Research Question 3: Key Trends Accelerating Australian Tertiary Education Technology Adoption

What trends do you expect to have a significant impact on the ways in which learning-focused institutions approach our core missions of teaching, learning, and creative inquiry?

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NOTE: The Key Trends are sorted into three time-related categories based on their appearance in previous Horizon Report editions -- fast-moving trends that will realize their impact in the next one to two years, and two categories of slower trends that will realize their impact within three to five or more years. In your responses to the trends below, feel free to explore why or why not the trend should be in its specific time-related category.

As you review what others have written, please add your thoughts and comments as well.

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Trend Name
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Evolving Expectations of Professors
2014 EU Fast Trend: Driving ed-tech adoption in tertiary education over the next one to two years
The number of educational resources made easily accessible via the Internet continues to grow, expanding the ways in which people learn. Professors are now expected to adopt new approaches for the delivery of knowledge. Students, along with their families, are using technology to socialize, organize, and informally learn on a daily basis, driving the belief that schools should be doing the same. As there are no signs of the dependence on the Internet dissipating, institutions are rethinking the primary responsibilities of educators. This shift in expectations also extends to the ways in which professors use these tools; it is no longer as acceptable for them to stand at the front of the classroom everyday and dispense information. Instead, an increasing amount of instructors are using class time to integrate technologies such as smartphones, tablets, and social media into group projects and more hybrid and experiential learning scenarios.
  • There is still a lot of resistance from faculty to what many see as 'increased' responsibilities in terms of professional development. Many cite time as a key problem in developing their teaching to be more 'on trend'. I think we need to take these complaints seriously. The tertiary sector is increasingly casualised and when most teaching is done by people working 'by the hour' it should not be too much of a surprise that the investment in time is not being made in many places - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014
  • We need to be careful to acknowledge the importance of bringing staff with us who have expertise and careers that develop over decades. While many universities are increasingly using casual teaching staff, permanent academic staff with deep expertise in their discipline are still designing the courses and establishing the expectations for technology use. The challenge is how we provide all staff with personal experience of different models of technology use that they can use to inform their own ability to change teaching models. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014
  • ]I think that this is a crucially important factor in the whole educational technology agenda moving forward. I think that we still too often seek to de-couple pedagogical knowledge and application from technological knowledge and application where I am of the view that to be a valid 21st Century HE Educator you need to have mastered both facets. I am also cognisant of consistent feedback from Australian students, across a range of sources that paraphrases as: 'Your teacher don't use enough technology in their teaching, and when they do, they don't use it well enough!' I think that an attempt to draw a distinction between technological knowledge and pedagogical knowledge is at best false and at worst quite dangerous to our profession. - kevinashfordrowe kevinashfordrowe Feb 22, 2014- Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 23, 2014 Strongly agree here (- cpaterso cpaterso Feb 26, 2014)
  • Agreed. We also need to accept that not all staff want to develop the skills to engage with all of the innovations we introduce; and be sensible about who does what and why.- sherman.young sherman.young Feb 22, 2014
  • This is a huge issue. Faculty are under the pump to do research, be innovative teachers, design high quality blended learning environments, integrate technology, mentor sessional staff, work smarter, harder. Surely this is unsustainable and it is time for us to rethink how we organise ourselves and the work that we do. If we want high quality technology rich, pedagogically sound, blended learning environments that deliver quality student experiences, we are not going to get them with the current business model! - geoff.romeo geoff.romeo Feb 23, 2014
  • I completely agree with the sentiments from above, particularly the the concept that the current business model is not sustainable.- crocky1959 crocky1959 Feb 23, 2014
  • - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 24, 2014 Professors are perhaps closest to this issue, but its something all 'experts' now have to face - if the role of 'knowledge-keeper' can be done better by a digital tool, it will be - there are no surprises here. Energy should instead go into what unique services higher-ed professionals can provide on top of and curating the information flow.
  • We have to move from technologies being viewed as 'trends' and 'additional' to core teaching and learning - margaret.hicks margaret.hicks Feb 24, 2014 agree with all of the above - slambert slambert Feb 24, 2014
  • one of the things that is interesting with MOOC development is the return to course development partnership the way we used to with CD-rom based multimedia ed products, the 'professors' and the ed-tech experts work together and in some cases the ed-tech/designers drive the course development and use the academics as experts/subject matter experts as needed, which takes a load of work off them. The LMS has driven a "DIY" approach to eLearning but has it really been good for academics and courses/students? I have mixed feelings about it, it can be empowering for some but i don't see that very often - slambert slambert Feb 24, 2014
  • Agree with everything above. The key for me is that these teaching tools have to be low maintenance and easy to use. Technology that is unobtrusive, automated, and provides academics with obvious value with little effort will always be adopted over complex technologies. - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 24, 2014
  • We tend to concentrate on the person and have expectations of them as individuals and then design our professional development around changing the individual. I think the trend will be more to changing the learning environment (new spaces) and changing the curriculum (learning activities and assessment tasks) so that teaching staff will adapt to the new curriculum and learning environment or find they will not be part of the process. Once curricula are designed to be delivered using the technology and learning spaces make it impossible to teach only in a didactic way, then staff will find they naturally have to adapt to stay in the job. - geoffrey.crisp geoffrey.crisp Feb 27, 2014geoffrey.crisp

