Winterim 2019 Online/Blended Teaching Institute

The UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center (LTC) is pleased to announce that registration is open for the Winterim 2019 Online/Blended Teaching Institute. Due to popular request, the Online and Blended Teaching Institute will take place in an accelerated format during the 2019 Winterim term. The Online and Blended Teaching Institute is a series of interactive workshops focusing on best practices for teaching online and blended courses. By the conclusion of the institute, participants will develop a course module utilizing best practices for online/blended teaching. To apply, click here. The URL for registration is available at the bottom of this post.

This institute provides you with a foundation in the pedagogy of online and blended instruction focusing on key terminology, principles, and practices. You will explore practical guidelines for teaching online and blended courses, designing content for online and blended courses, and utilizing technology, tools and strategies to facilitate active, participatory, and engaging online learning experiences.

By the conclusion of the institute, you will have created an online or blended learning module which will include pedagogically-appropriate assessments, discussions, and additional learning materials. This module will be developed with feedback from the institute facilitators and your colleagues, and demonstrate what you have taken away from this institute.

Institute Objectives:
• Develop a unit/module utilizing best practices in online/blended course design.
• Demonstrate technological proficiency useful in facilitating online/blended courses.
• Apply methods to facilitate assessment and evaluation.
• Illustrate approaches to building community online.
• Develop strategies for effective time management.

Dates for the 2019 Winterim Online and Blended Institute:
January 4: Face-to-Face meeting, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
January 11: Face-to Face meeting, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
January 18: Online using WebEx, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Submission of final Institute content February 1st

https://uwwhitewater.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3f0THo4dRBWqqm9

TED Tips – Issue 14: Feedback and Speed Grader

This week, I wanted to explore some reflections on giving and receiving feedback in the context of an academic setting, share a specific tip as it applies to Speed Grader in Canvas, and finally highlight an upcoming LEARN / LTC workshop that will also explore feedback.

For feedback to be effective it needs a context in which learners have both the ability and opportunity to hear, understand, and act on that feedback. It should help learners reach a goal – provide clarity of what they did well or not do well, and how they can improve that work. Research shows that good feedback should be formative – it should help to improve performance or increase understanding. Feedback should be timely — happen at a moment when it is possible to learn and change. Finally, feedback should be descriptive – directed at fulfilling some clearly defined goal. Another way to put it is that feedback should tell a student what they accomplished (descriptive), what they were asked to accomplish (goal referenced), and what they must do next (goal directed).

ink

feedback can be painful

With that in mind, I want to share an example of actual feedback. It is fortunately not my onus of shame for personally receiving it; however, I was witness when my classmate actually did. It was so laden with ink it actually dripped red. It was fresh. This is likely not the type of feedback I would recommend using, but it is another example of how Fr. William Ryan, SJ made an impression on terrified students. I introduced Fr. Ryan in my Ted Tips Issue 9: First Impressions. This type of feedback definitely made a powerful first impression… and I apologize if I have inadvertently increased your anxiety!

What tools are available to assist in providing good feedback in Canvas?

Providing feedback in Canvas, has never been easier!  Canvas offers a tremendous tool:  Speed Grader.

Speed grader allows you to view and grade student assignment submissions in one place.  You do not need to download papers, then mark them up, and upload them.  Instead, you can directly assign points or use rubrics.  Canvas accepts a variety of document formats including URL submissions.  Some document assignments can be marked up for feedback directly within the submission. You can also provide feedback to your students with text or media comments.

You can use SpeedGrader to:

  • View submission details for each student, including resubmitted assignments
  • Leave feedback for your students
  • Track your grading progress and hide assignments while grading
  • Use rubrics to assign grades

For each student, SpeedGrader has five areas:

  1. View student submissions (text entries, website URLs, media recordings, and/or file uploads). Many file types are able to be previewed directly.
  2. Assign a grade based on your preferred assessment method (points or percentage)
  3. View Rubric to assist with grading (if one is added to the assignment)
  4. View comments created by you or the student about the assignment
  5. Create text, video, and/or audio commentary for the student

Video tip!

524 – SpeedGrader™ Overview from Instructure Community on Vimeo.

