Report: Faculty Support Lacking for Wide Adoption of Digital Learning
By Dian Schaffhauser 06/19/17
new report produced by Tyton Partners in collaboration with the Babson Survey Research Group. two fall 2016 surveys of a national sample of 3,500 postsecondary respondents.
These gaps and others “suggest a disconnect, the report stated, “between the impacts that many administrators perceive and the reality of how digital learning is changing the market.” Open-ended responses suggested that expectations for the impact of digital learning were “set too high” or weren’t being “measured or communicated well.” Another common refrain: There’s inadequate institutional support.
While most administrators told researchers that “faculty are crucial to the success of digital learning initiatives — serving as both a bolster and a barrier to implementation success,” the resources for supporting faculty to implement digital learning are insufficient. Just a quarter of respondents said faculty professional development was implemented “effectively and at scale.” Thirty-five percent said implementation was in progress. And a third (33 percent) reported that faculty professional development was “incomplete, inconsistent, informal and/or optional.”
The report offered recommendations for improving and expanding digital learning adoption. Among the guidance:
- Get realistic. While the data suggested that digital learning could improve scheduling flexibility and access, among other benefits, schools need to identify which goals are most important and “clearly articulate how and to what extent its digital learning programs are expected to help.”
- Measure impact and broadcast it. Forget about small pilots; go for a scale that will demonstrate impact and then share the findings internally and with other institutions.
- Use buying power to influence the market. Connect faculty with vendors for “education, product discovery and feedback.” Insist on accessibility within products, strong integration features and user friendliness.
- Prepare faculty for success. Make sure there are sufficient resources and incentives to help faculty “buy into the strategy” and follow through on implementation.
more on digital learning in this IMS blog