Digital technologies and the global nature of higher education today are accelerating changes in colleges and universities in a variety of ways. There are increasing calls to make higher education more affordable and more accountable for student outcomes. One response has been the growing use of analytics software to track student behavior related to learning; this is used to improve student performance and outcomes, and to inform faculty members. We are following some new technologies that enable universities to reach new and huge audiences (e.g. MOOCs), and how some result in significant gains in learning (e.g. the “flipped classroom”). We help institutions understand the need to reconfigure some of their services and their physical and virtual spaces to reflect the ways in which our students work with technology and information today. Another programmatic emphasis is to assist our members in thinking about the content issues related to the use of educational resources in this environment, whether making digital content available in MOOCs or instituting a campus e-textbook pilot program.
As both students and faculty increasingly produce new digital information, sometimes incorporating parts of others’ work, and often in complex social software contexts, they have a pressing need to understand a wide range of issues including intellectual property, privacy, preservation, format standards, and metadata creation. A variety of literacies (information, technology, and visual) are converging as students, faculty, and others produce innovative digital content.