Upcoming workshop

If you are interested in learning more about feedback and strategies, I want to up invite you to check out then next LEARN Center / LTC workshop in the 2018-2019 “Back to Basics to Balance Workload.” Next Workshop: Focused Strategies for Providing Formative Assessment by Dana Prodoehl, Alexis Piper, Trudi Witonsky.

Thursday, October 18th, 12:30 – 1:45, UC259A (lunch is provided).  Sign up here:  https://my.uww.edu/signup/Public/Available/15834

At this workshop, panelists will draw on current pedagogy to discuss strategies for providing focused feedback to students at they are engaged in active learning activities. Some of the strategies will be time-saving. Others help instructors direct feedback in productive ways to foster student learning and development. An LTC representative will also be on hand to provide a brief overview of some of the feedback tools in Canvas, along with tips for utilizing them.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:

https://my.uww.edu/signup/Public/Available/15834

https://blogs.uww.edu/instructional/2018/08/31/ted-tips-issue-9-first-impressions/

 

Still Time to Apply for the LTC’s Spring 2019 Adaptive Learning Project!

Cerego Logo
Cerego
Adaptive Learning Platform

There is still time to apply for the LTC’s Spring 2019 Adaptive Learning Project using Cerego

Instructors participating in the adaptive learning project will receive a stipend to compensate the work they put into their course redesign. If all required components are completed, participating instructors can expect to receive a stipend of $1000.

Instructors have flexibility in determining the course in which to implement the adaptive learning platform. By taking part in the project, instructors agree to fully participate in, and complete, all project requirements. The following semester-by-semester breakdown conveys the expectations for participating instructors:

Cerego phone app
Cerego Phone App

Fall 2018

  • Attend faculty development sessions with LTC staff (dates TBD); and
  • Create, and present, a detailed plan for use that specifies how adaptive learning will be used in one Spring 2019 course.

Winterim 2018-2019

  • Revise detailed plan for use, and submit revised plan to LTC.

Spring 2019

  • Conduct at least one course using adaptive learning (as described in your plan for use); and
  • Complete early semester “check-in” form for LTC staff; and
  • Attend faculty development session focused on sharing experiences using adaptive learning (date TBD); and
  • Support the LTC in administering an end-of-semester (IRB approved) survey about the course to students.

Summer 2019

  • Complete video reflection on using adaptive learning in the course. This video reflection will be scheduled during late Spring semester or Summer 2019, at your convenience. The purpose of the video reflection is to share what was learned with other instructors who may be interested in using adaptive learning in the future.

Ready to get started? See the full call for participants, and apply here.

Need more information on the project? Attend an information session or contact the Learning Technology Center.

Need more information on Cerego and student learning? Read about how instructors at Western Idaho transformed their Microbiology course using Cerego.

TED Tips – Issue 13: 2018 NMC Horizon Report — Challenges

2018 NMC Horizon Report Challenges

The New Media Consortium recently published its annual Horizon Report. The report “identifies and describes the higher education trends, challenges, and developments in educational technology likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry.” This week’s TED Tips is part two of a three part series exploring the Horizon Report. This week focuses on the significant challenges impeding technology adoption in Higher Education. The purpose of this blog is not to offer or propose possible solutions, but to report the challenges.

These challenges were identified because of their potential implications for policy, leadership, and practice. The challenges identified are likely to impede the adoption of technologies if left unsolved. They vary in scope and complexity. The Horizon report defines solvable challenges as “those we understand and know how to solve”; difficult challenges as “well understood but for solutions remain elusive”; and wicked challenges as “the most difficult…complex even to define, and thus required additional data and insights before solutions will be possible.”

Solvable Challenges:  Those that we understand and know how to solve.

Authentic Learning Experiences

Authentic learning experiences connect students to real world problems and immerse learners in environments where they can gain high practical, lifelong skills.  The challenge identified by the Horizon Report relates to the increased demand for students with skills directly applicable to the workplace and the perception that graduates may not have the skills needed. 

Possible solutions identified include vocation training, apprenticeships, and course projects situated in the community.  Job shadowing programs and project based learning through startups have become more common.  Colleges and universities have the opportunity to expand beyond their traditional roles.  They could provide instruction for more adults making mid-career pivots retraining from one industry to another.  Community colleges may offer a model to help provide access to apprenticeships and more direct industry experience.  “Learning by Doing” is a key tenant of programs like the LEAP initiative that reflect changes in this area.  Rethinking courses and programs to increase authentic learning opportunities seems something that is already underway at Whitewater especially as it applies to being “even better together” and the restructuring of UW-Whitewater and UW-Rock County.

