Research Question 3: Key Trends

What trends do you expect to have a significant impact on the ways in which learning-focused institutions approach our core missions of teaching, research, and service?

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Compose your entries like this:
  • Trend Name. Add your ideas here with a few sentences of description, including full URLs for references (e.g. And do not forget to sign your contribution with 4 ~ (tilde) characters!

  • Devices like Apple's iPad are filling a niche that is neither "big smartphone" or "small laptop." As people use -- and talk about -- the ways they are finding to use devices like the iPad, it is becoming clear that it is neither an oversized phone or a dumbed-down laptop. Instead, it represents a new class of devices that perhaps we weren't even aware we wanted before they became available. Meanwhile, the iPad is gaining a footing in education, the health industry, and other sectors as a tool for learning and for serious work. See,,, - ninmah ninmah Aug 24, 2010 -- More than that, they are redefining what a portable device is, at a fundamental level. - Larry Larry Aug 25, 2010 - alan alan Aug 25, 2010 The opportunities for teaching are endless -i would love to deliver a course where i knew that each student had an ipad. - lydia.kavanagh lydia.kavanagh Aug 30, 2010 - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010 we are already seeing significant numbers of studenst using iPads in class - this opens the way for many clever uses of such devices - linda.obrien linda.obrien Sep 2, 2010 The ipad is also a tool that is accessable across all age groups. My 4 year old has quickly mastered the navigation system and operates the tool. The natural interface is easier than the traditional mouse and keyboard arrangement. Link this too to speed of load and portability and it becoming a powerful learning tool. The increase in size does add better usability and functionality over a iPhone, smartphone or PDA. Its does lack the multitasking function that you would find in laptops, but makes up for this with fast task switching. - andrew.churches andrew.churches Sep 5, 2010

  • More and more, teachers are adopting social media as a classroom resource. Students are already out there in these social spaces, and a lot of teachers are involved in professional or interest-based social communities. Social media are being hailed as essential to a 21st-century education (, used as a source for research (, providing a way for students to connect and communicate as part of their lessons (, and being used by the majority of professors ( - ninmah ninmah Aug 24, 2010. In addition I think...we recently had a great talk on the use of social media by a research higher degree student ( - the possibilities are amazing for use of such tools for the work of research and scholarship - motivated students will start using them themselves even is teachers don't - linda.obrien linda.obrien Sep 2, 2010 This is a logical progression as the students are using these technologies almost constantly - essentally it is leveraging the studennts social use. It does raise issues for pre tertairy teachers. The blurring of the boundaries between what is a social medium and an educational medium is going to increasingly raise issues of duty of care. Hense many pre tertairy instituions are adopting walled garden approach or are avoiding the use of social media completely - andrew.churches andrew.churches Sep 5, 2010
  • Social media and online contributions are increasingly acknowledged in workplaces. Non-LMS platforms in higher ed are enabling involvement of industry in projects etc, and highlight to students the place that social media now has beyond personal communication/networks. We need to encourage our educational organisations to prepare students for this more to overcome the 'it's not relevant' argument. - robyn.jay robyn.jay Aug 30, 2010 - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010
  • The perceived value of innovation and creativity is increasing. Innovation is valued at the highest levels of business and must be embraced in schools if students are to succeed beyond their formal education. Many jobs that will be sought and filled by educated young people require the ability to improvise, though this skill is neither taught nor prized in school. The ways we design learning experiences must reflect the growing importance of innovation and creativity as professional skills if students are to succeed beyond the classroom. [From the 2009 Report] - Larry Larry Aug 25, 2010 It is a continuing graduate attribute and underpinning industry requirement for engineers. - lydia.kavanagh lydia.kavanagh Aug 30, 2010 I think "Creativity" has always been there in at least research which is, after all, a creative process. Certainly has been lacking in the industrial model of teaching HiEd has evolved into. But moving away and receiving attention as we see by all of those speaking fees Ken Robinson et al are recieving as HiEd conference keynotes! - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010 The new technologies will also provide better mechanisms to scaffold and "assess" creative endeavours - one of the great pedagogical bugbears! - philip.poronnik philip.poronnik Sep 2, 2010 Creativity and innovation are hugely important, but given the focus in many schools on assessment largely ignored. While there is a continued focus on examinations as the primary form of assessment and within these a focus on lower order thinking this will continue - An interesting article from News week - This looks at the impact that some current educational practices are having on CQ, the creativity quotent. - andrew.churches andrew.churches Sep 5, 2010
  • Demand for access to networked services continues to exceed capacity. A July 2010 Telstra survey suggests internet access is "more important than food, heat, television" to Australians ( - A large number of homes break their monthly limits for usage. - alan alan Aug 27, 2010
