Professor Paul Bacsich was our first keynote speaker at this year's  Distance Education Association New Zealand (DAENZ) conference in Wellington. Professor Bacsich, from the University of Canterbury, provided a grand overview of the state of eLearning on a global perspective, providing a brief critique and some suggestions about how to move beyond the current landscape: the 'Multeversity'.
The Multeversity (then called "Multiversity") started off life as an analytic container to bring together a lot of my work on virtual universities, colleges and schools over the last four years, but as I got into a number of related projects (OER, retention, funding, VLEs, etc) my former worries about the long-term health of the university sector began to surface again. I see the Multeversity as a university for the 21st century which will be both better and cheaper than the current models (both distance and campus).
It should make best use of distance learning, web 3.0 technology and open educational resources to reduce the system cost (to government and student) of gaining a degree, while maintaining or even improving the quality (measured by international benchmarking where feasible) by appropriate (not obsessional) use of learner analytics including to increase the personalisation by data-driven AI. Fostering of social skills and the 21st century skills relevant to employers and citizens should not be neglected.
University-level education (broadly constructed) would be the core mission of the Multeversity but we need to assess the value of including vocational and professional education (including teacher training) as well as better facilitation of the school-university transition (preparatory courses, credit recovery, fast study of missing material from school etc)
- From Professor Bacsich's blog (4th August 2012)
He notes that the lack of progress into these and other issues in eLearning is startling.
What is needed?
Where is the step-change? Prof. Bacsich suggests:
How to do it:
For more, please see 'Researching Virtual Initiatives in Education'.
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