Chris Dellarocas BU Digital Learning & Innovation

2021 Year In Review: Regrouping and Moving Forward

I will remember 2020 as a year of frenetic activity, as DL&I worked hard to do its part in “keeping the lights on” at Boston University in the face of the COVID emergency. In contrast, 2021 was more subtle; we wrapped up our emergency support efforts and did important preparations to support BU’s strategic plan implementation goals in academic innovation.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of our faculty and staff, Boston University weathered the COVID storm better than many institutions. DL&I spent the first half of 2021 continuing to support the Learn from Anywhere initiative: managing faculty coaches, communicating best practices, supporting classroom moderators and helping faculty with questions of teaching technologies.

One of the most consequential results of our efforts is the establishment of faculty networks for the dissemination and exchange of best practices and new ideas in teaching and learning. The Lightning Talks series and the Faculty Coach network have generated a lot of interest and created lasting bonds among our faculty. Both initiatives will continue beyond the COVID emergency.

“I am proud of our accomplishments in 2021 and I am excited to continue supporting educational innovation at Boston University in 2022 and beyond.”

Throughout 2021, DL&I’s Instructional Production Services team continued to support the production of Questrom’s successful online MBA, Boston University’s first online at-scale degree. The online MBA has provided Boston University with valuable experience that has paved the way for the recent announcement of BU’s next large-scale degree, the Master’s in Public Health.

As we move into 2022, DL&I is now focusing its energies on supporting Boston University strategic plan implementation. The field of teaching and learning is entering an exciting phase of continuous transformation, in part driven by student demands for inclusive and personalized learning, active student engagement, better support for learning communities, tighter integration of learning experiences inside and outside the classroom, stronger emphasis on developing future-proof “transferable” skills, and better preparation for the ever-shifting world of work. The recently announced Shipley Center for Digital Learning & Innovation will focus on pursuing digital innovation in residential education and will be an important partner, catalyst and accelerator of these objectives. Please stay tuned for our announcement of the roster of exciting Shipley Center programs and opportunities for faculty in early 2022.

I am proud of our accomplishments in 2021 and I am excited to continue supporting educational innovation at Boston University in 2022 and beyond.

Happy Holidays!


BU DL&I Chris DellarocasChris Dellarocas is Boston University’s Associate Provost for Digital Learning & Innovation and Shipley Professor of Management at the Questrom School of Business. As Associate Provost, Dellarocas leads the advancement of activities that enhance education at BU through the strategic use of digital technologies.