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Episode 2

transformed: Online Learning and Digital Transformation

Higher Digital has just published the next installment of its new audio interview feature, transformed. Every other week we interview experts on higher education, digital transformation, and the challenges and promise represented by both. 

For our second interview, Higher Digital President Joe Gottlieb sat down with CEO Wayne Bovier to chat about the cognitive science of learning. They were inspired by the ASU+GSV Summit 2020 presentation by MIT Vice President for Open Learning Sanjay Sarma, as well as his recent book on the topic, Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn.

Joe Gottlieb (00:00):
Hello, and welcome to another Higher Digital podcast. My name is Joe Gottlieb, President of Higher Digital, and today I’m joined by Wayne Bovier, Co-Founder and CEO, of Higher Digital. Welcome, Wayne.

Wayne Bovier (00:11):
Thanks, Joe, it’s great to be with you. What are we going to talk about today?

Joe Gottlieb (00:14):
Well, today I’d like to discuss the trends surrounding online learning and their relationship to digital transformation. Both of these topics are often overhyped to the point of being misunderstood. What I’d like to zero in on is how our customers in higher ed are teasing out the opportunities where the substance can exceed the hype, where they can get rolling, how they cannot reject these ideas because they’re just so overwhelming and big, but how they’re tackling them head-on, and making change happen and having great results. How does that sound?

Wayne Bovier (00:54):
Yeah, that sounds great.

Joe Gottlieb (00:57):
Cool. Well, I know you and I both really enjoyed ASU GSV and in particular, Sanjay Sarma, the VP of Open Learning, at MIT. He gave a great, I think it was Thursday morning keynote, where he talked about the cognitive science of learning. He has written a book called, Grasp. It really zeroed in on what works, where online teaching versus in-person teaching, and really helped put some fine points on the legacy and the opportunity, that surrounds all this.

Wayne Bovier (01:34):
His presentation really struck a chord with me. It was probably some of the fastest 40 minutes that I’ve gone through. One of the things that I really liked about his presentation is how he started it, because at the end of the day, the industry, and when I say industry, I should say industries, all the industries that are out there, are struggling in many cases, as it pertains to, employees letting go. Retail was one, in-person retail. In many cases, a lot of these workers are going to permanently lose their jobs and they’re faced with finding new employment. In many cases that new employment requires new training.

So, there’s a real opportunity, as an industry, a higher education industry, to participate more fully than we have as an industry, in the past. We need to dedicate more to micro-type credentials and training, as well as a variety of advanced degrees, to provide more accessibility and lower the cost. There was a couple of years ago now, that McKinsey did a study and there’s a variety of other studies that are, predicting that, due to automation, 30% of the global workforce will need retraining for an automated and technical digital world. There’s a great opportunity for higher education, but it’s clear that there are some things that need to change as an industry to lower that cost and then provide more accessibility to these programs.

Joe Gottlieb (03:37):
Well, you make a great point. I saw some Microsoft research on this too. Microsoft sees this directly and said, “You know what, we’ve got to reimagine the way that we manufacture, let’s call it skilled labor,” for lack of a better term. This is both digitally skilled labor, as well as even, that portion of skilled labor that is not even yet directly in the digital world, but that’s shrinking. So, even the physical constructs that will continue to require human labor, are becoming more and more digitally enabled with smart devices and being supported via automation, like smart readers and things like that. Okay, so…

Wayne Bovier (04:26):
If I could just interject, I think what you just said is exactly right, but here’s the other thing, I think Microsoft and Google, and there’s a handful of these other big, big companies out there that are actually not getting the train skills that they need out of higher education. I think it is not what they want to do. They just kind of have to. They’re forced to do it. I think their preference would be to stay out of the education business, the formal education business, and really rely on the industry that is good at that, but they can’t, they’re struggling with finding the skills they need.

