In this presentation I argued that the disruptions affecting higher education can be our opportunity for positive change, if we’re able to keep our bearings. This is the program copy:
Innovation is prized in most fields, but in higher education that hasn’t been the case. Is it any wonder we fail to serve the fastest growing shares of our students? For their sake and ours, it may be time to embrace the new. Factory-style delivery and administrative expedients like inputs, credit hours, and interchangeable three-unit courses may have outlived their usefulness. Worse, they obscure the real value of what we offer. So the public wonders what it gets for its investment, and our students, too often, simply leave.
It’s enough to inspire vertigo. Not just the rug but the floor and ground feel pulled out from under us, as indispensable structures turn out to be mere habit. Can we organize ourselves to better foreground the value of learning? Probably — by recourse to the constants in education: its social dimension, the satisfaction of intense personal development, and above all its practical value.
A new status quo lies ahead, calling on us to aim our work at what really matters, orienting ourselves in free fall.