Valerie Irvine gave their views on the subject of the 21st Century University, using their university. They are Educational Technology professors and Co-Directors of the Technology Integration and Evaluation (TIE) Research Lab at the University of Victoria.
Clearly a time of change - issues facing brick and mortar universities
- diminishing funds, cutbacks
- decreasing 18-22 demographic
- increase in colleges with degree-granting status
- increase in online programmes
- demands from learners for flexibility
- Recruit more international students
- Change registration options to allow for combined f2f and online by existing students
The back channel mentioned the riots to enroll in South African universities, such was the pressure to do so. Putting the meaning of this incident (massive pressure from the rest of the world for university education) against the wish of well off Western universities to make money from international students, left me concerned. Should this be the approach? And the point was made that these international student places should be mainly residential and not online, so that real fees are paid. Wow! Talk about business ruling...
Had not realised that administration system changes have such huge costs, even for relatively minor changes, and so changes of the status quo is really costly and difficult.
They categorised the registration option changes as follows - Multi-Access vs COOL Courses
- COOL - collaborative open online course - a Multi-Access course but open
- Multi-Access - not necessarily open, LDAP connectivity
There seemed to be some real constraints in the 21st Century University. It seemed that universities are 21st Century only on the timeline but not really changed much from the 20th Century versions. Knowledge seemed to be trapped in universities due to restricted delivery method options. Instead of ivory tower, my mental metaphor changed to be walled garden, not being able see out nor others to dare to see in.
The Patriot Act and ownership of data in Elluminate were mentioned as constraints as well as internal university rules: they can make material open but for evaluation of students they have to be enrolled in the course.
Thanks for such insights - which I think are probably too stark out of context of the discussion, but forms my list of issues.