“…the depth and meaning of assessment is only as good as the scope and quality of faculty involvement. ” (Kinzie, 2010)
Most academics would agree that faculty tend to dislike the word assessment and the bureaucracy it involves. The reasons vary but essentially it’s viewed as a time-consuming distraction from the art of teaching and many also believe grades are more than sufficient indicators of student content mastery. One of the challenges with assessment is that it is often imposed on faculty by academic leaders who must prepare data and reports to meet more stringent accountability requirements from accreditors.
So an important initial consideration for provosts, deans, and department chairs is to think about how to get faculty involved early and often in the development of a campus assessment approach. According to Kinzie’s focus group summary on student learning outcome assessment, faculty were highly engaged and energized when reviewing student work and the extent to which these artifacts validate student learning (2010).
Fortunately, there are several solutions to the argument that assessment takes too much time and distracts from what should really be happening in the classroom. First, a best practice is to embed assessment activities in both formative and summative evaluations of student course work. Known as course-embedded assessment, this ensures that faculty are both teaching to and evaluating student learning outcomes in context instead of waiting for programmatic portfolio type evaluation at the end of a student’s degree sequence. Portfolio evaluations are definitely valuable but it’s often difficult to remedy performance deficiencies after a student has completed coursework.
Second, a well-designed assignment rubric can articulate certain criteria that apply to course outcomes along with others that specifically target grading criteria. This integrated approach allows faculty to augment their well-known grading process with newly included outcome performance criteria in a way that creates a single assessment workflow for evaluating student work. It’s a win-win situation because having more fully developed rubrics allows faculty to spell out more precisely what mastery looks like to students and serves as a helpful guideline for conversations about why students earned the grade they did on a particular assignment. It also provides faculty with data to pass up the academic outcome hierarchy for evaluation of program effectiveness.
So, while it’s tempting to impose a one size fits all approach to the assessment of student learning, it is worth it to involve faculty in all phases of this process. Everyone tends to more actively engage when the discussion focuses on how to improve learning as opposed to mandatory data generation requirements.
Kinzie, J. (2010). Perspectives from Campus Leaders on the Current State of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment: NILOA Focus Group Summary 2009-2010. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. Retrieved November 3, 2010, from http://learningoutcomesassessment.org/documents/FocusGroupFinal.pdf
Brian Epp | Assessment & Analytics Group Supervisor - Academic Training & Consulting| Pearson eCollege
In an age of constant student mobility, the students have changed and the paths they follow are diverse. Increasingly, those paths include transfers to and from many types of colleges and universities creating barriers to degree completion. In a 2005 issue of “Policy Matters,” the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) emphasized the need for collaboration and change among transfer students’ institutions with these remarks:
The process of bringing together so many different kinds of institutions and programs into common agreement will never be easy, but will remain an essential goal as student mobility increases and options multiply. (…) States, systems, sectors, and institutions must continue to work together to eliminate their differences and create smooth working models that encourage student success. (Conclusion section, para. 2)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Economics Situation Summary, Friday, December 3, 2010 and the November 2010 numbers reflect we may not have made much progress in finding ways to increase student success. The unemployment rate is 9.8% and the difference among those with college degrees and those without is striking (see Summary Table A)!
Table A indicates “High school graduates, no college” have twice the unemployment rate of “Bachelor’s degree and higher”.
Our country has made significant gains in “access” to higher education but despite the efforts of the institutions to have policies in place some students still encounter difficulties obtaining degrees. It seems that one of the problems may be positioned in the fact we are often concerned with “student retention” which has an institutional focus and not “persistence” which has a student focus. Determining clear connections supporting learning and student success could lead to a significant narrowing of the economic inequity in our society through empowering learners.
The first step is to increase high school graduation rates across America. The students who don’t acquire their high school diploma have the highest unemployment rate, currently reaching a level of 15.7%. Upon attaining this milestone, high school alumnae see unemployment rates drop to 10%. These learners need to not only graduate but graduate with college ready skills and have a community of people willing to provide them financial, emotional and motivational support to enter higher education. Taking the initial step to enroll in post-secondary education and secure some college experience shows unemployment numbers of individuals begin to fall, if even ever so slightly. In the most recent unemployment numbers for this group rates fell from 10% to 8.7% when some college credit was achieved.
