Bridging the Gap – From Rhetoric to Practice
The Power of Online Learning and New Learning
Models to Leverage Access to Higher Education
Dr. Don Olcott, Jr., Ed.D., FRSA
Professor of Educational Leadership and Open and Distance Learning
University of Maryland University College (UMUC)
Innovative Education for Inclusion:
New and Innovative Models of Education in Higher Education –
Applications in the Local and Regional Context
British Council Higher Education Series
12 February 2014
Access: The Global Challenge
Slide graphic reprinted with permission by Donald E. Hanna (2005). All Rights Reserved
International growth in demand for higher
education will be the principal driver in
changes in the nature of universities in the
new millennium. Blight, et. al, 2000, p. 95
Demand for Higher
A sizeable new university would now be needed every week
merely to sustain current participation rates in higher
education. … A crisis of access lies ahead.
Expansion of Higher Education
By 2010, there will be 130 million people in the world fully qualified to proceed from
secondary education to tertiary education for which there will simply be no room on any
campus anywhere . Henry Rosovsky, Harvard University
Bower & Christensen (1995, p. 44)
First, they typically present a different package of
performance attributes – ones that, at least at the outset, are
not valued by existing customers.
Second, the performance attributes that existing customers
do value improve at such a rapid rate that the new
technology [Innovation] can later invade those established
markets. Only at this point will mainstream customers
want the technology [innovation].
Disruptive innovations have the potential capacity to destabalise mainstream markets, open new markets and are
usually implemented by new start-ups inside or outside
existing market leaders.
Are MOOCs potentially a
disruptive innovation? Or is
online learning the disruptive
Learning to think differently about how . . .
Open Educational Resources (OER): OER are teaching, learning and
research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain and
have been released under an open licence that permits access, use,
repurposing, reuse and redistribution by others with no or limited
restrictions (Atkins, Brown & Hammond, 2007). The use of open
technical standards improves access and reuse potential. OER can include
full courses/programmes, course materials, modules, student guides,
teaching notes, textbooks, research articles, videos, assessment tools and
instruments, interactive materials such as simulations, role plays,
databases, software, apps (including mobile apps) and any other
educationally useful materials. The term ‘OER’ is not synonymous with
online learning, eLearning or mobile learning. Many OER —while
shareable in a digital format — are also printable. (UNESCO/COL,
Exchange of knowledge as an open global
Online collaborative OER development
supports capacity building in developing
Expanded repository of educational content
that can be locally adapted by educators.
‘Free’ is relative and licensing may have
Unsustainable business models.
Faculty resistance – it’s my IP!
Ensuring academic quality
Recommended – not required.
From OERs to MOOCs:
Progress or Hype?
Are MOOCs sound teaching and learning
Are MOOCs financially sustainable?
MOOCs are ‘open’ – but do they meet the
reusable, modifiable concept of true OER?
What incentives are needed for students and
faculty to engage in MOOCs?
Preserving ODL Best Practices
Instructional design or instructional decline.
High quality interaction paradigms may be
Stop out – drop out – or cop out?
Course teams – where do they fit in the
Assessing performance-based outcomes.
Global Trends in Online
Teaching and Learning
More providers = more choices for students.
Academic quality is monitored closely by accrediting
commissions and quality assurance agencies.
Blended learning is often adopted in transition to fully
Competition is intense, particularly with advent of
more private for-profit providers (U of Phoenix,
Pearson, Kaplan, Capella, Laureate Education).
Corporate use of online training is expanding to
maintain employee skills and talent.
If you don’t know where you’re
. . . it won’t matter which path you
Partnerships in Columbia
Planning, planning and more planning.
Bringing the right players to collaborate to
balance access, quality and costs.
Open content exchange can support new
models of partnerships among educational
Balancing resources and risks.
Scalable resourcing models including
The Power of MOOCs
Sir John Daniel (2012, p. 16)
Placing their xMOOCs in the public domain for a
worldwide audience will oblige institutions to do
more than pay lip service to importance of teaching
and put it at the core their missions. This is the real
revolution of MOOCs.
MOOCs may also have the long-term effect of
helping to cut the outsize costs of higher education,
which in the US have increased by 360% above
inflation since 1986. But that is another story!
Lessons from Practice
Plan and design for long-term sustainability rather than short-term
Conduct detailed target market analyses of your markets, customers
Total Quality Management – Initial focus on quality not efficiency.
Quality will improve performance and efficiency in the long-term and
Develop comprehensive support services to support your teachers.
Online learning is about teaching and learning not technology.
Performance-Based Management – Make decisions based on what the
data sets tell you.
Innovate – try new strategies that may work in your environment, HE
culture and your language.
Bower, J., Christensen, C., (1995). Disruptive technologies: catching the wave. Harvard Business
Review, (Jan-Feb), 41–53.
Daniel, J. (2012), Making sense of MOOCs: Musings in a maze of myth, paradox and possibility. Korea
National Open University. http://tinyurl.com/ak8qvdv
Olcott, D. (2012). Mobilizing open educational resources in the UAE and GCC
states: A primer for universities. UAE Journal of Educational Technology and eLearning, 3, September
2012 Issue, 6-13.
Olcott, D. J. (2013). New pathways to learning: Leveraging the use of OERs to
support non-formal education. Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Concimiento, 10, (1), 327-344.
Barcelona, Spain. Published by the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).
Olcott, D. J. (2013). Access under siege: Are the gains of open education keeping
pace with the growing barriers to university access. Open Praxis, 5, (1), 15-20. Published by the
International Council of Distance Education, Oslo, Norway.
UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning (2011). Guidelines for open educational
resources (OER) in higher education. Published by UNESCO (Paris, France) and COL (Columbia,