Engaging Learners Online in COVID-19: An Actionable Framework

May 7, 2020

A year ago, the Lab had just released The Learner Revolution, a whitepaper sharing learnings from five years of work with 125+ institutions on how higher ed leaders must position their institutions to improve learner outcomes, support learners’ economic mobility, and ultimately thrive in a rapidly changing landscape of learning options. Fast forward, and today COVID-19 has accelerated the forces necessitating these changes, most acutely impacting those students—like low-income learners, parent learners, first gen students, and others from historically underserved and underrepresented groups—who were already in need of a redesign of higher ed to enable their success.

Read More

Why Micro-pathways

May 7, 2020

We didn’t need the coronavirus to get us pondering the question “Is college worth it?” But it certainly speeds up our need to find the alternatives. At the Lab, we argue that Micro-pathways will be an important bridge to the future in this new agile and uncertain age.

Read More

Higher Ed’s Learner-centered Responses to the Pandemic

April 9, 2020

We continue to be inspired by the ways higher ed is responding to this moment on behalf of learners and communities. And we are hearing from our network how the design tools and methods we’ve shared over the years have helped them respond and adapt to the COVID-19 crisis. Many had already begun to pivot toward a fast-changing future, and now they are demonstrating resilience in the face of change. We’re heartened to see our institutional partners that have embraced student-centered solutions double-down on their values and commitment.

Read More

More News and Events

Future Proof: An Upskilling Primer

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.

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

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.

Badging Fellowships Awarded to Five Institutions Accelerating the Use of Micro-credentials for 21st Century Skills

Breadth of applications signals growing interest in experimentation as digital credential adoption grows

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

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.

Building an Innovation Toolkit with the 2019-20 ACE Fellows

On August 6, the Lab led a human-centered design session for the 2019-20 cohort of ACE Fellows, a diverse group of 38 aspiring leaders in higher education. We were honored to join them on the first day of their opening retreat to provide practical guidance on how they can apply a human-centered design lense to transform their institutions.

Updates from the Field | Building Understanding

The “understand” part of our design work is what allows it to be “human-centered”— through empathy building, we root ourselves in users’ experiences so we can approach the development of solutions through the lens of their needs, motivations, and behaviors. This summer, the Lab dug into the “understand” phase of this work with institutional teams from two of our newest design challenges – Single Moms Success and G3 Healthcare Pathways.

Welcome to the Lab! Meet Sammie.

We are pleased to announce that Sammie Oputa has joined the Lab as Executive Assistant and Design Associate!

Pioneering Community College Enlists Education Design Lab to Grow Virginia’s Health Care Talent Pipeline

Virginia Western Community College and national non-profit co-design pathway to region’s fast-growing healthcare careers

Welcome to the Lab, Naomi!

We’re pleased to announce that Naomi Boyer has joined the Lab as an Education Designer, Digital Credential Products.

Goodwill, Alamo Colleges District, and Education Design Lab Team-Up to UpSkill Frontline Workers in San Antonio

UpSkill SA! taps the potential of learner-centric design to prepare frontline workers for jobs in the region’s fastest growing fields