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Next Generation Learning Challenges Names First Grant Recipients

Next Generation Learning Challenges, a collaborative initiative led by EDUCAUSE, announced its first set of grants today to identify and expand innovative technology-enabled approaches that improve college completion in the United States. From a pool of more than 600 applicants, 29 organizations will receive a total of $10.6 million through grants ranging from $180,000 to $750,000. An additional $5.4 million may be awarded to some of the most promising projects after the 15-month grant period concludes.

Each grant recipient demonstrated potential to expand its technology-enabled solution to help students succeed in higher education through one or more of four key approaches:

  • Blended Learning Models, which combine face-to-face instruction with online learning activities.
  • Deeper Learning and Engagement Applications, such as digital games, interactive video, immersive simulations, and social media.
  • High-Quality Open Core Courseware,particularly for high-enrollment introductory classes like math, science, and English, which often have low rates of student success.
  • Learner Analytics, which monitor student progress in real-time and customize student support and interventions when and where they are needed.

Examples of the types of programs funded by Next Generation Learning Challenges include:

  • Personalized, online learning programs that adapt the content, pacing, and coaching of student learning based on each student’s strengths and motivations;
  • Predictive models and early alert systems that notify students, faculty, and advisors when individual students are veering off of their academic path, and then recommend tools and strategies to help get them back on track;
  • Social media and peer-to-peer learning models that increase support and motivation for students as an add-on to traditional instruction;
  • Simulations and games to increase student engagement and “hands-on” experience with course content; and
  • Online open educational resources that are freely-distributed and which can be adapted to individual colleges and students.

A complete list of grant recipients is available online. To read the full press release, visit: