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Key Issues in Teaching and Learning 2017 from ELI

An interesting companion to the NMC Horizon Report is the annual report on Key Issues in Learning and Teaching from ELI (EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative). The 2017 report covers a wide range of issues beyond technologies. Here are a few of the highlights from the report and how we are working with them at UMass Amherst:

Faculty Development

To build a supportive and self-sustaining community of faculty who are interested in developing new approaches to learning and teaching, we have introduced new kinds of events for faculty in the last year. The Innovate Symposia, Digital Brown Bags, and now the Techspresso Retreats, all provide faculty with new ways to explore technologies; each with a special focus on working hands-on in teams of peers.

Learning Space Designs

We have a growing number of learning teaching spaces on campus. X team-based learning classrooms in the ILC are being heavily used by faculty who have redesigned their classes to be focused on group learning. South College has a new flexible learning room with tiered seating and white boards that can be rearranged as needed. The Experimental classroom in the W.E.B DuBois Library features flexible seating and six moveable large screens with wireless projection. Most of the new buildings that have opened on campus recently feature common areas with furniture that is movable, or arranged to facilitate impromptu group discussions and collaborative work.

Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning

In order to support students, staff, and faculty in accessing curriculum and/or work-related tasks, the Assistive Technology Center (ATC) provides tutorials, training, and educational presentations on assistive technology and accessibility across campus. Recently, the ATC has partnered with the Digital Media Lab in the Library to level the playing field for individuals who are blind or have low vision by creating accessible educational materials using 3-D printing. Access to 3D materials, especially in math and science courses,  promotes independence, active learning, and engagement in the classroom.  

Read the complete report, 2018 Key Issues in Teaching and Learning, in the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative.

Diagram of interlocking symbols representing the key issues