Examples of Innovation in Higher Education

14 Examples Of Innovation In Increased Schooling

by Terry Heick

In 2015, somebody requested me what I thought of innovation in increased ed in an e-mail, so I responded with a few hundred phrases, which I added to in creating this quick weblog publish. I  simply went again and up to date the publish with new objects, a revised order, some hyperlinks for context, and excerpts from longer papers on innovation on the college degree.

I assumed I’d share it as a result of I haven’t talked a lot about increased ed, however for higher or for worse, it’s a large a part of what we do in Okay12. I don’t comply with increased training very intently, so that is all from 20 toes away. One of many large takeaways for me is how frustratingly little innovation there was in increased ed. If this checklist appears underwhelming, that’s partially as a result of underwhelming nature of the improvements.

Additionally observe, the purpose of this publish isn’t to showcase how modern increased training is however reasonably to level out improvements which can be on the market as a type of survey whereas additionally hopefully serving to pollinate the potential for innovation within the higher finish of the sphere and ‘business’ of training. With that in thoughts, I  began out with the extra widespread, maybe much less thrilling examples.

Six Frequent Examples Of Innovation In Increased Schooling

1. Competency-Primarily based Studying

Competency-Primarily based Schooling is one thing I’m listening to increasingly more about, which is neither dangerous nor good, however price understanding extra rigorously. In Making ready College students For A Fashionable Economic system, I wrote:

“Colleges don’t graduate staff, they graduate human beings. And simply as universities haven’t been ‘job coaching amenities,’ extra instantly, neither has Okay-12. The rub comes when universities search to revise themselves. The extra related Okay-12 is to college objectives and aspirations, the extra Okay-12 is on the hook right here as effectively to ‘tighten the curriculum’ to make it ‘extra environment friendly.’ To straighten and shorten the trail from pupil to ‘job.’ In considering like this, we’re reducing our sights from individual and place to job and market. After we search to coach college students, we’ve got to ask ourselves what we’re coaching them for, and ensure we are able to dwell with the results.”

Competency-Primarily based Schooling isn’t essentially an innovation, however a transfer to Competency-Primarily based Schooling can result in different improvements–utilizing expertise to personalize a pupil’s navigation of to-be-mastered content material, for instance. The definition of asynchronous studying helps us perceive the necessity for asynchronous entry to this content material, particularly when this entry will not be via a dated college studying administration system, however one thing extra genuine to the scholar, perhaps even accessed on their very own cellular units.

Competency-Primarily based Schooling, no less than when it comes to the training course of (versus content material), ought to be extra student-centered and environment friendly. That’s good. Undecided how that can translate to elevated data when that data (and subsequent certification) is what the college has traditionally commodified (and thus has restricted). Additionally undecided how this may assist one of many increased ed’s most pressing issues–uncontrolled price. One thing that makes one thing else extra environment friendly ought to have a slew of different constructive results elsewhere.

We will see.

2. Video Streaming/Flipped Classroom/eLearning Developments

From Zoom to Skype to Webinars and even dwell streaming on social media itself, video is probably essentially the most seen and customary type of technological innovation in Okay-12 and better ed.

Video, in fact, allows different improvements. An instance? The flipped classroom motion appears to, in pockets, be threatening the faculty lecture. As does–or ought to–YouTube. There may be a lot nice content material already printed and accessible, that curation issues as a lot as creation.

None of that is notably thrilling, actually. As in Okay-12, there’s a lack of management in higher-ed, with each college or league for itself. That is additional exacerbated by fairness points, the place, despite applications claiming in any other case, the standard of 1’s training is sort of fully depending on how a lot cash their mother and father make.

3. Open Curriculum

Open curriculum, like MIT’s OpenCourseWare, has been out for years however hasn’t disrupted a lot.

MOOCs are nice concepts, however evaluation and suggestions loops and certification are among the many many points holding them again. And anymore, they finish being the punchline of edtech jokes, one way or the other. I don’t agree with most of the grievances folks appear to have with them. It might be a matter of what sort of expectations you’re bringing to your analysis. Evaluating an unsupported MOOC from 2008 to an in-person school expertise isn’t apples to apples.

Examine that very same MOOC to a self-determined learner Googling matters or looking reddit for info, and out of the blue it’s not so dangerous. eLearning will finally be on the core of the college expertise reasonably than the perimeter, I’d guess, however that’s imprecise: eLearning how? What content material? What sort of supply fashions? There’s lots to contemplate.

4. Altering nature of school 

Whether or not that is ‘innovation’ that leads to a ‘leaner’ enterprise mannequin that gives an improved means to pivot or just an unlucky impact of an absence of funding is as much as you. Nonetheless, there’s a clear pattern in direction of adjunct school and a cellular, ‘international’ school with new contractual relationships with increased training institutes. 

In a 2016 article, ‘Innovation in Increased Schooling: Can Schools Actually Change?’, Dustin Swanger, Ed.D defined how school is altering.

