The Office of Educational Technology believes that the technologies available today provide us an opportunity to create a system of higher education that provides excellent education and ensures even greater equity for our students tomorrow.
The Higher Education Challenge
The learning ecosystem of the future:
How might we empower people to design their own learning journeys so they can lead purposeful and economically stable lives?
The #edu2030 Ecosystem Challenge sought bold ideas for how our postsecondary education system could be reimagined to foster equity and encourage learner agency and resilience. Over the two months that the challenge was open for submissions, 164 teams submitted imaginative and thoughtful visions of the future. These examined aspects of the landscape ranging from the ever-growing and ever-changing role of institutions and the emergence of technology-supported learning experiences, to the economic mechanisms that will enable us to fill the increasing demand for a skilled workforce and ultimately to provide individual learners the tools and support they need for a lifetime of learning.
We are pleased to announce the 10 winning teams of the Reimagining the Higher Education Ecosystem Challenge. These winners will each receive a customized set of support from the Department and its partners in the public and private sectors that we hope will enable them to launch these pilot programs and further develop their visions.
Reimagining the Role of Technology in Higher Education
Reimagining the Role of Technology in Higher Education was written as a supplement to the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP), building on its principles and examining them in the context of the system of higher education. It set a vision for the use of educational technology to improve instruction, learning, and assessment, and that recognized the role of technology in accelerating efforts to address issues of access, affordability, and completion at a systemic level.
The supplement explored the complex ecosystem of lifelong, lifewide postsecondary learning and the ways that technology could be used to serve the needs of all the students in our system of higher education. The supplement described specific actions on which institutions, instructors, researchers, and policymakers, could collaborate to ensure that the system of higher education continues to innovate and improve to provide all learners with opportunities for personal growth and prosperity.
Higher Education Innovation
ED invited eight selected partnerships between institutions of higher education and non-traditional providers to participate in the EQUIP experiment. Under this experiment, partnerships of postsecondary institutions, one or more non-traditional education providers, and a quality assurance entity will ensure transparency of student outcomes in learning and employment, and provide tools for ongoing quality improvement. Eligible programs will lead to a degree or certificate, build students’ transferable academic credits, and provide students with the ever-changing skills they need for today’s economy.
These partnerships allow students—particularly low-income students—to access federal student aid for the first time to enroll in programs offered by non-traditional training providers, in partnership with colleges and universities, including coding bootcamps, online courses, and employer organizations. The goals of the experiment are to: (1) test new ways of allowing Americans from all backgrounds to access innovative learning and training opportunities that lead to good jobs, but that fall outside the current financial aid system; and (2) strengthen approaches for outcomes-based quality assurance processes that focus on student learning and other outcomes. The experiment aims to promote and measure college access, affordability, and student outcomes.
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