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.

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.

Read More

Future Proof: An Upskilling Primer

Dec 5, 2019

As part of our “Future Proof” series, we’re covering the future of work landscape and the tools, pathways, and trends for designing educational programs that equip learners for an evolving workforce–– past issues covered skills mapping and 21st century skills curriculum mapping as key tools. In this “Future Proof” spotlight, the Lab’s education designer Isaac Agbeshie-Noye provides a primer on upskilling, a human capital trend, and shares examples in practice and lessons learned to date from our upskilling initiative in San Antonio, Texas.

Read More

6 Things You Should Know About Single Mother Learners on Your Campus

Nov 6, 2019

Single moms make up 11% of all undergraduate college students, and research shows that college success helps them build family-sustaining careers and contribute to their local economies. Over the past several months, the community colleges participating in the Single Moms Success Design Challenge (SMSDC) – Delgado Community College, Monroe Community College, Central New Mexico Community College, and Ivy Tech Community College – dove deep into understanding the experiences faced by single mother learners. Through a series of design sessions facilitated by the Lab, the schools gained important insights for ideation and prototyping of potential solutions to dramatically increase single mothers’ attainment of degrees and high-quality credentials.

Read More

How to Get it Done: A 2-Day Sprint to Redesign an HBCU’s Curriculum

Aug 29, 2019

Increased financial pressures and declining enrollment are forcing small private colleges to adapt. For many, a curriculum redesign is the way forward. Florida Memorial University (FMU) is facing many of the same pressures as other colleges and universities across the country—they’re working to tackle mounting pressures and adjust to a changing landscape.

Read More

How to Map Your Curriculum to 21st Century Skills

Aug 15, 2019

21st century skills—otherwise known as soft skills, human skills, or mobility skills—are the future of work. The last time we dove into skills mapping, we aimed to help our partners better understand it as a key tool for designing educational programs that better equip learners for the needs of an evolving workforce. So, what do you do if you’re not able to quickly and drastically redesign your curriculum to meet employer’s skill needs? Meet 21st century skills curriculum mapping.

Read More

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.