Earlier this year many predictions were made about tech growth trends in higher education. In January, the website University Business published an aggregate list of university thought leaders' opinions on what we should have seen this year.
Donald Farish, President, Roger Williams University, Rhode Island, Daniel Porterfield, President, Franklin & Marshall College (PA), and Paul Combe President and CEO, American Student Assistance, all spoke to affordability and the need for higher ed institutions, both private and public, to make education more accessible and cost effective for students. We can probably all agree that this is a trend we'll see in 2016 and beyond.
Mary Hawkins, President, Bellevue University (NB) and Carol A. Leary President of Bay Path University (MS) both spoke to personalized online learning and real-time analytics, to 'trends' that are integral to the Café Learn platform experience, and student success and retention. Add this to, Thomas Bennett’s, Chief Technologist, Delta College (MI) point on academic technology, digital literacy for faculty.
Campus Technology also published a list of trends to watch. Contributing to this list were:
Kyle Bowen, director of education technology, Penn State University
Josh Baron, senior academic technology officer, Marist College
Bob Bramucci, vice chancellor of technology and learning services, South Orange County Community College District
Ed Chapel, senior vice president, NJEDge, and former VP for IT, Montclair State University
Pam McQuesten, vice president, information services and CIO, Southwestern University
The panel detailed the following trends:
- Learning spaces
- 3D printing
- Openness (as in open source content and software)
- Consumerism (as in user experience, not monetization)
- Adaptive & personalized learning
Looking forward: Todd Zipper, President and Chief Executive Officer at The Learning House, posted a list of trends (some not so new) that are gaining traction now, and might garner more spotlight in 2016. They include:
- MOOCs, while not the bright-shiny-object of a few years ago, the experience is being refined and integrated into programs.
- Competency-based education, competency-based models, which teach students fine-grained skills rather than concepts, also allow students to apply their experience to their education. This model, which is ideal for older learners or those who are seeking specific skills, can be streamlined for faster completion times.
- Learning “boot camps” and nano degrees
Bernard Bull, the Assistant Vice President of Academics & Associate Professor of Education at Concordia University Wisconsin and author the blog Etale - Digital Age Learning also includes MOOCs and Competency-based Education to his list for higher ed trends. His list highlights:
- Self-directed and self-blended learning
- Customized/personal programming
- Virtual reality
We are proponents of many of the 'trends' and frankly see most of these ideas as progress in the digital age and not flash-in-the-pan projects. There are many changes happening in education today, as there is so much need for change. If we work hard developing good and useful tools, and keep our eyes on students and their needs, we'll create accessibility and pathways to both academic and professional success, not just in the next year, but beyond. What are some 'trends' or tools you'd like to use or have developed for your classroom?