Welcome to the EDUCAUSE Digital Learning Innovators Institute! By the end of this institute, you will be able to:

  • Identify context-driven challenges and opportunities to design meaningful digital learning change.
  • Make informed decisions using relevant information for your context.
  • Promote meaningful change via strategic integration of relevant digital learning trends, innovations, or technologies.
  • Design a digital learning impact project and action plan to be implemented at your institution.
  • Promote actionable digital learning change via effective project management, advocacy, and communication.


During the program, learners are expected to dedicate approximately 5-10 hours per week (synchronous and asynchronous) to have an engaged and successful learning experience. We ask that participants actively plan the time they will spend on the institute each week, even on a daily basis.

Once a week, we will hold a live, synchronous online meeting to discuss resources, activities, and projects in support of the five competencies. These meetings will be a combination of short talks, discussion, and opportunities for questions. We highly recommend you attend all live sessions.

Start date: Monday, May 9 | 3:00–4:00 p.m. ET

All live sessions after the launch date will take place on Thursdays at 3:00–4:30 p.m. ET

  • Week 1: May 12
  • Week 2: May 19
  • Week 3: May 26
  • Week 4: June 2
  • Week 5: June 9 
  • Week 6: June 16
  • Week 7: June 23
  • Week 8: June 30

Institute Competencies

Each competency includes the following components:

  • Introduction: Overview, learning objectives, and activity checklist
  • Learning Materials: Readings, videos, and websites that contain the key content and information you will need to progress through the competency
  • Recommended Resources: Readings, videos, and websites that provide additional information relevant to your professional development
  • Activities/Assignments: Practice activities and assignments
  • Reflections: Summary and highlights of each competency and your actionable goals

Competency 1: Envision Meaningful Change

Change begins with a clear and meaningful vision. In the world of teaching and learning, and particularly in digital learning, attempting change without commitment to purpose and intention can often become a practice in futility. Envisioning meaningful change is the opportunity to understand the many components of your context, describe what success could look like, examine elements to initiate forward movement, and create strategies to overcome obstacles. As a digital learning innovator, you must consider change as a key component of the work, but effective change takes intention and clarity at the very beginning.

By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the context and agency of your teaching and learning role.
  2. Analyze outcomes that indicate growth or development in the learning organization.
  3. Examine potential barriers and opportunities that may influence digital learning change initiatives.

Competency 2: Make Informed Decisions

Effective decision-making is essential for digital learning innovators and contributors. Such decisions are informed by a wide array of quantitative and qualitative data sources including voices from across the institution and external partnerships. For impactful decisions to be made, such information needs to be collected, curated, and presented to the appropriate stakeholders in logical and purposeful ways. With such a level of care, you can act as a change agent and an informed decision maker from any place in the learning organization.

By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  1. Formulate clear and meaningful questions to drive decision-making for digital learning.
  2. Gather relevant information to influence meaningful change in your learning organization.
  3. Solicit feedback and information from relevant stakeholders to inform digital learning decision-making.
  4. Demonstrate best practices and procedures for collecting/presenting data to stakeholders invested in digital learning innovation.

Competency 3: Explore Contemporary Issues and Trends

In the digital learning space, the term "innovation" can be used nearly to the edge of its value. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the multitude of new ideas and programs designed every day. To be an effective digital learning innovator requires an ability to explore many emergent trends in higher education and digital learning, with a lens of your particular context. You must be able to discern true innovation from hype and know when and how to implement something new.

By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  1. Explore emergent technologies and contemporary trends that are affecting higher education broadly and the learning organization specifically.
  2. Differentiate innovation from hype in digital learning.
  3. Explore the relevance and value of contemporary educational and digital learning trends in a meaningful, context-driven manner.
  4. Explore models of learning design, including the use of innovative technology.

Competency 4: Design a Change Initiative

Innovation is often messy and free-flowing. Creating meaningful change through innovation is always complemented by structure and organization. As a digital learning innovator, you must understand practices of designing, planning, communicating, and documenting the use of technologies and ideas. Through this competency, you will focus on informal and formal means of driving initiatives forward and explore the work necessary to begin putting ideas into action.

By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  1. Identify models of design for effective learning projects.
  2. Implement design thinking to develop an actionable impact or change project.
  3. Create an implementation plan and timeline for your digital learning impact or change project.
  4. Create a project plan document to drive organizational change via the impact project.
  5. Determine outcomes that can be used to gauge the effectiveness of your impact project.

Competency 5: Advance Actionable Change

Innovation shifts to implementation and adoption as vital stakeholders begin to utilize it. As a digital learning innovator, you need the skills to take innovative ideas into action through project management, collaboration, and communication. Your goal is not only to pilot new ideas and technologies but to help others—students, faculty, leadership—implement change for better learning outcomes. This competency explores what makes meaningful change endure for everyday practice.

By the end of this competency, you will be able to:

  1. Identify approaches to effective project management for learning projects.
  2. Present digital learning ideas, initiatives, and projects in a manner that fosters action.
  3. Explore strategies for collaboration to advance digital learning initiatives and innovations.
  4. Implement a process to identify and address unexpected challenges or barriers to implementation.
  5. Utilize best practices to communicate digital learning innovation to particular audiences.