Growing Ubiquity of Social Media
2014 Higher Ed Fast Trend: Driving ed-tech adoption in tertiary education over the next one to two years
Social media is changing the way people interact, present ideas and information, and judge the quality of content and contributions. More than 1.2 billion people use Facebook regularly according to numbers released in October 2013; a recent report by Business Insider reported 2.7 billion people — almost 40% of the world population — regularly use social media. The top 25 social media platforms worldwide share 6.3 billion accounts among them. Educators, students, alumni, and the general public routinely use social media to share news about scientific and other developments. The impact of these changes in scholarly communication and on the credibility of information remains to be seen, but it is clear that social media has found significant traction in almost every education sector.
  • Again there is a lot of resistance - even a 'moral panic' over social media in higher education institutions. There are a growing number of cases of academics being disciplined for using social media and a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt amongst educators about how to use social media and preserve 'boundaries' of many kinds personal/professional; home/work; student/teacher etc. Some of this boundary policing could be questioned of course, but it remains a very live issue - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014
  • Agree inger, but if universities are now competive business, and need to be agile and flexible, so do staff - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 21, 2014
  • Maybe my uni is a bit more progressive but we've had Social Media Guidelines in place for years and recognised that our existing Media policy re staff speaking on behalf of the uni was extremely adaptable and sensible. So no panic from where i sit - a fairly rational space where it can be viewed as another Corporate communications platform and is managed as such. And there is some reason to utilise in learning/teaching if developing graduate skills in these areas are required. Reasonable level of awareness of the fact that not all students want to use social media for learning (as per JISC research) and some see it as another form of surveillance. I see increasing moves to develop support and training for both students and staff in Digital Literacy and Digital Identity to help them navigate this social media landscape and the public vs private spaces. Students use of Social media for personal use may be "a mile wide but an inch deep" in other words keeping up to date with facebook statuses does not necessarily skill them up for eLearning, digital media/social media practice - slambert slambert Feb 24, 2014
  • Universities need to recognise that social media use by staff is exactly the same as any other type of communication - completely protected by academic freedom, eroding the boundaries of that protection is the slippery slope to universities losing much of their privledged status and becoming no different to any other education provider. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014
  • Institutions need to have a conversation about how to deal with an environment in which totally controlling information flows is essentially impossible. Indeed, I'd argue that we need to find a way to effectively utilise those information flows as productively as possible in learning, teaching and research.- sherman.young sherman.young Feb 22, 2014 Totally agree with the comment that "controlling information flows is essentially impossible" (- cpaterso cpaterso Feb 26, 2014)
  • I think that we need to recognise that the students use of social media is in many respects an extension of their use of non-virtual environments to collaborate and communicate. We do need to ensure that they are informed as to conventions of usage when it is used within the institutional learning context. Perhaps we need to see it as an aspect of the broader digital eco system that they inhabit and understand it's relationship with that part of the digital eco-system that we administer and facilitate from at an institutional level.- kevinashfordrowe kevinashfordrowe Feb 22, 2014- Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 23, 2014
  • Institutions need to have a conversation about how to deal with an environment in which totally controlling information flows is essentially impossible. Indeed, I'd argue that we need to find a way to effectively utilise those information flows as productively as possible in learning, teaching and research.- sherman.young sherman.young Feb 22, 2014
  • There is a lot of potential for social media, but do students and staff know how to harness its potential? Do we need to model how it can be used effectively and safely for learning? - maree.gosper maree.gosper Feb 22, 2014 - Sam Sam Feb 23, 2014
  • Potential and decisions are for information giving or for interaction. The language needs to be contextual, and yes Maree, modelling sounds like a good thing. Starting can sometimes be the most difficult part!- joanne.woodrow joanne.woodrow Feb 23, 2014
  • Social media is now a standard part of communication and as Gilly has commented universities need to be flexible and agile in this space. The one area that I think still requires some caution is summative assessment tasks and the security, back up, accessibility etc if these are done in an environment that is not secure and work can be lost. - margaret.hicks margaret.hicks Feb 24, 2014
  • use of social media in coursework and other approaches to placing student learning experiences online may have a long term impact on students. When potential employers or during social interactions, student digital footprints are accessed, they may be clouded by such 'required' coursework material - and potentially the assessment critique made of this work. If a student fails to get a job or promotion and can show causation to the comments made by an academic on an online item they required students to make available online, would they have a case? - j.zagami j.zagami Feb 26, 2014
  • One of the significant issues around the use of social media is the assessment of activities in this mode and the archiving of student artefacts from the assessment activity. More work is needed in this area. - geoffrey.crisp geoffrey.crisp Feb 27, 2014geoffrey.crisp