Joe Gottlieb (05:02):
Well, and I think, I think you’re right. And I think out of necessity, they’re needing to put up, for example, some of these certificate programs that straight line people into digital trades, for lack of, that’s the that’s right. It’s a digital trade. Like I’m going to become a coder. I’m going to get, let’s say zero exposure to the gen ed, but I’m well, but what I might learn along the way is just applied coding team, team coding and those sorts of collaborative things that are going to be very useful in what coding has become. And these certificate programs are allowing people to go get into really decent paying jobs in the digital world, um, with a fraction of the time it takes and the money it takes to get a even two year degree in and in many cases, right. But you’re right. They don’t want to do this. They have to do it. And they’re also partnering with higher ed because they very much would like to see, um, the higher ed complex evolve to support the real scalable solution to this problem, which is okay, we got to just get better at evolving what we’re teaching on and how we’re teaching on it. Both, both levels, right. We got to keep expanding the scope to meet the dynamic needs and skills, and we need to get better and better at doing it with hybrid delivery would be the hypothesis that we’re going to get into today.

Wayne Bovier (06:31):
Yeah, that’s exactly right. Yep.

Joe Gottlieb (06:34):
All right.So let’s take a look at what, um, he put up, Sanjay put up this great slide and he literally, he started by saying, the lecture has been around since I think he put up a medieval print, right. Of it looked like it looked like a church, but this, this, um, person in robes is standing at a raised podium and you have students in the pews, right. Or at least that’s what I saw. I saw a religious thing because originally actually, um, I forget which root term, but this, this, education emerged, from the clergy early on, that’s the way it started. And so lectures started there because lectures made intuitive sense. We took people that had know-how and we made them spend time with people that needed the know-how and the lecture was the most obvious form of, of, of transfer right at the time.

So what Sonjay does he create? A, you’ve put a list of items in terms of teaching methods within a very intentional, um, approach to how we even sequenced them. And, and I’ll, I’ll go run through them very quickly. So lectures is obviously number one, and he pointed out that with lectures, we do them today in person, but the question was, should they be done in person? And for each of these teaching methods, he put, whether it should be best done in person or online, and even noted that today we do everything but led Schindler’s not particularly well. And those, these other teaching methods include the things that he’s observed as a cognitive scientist, retrieval effect, spaced repetition, interleaving faded examples, context, and intent, curiosity, coaching, and hands-on learning. Now his list, again, quite intentionally is those first four that come after lectures, retrieval effect, space, repetition interleaving and faded examples.

He goes on to describe these, and he describes them in the ways that, where you come to understand, um, how we learn faster and better via these methods. And it’s also very easy for him to point out in his, in his presentation that those are best done online. It’s just like it’s very to do in a class setting. They’re very, um, they’re very unique to the learner and they’re unique to the learners context in time. And so you can accomplish them with some digital automation very effectively, whereas the last for context and intent, curiosity, coaching and hands-on learning are all very well suited to in person, but we don’t do them really today at all. We don’t, we don’t make the effort to design courses and orient our delivery and our collaboration to do that effectively. And so that was the basic contract he threw on the wall. So let me re let you react to that.

Wayne Bovier (09:35):
Yeah. I have a couple, a couple, couple of thoughts about that. I mean, I think everybody in the industry for the most part in higher education is going to agree that the lecture style is, very antiquated, right? It, it made sense back, 500, 600 years ago in the monastic style of, of, of teaching. But, when you look at it and to take a kind of a macro view of it, it is very professor knowledge centric, right? Who has the knowledge is the center of the universe. And, they really didn’t pay a whole lot of attention, um, or even prioritize the students and how they learn. Um, and you can pretty much fast forward that all the way to modern day. Um, and I certainly am old enough to remember when I went to college.

It was, the president standing up there and kind of joking look to your right, look to your left. Ah, ha one of them is not going to be here by the time you graduate, and there was a, there was kind of a proud, full, um, and fear-based like, statement by the, by the president that, you gotta, you gotta learn, right. And there’s some real, the rigor right. Is really important, but I think what has evolved pretty, pretty clearly is that, um, and, and where Sanjay really brings to light a lot of, aspects here is that, this is really about grounded in learning. How do you, how does an institution be effective at, at teaching, which means it, they have to understand the best ways that, we as humans and individuals learn. And it’s clear that the lecture is extremely limited.