Improving Digital Literacy

Technology has become essential to success in the workplace.  Are institutions of higher learning creating digitally literate students?   Digital literacy, however, is not strictly technical proficiency and competency.  Digital literacy also includes skills like:

  • netiquette
  • digital citizenship
  • understanding digital rights and responsibilities
  • articulating the boundaries between our personal, private lives and are more public persona. 

Solutions exist to help prepare students for digital literacy, for example, the University of Edinburgh in Scotland has developed a self-paced course, “23 Things for Digital Knowledge.”  These types of skills could become more integrated into existing curriculum.

Society is wrestling with some of these challenges too.  Consider the implications and fallout of the recent Facebook data “scandal”.  The use of social media and online consumerism has created buffets of data; various advertising and agencies are hungry to sample those delicious data items.  This creates additional ethical challenges and potential conflicts of interest.  There are implications for policy and leadership as drivers from other areas (like the need to track attendance) often lead to possible technical solutions that could potentially clash with student privacy concerns.   

Difficult Challenges:   Those that we understand but for which solutions are elusive.

Advancing Digital Equity

Another area that poses challenges to higher education is ensuring digital equity and opportunities for all students.  While MANY students use devices like smart phones and laptops, not all students have access to technology devices or can afford high-speed data.  While technology needs have expanded, the creation of formal policies to ensure equal access have often not kept pace. 

Adapting Organizational Designs to the Future of Work

Do the organizational structures of colleges and universities align with the practices of the 21st century workplace?  Do traditional educational models prepare students for success? Colleges and universities are finding new ways to integrate faculty from distance and interdisciplinary programs.  Technology creates new teaching and learning methods. More flexible degree paths and credentialing options provide new paths and opportunities for schools to offer new forms of stackable degrees and graduate programs.  There are possible consequences to the new models:  over two thirds of faculty members are now non-tenure, with half working part-time, often in teaching roles at several institutions.  In addition to changes in teaching roles, other services and programs may need to be re-evaluated.   What does do student services, which include financial aid programs, academic advising, and work-study programs look like?

Wicked challenges:  Those that are complex even to define, much less address

Economic and Political Pressures

While we have already identified some of the changes to staffing and programs, other economic and political pressures pose bigger, more complex challenges.  Several institutions, both for-profit and nonprofit, have closed recently.  Others have faced consolidations and mergers.  The Horizon report does not forecast an end to higher education.  However, other trends affecting higher education like changes in enrollments policy, tuition discounting, and funding through research pathways have forced all models to come under scrutiny.  There are opportunities.  As was identified in the authentic learning challenge, industry is looking to higher education to provide different types of education.  Foundations are looking to new community models and partnerships.   Can individual institutions adapt nimbly enough to meet these challenges?

Rethinking the Role of Educators

Not only is the future of higher education institutions in question, the role of faculty is changing.  New models of stackable graduate school degrees, competency based programs, online micro credentialing, and flexible learning paths have forced institutions to rethink the role of educator.  With an increase in the use and demand of technology, faculty need to be more tech savvy.  Many programs are becoming much more student-focused; as such, there is more demand for faculty that are facilitators and guides.  The role and expectations of tenure track instruction is changing.

The 2018 Higher Education Horizon Report provides a look into the future. It is a rich place to explore ideas connected to the themes of Technology, Education and Design. These glances can inform our thinking now, guide our planning, and inspire our journey.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:

2018 NMC Horizon Report
Citation: Samantha Adams Becker, Malcolm Brown, Eden Dahlstrom, Annie Davis, Kristi DePaul, Veronica Diaz, and Jeffrey Pomerantz. NMC Horizon Report: 2018 Higher Education Edition. Louisville, CO: EDUCAUSE, 2018.
https://library.educause.edu/resources/2018/8/2018-nmc-horizon-report
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

UW-Whitewater/UW-Rock County Restructuring
UW-Whitewater LEAP program

University of Edinburgh, “23 Things for Digital Knowledge”: http://www.23things.ed.ac.uk/

