Help Wanted: Building a Framework for Next Generation Learning

What will it take for next generation learning to help more students attain significantly better outcomes more affordably? That’s the question Next Generation Learning Challenges tried to answer in a draft framework for next generation learning.  My colleague Andy Calkins and I wrote the draft, but it was developed from the collective insight of NGLC staff and partners, a scan of the literature, and observations of NGLC grantees who are designing technology-enabled tools and whole school/whole degree program models.

Now we need to know if this framework works for a broader audience, if it can organize and guide those who are planning and designing technology-enabled next generation learning. This is where you come in:

How do you define next generation learning? Where have you seen it work? And if you were asked: what will it take for next generation learning to help more students attain better outcomes more affordably, what would you say?

We think of the framework as a living document, one that will continue to evolve as we learn more about what’s going on across the nation, wherever educators are making next generation learning possible through the use of technology. Right now, the framework involves six dimensions of work that are interrelated and interdependent:

1.    Defined learning goals indicating readiness for college, career, and civic life
2.    Measurement of progress against those goals

3.    Learning designs that are personalized, competency-based, supportive, data-informed, inclusive, and enabled by technology
4.    Effective implementation encompassing fundamental restructuring of roles, resources, and infrastructure alongside continuous improvement cycles

5.    Enabling conditions, both internal and external, for that implementation to proceed with fidelity to the original design
6.    Sufficient investment and evidence, among other environmental factors, which allow for rapid scale-up

We developed it with both K-12 and higher education in mind, since NGLC works in both systems. We’re hopeful that we don’t lose important nuance by bridging the two systems, and that with a more comprehensive view, we may even gain something. Do you agree?

NGLC will use the framework to understand the work of grantees and distill lessons from their experiences and outcomes, to organize resources we bring to this website, and to connect the work of NGLC with the broader field.

So: please share your thoughts on the framework’s structure, nominate an innovation or a new model for a compendium of examples aligned with the framework, and tell us how these examples have the potential for significantly higher achievement for larger numbers of students at lower costs. Weigh-in here.

We’re collecting feedback and examples online until December 15, 2012. But if you are attending the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference next week, you may also contribute to the framework at the NGLC Alley in the Exhibit Hall.

Let’s see what we can create together.

Kristen Vogt is Knowledge Management Officer of Next Generation Learning Challenges.