Fall Planning for the New Normal: Moving Higher Ed Online

Fall Planning for the New Normal: Moving Higher Ed Online. A study by EDUCAUSE and Cisco

Through two surveys of higher education technology leaders and in-depth qualitative case studies of three institutions navigating these challenges, this EDUCAUSE/Cisco study sheds light both on the general trends that have taken shape as institutions planned and made preparations for fall education and on the particular practices and models that institutions have deployed in their own planning and preparations. The common themes emerging from this research and the potential paths forward that these themes suggest can help technology and higher education leaders better understand their present challenges and feel better equipped for living in uncertain times.

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Evidence of a New Normal: Surveys on Online Services and Courses

QuickPoll Surveys

EDUCAUSE and Cisco partnered on designing and deploying two QuickPoll surveys to the EDUCAUSE membership community focused on institutions’ plans for online course and service delivery and the adaptation and maintenance of physical campus spaces.

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Adapting Institutions: Three Case Studies

Case Studies

To provide a more in-depth view into the ways individual institutions have been exploring and finding their new normal, we included qualitative case studies of three institutions: Auburn University, Ohio University, and the Harvard Business School Online.

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Common Challenges


We found through our surveys and interviews that many of the challenges institutions are encountering in their new normal are common across the higher education landscape.

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Promising Practices


While institutions are wrestling with challenges, they’re also seizing on these moments to discover new areas of innovation and creativity, working to find solutions and practices that may hold promise for other institutions across higher education. 

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