Campus Technology

Boston University to Debut Digital Learning, Innovation Center

Boston University's new digital learning center will focus on "the creative application of digital technologies in education." The Shipley Center for Digital Learning & Innovation, scheduled to open in early 2022, aims to reimagine the residential learning experience through three main avenues:

  • Working with faculty to create digital course content;
  • Funding campus initiatives that create digital content for residential students; and
  • Supporting innovations in digital learning and experiments in the application of new learning technologies.

As part of the university's Office of Digital Learning & Innovation, the center will offer instructional design support, digital media production, educational technology consulting, project management, and funding for faculty and departmental projects. It will also work with the BU's Center for Teaching and Learning to "provide end-to-end educational transformation project guidance and support," according to a news announcement.

"In the post-COVID era, the field of teaching and learning is entering an exciting phase of continuous transformation," commented Chris Dellarocas, associate provost for digital learning and innovation and Shipley Professor of Management at the BU Questrom School of Business, in a university news article. For BU, that transformation is a holistic one, spanning all aspects of the students experience at the university and beyond: "The key question is how do we push towards more inclusive and personalized learning, active student engagement, better support for learning communities, tighter integration of learning experiences inside and outside the classroom, and stronger emphasis on developing future-proof 'soft' skills," he said. "The ultimate goal is better preparation of students for the ever-shifting world of work. The creative application of digital technologies can enhance these very human and meaningful educational goals, which collectively serve as our compass in evolving residential learning at BU."

Romy Ruukel, currently director of the Digital Initiatives group in the Office of Digital Learning & Innovation, will be the Shipley Center's inaugural director. In addition to her work helping develop BU's MOOC and Micromasters programs, Ruukel has also served as director of the university's Digital Education Incubator, an initiative that funds and manages pilot projects involving teaching and learning with technology.

"I am thrilled for this opportunity to lead an effort in digital innovation at Boston University, and to collaborate with my colleagues to advance key transformational initiatives as part of the BU 2030 strategic plan to reimagine residential learning on our vibrant campus," she said.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].