Working Group B
The Role of Research in Higher Ed Decision-Making

How are decisions made in institutions of higher education regarding the acquisition and use of educational technology to support teaching and learning? What sources of information are leaders currently using in decision-making, and what role does research play in decision-making?

Working Group B: Blog
The Role of Research in Higher Ed Decision-Making
October 5, 2016

It’s a crazy world out there in ed-tech land for higher education decision-makers: every week, there’s a new start-up with a new “save the students!” innovation, sure that their gizmo/dashboard/simulation/platform/collaboration software is the critical piece to unlock the passion and performance of their students. And, of course, there are hundreds, thousands, of caring marketing professionals eager to help get the “best” messages out about their products and services, and why they are (always) “just right” for an administrator’s or teacher’s most challenging problems.

It’s like being bears, wading into a river, filled with fish flashing by at high speed – how do you actually catch them? Is it really enough to splash away at the water, knocking out random fish onto the bank, and hoping what you’ve landed is what you need? It does work for bears…

Our Working Group is looking at the processes by which higher ed institutions wade into the rushing river of technology innovation, and make choices. What influences their choices? Who is involved, and how? What kinds of processes are used – reviews, bake-offs, pilots, etc? What information do they gather, either about the problem they are trying to solve and existing best practices for dealing with it, or about the products they see flashing in front of them in the fast-moving technological waters?

We’re hoping to understand how such decisions are currently made, what frustrates the decision-makers, and what best-practice examples there might be about different dimensions of the selection process. We can then link this work with the other Working Groups’ work to identify broader themes that characterize what’s going on now, and, most importantly, propose practical approaches and practices, with current examples, that most higher education ed-tech administrators could deploy to improve their own selections and results.

Our Working Group is seeking to interview individuals at institutions of higher education who are involved in decisions about the acquisition of educational technology for the purposes of supporting teaching and learning. We are interested in your input and are looking to talk to decision-makers in higher ed. Please nominate yourself or others you think are good candidates to obtain input on this research topic by filling out this Google form.


