In January 2013 I participated in a workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation to help establish a 10 year vision to reconceptualize postsecondary learning. This past week our co-convenors, Chris Dede, Harvard University and Eric Grimson, MIT, released the 47 page report that captured the results of that meeting. Entitled New Technology-based Models for Postsecondary Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Research Agendas, this is a comprehensive overview of promises, opportunities and challenges that will keep all of we post-secondary learning stakeholders on our toes for the next decade.
You can download the working draft of this paper here.
The basic premises addressed include the following:
- Advances in technology and in knowledge about expertise, learning, and assessment have the potential to reshape the many forms of education and training past matriculation from high school.
- In the next decade, higher education, military and workplace training, and professional development must all transform to exploit the opportunities of a new era, leveraging emerging technology-based models that can make learning more efficient and possibly improve student support, all at lower cost for a broader range of learners.
- Potential risks must be managed, including those arising from the disruption of established delivery economics in our current learning institutions, the variable quality of learning outcomes these new models offer today, and the technical and conceptual challenges of better understanding how to design, develop, and implement innovative capabilities in ways that reliably deliver on their promise.
Workshop participants developed a framework for understanding this sea change and sketched steps towards a research agenda for realizing its benefits while avoiding pitfalls.
Contributors to this report include Daniel E. Atkins, W.K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information, and Professor of Information and Computer Science, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. Lori Breslow, Director, Teaching and Learning Laboratory, MIT. John Cherniavsky, Senior Advisor, Division of Research on Learning, NSF. J.D. Fletcher, Senior Research Staff Member, Institute for Defense Analyses. Diana Oblinger, President and CEO, EDUCAUSE. Roy Pea, David Jacks Professor of Education and Learning Sciences, Stanford University. James W. Pellegrino, Distinguished Professor and Co-Director, Learning Sciences Research Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago. Bror Saxberg, Chief Learning Officer, Kaplan, Inc. James H. Shelton III, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement,U.S. Department of Education. Russell Shilling, CAPT, MSC, USN, Program Manager, DARPA. Greg Tobin, President, English, Math, and Student Success, Pearson Higher Education and yours truly, Ellen Wagner, Executive Director, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Cooperative for Educational Technologies. Arthur Josephson, Harvard Graduate School of Education, was our researcher.