With the release of an updated EDUCAUSE on Campus toolkit, Exploring and Designing Breakthrough Models in Higher Education, Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) completes a trio of publications intended to guide those of you who are interested in making the move towards tech-enabled next generation learning. Complementing the recently revised white paper, Next Generation Learning: The Pathway to Possibility, and the Breakthrough Models profiles of NGLC grantees’ postsecondary degree program designs, the toolkit provides resources and activities that you can use to facilitate campus conversations around designing a new future for your institution’s courses, degree programs, or student services. We have included foundational readings, examples of breakthrough innovations and degree programs at other institutions, and collaboration and design-thinking tools in the toolkit.

Consider it a local professional development kit complete with recorded keynote sessions, such as featured speaker Michael Horn’s Disrupting College session at EDUCAUSE’s annual conference this past November. How might his commentary spark conversation among your colleagues about the forces that are pushing for—or preventing changes—to your campus’s business model?

The kit also includes action-based sessions to help you and your colleagues consider what next generation learning might look like at your institution, identify which options are feasible, and take action on immediate next steps. You can use this toolkit to create a formal, campus-wide professional development program, to inform a series of meetings with a small planning team, or to dig in and learn more about what it will really take for next generation learning to take root at your campus. Use this versatile kit in the way that makes the most sense for you: the choice is yours.

Within the toolkit, two key resources include the Pathway to Possibility white paper and the Breakthrough Models profiles which round out the trio of publications. The white paper is foundational and conceptual. It presents a distilled set of observations about the innovative approaches used by grantees. The resulting framework organizes the myriad aspects of designing, implementing, and enabling next generation learning strategies at scale into six dimensions—Define, Measure, Design, Implement, Enable, Scale. It offers a review of the literature organized by these dimensions, essential elements that are at the heart of each dimension, and practice-based examples that bring the six dimensions of the framework to life.

The profiles of the 10 postsecondary breakthrough degree program models of NGLC grantees, on the other hand, are practical. The designs of these game-changing models serve as examples to inspire you and to help you envision what next generation learning really looks like on the ground within an institutional context. The introductory overview in this publication describes the common attributes of the 10 degree programs, including, among others, the approaches to competency-based learning that are getting a lot of press lately. In each individual model’s two-page profile, key features of the design are summarized through graphics and at-a-glance facts. A brief narrative presents the unique instructional and financial models behind each of these associate and bachelor degrees designed with scale, high quality, and affordability in mind.

Exploring and Designing Breakthrough Models in Higher Education, the EDUCAUSE on Campus toolkit, then, is applied. How might your institution respond to the changing landscape and the pressing challenges facing higher education today? How would the six dimensions of next generation learning work on your campus? Which designs make sense for your student population? The toolkit provides the tools to help you and your colleagues answer the key questions about the vision and goals of next generation learning and the potential role of breakthrough models at your institution.

We hope that this trio of publications sets you on a path of exploration—from the conceptual to the practical to the applied—that will lead you to breakthrough innovation more quickly than you might have achieved without them.

This toolkit is just one of many in the EDUCAUSE on Campus collection. Visit the website to learn more about these great resources.


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