Rethinking the Roles of Educators

NMC Horizon Report: 2018 Higher Education Edition

It is always both interesting and inspiring to read the Horizon report. The last one I have looked at is the 2018, Higher Education Edition. And how about those wicked challenges? Makes you wonder; doable in your school? I highlighted some of the requirements. How many are you working on in your school? I’m sharing the Wicked Challenges from the report here, read the whole report, why don’t you?

Wicked Challenge: Those that are complex to even define, much less address

Educators are increasingly expected to employ a variety of technology-based tools, such as
digital learning resources and courseware, and engage in online discussions and collaborative authoring. Further, they are tasked with leveraging active learning methodologies such as project– and problem-based learning. This shift to student-centered learning requires instructors to act as guides and facilitators. Adding to this challenge is the evolution of learning through the rise of competency-based education, which further customizes the academic experience to students’ needs. As these technology-enabled approaches gather steam, many institutions are rethinking the primary responsibilities of educators. Related to these shifting expectations are the implications of societal changes and evolving faculty models, in which an increasing percentage of classes are being taught by non-tenure-track instructors.


In their service to the teaching and learning mission, faculty are increasingly expected
to serve as learning architects, guides and facilitators, and assessment specialists.

They are expected to understand and employ the latest technological tools
for learning, teaching, and assessment in interactive classrooms; work with a variety of course models, including face-to-face, blended, flipped, and online learning; and nurture in their students skills such as critical thinking for evolving professional careers.

Post secondary educators have always been expected to structure current information into a curriculum and make it interesting for all students. But never has the role demanded a heightened level of technological expertise and a sense of mounting pressure to attract, teach, and retain students who are bombarded by countless digital distractions via mobile devices.

“teachers should make a paradigm shift in their roles as knowledge experts to a
learning facilitator, since their ICT-savvy students have a lot to share with each other and their teachers.”

Universities and colleges stress that faculty members should have a more personal connection with their students. Today, text messages, websites, email, instant messaging, and social media have led to a new landscape in which faculty are always accessible and visible to their students. While this appears to be a plus for students and parents looking to ensure faculty attention and accessibility, it places further demands on educators to seemingly always be on call.


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