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Harnessing the Power of Technology at Public Research Universities

Public research universities face financial, legislative, and academic pressures to increase access to higher education, make it more affordable, and improve the learning outcomes of their students. Can technology help these institutions meet these challenges?

Our researchers at Ithaka S+R, with funding from Lumina Foundation, undertook a study over the course of the 2013/2014 academic year to understand the current environment for public research universities. We interviewed 214 individuals, including academic administrators, directors of online learning, chief financial officers, career services staff, and department chairs, and we discovered clear areas where PFN institutions can do more to stimulate transformational change.

The resulting report, Technology-Enhanced Education at Public Flagship Universities: Opportunities and Challenges, explores how ten member institutions of the Public Flagships Network (PFN) are pursuing solutions for their campuses.

Through this work, we uncovered answers to key questions: What barriers stand in the way of the wide-spread adoption of technology-enhanced education? What strategies are these universities pursuing to meet the changing needs of their students? What incentives can they offer faculty to experiment with innovative teaching models?  We also developed a series of recommended strategies institutions can pursue immediately to help achieve their goals.

We invite you to read the report and to share your comments on questions here.

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