What is the future for universities, given the shift to thinking more seriously about the potential for online learning? The creation of EdX and all this talk about flipped classrooms are just the beginning. Everyone is talking and speculating… what will happen? Here at the Bok Center we are readying for what David Brooks is calling a tsunami.
The big question is how academics and professionals thinking about the scholarship of teaching and learning choose to approach this potential. Brooks prefers to take an optimistic view, as do we:
But it also compels colleges to focus on the rest of the learning process, which is where the real value lies. In an online world, colleges have to think hard about how they are going to take communication, which comes over the Web, and turn it into learning, which is a complex social and emotional process. How are they going to blend online information with face-to-face discussion, tutoring, debate, coaching, writing and projects? How are they going to build the social capital that leads to vibrant learning communities? Online education could potentially push colleges up the value chain — away from information transmission and up to higher things.
What do you think? Stay tuned! Exciting times ahead.