Is That All There Is? Higher Education’s Struggle to Leverage Digital Teaching and Learning

I'm confident then about the potential of technology-enabled learning. However, I’ve grown increasingly less confident that the institution of higher education can play a major role in realising this potential. Evidence is mounting that the institution of higher education, as it is currently designed, is largely ill-suited to developing and leveraging more advanced uses of technology for teaching and learning. And given the institution’s near monopoly on widely recognised adult education in much of the West - higher education is likely inhibiting the development of more advanced forms of instructional technology and media, as well as new ways to bring these new forms to people at lower costs.

Unbundling, Design Thinking, Et Cetera: Leaders’ Collection 10.18.2016

A hand-picked (lovingly) collection of news, reports, and essays of interest to leaders in higher education by Keith Hampson, PhD.

Manners Maketh . . . A 19th Century Guide to Etiquette

In an age when Donald Trump, Kanye West, and "the Kardashians" serve as role models, we may need to revisit what kinds of behaviour deserve our attention and respect. It all starts with values, of course, but good etiquette - and its proper daily application - can take us a remarkably long way. Paying attention … Continue reading Manners Maketh . . . A 19th Century Guide to Etiquette

Instructional Leadership and Faculty

A university president once confided in me that while he loved to see innovative work being done within his institution, he believed that its' impact was of little value if no one outside of the university hears about it. His larger point was that reputation is the fuel on which universities run; it’s the means … Continue reading Instructional Leadership and Faculty

The Trajectories of the Fourth Estate and Instructional Media

But the comparison to the music and news industries tends to understate the degree to which individual learners are restricted from seeking out and assembling educational experiences according to their own criteria. Whereas consumers of music and journalism are free to make up their own minds as to what constitutes good value, what constitutes "educated" is defined by social conventions, regulatory and loan systems, and, of course, employers. Determinations of what constitutes good value in education can’t be made unilaterally. New and more flexible forms of credentials will continue to become more widely accepted, but the processes of disintermediation and unbundling will unfold far more slowly than in other sectors.

Transparency, Instructional Content, and Competition

Then . . . MOOCs happened. Suddenly, this public demonstration of an institution’s instructional practices became front page news. Not merely local news or industry news (e.g. The Chronicle), but the New York Times, The Guardian, and The Atlantic. Now university presidents paid attention. They recognized that MOOCs could be one of the most potent forms of marketing for their institutions — for better or for worse. While they may not have shown much interest in online learning previously, Presidents of elite universities moved quickly to take part in this “me-too” public relations strategy. The investments made in these courses climbed quickly. Videographers, make-up artists, lighting crews and even actors started receiving invitations to the campus to help create a professional look and feel.

Institutional “Fit” and Educational Technology

As more opportunities and solutions get thrust in front of academic leaders, they need to combine an understanding of instructional value with a sensitivity towards how these different opportunities will or won’t succeed within the institutional setting.