Research Question 4: Critical Challenges

What do you see as the key challenge(s) related to teaching, learning, or creative expression that learning-focused institutions will face during the next 5 years?

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).
  • You may find it useful to revisit the Press Clippings on Trends and Challenges as you work on this question.
  • As you review what others have written, please add your thoughts and comments as well.
  • Please "sign" each of your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Oct 30, 2011

Compose your entries like this:
  • Challenge Name. Add your ideas here, with few sentences of description including full URLs for references (e.g. And do not forget to sign your contribution with 4 ~ (tilde) characters!

  • Economic pressures and new models of education are bringing unprecedented competition to the traditional models of tertiary education. Across the board, institutions are looking for ways to control costs while still providing a high quality of service. Institutions are challenged by the need to support a steady — or growing — number of students with fewer resources and staff than before. As a result, creative institutions are developing new models to serve students, such as streaming introductory courses over the network. As these pressures continue, other models may emerge that diverge from traditional ones. Simply capitalizing on new technology, however, is not enough; the new models must use these tools and services to engage students on a deeper level. (Carried forward from the 2011 Technology Outlook for UK Tertiary Education)
  • Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession. This challenge, driven by a related trend, appears here because despite the widespread agreement on the importance of digital media literacy, training in the supporting skills and techniques is rare in teacher education and non-existent in the preparation of faculty. As lecturers and professors begin to realize that they are limiting their students by not helping them to develop and use digital media literacy skills across the curriculum, the lack of formal training is being offset through professional development or informal learning, but we are far from seeing digital media literacy as a norm. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking, and thus skills and standards based on tools and platforms have proven to be somewhat ephemeral. (Carried forward from the 2011 Technology Outlook for UK Tertiary Education) - Larry Larry Nov 12, 2011
  • New modes of scholarship are presenting significant challenges to libraries and university collections, how scholarship is documented, and the business models to support these activities. While the university library has traditionally housed collections of scholarly resources, social networks and new publishing paradigms, including open content initiatives, are challenging the library’s role as curator. Students and educators are increasingly able to access important, historic research in web browsers on devices of their choosing. As such, libraries are under tremendous pressure to evolve new ways of supporting and curating scholarship. (Carried forward from the 2011 Technology Outlook for UK Tertiary Education) - Larry Larry Nov 12, 2011
  • Most academics aren't using new and compelling technologies for learning and teaching, nor for organizing their own research. Many researchers have not undergone training on basic digitally supported teaching techniques, and most do not participate in professional development opportunities. This issue is due to several factors, including a lack of time, a lack of expectations that they should, and the lack of infrastructure to support the training. Academic research facilities rarely have the proper processes set up to accommodate this sort of professional development; many think a cultural shift will be required before we see widespread use of more innovative organizational technology. Many caution that as this unfolds, the focus should not be on the technologies themselves, but on the pedagogies that make them useful. (Carried forward from the 2011 Technology Outlook for UK Tertiary Education) - Larry Larry Nov 12, 2011
  • Appropriate metrics of evaluation lag the emergence of new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching. Traditional approaches to scholarly evaluation such as citation-based metrics, for example, are often hard to apply to research that is disseminated or conducted via social media. New forms of peer review and approval, such as reader ratings, inclusion in and mention by influential blogs, tagging, incoming links, and re-tweeting, are arising from the natural actions of the global community of educators, with increasingly relevant and interesting results. These forms of scholarly corroboration are not yet well understood by mainstream faculty and academic decision makers, creating a gap between what is possible and what is acceptable. (Carried forward from the 2011 Technology Outlook for UK Tertiary Education)
  • Commercial providers are delivering ever more credible educational content, providing a wide range of customizable offerings at quality levels that may dampen interest in traditional sources of scholarly work, such as university presses, and even open educational resources (OERs). Increasingly, publishers are either buying learning resource websites or creating their own virtual warehouses of digital textbooks and other educational content. iTunes University is a prime example of this, offering thousands of course materials for free from distinguished institutions and professors. This trend creates a related challenge for university presses that have traditionally been the publishers of much of the work of their faculties; there is a growing fear that they will become obsolete. Both OERs and university presses are at a critical juncture for different reasons, yet each is aggressively confronted with the need to adapt, evolve, or even reconstruct their roles in education over the next five years. (Carried forward from the 2011 Technology Outlook for UK Tertiary Education
  • Statement summarizing a Critical Challenge here discussion of the challenge follows ...
  • Another Statement summarizing a Critical Challenge here discussion of the challenge follows ...