Dealing with Innovation in Higher Education

The unprecedented pace of change in technology presents significant challenges to offering innovative higher education. To find the right way for an institution to stay relevant and fulfill its mission, there are some significant items that need to be understood. Read this blog to begin to understand what some of those items are.

Begin at the Beginning

Technology impacts higher education on two primary levels which leads to these questions – how do we harness it to improve our internal administrative, management, and service delivery functions; what do we recognize as future drivers of opportunity and decide to teach to our students?

Recognize that the answers to these questions will be unique in almost every circumstance. Starting with an existing mission statement, target student population, and institutional characteristics (i.e. private liberal arts college; state university; two-year tech college, etc.) it becomes important to at least meet the expectations for internal operations and hopefully exceed in areas like service delivery. In terms of what courses to offer consider it’s now possible to get a degree with a major in social media, sponsored by a journalism, marketing, or communications department. Whether that should be the next major for an institution is a project unto itself.

Next Steps

It’s important to collect and process as much information as possible and to do it in a disciplined and logical fashion. This point is a keen grasp of the obvious but bringing in educational innovations functions at so many levels across all subjects that this should become a project or series of projects involving several individuals in multiple disciplines. To begin sorting all this information should include a source such as eCampusNews as a start. It divides the subject into discreet segments – IT management, institutional management, classroom innovation, online learning, student wellness – allowing different elements to be simultaneously moved forward along parallel tracks. And as a reliable source including educators as a core information source, there is a real world factor brought to these subjects.

Unless fortunate enough to have a billionaire willing to bankroll every project, and a time machine to provide implementation schedules in a matter of days, an institution struggles to make limited resources and complex projects meet the demands of unlimited aspirations delivered right now. By managing these projects thoughtfully and deliberately with as much input as possible from all sources, the goal of providing innovative higher education will be met.

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