Upcoming Poll Everywhere Scheduled Maintenance

Poll Everywhere is scheduled for maintenance on Saturday, September 22nd and Saturday, October 6th beginning at 10:00 pm. You may experience issues accessing Poll Everywhere during these times.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

TED Tips – Issue 10: Tips and FAQ’s from a Peer Mentor

I am always excited to start a new semester. This week, I want to introduce you to the LTC peer mentors and recount a conversation with Jodi Galvan from the College of Arts and Communication. Based on that conversation, Jodi and I share some frequently asked questions (and answers) from the first week of class. Finally, I want to provide a Canvas specific Tip that can help faculty meet accommodations for students that need additional time on quizzes and exams.

Peer Mentors

The LTC has peer mentors available from each college to assist with the Canvas Transition. These peer mentors are an incredibly valuable resource. While the Canvas 24/7/365 support is the place to start for Canvas questions. Peer mentors can help with transition questions, training Information and resources, and leveraging canvas for enriching teaching and learning. They are:

College of Arts and Communication

  • Jodi Galvan
  • Bill Miller

College of Business and Economics

  • Kelly Delaney-Klinger

College of Education and Professional Studies

  • Carmen Rivers
  • Eileen Schroeder

College of Letters and Sciences

  • Kris Curran
  • David Reinhart

I had the opportunity to work with one the canvas peer mentors, Jodi Galvan, during a recent Canvas Deep Dive focusing on Content.  She was effortlessly reminding folks about where to start for searching for information about canvas – the Canvas Guides.  I sat down with her later and wanted to get some more information about her, her passions, and tips she had for her peers about working online and working in Canvas.

Ted:  How did you get involved in the Canvas peer mentor program?

Jodi:  I am passionate about teaching.  Peer mentorMy first classes were on ground and eventually I transitioned to hybrid and then fully online courses. When the call went out for faculty to help with Canvas, I eventually answered it. 

Ted:  What’s the most important thing that keeps you passionate about teaching?

Jodi:  It is always about the students.  What can I do for them?  How I can help them to succeed?  The students are the most important thing.

Ted:  What the biggest lesson you learned as a teacher working online?

Jodi:  Teaching online is a different beast. It takes a lot of time teaching online to prepare and respond to students.  You have to be “ON” 24/7 and prepared to answer texts and respond to email and messages.  A lot of dedication goes into being a good teacher.  

Being a online learner takes effort too – you have to be prepared to look around, take more direction of your own learning, and be willing to ask questions.  It is more self-directed – even with the best guidance and help it can seem easy to get lost. When it applies to Canvas, take time to look around and be patient.  There is a learning curve for everyone including your instructors.  Nevertheless, we are here to figure it out together.

Ted:  What advice would you offer a student to be able to find their path and be successful when working in Canvas?

Jodi:   Start at the Home page.  Look for announcements and messages from your faculty members because your success is important to them.

They will likely try to communicate you to help you Look for other tools:  The syllabus tab has a list of assignments and due dates.  The “View Calendar” tab, on the “Home” page, also shows all of your assignments and due dates.  When on the “Home” page, be sure you are looking for weekly content, links, presentations, etc.

Be active as student…try to take control of your own education.  Finally:  READ!  

Frequently Asked Questions

Jodi was kind enough to help share some of the most common questions she has heard this first week, and they are incredibly applicable to both on ground and online courses!  We wanted to share some of the questions and answers and compile them for you!  I know her number one question was the same on Tuesday as students were wandering around looking for their classrooms!

Q:  Where do I go?  Where is my class?
A:  Start at the UWW login page http://www.uww.edu/.  Click on the “Canvas” or “D2L” button depending on what your class.  Then click on the big “Login Here!” button.  Enter your Net-ID.  Choose your class.  Ask your instructor if you cannot find your course in either Canvas or D2L.

Q:  Is there an App for Canvas?
A:  Yes!  Start with the Mobile Guide for students.  Find the guide that fits your device (Android or iOS).   Go to the Play store or App Store and download the appropriate app.