Increasing Preference for Personal Technology
2014 EU Fast Trend: Driving ed-tech adoption in tertiary education over the next one to two years
Both professors and students want to use their own technology for learning more and more, mirroring a trend that has been in the workplace for some time. There is an opportunity cost associated with being given access to a computer that cannot be personalised with new applications, tools, or other resources. Utilizing one’s own device has become something deeply deeply personal, and very much an extension of someone’s personality and learning style. The choice one makes between the iOS or the Android platforms, for example, is an expression of one’s personality, as is the choices of apps, games, and other content one chooses to put on the device. Students and educators appreciate being able to do their work with tools they have configured to their own preferences, which are familiar and productive for them personally. As devices continue to be ever more capable, affordable, and mobile, students often have access to more advanced equipment in their personal lives than they do in class.

  • We should note that a move to personalised devices can make development of apps more time consuming and difficult - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014 yes but i think that's what's needed, the students should control the info they want and how they want to be notified and personal/mobile devices and apps can deliver this - but yes, needs time/investment - slambert slambert
  • Sure, increasingly complexity across the board, we live in an era of rampant featurism, - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 21, 2014
  • BYOD will inevitably dominate technology use over the next few years in my opinion. Dropping costs for hardware, software and wireless connectivity as well as inexpensive online services mean that the threshold for creating a personal IT infrastructure has dropped, soon the level of specialist knowledge and skill needed will also drop and most people will be able to operate independently of their employer. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014 yes I agree to a point, there will still be have-nots, i worry about mature-age learners skills to develop a personal BYOD network that works for them - slambert slambert Feb 24, 2014
  • I agree. From students' perspectives, why should the requirements of their education environment be so rigid when the rest of their world has adapted to their needs? I understand the complexities this involves, but it's something faced by every industry that has a consumer-facing tech component. - andrea.mclagan andrea.mclagan Feb 22, 2014
  • I tend to agree quite strongly with Stephen here that the issue is about meeting the student's demands to engage with their own devices (BYOD) and that we are going to be less and less able to mandate and increasingly become at IT thin clients.- kevinashfordrowe kevinashfordrowe Feb 22, 2014
  • More than hardware though. For example, how do we balance an institutional's use of moodle with an academic's preference for the ease of use of canvas.- sherman.young sherman.young Feb 22, 2014
  • Maybe we need to change our thinking on what universities should provide and control. At the moment most students do like the central LMS as the point of reference, but this doesn't have to be the seat of all learning. Why can't there be the central LMS and then other discipline-specific technologies (e.g. canvas) that can used to complement the LMS tools. Do they have to be integrated into the LMS? Then there are the tools that students use on their own volition - goole docs, social newtorking etc. Should universities be concerned with these? - maree.gosper maree.gosper Feb 22, 2014- Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 23, 2014
  • Agreed - it seems bizzare to me that campus networks are designed in such a way that students connect to the institution's network in order to gain access to the internet (an perhaps printers) for most of their activity. Maybe time to rethink the architecture of campus networks? - fang fang Feb 23, 2014
  • I do not believe there is a "maybe" with respect to designing open access to systems and resources on one's own device, I am of the belief that those who can provide such solutions will be in the dominant position.- crocky1959 crocky1959 Feb 23, 2014
  • - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 24, 2014 Surely a full commitment to differentiated and personalised learning also entails catering to students preferred software and platforms? Yes indeed, i agree! - slambert slambert Feb 24, 2014

Increasing Use of Hybrid Learning Designs
2014 Higher Ed Fast Trend: Driving ed-tech adoption in tertiary education over the next one to two years
Education paradigms are shifting to include more online learning, blended and hybrid learning, and collaborative models. Students already spend much of their free time on the Internet, learning and exchanging new information. Institutions that embrace face-to-face, online, and hybrid learning models have the potential to leverage the online skills learners have already developed independent of academia. Online learning environments can offer different affordances than physical campuses, including opportunities for increased collaboration while equipping students with stronger digital skills. Hybrid models, when designed and implemented successfully, enable students to travel to campus for some activities, while using the network for others, taking advantage of the best of both environments.

