The South by Southwest (SXSW) conference is renowned for showcasing the latest in music, film and technology. SXSWedu, held two days prior to the start of SXSW, is dedicated to showcasing the latest trends in education. As Blackboard’s Vice President of User Experience, when I submitted the session titled, “Designing the Future of Online Education” I felt that it was important to discuss topics like where online learning has been and where it’s going, and specifically target how we can as a community of educators and technology providers rise to meet and even exceed the naturally increasing demands of today’s learners around their experiences with technology.

Online education used to mean students sitting in front of a computer and passively consuming content. That model has been turned on its head with increased mobile and social technologies. Now, students expect personalized educational content consumable on any device and constant interaction with their peers and faculty. This new model puts pressure on educational institutions and software vendors to meet and exceed these increased expectations. We also know software is ultimately judged on whether or not users can successfully achieve what they are trying to do and that well-designed software is more than aesthetics.

To give you some background on myself, I began my career at Blackboard by putting quantifiable usability practices in place, which have enabled me to spend a decade observing client interactions with Blackboard’s academic platforms. And, I want to share what I have learned with you. Vote for my panel at SXSWedu and hear my take on what the future of education technology will look like.

 

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