Shaping (As Opposed to Stumbling Into It!) – The Future of Online Learning and Training

Shaping (As Opposed to Stumbling Into It!) – The Future of Online Learning and Training
Stephen Murgatroyd, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer
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These are summary notes of the talk, taken by me,

“I’m here because I’m old…. So I have a lens that says ‘Be careful what you wish for’.”

-         References AU MBA – “fellow deans of business thought I was completely bonkers” – took over 50% of exec MBA market in the country

Things that will force us to change
-         Globa spend on education: $6.5 trillion
o   A lot of this money I public; what is the relation between this and private enterprise
o   Within a few years it will be 10.2 trillion
o   Training is an increasing part of this

-         OECD – platform for education 2030
o   Three big domains: knowledge, skills, attitudes & values
§  Which merge to create competencies and action
o   Reference to new PISA scale on ‘global competencies’

-         NZ full-page ad: “We no longer want degrees. We want to know what you can do.”
-         Drivers:
o   Demographic shifts – more seniors than there are kids in schools – Canada will be totally reliant on immigration to support the workforce – we have to embrace tech in the workplace because the workers aren’t there- we also have a big literacy gap
o   Economic shifts – the economy is growing in Asia-Pacific, not NA and Europe – 424 of the cities in the world produce 80 % of the worlds GDO – 325 of them in Asia – to find our place in this world, we have to get smarter faster
o   New patterns of work – 30% of workers in Canada are self-employed gig workers – different attitudes about what work is and the role it plays in our life – “If we had to give everyone full time contracts, universities as they are now wouldn’t exist”
o   Technological Disruption – 30-40% of jobs worldwide will be impacted by tech like AI, 3D printing, drones, etc – surgeon can practice on a 3D image of that particular person to prepare for surgery (which may often be assisted by robots) – there are stores where a robot will help us
o   New kinds of organizations – Uber, Skip the Dishes, 99Designs (to design images, logos, etc) – digital platforms do the same for coding – learning & training – leveraging assets from all over the world – and this is leading to public-private partnerships
o   Technological disruption – 2.4 million jobs in Canada (McKinsey) may well be created by new tech – eg. Lethbridge Herald – looking for a ‘wind finder’ – using engineering and weather tech to position windmills – we need nimble agile education systems to prepare people for these 

Things that will help us to change

-         Don’t get romantic about classroom teaching – not a shred of evidence that lecturing is helpful (Robert Bernard, et al) – quote – a lecture is entertainment, not learning

-         Warnings:
o   Conveying content is not learning (it’s shipping)
o   Pedagogy not technology drives learning – tech doesn’t teach, people do – the key component of what we’re working on is design – the relation between the teacher, learner, and material being learned
o   Beware of ‘learnification’ (which is the practice of putting the entire onus on the learners) – Gert Biesta
o   Beware of datafication – ie., use of data to replace sensitive decision, use of untested algorithms to manage organizations
o   Understand cybersecurity and privacy
-         New approaches to assessment
o   Eg. Assessment on-demand – “I’m ready to be assessed now” – some AI-enabled
o   Stackable assessment, marked automatically, captured on blockchain
o   Competency-bases assessment (that use video)
o   Eg. Apprenticeship – “why do we insist on time being the variable when it’s skills that we’re interested in”
-         AI-Enabled Learning Systems
o   Eg. Team at Deep Mind think we’re at the very early stages of AI
o   Embedded in D2L are powerful adaptive learning systems
o   Chatbots (eg. Jill Watson) – AU/Ryerson looking at engaging students using chatboths
o   Automated content generation – Washington Post uses AI to write 1000 articles this year
o   Quality assurance for OERs, analytics
-         Simuations for Learning
o   Flight training, engineering, geography, history
o   Banff Centre – “conversation between students and Abraham Lincoln”
o   Esp. when 5G rolls out
-         Collaborative Learning
o   Eg. ATB uses video-based training to help wealth managers – conversations with clients are video-taped – they self-evaluate – then they share with a peer who also evaluates – then mentor or coach adds values – sales went up 16% in 8 months with fewer people
o   Linking learners to workplaces and professionals through RiiPEN
o   Linking students worldwide through P2P learning networks
-         Challenge and Design
o   A lot of learning is still too passive – about mastery, or getting to grips with a body of knowledge
o   Instead – challenge people with questions you don’t know the answer to as a prof
o   Co-creation – finding knowledge together – is a powerful model of what learning can look like – showing others how I learn
-         Immersive Learning
o   VR, etc – coming but not here yet
-         MOOCs for Degrees
o   In 2018 – 101 million people enrolled in MOOCs
o   47 degrees (or equivalents) through MOOCs – in 2019 that will be 100, by 2025 that will be 1000 – at a very low cost through MOOCa
o   MOOCs are modularized, you can take a component of a degree
-         New Players
o   Eg. LinkedIn Learning (Ontario n made deal to make it available to all students)
o   Squirrel – China
o   Badges – some badges by corporations being accepted by colleges as credentials
o   AU Hockey BA, Siemens Megatronics

We will see :
  • Modular, stackable learning – including transfer for work-based learning; a lot more self-directed learning; significant growth in blended learning – senior will make a lot of use of this
  •  “This is for me – I’m driving my own learning agenda”
  • Anywhere-Any tme assessment for learning – assessment centres, etc
  • Work-based learning for credit (compare: Middlesex University – assessment of credentials)
  • The Future Matters
  • Opportunity to create alliances – new ways of blurring the boundaries that exist


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