CCTP737
The Post-Internet University
and the Future of Elearning

Martin Irvine
Founding Director and Associate Professor

Communication, Culture, and Technology Program
Georgetown University

This is an archived version of a seminar from 2002. Not currently being taught. Links may not work.
Start Syllabus | Higher Education and Elearning Resource Page | Case Studies for Discussion

See Seminar Description and Introduction

Textbooks/Sources

  • Philip G. Altbach, et al., eds. American Higher Education in the 21st Century (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999).
  • James Duderstadt, A University for the 21st Century (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000).
  • Matthew Pittinsky, ed. The Wired Tower: Perspectives on the Impact of the Internet on Higher Education (Financial Times-Prentice Hall, 2002)
  • Stan Davis and Jim Botkin, The Monster Under the Bed: How Business is Mastering the Opportunity of Knowledge for Profit (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984)
  • Many readings from Web sources and EReserves in the library

Proposed Class Projects (to be discussed):

  • Group creation of website with bibliography, data links, and research on the political economy and business of the post-Internet university and the possibilities for elearning.
  • Investigation of potential for CCT and other GU grad programs for specific and targeted elearning programs and elearning content with a business model for self-sustaining operations.
  • Develop and manage an online survey to quantify potential student acceptance/adoption in specific contexts, subject areas; attempt to find acceptance for graduate courses and find highest demand areas.
  • Develop idea and plan for a new company or service that would solve industry problems, utilize existing and emerging technology, and meet a demand in a specific demographic for life-long learning needs.

Requirements and Grading

Weekly participation in the seminar with online discussions (using Blackboard threaded discussion forums), weekly rotating group presentations on topics and readings, participation in a group seminar project (to be discussed), and a final research project (creative and innovative formats like website presentations and databases are strongly encouraged).

The themes of the seminar are evolving in real time as we study them. Additions and changes to the syllabus agenda are also encouraged as students bring their own background and interests to the seminar and as new data becomes available.

3

1
Aug. 28
Overview of Seminar
Readings (orientation to background and issues)
3

2
Sept. 4
Historical Contexts for the Post-Internet University:
Background and history of the university system and higher education industry

Topics for Discussion

  • Making of the modern university, Europe and US: comparison of national models, institutional bases.
  • Universities and modern nation-state building: what is to become of the university in a era of the decline of the nation-state and national control of culture and access to knowledge?
  • US private and public system, land grant act
  • Post-WWII “multiversities”
  • Expansion of disciplines in the later 20th century
  • Rise in power of the professional schools (law, business, medicine)
  • Disciplinary cultures and internal rivalries: “Two Cultures,” “Third Culture” and interdisciplinary battles
  • Diversity of institutions and businesses in contemporary higher education are a long way from the upper-class, isolationist Idea of a University by John Henry Neuman (1854).

Question for analysis:
Does recent ICT extend, change, and/or reconfigure the power centers in higher education disciplines? Where are centers of academic and institutional power most resistant to forces of transformation (law, social sciences, medicine, etc.)?

Readings:

Seminar Notes for Discussion
Cases and examples for discussion and analysis
Higher Education and Elearning Resource Page


3

3
Sept. 11
The Higher Education Industry

Topics for Discussion

  • How higher education works as a business
  • Size of industry, economic realities
  • Hierarchy and taxonomy of U.S. higher education: the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education
  • Analysis of a university's operating budget and balance sheet: revenue/sources of funds, operating expenses
  • Political economy and collision of economic forces: scarcity economics and ubiquity/abundance economics
  • Post-secondary education statistics (NCSE/Dept. of Ed)
  • The guild system and disciplinary reproduction
  • Demographics, US and world: levels of ed., costs, wealth effect
  • Wriston's Law and intellectual capital
  • Elearning business models

Readings:

Higher Education Industry: Main Data Sources

Cases and examples for discussion and analysis
Higher Education and Elearning Resource Page

3

4
Sept. 18
Beginning Group Project:
Web survey methodology and examples

Sources for study and discussion:

Internet-based Survey Information Sites:

Group Project Preparation:

Draft a set of questions about prospective adoption of elearning by our survey population (define) that would be useful to an elearning company or to a university needing to know the marketplace.

Exchange goals and ideas for questions in the discussion forum before class, and bring copies of your questions for distribution in the seminar meeting.

Cases and examples for discussion and analysis
Higher Education and Elearning Resource Page


3

5
Sept. 25
Economic Impact of Higher Education

Continue discussion and planning of Web survey.

Topics for Discussion:
The Higher/PostSecondary Education Economic Nexus

Questions for analysis:

  • What’s the difference between a well-financed, well-endowed, non-profit university and a for-profit corporation? (Recognize, then go beyond, the legal status of non-proft organizations, i.e., non-distribution of profits and no owner-shareholders.)
  • Would expanded access to college education and degrees through elearning increase the economic impact? How could we measure this?

