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Every Learner Everywhere Network Offers Case-Based Guidebook to Highlight Digital Learning Implementation Successes

Washington, DC — The Every Learner Everywhere network has released a new resource highlighting seven postsecondary institutions’ experiences implementing digital learning, resulting in a series of key recommendations for institutional leaders who want to invest in digital learning infrastructure and bridge equity gaps to better serve Black, Latino, Indigenous, poverty-affected, and first-generation students.

Strategies for Implementing Digital Learning Infrastructure to Support Equitable Outcomes: A Case-Based Guidebook for Institutional Leaders examines seven institutions’ experiences, challenges and successes to date in implementing digital learning. Resource collaborators Tyton Partners and the Association for Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) profiled institutions that are at varying stages in their digital learning implementation, with student populations ranging from small to large, and that are showing progress in achieving equitable outcomes for students as a result of sustained focus on the role of digital learning.

The institutions studied are:

  • Cuyahoga Community College
  • Fayetteville State University
  • Georgia State University
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Tennessee Board of Regents
  • California State University, Fresno (Fresno State)
  • University of Texas at El Paso

“The exemplary commitment that higher education leadership across all institutional-levels have made in investing in digital learning is clear and shows how innovation works for students,” said Karen Vignare, Ph.D., Vice President, Digital Transformation for Student Success and Executive Director, Personalized Learning Consortium (PLC) at APLU. “Their efforts and innovation throughout implementation are highlighted in campus-wide initiatives tailored to the needs of their student populations. These are cases we all can learn from to create more equitable impact in higher education.”

Strategies for Implementing Digital Learning Infrastructure focuses on providing advice and examples for institutions seeking to build the organizational infrastructure needed for high-quality digital learning, specifically centering students and equitable outcomes. This resource is designed primarily for mid- to senior-level academic administrators (including department chairs, leaders of centers of teaching and learning, technology leaders, and academic leadership).

Among the examples referenced is that of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) where, for example, a Fundamentals of Macroeconomics course was redesigned to be delivered using an adaptive courseware platform. The delivery of content is via videos rather than through traditional reading with formative assessment enabling both students and faculty to assess and monitor progress. The videos are provided in English and Spanish and captioned to improve accessibility. Course-level data from Tri-C’s Office of Institutional Research show improvement in student pass rates from 80% in Fall 2018 to 90% in Fall 2019, following the course redesign. Over the same period, the average course grade in The Fundamentals of Macroeconomics increased from 2.55 to 2.86.

Strategies for Implementing Digital Learning Infrastructure recommends seven key actions for scaling digital learning infrastructure to be equitable and high-quality:

  • Create an institution-wide approach to defining and implementing a plan for equity and digital learning.
  • Build a sustainable business plan, incorporating internal and external funding sources
  • Build capabilities, expertise, and policies to support high-quality and equitable course design.
  • Create a learning culture and equip faculty for success through effective professional learning, incentives, and technologies.
  • Engage in ongoing evaluation and analytics.
  • Equip students for success in using digital tools.
  • Use external partners and vendors strategically to augment internal capacity.

“The institutions featured have used digital learning to transform their institutions around the needs of students. Their work demonstrates that with strong leadership and collaboration across traditionally siloed departments policies, practices, and systems can be redesigned to create conditions that can close persistent equity gaps in course outcomes” said Kristen Fox, Managing Director at Tyton Partners.

Contributing authors include: Kristen Fox, M.A., Managing Director at Tyton Partners; Karen Vignare, Ph.D., Vice President, Digital Transformation for Student Success and Executive Director, PLC at APLU; Lisa Yuan, M.B.A. , Principal at Tyton Partners; Megan Tesene, Ph.D., Director, PLC at APLU; Karla Beltran, M.Ed., Associate at Tyton Partners; Halle Schweizer, B.A., Analyst at Tyton Partners; Michael Brokos, M.F.A., Program Manager, PLC at APLU; and Rishon Seaborn, M.A., Senior Associate, PLC at APLU.

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