Digital Campuses: “A Game Changer”!

An increasing number of the world’s students are studying for degrees without ever setting foot on campus. In the US, several Ivy League universities are putting more and more of their courses on the web, free to anyone anywhere but without offering credits. More than 55,000 students now select from the  Open University Australia‘s ( OUA) 1400 units and 170 qualifications offered by 20 Australian universities and other tertiary education providers, including TAFE institutes.

When Stanford University’s Sebastian Thrun put his introduction to artificial intelligence course online late last year, 160,000 students from dozens of countries enrolled. Professor Thrun resigned from Stanford and, backed by venture capital and $200,000 of his own, launched a virtual university called Udacity in January that he hopes will attract 500,000 students after 90,000 signed up in the first two months.

Called Massive Open Online Course, this MOOC format uses videos and interactive assessment exercises that gives students what they want – free content, file sharing and social networking. This could become another way of gaining credentials and, if enough employers accept them, MOOC will have such cost advantages that it could eventually replace mass education institutions.

Technology is having a profound impact on education – the way we teach, the way we deliver education and the way we learn. Today’s students want education that is mobile and accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week…We know today that our future lies outside the traditional classroom. We know we must move beyond the bricks-and-mortar model, beyond the ‘sage on the stage’. Universities must change to survive, to remain relevant to the next generation of learners…Students not only expect education to be accessible around the clock but also available on every device. They also want ready access to real people, their tutors. That means universities have to make courses available through many channels, including smart phones and iPads.

Do you think these online courses and digital campuses can be  “a game changer” for the traditional way of “brick and mortar” education system?

Do you find online learning  a threat to higher education ?  Or,

Will full university education supplemented by a much richer technology environment with online learning/ digital campus define the future of education and learning across the globe?

 

Want to know more? Read the complete story here.

Adapted from “Digital campus changes the game”, The Age.

 

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