasingly the instructional designer who can help to design learning experiences that employ the innovations we are "talking" about here in this wiki. In my experience at multiple institutions, even extensive faculty development often does not improve the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and accessible learning objects. To implement adaptive learning, competency-based learning, gamification, virtual or augmented reality, and many more digital learning innovations increasingly requires help from instructional designers. I believe we are on the verge of the age of the importance of the instructional designer. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016 This one really resonates with me, too; as I've visited a few campuses and campus libraries over the past year or two, I've seen a real commitment to providing space and resources for instructors who want to learn more from their peers about how to better incorporate cutting-edge instructional-design techniques into their work. Seems to me this is going to be a basic prerequisite for more and more learning facilitators sooners than later.- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 5, 2016
[Editor's Note: This discussion moved here from RQ2.]

Prioritizing the User Experience
User experience (UX) refers to the quality of a person’s interactions with a company’s services and products. The term is commonly applied to assess computer-based exchanges with mobile devices, operating systems, and websites. Superior user experience has been largely attributed to the success of companies. Easy navigation, digestible content, and practical features — among other components — are encompassed in effective website and database designs. The interface itself, however, is just one dimension of UX. Companies such as Amazon and Google are identifying patterns in users’ online behaviors to better tailor search results at the individual level, and direct feedback from users in the form of ratings on websites including NetFlix and TripAdvisor help companies customize content and adjust user interface design. The result is a more efficient and personal experience for users. For institutions, which serve up countless online environments and e-publications, user experience is a relatively new area. In the post-Information Age, there has been so much focus on data management that only recently have education professionals shifted their attention to designing a high-quality experience with the aim of helping researchers and students navigate massive amounts of data. - Sam Sam Oct 3, 2016
I'm not sure who originally posted this on UX, but I'd like to second the motion. There is a movement away from notions of "instructional design" toward notions "learning experience design" (#lxDesign) - a more comprehensive and holistic approach to digital pedagogy. As the name implies, Learning Experience Design focuses on the learner (not the instruction) and the learning experience (not necessarily a course). A distinct move away from "course design" and toward "experience design" broadens the possibilities for all parties. Just as a UX designer focuses on aesthetics, interface, interaction, and relationship - so does the LX designer, who may organize a learning activity across multiple systems, multiple courses, multiple institutions, locations, and time zones. This represents a broad and collective shift in teaching philosophy - a user-centered-design philosophy reflective of the values and techniques used in the UX field. - brad.hinson brad.hinson Sep 19, 2016- kumiko.aoki kumiko.aoki Sep 19, 2016 - ole ole Sep 20, 2016Well stated.- bsmith bsmith Sep 24, 2016I fully agree. Agree completely. - paulo.dantas paulo.dantas Oct 3, 2016The concept of Learning Experience Design also encapsulates the notion of individualized learning, the possibility to have choices in different learning paths, thanks to adaptive learning functionalities or just by choice.- agermain agermain Sep 26, 2016- jantonio jantonio Sep 27, 2016 Love it! (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016) +1 - Jorge.bossio Jorge.bossio Oct 1, 2016- rubenrp rubenrp Oct 2, 2016
I was at Microsoft last month and heard their dutch Education team talk a lot about 'learning experience design'. They push a collaborative implementation of the onenote 'notebook' product as a suited environment for teachers en students to interact with flexibility and elegance (as opposed to static older systems). Very important notion, strongly agree! - M.vanWetering M.vanWetering Oct 2, 2016
Thanks for this interesting post. I see learning experience design as aligned with the learner centered pedagogy. John Biggs in one of his articles suggests that learning outcomes are function of the learning activities ( which could be interpreted as learning experiences - to relate to the above point ). The focus of teaching is not in achieving learning outcomes as we may sometime interpret but in designing learning activities that could potentially lead to these intended learning outcomes. So the focus is all about learner experience - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016.
Regardless of terms used – instructional design, learning experience design, or others – the design of the learning experience is an increasing area of focus. Closely related to this is the idea of the "student experience", which combines the learning experience with all of the interactions a student has with professors and the institution from application, to enrollment, to graduation. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016
I guess I'm a little confused, or maybe not. As I read the insightful comments above, I see that there is the challenge of designing a "learning experience" for the student, but also that we create tools that either adapt to or can be customized by the student to optimize the learning experience for a very personal one. I guess I see this somewhat as a reinterpretation or evolution of constructivist learning. Then, the question goes back to the original comment that, at its core, is simply about creating better online interface tools that facilitate a better learning experience. - anthony.helm anthony.helm Oct 2, 2016
Even with the newest generations of students, interaction with technology mediated learning experiences can seem daunting and make users get anxious and stressed. EdTech people have to put a strongest emphasis in how students and teachers can really make the most of the existent and future educative technological platforms. The Learning Innovation Laboratory a the University of Chihuahua (LINNEA Learning Innovation Lab), is constantly working on testing of interactive VR and AR experiences, in the aspiration of detecting patterns and best practices to enhance user experience. - fledezma fledezma Oct 6, 2016
I agree with all that has been said above. I would like to add that this is fundamentally a holistic question that should not be confined to online platforms. Learning space design is equally important to the experience of learning. Increasingly, we will see a blending on the two concepts as the Internet of Things makes learning and its associated technologies much more ubiquitous. We tend to view these things through the lens of a particular technology but perhaps instead we should view them as a continuum of tools designed to help people understand the world. Some are more effective than others. Some are effective in one context and not in others. Part of the task now is understanding how all of these pieces could conceivably fit together. I get frustrated with people try to pigeonhole one technology or another ("mobile will change everything" - how? why?) without viewing how they impact the learner (user) or teacher (user) experience in totality. Just like certain rooms give off an ambience of creativity or conformity, certain technologies do the same. I think the challenge is opening up all of these things so that tools can fulfill the goal of "augmenting human intellect" (and creativity) rather than being a showcase for their creators. The user experience must be prioritized to achieve this goal. - tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 31, 2016

