Technologies to watch

Significant New Technologies

Reviewing trends, challenges and technologies in the Higher Education sector over the next 5 years

Topics from the NMC Horizon Report 2015 HE Edition
NMC Horizon Report . Higher Education Edition

Considering the above trends and applying them to my world

My table

Three areas for adoption by my organisation

 Learning analytics

Data are already routinely collected in this organisation to enable commercial decision making and to understand consumer behaviour. Current learning solutions are aligned with corporate goals and link to personal development plans for each employee.  A logical next step would be to extend the culture of data mining into the learning space.

Learning analytics is the “measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs,”  (1st International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, 2011). Learning Analytics offers opportunities for both the learner and the organisation. It offers the organisation the ability to assess completion of learning, provides detailed data on interaction with the various learning solutions and so test their value and has the potential to enable more effective tailoring of learning to individuals.

Learning Analytics allow learners to take control of their own learning by measuring their progress, helps them develop their capacity to self-assess through feedback and develop their corporate knowledge through discussion and forum debates.

Issues to consider

  • Security, privacy and ethics
  • Defining measurements – needs to measure what matters

 Flipped classroom

 The majority of learning options provided in the organisation are face to face workshops on topics ranging from Project Management to soft skills development, such as giving and receiving feedback. Pre-work is required for each of these workshops but is limited to a reflective question on setting an objective for the participant’s own learning.

Flipped classroom is “a model of learning that rearranges how time is spent both in and out of class to shift the ownership of learning from the educators to the students.” (Johnson et al, 2016).

The organisation is currently moving away from a Parent Child culture and encouraging employees to take more ownership of their skills development. Flipped classroom provides the opportunity to support this and shift the emphasis of learning ownership from the organisation to the individual. Another advantage would be the more effective use of classroom time, enabling sharing of learning, ideas and best practice across the organisation rather than it being a ‘teach in’ or power point led workshop. There is currently a 20% non attendance rate. Personal upfront investment in learning may lead to greater attendance.

Issues to consider

  • Individual commitment required pre-workshop. How to manage attendees who have not completed their pre-learning

Online learning

 This organisation has a global and itinerant workforce. Current management learning solutions are face to face in the UK and are inaccessible for global employees (whilst this is not policy, the barriers to attending are immense).

Online learning will open out management training across the workforce and drive inclusion and openness which are stated as organisational goals.

Issues to consider

  • Replication of existing face to face offer is not appropriate for online. Requires redesign of current offer.


1st International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, Banff, Alberta, February 27–March 1, 2011, as cited in George Siemens and Phil Long, “Penetrating the Fog: Analytics in Learning and Education,” EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 46, no. 5 (September/October 2011)

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V. and Freeman, A. (2015) NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Edition, Austin, TX, The New Media Consortium; also available online at publication/ nmc-horizon-report-2015-higher-education-edition/ (last accessed 6 March 2016)


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