COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: A New Book Charts a Path for the Future of Digital Education

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Will COVID-19 be remembered as a turning point in how universities deliver teaching and learning? How might the widespread use of digital tools change higher education?

These questions and others are addressed in Leveling the Learning Curve: Creating a More Inclusive and Connected University, a new book by William Eimicke, a Columbia SIPA professor and the founding director of the school’s Picker Center for Executive Education; Columbia’s Senior Vice Provost Soulaymane Kachani; and Adam Stepan, director of the Picker Center Digital Education Group.

The book explores the current role of digital education through interviews with more than 50 top practitioners from universities and ed-tech firms. Leveling the Learning Curve guides readers through the inner workings of digital learning by exploring how these new tools can enable universities to reach new audiences and address long-standing imbalances. The authors examine challenges to implementing digital education programs, and provide insight into how universities have managed to balance the needs of faculty as well as on- and off-campus students.

Leveling the Learning Curve traces the history of digital education initiatives from Khan Academy, TED Talks, and MOOCs through the pandemic, examining both successes and failures. It offers examples of what a connected university looks like in practice by sharing how digital tools increase audiences, expand interdisciplinary teaching and learning, connect students to real-life issues, help meet equity goals, and open new revenue streams.


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