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From the Director: 2014 Horizon Report, Randy Bass Keynote

Posted by on Friday, February 7, 2014 in News.


By Derek Bruff, CFT Director

Earlier this week, the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative released the 2014 Horizon Report, an annual report on current trends in technology in higher education. One of the six key trends identified in this year’s report is the shift from students as consumers (of information, of content, of knowledge) to students as creators.  We were thrilled to see our own “Students as Producers” initiative mentioned in the report as an example of this trend.  (There we are on page 15!)  We see this shift from consumer to producer as an important mechanism by which we make sure a university education is a meaningful, authentic, deep learning experience for our students, and we’re glad the Horizon Report’s expert panel highlighted this growing trend in higher education.

Speaking of experts, I wanted to say a few words about the keynote speaker at the final event in our Students as Producers theme year, a Celebration of Learning scheduled for the afternoon of Monday, April 21st, in Alumni Hall. Our speaker is Randy Bass, vice provost of education and English professor at Georgetown University.  At Georgetown, he is responsible for curriculum quality and development, as well as innovation in education and technology-enhanced learning.  He was the founding executive director of Georgetown’s teaching center, the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), and continues to serve there as a senior scholar for pedagogical research.

Randy has led a number of multi-institution initiatives that connect with our “Students as Producers” theme.  He served as creator and director of the American Studies Crossroads Project, an early and influential effort to explore the use of new technologies in American Studies funded by the Department of Education’s FIPSE program.  Randy was director and principle investigator of the Visible Knowledge Project, a digital humanities and learning project spanning twenty universities funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies.  And he was co-leader of the Social Pedagogies Project, funded by the Teagle Foundation, in which faculty at ten campuses explored teaching strategies that connect students with authentic audiences.

Randy Bass

If you would like to get a sense of what Randy will share in his keynote—and his incredibly engaging presentation style—watch his 2011 EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative talk, “The Problem of Learning in the Postcourse Era.” His 2012 EDUCAUSE Review article, “Disrupting Ourselves: The Problem of Learning in Higher Education,” covers similar ground and is a provocative read.  And his introduction to the Social Pedagogies Project, “Designing for Difficulty: Social Pedagogies as a Framework for Course Design,” co-authored with Heidi Elmendorf, has been instrumental in the development of our “Students as Producers” theme year.

I hope you’ll be able to join us on April 21st at our Celebration of Learning for Randy Bass’ talk—and for the exhibition of student learning.  More on that component of the event in next month’s newsletter.

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