Paper Explores Future of Tech in Liberal Arts Organization

August 25, 2016

A yearlong evaluation of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education by the Council on Library and Information Resources has produced three alternative paths forward for the organization: relaunch, reconfigure or shut down. NITLE, which has helped liberal arts colleges use technology in the classroom, last year moved from its home at Southwestern University to CLIR in order to determine if the organization had a future in the face of dwindling funding and reduced activity. Six current or former CLIR postdoctoral fellows examined NITLE's history, interviewed people associated with the organization and surveyed individuals involved in ed tech or liberal arts education to produce the white paper, which was published Tuesday.

The authors identified a handful of activities an organization focusing on technology in liberal arts education should pursue in order to remain viable. The organization, whether it is NITLE or not, should continue to focus on liberal arts colleges, communicate with members and conduct market research to gather input about its work, and develop a mission that sets it apart from other organizations in the space.

"Whatever shape a future initiative may take, its endurance would rely on its ability to help its constituents adapt to rapid change," the white paper reads. An advisory council will take the report into consideration as it determines NITLE's future.

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