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May 24, 2016

Higher Creducation

Do Students Go to College to Get Educated or to Get a Degree?

It is that time of year when higher education recognizes accomplishment through the awarding of degrees and commencement celebrations. That has me thinking about what it means to be educated and/or to earn a credential. Earlier this year, Ithaka S+R released a report entitled Higher Ed Insights: Results of the Fall 2015 Survey. That report highlighted a potential tension between two approaches to improving rates of degree completion: 1) guided pathways; and 2) unbundling college credits and services. The…
January 28, 2016

Artstor-ITHAKA Community Letter

To our creators, partners and users Artstor and ITHAKA Join Forces We are writing to you as a valued member of our community to share the good news that Artstor, the nonprofit provider of the Artstor Digital Library of images and the Shared Shelf platform for cataloguing and digital asset management, will now operate under the umbrella of its fellow nonprofit ITHAKA, the organization that currently operates three other services: JSTOR, Portico and Ithaka S+R.  As you may know, Artstor,…
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December 2, 2015

A Glimpse of the Future at ITHAKA’s Next Wave Conference

Last month ITHAKA hosted The Next Wave conference. We brought together people from both inside and outside the academy to discuss issues important to the future of education. Our broad theme was data, value, and privacy. As is always the case with ITHAKA meetings, we spent as much time projecting technology’s impact on the future as we did reflecting on how it is affecting us today. In this post I will share a few of the highlights and thought-provoking…
October 20, 2015

Online Learning Markets: Inter-Institutional Challenges

In my last blog post, I described some of the challenges that must be addressed in the institutional context if online learning technologies are going to have maximum impact on the way registered students at existing institutions learn and on the costs associated with that instruction. The barriers described in that post are intra-institutional in nature: faculty concerns, addressing teaching specialization, governance, and cost management. In this post, I want to address important inter-institutional challenges to a robust “business-to-business”…
September 15, 2015

Online Learning Markets: Institutional Challenges

In late July I posted on the different markets that exist for technology enhanced teaching and learning in higher education. To summarize the assertion from that post: there are substantial differences between the activities and impact of courses delivered by online learning platforms directly to individuals and those delivered through institutions to students. The latter represents a “business-to-business” case that must overcome different obstacles for success than “direct-to-consumer” offerings like MOOCs. I promised in that post to highlight a…
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July 30, 2015

Two Online Learning Markets

The discussion about MOOCs and their impact on higher education has changed dramatically in the last couple of years. The fear and foreboding that accompanied MOOCs’ explosive debut has dissipated. It seems that the MOOC storm has passed. Much of that hype was predicated on the expectation that these new free courses were going to replace traditionally delivered higher education and reduce the price of pursuing degrees. There was also a belief that these courses would undermine or “unbundle” the…
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March 12, 2015

Competency-Based Creducation

It was announced last week that Paul Le Blanc, the President of Southern New Hampshire University, will take a three-month leave to work with the U.S. Department of Education, where he will “assist the Department’s innovation agenda, focusing on the competency-based education experimental sites project and developing new pathways for innovative programs in higher education.” SNHU is responsible for College for America, a partnership between the university and corporations to provide a new kind of learning experience that…