Report: Kick back online learning profits to faculty

“What is clear is that relying on the volunteer efforts of a few faculty with entrepreneurial spirits will not bring the widespread change that is going to be effective in the long run.”

technology-higher-educationWant faculty to adopt the latest in tech-enhanced learning? Kick back some of the profits (e.g. revenue from online learning programs), says a new report.

According to this new report published by Ithaka S+R with support from the Lumina Foundation, public research universities are cutting costs and increasing access effectively thanks not only to a host of new technologies, but sound implementation and a focus on faculty motivation.

Initiated by public research universities, the report, Technology-Enhanced Education at Public Flagship Universities: Opportunities and Challenges, gathered the findings of 214 administrators, online learning directors, chief financial officers, career services staff, and department chairs at 10 major universities.

“The leaders of America’s great public research universities feel tremendous pressure to maintain and, ideally, enhance the competitiveness of their institutions in terms of faculty talent and the quality of their programs, despite serious fiscal challenges,” said Harrison Keller, vice provost at The University of Texas at Austin. “Instructional technology may help address some of these competing pressures, but the leaders of these universities appreciate that there needs to be a coherent organizational strategy for leveraging the potential of technology to enhance educational productivity.”

Overall, the report found that administrators believe technology-enhanced education can help them do more with less and respond to an increasing focus on employment from students, as well as help students to earn degrees more quickly while simultaneously increasing the quality of their learning.

Though the report found that there was quite a lot of innovation and excitement about technology-enhanced education, the lack of time, inadequate resources, and a fear of losing instructional autonomy limit technology’s potential to raise completion rates, cut costs, and deliver other benefits.

To combat these drawbacks, the report listed a number of ways that institutions could improve the acceptance of technology-enhanced education; one of the most interesting ideas is to fiscally reward departments and faculty for technology adoption.

(Next page: See the 5 steps the report says all institutions can take immediately)