Sessions seek discussion, ideas for digital education action plan

September 28, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —Purdue University officials are looking for bold new ideas to formulate the university's first action plan for digital education.

Two sessions are scheduled next week for faculty, staff, and students to brainstorm ideas for the campus-wide initiative, said Jon Harbor, director of digital education and associate vice provost.

"It's about a digital plan for the whole university, not a plan for any specific unit within the university," he said. "It's about all that we do in education and learning at Purdue and where we want to go in the future."

Sessions are scheduled on Oct. 6 and Oct. 9 in the Hall for Discovery and Learning Research, 207 S. Martin Jischke Drive, in Discovery Park. Both sessions run from 1:30-3 p.m. There is limited seating for both sessions and advance signup is required online.

"These are working sessions," Harbor said. "This isn't come and listen. This is come and participate. Bring your ideas and take part in an important discussion with your colleagues."

The sessions will engage attendees in small group discussions to bring forward major issues and opportunities for Purdue, including current digital education work and its barriers, as well as ideas for longer-term changes in digital education.

A flipped-classroom format will be used for the sessions, Harbor said, in which participants will review background information online before they come to the sessions.

Those unable to make the sessions can participate online. Virtual attendees will be placed in virtual discussion groups with their input to the sessions submitted through Hotseat simultaneously with input from in-person participants.

Comments from the two sessions also will be posted online afterward, allowing people to submit other ideas later.

Digital education covers any learning that is facilitated by digital technology, ranging from online courses and education analytics to flipped classrooms and digital tools in regular classroom formats. Flipped classrooms move away from traditional lecturing and promote more in-class work by giving students information to examine prior to class.

"There are many exciting new possibilities out there for Purdue, and our action plan will guide which ones we will invest our resources to pursue and develop," Harbor said.

Themes that emerge from the sessions will be explored in-depth, with a draft of the action plan for digital education to be issued later this fall. A final four-year action plan will be released and implementation will begin in the spring.

"The implementation of any action plan like this has to be built on what faculty, staff and students are inspired to do," Harbor said. "They are the people who will do the work to make innovative changes in Purdue education a reality."

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels offers his comments regarding the digital education action plan initiative at

For more information about the Action Plan for Digital Education visit

Writer: Brian L. Huchel, 765-494-2084,

Sources: Jon Harbor, 765-494-1255,

Michael Eddy, 765-494-4654,

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