I just finished reading Siemens’ blog post “Duplication Theory of Educational Value” and article he and Matheos wrote “Systemic Changes in Higher Education” and his thinking about the future of higher education really resonates with me. While lots of shifts in technology and globalization create a rich environment and are key ingredients, the changes that enable individual control of content is the really disruptive shift and is the big catalyst of the changes. Some of the ingredients can change. So as long as the individual, rather than the institution, controls content and what s/he does with it, the changes are coming and in many ways upon us.
Siemens says “What is valuable, however, is that which can’t be duplicated without additional input costs: personal feedback and assessment, contextualized and personalized navigation through complex topics, encouragement, questioning by a faculty member to promote deeper thinking, and a context and infrastructure of learning. Basically: human input costs make education valuable.” He goes further and states “The vast majority of universities that will educate humanity in the coming decades will be those that structure their value point on elements that cannot be easily duplicated and scaled, or at minimum, require input costs to do so.” Siemens is right on target and what he proposes requires a huge shift in how institutions conceptualize their business. It will be a difficult transition and some will tumble.
As individual access and control of content explodes, the higher education institutions that move toward the integration of services such assessing learning, helping students organize what they know into meaningful packages and then credential that learning will get the cheese. There will be new are the new institutions that build on what is currently happening and some will remake themselves.
I would like to learn more about this topic, how people are thinking about this. Please share some other resources on this topic and let me know what you think.