Here are the main ideas that the report recommends for institutions seeking to enhance the acceptance of technology-based education:
1.) The report recommends that institutions clearly communicate the value of technology-enhanced education to students and faculty. This can be achieved through absolute transparency when it comes to the costs and benefits of online learning.
2.) Institutions should create clear and meaningful incentives for faculty and departments to innovate with technology.
3.) Development and sharing of clear plans for implementing online learning in both stand-alone and hybrid forms is absolutely key.
4.) Next, institutions must be prepared to provide the necessary resources for a seamless transition to online learning.
5.) Lastly, institutions need to take advantage of the consensus around the need to re-engineer teaching and learning to develop forward-thinking collaborative programs.
Beyond these tips, the report also includes a wealth of other information.
For example, the report found that faculty at many institutions have done a great job when it comes to developing and administrating new technology-based programs, which in turn largely increases the reach of the university. Despite this, the report also notes that faculty at public research universities often don’t have enough time to experiment with technology as they might like to due to their commitments to their current teaching and research.
Budgets, however, could come to provide the greatest incentives for faculty to experiment further with technology-enhanced education. Though students who enter college with credits that displace a need to take lower-level general education courses disrupt a large pool of potential revenue, it has been found that campuses where revenue from online courses flows back to the departments are the most popular for faculty. Other popular incentives include creating a direct relationship between enrollment and revenue percentage and the addition of an extra fee for taking an online class that goes straight to the department.
Though many institutions are still in the process of making changes towards broader technology-enhanced education programs, overall it is clear that collaboration and innovation are key when it comes to redesigning learning and cutting costs.
“Universities are loathe to interfere with the way departments carry out their obligations, but perhaps the time is right to reward departments that experiment with new business models for their work,” said Deanna Marcum, managing director, Ithaka S+R. “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.”
Information from a press release was used in this report.