One resource with implications for academic practice deals directly with innovations in testing and measurement. Pearson’s Test, Measurement, and Research Services Newsletter (TMRS) provides an easy to reference list of current publications and conference presentations that deal directly with promoting student success in K-12 and Higher Education. Pearson's research publications are for educators, parents, students, researchers and policy makers. Visit the Publications section of Pearson’s Assessment & Information website to search by topic, tile, author and date. All documents are available to view in PDF format.
A Sampling of Recent Publications:
Almond, P., Winter, P., Cameto, R., Russell, M., Sato, E., Clarke, J., et al. (2010). Technology-enabled and universally designed assessment: Considering access in measuring the achievement of students with disabilities—A foundation for research. Dover, NH: Measured Progress and Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.
Bodenhorn, N., Wolfe, E. W., & Airens, O. (2010). School counselor program choice and self-efficacy: Relationship to achievement gap and equity. Professional School Counseling, 13, 165–174.
Phan, H., Sentovich, C., Kromrey, J., Ferron, J., & Dedrick, R. (2010, May). Correlates of mathematics achievement in developed and developing countries: An analysis of TIMSS 2003. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
Van Moere, A., Suzuki, M., & Klungtvedt, M. (2010, October). Time is money: Assessing efficient use of written English skills for work purposes. Paper presented at the ninth annual conference of the East Coast Organization of Language Testers, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
As educators we all need to take accountability for fostering student success. As United States citizens we need to foster the state of our economy through two of our most valuable resources…..labor and entrepreneurship. Today’s students evolve into leaders of tomorrow. The paths chosen by students have become quite complex. The traditional vertical progression through higher education has become a pathway of the past. It does not suffice to simply understand the various pathways; we must understand why these pathways are chosen and have policies in place to support these pathways. This understanding comes through exploring the perceptions, ambitions and reasons for persistence of all students in their pursuit of degree attainment at all levels of education. The ultimate goal is to empower our struggling labor force to reach personal academic goals and become productive citizens in our workforce!
Let’s make a difference in 2011!
American Association of State Colleges and Universities (ASSCU). (2005, July). Policy Matters: Developing transfer and articulation policies that make a difference. Retrieved December 10, 2010 from http:/aascu.org/policy_matters/pdf/v2n7.pdf
Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS), United States Department of Labor. (2010, December). Economics Situation Summary. Retrieved December 13, 2010 from http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
Pearson’s Assessment and Information: Research and Resources Website. Retrieved December 13, 2010 from http://www.pearsonassessments.com/pai/ai/research/ResearchandResources_old.htm
Pearson’s Test, Measurement, & Research Services(TMRS). (2010). Quarterly Newsletter v3 n3. Retrieved December 13, 2010 from http://www.pearsonassessments.com/NR/rdonlyres/11968220-FEDB-46CD-9ED1-75BF30B4AEAF/0/2010_v3n3_newsletter.pdf
Karen R. Owens, Ph.D. / Academic Assessment Consultant / Pearson eCollege
I’m midway through my third year as a Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) subject matter expert at Pearson eCollege. As I read through the relevant journals and publications in this field, I am encouraged to see us making progress. Experts say that they’re no longer leading workshops with titles like “What is Assessment?” Instead, academics are now asking how to make good use of assessment data. That’s a pretty significant improvement.
If you haven’t already bookmarked the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (http://learningoutcomesassessment.org) then I recommend you add it to your list of favorites now. They published two excellent resources in October. The first, “Regional Accreditation and Student Learning Outcomes: Mapping the Territory”, is an outstanding summary of the commonalities and differences in accreditor approach to SLOs as part of the decennial reauthorization process. It also cites statistics by region as to how often SLO assessment comes up as a reason for required follow-up activities.
The second resource is “Perspectives from Campus Leaders on the Current State of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment: NILOA Focus Group Summary 2009-2010”. The paper’s author lists four key themes that came out of her study:
1. Assessment has taken root and is thriving on many campuses.
2. Accreditation is the major catalyst for student learning outcomes assessment.
3. Faculty involvement is central to meaningful assessment.
4. Assessment is furthered when woven into established structures and processes. (Kinzie, 2010)
The fact that accreditors are playing such a central role in emphasizing the importance of using SLO data to improve curriculum and instruction is juxtaposed today against the rather lively debate about their role in ensuring quality and as a gatekeeper of federal financial aid. Throw in a dose of for-profit and traditional higher ed animosity and we’ve got ourselves a brouhaha that should thrive well into the next decade.
