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What You Need to Know About Building a Next-Gen Learning System

  • 3 Min Read

Saint Leo University built their own next-gen learning system. At Fusion 2017, they’ll show you how to build one too.

The 2017 Horizon Report suggests that most schools are not at a state of maturity or readiness for a Next-Gen Learning System today, but will be in two to three years. If that’s true, then most schools already know a few things: First, such a system is far greater than any one tool, including the Learning Management System (LMS); second, it’s time to start figuring out a sound strategy, curating potential platforms, and getting the appropriate stakeholders in the room.

While building a next-gen learning system—the kind that can generate immersive, personalized, adaptive learning experiences at scale that are both efficient for and satisfying for students—is no simple task, those strategy and stakeholder conversations will likely begin with a simple-not-so-simple question: “why?”

The reasons, of course, are many. Retention is likely at the top of the list for most schools, but there’s also:

  • the achievement gap;
  • college graduates’ lack of digital literacy;
  • the lag in higher education when it comes to sourcing and making sense of meaningful data;
  • the need to create platforms for learning innovation;
  • being well positioned for the rise of artificial intelligence;
  • and many more.

Then there are the hurdles. Once the ‘why’ is known, the next thought for most will likely be, “how hard will this be?” From organizational change to multi-tenet solutions to programming to stakeholder buy-in to training, there are plenty of things schools really need to consider before starting a project of this scope, and those are just some of the resource costs. There are also the hard costs to consider.

In less than two months, Saint Leo University is going to show Fusion 2017 audiences how and why we successfully built a “Next Generation Learning Ecosystem out of commercial and open source products. We’ll demonstrate how we got out ahead of the Horizon Report’s assertion that schools are ill-prepared for Next-Gen solutions and try to help others learn from our successes as well as mistakes. We’ll also detail how we overcame some serious hurdles, all the while changing learning and success for our students.

Through Do, Show, Tell, Review, and Ask moments, we’ll illustrate what we leveraged from sources such as Google, TED, Brain Rules, and Nintendo. Saint Leo TALI (Teaching and Learning Innovation) team members will also demonstrate how our new system incorporates neuroscience, legitimate artificial intelligence, online constructivism, and how we trained 1,200 faculty (both at home and away) all in under 18 months.

The bottom line is this: successfully building a next-gen learning system requires doubling down on digital reinvention.

Bold, tightly integrated digital strategies will be the biggest differentiator between companies that win and companies that don’t, and the biggest payouts will go to those that initiate digital disruptions.” – McKinsey & Company (Feb 2017)

To learn more about building a next-gen learning system, check out Changing Everything: How Saint Leo Transformed Learning, Culture and Technology in 18 Months at Fusion with Dr. Jeff D. Borden, an attendee of thousands of conferences, who will try to help facilitate an experience, not a session. That experience will crystalize for audiences why the application of the McKinsey quote above has transformed learning at Saint Leo and how it served to help the Lions change their stripes.


Learn more about how Saint Leo used Brightspace to facilitate personalized, adaptive learning at scale:

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