Proliferation of Open Educational Resources
Defined by the Hewlett Foundation in 2002, open educational resources (OER) are “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.” Momentum behind OER got a major boost when MIT founded the OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative in 2001, making MIT instruction materials for over 2,200 of its courses available online, free of charge. Soon after, prestigious universities including Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard University pushed forward their own open learning initiatives. Understanding that the term “open” is a multifaceted concept is essential to following this trend in higher education; often mistaken to simply mean “free of charge,” advocates of openness have worked towards a common vision that defines it more broadly — not just free in economic terms, but also in terms of ownership and usage rights. Open licensing software can be thought of as the catalyst for OER; open-source code is designed to be a blueprint that allows users to modify any design to custom fit their needs. 1-3 years - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Sep 11, 2016 The big recent trend in this field has been towards open textbooks, providing a direct and measurable financial benefit to students (from BC )
. However, there has been some pushback regarding the loss of open pedagogy with the direct replacement of textbooks-as-objects rather than a more nuanced use of open materials within a rethoughr approach to learning. (from Jim Groom Mike Caulfield in response ) - dkernohan dkernohan Sep 20, 2016
Several of us mentioned earlier the eCampus Ontario initiative, a provincial initiative to help faculty of Ontario Higher Ed institutions to collaborate to design and develop online courses to bring more choices for students. One part of the call this year was also to fund proposals to "create high quality digital course content that can be freely reused, revised/adapted, remixed, redistributed, and retained by other institutions to support online and technology-enabled teaching and learning, [...] to promote open content as a sustainable, innovative way to support teaching and learning". (quote from the call). I do think that this trend will go on growing.- agermain agermain Sep 26, 2016
There is explosion of information, and this includes open educational resources. However, copyright issues can be a deep murky water. This is probably taken care when done at institutional level- but may need support at individual faculty level. - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016 - MarwinBritto MarwinBritto Similar to traditional fee-based materials, I have found the quality of these materials vary. - MarwinBritto MarwinBritto Oct 1, 2016Models such as Open Stax and help improve the quality through peer-review and critical feedback/evaluation.
More than 36 000 OER are available in this national French Portal - Jean-Pierre.Berthet Jean-Pierre.Berthet Sep 30, 2016
In my experience, faculty members sometimes do not want to use open educational resources and instead prefer to prepare their own materials because they feel that it may mean that they are not doing their share. It is positive in a way because it indicates faculty involvement but I think that availability of OER may not mean the faculty would use these materials. I do not have numbers, but a sensible guess if OER are useful for independent, self- directed learning. OER is a great contribution to under-previleaged students. It will help to enhance learning out of class, at the global level.
Faculty also can leverage student assignments as a way to develop OERs. Students contribute to an evolving course text in which successive students learn from the work done by previous cohorts through course assignments. An example of this is Palaces, Temples and Tombs in Mesopotamia i, a course at Johns Hopkins University taught by Prof. Marian Feldman.- mreese mreese Sep 30, 2016
Combined with other trends (m-learning, blended learning, competency-based learning), gaming will impact (and probably replace) textbooks (see: ) - Jorge.bossio Jorge.bossio Oct 1, 2016
OER has much potential, but in my experience open textbooks are the most useful and impactful OERs being used today. A big problem in the OER arena is the availability of high-quality learning objects that are well curated, accessible, and easily found in a usable and copyright-free format. We need the level of emphasis we currently have on open and free textbooks to be focused on other learning objects. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016
I would like to build on dougs remarks. The problem is not a lack of content but the availability of a good reference description of learning (micro) goals describing the curriculum. Many (adaptive) learning companies in the Netherlands are building upon the work of SLO (a government funded agency) to describe these (micro) learning goals. Once these are in place all types of content and learning materials can be described by metadata to be suited to achieve certain learning goals. A Dutch publisher told me recently that their business is moving from content to the design of learning experiences. Content will become 'free' but designing a sound structure to achieve learning goals will become/remain a valuable service and the basis for a new business model for educational publishers. - M.vanWetering M.vanWetering Oct 2, 2016 This!- anthony.helm anthony.helm Oct 2, 2016 I agree.
Concerted regional/statewide arrangements such as the state of Washington’s Open Educational Resources Network and the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources for which governance and resources are implemented to facilitate the curation, discoverability, and adoption of OER in higher education have been key to some of the momentum gained in the implementation of OER in larger scales. One of the most important strategies is to implement whether computationally or via human intervention better ways to curate these open educational resources to ensure discoverability and adoption in large scales.- francisca francisca Oct 2, 2016
A future trend in OER might be a distributed cloud resource pairing of 'open assessment resource' wrappers for each OER, which would contextualize the OER into a complete learning object with an assessment purpose, method and scoring support (including automated scoring). There could be many OER-OAR pairings so that for any particular OER, there might be many assessment options that utilize various aspect of the OER to stimulate thinking, performance, communication. The goal of the new layer would be to prouce comparable group performances within each OER-OAR pairing so that emergent and changing norms of responses to the learning setting could be mined for inferences, feedback and improvement or adaptation of the paired learning objects. One object would have 'potential educational values' and the other would ba 'potential assessable relationships to those values.' The technology for undertaking this kind of schema would be snippets that any producer of OER or OAR could add...- david.c.gibson david.c.gibson Oct 4, 2016 Open Learning & Open Educational Resources (OER) Students are increasingly reacting against high prices for textbooks and teaching material, and open educational resources are becoming (via the efforts of the Department of Education in the US, and funders such as Hewlett and Saylor) a central aspect of this conversation. As publishers begin to charge for other resources, including those used in assessment, we should expect a response from the well-established global open education movement and elsewhere. - dkernohan dkernohan Aug 30, 2016 - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Aug 30, 2016 - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Sep 11, 2016- gilly.salmon gilly.salmon Sep 26, 2016 , - rc_sharma rc_sharma Oct 2, 2016 , - lkoster lkoster Sep 30, 2016 - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 3, 2016 The key is to address quality in addition to cost-savings. Similar to publisher materials, I have found that open textbooks vary in quality, although the process for evaluating and reviewing open textbooks appears to be much more rigorous in general than publishers engage in. Publishers are already figuring out ways of monetizing this open environment---"double-dipping" when publishing articles in publishers' open access journals and charging all sorts of article publishing fees is one example. OER is increasing in popularity as a way to provide students with free or reduced cost textbooks. I think free and open textbooks will continue to gain traction. But OER repositories containing bits and pieces of learning objects such as graphics, animations, tests, and the like, seem to contain a great deal of low quality content. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to find open materials one can actually use in a course. So before OER goes beyond textbooks to make an impact with non-text resources, we need better curated repositories and initiatives to incentivize the creation and storage of high quality learning objects that can be easily searched and with resources that are actually usable. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016 I agree. Quality assurance processes, levels of granularity to ease the use and repurposing of OER are issues still looking for solutions. - agermain agermain Oct 3, 2016There is however the issue of OER activity simply disappearing when the funding runs out - so, how to sustain OER? - nwitt nwitt Oct 2, 2016 - DaveP DaveP Oct 2, 2016 A great question. Will the answer be institutional subvention? Unlikely in the majority of cases, especially given austerity budgets.. Will governments? An open question.
How about corporate sponsorship? MIT is already trying this.
Foundations? They don't like to provide maintenance funding. - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Oct 3, 2016
How can OERs facilitate opportunities for faculty-student collaboration on knowledge generation? Ex: Palaces, Temples and Tombs in Mesopotamia i, a course at Johns Hopkins University taught by Prof. Marian Feldman.- mreese mreese Oct 4, 2016 opportunity for faculty to collaborate [Editor's Note: Added here from RQ2 discussions.]