Kinzie, J. (2010). Perspectives from Campus Leaders on the Current State of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment: NILOA Focus Group Summary 2009-2010. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. Retrieved November 3, 2010, from http://learningoutcomesassessment.org/documents/FocusGroupFinal.pdf
Neal, A. (2010). Asking Too Much (and Too Little) of Accreditors. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved November 12, 2010 from http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2010/11/12/neal
Brian Epp | Academic Trainer and Consultant| Pearson eCollege
I'm sitting in a hospital watching my wife breathe. Seriously. We had a scare yesterday that resulted in emergency surgery. She came through really well and all seems to be back on track. But I fired up my computer and connected to the wireless Internet so as to check in on my students and I realized, yet again, the amazing power of online teaching and learning.
If you read this blog, then you dozens of reasons eLearning is actually revolutionary. From personalization to globalization to the deepest, richest data mining around all things education, online learning can (and I believe will) transform education.
But I'm not talking about knowing within an hour about a student who is going to drop or the automatic presentation of new content to a student who is struggling with a test question. I'm talking about the modality itself. In some cases, it can save lives. Let me tell you a true story...
There was a woman who lived in one of the middle-America states. She was a mother of two, a house-wife, and a daughter. She was a plain kind of woman who did remarkable things that nobody ever noticed. So, one day, she decided that she wanted to do remarkable things that others DID notice. She enrolled in a nursing program at a local college.
The news of going back to school did not please many people in her life, most notably her husband. Always a controlling man, with the start of her first class, he began to get more than frustrated...he got jealous. He was jealous of her time being spent on other things, jealous of the possibility that she could make a wage higher than his own, and most of all, jealous of the men he assumed his wife was now meeting with on a regular basis as co-students. You can probably see where this jealous is heading.
About three classes into the program was when the first black eye appeared. Then it was a broken finger, a bruised sternum, and a broken tooth. By the time she was one quarter of the way through her degree, she realized that she had to leave. So, one night, she got her husband as drunk as possible, let him pass out, gathered up her children, and left. She went to a shelter for abused women, not quitting school because that income that made her husband so upset would now have to provide food and shelter for her kids.
But her husband found her. It wasn't hard. He waited at the school and followed her to the shelter. That very night he broke in and beat her unconscious before fleeing down an alley. He was not arrested because he was not found. He was still out there.
What was this mother of two going to do? How could she continue getting her degree without putting herself and her children in jeopardy? The answer came in a way that she had never even imagined. Online learning.
She got back to her classes from the new shelter she and her children moved to, but she never had to leave the facility. She simply learned, communicated with peers, talked to instructors, and got all of the theory for her degree in safety. She engaged in real-world simulations, exercises, and assessments from afar. Regularly she would get a message from police or campus security that someone had spotted her husband at the campus trolling through a parking lot or parked behind a building, but he never seemed to get caught. But he also never found her.
She performed her clinicals and practicals in semi-distant cities, all the while staying in contact with her classmates and instructors via the Internet. And finally the day arrived when, surrounded by police, she marched down the aisle and accepted her diploma. She was now a nurse and could move anywhere to begin again knowing that she could support her family.
So, as I sit here, having "met" with my students from a hospital room, I am grateful to live in a time where learning truly can happen anywhere, anytime. I'm probably not as grateful as that brave nurse...but I'm grateful all the same.
Jeff D Borden, M.A. (50% of that dissertation is done...I can see the light!)
Sr Director of Teaching & Learning
Assessment is not a four letter word but among many higher education faculty it might as well be. The current tide of “show me” in assessment has alienated faculty. The approach has often been a top down model and it isn’t working.
Let’s listen and learn…
I know my students. I know my subject matter. I can tell you which students “get it” and which ones “don’t”. I am in the classroom.
Here is what good teachers do. We start with intended student learning outcomes that allow us as instructors to design our curriculum with a focus on guiding student learning and not just on course content delivery.
Critical thinking skills are essential in all disciplines of higher education but how often do we have students enter our courses not bringing with them the tools they have acquired in their cumulative learning? This linkage for students requires that our teaching not only be systematic but behaviorally systemic. We push students to apply their knowledge and skills throughout all parts of their life. The trend in higher education is no longer about “seat time” or “activity minutes” but rather student demonstration of learning and we get it!
So now you ask us, “How will we know if the students learned what we had hoped? How will they know?”
