EDUCAUSE has released a new report that lays out findings from digital learning experts from colleges and universities nationwide on how to improve hybrid learning over the next decade.

The organization asked higher education leaders to  describe an optimized future of hybrid learning, focusing on a 10-year timescale.

EDUCAUSE explained that using a 10-year horizon provides the teaching and learning community “an opportunity to consider significant advancements in society, technology, politics, the economy, and the environment, without looking so far into the future that any projections become unrealistic.” The report notes that in addition to crafting its vision of the future, the panel of experts also provides practical action items the teaching and learning community can employ to make this future a reality.

The report is broken down into three main sections – goals for the future, action items, and planning “for the road ahead.”

When asked to describe the goals and elements of hybrid learning that they would like to see, panelists constructed their preferred future for institutions, students, instructors, and staff.

The panelists goals for institutions are:

  • Higher education is available on demand;
  • Learning is not measured by time in seat;
  • Collaboration across institutions facilitates advancement; and
  • College and university campuses are not the sole locations for learning spaces.

For students, instructors, and staff, panelists want to see a future where:

  • Everything is hybrid;
  • Student equity is centered in all modalities; and
  • Professional development is ongoing, integrated, and valued.

For action items, the panelists broke them down as institutional and department actions, and cross-institutional actions. Additionally, the panelists ranked the action items from easiest to hardest to implement.

Institutional and departmental actions:

  • Use research-based methodologies and frameworks;
  • Make professional development a foundational part of instructors’ jobs;
  • Support international hybrid learning;
  • Learn more about students’ comprehensive needs;
  • Include experiential learning in all academic programs; and
  • Expand instructional design capacity.

Cross-institutional actions:

  • Establish best practices for sustainable technology-enhanced learning spaces;
  • Develop and share best practices for equitable teaching and learning;
  • Define privacy standards for higher education;
  • Develop funding models for expanding technology access across institutions;
  • Develop a nonacademic credit pipeline;
  • Establish cross-institutional programs and credentials;
  • Reimagine tenure;
  • Reevaluate the role of the higher education institution in a consumer-driven world;
  • Define state and national standards for hybrid learning; and
  • Change Federal government funding models.

At the end of the report, EDUCAUSE provides activities to help higher education institutions “solidify [their] vision of the future and make plans to take action.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs