April 14, 2014

The physical implications of the digital transformation of higher education are becoming visible.

Classrooms and libraries are being retooled in response to changes in basic assumptions that have guided campus development for more than a century.

Student housing and campuses are evolving in response to social media and the changing use patterns of members of the campus community.  From classrooms to libraries to residence halls, digital transformation is changing the physical presence and requirements of each institution.

September 09, 2013

The empty lecture hall is just one sign of redesign in higher education. Substituting digital formats for large live lectures is the simplest and earliest stage of higher education redesign. This process of substituting synthetic for real will take several years and there will be many failed experiments. Whether in the mega courses offered by Coursera and their ilk, or the burgeoning number of asynchronous on-line offerings of traditional institutions, the availability of higher education is rapidly expanding beyond the traditional constraints of geography and time.

August 08, 2013

Two recent events have brought the paradox of the 21st century campus into sharp focus for me.  First, I taught one of my courses remotely via Google Hangout.  Second, a seminar class allowed students to have an in-class conversation with a veteran Minnesota campus planner and later to engage in a discussion of Mission and P

February 11, 2013

The “Year of the MOOC” is really over. Now that 2012 is behind us, many seem to be hoping that the hype about MOOCs has faded. The reality of coping with producing new kinds of courseware has set in across many campuses. Coursera — already the grand elder — is holding a partners conference this spring that will attract hundreds. The major MOOC providers already have stakeholders. It is a sign that things are calming down.

Other signs are more tangible. I have heard from presidents who are returning to their comfort zones:

January 30, 2013

Backer Jacob envy

January 23, 2013

January 16, 2013

Today’s commentary at the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy leads off with my article about where accreditation is heading.

Accreditation is an idea that makes sense if you think of universities as factories:

Accreditors were supposed to be the quality control department of the factory.

December 12, 2012

Time for the 2013 Edition of ACTA’s What Will They Learn?™ report.

In last year’s edition, ACTA followed the curricula at over 1,000 undergraduate institutions to see whether there was any correlation between desired learning outcomes in liberal arts programs and topics actually covered in the classroom.

November 28, 2012

As I was writing Abelard to Apple, I became increasingly skeptical that accreditors could  get it together.  I suppose there is an argument to be made that the federal and state governments need a rudimentary ability to separate clearly reputable educational institutions from store-front operations. That was the original motivation for the current system of accreditation, but the accreditation industry wants so so much more.

November 20, 2012

MOOC platforms are the new startups. Nobody really knows how it will all turn out, but these are experiments that need to be given time, space, and dollars to to incubate innovation. But what exactly does that mean?

November 03, 2012

MOOC platforms are the new startups. Nobody really knows how it will all turn out, but these are experiments that need to be given time, space, and dollars to to incubate innovation. But what exactly does that mean?

November 01, 2012

This blog post is a repost inspired by the explosion of new innovation models for MOOCs and how universities should organize to create safe spaces for experimentation. My suggestion is to look closely at the lessons from the commercial sector (see previous post).

October 25, 2012

Millions of students from all over the globe are flocking to Coursera, Udacity, and edX to take free, online courses. With these courses offering nothing more than certificates of completion, why are so many people eager to register as students? And what could the success of non-accredited programs tell us about what the 21st century student really wants?

October 16, 2012

MOOC platforms are the new startups. Literally. We are closing in on a half billion dollars pouring into online education companies like Coursera, Udacity, and edX. Tens of millions of dollars are flying out the door of places like MIT, Stanford and Georgia Tech to produce new instructional materials. Nobody really knows how it will all turn out, but the most often repeated mantra is that these are experiments that need to be given time, space, and dollars to to incubate innovation. But what exactly does that mean?

October 12, 2012

OK, so it’s one thing to know what forces are driving tuition increases.  It’s another thing to know where money is being spent.   That is a problem of different proportions because universities do not report their spending in neat categories like