Questions its introductory business model, and argues for a complete metamorphosis to produce lesser, If you ’re looking for a book that challenges advanced education’s status quo. Smith’s The Abundant University Remaking Higher Education For a Digital World is a great place to start.
The Abundant University is sure to stir up a storm. It threatens numerous of advanced education’s cherished hypotheticals and traditions. It encourages major inventions in how advanced education is delivered and to whom. And it foresees and indeed encourages a dismantling of the credentialing monopoly that sodalities have long defended. Get ready to hear some howling from the ivory halls.
Smith, theJ. Erik Johnson Chaired Professor of Information Technology and Marketing at Carnegie Mellon University, argues that American advanced education is subject to request forces just like any other assiduity. For starters, that’s a position guaranteed to irk- if not outrage-advanced ed sticklers, who prefer to suppose of their work as an honored craft that shouldn’t be constrained or defiled by marketable trifling
But Smith, counting on profitable proposition and exploration- some of it his own- and a sharp analysis of advanced education’s elaboration, argues that our current system is full of “ systemic shafts that make it innocently and financially unsustainable, at least if you believe in the idea that affordable, high- quality advanced education should be available to everyone ”
The problem, according to Smith, can be understood in terms of three types of failure that have defined universities ’ power in the business a failure in the number of scholars served, a failure of collegiate instruction, and a failure in the degrees awarded to graduates. It’s a “ plant system ” erected on exclusivity of raw accoutrements ( scholars), processing of those accoutrements ( instruction), and delivery of finished accoutrements to the request( credentials).
Among the results of this approach are a perpetuation of social unfairness and inefficiencies, utmost easily illustrated by institutions ’ continuing obsession with rankings and status, the important lesser access to council- especially the elite bones
enjoyed by fat scholars, a grim increase in the cost of council and the debt scholars shoulder to pay for it, and anover-reliance on council credentials as a signaling medium for job readiness. Smith’s result for a more socially just model? A recognition that advances in digital technology are now creating cornucopia in the educational coffers that have historically been scarce, veritably much like digital advances have fully( and snappily) converted other diligence, most specially entertainment. Smith believes that advanced education should and will suffer a analogous metamorphosis, decreasingly using digital technology to enroll, instruct and credential scholars, particularly those who ’ve been left before by the current system. crucial to Smith’s argument is his amenability to understand the resistance to this offer and to not ignore some of the limits of a digital revolution in education. As he acknowledges, programs like Coursera, Udacity, Cengage Unlimited, edX and new online educational druthers
from Google, IBM and Amazon “ may not be suitable to do it all, but they’re unbundling crucial pieces of our core education charge, and they ’re doing it using models of cornucopia that allow them to reach numerous further scholars of all periods and profitable backgrounds, at a far lower cost. ”
Smith doesn’t suggest that traditional sodalities and universities will vanish, and he believes that picky institutions will “ continue to do what they ’ve always done- serve an elite portion of the population veritably well. ” But he also envisions that smaller and smaller scholars will need to attend similar seminaries as readily accessible, less precious, individualized education continues to ameliorate in quality and come more available.
As exemplifications of similar workshop in progress, he points to online universities like Western Governors University, Arizona State University Online, and Southern New Hampshire University; online courses from platforms likeOutlier.org; and the switch to remote literacy needed by the Covid- 19 epidemic. With regard to the ultimate, Smith suggests that the conditions under which it was introduced affected its quality and caused faculty to underrate its ultimate eventuality.
I canvassed Smith lately and asked him to unfold on two questions raised by his book why has advanced education remained largely unchanged despite multitudinous prognostications that it would be largely disintegrated by technological developments, and can council faculty and directors ever be induced that advanced education needs a digital revolution? To the first question, Smith believes that utmost” the death of the university” prognostications being in the early 2010s when largely Open Online Courses( MOOCs) were first introduced were grounded on the deceived notion that because we could educate a large number of scholars at a low price, the traditional university business model was finished. still, he argues those prognostications missed the significance of the university credential. “ You can take as numerous online courses as you want, but utmost employers will not take you seriously unless you have a 4- time degree. As long as sodalities and universities maintain control over job request credentials our business is safe. But what if that changed? What if employers shifted from degree- grounded to chops- grounded hiring? Not only would that pose a trouble, I suppose that is what we are starting to see in the business. ”
To the question of how long before we see that kind of change, Smith believes a lot depends on how long it takes employers to make the move to skill- grounded hiring, but he believes that shift is going to be briskly than advanced education realizes. “ I suppose it’s going to be driven by employers’ desire for a further different pool, and the consummation that they can not achieve the diversity they want if they continue to calculate on the four- time degree as a sludge in hiring, ” he told me.
Regarding advanced education’s resistance to a digital revolution, Smith said, “ much of the academe’s opposition to technological change comes from a fear that it threatens our model of education. It’s ironic that a group of individualities who do not believe they’re involved in a business spend so important trouble guarding their business model, but that is where I suppose we’re right now Stuck between denial and wrathfulness in our Kubler- Ross stages of grief. ”
In the book’s last chapter, Smith argues that accepting the changes he is calling for will bear a shift from guarding the being educational model to fulfilling our charge aseducators.However, we are doing just OK , ” he said, “ If the charge of the university is helping rich kiddies get a leg up in the job request. “ But that is not our charge! In the book I argue that our charge should be ‘ creating openings for as numerous scholars as possible to discover and develop their unique bents so they can use those bents to make a difference in the world. ’ We can not fulfill that charge with our being model. We can only produce that kind of cornucopia in occasion if we are willing to immolate our current model and borrow new digital technologies. ”
With a straightforward, conversational style, Smith succeeds in portraying the current problems bearing down on advanced education and offering a set of bold results for a future where he envisions a council education getting “ more open, flexible, inclusive, and lower- priced. ” The Abundant University is a instigative book that should be read by advanced ed interposers as well as those in the general public who watch about expanding the reach and the impact of advanced education.