Um, there’s been a lot of science and studies around that. And what’s interesting is, starting, starting my career in higher education, I was, I worked for Blackboard. And so, there was a lot, even back in the day, there was, a lot of pushback saying, well, this is you have to be there in person for the lecture for this to be valuable and, and study after study, after study has actually proven a lot of the, perceptions to be false, that the quality of the students and the ability for them to retain and to really master a subject, um, eh, the argument was, is like the traditional is always the best and online is it is not. And that has proven to be completely false and really it’s Sanjay. And that Sunday, it really has taken that and broken that out into, into even more details about, all these, what you just went through the list of ability for us as humans to kind of learn and, being there in person is a luxury.

Okay. And I think, you, you, you mentioned hybrid and I got a smile on my face because, I think 10 years from now, there’s not going to be any such thing as hybrid. It’s going to be, it’s going to be teaching and learning. It is just going to be the normal way. Of course, there’s a tool, of course, you’ve got reading materials, online that you’re going to be responsible for. Um, and that when, when the opportunity presents itself to be in person or, to participate, um, that th that’s going to be treated as a luxury. Um, and so I think that, again, there’s an opportunity here for institutions to really embrace how they teach and really embrace it by understanding in a more nuanced way, how people learn, of, of different age groups. And then, and this gets into us in higher digital and digital transformation is, um, how do you best leverage technology to deliver an enhanced learning, and to enhance the experience, to enhance the outcomes that the institution, um, is, is always promising to, to, to stand behind and say, we always want to improve our outcomes while this certainly provides, a, an insight on how to, how to do that

Joe Gottlieb (13:57):
Pick up there. There’s lots of paths I want to pursue in, in, in what you’ve just, um, you shared Wayne, but one before I forget, I want to make sure we cover this path of equity, um, in education, right? So this notion of it being a prideful thing, that education is only for the elite, um, and those that don’t make the grade via the mechanisms we’ve set up in our, in our own pride as a selective institution of higher learning, um, will fall by the wayside. Well, I think increasingly there are many forces at work, um, that are changing that tide, right. And recognizing that education should be for all and actually higher Ed’s mission ought to be figuring out what it takes to be effective with education for all. And that’s, that’s a double whammy statement, right? So being effective as a new is a new measure and being effective for all is a doubly new measure.

Right. Um, let’s be clear, right. Higher ed. Um, didn’t really great itself for the last several centuries on whether it was effective, you know? Yes. In the form of was the domino effect, safe, did it, did it, place people in jobs ish never a hard, hard metric, right? These were things that, it was all about the brand and how powerful the brand remained and how selective and exclusive, and, and, and, and, um, w w what are the trappings of that brand? That’s been the measure, but if we translate to effectiveness and effectiveness for all, we’ve got a very different thing entirely. And that then I think it forces the need to better understand how different people learn, because, and, and then it sets up another implication though, that we’ve got to figure out. And I think COVID has helped shine a light on this and has helped in the beginnings of the response. And that is, we need to make sure that digital technology is, is widely accessible. the internet is rapidly becoming a necessary utility that if it’s not available too many things don’t happen in a household. And so figuring out how to solve for that new fundamental requirement for our basic needs, coupled with perhaps this emerging charter of effective learning for all, um, it addresses the need that’s out there, but everyone will be different in terms of their response.

Wayne Bovier (16:33):
Yeah. That, that, that, that, yeah, that that’s right. and there’s, there’s two things that stand out to me that, when you think about, it’s, it’s difficult for any type of organization to evolve. Um, it’s just, it’s a human endeavor and it’s, humans struggle, we all struggle with, with change. And, it only, becomes more, more challenging as an organization. And then you think about an organization that has been successful for centuries makes it even more complicated. And he, but, but there are some macro trends that are happening that, um, really run in the face of that. One is lifelong learning. and then the second is location, lifelong learning is for those in the industry and higher education. We’ve been hearing that phrase for, for a little while. Um, and pretty much everybody’s accepted to be true, which is true, but the organization and how the delivery of this, hasn’t really evolved.

