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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Theorizing Digital Learning | Technology and Learning - Inside Higher Ed

Connecting the dots, as Inside Higher Ed reports. 

Photo: Inside Higher Ed
This post is inspired by Dean Dad’s July 10 piece “Ideas in Search of a Theory: Day Two of the ‘Future of Higher Ed’ Conference.” In that post, Matt wrote that “the issues public higher ed is facing now are ‘undertheorized’” -- and that “some connecting of the dots could go a long way.”
Dean Dad was talking about public higher ed, but his lament could apply just as easily to our digital learning conversation.

How do the articles in each week’s “Inside Digital Learning” hang together? Is there a framework that we can apply to help us understand the latest news about new online programs or the most recent data on the shift from residential to online education? How can we make sense of the growth of university/corporate partnerships in the creation and running of new online degree programs? Is there a model that we can employ that will help us untangle the relationship between institutional resilience, demographic shifts and the evolution of digital and online learning? Are there theories of academic innovation that can help us imagine the future of higher education beyond hit-and-miss experimentation?...

We should recognize that the creators and consumers of digital learning will bring their own sets of assumptions and biases to these activities. Articulating a theory of how digital learning is likely to play out at our universities will go a long way to surfacing and addressing the preconceived notions that each of us brings to this conversation. Ultimately, no single theory can either explain all the ways that digital learning is changing higher education or predict what will happen to our schools and to our educators.

Source: Inside Higher Ed