  • This is a great idea and one we should pursue vigourously in my opinion. I think there remains a lot of scope for professional development of academics to take more advantage of the opportunities here - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014
  • This is clearly a major trend, I think you would have to look very hard to find any programme in NZ/Aus that is not already hybrid to some extent, we just need to realise that there will be many different ways that technology is used, and in many cases they will not resemble the generic 'online course'. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014- Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 23, 2014
  • Agreed that this is going on all over the place already. Learning designs that provide case studies and examples of best practice, when to use what model etc, are essential. - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 24, 2014
  • Students with a need will go where it can be fulfilled - utilising opportunitites from other institutions if necessary as access to this learning isn't difficult,eg MOOCS, it's available at their point of need and it is a match with their preferred way of learning. Offering a mix of learning designs will keep students within an institution's actual and virtual environments. - joanne.woodrow joanne.woodrow Feb 26, 2014

Increasing Focus on Open Content
2014 EU Mid-Range Trend: Driving ed-tech adoption in tertiary education over the next three to five years
Openness — concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information — is becoming a value across education. As traditional sources of authority are augmented by downloadable content, however, there is need for more curation and other forms of validation to that can communicate the credibility of a resource. Complicating the landscape in some ways, “open” has become a term often applied in very different contexts. Often mistaken to simply mean “free,” open education advocates are working towards a common vision that defines “open” more broadly — not just free in economic terms, but educational materials that are freely copiable, freely remixable, and free of barriers to access, sharing, and educational use.

  • One area not really covered in this wiki is the 'open data' movement which has a lot of possibilities for research education - allowing novice researchers to use existing datasets saves time and increases the possibility that analysis will be replicated. However there are some practical issues in formatting large open data sets and sharing them in such a way as they are easy to find - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014- Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 23, 2014
  • yes opennes looks so obvious a solutions doesnt it? - why do you think its really not taken off beyond The Project and Keannies? (I 'bought' these ideas some 5 years ago and not much has happened) mmmm- gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 21, 2014
  • Open conflicts currently with the performance systems in place for individual academics and for institutions. Until we can evolve more sophisticated recognition systems for academic work, open content is going to remain a fringe activity in many universities (and I say this as a member of the fringe who makes almost all of his work open - the exception being the problem as it is the published research that is most likely to get me promoted). - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014
  • Universities have a long way to go to 'open' when they are generally focused on their past of "selling" content. - c.macken c.macken Feb 23, 2014c.macken
  • Which opens the whole can of worms of 'Intellectual Property' ownership. In order to progress the OPEN agenda and 'Students as Creators' (below) an IP and content licensing framework is required to underpin content creation and publishing. - fang fang Feb 23, 2014 I agree but overall tend to me much more positive about the progress of open content - slambert slambert Feb 24, 2014
  • Open content is making big waves overseas in countries like South Africa - started with foundation maths and science free texts and is continuing on from there (Siyavula project), similar models taking off in South America and Middle East. Shuttleworth foundation funded tool that allows for open text book creation by re-mixing any number of OERs is making the re-mix piece (localise, customise, make it relevant) possible and i believe this was what held the movement back. So I'm expecting a critical mass of open-eds coming in the next 1-3 years. Commercial start-ups are falling in behind, investing in mobile-savvy interactive add-ons but they're build on OERs - and selling direct to students. Our library is looking at how they can suggest both a commercial and an OER version of a text as they consult on the development of new courses. Change is happenning! Students are not buying the text that their teachers recommend and are downloading the free or $20 version instead - it's just that the teacher probably hasn't realised yet - because they are still learning, and most important still passing the exams. - slambert slambert Feb 24, 2014

Massive Reinvention of the Personal Computer
Mid-Range Trend: Driving ed-tech adoption in tertiary education within three to five years
Computers as we know them are in the process of a massive reinvention. The computer is smaller, lighter, and better connected than ever before, without the need for wires or bulky peripherals. In many cases, smartphones and other mobile devices are sufficient for basic computing needs, and only specialized tasks require a keyboard, large monitor, and a mouse. Mobiles are connected to an ecosystem of applications supported by cloud computing technologies that can be downloaded and used instantly, for pennies. As the capabilities and interfaces of small computing devices improve, our ideas about when — or whether — a traditional computer is necessary are changing as well.

