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ERIC Number: ED570428
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 41
Abstractor: ERIC
Scaling Solutions to Higher Education's Biggest Challenges: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief. Volume 3.2
Hall Giesinger, C.; Adams Becker, S.; Davis, A.; Shedd, L.
New Media Consortium
Higher education is ripe for innovation. While emerging technological developments such as digital courseware and mobiles apps have made it easier than ever for people to engage with learning resources, significant issues of access and equity persist among students from low-income, minority, single-parent families, and other disadvantaged groups. The one-size-fits-all approach of many traditional higher education paradigms is ineffective as it is in stark contrast with an increasingly diverse student population. Retention of these students is a daunting task for colleges and universities: non-traditional students' first-year attrition rates are more than twice as high as traditional students. The challenge facing higher education is catering to all learners' needs, aligning college programs with deeper learning outcomes and the acquisition of 21st century skills that lead to personal goal achievement and gainful employment. Peeling back the layers of this challenge reveals a web of hurdles that impede the successful scaling of innovative solutions. At "Innovating Higher Education: Moving to Scale," a workshop organized by the New Media Consortium (NMC) as part of the Personalized Learning & Student Success Summit at the SXSWedu conference in March 2016, more than 120 higher education leaders from colleges, universities, educational organizations, and digital learning companies convened to address these obstacles. The NMC engaged in a deep analysis post-event, conducting research and informal interviews with thought leaders. From this work, the NMC ultimately found that 8 of the 15 challenges already had potential solutions in various stages--ranging from frameworks to small-scale pilot programs to government and institutional initiatives. As such, this publication focuses on those 8 challenges with a lens on their implications for access and equity for low-income students and other disadvantaged groups. In addition to providing readers with a brief overview that strives to make the complex challenges easier to digest, each section encompasses a discussion of the solutions, and, wherever possible, includes evidence-based approaches to demonstrate concrete benefits for student success. To gain a more holistic view of the issues impacting higher education, the NMC also disseminated a survey to its community of postsecondary administrators, educators, instructional designers, and other key faculty and staff. Analytics from the survey as well as direct quotes from respondents are integrated throughout this publication. By better defining the challenges impeding innovation in US postsecondary education and illuminating high-quality programs and initiatives, it is the NMC's hope that this report catalyzes critical discussions, projects, and products that bolster student success, making high-quality learning opportunities more accessible to all. The challenges addressed in this publication can be categorized as largely relating to faculty needs, institutional culture, and technology-enabled practices and programs--all with an eye toward students as the ultimate beneficiaries of the potential solutions.
New Media Consortium. 6101 West Courtyard Drive Building One Suite 100, Austin, TX 78730. Tel: 512-445-4200; Fax: 512-445-4205; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: New Media Consortium
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; California; District of Columbia; Florida; Georgia; Indiana; Michigan; New Hampshire; North Carolina; Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh); South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia