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Trends Tomorrow’s Teaching and Learning Environments

Innovating Pedagogy: Which Trends Will Influence Tomorrow’s Teaching and Learning Environments?

Stefanie Panke

In November 2015, the Open University released the latest edition of its ‘Innovating Pedagogyreport, the fourth rendition of an annual educational technology and teaching techniques forecast. While the timelines and publishing interval may remind you of the Horizon Report, the methodology for gathering the trends is different.

The NMC Horizon Team uses a modified Delphi survey approach with a panel of experts.

Teaching and Learning Environments

10 Innovative Pedagogy Trends from the 2015 Edition:

  1. Crossover Learning: recognition of diverse, informal achievements with badges.
  2. Learning through Argumentation: To fully understand scientific ideas and effectively participate in public debates students should practice the kinds of inquiry and communication processes that scientists use, and pursue questions without known answers, rather than reproducing facts.
  3. Incidental Learning: A subset of informal learning, incidental learning occurs through unstructured exploration, play and discovery. Mobile technologies can support incidental learning. An example is the app and website Ispot Nature.
  4. Context-based Learning: Mobile applications and augmented reality can enrich the learners’ context. An example is the open source mobile game platform ARIS.
  5. Computational Thinking: The skills that programmers apply to analyze and solve problems are seen as an emerging trend . An example is the programming environment SCRATCH.
  6. Learning by Doing Science with Remote Labs:  A collection of accessible labs is ilab
  7. Embodied learning: involving the body is essential for some forms of learning, how physical activities can influence cognitive processes.
  8. Adaptive Teaching: intelligent tutoring systems – computer applications that analyse data from learning activities to provide learners with relevant content and sequence learning activities based on prior knowledge.
  9. Analytics of Emotions: As techniques for tracking eye movements, emotions and engagement have matured over the past decade, the trend prognoses opportunities for emotionally adaptive learning environments.
  10. Stealth Assessment: In computer games the player’s progress gradually changes the game world, setting increasingly difficult problems through unobtrusive, continuous assessment.

6 Themes of Pedagogical Innovation

Based upon a review of previous editions, the report tries to categorize pedagogical innovation into six overarching themes:

 “What started as a small set of basic teaching methods (instruction, discovery, inquiry) has been extended to become a profusion of pedagogies and their interactions. So, to try to restore some order, we have examined the previous reports and identified six overarching themes: scale, connectivity, reflection, extension, embodiment, and personalisation.”

  1. Delivering education at massive scale.
  2. Connecting learners from different nations, cultures and perspectives.
  3. Fostering reflection and contemplation.
  4. Extending traditional teaching methods and settings.
  5. Recognizing embodied learning (explore, create, craft, and construct).
  6. Creating a personalized path through educational content.

Further Reading

Follow these links to blog posts and EdITLib resources to further explore selected trends:

full article can be found here:

Innovating Pedagogy: Which Trends Will Influence Tomorrow’s Teaching and Learning Environments?