“The Changing Landscape of Higher Education”

landscape with rainbowphoto © 2006 Axel Hartmann | more info (via: Wylio)
Interesting and long article in the new EDUCAUSE Review on “The Changing Landscape of Higher Education”: http://tinyurl.com/4j5ngcp
The article warns of what it calls “potentially tectonic change” (16) in ten areas, ending with advice to IT departments not to ignore the educational “environmental factors” (30) outside of new technology. Here are the ten areas IT is advised to watch:

  1. The Increasing Differentiation of Higher Education
  2. The Transformation of the General Education Curriculum
  3. The Faculty Faces of the Future
  4. The Surge in Global Faculty and Student Mobility
  5. The New “Invisible College”
  6. The Changing Traditional Student
  7. The Mounting Pressure to Demonstrate the Value Added of a College Degree
  8. The Revaluation of “Middle-Skill” Jobs
  9. Higher Education as a a Private Rather Then a Public Good
  10. Lifelong Partnerships with Students

The second item on how the core curriculum is changing, looks briefly at how that traditionally liberal arts-based core is jettisoning the arts to emphasize communication skills, because that’s what employers say they want. We might argue that it is hard to develop “critical thinking, writing, speaking, arguing, researching, and mathematical reasoning” (20) without having some content to consider or without looking at some of the great thinking, writing, speaking of the past. The writers are not clear about how to achieve a new “skills-based general education curriculum” (20) or even whether those skills are already being taught in liberal arts courses.

Technology figures in items 3-5 in terms of making the huge adjunct pool more effective through both training and course delivery, and the global network of education means that students and researchers can access the best education resources as if at a smorgasbord. Clearly, IT’s role of delivering access to international networks will be key.

All interesting whether you work with technology, teach, or do research. The higher education landscape is definitely changing and only time will tell if it’s for the better. I’m hearing Bod Dylan’s “The Times They are A-Changin'” and wondering if I should get out of the road or lend a hand.


Categories: education, mobile learning, online learning, technology

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