Q:  Help!  I cannot do something in Canvas I need to.  How do I get help?
A:  The Canvas Guides (found in the left hand navigation bar under the “Help?” tab) are a great resource if you have a question about Canvas.  If you cannot find your answer in the “Canvas Guides” then you have 24/7/365 Canvas support.  You can access tech support from the Canvas homepage or by going to the “Help?” tab in the left hand navigation bar. You can call, chat, or email for help.  Pro tip:  Chat actually works really well – it is immediate, interactive, and helps troubleshoot what you are looking for.  You will also get a transcript of the conversation.

BONUS TIP:  CSD Tip for student accommodations

Jodi shared another common question.  I have been getting messages from CSD for student accommodations (specifically for extra time on quizzes).  Here are the steps to add extra time to specific students’ quizzes or tests.

Steps:

  1. Click on “quizzes” on the left hand navigation bar
  2. Click on the first quiz you need to make adjustments
  3. In the top right hand corner under “Related Items” click on “Moderate this Quiz”
  4. Find the student who needs extra time and click on the little pencil in the right hand column
  5. Add the extra time
  6. Click “save”
  7. Complete the above steps for each of your quizzes/tests.

Final Thoughts:

I really want to thank Jodi Galvan for her conversation, passion, and dedication for student success.  I really enjoyed interviewing her for this article and appreciated her help in the canvas deep dive workshop a couple of week ago.  All of the Canvas peer mentors are tremendous resources and I appreciate their continued willingness to work with and support faculty!
Next week:  What are some efficient and effective communication strategies that can help improve student learning without overloading your workload!

Ted Witt
–Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

Resources:

LTC Peer Mentors:  http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal/peer-mentors 
Canvas Guides:  great place to start for searching for information about Canvas:  https://community.canvaslms.com/community/answers/guides/
Mobile Guide for student app: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-4048

 

Spring 2019 Adaptive Learning Project – Call for Participants

The UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center (LTC) is currently looking for instructors to explore the use of adaptive learning during the Spring 2019 semester.

About Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning platforms employ an online learning system personalized to each student. Content and/or assessments adapt based on student performance, providing feedback (including additional learning material) so students can better understand, and master, the course material.

Project Purpose

Participants in this project will utilize the adaptive learning platform Cerego, which is designed to comprise roughly between 7 and 10% of the learning activities/assessments in a course. The purpose of this project is to explore the impact of an adaptive learning platform on student success. Initial guiding questions for this exploration are:

  1. How does adaptive learning influence student learning?
  2. How does adaptive learning influence course attrition?
  3. How does adaptive learning influence student satisfaction?

Project Requirements

Instructors have flexibility in determining the course in which to implement the adaptive learning platform. By taking part in the project, instructors agree to fully participate in, and complete, all project requirements. These requirements include a series of scaffolded, interactive, face-to-face instructional development sessions. These sessions are designed to assist instructors in successfully implementing adaptive learning in one of their courses.

The following semester-by-semester breakdown conveys the expectations for participating instructors:

Fall 2018

  • Attend faculty development sessions with LTC staff (dates TBD); and
  • Create, and present, a detailed plan for use that specifies how adaptive learning will be used in one Spring 2018 course.

Winterim 2018-2019

  • Revise detailed plan for use, and submit revised plan to LTC.

Spring 2019

  • Conduct at least one course using adaptive learning (as described in your plan for use); and
  • Complete early semester “check-in” form for LTC staff; and
  • Attend faculty development session focused on sharing experiences using adaptive learning (date TBD); and
  • Support the LTC in administering an end-of-semester (IRB approved) survey about the course to students.

 Summer 2019

  • Complete video reflection on using adaptive learning in the course. This video reflection will be scheduled during late Spring semester or Summer 2019, at your convenience. The purpose of the video reflection is to share what was learned with other instructors who may be interested in using adaptive learning in the future.

Project Compensation

Instructors participating in the adaptive learning project will receive a stipend to compensate the work they put into their course redesign. If all required components are completed, participating instructors can expect to receive a stipend of $1000.

 Interested?

The Qualtrics application form is available here. After you submit an application, LTC staff will be in contact with you to discuss the next steps.

 Need Additional Information?

Consider attending one of the LTC’s adaptive learning information sessions.

If you have any additional questions about the adaptive learning project, feel free to contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Fall 2018 Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp!