And when you think about this, right, I’m going to, I’ll pick on my, my Alma mater Dickinson college, um, as an undergrad. Awesome, great, great liberal arts college, um, had a wonderful time there, but, there are a four year, liberal arts degrees and, really after you graduate, the only connection that you really have with them is, through the alumni associations and reunions. And, maybe there’s some events that you go for recruiting and things like that, but it’s really, it’s, it’s, it’s transactional nature, um, and not a relationship-based after that. But you think about though the need is, it would be interesting to continue to be able to take, get certificates from my Alma mater as my career progresses. Um, I mean, they have really amazing talented professors that know a lot of different things and it would be, it would be great to have access to them to also keep my, my skills up to date.

Um, same with my, the same with UNC chapel Hill with the, with my business screen, same concept, right? And so the need as a, as a individual contributor in his world, I everybody’s going to need to face retraining and, and, and all that. And it’s a lifelong progress. So this idea that you’re going to graduate college when you’re 2021, and you’re going to stay in that career for the next 40 years. and that’s the only degree you’re going to have. That’s, that’s antiquated, that’s no longer reality anymore. And then, and then you factor in location, right? The location on, on how you learn, doesn’t require me to be in chapel Hill or Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Um, I can actually do this remotely. And, the flip side of this is that that remote delivery lowers the cost for the institution to deliver that in theory, if they do it. Right. Um, so, so I think, so I think as an industry, there’s just a lot of market realities. Like, the industry needs to adapt to a lot of different things that, that dynamics that are happening and they’re, and they’re really kind of in general, struggling with a lot of that.

Joe Gottlieb (19:48):
Yeah. It’s so true. I mean, you, you mentioned the, um, lifelong learning in itself is just a fantastic thing that’s trying to emerge. If you think about it, higher ed was constructed around product leverage, right. They figured out what was the repeatable, unit of value that could be churned out and delivered that would have an impact. And they accomplished a great, successful impact, and you’re right. They were successful in, um, making that what everyone would focus on. And there hasn’t been focused on lifelong learning. And I think the there’s two drivers for that in my mind, the big primary driver that would cause people to go back to school would be their job, their opportunity in their career, right? Yes, there’s a secondary one. And for some that might be primary and that’s just, personal growth, I, I wanna, I wanna learn something new and it’s not, it’s not, it’s, what’s more of an interest, it’s a hobby, it’s, it’s something that’s a pursuit that I want to want to develop.

And, Oh, by the way, if you think about retirement ages and, and longevity, that’s going to be a bigger market, right? When you’re, it’s a little bit less about your career, and it’s more about your, your, your lifestyle and what interests you, that’s another market, but both represent underdeveloped, um, sort of product markets. And I think that in the F in the former case, the employer and career oriented trajectory or opportunity here, that is what starting to evolve relatively quickly now, because employers are starting to realize the higher ed system is, has not turned out the competencies that we require, and we need to move to a, more of a competency-based model to be successful as an organization. Now that, to me, this is the biggest barrier to lifelong learning as driven by employers, because organizations enterprises are still figuring this out. They’re woefully behind in terms of the methods they’re using to manage their talent, but there are technologies and there are leading it, there are leaders amongst the enterprise, um, um, markets in each vertical industry that are doing more of this, I think over the next 10 to 20 years, we’re gonna see more competency-based management in enterprises, which is going to trickle back to more products being in demand.

And as we said earlier, in some cases they’ll manufacture their own as higher ed responds and offers up lifelong learning products that can fit into the competency management structures that those employers are using within their, their software systems. There’s going to be a very resonating, a highly resonating market, there for lifelong learning.

