5 roles university libraries will play in the future

Universities are seeking ways to innovate and keep up with the changing expectations of students and faculty, and university libraries are no different.

Academic libraries are good at adapting as they try to meet students and faculty who learn differently and who have varying expectations for what their university library is.

As physical space, available funding, and student needs change, university libraries will have to adapt to meet different needs and campus roles.…Read More

3 best practices from VR implementation across departments

While many professors recognize virtual reality (VR) as an emerging classroom technology, some still struggle with how to incorporate it into their curriculum. There’s a default view that VR is only good for virtual field trips or in specific departments like computer science or media production. The truth is that VR is quite easy to produce and can be effective cross-discipline; it shouldn’t be pigeonholed as appropriate for only certain departments. VR is already being used for many real-world applications–hiring, training, marketing/sales, medical purposes, entertainment, and more–and is worth considering for many different university departments.

For instance, Emporia State University (ESU) in Kansas first used our platform to capture a 360-degree historical reenactment by their venerable history professor, Dr. Joyce Thierer. History seems an unlikely starting point for proving the value of VR, but the reenactment took place off-campus, and the school wanted to preserve the performance going forward in the most realistic fashion possible.

Using VR transports the viewer of that application to a close-up view of the performance, immersing them in all the sights and sounds without field-of-vision limitations. And using a VR headset to view it fully captures the audience’s attention, not allowing for the usual distractions that accompany something like watching a YouTube video on your laptop.…Read More

Survey: Students sing praises for digital learning tech

Ninety-four percent of students in a new survey said digital learning technologies have helped them retain new concepts, and 53 percent said they prefer classes that use such tools.

McGraw-Hill Education’s fourth annual Digital Study Trends Survey, compiled by Hanover Research, includes responses from more than 1,000 college students.

Sixty percent of surveyed students said they think digital learning technologies have improved their grades, and one-fifth said those technologies significantly improved their grades. Students in STEM majors were the most likely to say technology has positively impacted their grades.…Read More

Is higher ed facing an IT house of cards?

Twenty years ago, a connected college experience might involve cable television, rudimentary internet capability and the latest in flip phone technology. Fast forward to today, and students expect uninterrupted, lightning-fast connectivity from the device of their choice to support both their academic and community experience.

Is this quest for connectivity built on a virtual house of cards?

Technology proliferation has placed enormous pressure on the underlying IT infrastructure that keeps Wi-Fi operating, servers humming, videos streaming and data percolating. Within many institutions, one vital aspect of those operations–the storage foundation–is crumbling under the weight of growing demands. With budgets stagnant and resources limited, universities are stuck in a difficult position and finding it increasingly difficult to respond to student and faculty pleas for the latest and greatest apps.…Read More

#9: 6 essential technologies on the higher ed horizon

[Editor’s note: This story, originally published on February 15th of this year, was our #9 most popular story of the year. Happy holidays, and thank you for tuning into our 2017 countdown!]

Tablets are just the beginning of Natural User Inerfaces (NUIs) in college and university settings; and any institution interested in remaining relevant in the next five years should start redesigning their learning spaces to better promote collaborative learning. These are just some of the revelations part of the New Media Consortium’s (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative’s (ELI) 2017 Higher Education Edition of the annual Horizon Report.

The report, which decides which trends and technologies will have a dramatic influence on higher ed in the next 5 years thanks to a panel of 78 education and technology experts from 22 countries on 5 continents, aims to help inform the choices that institutions are making about technology to improve, support, or extend teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in higher ed across the world.…Read More

3 ways that the cloud can cut sky-high costs of higher ed

It takes enormous resources to power the digital backbone of colleges every day. Among other costs, universities foot the bill for computing power, digital storage, internet access and proprietary software to meet the needs and expectations of students, administrators and teachers. Expectations are high for an always-on digital environment that supports online learning, mobile apps and modern HR and finance systems.

The cost of building and running the IT infrastructure to meet these needs can be reduced with an effective cloud computing strategy. When done right, adopting cloud services and applications can lead to greater cost savings as well as an improved student/faculty experience.

Here are a few practices to apply:…Read More

The 5 must-have pillars for campus-wide student success

Higher education enrollment rates are experiencing challenges as students, many of whom are nontraditional students, struggle to meet personal, financial and professional demands. But following a few key steps can bolster student success.

With these challenges in mind, higher-ed institutions must be able to invest in student success in order to differentiate their campuses and programs and sway prospective students.

A new resource from D2L offers student support strategies to help institutions improve retention rates, retain nontraditional and first-generation students, use student data to inform decisions, and create student success plans.…Read More

Why combining assessments and LMS technology is essential

Assessments are more than just measuring how well students are doing in particular subjects in school, and they can actually improve student learning. In fact, frequent assessments can have a positive impact on a student’s education from kindergarten through college. While this may make some educators cringe, the reality is that test-enhanced learning, or testing as an aid to learning, has evidence of effectiveness dating back nearly 100 years (Roediger III, McDaniel, & McDermott, 2006).

Testing can help students better retain and recall what they studied, not only for the final exam, but as part of their overall educational development. This is the “testing effect,” or the phenomenon where taking a quiz can enhance later retention of studied materials, and its effectiveness has been demonstrated many times over. Students who take quizzes shortly after they study show better performance on a final test relative to students who only study without taking a practice quiz, even when no feedback is given on the quiz (Roediger III, McDaniel, & McDermott, 2006).

The testing effect, also known as retrieval practice, practice testing, or test-enhanced learning, needs a place in today’s modern learning. It can be implemented in modern learning management system (LMS) and assessment management system (AMS) technologies, like Gauge, to help improve student learning, from their first day in kindergarten to their last day of earning a university degree.…Read More

10 ways your campus marketing can entice today’s students

I have been in the higher education sector for over 17 years and unfortunately have continued to see marketers make the same mistakes over and over again.

Some of these errors are the fault of foundational business orientation (such as lead evaluation versus quality evaluation), while other mistakes are the results of marketers not fully understanding the technical abilities of today’s digital executions. Further, higher education practitioners are challenged with the changing trend in demographics (Millennials) and user behavior (such as mobile versus desktop).

To remedy these areas of hindrance, I have compiled a list of implementations that can easily be integrated into your higher education digital marketing campaigns to generate immediate positive impact with Millennial students.…Read More

Cal Poly launches world’s first university-based cloud innovation center by AWS

Through a strategic relationship, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), one of the nation’s top masters-level universities, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), have launched the Cal Poly Digital Transformation Hub powered by AWS (DT-Hub). The DT-Hub has been created to accelerate digital transformation in the government, education and nonprofit sectors through the application of cloud technologies.

 Public sector, education, and nonprofit organizations face rapid changes in technology with limited personnel and financial resources to meet the intensifying digital expectations of their constituencies. The DT-Hub combines the power of AWS innovation techniques with the deep subject matter expertise and Learn by Doing philosophy of Cal Poly students and faculty.

 To meet real-world public sector digital transformation challenges, the DT-Hub will establish innovation communities composed of the practitioners and experts that truly understand the specific problem or opportunity being addressed. California State University (CSU) system, California state and local government expertise, and commercial innovators will be key members of these communities. Together, they will address innovation challenges such as creating more efficient methods for storing and using police body camera data, reducing the cost for agricultural research, and using technology to fight human trafficking.…Read More