Online education has clearly become a permanent feature of higher education world-wide. However, as dramatic as the technology-induced changes have been, the pace and impact of technology will intensify over the next fifteen years. Based on currently observable, documented, and quantifiable trends in higher and distance education, this paper will make predictions about the transformations in higher education that are on the horizon, with specific reference to the inexorable expansion of Open Educational Resources (OER), Open CourseWare(OCW), and continuous improvement processes.
The main prediction of this presentation is that, notwithstanding the current confusion over the use of OER and OCW and the present struggles to find resources to sustain the considerable efforts that have been undertaken in the OER movement, OER and OCW are here to stay and will grow rapidly, soon to be a part of every major higher educational institution in the world. The strongest and most obvious trends in higher education all intersect with OER and OCW creating in their addition an “imperative” for these movements.