How large systems change:
Thoughts on the future of higher
education
George Siemens, PhD
September 3, 2013
University of S...
Philadelphia Inquirer Newsroom, 2009
Philadelphia Inquirer Newsroom, 2012
Technological and economic
pressures change even the biggest
institutions.
We don’t know what higher
education will become
But we have models of how it will
change
Perez 2011
Perez 2002
Perez 2002
Perez 2011
Economic
“In the face of continued increases in
participation, demographic change and – in
the west at least – profound fiscal cris...
Meeker & Wu, 2013
Education Sector Factbook, 2012
IBIS Capital: Global e-Learning Investment Review, 2013
NYTimes, UNESCO Data
Economic
Meeker & Wu, 2013
Meeker & Wu, 2013
Getting the idea, but not the scope
of change
What does this mean for
education?
“Changing…higher education is a faculty
responsibility”
Zemsky 2013
A university as
“assemblage of strangers from all parts in
one spot”
J.H. Newman Lecturers 1854-1859
What we are seeing is the
complexification of higher
education
Learning needs are complex, ongoing
Simple singular narrati...
McKinsey Quarterly, 2012
CalculatedRISK, 2013
CalculatedRISK, 2013
CalculatedRISK, 2013
Challenge then is to create a new
integrated whole
Challenge then is to create a new
integrated system
University as an agent within
society
Network Theory of Power
Networking Power
Network Power
Networked Power
Network-making Power
Castells, 2011
the world will fragment, with some parts moving
towards the brighter side of networked individualism
and other parts movin...
Network Theory of Change
Network Theory of Change
Core nodes
Impacting factors (economic, technical)
Connection validation
Social and cultural mili...
Current reforms are allowing certain individuals with neither
scholarly nor practical expertise in education to exert
sign...
Prominent trends shaping the
future of higher education
1. Openness
2. Digital learning
3. Granularized learning
4. Data &...
When systems are distributed, alternative
modes of integration are needed
Stasser-Titus (1985)
Value is in the lock-in and
integration
(i.e. ecosystem and new networks)
Higher education change
1. Understand how large systems change
2. Track data relating to sector around
technology and econ...
Futures Scenarios for Universities
1. Status Quo
2. Accreditors (teach globally, accredit locally)
-Outsourcing of service...
What to expect:
- Outsourcing of services (tech, curriculum,
teaching, testing)
- Increased collaboration/partnerships wit...
Twitter/Gmail:
gsiemens
How Large Systems Change
How Large Systems Change
How Large Systems Change
How Large Systems Change
How Large Systems Change
How Large Systems Change
How Large Systems Change
How Large Systems Change
How Large Systems Change
How Large Systems Change
How Large Systems Change
How Large Systems Change
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  • http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2013/04/will-steacy-philadelphia-inquirer/
  • http://www.slideshare.net/fredwilson/carlota-perez-talk-at
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  • 2011 Year in Review: Global changes in Tuition Fee Policies and Student Assistance
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  • IBIS Capital | Global e-Learning Investment Review
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  • How Large Systems Change

    1. 1. How large systems change: Thoughts on the future of higher education George Siemens, PhD September 3, 2013 University of South Australia
    2. 2. Philadelphia Inquirer Newsroom, 2009
    3. 3. Philadelphia Inquirer Newsroom, 2012
    4. 4. Technological and economic pressures change even the biggest institutions.
    5. 5. We don’t know what higher education will become
    6. 6. But we have models of how it will change
    7. 7. Perez 2011
    8. 8. Perez 2002
    9. 9. Perez 2002
    10. 10. Perez 2011
    11. 11. Economic
    12. 12. “In the face of continued increases in participation, demographic change and – in the west at least – profound fiscal crises, higher education institutions are increasingly being required to raise funds from students as opposed to relying on transfers from governments.” Marcucci & Usher 2012
    13. 13. Meeker & Wu, 2013
    14. 14. Education Sector Factbook, 2012
    15. 15. IBIS Capital: Global e-Learning Investment Review, 2013
    16. 16. NYTimes, UNESCO Data
    17. 17. Economic
    18. 18. Meeker & Wu, 2013
    19. 19. Meeker & Wu, 2013
    20. 20. Getting the idea, but not the scope of change
    21. 21. What does this mean for education?
    22. 22. “Changing…higher education is a faculty responsibility” Zemsky 2013
    23. 23. A university as “assemblage of strangers from all parts in one spot” J.H. Newman Lecturers 1854-1859
    24. 24. What we are seeing is the complexification of higher education Learning needs are complex, ongoing Simple singular narrative won’t suffice going forward The idea of the university is expanding and diversifying
    25. 25. McKinsey Quarterly, 2012
    26. 26. CalculatedRISK, 2013
    27. 27. CalculatedRISK, 2013
    28. 28. CalculatedRISK, 2013
    29. 29. Challenge then is to create a new integrated whole
    30. 30. Challenge then is to create a new integrated system
    31. 31. University as an agent within society
    32. 32. Network Theory of Power Networking Power Network Power Networked Power Network-making Power Castells, 2011
    33. 33. the world will fragment, with some parts moving towards the brighter side of networked individualism and other parts moving towards gated communities and more tightly controlled information flows.
    34. 34. Network Theory of Change
    35. 35. Network Theory of Change Core nodes Impacting factors (economic, technical) Connection validation Social and cultural milieu (institutional change) Resonance Integration (hardening) for power
    36. 36. Current reforms are allowing certain individuals with neither scholarly nor practical expertise in education to exert significant influence over educational policy for communities and children other than their own.
    37. 37. Prominent trends shaping the future of higher education 1. Openness 2. Digital learning 3. Granularized learning 4. Data & analytics 5. For-profit/startups (expanding ecosystem) 6. Personalization/adaptivity 7. Wearable/contextual computing 8. Unbundling of organizational roles 9. Blurring distinctive learning roles (lifelong) 10.Degrees and alternative recognition models
    38. 38. When systems are distributed, alternative modes of integration are needed Stasser-Titus (1985)
    39. 39. Value is in the lock-in and integration (i.e. ecosystem and new networks)
    40. 40. Higher education change 1. Understand how large systems change 2. Track data relating to sector around technology and economics 3. Position techno-economic change in social contexts/zeitgeist/values 4. Aggressive experimentation and new models (without regard for existing norms/legacies) 5. New ecosystems and new integration models
    41. 41. Futures Scenarios for Universities 1. Status Quo 2. Accreditors (teach globally, accredit locally) -Outsourcing of services (tech, curriculum, testing) 3. Unbundled (teacher/research separate) 4. Localized/specialized 5. “Transformed” (online, blended) 6. Successful universities as “new integrators” - Formation of integrated value ecosystem
    42. 42. What to expect: - Outsourcing of services (tech, curriculum, teaching, testing) - Increased collaboration/partnerships with sector-providers - New entrants (often startups) into the integrated value ecosystem - Successful universities are “new integrators” - Labor strife - Concerns about pace of, and ideologies behind, change
    43. 43. Twitter/Gmail: gsiemens
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