Keys Issues in Teaching and Learning for 2016

2016 Key Issues in Teaching and Learning Infographic

With a broad membership of over 350 institutions spanning a variety of Carnegie classifications, states, and several countries, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) is well aware that there’s significant power in community. This is why, for the past six years, ELI has surveyed its higher education community to determine key issues & opportunities in post-secondary teaching & learning.

ELI surveys every year the wildly complex landscape of teaching and learning. This year, over 900 of community members selected the most pressing issues to form a final list of 15. These key issues will serve as the framework, or focal points, for all of ELI’s discussions and programming throughout 2016. Here’s a listing of the Key Issues in Teaching & Learning for 2016 Infographic.

  1. Academic Transformation
  2. Faculty Development
  3. Assessment of Learning
  4. Online and Blended Learning
  5. Learning Analytics
  6. Learning Space Design
  7. Accessibility & Universal Design for Learning
  8. Open Educational Resources & Content
  9. Working with Emerging Technology
  10. Next Gen Digital Learning Environments (NGDLE) & Services
  11. Digital & Informational Literacies
  12. Adaptive Learning
  13. Mobile Learning
  14. Evaluating Tech-Based Instructional Innovations
  15. Evolution of the Profession

The high-resolution infographic is available here via Educause.

Latest Trends in Educational Technology Use Identified in 2016 Horizon Report

2016 Horizon Report

The New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) have jointly released the NMC Horizon Report > 2016 Higher Education Edition. This 13th edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education.

The report identifies six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology across three adoption horizons spanning over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders, educational technologists, and faculty a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The report provides higher education leaders with in-depth insight into how trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice.

“The release of this report kicks off the 15th year of the NMC Horizon Project, which has sparked crucial conversations and progressive strategies in institutions all over the world,”says Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC. “We are so appreciative of ELI’s continued support and collaboration. Together we have been able to regularly provide timely analysis to universities and colleges.”

“This year’s report addresses a number of positive trends that are taking root in higher education,” notes ELI Director Malcolm Brown. “More institutions are developing programs that enable students and faculty to create and contribute innovations that advance national economies, and they are also reimagining the spaces and resources accessible to them to spur this kind of creativity.”

[Watch the video summary]

Key Trends Accelerating Higher Education Technology Adoption

The NMC Horizon Report > 2016 Higher Education Edition identifies “Advancing Cultures of Innovation” and “Rethinking How Institutions Work” as long-term impact trends that for years affected decision-making and will continue to accelerate the adoption of educational technology in higher education over the next five years. “Redesigning Learning Spaces” and the “Shift to Deeper Learning Approaches” are mid-term impact trends expected to drive technology use in the next three to five years; meanwhile, “Growing Focus on Measuring Learning” and “Increasing Use of Blended Learning” are short-term impact trends, anticipated to impact institutions for the next one to two years before becoming commonplace.

Significant Challenges Impeding Higher Education Technology Adoption

A number of challenges are acknowledged as barriers to the mainstream use of technology in higher education. “Blending Formal and Informal Learning” and “Improving Digital Literacy” are perceived as solvable challenges, meaning they are well-understood and solutions have been identified. “Competing Models of Education” and “Personalizing Learning” are considered difficult challenges, which are defined and well understood but with solutions that are elusive. Described as wicked challenges are “Balancing Our Connected and Unconnected Lives” and “Keeping Education Relevant.” Challenges in this category are complex to define, making them more difficult to address.

Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

Additionally, the report identifies bring your own device (BYOD) and learning analytics and adaptive learning as digital strategies and technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the near-term horizon of one year or less. Augmented and virtual reality technologies and makerspaces are seen in the mid-term horizon of two to three years; affective computing and robotics are seen emerging in the far-term horizon of four to five years.

2016 Horizon Report Topics

The subject matter in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed by the NMC and collaboratively conducted by the NMC and ELI that engaged an international body of experts in higher education, technology, business, and other fields around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges and to identify emerging technologies with a strong likelihood of adoption in higher education. The report details the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.

Download the Report

Infographic: Keeping Pace with the Changing Face of Online Learning

Over the past two decades the Internet has made it possible for anyone anywhere to pursue an affordable degree; for adults to continue their education in efforts to remain productive; and for universities to reach a greater number of people who want to learn. Infusing online learning into higher education provides educators with innovative ways to connect with students, wherever they are, and offers incredible, new career opportunities. This infographic by the Online Learning Consortium highlights a few of these changes.

OLC Infographic 2015

2014 Survey of Online Learning Report

2015 Online Learning ReportGrade Level:Tracking Online Education in the United States is the twelfth annual report on the state of online learning in U.S. higher education. The 2014 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and co-sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Pearson and Tyton Partners, reveals the number of higher education students taking at least one distance education course in 2014 is up 3.7 percent from the previous year. While this represents the slowest rate of increase in over a decade, online enrollment growth far exceeded that of overall higher education.