The progression of gathering information from course assignments, discussion threads and exams extends to improvement of subsequent learning and is the way we facilitate learning. Formative assessment allows for learning to be a process of improvement. It encourages students to build on previous learning and to transfer that learning into new situations. Summative assessment on the other hand evaluates an end product or process. In Levels of Assessment: From the Student to the Institution, Miller and Leskes (2005) explain:
“While the holistic assignment of grades (an A, B or F) is a way to evaluate student work, such grades represent averaged estimates of overall quality and communicate little to students about their strengths, weaknesses, or ways to improve. A better way to aid learning is through analyticalassessment, which can be as simple as written comments on student papers or as structured as the use of a detailed rubric for an assignment; such analysis can reveal precisely which concepts a student finds challenging.”
Using the student information we collect (assess) to inform our curriculum design means improved student learning within and across courses and as good instructors this is what we do!
So, is this about better teaching or better learning? You be the judge. But we will tell you it is not about extra work as we perceive the imposed ‘culture of evidence’ called assessment! It is about promoting collaborative work among all stakeholders to benefit our students!
Karen R. Owens, Ph.D.
Higher Education Assessment Consultant
Miller, R. & Leskes, A. (2005). Levels of Assessment: From the Student to the Institution. A Greater Expectations Publication: Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC & U).
Retrieved July 20, 2010 from: http://www.aacu.org/pdf/LevelsOfAssessment.pdf
Although TED was born in 1984, it has become wildly more popular in the last few years, and appropriately so. Originally meant to bring together people from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment and Design, TED has become an immense reservoir of “Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world”. “Remarkable” is an understatement in my view; UberSmart is probably better.
Yesterday, TED did me a great favor. It pulled my nose off the grindstone and reminded me why it is that we do what we do in education. The reminder came via a riveting talk by the remarkable person Sugata Mitra. You may have already heard of Sugata’s “Hole in the Wall” project that shows how, even without a teacher, “If children have interest, education happens.” Listening to his talk and thinking about my own continued education and the education of my daughters, I was struck by Sugata’s work in showing that a simple, innate passion to learn can be found in everyone.
I was reminded that education is not just for the privileged because curiosity, innovation and desire can be found in any person. Education should not, cannot, be a selfish thing. Education is too foundational to each society and industry to be confined. Education is the foundation of everything that makes the world go ‘round.
The reality is that this world is an increasingly more difficult place for a hexabillion people to share; but, when we better education, we better people, we better lives, we better communities, nations and tomorrows. That’s a purpose worth being a part of. That’s a purpose I’m glad to be part of.
So, thank you TED, for the reminder that when you educate, you work beyond yourself.
Luke Cable | Academic Trainer & Consultant
You might not have to take a look at the search trends to guess that Internet search traffic for the iPad is on par with President Obama and LeBron James. Since the iPad’s launch on April 3rd, over 10,000 apps have been created for the device; that’s nearly 90 apps a day. And you can probably guess that there are already more than a few articles about the iPad in Education. But I have two observations that I think are worth putting out into educational cyberspace.
First, despite all the hullabaloo, the iPad is really not about the device. The beauty of the iPad’s design is that it’s a digital canvas that becomes and facilitates so many things. It’s a book, newspaper, game, compass, menu, recipe, calendar, calculator, communicator, encyclopedia, guitar tuner, sketch pad, research tool, conversion tool, star chart... It is what we want it to be; it is what we make it to be. The mindset is shifting from ‘this-is-what-a-device-can-do-for-you’ to ‘show-what-you-can-do-with-this-device.’ Apologies to JFK, but perhaps the best phase is: “Ask not what the iPad can do for you; ask what you can do with the iPad.”
Second, the iPad meets us where we are. Let’s face it, our lives are hybrid. We’re offline and we’re online and the line between the two has been blurred for a while. We live mobile lives and we don’t think twice about getting and receiving information day or night, no matter where we are. The days are (or soon to be) over when education is tied to location. It first moved from the campus/classroom to the home/library/coffee shop with the personal computer; now it’s moving from the computer’s location to me. Perhaps ironically, I think the iPad is to hardware as Google’s mission statement is to information. It’s a bold move in making the computer readily accessible to more people. It meets the young, the old, the savvy and the novice with ease.
iPad-like devices have just been born; we have definitely not yet seen the best of what they will be or will bring. But, to me, if one of the purposes of education is along the lines of ‘preparing younger generations for the future’, then iPads (and devices like it to come) facilitate the natural next steps from where we are today to education anywhere-anytime.
