A student in goggles participates in a virtual reality simulation in the Immersive Construction Lab.

Driving Digital Innovation

Penn State will prepare students for success in the digital age and use digitally optimized outreach to foster economic prosperity in communities across Pennsylvania and beyond.

We will use the digital environment to open new ways to explore, experiment, create, and advance knowledge that has an impact in addressing global challenges. Penn State must become a leader among institutions of higher education, digitally extending our impact and responding to the potential of technology to help us enable learning, facilitate research, and serve communities just outside our gates and across the globe. To do this, Penn State must increase its capacity to provide faculty, students, and staff with access to high-quality, physical and virtual educational environments; transform education to reflect new realities and to lead in translating those to life skills and workforce development; and push the capacity of digital tools and technologies to empower our research on the world’s most pressing challenges.

The ability to use data and computational processes to solve many of the world’s most significant problems has never been greater, and Penn State is positioned to play a leadership role in mapping a revolutionary global digital future. Penn State will develop interdisciplinary approaches and partnerships to resolve pressing global issues, using technology and teams with the expertise to confront persistent and emerging problems of regional and global significance, and to expand creative frontiers in the arts and humanities. Penn State will meet the needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing innovative solutions in ways that engage students in the problem-solving process. A digitally powerful Penn State will connect students, teachers, and researchers with unprecedented capabilities to extract insights from diverse digital data sets to address critical challenges. Penn State will use technology and its physical presence throughout the Commonwealth to fully realize its unique standing as one University, geographically distributed, along with a World Campus, and to broaden the impact of its significant research, teaching, and engagement resources.

Develop a more robust digital infrastructure and culture.

Penn State will construct a state-of-the-art digital infrastructure and culture that seamlessly facilitates and enhances collaboration across units on research and outreach initiatives aligned with our mission. The infrastructure and culture also must meet the needs of students and other stakeholders with strong digital competencies and expectations about how Penn State should support them—and how the University should support those who need to better develop such competencies and gain better access to such resources. With openness to the use of technology, innovation, and an unwavering focus on learning outcomes, quality and rigor will, and must, remain hallmarks of a Penn State education.

Make online education and personalized learning central to our 21st-century land-grant mission.

Penn State has been at the forefront of education and access since the emergence of the land-grant movement in the 19th century. While the strategic and operational means of realizing the land-grant mission will continue to evolve throughout the 21st century, the University remains committed to that historically powerful ideal.

We will leverage components of in-person and online instruction to facilitate personalized learning that optimizes individuals’ educational experiences and enables deeper engagement. Learning analytics will be deployed to inform teaching and learning strategies and processes, ensuring that over time we enhance the effectiveness of instruction—for educators and learners—as new methods and approaches emerge. Adaptive learning software also will help teachers to assess student mastery of subject matter in real time and adjust course content and strategy as needed.

Create digital solutions that cross academic borders.

We will establish Penn State’s status as a global leader in digital discovery, innovation, and creativity to address society’s most pressing challenges as they emerge. Penn State will create interdisciplinary environments embracing powerful forms of learning that integrate efforts across our colleges and campuses.

Drive economic development.

Penn State will drive economic development in the Commonwealth, as well as in regional, national, and international industry, through facilitated access to and use of the University’s digital assets. A digitally agile and effective Penn State will use its powerful resources to enhance global well-being, while simultaneously building capacity for transformative discovery, creativity, student learning, and engagement.