  • Technology continues to impact how people work, play, gain information, and participate in communities. Once seen as an isolating factor for those who use it, the Internet has now become firmly established as a key medium through which people connect with one another. It provides virtual spaces where people who share interests can congregate; it facilitates serendipitous connections between people located in very different parts of the world; it connects colleagues, families, friends, and communities no matter how widely scattered they may be. The Internet is blurring the boundaries between online and real-world, between work and play, and between near and distant, affecting every part of our lives. [From the 2009 Report] - Larry Larry Aug 25, 2010
  • Technology is increasingly a means for empowering students, a method for communication and socializing, and a ubiquitous, transparent part of their lives. For many students, technology is a primary means of socializing and managing one’s own learning. In a natural extension of the previous trend, it permeates teaching and learning as it does the rest of our activities. It is an integral part of everyday life for students and teachers, and increasingly, an indispensible tool for learning. It places the power to communicate firmly in the hands of students, connecting them to experts, to information, and to one another in powerful and immediate ways. [From the 2009 Report] - Larry Larry Aug 25, 2010 Agreed that this is still a key trend - and the response of educational institutions must be to find ways to ensure that they have a 'presence' in this world that students can relate to and use. - derek.wenmoth derek.wenmoth Aug 31, 2010 As previously commented, the traditional communication methods (including email) are failing us as educators - we need to find new pathways. - lydia.kavanagh lydia.kavanagh Aug 30, 2010 Yes. IT becoming more a transparent part of life. No more Prensky terminalogy such as "Digital Native" required (indeed Emeritus Dean of Education @ Michigan, Carl Berger, speaks of "Milleniual Instructors"). I heard an ECU academic (Mark McMahon) descibe successful users of ICT as folks who "just see technology as an extension of themselves" - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010 I agree - I think students today don't think of a smart phone, Facebook, a Wii or an iPad as "technology" - linda.obrien linda.obrien Sep 2, 2010 It is not just the students - the "digital natives". The use of technology is becoming universal through out the population. Recent work on neuroplasticity the ability of the brain to adapt and change is showing that the brains ability to adapt and chnage continues through out life. It is becoming a ubiquitous and transparent part of anyones life who nis willing to adopt with these tools. - andrew.churches andrew.churches Sep 5, 2010
  • The way we think about learning environments is changing. Because technology is so pervasive in our lives, the learning environment is no longer limited to a physical space. Today, the notion of a “classroom” includes experiences, experts, collaborators, peers, and resources located all over the globe and available twenty-four hours a day. To take advantage of this trend, institutions must reflect and support the transformation of the learning environment by embracing the means that make it possible: social networking tools, semantic applications, mobile devices, virtual worlds, and other emerging technologies that facilitate collaboration, communication, and learning. [From the 2009 Report] - Larry Larry Aug 25, 2010 Couldn't agree more yet we can't jump from A to Z in one go. We are humans remember! That's why I have outlined a Learning Environment Maturity Model where I suspect it may take many years (generations?) to unlearn the passive and transaction-based systems we have to day and to embrace the interactive, experiential and autonomous learning environments of the future. But the sooner we start... - paul.mckey paul.mckey Aug 29, 2010 Our institution has just mandated that coordinators must use an online learning system for each course. They have underpinned this with the appointment of a number of technology-learning experts to help with this transition. Slowly but surely we will change. - lydia.kavanagh lydia.kavanagh Aug 30, 2010 I believe the key trend here is the development of the semantic web - from thinking about the organisation, management and access to/of resources, to the meaning within those resources (and the very definition of what a resource might be!). Some interesting views here - derek.wenmoth derek.wenmoth Aug 31, 2010 The way we think about this is changing - but for many of our teachers this paradign shift is still difficult and threatening - linda.obrien linda.obrien Sep 2, 2010 Learning environments in Secondary schools are changing, this is partly from thye increased adoption of technology and to an extent social media. The expectations of the students that learning will be anytime and anywhere, technologically supported or delivered, often non linear. There is also a shift evident in secondary schools for the students to undertake project or problem absed learning rather than traditional teacher centric approaches - these need flexible learning environments which facilitate and support small groups or teams. - andrew.churches andrew.churches Sep 5, 2010
  • The availability of educational content for mobile devices is increasing as more providers develop for these platforms. As e-books and e-readers begin to become mainstream, the educational content providers will be offering more and more content aimed at these devices. These "texts" can have more dynamic multimedia and students can buy or rent entire textbooks or just chapters and parts of books needed. Annotation features will allow better sharing of notes and commentary. and - KeeneH KeeneH Aug 25, 2010 Agree. Made comments on in "Mobiles" on need to move from static eBooks to media rich publications. - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010 Totally agree. - philip.poronnik philip.poronnik Sep 2, 2010 Agree the rate of change, discovery and the exponential growth of information make keeping paper based resources up to date an impossible task. Further the students are used to rich multimedia and multisensory experiences, they are not linier in their approach to learning. - andrew.churches andrew.churches Sep 5, 2010

