HEat Index, Issue 10 – The Need for AI Strategy and Learning & Employment Records



As artificial intelligence continues to reshape the landscape of higher education, it is essential for institutions to develop coherent strategies to harness its benefits effectively. In today’s issue, I delve into the findings from the latest EDUCAUSE QuickPoll and Inside Higher Ed’s annual provost survey, both of which highlight the growing need for comprehensive AI policies and curricular updates. From there, I explore a new coalition of higher education stakeholders dedicated to improving the adoption of learning and employment records. 

After reading today’s issue, let us know where your institution is in developing its AI strategy in the comments! 


EDUCAUSE QuickPoll – More AI Strategy Needed 

From EDUCAUSE QuickPoll Results: A Growing Need for Generative AI Strategy | EDUCAUSE Review  

The use of generative AI in higher education shows no signs of slowing, and the need for supporting resources and processes means institutions should be focused on creating strategies to set themselves up for success.   

Our Thoughts 

I’ve been featuring EDUCAUSE articles about AI and higher education since the beginning of The HEat Index (see Issue 1, Issue 7, & Issue 9 for more), so it’s no surprise that I’d feature the results of the latest QuickPoll on generative AI. Although we are just beginning to understand the overall impacts of generative AI more broadly, there is little doubt that students will need proper AI preparation as they enter the workforce.   

My favorite aspect of the EDUCAUSE QuickPoll is it provides prompt insights into current practices that may be rapidly evolving. The poll results reveal a significant gap in current AI initiatives, demonstrating a critical need for clear institutional AI strategies. This gap could impact educational equity, privacy, and staff workload, even as AI has the potential to enhance learning experiences and operational efficiency.   

Higher education professionals should pay attention to this discussion to ensure that as AI technologies become more integrated into educational systems, they are implemented thoughtfully to maximize benefits while mitigating risks. This understanding is crucial for guiding strategic decisions and policy formulations in an increasingly digital educational landscape. 


Annual Provost Survey Results 

From Provosts’ survey shows need for AI policies, speech worries | Inside Higher Ed   

The results of the Inside Higher Ed annual survey of college and university provosts reveals a significant lack of AI policies and curriculum adjustments to prepare students for AI’s increasing role in the workplace.   

Our Thoughts 

Like the EDUCAUSE QuickPoll, this Inside Higher Ed survey offers more insights into how institutions are navigating key issues such as AI integration, campus speech, and academic program management amid political and economic pressures. Unsurprisingly, generative AI dominates much of the survey results and highlights the tension between the perceived benefits of AI to learning and concerns about academic integrity.  

In both the results of the QuickPoll and this survey, we find that faculty and staff are clamoring for AI support, training, and guidance, while institutions seem underprepared for AI’s integration into their educational and administrative processes. Crucially, this survey illustrates the pressing need for institutions to develop robust AI policies and adapt curricula to prepare students for a future dominated by AI. 


National Coalition to Accelerate Learner Records 

From National Coalition Launched to Accelerate Adoption of Learning and Employment Records (LERs) in Post-Secondary Education | 1EdTech   

Ten higher education professional associations and organizations have formed a coalition aimed at addressing the slow adoption of digital credentials, like micro-credentials and badges, in higher education.   

Our Thoughts 

I’ll be the first to admit that this is an amazing announcement! As a former registrar, I was supportive of AACRAO’s (American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers) initial exploration of comprehensive learner records to better showcase student learning from a variety of experiences. With over 40 million people who have some college, but no credential, and increasing public doubts about the value of college, any work that can be done to accelerate adoption of learner records is a huge plus.  

Hopefully, this coalition of diverse stakeholders can assist institutions with the change management necessary to modernize their credential systems. By doing so, they can better reflect the skills and competencies of learners in a digital age, providing clear pathways for students to demonstrate their qualifications and readiness for employment. By participating in or understanding the developments around digital credentials and LERs, institutions can ensure they remain competitive and relevant in preparing students for the evolving workforce.

Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor
Senior Solutions Ambassador at Evisions

Allen Taylor is a self-proclaimed higher education and data science nerd. He currently serves as a Senior Solutions Ambassador at Evisions and is based out of Pennsylvania. With over 20 years of higher education experience at numerous public, private, small, and large institutions, Allen has successfully lead institution-wide initiatives in areas such as student success, enrollment management, advising, and technology and has presented at national and regional conferences on his experiences. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from Western Carolina University, a Master of Science degree in College Student Personnel from The University of Tennessee, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Teaching, Learning, and Technology from Lehigh University. When he’s trying to avoid working on his dissertation, you can find him exploring the outdoors, traveling at home and abroad, or in the kitchen trying to coax an even better loaf of bread from the oven.

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