Public-Private Partnerships
Public private partnerships in some context are not the perfect model especially when at times they seem to strip faculty shared governance structures, but overall implemented correctly they can really help drive the adoption of technology and innovation. This is a slightly older report from the World Economic Forum that highlights what these do in the greater context but there is no doubt that the models are maturing and showing some results (ASU is a decent demonstration even if one acknowledges the issues the contracts caused). Another article that may be slightly biased but provides a look at what can be successful. there does need to be some scholarship on this, but in the correct context, this can work quite well.
- sunay.palsole sunay.palsole Sep 29, 2016

Redesigning Learning Spaces
Some thought leaders believe that new forms of teaching and learning require new spaces for teaching and learning. More universities are helping to facilitate these emerging models of education, such as the flipped classroom, by rearranging learning environments to accommodate more active learning. Educational settings are increasingly designed to facilitate project-based interactions with attention to mobility, flexibility, and multiple device usage. Wireless bandwidth is being upgraded in institutions to create “smart rooms” that support web conferencing and other methods of remote, collaborative communication. Large displays and screens are being installed to enable collaboration on digital projects and informal presentations. As higher education continues to move away from traditional lecture-based programming and to more hands-on scenarios, university classrooms will start to resemble real-world work and social environments that facilitate organic interactions and cross-disciplinary problem solving. - kevin_ashford_rowe kevin_ashford_rowe Aug 10, 2016 it will be interesting to see if and how makerspaces form a fundamental component of redesigned learning spaces. - helga helga Sep 19, 2016 And all this should not be old wine in a new bottle - I know, Helga, this is not what you are talking about, but there is a tendency to unconciously translate old teaching form into it. For instancet here is a trend (in Europe at least) to use so called intelligent programs based on multiple choice that leads the student to now steps in accordance with his/her performance pepped up by smileys etc. This is as a matter of fact programmed teaching a la Skinner. Of course there are plenty of things that should/must be rote learned, but this should never be the aim per se - and that's exactly what happens. - ole ole Sep 20, 2016
- To redesign Learning Spaces you have to define how they can improve the learning experience. Pedagogy, technologies et spaces are linked : flexible spaces and teacher/learner friendly technologies have to serve teacher pedagogical goals. Two kind of learning Spaces : Formal Learning Spaces (associated with clearly defined learning activities and group activities) and informal Learning Spaces (for individual or small group work). Such spaces can be found inside or outside universities (libraries, coworking places, fablabs, etc..) - Jean-Pierre.Berthet Jean-Pierre.Berthet Sep 16, 2016 . - lkoster lkoster Oct 3, 2016
I have raised this point in RQ4. Because I see that this is cost intensive and a measure to be taken at a system/institutional level- which can be an impediment than acceleration. But we can choose to also see this as potential/possibility. - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016
It is crucial to involve the students in the redesign of LSp - even though we can discuss whether ord not they are as IT knowlegeable, they are the ones whose wishes and needs will form the future, and as I mentioned somewhere else, we must be cautious not to teach the students/let them learn on the basis of our past. - ole ole Sep 20, 2016 Am seeing these trends in a number of places in the UK - cheap borrowing has lead to an investment in campus infrastructure, and old orthodoxies (lecture theaters?) are being questioned - dkernohan dkernohan Sep 20, 2016
All valid points here, and learning spaces have been in the top 5 priorities for many campuses in the US in the last 5 years. See Educause top 10 trends in Higher Ed. At this point the ideas and expertise around learning spaces have been well developed and I do believe that there is a greater awareness among executive campus leadership around the need for a new design for learning spaces. Budget continues to be an issue in terms of what and when gets renovated. Making changes (remodeling) spaces on campus does not always lead to changes in pedagogy and/or teaching practices. Further there needs to be more evidence collected and shared for the impact of new learning space. In a digital age of wearable tech and Internet of Things it is time that we actually have our classroom become "smart" and be able to record more bio, environment and other feedback. Finally, I do believe that the focus should shift from simply re-designing learning space to pairing this with faculty development, curriculum redesign and focus on incorporated new participatory practices. There needs to be a much stronger emphasis on how newly renovated and designed spaces are leveraged to encourage positive changes in the teaching and learning environment. If you probe deeper you will see that many schools renovate with the goal to increase enrollment and the appeal of their campus compared to peer institutions rather than directly impact teaching and learning. There are notable exceptions. Involving both faculty and students in the early stages of the process is critical in grasping the potential of newly designed learning spaces. Rethinking the curriculum and the tools we can use in these spaces should be a process parallel to rethinking the physical space of the campus. - mayaig mayaig Sep 25, 2016 Ditto to this comment. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016 Another ditto; very important, game-changing trend- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 5, 2016
Yes, redesigning learning spaces will have an impact (has an impact) on effective and quality learning experience if combined with relevant faculty development, which will lead to a progressive shift in the culture of teaching and learning. In Canada more and more universities are investing in new infrastructure and buildings where teaching and learning spaces, formal and informal learning spaces, are rethought completely (Queens U (, Laurier U, McMaster (, Ottawa, Calgary (, etc...). However funding and priorities are still an issue and the conflictual forces between willing to increase number of seats to accommodate growing enrollment and pedagogical considerations for collaborative, participative, active, problem-based learning still a strong reality.- agermain agermain Sep 27, 2016
One important thing about redefining learning spaces is to consider not only the definition of the physical space. In some projects we are using three dimensions that can be aplied to the learning space definition: Accesibility, Negotiation and Certainty. Depending on the interaction's needs (goals, competences and so on) we can choose the level of each factor we need and define the physical space disposal, the virtual interactivity needed and the student implication. - jnosanchez jnosanchez Sep 27, 2016
Learning space design is vital, it doesnt need to reflect the googleplex or campus type spaces like Apple, but requires a democratization of space, students need to be able to reconfigure space, remove hierarchies but also reflect the world of work. External space and campus stories are important, the psychogeography of space in HE is important and requires further study - DaveP DaveP Oct 2, 2016 - fledezma fledezma Oct 6, 2016
I strongly agree with the above point: when redesigning learning spaces, institutions have to have to overcome fashions and trends, seriously and scientifically thinking what kind of configuration can really potentiate user experience and learning value. In countries like Mexico, where budget is always an important constraint, institutions will have to be as creative as possible, in terms of reusing and adapting existent spaces and equipment, in order to meet the new education challenges and scenarios. - fledezma fledezma Oct 6, 2016
Amphitheater classrooms are difficult to redesign compared to the standard rectangular box that defines many teaching rooms. Yet it is likely that all of our campuses have many of these "classrooms" designed to accommodate large introductory courses. What is the psychogeography of these learning spaces? Can the space be improved to facilitate better learning outcomes? Or, is it a matter of doing one's best to redesign the activities that occur in these auditoriums? The purpose, presumably, of these large teaching spaces is to save money on teaching (and possibly to help weed out weaker students who are challenged to succeed in these environments). Therefore, don't these spaces present immense challenges for any conversation around redesigning learning spaces? Or, can we point to specific successful strategies for teaching in or redesigning these spaces?- anthony.helm anthony.helm Oct 2, 2016
Part of the Teaching Innovation Lab concept will be rapid iteration of learning spaces coupled with evaluation of their efficacy. tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 28, 2016

