First, the UK’s leading membership organisation in the learning technology field, ALT (2016a), put forward a conference theme about “creating new learning, teaching and assessment opportunities: play, experiment, discover, embed Learning Technology to enhance learner experience” (2016b). Pearson’s approach to course development embodies this theme because the team helps institutions create innovative online and blended courses by providing flexible and scalable services, underpinned by rigorous learning design (Bergin, 2013). More specifically, enhancing learners’ experiences and outcomes is central to all design decisions and respecting institutions’ unique resources and requirements is fundamental in agreeing roles and responsibilities.
Second, New Media Consortium’s 2016 Horizon Report, heralded as “the world’s longest-running exploration of emerging technology trends and uptake in education” (NMC, 2015) believe the following trends will impact higher education within five years (NMC, 2016) all of which our Course Development services address:
- “Growing focus on measuring learning” by agreeing a learner outcomes framework with the institution from the onset and tracking metrics for each to evaluate course success
- “Increasing use of blended learning designs” by listening to institution’s resources and requirements and making design suggestions to leverage on-campus and online learning opportunities to include designing versatile courses which work in both environments
- “Redesigning learning spaces” by creating learner personas of the institution’s target audience and making design suggestions that facilitate and empower learner access
- “Shifting to deeper learning approaches” by including findings from our global research on learning design principles into the proposed course structure and learner journey, with a particular emphasis on authentic learning to enhance learners’ employability
- “Advancing cultures of innovation” by bringing improved ideas through our experience and best practices in learning design and iterative processes in project management to the courses we develop with the institution
- “Rethinking how institutions work” by engaging multiple faculties to prepare them for a significant change such as launching competency-based learning programmes or a more traditional change such as creating cross-curricular experiences whereby learners work with peers in different departments to holistically solve problems
Third, to make sure our service has the right priorities, we informally (through client meetings) and formally (through rounds of customer research where we engage in 30-minute interviews with PVCs, deans, learning technologists, and lecturers) ascertain the institution’s priorities and course development processes. That customer research confirms how valuable our flexibility and scalability are in helping institutions create innovative online and blended courses underpinned by learning design. The impact of these services can be seen in the institution’s saved time and in the learners’ achieved outcomes. Pearson’s outcomes-focused approach structures the course around the institution’s desired learner outcomes and puts metrics in place to help faculty measure success.
We would be honoured to lead a session where the audience will be able to:
- See how our collaborative approach helps institutions succeed in navigating the six emerging technology trends, and
- Explore examples of bespoke courses we developed using strategic learning technology designs to enhance educational experiences.
Association for Learning Technology (2016a). About ALT. https://www.alt.ac.uk/ (accessed February 2016).
Association for Learning Technology (2016b). ALT Annual Conference 2016: Connect, Collaborate, Create. https://altc.alt.ac.uk/2016/ (accessed February 2016)
Bergin, Dr. Jeff 2013. Using Evidence-based Learning Design and Evaluation to Improve Outcomes in Online Higher Education. Pearson. https://www.pearsoned.com/wp-content/uploads/Brochure_LearningDesign_web_final.pdf (accessed February 2016).
New Media Consortium (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Edition. https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/HR2015.pdf (accessed February 2016).
New Media Consortium (2016). NMC Horizon Report: 2016 Higher Education Edition. http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2016-nmc-horizon-report-he-EN.pdf (accessed February 2016).
Stansbury, Meris (2016). 6 Influential Technologies on the Higher Ed Horizon. http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/horizon-report-2016-278/ (accessed February 2016).