Higher education’s new era of accountability—where student retention and timely completion are as important as student enrollment—means your institution may have to re-calibrate and plan a new path forward in order to thrive. Moving forward means incorporating digital learning, a technology-infused learning experience that expands student learning and provides analytics for feedback on continuous improvements. Starting on this new path can be challenging – here’s a way to get started with your New Digital Learning Path Forward.
Transforming an entire institution to a digital learning environment can be overwhelming—almost like embarking on a trek into the unknown. How do you start? How do you get there in a manageable fashion? Digital learning transformation will not occur overnight. It is just too disruptive to attempt all at once, as there are just so many academic areas to manage as well as instructors’ varying digital technology interest and aptitude to consider.
The obvious often alludes us, go step by step. Some instructors believe online learning transformation is disruptive and hasn’t been conclusively shown to be effective in improving learning. Many instructors resist the transformation believing the process requires an entire new way of teaching and potentially a total course redesign. But it is not an all or nothing proposition. Gradual adoption allows instructors to infuse specific digital learning tools slowly in meaningful and productive ways into their courses (flipped classroom), rather than mandating a complete course overhaul or moving online entirely. WebStudy Solutions guide you with every step and makes it fun and exciting to embark on this new path forward.
Instead of just an institutional mandate for every single course’s digital learning transformation, all stakeholders can work together to build a common vision and understanding of how digital learning can help you achieve your institution mission—and how to proceed. A gradual adoption approach, involving a series of systematic pilots in targeted academic areas, provides understanding on how digital learning works—and doesn’t work—at your institution, and offers opportunities for course correction.
Creating an institutional digital learning vision is a complex undertaking—not only for relevant stakeholders to come together, but also to engage in a meaningful conversation. The WebStudy Foundation, a 501.3C non-profit organization, uses its Suite of Collaboration Services to foster institution-wide dialogue and collaborative decision-making; which helps you design and implement your New Digital Learning Path Forward
Encourage instructor participation in digital learning processes by re-framing the technology adoption proposition to academic technology solutions. Instead of licensing software and convincing instructors to use it; work with instructors to understand their specific functional and teaching needs, and provide user-friendly digital learning tools to fulfill them. The instructor won’t feel forced to adopt an abstract tool he can’t relate to; rather he’ll be adopting an actual solution to his particular problem. For example:
|Instructional Need||Digital Learning Tool|
|Student Collaboration and Communication on End-of-Term Project||Synchronous and Asynchronous Audio and Video Tools|
|Active Learning Environment to Explore Science Concepts||Design Pre-Classroom Content online (Flipped Classroom)|
|Exploration of Local Geological Sites||Photo Uploads from Smartphone|
With an introductory package under $10,000 you can launch a full-service subscription to use any combination of LMS tools, fully integrated with rubrics and outcomes. This approach provides your campus with an affordable means to experiment and implement digital learning.
Specific functional teaching and learning needs are tailored to the desired learning outcome of the subject matter you teach. One may elect to implement only 1-2 LMS features such as video and live conference to enhance acquiring foreign language skills. Yet, other technology features such as ePortfolios may be used to capture essay summaries on field experiences for students seeking advancement in education degrees.
By using the built-in rubric functionality, whether technology is applied for web-enhanced, hybrid, or fully online delivery, the feedback on learning analytics guide incremental improvements in course design based on real data.
Defining institutional and departmental instructional needs, simultaneously with your current LMS allows your planned migration to unfold course by course, curriculum by curriculum by department by department in a systematic and affordable fashion.
Ultimately, determining which digital learning tools work best at your institution will optimize a measurable return on your investment
Select a package or customize your own package that will assist you in defining your departmental / institutional needs. Contract instructional designers as needed.
Calculate budget ranges on features and functionality that impact learning and is being used effectively. You can run metered rates with a capped maximum that fits your ROI forecasts.
Higher education institutions tend to be very open; most usually are more than willing to share their technology project experiences with their peers. WebStudy’s Brick and Clicks 2025 Community builds on our open mindset, providing a forum for WebStudy campuses to share their vision, challenges, and best practices in designing their new path forward. In other words, we’ll work together to build our blended classroom [bricks]/digital learning [clicks] environments to meet our Y2025 needs. The Bricks and Clicks 2025 Community will listen and learn together via social media, case studies, and more. Stayed tuned for more information.