In February, the Hesburgh Library Center for Digital Scholarship hosted the Horizon Report 2015 Event: Notre Dame and the Digital Horizon, which looked at emerging technological trends and how they will affect teaching, learning, and creative inquiry at Notre Dame over the next three to five years. The Horizon Report is published annually, in collaboration with the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The event was a collaboration with the Hesburgh Libraries, the Kaneb Center, OIT, and the Office of Digital Learning. It consisted of a welcome lunch followed by lightening talks that focused on:
The value of online learning is now well understood and set to impact education with its flexibility, ease of access, and integration of sophisticated learning technologies. How can Notre Dame use online tools to enhance the excellent education we already provide?
Badges / Blending of formal and informal learning
Badges allow for reward incentive and progress monitoring with online learning. Incentives like this are increasingly prevalent with blended learning environments. The term flipped classroom refers to a pedagogical model where the in-class time with students is primarily focused on problem solving activities, rather than presentation of information. The prerequisite information is reviewed by students prior to coming to class. Many classrooms are being flipped in an attempt to integrate active learning. Blending this with traditional lectures promotes hands on, real world application of concepts that foster curiosity-based learning among students.
Data-Driven Learning and Assessment
Online applications and tools generate a lot of data as faculty and students use them. Universities around the world are developing tools to help analyze the data in ways that can help us understand and predict student success or failure. Learning progress can be monitored through data analytics services, providing a more personalized learning experience.
Makerspaces are workshops that offer the tools needed to carry out ideas from start to finish. These tools often include traditional shop tools used in woodworking, but they also include newer technologies conducive to rapid prototyping such as 3D printers, laser-cutters, and CNC machines. Makerspaces help students develop critical skills in design, engineering, and creativity, preparing for their careers.
Many institutions and organizations are supporting the use of personal devices. Students and educators are bringing their own devices into the classroom and connecting them to the University’s network.
Understanding the findings of the Horizon Report is important for the Notre Dame community. These trends are set to have great impact on teaching and learning in the coming years. Implementing them properly and understanding their impact will prepare our students for the future.