Rethinking How Institutions Work
There is a focused movement to reinvent the traditional classroom paradigm and rearrange the entire formal education experience — a trend that is largely being driven by the influence of innovative learning approaches. Methods such as project- and challenge-based learning call for structures that enable students to move from one learning activity to another more organically, removing the limitations of seemingly disparate disciplines. The multidisciplinary nature of these contemporary approaches has popularized the creative application of technology and fostered innovative designs of institutional models that link each class and subject matter to one another. As learning becomes more fluid and student-centered, some education leaders believe that schedules should be more flexible to allow opportunities for authentic learning to take place and ample room for independent study. Changing how learning takes place in classrooms is also requiring shifts in the business models of institutions, which are increasingly becoming more agile and open to trying new approaches.- kevin_ashford_rowe kevin_ashford_rowe Aug 15, 2016 The sooner the better - ole ole Sep 11, 2016 - helga helga Sep 19, 2016 - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Sep 19, 2016- kumiko.aoki kumiko.aoki Sep 19, 2016- jantonio jantonio Sep 27, 2016 if you see an institution as "a thing that provides what academics need to teach and research" then it is clear we have serious issues - dkernohan dkernohan Sep 20, 2016 I would add that this reinvention of the traditional classroom paradigm is not just driven by the influence of innovative learning approches but also by a demand by students and by employers to bring more authenticity, reality in the classroom.
If we consider that there has not yet been an 'uber moment' in higher education, the rethinking that might be needed has yet to begin. Uber does not own cars, does not hire drivers, desn not own the street maps that form a foundational technology of the whole system, and does not own the financial transactions or tools that make the whole system work. What is the analogue in higher education for this kind of leveraging of existing infrastructure? What are the existing infrastructures that higher educaiton COULD leverage if it was rethinking how the institution works? Will there be 'uber moments' in all the major dimensions of the services delivery of higher education (e.g. Content, Learning Interactions, Assessment, Credentialing, Support and Technology) and how do tyhese opportunities to rethink higher education potentially impact the learning journey from potential students to world and work-ready graduates? - david.c.gibson david.c.gibson Oct 4, 2016
Problem-based and projects-based pedagogies, makerspaces environments, competency-based approaches, which are more and more present in Higher Ed programs reflect this desire and need to be more engaged, active in their learning, and to bridge what they learn to a reality they can experience and to competences that they can demonstrate. The 'Curtin Challenge' platform ( is an example of a scalble, game-based delivery platform that has engaged over 10,000 students in self-directed exploration of Leadership, Careers and English learning engagements dlievered on mobile devices. Team learning functions and automated assessments are on its roadmap for completion by the end of 2016. - david.c.gibson david.c.gibson Oct 4, 2016
These types of approaches forces institutions to rethink what they do. A simple example is how a competency-based approach forces institution to rethink the notion of course credit (linked to time spent in a course) and explore the notion of credentials linked to a competence that is being demonstrated. This can truly change the way our institutions work.- agermain agermain Sep 27, 2016 - Jean-Pierre.Berthet Jean-Pierre.Berthet Oct 2, 2016
I agree with this point- however I see this as a slow change- and hence would not consider it an acceleration factor. In general, factors that need system/institutional level changes are the slowest in my views. However, idealistically speaking, rethinking how institutions work would certainly help. - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016
Agree with at least two of the comments above here-- one key area that has been written about a lot relates to the "unbundling of higher education" (Ryan Craig, College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of Higher Education
and Craig's key role in University Ventures Fund
( Similar but not identical issues in Kevin Carey's The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere.
Some have connected these ideas to the Baby Boomer generation (as one boomer, not sure if I agree or not:
Having just come back from an Education Investor Summit of two ed/higher ed tech accelerators (Village Capital and Michelson Runway):
where a major focus was on use of various technologies to improve the college-to-jobs
and college-to-careers connections, increasing attention is going to be given to the internal and external role of colleges/universities as institutions that are clearly
part of a community, research, knowledge and market service ecosystem. A major concern of most undergraduates entering college now is, "Will I be able to
get a job if I complete my degree?"--but I think a better question would be, "How do I best prepare myself for a world in which I may have as many as 10-12 different
jobs by the time I'm 40" (statistic was from US Dept of Labor about 4-5 years ago)...All of this is going to require some major re-thinking of the value of "courses"
and their associated units, online, hybrid or in person--and how much co-op /internship/externship and 21st c skills development/work experience are part of every
undergraduate (and graduate) degree.- ted ted Oct 1, 2016
I agree with some of the previous comments and mostly that the change is coming slowly, however there are some early examples to point out. Many institutions are introducing concentrations , minors and even majors and programs at are more accelerated pace in an effort to respond to market trends. This allow students to have more choice and flexibility in crafting their own studies. Since, some of these fields require new expertise this also bring more practitioners as adjuncts on campus. Further, more students are supplementing their studies with online and onsite courses offered by a variety of providers from accredited institutions, professional organizations withing specific areas ( Google for Tech, Not-for-profits for social issues, etc) to participating in hackatons or other project based learning activities. Blended learning design and online collaborative tools are powering this trend. The next phase will be to figure out how to account for these activities both withing the students academic assessment and portfolios as well as produce an accepted evidence for future employers.There is also a proliferation of certificate programs as a gateway to both the undergraduate and graduate programs. HigherEd institutions are bringing high-school students on campus through summer and year-long programs. Graduate degree institutions are offering certificate programs, that offer acquiring new skills at a faster pace and at a significantly lower cost compared to full-term graduate programs.- mayaig mayaig Oct 2, 2016
Rethinking is a key element of every Horizon Project report I've read and to which I've contributed, so it's no surprise to me that it would be here. We might as well just rename our reports "The Horizon Report: A Field Guide to Rethinking Learning > [fill in the blank] Edition." Given the rapid pace of change we face in nearly every part of our lives, to not rethink is to not effectively ride the wave of change into the sort of future we want to create and relish.- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 5, 2016

Rise of New Forms of Interdisciplinary Studies
According to the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, multidisciplinary research refers to concurrent exploration and activities in seemingly disparate fields. Digital humanities and computational social science research approaches are opening up pioneering areas of multidisciplinary research at libraries and innovative forms of scholarship and publication. Researchers, along with academic technologists and developers, are breaking new ground with data structures, visualization, geospatial applications, and innovative uses of open-source tools. At the same time, they are pioneering new forms of scholarly publication that combine traditional static print style scholarship with dynamic and interactive tools, which enables real-time manipulation of research data. Applying quantitative methods to traditionally qualitative disciplines has led to new research categories such as Distant Reading and Macroanalysis — the study of large corpuses of texts as opposed to close reading of a few texts. These emerging areas could lead to exciting new developments in education, but effective organizational structures will need to be in place to support this collaboration.
I second the motion for digital humanities. - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Sep 19, 2016- jantonio jantonio Sep 27, 2016- rubenrp rubenrp Oct 2, 2016
Agree with this that new forms of interdisciplinary studies will be on the rise. This is already being seen in Singapore. For instance, SUTD has a number of interdisciplinary subjects as well as design projects throughout the undergraduate years. Interdisciplinary projects have led to innovative application of technology.- nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016

Rise of Authentic Assessment
As flagged in Horizon.AU, I think that educational technology advances, the proliferation of mobile devices, enhancements in speed (via bandwidths and compression) have brought us to a point where we can seriously consider 'authenticity' as an increasingly valid factor in assessment design. In line with an 'authentic' approach to learning design, we should be ensuring that the assessments that 'measure' these authentic learning outcomes are themselves, fair, valid, reliable, constructively aligned and as authentic as possible to a real world outcome.- kevin_ashford_rowe kevin_ashford_rowe Aug 9, 2016 1-3 years..especially important in competency based models - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Sep 11, 2016 could not agree more - agermain agermain Sep 27, 2016
An issue with this however, is that it reduces learning to that which can measured by algorithmic means - ie 'fact'-oriented content, compared with the critical skills of expressing inference, implications, ideas of significance. n.wright- n.wright n.wright Aug 22, 2016
Actually I'm not so sure that is so...I think that authentic assessment, at least to my understanding, is entirely consistent with measuring critical skills, as long as they have been appropriately designed into the learning outcomes and are constructively aligned within the assessment(s). It is also very important to 'competency based' models of education where again, those 'critical' skills can equally be delibe rarely designed into the learning outcomes as competencies. In my own work and to assist some practitioners to engage I've started to substiute 'competence' with 'capability' I rhink that it's less contested, certainly in HE - kevin_ashford_rowe kevin_ashford_rowe Sep 17, 2016 I agree - but the danger that n.wright describes exists because easy and not least cheap solutions are attractive to many universities. We as educational developers (I take it quite a few of us have this function) must give alarm when a false direction is taken. - ole ole Sep 20, 2016
This point is discussed in RQ4 as well. There is a rise in authentic learning- and therefore an attempt towards authentic assessment. However, in my views, this movement is a not sophisticated enough. There needs to be more in- depth understanding of authentic learning and assessment, and development of guidelines and frameworks. We are still at preliminary stages ( which is good because there is potential :-)). - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016
I agree, we did a study to gather research on digital assessment and where 'shocked' to find that there is very little research available. Meaning that we don't now (yet) what digital assessments tells us about the proficiency levels of a student as compared to traditional testing. There is research that suggests that digital assessment is easily influenced by variations in fonts used in assignments, screen sizes, placement of illustrations with assignments, etcetera. - M.vanWetering M.vanWetering Oct 2, 2016

Rise of STEAM Learning
In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on developing stronger science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum and programs, as these disciplines are widely viewed as the means to boost innovation and bolster national economies. As a response to the focus on STEM learning at institutions, some education leaders believe there is the need for a more balanced curriculum that integrates disciplines such as the arts, design, and humanities into the sciences. This notion has fostered the STEAM learning movement, in which the A stands for “art+.” The company STEAM Education expands this definition to a fundamental philosophy that all disciplines can and should relate to each other to provide students with the big picture of how a wide variety of knowledge and skill sets tie into each other in the real world. In other words, technology use does not exclusively relate to advancing science and engineering; STEAM education is about engaging students in a multi and interdisciplinary learning context that values the humanities and artistic activities, while breaking down barriers that have traditionally existed between different classes and subjects. 1-3 years- deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Sep 11, 2016- jantonio jantonio Sep 27, 2016
- gilly.salmon gilly.salmon Sep 22, 2016 this sounds great.
In the US, I see the STEAM movement much stronger on the K-12 front. On the university level in the US the ideas around digital humanities and design thinking lead in the conversations on college campuses around arts and creativity. - mayaig mayaig Sep 25, 2016
I am definitely interested in seeing this gain more traction. In particular, I feel that there is a lot of interest in studying the effects of the arts on the brain. Lots of research into music and cognitive growth, and a number of engineering programs that cross-over with arts programs for better design thinking. Of course, we've been describing advances in science and technology with artistic words for years. The Wikipedia entry for Elegance begins: "Elegance is beauty that shows unusual effectiveness and simplicity. It is frequently used as a standard of tastefulness particularly in the areas of visual design, decoration, the sciences, and the aesthetics of mathematics." - anthony.helm anthony.helm Oct 2, 2016
Yes, this is also becoming prevalent in Singapore. For instance SUTD students learn Humanities and Social studies as part of say engineering course. NUS science students take electives of Arts subjects and vice versa. - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016

