The Future of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education interviewed the directors of Georgia Tech‘s Center for 21st Century Universities. The interview touches upon several key points regarding the challenges and opportunities around the role of technology in higher education. These include the notions of open courses (see the launch of an online interactive learning platform by MIT and free online courses by Stanford), blogs as a medium for content delivery, universities as credentialing institutions and the resultant challenges faced by middle rung schools.

What you’re seeing, for example, is technology enabling a single master teacher to reach students on an individualized basis on a scale that is unprecedented.

I think what you see happening now with the massive open courses is going to fundamentally change the business models. It’s going to put the notion of value front and center. Why would I want a credential from this university? Why would I want to pay tuition to this university?

Georgia Tech's Tech Tower

Georgia Tech's Tech Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The blog is essentially an expression of a master teacher’s understanding of a field to people that want to learn about it. We think that there are some very simple layers that can be built under the existing blogging format that can essentially turn it into a massive open online seminar. It’s also a way of conducting scientific research. When you think about what happens in this blog, it celebrates the process of scientific discovery.

Read more at Could Many Universities Follow Borders Bookstores Into Oblivion? – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Free online learning from MIT

MIT has announced the launch of MITx, an online interactive learning platform. The prototype will go live in Spring 2012. Coupled with free online courses and course ware, this portends the future of higher education and poses several interesting challenges and opportunities for educators and students.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Image by skinnylawyer via Flickr

 

Offering interactive MIT courses online to learners around the world builds upon MIT’s OpenCourseWare, a free online publication of nearly all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate course materials. Now in its 10th year, OpenCourseWare includes nearly 2,100 MIT courses and has been used by more than 100 million people.

MIT plans to offer certificates under the name of a not-for-profit body to online learners.

As online learning and assessment evolve and improve, online learners who demonstrate mastery of subjects could earn a certificate of completion, but any such credential would not be issued under the name MIT. Rather, MIT plans to create a not-for-profit body within the Institute that will offer certification for online learners of MIT coursework. That body will carry a distinct name to avoid confusion.

Read more at MIT launches online learning initiative – MIT News Office and What is MITx? – MIT News Office.