During 2014-2015, the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center contributed to the university’s mission …to promote excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service by collaborating with various academic and support units to meet the ongoing and emerging needs of NIU faculty, staff, administrators, and graduate teaching assistants in their teaching, technology integration, professional development, and related needs. This was the sixteenth full academic year of operation for the center since we were reorganized in August 1998. Some of our significant accomplishments this year include:
Offering 157 programs for 1,609 participants, which totaled 4,980 hours of professional development
Conducting 1,206 consultations with 416 unique faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate teaching assistants from 77 academic and support units
Serving on 11 committees, councils, and organizations within NIU and the broader Faculty Development community
Recognized 4 recipients of Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, issued 11 Graduate Teaching Certificates, and was honored with 3 individual and department recognitions
The report identifies six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology across three adoption horizons spanning over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders, educational technologists, and faculty a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The report provides higher education leaders with in-depth insight into how trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice.
“The release of this report kicks off the 15th year of the NMC Horizon Project, which has sparked crucial conversations and progressive strategies in institutions all over the world,”says Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC. “We are so appreciative of ELI’s continued support and collaboration. Together we have been able to regularly provide timely analysis to universities and colleges.”
“This year’s report addresses a number of positive trends that are taking root in higher education,” notes ELI Director Malcolm Brown. “More institutions are developing programs that enable students and faculty to create and contribute innovations that advance national economies, and they are also reimagining the spaces and resources accessible to them to spur this kind of creativity.”
The NMC Horizon Report > 2016 Higher Education Edition identifies “Advancing Cultures of Innovation” and “Rethinking How Institutions Work” as long-term impact trends that for years affected decision-making and will continue to accelerate the adoption of educational technology in higher education over the next five years. “Redesigning Learning Spaces” and the “Shift to Deeper Learning Approaches” are mid-term impact trends expected to drive technology use in the next three to five years; meanwhile, “Growing Focus on Measuring Learning” and “Increasing Use of Blended Learning” are short-term impact trends, anticipated to impact institutions for the next one to two years before becoming commonplace.
A number of challenges are acknowledged as barriers to the mainstream use of technology in higher education. “Blending Formal and Informal Learning” and “Improving Digital Literacy” are perceived as solvable challenges, meaning they are well-understood and solutions have been identified. “Competing Models of Education” and “Personalizing Learning” are considered difficult challenges, which are defined and well understood but with solutions that are elusive. Described as wicked challenges are “Balancing Our Connected and Unconnected Lives” and “Keeping Education Relevant.” Challenges in this category are complex to define, making them more difficult to address.
Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education
Additionally, the report identifies bring your own device (BYOD) and learning analytics and adaptive learning as digital strategies and technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the near-term horizon of one year or less. Augmented and virtual reality technologies and makerspaces are seen in the mid-term horizon of two to three years; affective computing and robotics are seen emerging in the far-term horizon of four to five years.
The subject matter in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed by the NMC and collaboratively conducted by the NMC and ELI that engaged an international body of experts in higher education, technology, business, and other fields around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges and to identify emerging technologies with a strong likelihood of adoption in higher education. The report details the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.
This conference has become a premier event in the Midwest and has attracted participants interested in supporting learning and technology in education from around the world in higher-ed, K-12, government, and the corporate sector. Over the past twelve years more than 3,200 people representing almost 200 unique institutions from the Midwest, across the country, and around the world have attended this conference. Recognizing that deployment issues, support concerns, teaching strategies, learning styles, best practices, etc. are common among the varied CMS/LMS clients (Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, etc.), this conference invites all faculty, system administrators, CIO’s, Web developers, instructional designers, librarians, students, and user support staff from institutions that are deploying and/or currently using any Web-based tools, applications or programs, in their teaching and learning.
Call for Presentations
Submissions are invited for presentations, panel discussions, or working group activities (now through June 30, 2015) which can cover a broad range of topics that relate to best practices, innovative, engaging, and pedagogically sound uses of technology in teaching and learning, etc. Speakers are encouraged to submit proposals whose general focus is the use of technology in teaching and learning regardless of the platform or tools being used. Other topics and ideas will also be considered. If you have an idea for a panel discussion and need some help in getting people together, contact the conference coordinator, Ken Sadowski, and he can help to connect you to others who may have already expressed similar ideas.
Some of the topics presented in past conferences included:
Using Podcasting to Meet the Needs of Millennial Students
Platform-Independent Course Design
Teaching Writing Using Blogs and Wikis
Student GPA and Course Delivery Methods
Using Technology Tools to Ensure Faculty Success
Online Assessment Strategies
Using Your CMS as a Retention Tool
More detailed information can be found at the following:
Online asynchronous discussions are often incorporated by faculty into blended or online courses, providing opportunities for rich dialog among students outside of the traditional face-to-face classroom environment. A number of steps can be taken to promote an engaging and interactive online discussion, beginning with drafting the discussion questions that students are asked to respond to. This infographic highlights a variety of suggestions that can yield more meaningful and deeper online discussions.
This video by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University, creatively and powerfully looks at today’s students and how they are changing the world of learning and education.