Are you looking for a tool to facilitate communication and collaboration between you and your students this semester? If so, you might be interested in learning how to use Cisco Webex Teams in your teaching at the Learning Technology Center’s (LTC) “Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp!”

This fall’s bootcamp will take place in McGraw 19A on a series of Wednesday afternoons this October (10/10, 10/17, 10/24) from 3:00 pm to 3:45 pm.

Please see the testimonial below from a UW-Whitewater faculty member who piloted Webex Teams last fall (when it was called “Cisco Spark”).

UW-Whitewater has a campus license for Webex Teams, so feel free to bring your computer or mobile device to the bootcamp sessions and log into Webex Teams. Be sure to bring your device if you attend the “hands-on” session on October 17th! You can install Webex Teams on a desktop device, or on a mobile device. All faculty and instructional staff are welcome to attend the “Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp.” Registration is recommended, but walk-ins are also welcome.

Bootcamp Summary:

Wednesday, October 10, 2018: Why Should I Use Webex Teams?

This first session introduces participants to Cisco Webex Teams, and why instructors and students might benefit from incorporating it. Participants will be introduced to the concepts of “Teams” and “Spaces.” Facilitators will provide examples to help participants understand what Webex Teams is (and is not), how Webex Teams works, and the purpose in using Webex Teams.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018: How Do I Use Webex Teams?

This second session provides participants with a hands-on technical training with Cisco Webex Teams. Participants will practice creating “Teams” and “Spaces,” as well using Webex Teams to communicate and collaborate with others.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018: Now What Do I Do With Webex Teams?

This third, and final, session provides participants with a forum to discuss potential applications of Webex Teams in their teaching. Facilitators will provide participants with “best practices” for using Webex Teams based on recent pilots at UW-Whitewater.

Please note: There is no stipend associated with attending the “Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp.” However, if you complete all three sessions, you will receive a badge. The “Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp” is the same program as Spring 2018’s “Teaching with Spark Bootcamp.”

If you have any questions about the “Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp,” or any other LTC training or workshop, feel free to contact the UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center.

Fall Adaptive Learning Information Sessions

The 2018 NMC Horizon Report lists “adaptive learning technologies” as one of the Important Developments in Technology for Higher Education. The report lists adaptive learning with a projected 2-3 year “time to adoption” (for more on the Horizon Report, see the last “TED Tips“). 

To keep on top of this development, the Learning Technology Center (LTC) is currently exploring adaptive learning technologies. If you are potentially interested in incorporating an adaptive learning element into your course but do not know where or how to get started (or even really understand what exactly adaptive learning is), consider attending one of the LTC’s adaptive learning information sessions this September.

In these information sessions, we will discuss the nature of adaptive learning as well as detail some current adaptive learning projects on campus. Even if you do not want to participate in one of these projects, please feel free to attend and learn more about the possibilities of adaptive learning.

Upcoming Session Dates and Times:

Monday, September 17th at 2:00 PM

Wednesday, September 19th at 1:00 PM

Friday, September 21st at 8:15 AM

Tuesday, September 25th at 11:00 AM

(Please note that you will need to log in with your UW-Whitewater credentials to register for these sessions)

If you are interested in adaptive learning, you can also attend the ICIT Tech Open House on Wednesday, August 29th from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM in UC275, and stop by the adaptive learning table!

If you have any questions about adaptive learning, please feel free to contact the UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center.

TED Tips – Issue 8: 2018 NMC Horizon Report — Trends

Each year, for the last fifteen years, the New Media Consortium has published an annual Horizon Report. The report “identifies and describes the higher education trends, challenges, and developments in educational technology likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry.” In 2018, EDUCAUSE acquired the rights and plans to continuing publishing this important look at trends and technological developments that drive educational change. As the name implies – the report is a look towards what is on the five-year horizon for higher education.

This week’s TED Tips will start what will become a three part series on the 2018 Horizon Report. The Horizon report includes three main sections:

  • Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher Education
  • Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in Higher Education
  • Important Development in Educational Technology for Higher Education

This week’s post will explore the key trends; about once a month, I will report on the each of the remaining topics.

Technology changes:  timelines

Trends in technology drive our planning and decision-making. They shape our strategic thinking. Long-term trends take time to emerge. Mid-term trends shape a window three to five years from now. Short-term trends influence technology adoption now but may be fully implemented or replaced by other trends in the near future.

Growing Focus on Measuring Learning: short-term trend

In the context of measuring learning, the trend here is on the variety of methods and tools used to evaluate measure and document academic readiness, learning progress, and skill acquisition. Changes in the workforce change the skills needed. Data analytics has been a buzzword for some time; that translates into an increase in expectation around developing data systems to provide “evidence” for decision-making. Data mining, dashboards, and visualization software. We have already looked at how we are no longer focusing on “Learning Management Systems” and instead looking at “Digital Learning Environments”. One of the main advantages of this trend is to leverage analytics and visualization to portray data. The upcoming LEARN / LTC workshop on Efficient and Effective Communications Strategies has a segment on how to develop strategies to use that information in Canvas to help your students! I suspect that this trend will continue.

Redesigning Learning Spaces: short-term trend

This trend focuses on strategies that help blend digital components with more active learning elements. Our “classrooms” are evolving to support online, blended, and hybrid modes of teaching. We are concerned with greater mobility, flexibility, and multiple devices. What is the role of technology in the classroom? How do we use it to inform our design? What spaces can we use to encourage the skills for students to use and interact in their future careers?  Rebuilding classrooms take time, budget, and talent.

For example, several classrooms on campus have been recently redesigned to become “active learning classrooms”.  These spaces often feature movable tables and chairs, individual whiteboards, screen sharing technology, multiple monitors for easy content viewing, interactive whiteboards, and other technologies.  The newly redesigned Heide 105 opens this fall as an example of this trend and included input from teams from the College of Letters and Science with collaboration from ICIT, facilities, and campus planning with support from the Provost’s Office Classroom Redesign Initiative.

Proliferation of Open Educational Resources: mid-term trend

One driver in higher education has been costs associated with textbooks, materials, and fees associated with implementing software or devices. Open Educational Resources (OER) could be an answer to help keep costs down.  OER is “high-quality teaching, learning, and research materials that are free for people everywhere to reuse and repurpose”. A common example of an OER resource is Creative Commons. The Horizon Report itself is published using “attribution 4.0 International license” which allows anyone to replicate, copy, distribute, transmit, or adapt freely, provide attribution is provided. As such, I am providing a link the full report and the full citation in the Resources section of this post. Additional OER strategy could be using Canvas Commons where faculty can find, import, and share content for their classes. Another potential outcome of OER strategies could allow institutions to leverage investments and share content from courses and instructors – potentially building programs across departments and colleges.

The Rise of New Forms of Interdisciplinary Studies: mid-term trend

New maps and paths for higher education continue to be developed and expanded every year. The “traditional, single degree” path has faded as higher education explores new models. Recent innovations within this trend have included alternative credentials, badges, “stackable” degrees, awarding credit for real-life experiences, and on-demand training. Building these structures takes time.

Advancing Cultures of Innovation: long-term trend

A long-term trend in higher education has been a call to drive innovation and invention. This trend can been seen in programs that foster entrepreneurship, spark startup incubators, and develop venture capital and investment. Students engage in tackling bigger problems. Higher education is being called upon to innovate, invent, and create.

Cross-Institution & Cross-Sector Collaboration: long-term trend

The final long-term trend reflects an increasing global and interconnected environment. Faculty can work with colleagues across institutions, time zones, and continents. Technology provides more resources to support cross-sector collaborations. How do we prepare students for this new digital focused workforce? What skills are needed? How do we realign and rebuild our programs and degree pathways to align with these changes?

The 2018 Higher Education Horizon Report provides a look into the future. It is a rich place to explore ideas connected to the themes of Technology, Education and Design. These glances can inform our thinking now, guide our planning, and inspire our journey. The emphases will change over time. I appreciate the opportunity now, to gaze out towards that horizon, and ponder possible trends educational technology can have on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant
RESOURCES:

2018 NMC Horizon Report
Citation: Samantha Adams Becker, Malcolm Brown, Eden Dahlstrom, Annie Davis, Kristi DePaul, Veronica Diaz, and Jeffrey Pomerantz. NMC Horizon Report: 2018 Higher Education Edition. Louisville, CO: EDUCAUSE, 2018.
https://library.educause.edu/resources/2018/8/2018-nmc-horizon-report
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/