  • Social and open forms of peer review and scholarship are gradually gaining acceptance. As younger professors enter the ranks and as new forms of online publishing are (slowly) gaining traction, elements of scholarship like peer review will be challenged and changed with new technologies and approaches. This issue has been mentioned in past Horizon Reports (Global 2007 and 2009 reports) but the trend may start to accelerate. - KeeneH KeeneH Aug 25, 2010 Unfashionable I know, but I think even with electronic delivery peer review will remain at the core of research output. It's how we can improve the peer review process that I think matters . Which I think is what you are saying above as well. - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010 I found one of our academics who marks students down if they don't use Wikipedia as a source - and another who bans its use - the times are changing, but slowly - linda.obrien linda.obrien Sep 2, 2010
  • As the availability and use of electronic books continue to grow, the traditional publishing (and textbook) market is undergoing a profound and lasting change. Even if Amazon's claims for sales of Kindle books are questionable (that they are selling more books via Kindle than hardbacks is not significant --see, the publishing game is going to be changed, It is growing less about the eBook hardware and more about the concept of an electronic text, which ought to be cheaper, more versatile, more sharable than the old fashioned book. - alan alan Aug 25, 2010 See recent article on the year of the ebook - mark.brown mark.brown Aug 31, 2010 - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010 We are going to see a shift in skill sets in the publishing industry. We are already seeing it in Newspapers, where there websites are not only text with supporting images, but are also including podcasts and video. Increasingly staff in these industries are going to have to "retool" or reskill to adapt to the changing landscape. This will apply to the production of text books, journals etc. For these resources to be engaging and useable they will have to become multimedia, non-linear, interactive, adaptive etc none of these features are available in a paper based medium - andrew.churches andrew.churches Sep 5, 2010
  • Increasingly, students expect to use technology in their learning experiences. They experience what can be done, how they can learn, and a level of engagement that is not experienced by traditional methods. And then they complain bitterly when we don't maintain this standard. As an example, last year's student council ran on the platform of making Lectopia available for all courses. - lydia.kavanagh lydia.kavanagh Aug 30, 2010 I agree they expect technology but I think they remain hesitant about being active contributors and generators of content. Lectopia is generally a means of sucking in content - robyn.jay robyn.jay Aug 30, 2010 - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010 Note for U.S. editors: Lectopia (now Echo360) an Aussie product originating from Uni WA dominating Australian market. It's fair to say we are probably ahead of teh U.S. in maturity i that area (a decade plus, over have our institutes). However... constructivists would tell us more needed on student delivery material (the need mentioned somewhere on this page). Just make it an assessement item as some have (The Con at griffth U for example) and the students will pump out digital assets :-) - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010 This technology is essential as our students transition to produsers (Axel Brun) - philip.poronnik philip.poronnik Sep 2, 2010 Students are bringing in their technology and using it whether we are ready or not. We have an attitude of "best tool for the job" the students are taught to to use a variety of traditional and digital solutions and then expected to make their selection based on this experience. They do question the relevance of anyone teaching with out the use of suitable and appropriate - if the medium isn't current is the information. There too is the question of engagement. - andrew.churches andrew.churches Sep 5, 2010
  • Game theory is beginning to inform the design of learning activities in more classrooms. Teachers will become more familiar with the theory behind how good online games are designed, and this will be applied to learning activities. (See Shute, V. J., Ventura, M., Bauer, M. & Zapata-Rivera, D. (2009). Melding the Power of Serious Games and Embedded Assessment to Monitor and Foster Learning: Flow and Grow. In U. Ritterfeld, M. Cody & Vorderer, P. (Ed), Serious Games: Mechanisms and Effects. (pp 293-319). Taylor & Francis Group. Retrieved February 6, 2010, from )Social networking tools will also allow student understanding and consqueneces of participation. - philip.poronnik philip.poronnik Sep 2, 2010 Key to the success of games are several facets of the game design - feedback and decision making. Game users are asked to make decisions multiple times per minute and receive feedback, both positive and negative frequently (again several times per minute). These two aspects mean that games are engaging and motivating. The traditional approaches to teaching and learning do not have students making decisions or recieving feedback. This limits engagement and impacts on learning. taking lessons from game environments and theory will see improvements to learning outcomes etc
  • Stealth assessment is gaining a footing as an alternative means of assessment. Stealth assessment is a term being used to describe the seamless incorporation of of assessment tasks into learning activities where the two aspects of education are not separated by time and methodology. (See Shute, V. J. (2009). Simply Assessment. International Journal of Learning, and Media, 1(2), 1-11 and Shute, V. J. & Spector, J. M. (2008). SCORM 2.0 White Paper: Stealth Assessment in Virtual World.
