Some thoughts on the future of universities (interview with me in The Voice Magazine)

Part 2 of a longer interview with me, the largest part of which is concerned with my thoughts on the future of universities. Because there has been a small stir lately around an Educause Review article on a similar topic (worth reading – a useful perspective that might make some conversations easier), I thought it might be worth sharing. There are some broadly similar ideas, albeit from a somewhat different angle, as well as a couple that are not there in the Educause article (notably related to the fact that institutions and teacher controlled activities are not the only fruit, and what that implies for universities), and my summary is much shorter!

The editor, Karl, disagreed with me in his editorial, I think because he misunderstood what I was calling for, and so I wrote a brief follow-up, again published by the Voice Magazine, on the letters page of the current issue, which presents it using a slightly different set of metaphors.

Disclaimer: this is far from my final, complete and considered view on the topic. It’s just a brief and spontaneous answer to a question that I might answer at least slightly differently on any given day of the week. There will be a chapter by me and Terry Anderson coming out in the forthcoming second edtion of the SAGE Handbook of E-learning Research that provides a more rigorous and careful prediction of the future of online learning, in which we attempt to explore not so much the digital wonders to come (though there is a bit of that) but the pedagogical character and organizational form it will possess. One of the central points we make in this is that a central characteristic of that future will be diversity. There are not only many possible futures. There will be many actual futures.

Address of the bookmark:

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

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