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OMG! MOOCs!MOOCs, eLearning, Disruption and Higher EducationVince Kellen, Ph.D.Senior Vice ProvostAcademic Planning, Analytics and TechnologiesUniversity of KentuckyVince.Kellen@uky.eduMarch, 2013This is a living document subject to substantial revision.
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Class) For-profit MOOC startups are emerging • Udacity, Coursera, Udemy, Kahn Academy – Coursera added 29 more universities, several from overseas to complement the initial 33 universities (March, 2013) • Universities are experimenting with credit transfers from some of these courses – Colorado State is piloting a computer class transfer (September, 2012) from Udacity – California State will use Udacity to offer remedial algebra, statistics for $150 a course (January 2012) – California is considering legislation to require credit transfer for overcrowded classes (March, 2013) Non-profit MOOCs have been announced • EdX – a joint venture with Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, University of Texas Industry-university partnerships have been announced • 2U: Northwestern, Duke, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and a few others (November, 2012) • Academic Partnerships: ASU, University of Cincinnati, University of Arkansas, Cleveland State, Florida International University, Utah State, University of Texas Arlington (January 2013) Expect more universities, companies with announcements in 2013 and 2014 2
How many students are learning online? Last year, within the U.S., about 6.7 million students have taken at least one online course (there are about 20 million higher education students in the U.S.) Last year, the growth rate was about 9%, with 570,000 new online enrollments, the lowest in since 2002 The percentage of students taking at least one online course is 32% Only 2.6% of institutions participate in or use a massive-online open course (MOOC) system. 9.4% of the institutions are consideringSource: Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States. January, 2013. Babson Survey Research Group andQuahog Research Group. 3
Framing concepts1. Business models versus technology models2. Unbundling3. The last mile problem4. Scale versus quality5. Deep personalization technology 4
Business models versus IT models People are confusing MOOC business models with technology models. MOOC business models will spread (diffuse) very differently than MOOC technology Information technology represent general purpose tools that will find their way into many different business models MOOCs are spurring rapid innovation in technology, not so much business models. MOOC business models are under stress right now! What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Information technology lowers barriers to entry, including barriers that traditional higher education institutions face in entering MOOC markets The interest in MOOCs comes on the heels of disinterest in for-profit business models The technology innovation that will follow MOOCs is more interesting (IMHO) than their emerging business models • This technology can potentially lower significantly the cost of delivering some education 5
Unbundling Whether to bundle or unbundle is a recurring problem in many industries. Bundling ensures lock-in (e.g., Apple). Unbundling supports scale (e.g., Google) What can be bundled together or sold separately? • ‘Destination resort’ services, physical facilities, course content, course delivery, athletics, degree/certification, accreditation, community management (alumni development, etc.), government aid (financial aid, state support) • Institutions have been providing different combinations of bundling/unbundling resulting in the mix of providers today • The critical bundle: government aid, degree/certification, accreditation • The critical unbundling questions: – What happens if aid can be given for non-degreed or non-accredited education of any kind? MOOCs do not present any significant change in overall bundling strategies unless public policy changes • Universities can become MOOCs if needed but that radically changes their mission and their strategy 6
Higher education has a ‘last mile’ problem Education in any form is struggling to address families and communities with economic and other readiness problems Free or low-cost educational content does not easily solve readiness problems which have a multitude of factors For profit models rightfully struggle with ‘last-mile’ problems. Public policy matters! 7
Scale/ubiquity versus quality In prior versions of IT disruptions, consumers have preferred ubiquity and scale/convenience over technical quality (e.g., Internet, cell phones, social media) Is this true for eLearning or education in general? It depends on how we define quality. Let’s define quality as the ability for the learner to apply what was learned in a way that provides them with the advantage or benefit they sought Would some learners accept inferior educational delivery/outcomes to gain ubiquity, ease of access or low cost? (Why are we holding this meeting in person?) On the other hand… 8
What would Abraham Lincoln think of a MOOC?Abraham Lincoln • Autodidactic • Books, books, books • Became a skilled military strategist • Penchant for poetry, Shakespeare, politics and historyMy nephew • Not an autodidact • Good worker, smart kid, but… • It takes a village • After a few low-security colleges and much money borrowed • He has found an intellectual home 9