Retrieved February 6, 2010, from )
  • As digital learning resources are increasingly accepted by students, institutions are considering replacing print resources with more cost-effective options. The growth of ereaders and wider acceptance of using digital study materials is likely to lead to pressure from senior executives to reduce the production of print materials, especially in traditional distance education providers. This response in the context of the current financial crisis may provide more stimulus for tipping the current paradigm of print-based study material to a new digital format. However, the challenge will be providing students with 'added value' through any new delivery method rather than merely replacing one delivery format with another. - mark.brown mark.brown Aug 31, 2010 We have gone with a digital preferred library resources strategy and are slowly replacing print backsets with digital - it increases use and this can only service improve the quality of scholarship - linda.obrien linda.obrien Sep 2, 2010
  • There is an increasing emphasis on student retention, attribution and completion rates. This is likely to lead to new technology solutions to identify at-risk students. Institutions will increasingly look to new technology to (a) help provide appropriate early interventions and (b) exclude students who are likely to fail. A number of early intervention systems are emerging which draw on a data warehouse to provide consolidated information on student progress. - mark.brown mark.brown Aug 31, 2010 Yes. Was a point in the Bradley Review in AU. How technology can assist is the challenge. Whether it as simple as giving tools to engage as ACU has or much more fundamental is to be seen - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010 - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010 This will be exaccebated by the Bradley changes so we're now using Starfish (a hosted soloution) to assist in identifying students at risk and Smartthinking to provide online 24*7 tutoring (a product run from the US) - 2 technology enabled solutions in the cloud - linda.obrien linda.obrien Sep 2, 2010
  • There is a growing divergence between the popular use of digital tools and content and institutional senses of responsibility and protection. K12 and higher education institutions remain deeply protective of and assertive about their responsibility to protect students under their care or charge from the damaging effects of questionable content (read pornography) and unmoderated social networking environments such as FaceBook. This is underneath the strong community sense supporting censorship in the form of boarder edge filtering of all network communications. If the topic of child pornography is raised, then there are no arguments that dissuade those who advocate filtering to 'prevent' it from harming children using the net. Australian Government Cybersafety Plan - Phillip.Long Phillip.Long Sep 1, 2010
  • I completely agree. The obvious outcome of the restrictions that universities and schools put on the access to, and use of the internet, will drive students to invest in 3G network capacity for their iPads and netbooks and thus bypass any controls that institutions may have tried to apply. It is far better to educate students on appropriate internet usage rather than try to use technology to force behaviour - nick.tate nick.tate Sep 2, 2010.