Academic Trainer & Consultant
A lot of folks who teach online are fairly comfortable with putting their own content into their learning management system. In Pearson LearningStudio, I can easily add PowerPoint lectures, .pdf readings, lecture notes, and even videos that I regularly create to give my students a quick overview of each Unit. But sometimes I'd love to include a guest lecturer to give my students another perspective from just what I've learned in my years of study.
Sometimes you, the instructor, might adopt a particular text that includes a series of videos, flash- or java-based interactive learning tools, etc. These are great, and more are being developed every day. But not every publisher has them, and not every instructor adopts texts from the publishers that do.
But if you want to get that neat content into your course right now, if you want to add that guest lecturer, if you want to engage students at a higher level than just text and some graphics, look to the Internet for some valuable free resources.
Fortunately, there is a lot, and more coming every day. Let's take iTunes U as an example. Even if you're not a fan of iTunes, they are setting a standard for the sharing of valuable academic content (over 250,000 resources for free!) that other content providers are rapidly adopting.
You can access iTunes U by downloading iTunes for Mac or PC. (And don't worry, an online version of iTunes is rumored to hit browsers later in 2010.) Once you've started iTunes, log into the iTunes Store and then click the iTunes U button in the upper-right corner. Voilà, you've found a wealth of Higher Ed. and K-12 content provided by major universities and state departments of education.
Myself, I'm keen on The University of Warwick's Classics in Discussion course. If you right-click on any of the tracks provided there, such as "Epic Poetry: from Homer to Virgil," you can choose "Copy Link" and paste it like this: http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/warwick.ac.uk.2015041076.02015041081.2153917069?i=1893573100
If you're using Pearson LearningStudio, you can even use the Insert Link button in the Visual Editor to add it. When students click the link, it will launch iTunes. (The downside is that, as of the date of this post anyway, your students will need to download iTunes to listen. But again, browser-based access is coming soon.) And of course, this being an Apple-provided item, students who own i devices (iPod, iPhone, iPad, iEnergy Efficient Home, iVersion of Myself, etc.) can download these resources and listen to the audio or watch those videos that are available.
Heck, iTunes U even has spring 2010 commencement addresses from around the country available for your listening or viewing pleasure. Governor Schwarzenegger spoke at my alma mater, Emory University, in May. What a boon!
But I'm not saying here that iTunes U is the only option. It's nice, but you have other choices. Check out the resources available at videolectures.net, for example. It's a European-based site that culls valuable video lectures (often classroom recorded) from distinguished professors around the EU. Right now, it's a bit top-heavy in terms of Information Technology-oriented content, but more content in the humanities, and the social and natural sciences is being added all the time.
And let's not forget that most publicly funded museums (and some private museums) like The Smithsonian and The Louvre have their own vast resources, many of which are interactive flash items or videos that enhance students' understanding of art, science, history -- you name it! Check out Smithsonian Education and The Louvre's official Web site for more information.
In short, just because you don't have an on-ground classroom where a guest lecturer can show up, or just because you don't know a good guest lecturer at all, doesn't mean that you're limited in how you can share new content and ideas with students. In the online environment, the possibilities are seemingly endless!
-- Rob Kadel, Ph.D.
-- Academic Trainer & Consultant
-- Pearson eCollege
I’ve blogged before about the external accountability and internal continuous improvement goals representing two competing perspectives on outcomes assessment in higher ed. In an article posted to Inside Higher Ed on February 22, 2010, Dead Dad articulates yet another thing to consider in this complex dynamic. That is whether or not colleges and universities should tout their achievements in improving the student learning experience as a result of completing a particular degree program.
At first glance it may sound like a great idea for institutions to promote their success in advancing the student learning experience on their campuses, however, as with most things the issue gets more questionable when you look deeper. Dean Dad explains that academics would be motivated to critically dissect underperforming outcomes to figure out where the gaps are when viewing this dilemma from the internal continuous improvement perspective. Conversely, the external accountability perspective wants to make an institution look as good as possible and marketing these results would have a tendency for academic leaders to hide the bad in order to accentuate the positive. Dad explains that “…too much transparency in the early stages of improvement-driven assessment can kill it, leading to CYA behavior rather than candor (Dad 2010).”
Ultimately, I believe that publishing and promoting success will motivate students and parents to look twice at institutions who can prove their students are learning which will pressure the lagging colleges and universities to step up their efforts. What I have seen in my work with colleges and universities is that campus assessment plans typically start with deans and faculty first with the goal of increasing transparency to other stakeholders once the key internal stakeholders have developed a sense of comfort and trust with the process. In the end, everyone agrees that it is in the best interest of all stakeholders to include students, parents, and the broader community in the outcome management and reporting process but it’s a challenge to be the first to take this transparency to the next level.
Could it be that outcome performance statistics is what will eventually start to chip away at the idea that a degree from an Ivy League school is better than that of an online for profit? That may be decades down the road but it will be exciting to watch this issue work itself out.
Dad, D. (2010, February 22). Assessment as Marketing. Retrieved February 22, 2010 from Inside Higher Ed, Web site: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions_of_a_community_college_dean/assessment_as_marketing
Brian McKay Epp
Higher Education Assessment Consultant
Do you remember the haunting words sung by Frank Sinatra - "When I was 35...it was a very good year..."? As eCollege turned 13, which incidently is 118 in Internet years, a LOT happened. But more happened to set up 2010 than many people may know. Let's look back for a moment as we look ahead.
Do you know the saying, "Measure twice, cut once?" That is exactly what Pearson is getting ready to do with LearningStudio OE (formerly eCollege). For the past year, we've spent tens of thousands of dollars, hired dozens of new employees, and worked overtime to move the current systems into tighter integration so as to be able to measure more than was ever possible before. Measurement of (and subsequently) performance on outcomes has already proven to make online education stronger in some situations than face to face (http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf). But moving forward, and as technology becomes increasingly seamless with life, the measurement that online education brings to the table will change teaching and learning.
For example, we've always had the ability to correlate time on task or clicks in the system to grades, completion rates, retention, etc. In 2009 we helped a number of schools identify hierarchies of outcomes that could be tagged and reported on at any level. Every day we give statistical measures of outcomes, activity, grades, portfolios, etc., to schools so they can better understand their students. Does time in threaded discussions lead to higher completion rates? We know the answer. Does the amount of time a student has to wait for an assignment to be graded lead to program retention? We know that too.
But in the next decade...heck, in the next couple of years, all of the measuring will become much more significant. A much more holistic view of students will be available based on more than formative & summative feedback. It will be based on more than activity or grade data. The LMS is almost to a place where we can both report on and predict behaviors as they lead to learning. This individual learning path that students will be able to take will come with complete measurement by the faculty and the institution.
I'm talking about measuring students on a lot more than tests and project feedback. We're talking about measuring the intensity by which a student acts - the number of clicks, the types of interactions with peers, the amount of time spent with a teacher, the number of hints needed to succeed, etc. We're talking about the measurement of far more than raw scores on tests. We're talking about understanding the p value for a question, the median scores for the class, the confidence by which students answered a question - all much more than the answer itself.
All of this measuring will give teachers and/or schools the ability to set students along a path that pushes them into higher levels of learning, regardless of how much time or how much interaction takes place between the student and the system. We'll measure when learning happens, how learning happens, and we'll give individuals the tools to reshape their learning priorities so as to make it more meaningful.
That is the future of the LMS. That is the decade before us.
Will Apple release a tablet in 2010 that will revolutionize that market? Maybe. Will the iPhone 4G come out in conjunction with Verizon, thereby making it even more prolific in all circles, including education? Probably. And a dozen other cool technologies will change the landscape of how we interact and communicate. But what matters to me as I advise Pearson about education and technology isn't each cool new toy. It's not the fun new widget that Sony or Microsoft or Google brings to the party. (Have you seen Google Wave yet?...)
No, what matters is the big picture. We are heading to a place where technology is simply an extension of ourselves. A place where homework isn't done at home and school work isn't done at school (at least as we know it). Christensen predicted 50% of all K-12 happening online by the end of our new decade. I agree. And if that's the case for K-12, imagine higher ed. We're coming to a place where technology, school, work, life, and everything else just merge together. It's the ultimate mash-up. It's teaching, learning, and living. It's...well...it will be what we just call "life". Not virtual life - just life.
So, if you are looking for what's coming in 2010, it's the set up for all the rest of the next decade. It's going to be amazing I think. I hope you think so too.
So here is to 2009. May all of the preparation and activity help us get to that educational dream as fast as possible. And here is to 2010 - where that dream is going to start to be realized. Here is to changing education and, ultimately, to changing lives for the better.