General Session Materials

Executive Summary of Participant Input at AP4DE General Sessions, October 6 & 9, 2015

This document summarizes input provided in two open general sessions that initiated campus activities for the Action Plan for Digital Education.  Meetings were on October 6 and 9; each was attended by about 45 faculty and staff members.  Groups of participants were asked to identify themes that should be in such a plan, and then to choose one theme for which they then developed a vision and actions. 

Several common threads emerged in a variety of ways:

  • Support for faculty to adopt new instructional technologies, including access to instructional designers, training, and online resources, as well as incentives and recognition (incl T&P), and development of digital learning communities/mentors and research.
  • Students’ learning experiences should be highly interactive, engaging, rich, and well supported (including an introduction to online learning), and focused on key outcomes
  • Learning platforms should be accessible, affordable, flexible, highly interactive and fairly consistent from one course to another. 
  • Quality / effectiveness and affordability of online instruction
  • Analytics to improve the student learning experience
  • Open access / unbundling / flexibility / custom learning paths
  • Collaboration – institutional, disciplinary, industry, K-12, tools

Three groups encouraged implementing some aspects of competency-based learning.

Implications for institutional action included developing resources and other support for instructional design, analytics, faculty training, incentives, an infrastructure for 24x7x365 support, and communications and a community for digital education.  Policy implications included recognition of digital teaching innovation in promotion and tenure decisions.  Those who wrote on competency-based learning noted that a significant amount of administrative change would have to occur to support it.

Expanding the instructional footprint of the university with external degree programs, certificates, or corporate education was not a strong current.  While there was a general concern about instructional quality and assessment, this was primarily focused on access to instructional designers, peer mentors, and model courses; there was some mention of a common quality rubric / assessment of effectiveness, and of online exam proctoring. The creation of digital assets that could be used in a variety of instructional settings came up as a minor theme linked to micro learning / badges.

The input on competency-based learning suggested moving away from the three-credit course structure and on traditional time restrictions on learning, and suggested de-emphasizing four-year graduation rates.  There was a call for a reshaping of the role of the teaching assistant, and a call for explicit attention to the needs of a diverse audience for digital education.  Finally there was a call for Purdue to become a leader in research about learning, especially in the digital environment, and for that research to inform our instruction.


Introducing Hotseat

We will be using Hotseat, a Purdue-developed educational tool, to collect you input at our General Sessions. Please watch this brief video on Hotseat to learn what it does. Though it is very transparent, we will have technical staff on hand to help you use it during the sessions.

Mitch Daniels
President, Purdue University

Frank J. Dooley, PhD
Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning

Chantal Levesque-Bristol, PhD
Director, Center for Instructional Excellence

Gerry McCartney, PhD
Vice President for Information Technology & CIO


Data, Technology, and the Great Unbundling of Higher Education

Authors: Ryan Craig and Allison Williams
Source: Educause Review
Published: August 17, 2015

Digital technology has unbundled music from albums, television programming from networks.  Will it unbundle credentialing from universities?  Technology has the potential to make a material difference in the accessibility, affordability, and efficacy of higher education, but it also undermines universities’ control of the credentialing value chain.  This “great unbundling” poses serious challenges and opportunities to universities like Purdue.  How do we respond?

“At present, degrees remain the currency of the labor market. But as currency, they're about as portable as the giant stone coins used on the island of Yap. What if technology could produce a finer currency that would be accepted by consumers and employers alike?”

Normal 3.0 in Postsecondary Education: Gazing Into Higher Ed’s Future

Author: Audrey Penner
Source: The Evolllution
Published: July 30, 2015

The new normal, “Normal 3.0”, will challenge and likely change higher education’s traditions and practices with respect to space, time, and delivery.  The new normal will shift our focus from physical buildings to digital learning spaces. It will approach learning as “a continuous process as opposed to an event in a person’s life.” It will require the creation of “engaging curriculum delivered in multi-modal formats…when the student wants/needs it, and where the student wants/needs it.” It will, in short, foster a new paradigm of teaching and learning in higher education.   

“Normal 3.0 means in-time, on-time delivery of education when the student wants/needs it, and where the student wants/needs it. Normal 3.0 means some aspect of online learning and self-study. Think YouTube versus textbook. Normal 3.0 means using technology to deliver and measure education. Normal 3.0 means the credential or degree may not be the ultimate goal, but that gaining specific skills to do the current job is the short-term goal.”

Educational Intelligence Should Be in Your Vocabulary

Author: Max Woolf
Source: Eduventures Wake-Up Call
Published: September 8, 2015

What does “data-driven decision-making” look like in higher education?  Eduventures coined the term “educational intelligence” to describe “leveraging data at multiple points across the student lifecycle to make intelligent decisions to positively impact student outcomes.”  This short article explores “big data” in the uniquely layered and nuanced context of higher education.

“Education is not a means to an end, but a means and an end. Education has a customer that is also the product. . . . Education is beholden to students, parents, faculty members, administrators, governments, employers, and the broader public. To possess educational intelligence, you need to optimize business processes to meet revenue goals and concurrently improve student outcomes to serve the public good.”

10 Emerging Education Technologies

Author: Pamela DeLoatch
Source: Edudemic: Connecting Education and Technology
Date: August 13, 2015

As today’s cutting-edge technology becomes more widely adopted, educators would benefit from anticipating and preparing for their instructional uses. This article discusses today’s top technological trends and common characteristics of each.  The trending tools tend to allow for customization for each user, ways to share information and ideas with others, hands-on learning, and flexible learning methods.

“Are you or your students wearing your Apple Watches to school, and if so, are you using them as part of your curriculum? What about the use of digital textbooks, adaptive learning, collaboration with other schools or flipped classrooms?”


General Session - Photos

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