Saturday, May 26, 2012
Are Universities Scared of the Online Learning Movement?
Mainline universities loudly proclaim their love of online learning — and pedagogical innovation more generally — while doing everything possible to slow it.
Peter G. Klein, Guest blogger / May 17, 2012
I posted last week on Organizations and Markets about the tepid,and entirely predictable, reaction of the higher education establishment to the information technology revolution. Mainline universities loudly proclaim their love of online learning — and pedagogical innovation more generally — while doing everything possible to retard it. The strategy has been to make a few easy, low-cost, conservative moves that preserve the status quo, such as putting some existing courses online, while trying to suppress the innovative outsiders like Phoenix, DeVry, TED, Kahn Academy, etc. It’s a classic example of what Clayton Christensen calls sustaining innovation — incremental changes that keep the existing market structure intact. The last thing the higher-ed establishment wants is disruptive innovation that challenges its dominant incumbent position.
[snip]. If there is fundamental reform, it will surely come from outside the guild system, not within it. [snip]. ... [L]ook instead to bolder experiments like the Mises Academy — not a duplicate of the standard degree program, but a modular, flexible, focused approach to teaching Austrian economics and related subjects. Call it guerrilla teaching. Let’s see where this new movement can go!
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