The Innovator Network

A collective of individuals, universities and employers committed to student-centered academic transformation. Curated and hosted by Education Design Lab, the Network fosters thoughtful dialogue, collaboration and solutions to challenges facing higher ed today.

The Learner Revolution

How Colleges Can Thrive in a Skills and Competencies Marketplace

Education Design Lab's 2019 white paper

Reflections from five years of applied human-centered design at 100+ institutions

The Learner Revolution Discussion

On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, we celebrated the Education Design Lab's five year anniversary by hosting a dinner and discussion about the future of work and the demand for new postsecondary education-to-workforce solutions.

Moderated by Kathleen deLaski, Founder and President of the Education Design Lab, and featuring George Mason University President, Ángel Cabrera, and Amazon Web Services Senior Manager of Worldwide Education Programs, Ken Eisner.

Discussants include Goodwill Industries International Senior Vice President of Strategy and Advancement, Wendi Copeland, Penn Foster CEO, Frank Britt, League for Innovation in the Community College President and CEO, and Lab board member, Rufus Glasper.

In Response to COVID-19

Mar 23, 2020

One of the few things we can feel certain about is that your inboxes and social media feeds are overwhelmed by COVID-19 statements from schools, businesses and service providers. What can we add? We are feeling a sense of hopefulness based on the outpouring of care and ingenuity we see around us.

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Our Badging Fellows Have Been Working with the Lab’s Microcredentials for Five Months. Here’s What They’re Learning.

Mar 12, 2020

Back in October 2019, we announced our Badging Fellows, a cohort of five individuals working on their respective campuses to build and launch a learning experience utilizing the Lab’s 21st century skills. Over the past few months, the Fellows have been working diligently, designing enhancements to the existing 21st Century Skills Badges (in some cases, closely with employers), and positioning the initiative with faculty and staff for spring deployment. Our Fellows, who previously had very little experience with digital microcredentialing, have quickly become subject matter experts on ways to make learning and 21st century skills visible.

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Parenthood as a Powerful Motivator: Love Letters from Single Mother Learners

Feb 28, 2020

When we predicted the “Learner Revolution” in 2014, we talked about it as a trend that might take hold by 2030. The Learner Revolution is a world where the college degree becomes just one option for professional career preparation, where learners might hack their own path to attain skills in shorter courses or micro-degrees. Their credentials might be delivered by a mix of colleges, employers, or experience providers at any point in their lives. By early 2019, to celebrate the Education Design Lab’s fifth anniversary, we wrote about how quickly views about the importance of the college degree had softened as enrollments at two and four year colleges, and particularly graduate schools, were declining.

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Six “College Hacking” Trends to Watch in 2020

Jan 2, 2020

When we predicted the “Learner Revolution” in 2014, we talked about it as a trend that might take hold by 2030. The Learner Revolution is a world where the college degree becomes just one option for professional career preparation, where learners might hack their own path to attain skills in shorter courses or micro-degrees. Their credentials might be delivered by a mix of colleges, employers, or experience providers at any point in their lives. By early 2019, to celebrate the Education Design Lab’s fifth anniversary, we wrote about how quickly views about the importance of the college degree had softened as enrollments at two and four year colleges, and particularly graduate schools, were declining.

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HBCUs Excel at Supporting Black Students. Here’s Why Strengthening Their Career Outcomes Matters.

Dec 19, 2019

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were founded with the principal mission to educate African-Americans, providing pathways to opportunities for a population that was systematically excluded from active participation in higher education. At the Lab, we believe that if we can both enable traditionally under-resourced institutions to rethink their programming and co-design with them new models to enhance career outcomes, we can scale these initiatives to positively impact all learners across the higher education ecosystem. In other words, designing for resource-constrained institutions and underserved learners—in human-centered design, we might say “extreme users”—will address the needs of the many.

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What is the Innovator Network?

We’re glad you asked. It’s a collective of individuals, universities and employers committed to student-centered academic transformation.

Curated and hosted by Education Design Lab, the Network fosters thoughtful dialogue, collaboration and solutions to challenges facing higher ed today. We hope you’ll join us.

Learn more or…

The Innovator Network is a place for you to form connections with similarly motivated colleagues in higher ed, as well as other higher ed institutions and industry. The Network also serves as a community and sounding board for issues and opportunities that you and your institution face.