Wayne Bovier (22:33):
Yeah. and there’s a lot of evidence, for those of us that spend a fair amount of time on LinkedIn and, and working connections and, reconnecting with, with, past colleagues and stuff, I’ve actually, I’ve actually been seeing an increasing number of certificates popping up. Um, and this is, these are, these are individuals that have four year, at least four year degrees, if not, master level or PhD level, but they’re going back and getting certificates, a lot of the, the, as Sanjay Sharma, I think when he, and during his presentation, he talked about a lot of these certificates that MIT offers up. And so you see a lot from the big institutions, big brand name institutions, but ultimately there’s nothing stopping smaller institutions or even community colleges from participating more, actively more visibly in these types of, these types of situations.

Joe Gottlieb (23:25):
Yeah, fascinating. So we could go long on a bunch of topics there, but I want to come back to the, the evolution of, of, of, of hybrid learning. And I know learning management systems have evolved quite a bit over the last decade. And so, it might be that a of institutions have already purchased something that has a lot of potential, and maybe they’re not tapping into it. So let’s talk a little bit about that.

Wayne Bovier (23:52):
Yeah, sure. I mean, I think, I think in general, um, most software that institutions buy are under utilized, um, for a variety of reasons, LMS is, are certainly a great, a great example and fits in, in this particular topic today. Um, but it is much broader than that. And most of that has to do with the, um, kind of the human nature of change, right. Um, it’s, easier to change a particular, um, a particular, software feature modify it than it is the human side, but that’s, that’s what the pushback is. And the reality is it’s easier to change the line of the human processes than it is, in terms of the technical debt. But, LMS is, um, just like with any software vendor, they’re there to build a tool. And, in a lot of cases, they really understand, and they get a lot of perspectives about how their tool should, approach the, not only the lecture, the retrieval, the space repetition, there’s a lot of these capabilities that Sanjay Sarma, highlighted that are built in to these modern day LMSs, but you have a faculty organization that, um, they’re very, they’re very used to teaching a particular course in a certain way.

Um, and actually maybe a standard template that requires a lot of, a lot of negotiations, conversations and meetings, just to change that template. Right? So you got a lot of, um, what I would call calcified processes that really need to be evaluated. Um, and that is when you think about digital transformation, this is the crux of the problem, right? Or the challenge is you have an online system, like a Blackboard or canvas, or, a desire to learn, and they have these capabilities in there, but you’re only using 10% of that. One. Most of these institutions aren’t really measuring the use of these systems. Are we getting the most out of these systems that we can, um, are we really using these features? And then when, when there’s an opportunity to say, Hey, we can, you can think about creating your course differently.

There’s really no one, or maybe in bigger institutions, only handful of people around course design that can help a professor start to take advantage of the retrieval effect and, the coaching and leveraging curiosity and, and all of this stuff in, in, both in distance and online. So, so that is really where, and that’s, again, just within the LMS space, same thing applies to the CRM, especially on the recruiting side, is how do you take advantage of automation and key capabilities within these systems, and, and, and move your organization to be more nimble and be more productive as an organization or department?

Joe Gottlieb (27:00):
Well, you mentioned the other systems and I think, yes, it’s true that higher ed is not unique and not all of these systems present to you, a challenging trade-off between, between sort of standardization and differentiation and how you embrace and adopt these, these capabilities that typically involve change typically involve, the evolution of a process, ideally towards, a positive end. Um, but in the case of learning management systems, in the case of pedagogy, right, we’re talking about also flying in the face of academic freedom. And I think, I think there’s a, there’s a special thing that happens there. It’s a special tension that occurs and it makes it extra hard, right? The, the fact is, is that it is always looking to standardize, to really be effective. You’ve got to figure out what part can we standardize so that we can, um, be effective and run an operation that’s predictable and dependable and available.

However, it increasingly becomes the platform for differentiation. And so how will we differentiate? And so then it comes down to architecture, both process and technology, right? How do you draw a nice line where you’re balancing the benefits of standardization with the platform and opportunity to specialize, including delivering on academic freedom, which means how can I get those professors back to this place where they’re innovating in their teaching without the need to sort of, learn a bunch of new technologies that are hard. Right. And so that becomes to me, that’s the, that’s the puzzle.

