The ‘Personalization’ of Higher Education

Technology will transform higher education as it has many other industries. One of the ways it will cause transformation is through personalization — giving students more power to understand and craft the education experience they want for themselves. This will happen as information technology, or IT, becomes embedded in more and more of the processes that make up going to college such as course enrollment, classroom instruction, and student support services.

The IT infrastructure supporting college education processes makes it possible for students to register for a course more quickly, take courses online, or connect with campus tutors through social media platforms. Of equal importance, the data about student journeys, successes, and failures that can be captured through the IT can improve both individual, and perhaps collective, outcomes across all of higher education when provided back to students in useful ways.

This brief provides an overview of technology and industry change, a series of examples of technology innovations that are driving the "personalization" revolution in higher education, and finally provides some recommendations for policymakers on how to facilitate this process.

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