Futuring Paper – Changing Nature of Learners

Trudi Jacobson
Mike Jaromin

What forces are acting on this issue today (University, within region, nationally)

In 10 years, what issues will further shape the issue? How will teaching, learning, admin & student services be affected?

What are the implications for the institution and students/staff/faculty? What/opportunities may be created

How will future developments & opportunities affect the U? How might we respond within the strategic planning process?

Ease  of access to information, overwhelming amounts, traditional students are somewhat device savvy, but often not information savvy

Could be even easier to access and therefore more overwhelming or mechanisms may start sorting/evaluating

Inability to present stable information if discoveries, other changes become more frequent

Less need for presentation of basic facts

Additional challenges to the canon

Continued anti-evidence based discourse

Need for enhanced critical thinking/evaluation instruction

Need for transformative understanding of information literacy/metaliteracy that transcends skills

Need to focus on learning to learn

“Lecture” courses may be outmoded--more emphasis on analysis and application

Change classroom structure: project -based with “lecture” content online (flipped)

Enhanced emphasis on the liberal arts (but need to show the value of this)

Leader in quality information (open textbooks, in conjunction with SUNY-wide initiatives)

Stamp of approval on information sources

Enhanced use of metaliteracy badging system

Personalization, consumer-driven, service-expectation

Will only increase, due to parenting and cost factors, also competition for students (buyers’ market)

Match.com model--students try things out and move on

Provide personalized ways to obtain a degree

Measure how we provide services, use feedback to provide better service than our peers

Determine which changes in response to this are valuable and which are not (for example, Middle Earth valuable)

If our service substandard, won’t be able to attract or retain students

Increased use of analytics

Need to determine campus culture in connection with such expectations

Competency-based education

Continuing trend, changing demographics (underprepared learners)
Employer-driven (evidence of learning/skills/

Return on investment

Education on demand

Erosion of credit hour as coin of the realm

Supplement traditional transcript with competencies due to employer interest

Netflix University model

Offering non-traditional certificates/badges
Cross-departmental conversations/oppor-
tunities to meet student needs that cross departments

Organization charts may change (can’t be siloed) with leadership challenges

Openness to alternatives to traditional educational model

Need to attract those who are attracted to  non-traditional offerings

Innovation grants
(open process, seed grants, student-centered projects) with built-in assessment

Develop mechanisms for reaching out to non-traditional students interested in certificates, shorter, non-degree programs

Explore alternatives to 4 year degree for students who only make it part way

Work with industry (start with regional employers) to help mold some models

Investigate Lumina’s Connecting Credentials Framework

Investigate e-portfolio models for students to collect their accomplishments

Diversity of students (ethnicity, socioeconomic, preparation, 1st generation)

Fewer middle class More Hispanic
More 1st generation

Displaced students due to climate change

More returning or non-traditional students

Even more students will work while in school

Need to finish quickly, need flexibility, need availability of technology

More need for support programs as students will be less prepared

Need to review all supports needed by ESL speakers

University a microcosm of all the services required by society more generally

Academic schedule needs to add flexibility

Tech support 24/7

Need for emergency loans, other supports to get students to graduation

Plan for broader support services using EOP as a model for student success: needs to be a discussion during strategic planning process: need for support services infuse this entire Changing Nature of Learners issue

Global application of assistive technology, ESL needs

Determine whether we want to be known as a school for 1st generation college students, with the service-focus that
would entail

Modes of teaching and learning

Students’ expectations will continue to change  away from traditional

Competition from other models/institutions

Students’ ability to be selective

Changes in brain functionality

Netflix University

Changing nature of K-12 education

Potential impetus from SUNY to deliver seminal content for core courses in centralized manner, with individual campuses addressing more personalized tutoring aspects of these courses

Need for technology-based mechanisms to enhance access and integration of systems University wide (one application for cross area analysis)

24/7 tech support

Need more diverse ways of teaching

Changes in academic calendar (examine exam period blocks, need for a “free period” several days a week for collaborative ventures, class time blocks)

Determine how to help faculty members retool within their areas of strength

Work with initiatives seeking to develop holistic tech systems

Help to shape a new system

Space allocations for enhanced services, less growth in classrooms

Cost of education

Costs will continue to increase unless there is a disruptive event

State allocations will decrease

Federal government will look for ROI for undergraduate education

Class divide between students who can and can’t afford traditional undergraduate education will continue to increase

Schools can’t operate as usual, need to provide other forms of learning that meet needs but aren’t full degrees

Need to address changing federal requirements

Will it cost us students to offer more alternatives to the 4-year degree?
Or it may help stave off loss of traditional student pool?

Increasing numbers of transfer students over first year students

Offer open courses for students to try out institution with low risk, leading to potential enrollment

Take leadership role in open textbooks and other initiatives that help to reduce costs

Increased resources for transfer students

Emergency loans and similar supports

Explore new methods of student admittance based on competencies in K-12


Increased gap between older and newer faculty members

Differentiation of teaching and research faculty

Continued trend away from tenure

Increasing population of adjuncts, freelancers, contingency faculty and therefore less contact between faculty and students

More mentoring by faculty

Plan for a strengths model, faculty doing what they do best (teaching, online instruction, research, mentoring) will enhance student satisfaction

Increased support for ITLAL, FTR, unit of instructional designers

Hive mentality

Social and peer learning

Easier building community

Harder for students who are outside of the hive

Changing perception of academic integrity (individual work vs. team work)

Need for additional mental health services

Impacts on classroom structure (TBL) and assignments

Capitalize on desire for communities/finding your family

Connecting with local students through intra-high school cooperation

Non-cognitive, social learning/learning communities may be affected by changing models of education

Provide options for social/team learning in both in-person and online classes

Provide supports for students to meet others, form communities

Need to find new ways to address non-cognitive, social learning if higher education is still tasked with this (employers looking for these abilities)

Immersive experiences

Increased emphasis on entrepreneurship, maker movement

Blending of co-curricular with the curricular

More learning in the community

Applications of learning to experience

Continue to develop robust applied learning rubrics and activities that help in-class and outside class activities coalesce

Academic departments need operational staff to coordinate immersive experiences for the major

How might immersive experiences demonstrate competencies? Might be entry point to CBE elements

Investigate e-portfolios and explore incorporation of assignments that produce learning artifacts that can be bundled and taken forward