Week 4 of Surviving Disruptive Technologies


The fourth week of this course brings a quick examination of the publishing industry, two lectures on education and the details of the mid term assignment and final assessment.

Clearly for me, the section on education was the most interesting- here we have an academic whose expertise is in disruptive technologies and their impact on businesses, using what is claimed to be the big disruption for HE.

And Prof Lucas doesn’t disappoint. He provides a really coherent understanding of how a MOOC might be suitable for graduate education, and the possible limitations for undergraduate. However, unlike so many of the proselytisers he then provides a great description of how online could be used in undergraduate in response to the changing nature of students and the huge levels of tuition fee debt. The disruption then ceases to be just the technology, and becomes the impact on university estates policies, on calculation of credit hours ( this is less of an issue in the UK although still a problem in Europe, as we have accepted the idea of credit mapped to learning hours as opposed to contact), and on the calculation of faculty workloads. He doesn’t shy away from the need to rewrite online materials after 2 years of delivery, as indeed we would expect to carry out a major refresh of conventional lecture materials in that time.

So, having viewed the final assignment, I will be submitting an essay on the response of a lower ranking university to the possible disruption of MOOCs. Hence the cartoon above- if we want to do something like this, let’s make sure we know why we are doing what we’re doing, and not just chasing bandwagons.