  • One thing I have noticed is that my phone is less useful as an actual phone than it used to be! With the integration of phone and computer it's not really a problem if I happen to leave it at home anymore. I think there are practical limitations with tablets and typing still. It's becoming a question of which device is most appropriate to which activity - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014
  • We are already in the post-PC era. gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 21, 2014
  • Definitely agree with this one, particularly if you expand it to encompass the shift to use of online systems that are more capable than local software, with hardware being used as access points and to provide the UI tools (mice, keyboards, gestures etc.) relevant to different contexts. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014
  • What's a computer? The technology should become invisible. - sherman.young sherman.young Feb 22, 2014 when can i have my computer/phone embedded in my T-shirt? I am hanging out for wearable computing and comms power, and combined with gesture based inputs - a totally different experience - slambert slambert Feb 24, 2014
  • Is this really a trend ? I haven't seen a PC in months - perhaps the trend is different devices for different tasks, or a combination of a single device with add-ons (screen, keyboard), as needed to perform different tasks. The ultimate multi-tasked device capable of high processing speed and customisation of peripherals to suit particular uses. - c.macken c.macken Feb 23, 2014c.macken
  • - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 24, 2014 Usage time of smart phones in the US has recently been measured as having passed usage time for PCs
  • Interesting to consider this trend in light of the previous (Focus on Open Content); one of the concerns is that hardware and content are trending towards tightly controlled corporate ecosystems, with digital property rights a possible threat to general purpose computing applications (e.g. - David.Cameron David.Cameron Feb 24, 2014

Rise of Data-Driven Learning and Assessment
2014 Higher Ed Mid-Range Trend: Driving ed-tech adoption in tertiary education within three to five years
There is a growing interest in using new sources of data for personalizing the learning experience and for performance measurement. As learners participate in online activities, they leave an increasingly clear trail of analytics data that can be mined for insights. Learning analytics experiments and demonstration projects are currently examining ways to use that data to modify learning strategies and processes. Dashboards filter this information so that student progress can be monitored in real time. As the field of learning analytics matures, the hope is that this information will enable continual improvement of learning outcomes.

  • Starting again next week with a second prototype of Blackboard Learning Analytics. Students & styaff kean, technology didn't work first try - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 21, 2014
  • Same here - idea is great, middleware, tools and data models all desparetely need to improve to get us better insights that tell us more than simple anova analysis of grades. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014
  • This could also refer to the use of data to motivate student performance and behavioural change eg.Steve Martin, 2012. ‘98% of HBR Readers Love This Article’, Harvard Business Review, October. - c.macken c.macken Feb 23, 2014c.macken
    UniSA is going live this semester with Moodle 2.6 which includes dashboards for students and staff - margaret.hicks margaret.hicks Feb 24, 2014
  • Yeah all good, but there is lots of data we collect already and can get good value out of with existing business analytics data cubes without having to re-invest in new specialist systems. If we can't resource (ie staff time!) implementing and the ongoing running of big-data analysis and input into tweaking our courses as 'business as usual' - then let's not waste the money and do a better job with the data we have. It's not like we haven't been doing any learning data collection and analysis in the last decade! - slambert slambert Feb 24, 2014
  • Privacy issues may limit access to such data in the future as its value is recognised, there are also ethical issues e.g. streaming students in high or low performing groups based on analysis of previous course data... - j.zagami j.zagami Feb 26, 2014
A side effect of our highly connected campuses and myriad on line systems is the ability to 'see' what students are doing. In the world of IT many tools collate and correlate information from various sources to allow functions such as security, performance monitoring and the like to be performed. However, approached from a different angle that same information could help to expose why some students perform differently to others. How long did they spend in the LMS?; Did they use library resources?; How much time did they spend on campus and where did they spend that time?; How did that translate into results? Utilisation of this information could over time allow building of profiles of successful students and equally perhaps identify students at risk of failing and allow targeted early interventions. But could this also be seen as a contravention of civil liberties?
  • Why would we not give this information back to the owners (ie students) in a form that would benefit them? - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 21, 2014
  • We have the technology which is increasing in capability all the time but do we have the wherewithal and the right to use it?- michael.boyle michael.boyle Feb 18, 2014
  • We have the ethical obligation to act on information regarding our students if so doing would improve their outcomes. See my forthcoming paper in Distance Education (the upcoming issue on MOOCs). - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014
  • Should we also be using analytics to turn a light on teaching - also identify which learning designs are most engaging and give the best results. Maybe there are teachers at risk too! - maree.gosper maree.gosper Feb 22, 2014 - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 24, 2014
  • I think this should also raise issues relating to data security, data privacy and international storage of data - all very real and big issues confronting Universities today and in the near future - c.macken c.macken Feb 23, 2014c.macken
  • Knowing what tools are used by students, and how often, for how long, with what outcomes is a powerful tool for identify those 'at risk'. Students should be provided with their own profile, and linked to resources and support if required. Agree with Maree that this could be applied to academics too. - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 24, 2014
  • When will universities commercialise this data? First to 'educational' entities such as the big publishers, then to advertising, insurance and other data collectors. Institutions using the Google environment could be seen to already having provided this access... - j.zagami j.zagami Feb 26, 2014
  • Why are research ethics processes not applied to the collection and use of student data collected in this way, and are universities regularly breaking their own protocols in doing so? - j.zagami j.zagami Feb 26, 2014

Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators
2014 Higher Ed Mid-Range Trend: Driving ed-tech adoption in tertiary education within three to five years
A shift is taking place in the focus of pedagogical practice on university campuses all over the world as students in across a wide variety of disciplines are learning by making and creating rather than from the simple consumption of content. Creativity, as illustrated by the growth of user-generated videos, maker communities, and crowdfunded projects in the past couple years, is increasingly the means for active, hands-on learning. University departments in areas that have not traditionally had lab or hands-on components are shifting to incorporate hands-on learning experiences as an integral part of the curriculum. Courses and degree plans across all disciplines at institutions are in the process of changing to reflect the importance of media creation, design, and entrepreneurship.

  • You can certainly see this trend in the K-12 population but I think it's less prevalent within the current tertiary education population. In fact, it's surprising how many undergraduates are not as technically literate as we might expect, especially in professions wher there is not a heavy emphasis on technology as part of a conventional curriculum - ie: certain people are attracted to courses where they think there wont be demands of this kind. Perhaps it's a wave we will see cresting later than we thought? - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014- Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 23, 2014
  • yep rolling grandaughter now aged 18 months and living in London has skyped me since she was 3 months old - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 21, 2014
  • I'm not sure myself, I think some people are interested in learning in this way, others are less interested - we need (as always) to provide options and be open to students expressing complex ideas in a variety of forms. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014
  • My sense would be that students have always, to some extent, operated as both consumers and creators. Isn't that the essence of learning i.e. knowledge acquisition, knowledge deconstruction, knowledge reflection and knowledge re-construction within your own intellectual framework?- kevinashfordrowe kevinashfordrowe Feb 22, 2014
  • Essential I think.- sherman.young sherman.young Feb 22, 2014
  • Yes, this is the next natural stage in moving from passive to active-learning. Current OLT research shows making/explaining helps in the learning of Science concepts - so it's not just combined to 'the creative industries"
  • I'm not quite sure where this will fit but I think there also needs to be an acknowledgment of diverse students from a variety of backgrounds, including low socio-economic groups, rural and regional students, students from non-English speaking background and similar recognised equity categories -equipping all students to successful engage with learning technologies is critically important - c.macken c.macken Feb 23, 2014
  • As per my comment on open content above, institutions need to rethink IP and content licensing. - fang fang Feb 23, 2014
  • Out of the two, consuming and creating, creating has more tendency to be collaborative - a snug fit with how students like to learn. It's social. it's stepping through the process and it's a satisfying way to learn.- joanne.woodrow joanne.woodrow Feb 23, 2014
  • Students need to be creators - it promotes active learning, and ties in with requirements about proving competency amongst other things. But the IP and privacy issue is complex for both institutions and students, depending on how the initiative is structured. Also not every race and personality type finds it easy to be a creator, and many will be nervous about their contributions and creations being judged etc. This is an important consideration. - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 24, 2014
  • Creativity and innovation involves an inherent risk of failure, and a culture of accepting failure as an integral part of the learning process, not penalsing students for this is a necessary cultural shift. - j.zagami j.zagami Feb 26, 2014

Agile Approaches to Change
Long-Range Trend: Driving ed-tech adoption in tertiary education in five or more years
There is a growing consensus among many higher education thought leaders that institutional leadership and curricula could benefit from agile startup models. Educators are working to develop new approaches and programs based on these models that stimulate top-down change and can be implemented across a broad range of institutional settings. The Lean Startup movement uses technology as a catalyst for promoting a culture of innovation in a more widespread, cost-effective manner. Pilots and other experimental programs are being developed for teaching and improving organizational structure to more effectively nurture entrepreneurship among both students and faculty.

