Technology, Transparency and MOOCs

Summary MOOCs have introduced a greater level of transparency in online higher education. They offer students a chance to evaluate and compare institutions to a degree previously unheard of in higher ed. The focus of the evaluations is, primarily, instructional content and related activities. This focus may create new opportunities for less prestigious institutions to compete.… Continue reading Technology, Transparency and MOOCs

Digital Higher Education, Business Models, and Horizons

These are heady days for digital higher education. For advocates of all-things-digital, myself included, it appears we’ve earned our permanent place at the table. Whether fully online, blended or a supplementing classroom education, digital higher ed is now a strategic issue for colleges and universities. Online enrolment continues to experience double-digit growth. Investors are once… Continue reading Digital Higher Education, Business Models, and Horizons

Digital Higher Ed Content & The Long Tail

Maybe my patience has finally been rewarded. The focus of digital higher education during the previous decade was overwhelmingly on the technology itself – learning management systems, bandwidth, faculty literacy with technology, student technology support, and so forth. But I entered the world of higher education through an interest in interaction of culture and markets,… Continue reading Digital Higher Ed Content & The Long Tail

8 Questions

During the last 18 months or so we’ve seen a remarkable increase in the amount of attention paid to higher education. There’s no longer a shortage of interesting commentary. I’m very grateful for this. But sometimes I feel I need to stop and (re)define my questions. This helps my research and it helps me get… Continue reading 8 Questions

The Changing Contexts of Educational Content

Value is shaped by context. That is to say  . . . we attribute value and meaning to people, objects and other things on the basis of the circumstances in which we experience them. Art may be best example of the power of context. If we take a work of art out from behind the… Continue reading The Changing Contexts of Educational Content

Credentials, GoodWill Hunting & MITx

It’s no secret that the authority to bestow credentials is a core source of value for higher education institutions; it’s also a key means by which the institution protects itself from unwanted competition from non-sanctioned education providers. The importance of credentials to traditional higher education is what makes the recent announcement from MIT particularly interesting.… Continue reading Credentials, GoodWill Hunting & MITx

Searching for Sustainable OER

OER or open educational resources is one of the good news stories of 2011. OER takes many forms, but what binds initiatives like The Khan Academy, MIT OCW (Open Course Ware) and Stanford’s AI course is that they are all freely available to learners and other educators. It’s this “free” characteristic that has caught the… Continue reading Searching for Sustainable OER

What’s Behind the Rise of Design in Digital Higher Ed?

We’ve yet to “pick up the other end of the stick.” When we move the locus of education from the classroom environment to the digital environment, we move the student experience to one in which design matters a great deal. Design, here, refers to the field of graphic design and industrial design – where aesthetics… Continue reading What’s Behind the Rise of Design in Digital Higher Ed?

Notes on Sharing, Competition and Innovation

Originally posted in Today’s Campus A panel discussion entitled “What Nonprofits and For-Profits Can Learn from Each Other About Teaching and Learning” was held at the most recent Educause conference. The panelists were from proprietary schools, a non-profit university, Inside Higher Ed, and a think-tank. It was at this talk that an audience member repeated… Continue reading Notes on Sharing, Competition and Innovation

Digital Higher Ed: Design Matters

Brands like Target and Apple have successfully used design to set themselves apart. Mainstream magazines like BusinessWeek and Fast Company now devote complete issues to design. College design programs are experiencing unprecedented demand. Highly ranked institutions like Stanford now teach MBA students about the role of design and design thinking. There’s a growing recognition that design… Continue reading Digital Higher Ed: Design Matters