The next generation digital learning environment: A report on research

Posted on July 17th, 2015

In this report by EDUCAUSE and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the authors explore “the gaps between current learning management tools and a digital learning environment that could meet the changing needs of higher education.” To examine these gaps, the authors interviewed 70 thought leaders about this new generation learning environment.

The researchers note that while learning management systems have had a high uptake in higher education and have proven effective for the administrative aspects of teaching, there’s a need for a digital learning ecosystem that places more emphasis on learning to meet the development of more learner centered approaches to teaching.

The next generation digital learning environment that they describe is not a single application, rather it includes multiple applications that link together. The authors suggest that these applications emphasize interoperability, collaboration, advising, universal design, accessibility, learning analytics and learning assessment.