Crowdsourcing the Needs of GenXYZ Learners
in a Rapidly Changing Higher Education Environment

Even today, only a fraction of students are on a “traditional” learning path. Think out 10 Years.
Will there be SATs? Classrooms? Robot tutors? Free quality degrees? New professions to prepare for? An Uber-style app that finds the best pathway? Employers bypassing universities and teaching what they want students and employees to learn?
And, most importantly, who gets left behind? 
How do we harness the future to solve the problem we have now
…that only 9% of low-income students get to degrees within 6 years?


We’re crowdsourcing the vision of the ecosystem for higher education in the year 2026, with a particular focus on the needs of students as technology drives more plentiful choices and pathways to more types of credentials. This project grew out of a design session at the GSV Summit in April, hosted by the Department of Education and the Education Design Lab. Some participants were asked to take the design exercises back to their teams, which launched this crowdsourcing project.

The information and data captured in this exercise will be shared with policymakers, funders, entrepreneurs, and learning institutions as we collectively address the supports needed to make future pathways to success more affordable, relevant, and accessible.

How It Works

This is a three-part design exercise that should take your team about 2 hours. Using design tools such as personas and student journey mapping, you will help identify the education journey for different types of students, design criteria to support future learners, as well as categories of opportunities where support might be most essential.

How You Can Help

We are reaching out to capture diverse points of view from students (young and adult), teachers, faculty, parents, and administrators up and down the education pipeline. We hope this exercise might push your thinking about how you or your organization are preparing for future students’ needs. You’ll also be exposed to some useful design thinking tools which you can adapt for your own projects.

Read about our other challenges
Ready to Get Started?
Download the Session Materials
After your session, please photograph your work so that we can review your material and add your insights to the master project. You may send your final photographs to labinfo@eddesignlab.org.