A provocative essay in The Ann by U-M business professor Scott Moore analyzes the disruptive impact of internet technology on higher education and asks, "Will the Wolverines remain the leaders?" According to Moore, the traditional model of education is shifting, and students will have far more choices as to how (and where) they learn. He predicts a future where education is a partnership between .edu, .com, and .org, where credit hours are replaced by certificates earned via competency exams, and where an increasing number of educational experiences happen away from campus. To remain leaders and the best in such a future, the university and faculty must experiment with emerging educational methods and technologies, and adopt those that foster transformative educational experiences that are relevant for students, parents, and future employers.
As Moore points out in his article, CRLT is partnering with faculty and administrators to develop creative approaches that will enable U-M to navigate this changing landscape. For example, an experiment with new educational technology now in progress at U-M focuses on incorporating Online Collaboration Tools (OCTs) in and out of classrooms. As the campus began widespread use of Google Apps for collaboration over the past year, CRLT gathered early adopters to share ideas about how to best use these tools for education. To help spread innovations far and wide, CRLT distributed an Occasional Paper
on the topic and organized a Provost’s Seminar on Teaching last November, both of which featured U-M faculty who had successfully used blogs, wikis, and other tools to promote student reflection, to facilitate collaborative authorship, to improve student teamwork, and more. Scott Moore was one of the featured speakers at the Provost’s Seminar, where he described how his students’ blog posts reached an audience of over 40,000 readers--the kind of transformative experience that makes a U-M education relevant in a changing higher ed landscape.