The institute was created following a recommendation by a committee organized by Zeppos early last year. The Committee on Social Media and the Internet explored how digital communication affected the way students learn and faculty teach, examining social media as well as online learning. The new institute will continue this exploration.
Fisher, a well-known speaker on the idea of “flipping the classroom” and a former program director at the National Science Foundation, stated he was thrilled to lead the new institute.
“The institute represents a commitment by Vanderbilt to understand the changes that are coming, to anticipate them as best we can, and to design for change,” Fisher said, “most notably for the benefit of our students, as well as opening new areas of research, in education, in ‘big data’ and other areas that we still aren’t sure about.”