Readings:

Cases:

"The Economic Impact of the University of California"

"Economic Magnet and Multiplier Effects of the University of Minnesota"

Cases and examples for discussion and analysis
Higher Education and Elearning Resource Page

3

6
Oct. 2

Economics of Higher Education (continued)

Cases and examples for discussion and analysis
Higher Education and Elearning Resource Page

3

7
Oct. 9
Elearning and the Open-Access and Learner-Centered Disruption:
Disrupting the Higher Ed Guild and Academic Reproduction System
  • What's driving the access and control conflicts and controversies
  • The nature of academic professionalism, teaching and research, and recent market forces on academic professions, roles, and identities.
  • Realities of institutional power and disciplinary guild systems for careers and professions.
  • Learner-centered elearning disrupts power centers that invest authority in professoriate and disciplinary guilds.
  • The realities of institutional power and institutional self-reproduction.
  • The realities of academic hierarchies and social class, university degrees, social power networks in universities.
  • Potential of elearning to "level the playing field" or democratize access to higher education and spread knowledge more equally: illusion, threat, possibility?
  • Can academic and professional guilds reproduce through elearning and credentials obtained from elearning and degrees?
  • The institutionalized autonomy, independence, and hierarchy of schools, colleges, disciplines and departmental faculties.
  • Autonomy and internal logic of major discipline power centers: medicine, law, engineering, business, sciences, liberal arts.
  • Impact of user-centered knowledge communities and user indirections to information, knowledge, learning: implications of blogging, file sharing.
  • Possible scenarios for elearning in the next decade: will it disrupt the system, be co-opted, be postponed, embraced by the next generation as part of strategies for reproduction and extending academic power?

Discussion topics:
Chose an academic, professionalized discipline and analyze how it works. How could elearning disrupt, challenge, reinforce, or extend disciplinary power and control? What are some of the strategies used (discursive, rhetorical, ideological) to block, limit, or control the introduction of elearning as an entry point into the guild?

How do disruptive innovations work in an industry (see Clayton Christensen, The Innovator's Dilemma), and how could this dynamic affect higher education as an industry group?

Readings

Notes on Working with Bourdieu

Cases and examples for discussion and analysis
Higher Education and Elearning Resource Page


3


8
Oct. 16
Post-Internet Teaching and Learning
  • Distance Learning Debates, Pre- and post-Web
  • Hypertext, hypermedia, Internet and web and learning environments
  • Interpretation and media
  • Teaching, Learning, Technology issues
  • Pedagogy and disciplinary practice
  • Learning in communities of practice: the social context of learning
  • From Distance Education to Elearning
  • Current and Emerging Technologies for Elearning
  • Information access, digital libraries, intellectual property, copyright

"Of the entire value chain of higher education, content is the least valuable part." (See article in Syllabus on MIT's OpenCouseWare)

Readings:

Resources/Cases

Cases and examples for discussion and analysis
Higher Education and Elearning Resource Page


3


9
Oct. 23
Possible Futures for Elearning (1)
  • The easy part: what’s possible and not with technology
    • Technology barriers and ideal pedagogy models
    • The always postponed future of interactivity
  • Internal contradictions of technology limits, expectations
    • What is the current state of the technology teaching us to be, socializing us as information users of a certain kind?
    • Search and data: assumptions about the universe of information
    • Being digital and learning behaviors
  • Hypermedia and real-time learning environments
  • Software models and systems architecture
  • The life-long learning challenge
  • Case studies:
    • MIT Open Courseware initiative
    • Successful elearning and blended/hybrid models (Open U, Phoenix, UMD)

Readings:

Cases and examples for discussion and analysis
Higher Education and Elearning Resource Page



3

10
Oct.30
Possible Futures for Elearning (2)
  • The Hard Stuff: institutional barriers, business models, learner adoption
  • The Market: is there a marketplace for elearning provided by universities?
  • University guild system and barriers to guild induction with elearning.
  • Emergence of education service providers, education management organizations
  • Copyright and intellectual property: competing forces of control and democratization of access
  • Digital Libraries: the written knowledge base and challenges to creating digital libraries
  • Corporate Elearning and Knowledge Management vs. university/academic learning models
  • For-Profit Learning Providers and Emergence of the "Learning Management Organization"
    • Could the HMO model be applied to post-secondary education and life-long learning with elearning as the delivery channel?

Readings and Issues:

Digital Rights Management/Copyright/Digital Commons

Cases and examples for discussion and analysis
Higher Education and Elearning Resource Page

3

11
Nov. 6
The Post-Secondary Learning Industry and Expanded Universe for Elearning:
Case Studies
  • eCollege, UPhoenix (Apollo Group), Blackboard, Sylvan, Universitas21 and Thomson Learning
  • For-profit education companies and investment speculation: publicly traded companies, capital markets, market opportunities, conflicts in business and education
  • Eduventures data
  • Current industry problems, barriers
  • Elearning and Knowledge Management, Content Management, Customer Relations
    • Convergence of LMS, KMS, and CRM in corporate and organization applications

Software design for elearning (LMS, CMS) (examples and cases):

  • Blackboard
  • eCollege
  • UPhoenix
  • XanEdu
  • Eduventures data

University Business Guide to Elearning Companies

Business Week Guide to Leading Online Universities

Business 2.0's Webguide for Elearning

Business Investment in Education/Private Education Providers

Cases:

Cases and examples for discussion and analysis
Higher Education and Elearning Resource Page

3

12
Nov. 13
The Global Education Industry
  • Higher education issues worldwide.
  • Is the digital divide new (or real), or is there an ongoing wealth divide?
  • Globalization, education, and economics.
  • Education as major U.S. export service, international schools and for-profit education companies.
  • World Bank, OECD, and other international initiatives, data, investments.
  • ICT and worldwide education: will elearning shift the balance of education resources?

Readings:

Cases and examples for discussion and analysis
Higher Education and Elearning Resource Page


3

Nov. 20

Group discussion of research projects. 


13
Nov. 27

[No class. Thanksgiving break. Continuing work on research projects.]


14
Dec.  4

Presentations of research projects.


3


Martin Irvine
irvinem@georgetown.edu

Copyright © 2002