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Working Group Leader
Fiona Hollands
Associate Director and Senior Researcher
Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
Research Lead
Stephanie Moore
Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology, Director of Online Initiatives
Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Working Group Members
Alison Griffin
Senior Vice President, External & Government Relations
Strada Education Network
Amy Bevilacqua
Chief Innovation Officer
American Public Education, Inc.
Bill Hansen
President & CEO
Strada Education Network
Bror Saxberg
Chief Learning Officer
Kaplan, Inc.
David Kim
Founder & CEO
Intellus Learning
Deborah Quazzo
Founder and Managing Partner
GSV Acceleration
Fred Singer
CEO
Echo360
Jerome L. Rekart
Director of Research and Analytics
College for America at Southern New Hampshire University
Kristin Palmer
Director of Online Programs, Provost Office
University of Virginia
Matthew Chingos
Senior Fellow
Urban Institute
MJ Bishop
Director
Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, University System of Maryland
Phil Hill
Partner
MindWires Consulting
Whitney Kilgore
Chief Academic Officer
iDesignEDU
Logistics Lead
Emily Kinard
Project Manager, National Engagement
Strada Education Network
Bror Saxberg
Chief Learning Officer
Kaplan, Inc.
Bror is responsible for the research and development of innovative learning strategies, technologies, and products across Kaplan's full range of educational services offerings. He previously served as senior vice president and chief learning officer at K12, Inc. and as vice president at Knowledge Universe.
Alison Griffin
Senior Vice President, External & Government Relations
Strada Education Network
Alison is a senior level public policy professional with over sixteen years of federal legislative and regulatory experience, state-level policy acumen and client advocacy work in the higher education space.
Amy Bevilacqua
Chief Innovation Officer
American Public Education, Inc.
Amy has over 25 years of operating experience, from leading content businesses at PBS to running an education company for the private equity group KKR. She also teaches business model design at Penn’s Graduate School of Education, in their Masters in Education Entrepreneurship program.
Bill Hansen
President & CEO
Strada Education Network
Bill is recognized as a national leader in the education sector. He served as deputy U.S. secretary of education from 2001-2003, acting as the department’s chief operating officer. Previously at the Education Department, he had served as assistant secretary for management and budget and chief financial officer. Bill most recently was chairman and CEO of the Washington, D.C. consulting firm Madison Education Group.
Bror Saxberg
Chief Learning Officer
Kaplan, Inc.
Bror is responsible for the research and development of innovative learning strategies, technologies, and products across Kaplan's full range of educational services offerings. He previously served as senior vice president and chief learning officer at K12, Inc. and as vice president at Knowledge Universe.
David Kim
Founder & CEO
Intellus Learning
David is a seasoned Engineer and Entrepreneur, who began his career as a technology investment banker and strategy consultant. Over the last decade, he has either founded or been a founding management team member of fast growing technology start-ups in the web search, digital content management and online advertising sectors. In 2010, David’s focus turned to education to align with his social views of the importance of education to our society. He is currently Founder & CEO of Intellus Learning, a content and curriculum analytics platform company working with higher education institutions to better manage their digital content and understand student behavior with digital content in relation to learning objectives.
Deborah Quazzo
Founder and Managing Partner
GSV Acceleration
Deborah is the Founder and Managing Partner of GSV Acceleration Fund, a venture capital fund investing in the most dynamic entrepreneurs and companies leveraging technology in the global $4.9 trillion education and talent technology sectors.
Emily Kinard
Project Manager, National Engagement
Strada Education Network
Emily manages Washington, D.C.-based partnerships, conducts policy research and analysis, and coordinates USA Funds sponsorships. Prior to joining USA Funds, Emily's work focused on advocacy for women and children globally, including leading a research team studying child welfare in Ghana. She recently obtained her Master's degree in political management from George Washington University.
Fiona Hollands
Associate Director and Senior Researcher
Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
Fiona has been an education researcher and evaluator for over 15 years investigating the impact of technology on teaching and learning, and the cost-effectiveness of educational interventions including online and blended learning.
Fred Singer
CEO
Echo360
Prior to Echo360, Fred was a Senior Advisor to Masayoshi Son, President and CEO of SoftBank and Chairman of Sprint’s Board of Directors. He held a number of senior roles at AOL, was a founder of the Washington Post Online Service (now WashingtonPost.com) and was a consultant with Bain & Company.
Jerome L. Rekart
Director of Research and Analytics
College for America at Southern New Hampshire University
Though originally trained as a behavioral neuroscientist, Jerome's focus is on the implementation of evidence-based strategies to improve education, many of which are outlined in his book, The Cognitive Classroom.
Kristin Palmer
Director of Online Programs, Provost Office
University of Virginia
Kristin is responsible for open educational resources, facilitating pan-university e-learning needs assessment and fulfillment, and conducting research. Prior to UVa, she worked in both education and business on complex technology projects.
Matthew Chingos
Senior Fellow
Urban Institute
Matthew studies a wide range of education policy topics at both the K–12 and postsecondary levels, including class-size reduction, standardized testing, teacher quality, student loan debt, and college graduation rates. He was previously a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
MJ Bishop
Director
Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, University System of Maryland
MJ is inaugural director of the University System of Maryland’s William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation. Prior to coming to USM, MJ was Associate Professor and Director of the Lehigh University College of Education’s Teaching, Learning, and Technology Program.
Phil Hill
Partner
MindWires Consulting
Phil is co-publisher of the e-Literate blog, co-producer of e-Literate TV, and a partner at MindWires Consulting. As a market analyst, he has analyzed the growth of technology-enabled change for educational institutions. Previously Phil was an independent consultant through HBO Systems and Delta Initiative.
Stephanie Moore
Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology, Director of Online Initiatives
Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Stephanie's work is in design and development of instructional materials and systems with expertise in online learning, multimedia design, and cross-cultural implementations grounded in research.
Whitney Kilgore
Chief Academic Officer
iDesignEDU
Whitney is the Chief Academic Officer at iDesign working with institutions of higher education to build high quality online and blended learning programs. She has an extensive background in education, leadership, educational technology, strategic planning, learning management systems, professional service delivery, and organizational change. Her primary areas of focus are faculty professional development, personalized adaptive digital content, and learner engagement. Her PhD research focused on the use of social media to support informal professional learning for educators.
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