Students as Creators
A shift is taking place in the focus of pedagogical practice in schools all over the world as students in across a wide variety of disciplines are learning by making and creating rather than from the simple consumption of content. Creativity, as illustrated by the growth of user-generated videos, maker communities, and crowdfunded projects in the past couple years, is increasingly the means for active, hands-on learning. 1-3 years - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Sep 11, 2016 Agreed on all points. This also connects with trends of competency based education wherein students are (a) challenged and/or (b) rewarded for real-world experience. A shift away from content, and a shift toward experience. - brad.hinson brad.hinson Sep 19, 2016 - gilly.salmon gilly.salmon Sep 22, 2016I would add to this also the increased focus on students as problem-solvers as we support more industry and couse-based research opportunities that partner with community organizations and local industries.- bsmith bsmith Sep 24, 2016 Yes, project-based learning, makerspaces, competency-based learning, all drive Higher Ed in the direction of students as designers and creators.- agermain agermain Sep 27, 2016 Interesting trend given that some use of technology promotes the sense of students as consumers of online content. This trend offers a more promising alternative.- rebeccad rebeccad Oct 2, 2016 - lkoster lkoster Oct 3, 2016
We are witnessing the first stages of the shift from the campus with focus on academic excellent into the maker space and incubator campus. This is a strong trend across US campuses, the interesting part is that more and more often the trend manifest itself outside of the curriculum through student engagement and campus activities as well as entrepreneurial labs and makerspaces. While some course development incorporates project-based and experiential learning, students gather in makerspaces, labs and others to experiment, create apps, build things, find opportunities to partner with local organizations and business. Project range from social advocacy and environmental issues to creating their own startups. Campuses now have messages posted around grounds and on the web along the lines: What are you going to make at XXX? Entrepreneur competitions and issue related challenges run on urban and suburban campuses. This is partly empowered by the ability for students to not only use new tech tools but also build their own tech, apps, etc. It is an interesting way for campuses to respond to the realization that coming to college students are interested in not just attending classes but being involved in real-life projects and opportunities. - mayaig mayaig Sep 27, 2016 I echo this comment. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016 - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 5, 2016
Interesting point about how we see this in both formal and information, curricular and co-curricular settings; this ties to the effect of digital pedagogy breaking down the boundaries of the traditional classroom, whether face to face or online. I also see this trend tied to increasing push for active learning across the curriculum. STEM education is especially seeing an ongoing call for active learning. See also calls for authentic and applied learning, and AAC&U LEAP challenge which calls for
every student “to experience multiple, high-impact assignments and projects that prepare them to integrate and apply their learning to complex questions and problems. Building from these preparatory experiences, all students should complete a significant project before they graduate. Students’ “Signature Work” should become the new marker of quality in higher education.” - rebeccad rebeccad Oct 2, 2016
Makerspaces, strong industry collaborations and creating/designing products is certainly a trend seen in Singapore. There are also a number of local/international competitions that support this. There is also high collaboration across disciplines, universities locally and internationally. This is an effect of the more student centered pedagogies and technology enabled learning in my view. And this in turn will certainly accelerate technology adoption in teaching and learning. - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016
This is, in my opinion, the key concept! I think higher education needs to change the paradigm from the current attitude that students are consumers of content to students are the creators of content. The maker-space initiative, entrepreneurship efforts and capstone courses all cater to this ideal. How can we in HE help our student rise to the peak of the Bloom pyramid,
I believe that those of us in HE should build upon the foundation that precedes us in the educational schema. We should acknowledge that pre-college education has prepared students to “remember” and “understand” facts and concepts. Are challenge then becomes how we can move students to apply those facts and concepts, analyze different situations based on the facts and concepts, evaluate solutions that arise from the application of the facts and concepts and, ultimately, create solutions that go beyond those that currently exist.
As a science teacher, I struggle to accept that my students already know the facts and concepts. Daily my students demonstrate a distinct lack of knowledge and understanding thereby forcing me to shore up the foundation upon which I intend to build. My goal is always to move student up the pyramid but, in every school where I have taught, I find myself rebuilding a foundation.