Wayne Bovier (28:47):
Yeah. And, it’s interesting. I have a, I have a different take on, on, on all this, I look at first and foremost, I think the academic freedom is a real value add within higher education. I think that there is, um, we want to maintain academic freedom because, that really does enable the creative thinkers, the innovators to try things differently. And, there’s just learning a subject is easy enough, but the academic freedom puts a lot of more rigor on it. It challenges you to think differently. It isn’t just a skills attainment exercise. And so, I, I think very strongly just like, building a new, a new science building and the actual classrooms that they’re teaching, does do those have impact on academic freedom? No, I have. My answer is absolutely not.

It’s the professor in there and the, and how they use the tools within the classroom or the building, same thing as technology. It’s the same thing where right. The academic freedom in many cases, um, is an excuse to not use technology, right? Not to go into a particular classroom, I’m using a real world physical example, but it’s the same thing. At the end of the day, it is a construct that enables you and tools to enable you to engage in the knowledge of know the transfer of knowledge back and forth. Um, and so I, I think, again, the technology, aspect of this is providing opportunity for not only the institution, but the faculty to really, to really do things differently. I just think for a variety of reasons, some of it’s human nature, some of it is just pure time, time management, that, faculty get caught up and get hung up and really only use 10% of a particular, LMS, where they could really, instead of robustly doing it. So that leaves, the question is what’s the institution’s responsibility right now, most institutions based upon my experience are relying on the faculty to say, you figure it out. And I don’t think that’s fair. Um, it’s, their job is to, is to teach, right? Do they need to be experts? Do faculty need to be experts in the building and the science building or the classrooms and stuff? No.

Joe Gottlieb (31:21):
Back to the physical equivalent, right? Back to the physical equivalent.

Wayne Bovier (31:25):
So, we’ve seen a, an explosion of when you look at the numbers in terms of hiring numbers within higher education, I think over the last 15 years, I have to pull out the research, but I saw a figure that administrative staff has increased a hundred percent in the last 15 to 20 years where the faculty staff has relatively remained relatively stagnant. And that just tells me one that there’s just a lot of inefficiencies, um, that they’re putting, they’re putting, throwing humans at processes that technology could make it more efficient and everybody would be happier as a result. And, and the other aspect of that is, if they’re, if they’re in administrative staff that are focused on supporting faculty great. Um, but at the end of the day, PR higher education institutions need to be much better organizationally at learning and adapting and modifying staff to support these things is as the learning, as the institution comes to grasp the actual learning side of things. So

Speaker 4 (32:37):
Let’s leave our audience with some, some,

Joe Gottlieb (32:40):
Some guidance on some best practices that we’ve seen. So how, how have you seen institutions grapple with this in terms of, um, what we’ve just sort of identified as there’s a great opportunity. There are some, there are some capabilities that are there, but there’s also some known barriers, right? In your experience, how have institutions, um, transcended those barriers and, and started making some progress. What are some things we can leave our audience with? That’ll help them think about this going forward.

Wayne Bovier (33:08):
So I think, look, I think every institution today in the COVID world is moving all of their classes online. Um, my worry is that they’re, they’re seeing this as temporary and, and something that we just got to wait another 12 months and we’ll be out of it, we’ll be back to normal. Um, but I think for those of us, that are kind of on the leading edge, there’s no return back to normal. Um, there are going to be normal parts that are going to return back, but I think there’s going to be a new normal. Um, and so, so I would, my strong advice is to, okay, here’s where we got our courses online this semester. What have we learned? What is working? What is not, um, let’s take, let’s do kind of a retrospective as an organization and really understand, do we have more than a syllabus up?

do we have, the, the actual course materials, um, or we’re using a more interactive capabilities of the LMS, right? So once you, once you do kind of a retrospective in that fashion is like, how far have we gone? I’m thinking most institutions, um, are just doing the bare bare minimum to get their courses online. And I think the first thing you do is do a retrospect of the second thing is you start to put a plan together of like, okay, how can we take advantage of these capabilities across certain disciplines? maybe you want to do them all. Maybe you pick a handful of professors that are really willing to lean into it, or departments that are really willing to lean into it. But I think the, each institution needs to embrace and commit to, kind of two intervals at least once a semester, which is a retrospective on the last semester, what has worked, what isn’t, um, and that’s, that’s come through a list on that, and then let’s formulate a plan on how to get better.

