What is the Next Generation of Digital Learning Environments?
As technology continues to evolve, educators and those in Edtech are looking for ways to improve technology to match the needs of teachers and students. In particular, the world of higher education sees a move from traditional LMS (learning management systems) to what EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative has termed “The Next Generation of Digital Learning Environment” (NGDLE).
EDUCAUSE explains, “The next generation digital learning environment (NGDLE) is conceived as an ecosystem—a learning environment consisting of learning tools and components that adhere to common standards.” Ultimately, the next generation of digital learning environment will become more focused on learning rather than administration.
Initial Differences from LMS
When LMS began to commonplace on university campuses, they provided support for educators in a new way. The ability to sort classes and track student data made a huge difference in the daily administrative duties of a teacher. However, as education has become more digital, there are even more possibilities to find software that can handle administrative responsibilities and more.
For example, the NGDLE will provide much-needed support for both teachers and students. It will become a digital platform that teachers and students both access that allows universities to monitor student outcomes that align with the university’s vision of education.
Rather than simply storing data, the NGDLE will provide personalized learning opportunities for individual students. The NGDLE will also allow teachers to design lessons aimed at learning outcomes instead of predetermined curriculum, as well as allowing teachers to act more as learning guides than feeling like they must “teach to the test.”
A Combination of Support Tools for Teachers and Students
Ultimately, the NGDLE will work as an all-in-one digital learning platform. With the NGDLE, everything will be in one place – apps, learning services, and the learning management tools. For instance, the software will have all the components we look for in various products in one place. The NGDLE will include functions such as submission, testing, data management, timetabling, learning analytics, multimedia, collaboration and communication tools, tools for sharing materials, and learning support.
The Five Components
Additionally, EDUCAUSE has identified five key components of the NGDLE:
- Interoperability and integration: shares data across the platform
- Personalization: personalized learning activities for individual users
- Analytics, advising, and learning assessment: tools more measuring student learning outcomes
- Collaboration: programming that makes it easy to share and communicate with others
- Accessibility and universal design: optimized to be used and accessed by students across various devices
For more details about the NGDLE initiative, you can see EDUCAUSE’s library of materials.