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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Teaching, Learning, and IT Issues: Priorities and Intersections | EDUCAUSE Review

This article highlights the results of two EDUCAUSE community surveys—from the IT and the teaching and learning communities—and shows their complementary priorities, intersections, and synergies. 

Photo: Veronica Diaz
Photo: Malcolm Brown
"As this year’s EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issues list makes clear, student success has become a strategic focal point for many higher education institutions." according to Veronica Diaz, Associate Director of ELI and Director of Online Programs for EDUCAUSE and Malcolm Brown, Director of ELI for EDUCAUSE.

The concept of student success is itself multidimensional: it includes success not only in academic coursework but also in degree planning, constructing next-generation digital learning environments and resources, and supporting a range of what the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) calls high-impact practices. Increasing student success requires institutional attention to all of these areas. Although challenging, improvements made in these areas, if done in tandem, can result in academic transformation: innovation and change that is multidimensional and strategic and that addresses campus culture.

The results of the Key Issues surveys from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI)1 over the past two years clearly indicate that the teaching and learning community is focused on this idea of academic transformation: it was the #2 issue in 2015 and the #1 issue in 2016.2 Below we will identify some of the important intersections between the EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issues and the ELI Key Issues for 2016. This side-by-side comparison makes it clear that with these concepts of student success and academic transformation, the IT community and the teaching and learning community share a common agenda.

The EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issue #2 (Student Success and Completion) closely aligns with several of the ELI Key Issues. Through the 2016 Key Issues survey, teaching and learning community members identified several building blocks supporting student success: assessment of learning (Key Issue #3), adaptive learning (Key Issue #12), learning analytics (Key Issue #5), and academic transformation (Key Issue #1). Taken together, these are all necessary components that speak to the increased collaboration needed across campus units and stakeholders to make progress on student success. At many institutions, campus organizations are working to develop and deploy a student success technology ecosystem that creates shared ownership for educational progress by providing students, faculty, and staff with holistic information and services that contribute to the completion of a degree or other credential. As an example, Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) initiatives are designed to coordinate the efforts to monitor, understand, and act on these factors to promote higher rates of student achievement and success. This illustrates the point that in order to make progress on these particularly challenging issues, we must establish cross-organizational collaborations, involving key stakeholders who support learners all along their experience. 
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Recommended Reading
Photo: Lucy Langworthy
The Liberal Arts: Always a Story to Tell published by Lucy Langworthy, currently serves as manager in the College of Liberal Arts’ Advising Office at Middle Tennessee State University. 

Source: EDUCAUSE Review