EdTech and Curriculum Consultant Monica Burns, Ed.D., says traditional methods of connecting with college students are becoming a thing of the past.
Monica Burns, Ed.D.
Education Technology and Curriculum Consultant
What are your thoughts on the future of higher education?
One area I’m watching is the responsiveness of institutions to the expressed needs of their student body, including opportunities to connect their course content to social justice and action-taking on campus and beyond. As the landscape of career possibilities continues to evolve over the next few years, higher education will have to adapt their offerings to meet the needs of students.
What should faculty members consider when adopting and rolling out new technology for their students?
Providing opportunities for students to interact and engage with industry-adopted technologies is crucial, and it requires higher education institutions to continually revisit the latest technology in a specific field. This rollout might include industry partners who can provide context for the use of specific technologies in an industry setting.
How important is it to consider each student’s unique needs in optimizing the higher education experience?
Considering each student’s unique needs is an important component of optimizing their higher education experience. Beyond student body surveys or roundtable discussions, students should have an opportunity to voice their individual concerns, and advocate for accommodations that might include flexibility in scheduling, building out an independent study, and working with the support of mentors.
How does including educators in a university’s decision-making improve outcomes for students and faculty?
When educators are part of the conversation, they can provide insight into classroom and campus experiences that other stakeholders may not have firsthand knowledge of. University faculty members that serve a role within their respective industries can also bring insight into the requests and expectations of potential employers.
What are the trends in higher education technology?
This year has presented very specific challenges for higher education in supporting students through traditional means. I believe that a hybrid model for many institutions will become the norm, not just in graduate programs, but throughout the undergraduate education experience.
What are your thoughts on hybrid learning?
Asynchronous and synchronous virtual and face-to-face experiences all have benefits, but finding the right combination of these learning experiences requires reflection. There are aspects of virtual learning that play a pivotal role in hybrid learning experiences, including the ability for students to work at their own pace and make a schedule that is responsive to their commitments outside of class. I believe that hybrid learning can play a crucial role in expanding access for students who might not otherwise be able to commit to a traditional higher education program.