Nov 04 2020

EDUCAUSE 2020: COVID-19 as a Catalyst for Innovation in Higher Education

As higher education institutions have worked to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic — including lockdown restrictions, financial pressures and the need to deliver online instruction — many have found a silver lining of innovation. In a conversation with EdTech, three experts say the pandemic has provided a new perspective on long-time challenges and, in many cases, spurred creative solutions. They point to a significant leap forward in the effectiveness of online pedagogy and to an emerging culture of agility, both of which can serve higher education long past the pandemic. 

We spoke with Kate Miffitt, Director for Innovation at California State University; Christopher Brooks, Director of Research at EDUCAUSE; and Kathe Pelletier, Director of the Teaching and Learning Program at EDUCAUSE.

Find more coverage of EDUCAUSE 2020, including more interviews and advice from higher ed experts, here.   


    • Kate Miffitt, Director for Innovation, California State University
    • Christopher Brooks, Director of Research, EDUCAUSE
    • Kathe Pelletier, Director of the Teaching and Learning Program, EDUCAUSE

Video Highlights

  • On many campuses, the COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed new solutions to existing problems and facilitated a shift to new approaches that, in the past, might have encountered cultural resistance.
  • The adaptability and open-mindedness that have allowed for creative problem-solving this year can, in the future, enable institutions to continue to refine, adapt and optimize both academic and business processes. In particular, colleges can continue to improve the effectiveness of online instruction through approaches such as resilient pedagogy. 
  • As institutions try to maintain momentum on innovation after the pandemic, they should continue to seek out the perspectives of frontline employees and to embrace the culture of agility that has arisen this year.