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Openness and the Disaggregated Future of Higher Education

, Brigham Young University, United States


Open educational resources such as MIT OpenCourseWare demonstrate that educational materials are increasingly becoming a free, ubiquitous infrastructure for teaching and learning. Leveraging free and open access to a wide range of high quality educational resources can allow the faculty member to drastically change their role in supporting learning. The increasing connectivity of teachers and learners via email, SMS, instant messenger, Twitter, and other tools allows us to move beyond "groups" in our thinking of multi-person assignments to a broader, more loosely knit notion of networks of learners. Large-scale, collaborative social networks challenge our ideas of academic honesty but are a simple fact of life that instructors can either fight or leverage. Open educational resources and social networks point toward a future for higher education in which services traditionally consolidated within a single institution (e.g., providing content, providing learning support, providing assessments, providing degrees) are disaggregated and provided by a number of institutions that compete on quality of service and price for learner business.


Wiley, D. (2008). Openness and the Disaggregated Future of Higher Education. Presented at E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning 2008. Retrieved August 18, 2019 from .