  • K12 has an added layer of complexity with the duty of care we have towards our students. As minors in our care we have both a legal and moral responcibility to protect them. The blurring of the boundaries between educational and social use of digital mediums like facebook is going to put increasing pressure on teachers. The teacher who is friends with a student on facebook and via that medium sees the student participating in at-risk behaviours like alcohol or drug abuse, bullying or speaking of potential self harm is potentially at risk if they do not act. When does the duty of care end? At the end of the days work or is it an ongoing ethical responcibility? The problem is larger and wider than just access to unacceptable material. This is a critical trend in K12 - andrew.churches andrew.churches Sep 5, 2010
  • There is an increasing awareness and caution around digital privacy, inappropriate use of digital information and identity and other kinds of theft. People are becoming increasingly aware that their personal digital information can be used in ways for which it was not intended (by the individual). For example, location-based devices mean that the whereabouts of individuals can be tracked, 'checking in' and posting holiday snaps and so forth on Facebook can make your home a target for thieves , there are risks of personal identity theft and journalists and others can use information that was posted (and remains) online inappropriately (for the individual anyway) both now and in the future. This has implications in higher ed for the way we use technologies - everything from teaching and learning to research (ethics). - caroline.steel caroline.steel Sep 2, 2010 As noteed above this also has huge implications for K12. The ease at which students can publish anything with the psychological and ethical development of adolescents means students are frequently posting materials without due consideration of the suitablity of the material or the audience. Nor, particularly for younger students, do they consider the permanance of information in the digital mediums. While location based tagging is not as significent for these people the posting of "imagery" and personal details which for them can be very innocent can have far reaching and significent impacts. - andrew.churches andrew.churches Sep 5, 2010
  • How can the use of technology solutions increase the meaning/relevance of assessment tasks while reducing the physical burden of assessment on the faculty? For many this is the first consideration and developing strategies to address these issues are critical in encouraging adoption by the time challenged colleagues at the coalface. - philip.poronnik philip.poronnik Sep 2, 2010
  • Increasing blending of teaching and research. A colleague of mine told me that when was an undergraduate at Uni he encountered a clear differentiation between the learning experience in an undergraduate course and what you did once you graduated. Undergraduate courses, he said, were all about giving the student a fully prepared set of information and explanations, which they ingested in lectures and by reading the textbook and then exercised in tutorials. Then you transitioned to research in postgraduate study where you learn't to formulate questions/hypothesis and go out to the library and lab and discover prior work and contribute your own ideas experience through publication and seminars. Today, in contrast, there is no longer such a firm dichotomy. Students in undergraduate courses are presented with research questions and pointed in the general direction of resources where they may discover the answers or gain the insights to understand the question. There is more of a continuum from the traditional education mode of school to the creative inquisitiveness of pure research. Technology has been the significant enabler of this transformation. Teaching an undergraduate class of several hundred students in this directed research paradigm would not be possible without technology aids. But education research has been the major driver in that it has informed educators of the need to increase student engagement in the learning process. - Phillip.Long Phillip.Long Sep 2, 2010
  • Accountability of institutions for the educational experience of students. This is implied by the issue of retention and completion mentioned above but in more general terms Governments, societies and students are becoming more conscious of their ability to engage with the learning experience of students and consequently more critical of institutions which are seen as either less responsive to changing requirements, or perceived as making irrelevant and expensive changes. Its increasingly no longer enough that we as institutions and practitioners have confidence in the decisions we make about the teaching/learning environment, we need to be able to communicate those decisions effectively to a wide group of stakeholders in a manner that maintains their confidence in the quality of the formal education process, even as the technologies we introduce increasingly resemble the informal learning environment of modern life. Accountability is consequently linked to the integrity of the core values and identity we maintain, while technology redefines the tools and even the outcomes.
  • Learning Analytics. Around the world there is growing interest and demand to understand and document the value, quality and learning achieved in higher education. The mediation of that learning through digital tools is no exception. It's being called Educational Analytics, Learning Analytics, or some variation on this theme, but whatever it's called it's anchored in the notion that learning analytics (LA) is the measurement, collection, analysis, evaluation and reporting of data about how people learn for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs. It also extends to reflection on what type of data one can collect and use for this purpose. One way or another we need to better understand the traces of interactions and engagement students/learners have with online resources. The tide is turning away from continual introduction of new tools and instead we' need to catch up and build new constructs to understand how learning is occurring in the online world we have. - Phillip.Long Phillip.Long Sep 2, 2010
  • Framework Building. The pace of technology and introductions of new tools and platforms has been thrown the learning community into disarray. We've got LMSs everywhere and PLEs emerging all around them. We're moving toward smooth cross platform access and app behaviour with the independence of location becoming extreme. As always, however, how we use these tools and capabilities lags far behind. The integration and engagement with people doing the hard yards of learning at institutions of higher education needs new attention and focus. And it's starting to come. The flailing about in the Digital Humanities may seem frustrating to some, but they're doing the work that's needed in every discipline to reconsider the academic and learning activities we've always done in the light of these new digital affordances. I'd argue that HASTAC, the Center for History and New Media, the New Media Literacies Project, & the NMC Commission on Commission on Accreditation all represent efforts to take stock and reconsider. We can't do it like we did once, where the growth curve formed a "S" and we had a plateau on which to catch our breath and reflect. John Seely Brown is right that the curve is a straight line angled steeply upwards. We are in and must remain a part of the flow, but we can float into eddies while scanning the passing torrent for a bit. We're starting to and NEED to do this. - Phillip.Long Phillip.Long Sep 2, 2010