And that plan should not only include, we want to do X, Y, and Z, but it should include, here’s what we are expecting getting out of this, measuring outcomes is a great way, to, to do this right. Um, there’s, there’s a variety of different ways and methodologies that you can measure the outcome of the, of a student’s, ability to kind of retain a subject or whatever it is. Um, so those are the, those are the handful of things I would, I would do. Um, and it, and it, a blend of the human side of, of, of things, as well as an inventory of the technologies and capabilities that we have, and then start to take a look and say, well, how can we leverage this better? How can we deliver better services to our prospects, our students, our alumni, our faculty, and our staff.

Joe Gottlieb (35:56):
I like that, I think for higher ed, that has a higher ed has a time signature, that, that fits with the school year largely. Right? And so there are, there are periods there now for, for online delivery that we see a disruption of that, but a lot of higher ed operates on this clock. Right? And I think embracing this as an iterative approach is really important because that’s not been the traditional approach. We’ve, we’ve, we’ve, we’ve been very, and even if our iteration frequency is still fitting to the school year, and maybe we insert one or two points, so it’s not just an annual thing. Right. But knowing that this is going to, we’re going to take a few years or more to continue to perfect this and evolve it. And I think that’s helpful. I think that releases a ceiling that might’ve constrained us in the past, where we’ve got to fit everything in that we understand that we’re going to commit to and a new academic year, um, and maybe beat ourselves up.

when I get there, I also like your point about observing there, going to be certain faculty that lenient, they’re going to be certain things that progress, and we’ll see different outcomes in some places versus others. So learning from those, and then sharing those, doing more enablement across the population based upon what even this own institution has, has observed and accomplished. I think that’s really, really powerful. Um, and so maybe to bring it back around full circle, right. Um, son, someone Assan Sanjay’s point at the very end of his talk was when COVID is over and we get to return, um, to the luxury of proximity when we get to reassemble without constraint, um, let us really start to take advantage of these opportunities to do those things face to face that we can uniquely do. Face-to-face, let’s keep figuring out probably how we might do some of those online when we are still doing distance learning, right. To get back to that global reach point of view. But when the COMPAS experience is still pertinent, for a certain product offering where people are going to want to go and have that there’s a rich opportunity for us to do some certain things really, really well. Right?

Wayne Bovier (38:11):
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And there’s a real opportunity with professors, right? A lot of their workload has increased significantly on, on all this. And you think about even in today’s middle of the COVID world, a lot of the institutions that are open for business that have students on campus, the reality is a lot of those, a lot of those students are still taking most their courses online, right. And, and, and, and they’re maybe augmented with some one-on-one time with their, with their professor while there are on campus. But we’re going to have spent at least a year, both in industry, as well as industry, out, outside where you get a job and then the industry, other than higher ed, of how we train and how we teach, that gene is not going back in that bottle.

And I think there’s going to be some real recognition on, what works, what works. This is really an opportunity that, for a faculty, I can put a lot of the courses stuff up there, and then I can really sit back and then take advantage of the coaching of the engagement with the students. And that’s, for the most part, at least the professors that I’ve ever been around. Um, that’s really what they like. they really like to engage with the students and they like to teach. And so if technology can start to lessen the burden on them, I think everybody’s going to be better off for it.

Joe Gottlieb (39:38):
I agree. Well, I think that’s a good place to close great stuff, Wayne, thanks so much for joining me today and thanks to our guests for joining us as well, have a great day, and we’ll look forward to hosting you again for another Higher Digital podcast.

Wayne Bovier (39:51):
Thanks, Joe. Thanks everyone. Bye.

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About The Host


As president of Higher Digital, Joe supports customers with strategy development, change management, and strategic operations. He is energized by the complex challenges and profound opportunities facing higher education and is motivated to have and share discussions around these topics.

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