Key report findings include:

  • The year-to-year 3.7% increase in the number of distance education students is the lowest recorded over the 13 years of this report series.
  • Public and private nonprofit institutions recorded distance enrollment growth, but these were offset by a decrease among for-profit institutions.
  • The percent of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face remained unchanged at 74.1%.
  • The proportion of chief academic leaders reporting online learning is critical to their long-term strategy reached a new high of 70.8%.
  • Only 28.0% of academic leaders say that their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy of online education.”
  • The adoption of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) is reaching a plateau, only 8.0% of higher education institutions currently offer one, another 5.6% report MOOCs are in the planning stages.
  • The proportion of academic leaders who believe that MOOCs represent a sustainable method for offering online courses dropped to 16.3%.

Download the full report [PDF] or the infographic [PDF], displayed below.
2015 Infographic

Click image above to enlarge

2014 Inside Higher Ed Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology

Inside Higher Ed’s third annual survey of college and university faculty members and campus leaders in educational technology aims to understand how these groups perceive and practice online learning and other emerging opportunities for delivering course content.
Faculty Attitudes on Technology
Some of the questions addressed in the study are:

  • Can online courses achieve learning outcomes that are equivalent to in- person courses?
  • What are the most important quality indicators of an online education?
  • How does the quality of online courses compare with the quality of in- person courses?
  • To what extent have faculty members and technology administrators experienced online learning themselves, as students?
  • To what extent have faculty taught online, hybrid, and face-to-face courses? For those who have not taught online, why is that?
  • How supportive are institutions of online learning?
  • Which should cost the student more — online degree programs or those delivered face to face?
  • Who should be responsible for creating and marketing online degree programs?
  • Are institutions expanding online learning? Should they do so? To what extent do faculty feel that they are appropriately consulted in this decision- making process?
  • How do faculty use learning management systems (LMS) and early warning systems?

Snapshot of Findings

  • Few faculty members (9 percent) strongly agree that online courses can achieve student learning outcomes that are at least equivalent to those of in- person courses. Academic technology administrators are more likely (36 percent) to strongly agree with this statement.
  • Asked to rate the importance of factors reflecting quality in online education, faculty members and academic technology administrators alike say it is “very important” that an online course or program “provides meaningful interaction between students and instructors” (80 percent for faculty, 89 percent for administrators), “is offered by an accredited institution” (76 vs. 84 percent), “has been independently certified for quality” (66 vs. 52 percent), and “leads to academic credit” (50 vs. 68 percent).
  • While a larger proportion of technology officers than faculty members say online courses are of better quality than in-person courses in a set of eight areas, in neither group did any of the eight areas garner a majority reporting this view. But faculty members thought online courses could be at least as good as in-person
    during class and 77 percent of faculty say the same about the ability to reach “at-risk” students.
  • Very few faculty members (7 percent) believe the tuition for online courses should be higher than for face-to-face degree programs. A much smaller proportion of faculty who have taught online courses believe online courses should have a lower tuition than face- to-face programs (20 percent), while nearly half of their peers who have never taught an online course (48 percent) believe that this should be the case.
  • More technology administrators (53 percent) than faculty members (32 percent) have taken an online course for credit. Nearly half of those who have taught an online course (49 percent) have also taken an online course as a student, compared to less than a quarter (23 percent) of those who have never taught an online course.
  • About one in three professors say they have taught an online course, with some variation across position type. Among those who have never taught an online course, the three main reasons they give are never having been asked, not being interested, and not believing that online classes have educational value.
  • More than 8 in 10 instructors say they have converted a face-to-face course to a hybrid course. The majority report that this conversion decreased face-to-face time.
  • Half (51 percent) of faculty believe improving the educational experience for students by introducing more active learning in the course is a very important reason for converting face-to-face courses to blended or hybrid courses.
  • Nearly three-quarters of faculty believe that professors own the online course content and material they create.
  • Less than half of faculty and technology administrators strongly agree that their institution offer instructors strong support for online learning, as measured by eight indicators.
  • Nearly all professors (96 percent) agree that institutions should produce their own online degree programs and be responsible for marketing them (85 percent).
  • About one-third of faculty strongly agree that their institution is planning to expand online course offerings, though only about one-sixth strongly agree that their institution should do so. A larger proportion of those who have taught an online course than their peers who have never done so strongly agree to the above two statements. Most faculty do not feel that they have been appropriately involved with decision making surrounding the expansion of online course offerings.
  • A small fraction of faculty believe that spending on IT infrastructure (8 percent) and digital initiatives (7 percent) is too high. Faculty are split on whether spending in these areas are too low or just about right.
  • The majority of faculty always use learning management systems (LMS) to share syllabus information with students (78 percent), record grades (58 percent), and communicate with students (52 percent). Only 20 percent of faculty members always use the LMS for lecture capture.
  • Only 15 percent of faculty strongly agree that digital humanities has improved their teaching, 14 percent strongly agree that it has improved their institution, and 23 percent strongly agree that digital humanities has improved their research.
  • The vast majority of faculty (89 percent) say their institution uses an early warning system, and 81 percent believe that those warning systems help students make significant learning gains.

The full report can be downloaded here.