Report Highlights Trends and Challenges Driving the Future of Higher Education

From the most solvable to the most challenging, the recent Horizon Report published by New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) ranks the top six trends that are both impeding and accelerating technology adoption in higher education.

The answers to those most solvable challenges, and even the moderate challenges – the lowest hanging fruit, if you will – seem to lie in the effective use of data to measure everything from learning styles and preferences, to retention and outcomes. Those challenges that the report refers to as “wicked” – or those that require more strategic thought and have a longer-term impact – require a fundamental shift in the way colleges and universities think and operate.

Here’s a snapshot of the report:

Solvable Challenges:

  • Blending Formal and Informal Learning
  • Improving Digital Literacy

Difficult Challenges:

  • Competing Models of Education
  • Personalized Learning        

Wicked Challenges:

  • Balancing our Connected and Interconnected Lives
  • Keeping Education Relevant

Understanding these challenges is the first step in overcoming them and achieving meaningful enrollment growth. As the report points out, a likely driver in technology planning and decision making. A commitment to data-driven operations and innovation is the second step, carrying more weight on an institution’s longer term vision.

As more and more post-traditional students flood the higher education space, bringing with them different expectations for the integration of technology in the learning process, it has never been more important that institutions rely on data to deliver the education experience these students desire and demand while ultimately achieving enrollment growth.

Steve Pappageorge

As Chief Product Officer, Steve brings a wealth of general management and technology leadership to his role at Helix Education. Having spent nearly 11 years with DeVry University, serving in a variety of roles, he was most recently the dean of the College of Continuing Education, New Programs, and Outreach. Steve earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business from Lake Forest College and an MBA from Northern Illinois University.