EDUCAUSE Recap – October 2023

In October, the Cal State Innovate team traveled to Chicago, Illinois to participate in the 2023 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference. In addition to learning from speakers and networking with other IT professionals, the Cal State Innovate team presented a poster during poster sessions entitled “Analyzing the Student Digital Experience through User Research” and participated on panel discussions on generative AI.  

Analyzing the Student Digital Experience through User Research 

Cal State Innovate staff with Max Tsai  standing in front of their digital experience poster at the conference.
From left to right: Allison Green, Kate Miffitt, and Max Tsai in front of their poster at the expo hall at EDUCAUSE | Photo Credit: Max Tsai

Presenting in a poster format, Allison Green and Kate Miffitt shared details on the campus-wide effort to understand the current state of the student digital experience and create a future state with less digital friction at Fresno State. The poster recapped the research phase of the endeavor from engaging executive leadership, research methodology, a summary of findings, and the campus solutions to date. 

Conference goers were eager to learn about research findings and the mobile-first solution that Fresno’s DXI Hub developed and piloted with the Bulldog Bound program. Others shared their own campus efforts to conduct similar research or develop similar student portals.  

EDUCAUSE Leadership Series | ChatGPT and Generative AI: Navigating Leadership Opportunities and Challenges 

And, of course, generative AI was a hot topic throughout the conference. Kate Miffitt, director for innovation, was one of several panelists for a two-day series titled “ChatGPT and Generative AI: Navigating Leadership Opportunities and Challenges”, which focused on a wide range of topics related to applications of generative AI, risks and concerns of generative AI, and guiding strategies and policy considerations for AI in higher education. The conversational session surfaced questions and topics that IT leaders are wrestling with regarding generative AI.  

Boom or Bust? The Future of Generative AI in Higher Education 

Miffitt also participated in a fun and fast-paced panel, “Boom or Bust? The Future of Generative AI in Higher Education.” Panelists shared different perspectives and possible futures of generative AI in higher education. While the panelists took different positions in the boom vs. bust debate, they ultimately concluded that generative AI won’t be just one thing, but could have applications that range from harmful to helpful and from low to high impact. 

Overall, the 2023 EDUCAUSE Annual Meeting was a great event, with lots of opportunities for learning, sharing and connecting.  

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