I think HE needs to assume that the foundation exists and then needs to develop curricula that result in achievement of knowledge creation. That should be the goal of persistence and hard work. Students that possess that foundation can be successful. Those that do not, need to rebuild the foundation prior to embarking on the journey. If HE could assume the foundation exists, we can achieve the pinnacle.
Technology can help. It is a trivial matter to develop expert learning systems that assess the foundation of knowledge possessed by a student. If HE professionals could agree on the foundation, technologists can build or have built technological tools that demonstrate the strength of the foundation. These tools can also identify those areas where the foundation needs additional development. I would like to see HE require that the foundation be established. Only then can we move the needle from students as consumers to students as creators.
I realize that this kind of move will, likely, create strata of students. I am ok with that as a fallout from this idea. At the same time, though, I believe that if the foundation is present, each student will rise up the pyramid at their own pace and can achieve the top-most position. Some may do so very quickly, e.g., Mr. Gates and Mr. Jobs, and not need to “hang around” for the full length of time. Others may need more time and more opportunity to achieve the pinnacle. That, too, is ok and should be encouraged. The fortitude needed to create knowledge is the goal. We in HE should do whatever we can to empower each individual to accomplish that goal. And, technology will help. [Mike Kenney]
We are developing an array of programs around the West Houston Institute designed to help students become creators or, more appropriately, to enhance their creative potential. This extends from a Design Thinking Academy to MakerSpace programs to Fine Arts all working within the same spaces. - tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 31, 2016

Added to RQ2 New Technology Developments

Next-Generation LMS
There is a growing movement for online/hybrid pedagogy that is (a) based outside of the Learning Management System (LMS) or that (b) branches off-of the LMS (as an extension). This is in-part due to a growing negative perception of the LMS as an industrialized course production system, but also due to some inherent limitations of any online system. This has been explored in the past as a sort-of lego oriented approach to digital pedagogy, in which tools and systems can be combined in a number of ways. The trend continues with growing exploration of the ecosystem using open systems such as WordPress,, Slack, and etc. Many LMS vendors have successfully embraced the 'add-on' capacity of LTI, positioning them to serve as the course base-camp - but not holding anyone hostage. The progress of LMS LTI, movements such as a Domain of One's Own and Sandstorm ; and an anti-LMS culture continue to proliferate and guide us in interesting directions. Some might very simply call this open education, but there seems to be a growing anti-LMS culture and practice. - brad.hinson brad.hinson Sep 19, 2016- gilly.salmon gilly.salmon Sep 22, 2016- jantonio jantonio Sep 27, 2016 yes i've heard this a bit - we call it the 'bento box approach' , I cant get my head around how I'd do it amongst EVERYTHING else though Im open to suggestions
The "L" in the LMS is the most mysterious letter, as little learning really happens in the LMS. It is a necessary evil but in really is a tool for administrators. Most effective learning online happens in third party applications usually linked or housed within the LMS that provide opportunity for innovative activities and practices. LTI integrated apps or application that target specific areas are usually better developed and updated, compared to LMS platforms. The LMS continues to exist not because faculty adoption but because of fear to let them and students loose on the wild west of the web. Many institution are re-thinking the large investments made in the LMS but for data, storage and security reasons they remain in place. We are likely to see a lego-approach emerge in the next 5 years that will better address both personalized learning and emerging pedagogical methods - mayaig mayaig Sep 24, 2016 LMS also plays a major role in assessment of learning, especially when we think of formative assessment. - paulo.dantas paulo.dantas Oct 3, 2016
A good example of these methods and teaching philosophies were recently outlined by Adam Croom - Openness without Penalty - brad.hinson brad.hinson Sep 29, 2016
Let's see what happens with the NGDLE movement. They're trying to be more flexible, and could win institutions for another generation. Or they could fail, and campuses escape. - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Sep 29, 2016
I liked the title "anti-LMS", I think a lot of students and academics do not like LMS - but I seriously do not see this being taken away- this is an administration system. Sure, learning can be on other platforms but I think LMS will continue to remain as the administrative IT Tool for education. - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016
Perhaps an extensible, open, next-generation LMS is what is needed. One that doesn't cost institutions hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and can easily be expanded to include learning analytics, adaptive learning, gamification, and other digital learning innovations. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016
I would like to repeat my plea for the reappearance of the personal learning environment which addresses precisely this (important) point! - M.vanWetering M.vanWetering Oct 2, 2016 [Editor's Note: Great points. I retitled this one because I really think it's about what the next incarnation of the LMS is, and this seems like a technology development. Therefore I'm moving this to RQ2 as a new technology development.]