Future job demands Middle skill jobs have received little wage growth and job growth since 1980 High skilled jobs, especially those with advanced degrees, have experienced the best wage and job growth The work force middle is getting ‘hollowed out’ The Growth of Low Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market. David Autor and David Dorn. NBER Working Paper 15150. http://www.nber.org/papers/w15150 The recession may have accelerated the trend The demand for masters level and above education is likely to increase. MOOCs are likely to play a role in filling these gaps Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Is College Worth It? http://www.scribd.com/doc/113360662/Is-College-Worth-It 10
MOOC threats and opportunitiesThreats Opportunities Should public policy regarding aid and MOOC technology can lower barriers to accreditation substantially change, all entries for ALL competitors, providing forms of education that bundle advantage for traditional and smaller aid/degrees/accreditation will be at risk universities Traditional universities and for-profits could MOOC technology can be used to address master MOOC technology, threatening the “long tail” of educational delivery (large weaker, slower institutions numbers of niche content/instructors to small numbers of leaners) A MOOC player might be able to produce a sizeable quantity of high-quality learners MOOC technology can be used to provide that industry values and seeks out over ‘fast-trackers’ with shorter times to higher education degrees, perhaps starting in high school, freeing up financial resources for subsequent graduate and professional education MOOC technology might be a way to address some college readiness issues in high school 11
The hidden gem: deep personalization technology In all this noise about MOOCs, I am seeing a significant trend towards adaptive learning technology with different approaches taken by emerging vendors (e.g., Knewton, LoudCloud) Adaptive learning technology matches content to student as it learns how well the student is mastering concepts and skills, responding to questions and tasks Other personalization techniques (e.g., text mining, neural networks) that incorporate other forms of student data (e.g., cognitive, non-cognitive, personality tests) can be brought to bear in this problem of matching educational content and interactions to learners The industry may be moving to development of technology that relies on data about the learner that delivers deeply personalized experiences. This approach can alter text, images, pace and content based on learner abilities and characteristics This kind of technology could have a significant impact on classroom activities. Automating some content delivery via intelligent personalization rules can enable richer F2F interactions, more use of active learning approaches, etc. 12
eLearning Opportunity Matrix Adult learner - Lecture capture for graduate/professional - Certificate/badges nationally/globally - Hybrid graduate/professional degrees - 100% online professional degrees - Hybrid adult undergraduate degrees - Participation with MOOCs Enhance current Develop new programs programs/markets - Flipped classroom - Online undergraduate degrees local/national - ‘Readiness’ MOOC for high school students - Online AP credit education & testing - Hybrid classes - Free open undergraduate courseware Traditional learner 13
How technology can affect cost and quality High effectiveness MOOC/online + DPT + F2F (hybrid) Small F2F class MOOC/online + DPT Current MOOC, online approaches Broadcast class F2F = Face-to-face Low DPT = deep personalization technology, adaptive learning technology effectiveness Low volume High volume 14
Volume operations versus complex systems Excluding the late 20th century, universities have been largely complex systems, delivering niche and customizable interactions F2F settings. Large lectures were added to increase output while reducing costs Deep personalization technology and MOOC approaches can begin to handle both high-volume and specialty classes Geoffrey Moore (2005). Dealing With Darwin 15
Chaos and complexity in strategy In highly dynamic markets it is not clear what kinds of organizations have an advantage. The market may be cooling off just enough to provide us some direction within the next year As each competitor enters new areas of competition, they are often drawn into areas of weakness • Can a local brand compete globally against other global brands • Can an elite institution compete in a new market against non-elite institution • Can an online university deliver face-to-face and vice versa Organizations that incrementally and quickly extend their core competencies over new territory have a double advantage • There is less to learn. Existing skills can be more easily applied • As they learn, they can adjust smaller maneuvers faster and cheaper than adjusting big maneuvers, staying in tune with the shifting market Speed matters. Can we move quickly here? I think we can 16
What should traditional universities do? Quality will continue to be a critical competitive factor. Keep investing in academic quality, the residential experience and student success. Continue to focus on hybrid programs and targeted online programs Lead higher education. Extend our competencies using carefully selected MOOC technology and approaches Brand matters! Taking an existing brand into uncharted waters is very difficult. Launching a new brand in any water is also very difficult. Treat our brand with care. Test and validate Encourage rapid and iterative innovation within our universities. Facilitate sharing of what works and what doesn’t quickly across colleges and universities All competitors will eventually have to master personalization technology and the associated business processes to collect and manage the associated data. Start learning how to do this now 17