  • There are so many barriers to this in our current higher education institutional setups where strong heirachies and the need to build consensus around change is still so strong. Our workplaces are also highly regulated: unions, privacy regulation, workplace agreements - all these things act as a brake on innovation - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014
  • oh yes agree, the barriers of this kind came as a schock when I move to Oz solution? - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 21, 2014
  • Organisational agility is hard to refit into apparently successful incumbent organisations. There are vanishingly few examples of organisations that have been able to successfully reinvent themselves (Apple?). Personally, I think we're more likely to see this come from new providers working in specific niches that can grow (direct partnerships with employers for example), perhaps using insights or resources from other industries, I wonder if a Pearson subsidiary might be one of the early movers here. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014
  • My mantra is that change is constant so our approaches to curriculum and delivery should reflect that. Institutional frameworks need to be just that. Frameworks built around principles, rather than prescribed solutions. Not easy though. - sherman.young sherman.young Feb 22, 2014- Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 23, 2014
  • The startup model is based on over 90% attrition or 'failures' to generate the outstanding successes, this tend to make it a less attractive process for most educational organisations - j.zagami j.zagami Feb 26, 2014
  • Change is just doing the same thing differently! - geoffrey.crisp geoffrey.crisp Feb 27, 2014geoffrey.crisp

Evolution of Online Learning
2014 EU Long-Range Trend: Driving ed-tech adoption in tertiary education in five or more years
Over the past several years, there has been a shift in the perception of online learning to the point where it is seen as a viable alternative to some forms of face-to-face learning. The value that online learning offers is now well understood, with flexibility, ease of access, and the integration of sophisticated multimedia and technologies chief among the list of appeals. Recent developments in business models are upping the ante of innovation in these digital environments, which are now widely considered to be ripe for new ideas, services, and products. While growing steadily, this trend is still a number of years away from its maximum impact. Progress in learning analytics, adaptive learning, and a combination of cutting-edge asynchronous and synchronous tools will continue to advance the state of online learning and keep it compelling, though many of these are still the subjects of experiments and research by online learning providers and tertiary institutions.

  • Swinburne Online has tackled this head on - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 21, 2014
  • I don't know, many institutions seem to get easily distracted by superficial approaches (like many MOOCs) which are not well-founded on a strategic plan for future growth. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014
  • Surely the student market (and many providers) have moved beyond online learning as discussion to online learning as a recognised and accepted alternative or addition to the learning Gilly says above.- kevinashfordrowe kevinashfordrowe Feb 22, 2014
  • An interesting research question is when do we need face-to-face? (and if a person is engaged in synchronous communication with another person, via high quality video, is that face-to-face?) what does 'face-to-face' mean anyway? - c.macken c.macken Feb 23, 2014c.macken- Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 23, 2014
  • A related trend in relation to the evolution of online learning is the evolution of third party providers for online learning - third parties creating online learning activities, resources, environments, performing recruitment, marketing and retention services … is this the unbundling of higher education in a new way? - c.macken c.macken Feb 23, 2014c.macken

Digital Delivery is Increasingly the Norm
2014 Higher Ed Long-Range Trend: Driving ed-tech adoption in tertiary education in five or more years
Digital delivery will one day be the norm, resulting in less face-to-face interaction. The open source movement has yielded thousands of online educational resources and a growing number of educational entrepreneurs and startups whose primary role is to create and deliver digital content. With the rise of free services including TED talks, Wikipedia, the Khan Academy, and many others, higher education continues to experience a paradigm shift in which online learning represents the intersection of formal and informal learning. Massive open online courses, for example, can be taken for credit or purely for new skill acquisition or curiosity sake. More and more, teachers are interacting with students through online discussion forums and by sharing video and audio recordings. Furthermore, students are increasingly at the helm of digital content creation, producing videos and other rich media.

  • I'm not sure about this honestly - people still love face to face instruction models. We offer both kinds for most of our workshops and by far and away people prefer to attend in person where possible. I'm not sure we really understand this very well and tend to make assumptions that all will see the benefits - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014
  • Flipped is good - push the content digital, keep your precious campus-face-to-face time (if you have that luxury) to do the socialised learning, project work, application of theory, labs, hands on staff, feedback/formative assessment - slambert slambert Feb 24, 2014
  • I dont agree with this assumption nor is it supported by evidence. Of course theres a role for face to face but its delusional to think people prefer it - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 21, 2014
  • I think this conflates two things - digital access to most content is inevitable and clearly apparent for most types of information; collaboration and engagement between people (especially strangers/ acquaintances) is clearly more effective in a face to face context. This reads like the Virtual University model from a decade ago and I think that the flaws in that approach are apparent to most people. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014
  • Yes, digital access to (almost all) content will be ubiquitous and inevitable. But activities will continue to occur in both f2f and virtual realms. - sherman.young sherman.young Feb 22, 2014
  • Face-to-face is popular and has a role. Agree with above about flipped classroom. Put the one-to-many, one-way transmission content online, and use the face-to-face time in a more engaging way. - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 25, 2014
  • As i look back at this conversation, i am thinking that how we define "delivery" is important. eg if i consider the first statement "Digital delivery will one day be the norm, resulting in less face-to-face interaction" then i tend to agree to the extent that delivering content can be done digitally. However if we consider "delivery" as delivering learning experiences then i think that in fact the more we deliver content digitally the more important and appealing is some face-to-face and also hands-on/practical learning experiences. In a similar vein to the "Raspberi Pi" mail-order computer kit - consider the "Hands on Labs" company which develops custom lab kits so that online/distance science students can get the practical skills in conducting experiments -but they do it in their homes. - slambert slambert Feb 25, 2014
  • Just like to point out the difference between delivering a course and designing a course, delivering content or designing learning experiences. (- cpaterso cpaterso Feb 26, 2014)