Added to RQ4 as a Challenge

Demographic Changes
The march of time is helping expand the use of technology in education. Consider Millennials, the famous/notorious net.generation, weaned on the Web and matured through YouTube. (We can take as given that this is a skewed vision, one with plenty of exceptions and issues, while also noting the general tendency of technology use to be inversely correlated with age) Those youngsters are no longer the scary traditional-age undergraduate student, but are rising staff and faculty, with even some administrators. Their greater acceptance of technology (generally) should make them more comfortable (generally) with using technology at their institutions.
They have to figure out how to teach and support their successors, Generation Z/The Homeland Generation.
On the flip side, technology-resisting senior faculty and staff are aging out of the profession into retirement or death.
Short version: like the song says, time is on our side. (If you want evidence for the age-tech dynamic, there's plenty of research. For example. Another example.)- bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Sep 29, 2016- rubenrp rubenrp Oct 2, 2016 [Editor's Note: This reads more like a challenge and will therefore be moved to RQ4.]

Economic and Political Pressure
Just read an article about UCSF outsourcing a bunch of its IT. Economic pressure (flat or declining enrollments, increasing cost, decreasing state support for public institutions) is going to be the #1 driver for tech adoption in learning. I don't think this is a good thing in and of itself. But it's a reality. Institutions are looking for ways to control costs, and that drives tech adoption. You wont hear it called cost cutting. But you'll hear the synonyms: Student retention, student success, student measurement, etc. But anything that use technology as a lever to reduce the cost of delivering a service will rise to the top. - david.thomas david.thomas Sep 19, 2016 Another field where educational developers must give alarm - se above - ole ole Sep 20, 2016- gilly.salmon gilly.salmon Sep 22, 2016 maybe its about efficiency (anathema to academics?)
Certainly one reason to push towards open education. - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Sep 29, 2016
I am not completely sold on the idea that technology adoption is cost saving in education. Technology adoption in education makes things efficient- and perhaps effective. But that also means that we tend to pack in more. Aside from that, actually technology adoption creates various other costs. Technology adoption in certain niche areas of education may be cost saving- but not in terms of teaching and learning in my view ( unless we are talking about online learning). Student-centered and technology enabled learning is actually more cost in my views. - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 30, 2016 [Editor's Note: This reads more like a challenge and is therefore being moved to RQ4 Challenges.] Political Pressure (this issue is closely related to the Economic Pressure entry above) As governments are increasingly (in the U.S. at least) unable to fund higher education at the levels they did 20 or more years ago, and as obtaining a college education is now widely perceived to be the new required minimum level of education by many, large increases in enrollment have conspired with funding reductions and increased health care costs to dramatically drive up the cost of higher education. When combined with these cost increases, the rise of the large, online degree-providing private institutions has caused (rightly or wrongly) governmental scrutiny to be focused on education. Initially focused on cost, the scrutiny has now spread to the area of educational quality. For many state institutions of higher education, especially non-research and non-flagship universities, the political pressure to be frugal, increase graduation, and increase quality is increasing. There are relationships between digital learning innovation and political pressure in many cases. Politicians often taut what was called, only a few years ago, "21st Century Learning". The pressure to implement digital learning innovations seems to be increasing, along with generally decreasing funding. This is an environmental factor that cannot be overlooked. - doug.hearrington doug.hearrington Oct 2, 2016 [Editor's Note: Combined with Economic Pressure]

Other Key Insights

Understanding the Future
There's a small number of universities (mine amongst them in a small way) that are seeking to 'understand' the future first before creating strategy. I'm thinking there's 8 sub systems that need to be 'futurised' that go to make up the Education part of planning. www.gillysalmon/learningfutures - see Education 1.0-3.0 diagram. - jnosanchez jnosanchez Sep 27, 2016 In my university we are also researching in the deep effects of aspects like disintermediation, unbundling, disruptive initiatives, global contents, machine learning, among others, before the definition of a general educational model. To understand tendencies and liminar points will be very useful to choose the right way. - gilly.salmon gilly.salmon Sep 22, 2016
I keep helping universities do this, so you can blame me. :) - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Sep 29, 2016
I think this trend needs to be at both an institutional "futures focus," as well as giving students direct experience with futures thinking methodologies and engagement with major global
issues/challenges in which they can be engaged in really co-creating the future, (as personal computer visionary and creator, Alan Kay used to say, "the best way to predict the future is to invent it"). The World Future Society ( has sponsored annual World Future conferences for many years--but often, high school, undergrad and grad students are way under-represented. Similarly, global challenges of organizations like the Millennium Project ( and its Global Future
Information System (GFIS: <>), which is a collective intelligence system used by over 60 nodes all over the world to help address and monitor progress on the 15 global challenges for humanity
<>, could become a focus of a futures consortia of universities, government agencies, NGOs, and businesses. Big competitive challenges like the recently announced MacArthur Foundation $100 Million award competition, "100 & Change," for solving one of the major critical problems of our time, is another grand challenge opportunity for such a consortia: ted ted Oct 1, 2016
[Editor's Note: Good stuff! I think every topic in this project is in service of helping people better understand the future so it seems a little broad for this to be a specific trend.]