Higher education is increasingly digital and massive open online courses (MOOCs) are part of the reason why. A meeting of higher-ed representatives from around the world discovered that the challenges involved with the transition to digital learning were the same no matter the size of the institution.
“The takeaway? Higher education is going digital, responding to the architecture of knowledge in a digital age, and MOOCs, while heavily criticized, have proven a much-needed catalyst for the development of progressive programs that respond to the changing world,” wrote Allison Dulin Salisbury, who works on special projects for the president’s office at Davidson College, in a blog post for Insider Higher Education.
The group found that MOOCs have pushed the digital conversation to the forefront at each institution and online instruction has focused attention on teaching and the learning process. MOOCs also build more opportunities for collaboration across campus departments and have led to more experimentation.
“The early impacts of MOOCs on higher education are a sign that this transition is difficult, but entirely possible,” Salisbury added. “As the next waves of hype impact universities, likely in the form of adaptive learning and competency-based education, the systems that are successful will be those that address the full spectrum of learning: liberal arts, vocational, and lifelong.”