New Forms of Multidisciplinary Research
2014 Higher Ed Long-Range Trend: Driving ed-tech adoption in tertiary education in five or more years
Digital humanities and computational social science research approaches are opening up new pioneering areas of multidisciplinary research, innovative forms of scholarship and publication, and new kinds of courses and pedagogies. Researchers, along with academic technologists and developers, are breaking new ground with data structures, visualization, geospatial applications, and innovative uses of open source tools. At the same time, they are pioneering new forms of scholarly publication that combine traditional static print style scholarship with dynamic and interactive tools, which enables real-time manipulation of research data. Applying quantitative methods to traditionally qualitative disciplines has led to new research categories such as "Distant Reading" and "Macroanalysis” — the study of large corpuses of texts as opposed to close reading of a few texts. These emerging areas are leading to exciting new courses and curricula for undergraduate and graduate students.

  • Certainly an exciting development and some research I am doing at the moment in employment trends suggest that this is a skill set industry are increasingly interested in. I wonder if we really are giving people in conventional humanities areas enough exposure to the technologies needed to do this kind of analysis. While collaboration is possible, it's easier if there is at least some understanding of the technologies at play. - inger.mewburn inger.mewburn Feb 19, 2014
  • The challenge here is the same as for teaching noted above. We need to help people with deep expertise and long careers as they learn about how to use new technologies and own the use of them in their discipline, we need a greater focus on enablement and a shift away from central command and control models of IT support. Here at Victoria we are actively shifting to an internal consultancy model for IT support and actively investing in the development of specialist support intended to be used in a flexible and autonomous way by individual academics. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014
  • In my work with Prof Tanya Monro's 'TRANSdisciplinary' Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing it has been fascinating to see some of the issues researchers are challenged by when working 'between' their disciplines. Discipline specific use of language makes it extremely difficult to communicate effectively. The evolution of discipline specific journals and publishers make it difficult to even be aware of recent work across disciplines & almost impossible to publish work done between the disciplines. This pressure will drive solutions that require adoption of new technology. - fang fang Feb 23, 2014
  • Yes there needs to be will on both sides and leadership to make interdisciplinarity work, will to converse until language is familiar, and some good places for publication of research. Our human geographers are doing well in this space Also just heard about an Arts researcher at Wollongong using (maybe developing?) visualisation tools to map twitter connections as research - slambert slambert Feb 25, 2014

New Trends Proposed by Panel

Rise of Competency-Based Education
There is a definite rise in the prominence of a more 'competency-based' approach to the determination of outcomes for students in the Higher Education

  • really? not in Oz? - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 21, 2014
  • The theme here is more about accountability and evidence of performance aligned to economic drivers - particularly employment. Competency as such is not directly evident as a driver except as it relates to 'employability'. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 22, 2014
  • I feel very strongly about this one, and noting Gilly's comments, with which I agree, I do think that certainly from the US this is becoming the case. In a world where much of what we are doing is driven increasingly by employer demand, I can't see how it can be any other way, irrespective of how long Australia clings onto the content driven approach of a horizontal curriculum driven by content acquisition with the vertical insertion of 'graduate attributes' along the way. I wonder how long before it reverses and a university education is driven by the acquisition of key skills (graduate attributes) on the horizontal curriculum axis and subject/content knowledge, becomes the mechanism (on the vertical axis) by which these are achieved. A student would still graduate as a doctor, nurse, engineer (philosopher) but a work and workplace and society competent one.- kevinashfordrowe kevinashfordrowe Feb 22, 2014
  • VET sector is moving quickly in this direction. Tools that assist students to prove competency are essential in this field. - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 24, 2014
  • Higher education is concerned with complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity. It is about justifying approaches to issues that often have no absolute certainty. So we need to be clear with students when we expect convergence in their thinking and responses when this is represents the generally held approach to a problem or issue and when we expect divergence where alternative approaches and responses are encouraged and accepted and we want a justification for a particular approach. So for competency based education, we need to be clear whether we are expecting convergent or divergent responses from students. - geoffrey.crisp geoffrey.crisp Feb 27, 2014geoffrey.crisp