Online Learning Update

September 28, 2011

Online Learning: Can Higher Education Be Fixed? The Innovative University

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by Steve Denning, Forbes

For years critics have raised alarms about higher education: rapidly rising tuition costs without corresponding increases in value, a trillion dollars of student debt, compromised access, country club tenure for academics, decreasing relevance of tuition to the real world, among other issues.Now Clayton Christensen, the father of the theory of disruptive innovation, and his colleague, Henry J. Eyring, in The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out (Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series) (Jossey-Bass, 2011) tell the stories of two very different universities—Harvard and BYU-Idaho—and how they are addressing innovation in higher education. In particular, the book advocates that colleges and universities embrace online education. It argues that online technology makes a college or university vastly more attractive to a wide subset of students. It gives many people a second chance at learning – i.e. those who cannot afford a traditional college education, those who do not have the flexibility to take part in a full plate of coursework, and late bloomers or dropouts who have fallen behind and now have the chance to catch up. But online learning doesn’t just offer cheaper education for the masses. It improves the student learning experience across the spectrum by allowing students to learn at their own pace and on their own timetable.

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