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New Guide Offers Best Practices for Digital Learning in Gateway Courses

To help academic administrators improve entry-level courses for digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, Every Learner Everywhere and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities have created a free guide focused on best practices for equity and student success. "Improving Critical Courses Using Digital Learning & Evidence-based Pedagogy" offers strategies for managing high-quality digital learning environments, information on learning modalities, links to resources and more.  

As the guide emphasizes, "Higher education's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has ignited the need to improve student success in high-priority courses and to improve equity for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, poverty-affected, and first-generation learners." By encouraging administrators to work with faculty to leverage equitable digital learning technology in their course design, the guide aims to improve student success and equity outcomes.

The guide outlines a three-part "change process" for higher ed institutions:

  • "Where to Start," beginning with building a collaborative team of stakeholders, developing project management strategies and supporting faculty in the implementation of new technologies and pedagogies;
  • "Manage Change," which outlines learning modalities such as blended and HyFlex and offers key criteria for academic transformation and flexible teaching; and
  • "Supporting Students through Transformation," covering equity and accessibility issues as well as recommendations for student support and training.

"In 2016, the Every Learner Everywhere network was created to grow higher education understanding of equitable digital-forward equity strategies to improve student outcomes," noted Jessica Rowland Williams, director of Every Learner Everywhere, in a statement. "When faculty are supported through the tremendous efforts of academic administrators, we see greater success for students. We also see less frustration for faculty."

The full report is available on the Every Learner Everywhere site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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