Happy 2022! While I am not in the habit of making new year’s resolutions (or at least sticking to them), I have adopted our co-chair Melinda French Gates’ practice of naming a word or phrase to guide the year. For 2022, I have chosen TOGETHER, reflecting the collaboration that will be required moving forward in the face of the pandemic.
While this spirit of togetherness also includes my hopes to reconnect in person with our partners and students at some point in the near future, I find myself fascinated by innovations focused on bringing feelings of togetherness, engagement, and belonging into the world of digital teaching and learning. New data suggest that even amid the challenges of the pandemic, faculty and students want more and better when it comes to online and hybrid learning, both to address current COVID-related access issues and to increase the flexibility of educational opportunities in the future. Keep reading for more on that.
And watch the video below for more about what we and our partners will be doing in 2022 and beyond to make high-quality, equitable digital teaching and learning a reality across all types of colleges and universities. Spoiler alert: we are making some exciting new investments in “best in class” introductory courses, advancements in the field of “evidence-based teaching” approaches, and support for diverse institutions seeking to implement high quality digital learning approaches.
I look forward to our continued partnership to eliminate race and income as predictors of educational success – together.
The Postsecondary Success strategy is building on more than a decade of investing in and learning about high-quality digital teaching and learning to launch a wave of new investments focusing on the what and the how of online and hybrid courses. In this video, PS director Patrick Methvin explains what is new about these investments and what the field can expect from them.
Even with the challenges of the pandemic’s rapid shift to online learning, faculty and students give digital learning tools relatively high marks and voice a desire to continue online learning in the future, according to a survey released in December by Bay View Analytics in partnership with a coalition of organizations including the Online Learning Consortium. The survey found that more than two-thirds of students would like to take an online or hybrid course in the future and would like to see greater use of technology for in-person courses. Additionally, students and faculty gave online courses taught in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 an overall grade of “B” for meeting educational needs.
What does postsecondary value mean and look like on the ground for practitioners like college and university presidents and student success advocates? Noted author and higher education watcher Jeff Selingo recently interviewed Chuck Welch, president of the Arkansas State University System, and Deborah Santiago, CEO of Excelencia in Education, to get their perspectives on value in action.