Immediately, digital networks of data make entry to information and areas of specialty ubiquitous, notably within the scientific fields. Subsequently, researchers not must be in the identical bodily location to collaborate. This transformation will scale back the attractiveness of many universities for knowledgeable school. For instance, a college member could select to show at a small establishment in a rural setting, but collaborate on analysis with school in a big city setting.

5. Altering income sources for establishment funding

With the Coronavirus already having an enormous influence on the worldwide economic system, current makes an attempt at funding increased training establishments via state funding, federal subsidies, and different strategies are going to should be scaled up quick–together with vital cost-cutting. This makes ‘discovering new enterprise fashions for school’ among the many most vital improvements in a long time.

And eLearning completely should be part of that. Swanger’s article continues:

The 2008 recession had a devastating influence on the US economic system; and, increased training was not insulated from that influence. In 2008 almost each state within the nation considerably lowered state assist for increased training establishments. In 2015, the fiscal assist for increased training by state governments had not rebounded because the 2008 collapse. Of their 2015 report, Michael Mitchell and Michael Leachman cite vital fiscal realities confronted by increased training. For instance, “Forty-seven states – all besides Alaska, North Dakota, and Wyoming – are spending much less per pupil in 2014-15 college yr than they did initially of the [2008] recession.” So how dangerous is public funding for increased training? In 2015, the common state spending per pupil was $1,805 which was 20% decrease than the common state spending per pupil in 2007-08. Whereas most states had moved towards restoring funding for increased training, nearly none had reached pre-recession ranges. In reality, 13 states had lowered their funding per pupil in 2014-15 college yr. These reductions in state assist pressured faculties and universities, notably these within the public sector, to extend tuition at a higher charge than inflation. In reality, after adjusting for inflation, on common, public universities have elevated tuition by 29% since 2007-08 college yr. In some states, tuition has risen as a lot as 60% over the identical time interval. Elected officers and the general public have reacted negatively to tuition will increase; nevertheless, little has been accomplished to return state assist to pre-recession ranges in an effort to stabilize tuition. It doesn’t seem that such assist will return within the close to future. Donald Heller, Dean at Michigan State College, means that public funding could by no means once more be what it was at first of the century. He writes, “It’s fairly doable that state appropriations for increased training are usually not going to get well after this recession as they’ve up to now. Publicly-funded faculties and universities should develop modern options to scale back prices, shift revenues, and ship efficient applications utilizing new fashions and applied sciences.”

And this was in 2015–effectively earlier than the brand new financial realities of the 2021 funds yr had dawned.

6. Digital textbooks

This can be a comparatively minor innovation however an innovation nonetheless: free, open-source textbooks, digital textbook rental, and so on. If nothing else, this makes textbooks extra accessible than ever earlier than (very like MOOCs made programs extra accessible–for higher or for worse).

Different Examples Of Innovation In Increased Schooling

The next are examples of innovation in increased training however ‘lesser’ examples–that’s, examples that aren’t fully ‘realized’ or are early of their infancy or not widely-adopted, and so on. These have been added to the separate part as a result of I didn’t need a deceptive checklist that appeared to vow sweeping adoption of staggering improvements that basically are very slender niches that will not even produce the sorts of outcomes we’d assume innovation ought to.

That stated, innovation is innovation and the next are occurring in locations.

7. 3D Printing

3D printing has extra potential in increased ed than Okay-12. Or appears to, anyway. That’s pretty insignificant in and of itself as an innovation, however as with Competency-Primarily based Schooling, 3D printing might result in different extra disruptive innovation if it’s nurtured proper in a college context.

8. Use of information analytics

This is a chance to innovate in any respect ranges of training however increased ed is likely to be even much less prepared for this than Okay-12 attributable to non-standard curriculum and evaluation practices.

9. Free Tuition

See Stanford College. That is probably not sustainable on a big scale however an vital growth for socio-inequalities and essentially the most thrilling factor I’ve seen come out of upper ed in years: Stanford’s 2015 announcement that its tuition can be free any pupil from a household that earns lower than $125,000 a yr. They’ve not too long ago up to date the coverage and why this doesn’t get extra protection, I’m undecided.

10. Digital And Augmented Actuality

Doubtless an enormous think about the way forward for all training in some kind, however nowhere near prepared for mass adoption. One instance? Augmented actuality lets college students function a chemical plant.

11. Smarter Studying Administration Techniques

The necessity and the expertise can be found however for the time being, these are embarrassingly dangerous in far too many instances.

12. Synthetic Intelligence

Very similar to digital actuality, AI is a part of the longer term however not fairly there but. It’s quick changing into a subject of examine at universities the world over. 

That is certainly one of many for roles for synthetic intelligence in training.

13. New sorts of certification and levels

New certifications and college levels might embody these mashing STEM fields with the humanities, in addition to ‘nano-degrees’ and the power to ‘replace’ your certification and diploma over time.

14. New pedagogies

Once more, this innovation is absurdly low in comparison with the chance and wish however many universities are experimenting with options to lecture, together with project-based studying on the school degree, inquiry-based studying, the aforementioned competency-based studying, scenario-based studying, and extra.

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