Is online learning really cracking open the public post-secondary system?

Tony Bates, online learning, distance education resources, Jul 13, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Tony Bates returns after a month away and jumps into the fray surrounding open learning and impending reform of the post-secondary education system. I like the lessons he draws form his readings:

  • Lesson 1: No president with an activist Board of Governors is now safe if the university does not have a clear institutional strategy for online learning.
  • Lesson 2: MOOCs may be the answer – but what is the question? May there be better solutions to the question?
  • Lesson 3: Governments are increasingly not going to accept the status quo or business as usual.
  • Lesson 4: Prepare and train your faculty to deal with change and innovation in teaching, and in particular for teaching online
  • Lesson 5: If public institutions do not respond effectively to the challenge of change, they will eventually be swept aside by the private sector – and will deserve it.

Lesson 1 is a bit of a surprise but I think we have been writing about the rest for some time now (I wonder whether Bates has managed to read my ebook - I was hoping he might review it, but maybe not).

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