Monday, August 22, 2016

Horizon Report 2016

Latest Horizon report is now available. Slight structural change in this year's edition. Instead of just listing the educational technologies pertinent to higher education and time to adoption, key trends and significant challenges to bringing about technology adoption in higher ed are also covered.

Short term impacts contributing to higher education's adoption of technology include the growing understanding on using learning analytics and the increased use of blended learning in curriculum development. Medium impact trends include the re-design of learning spaces and a shift to deeper learning approaches, All of these 4 are now realities at Ara Institute of Canterbury. In particular, TWO events have pushed the institution to change:
1) the earthquakes of 2011/ 2012  has provided impetus for re-development of the campus. Several new buildings are designed with 'modern learning environments' and the section I work in, Learning Design, have been tasked with undertaking curriculum development using problem / inquiry / project-based learning.
2) The formation of Ara through the coming together of the ex-CPIT and Aoraki has increased the institution's coverage from urban to regional. This pushes the need to develop programmes accessible to a wider range of students, across a larger geographical spread.

The report's summary of significant challenges make for good reading. The report proposes the blending of formal and informal learning and improving digital literacies to be 'solvable' challenges. I partially agree as both hinge of ongoing staff development along with scaffolding of students towards newer ways of accessing and engaging with learning. Therefore, we are on a long learning journey for both our staff and our students. For technology to assist with learning, requires capability and confidence with technology at all levels - institutional, programme and course.

Meanwhile, we are on the first steps for the 2 items on the one year or less horizon - BYOD and Learning analytics and adaptive learning. BYOD progressing with better access to WiFi across all campuses, movement of content to digital repositories, access for staff and students to Office365 and its cloud storage / collaborative working capabilities. Learning analytics needs work as we currently only have disparate information from various platforms, all of which are scattered and not linked. Adaptive learning is furthest down the to do / make progress on list, although we have started work on OneNote class notebook which provides the opportunity for just-in-time feedback, where appropriate.

The other 4 time to adoption itemss at 2 - 5 years - Augmented and virtual reality, makerspaces, affective computing and robotics take place in very small discipline specific niches and basically in 'watch this space' territory.

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