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Key Trends on the Horizon

Who are the learners here? Sophie and Kaitlin sharing their knowledge with staff.

Who are the learners here? Sophie and Kaitlin sharing their knowledge with staff.

It is important for us to occasionally take a moment during the sometimes hectic pace of our day-to-day teaching, to look up and see what is on the horizon.

One way of doing this is to examine the New Media Consortium (NMC) annual report. The aim of the 2014 report was to examine emerging technologies for their potential impact on, and use in, teaching and learning within higher education settings.

We need to be aware of these trends and ensure our professional practice and development enables us to best prepare our students for their future. A summary of the key trends from the report: (all quotations from the NMC Horizon Report)

Social Media

‘Educators, students, alumni, and the general public routinely use social media to share news about scientific and other developments. The impact of these changes in scholarly communication and on the credibility of information remains to be seen, but it is clear that social media has found significant traction in almost every education sector.’

Hybrid, Online, and Collaborative Learning

‘An increasing number of universities are incorporating online environments into courses of all kinds, which is making the content more dynamic, flexible and accessible to a larger number of students.’

Data Driven Learning and Assessment

‘As learners participate in online activities, they leave an increasingly clear trail of analytics data that can be mined for insights.’

Students Shifting from Consumers to Creators

‘University departments in areas that have not traditionally had lab or hands-on components are shifting to incorporate hands-on learning experiences as an integral part of the curriculum.’

Agile Approaches to Change

‘When educators are able to experiment with new technologies and approaches before implementing them in courses, they have the opportunity to evaluate them and make improvements to teaching models.’

The Evolution of Online Learning

‘The value that online learning offers is now well understood, with flexibility, ease of access, and the integration of sophisticated multimedia and technologies chief among the list of appeals.’
I look forward to the professional development programme at Woodford reflecting staff commitment to making the most of the here and now, while also having one eye on the future.

Ms Toni Dunstan, Acting Director of Staff