Interactive Report: The State of Higher Ed Strategic Technology Planning

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Top 10 Higher Ed Predictions for 2021

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Top 10 Higher Ed Predictions for 2021

By Teresa de Onis and Matt Loecke For many of us, the best thing that can be said about 2020 is that it finally came to an end. Let’s face it: it was a challenging year by almost any measure. It seemed there were fewer of those Year in Review shows that are usually popular come mid-December, while our New Year’s Eve celebrations were likely more out with the old than in with the new. We’re all glad to put 2020 behind us. But there’s a bright light on the horizon. Highly effective vaccines are rolling out, in no small part from the contributions of higher education. And an incredible transformation of higher education has begun. If there’s been a silver lining to emerge from the disruption, it’s that colleges and universities everywhere have started to rethink the way education is delivered. We all agree there is something special about…

It’s Time to Rightsize

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It’s Time to Rightsize

By Teresa de Onis A friend’s daughter is a freshman at a small university here in Texas. On a recent Sunday morning, her Wi-Fi connection in her residence hall dropped. [Sidenote: NOT an Apogee partner, ahem.] Thinking the problem must be on her end, she fired off a rapid series of urgent texts to dad. My internet’s not working. Why can’t I connect? Uggggh. Campus group chats lit up to discuss. Wi-Fi was down all over campus. You’d be forgiven for assuming internet usage among college students would be low on an early Sunday morning. But the story above reaffirms what most of us already knew: Generation Z would rather lose an arm than lose their internet connection. Recent statistics around Generation Z internet usage back this up. More than any previous generation, Gen Z begins using electronic devices at an early age. While younger members of the cohort may…

The High-Stakes Role of IT in Blended Learning

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The High-Stakes Role of IT in Blended Learning

By Teresa de Onis The disruption created by the COVID-19 pandemic compels us to too often focus on the shortcomings of our response. It’s reinforced by what happens to be a pretty healthy process for learning to do things better and more effectively. As we’ve discussed here in recent posts, there are considerable advantages to come for those campuses that understand and execute on these ideas. Higher education has long thirsted for meaningful innovation, and we can see it on the horizon. But there’s also a lot to celebrate for IT leaders and their teams now. Given the impossible task of transitioning the whole of your school’s class catalog online in the middle of a busy Spring 2020 semester, you knocked it out of the park almost overnight. No added budget or resources. Little in the way of knowledge or training for faculty unfamiliar with online teach and learn. It’s…

Differentiate With A Blended Learning Strategy

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Differentiate With A Blended Learning Strategy

By Teresa de Onis The steps you take now to improve your online product serve both your institution’s short-term and long-term interests. The more you lean into blended learning as a way to attract, retain, and graduate students, the more value a robust online experience will provide. Enhance traditional learning, don’t replace it Blended learning is here to stay. This isn’t because we believe a return to a purely traditional model isn’t possible, but because the value online learning offers as an enhancement to traditional learning is so exciting. In the months since the pandemic started, in your personal life, how many times have you caught yourself saying, “this is one change I hope sticks around”? We already see the massive potential for synchronous and asynchronous modalities to improve the in-class experience. These changes aren’t going anywhere. Imagine a student sitting in class, simultaneously streaming the lecture happening right in…

Inspire New Levels of Collaboration in Online Learning

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Inspire New Levels of Collaboration in Online Learning

By Teresa de Onis Federal data showed that pre-COVID-19 one-third of all enrolled college students took at least one online class. The rate during COVID-19 has skyrocketed, with official numbers yet to be released. While it’s impossible to understate the value of online learning during the pandemic, for small and midsized schools whose pedagogy is centered around intimate, highly collaborative in-person engagement, online learning is bemoaned by faculty. Many hoped that the pandemic might help professors see more value in online learning, but a new survey conducted last month found that the proportion of higher ed instructors who see online learning as effective is only at 49 percent. The good news: that’s up from 39 percent in a similar survey in May after emergency remote learning was implemented. It’s too easy to accept that online learning is ineffective or will always produce poor levels of engagement. It’s imperative that we…

Online Learning as a Competitive Advantage

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Online Learning as a Competitive Advantage

By Teresa de Onis In our first blog, “Why Online Learning is so Hard”, I wrote about the significant challenges online learning presents for higher education. For small and medium colleges and universities in particular, whose bread and butter is centered on providing an intimate and highly collaborative experience, the current pandemic-driven environment is especially dire. Exploring creative ways to move closer to a face-to-face dynamic online makes sense in the short term. In my own day-to-day interactions, I’m already seeing the potential for startups to emerge, created by students who went through the early days of the pandemic in the spring and think, “The online experience wasn’t great. Here’s a better offer.” We can expect many smart, incremental ideas from students as they think about how to improve their own online experience. And we’ll see a lot of innovation around synchronous learning pedagogy tailored for smaller campuses whose needs…

Why online learning is so hard

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Why online learning is so hard

By Teresa de Onis In the more than two decades Apogee has served higher ed, we’ve come to know that our most successful partnerships with colleges and universities are those closely aligned culturally, operationally, technologically, and financially. Mutual success and long-term value are so consistently predetermined by these attributes that we developed a framework around them (what we call The Four Fits) to help us and our partners judge whether a significant investment in time, energy, and resources is likely to yield the desired return. It turns out The Four Fits framework is a valuable tool for cracking the problem of remote learning. Organizing your institution’s challenges into cultural, operational, technological, and financial buckets can help you more effectively get your arms around remote learning and simplify the process of finding real solutions. In our debut blog, we’ll break down the challenges of remote learning, share an important resource to…

Transform the Educational Experience Through Blended Learning

Blended Learning

Transform the Educational Experience Through Blended Learning

By Rajiv Shenoy and Teresa de Onis For years, traditional, synchronous, and asynchronous learning modalities have been conceived of in discrete buckets. The concept of remote learning has been plodding along as just a cool idea or convenient add-on for schools with the time and resources to think about it. It’s been far from a critical need. Until now. Smart thinkers and innovators in higher education have begun to explore how remote learning might be applied to amplify and even revolutionize the on-campus learning experience and how blending synchronous and asynchronous modalities with traditional, in-classroom learning might dramatically improve the way students and faculty interact and collaborate with each other. For small to mid-size colleges and universities looking to attract, retain, and graduate the modern student and compete for students with larger land-grant institutions, blended learning is the key. Today, in the midst of a public health crisis and social…

Episode 4: Derek Jackson, Associate Vice President for Student Life, Kansas State University

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Episode 4: Derek Jackson, Associate Vice President for Student Life, Kansas State University

Derek Jackson will join us to share how Auxiliary Services are launching new technologies to enhance the student experience.