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What is the problem we’re trying to solve?

Perhaps the goals of access, equity and quality are too vague – what are we really trying to achieve? If we are trying to address the global need for higher education - the gap of 150 million more college graduates that Sir John Daniel of the Commonwealth of Learning talks about – then we need to think beyond traditional, formal higher education institutions as the means to closing the gap. We need to focus on the end goal – human development.

One solution is to bridge formal and informal learning. In the U.S., nearly 13% of all adults who use the Internet have taken an online class. The Pew Internet for Life project, estimates that 160 million adults use the internet and that 20.8 million say they have taken an online course for personal enrichment or fun. That total is significantly higher than those participating in higher education. Likewise, OER’s biggest users, according to the MIT data, are self-learners. What can we do to help these self-learners earn a degree? For decades, adult-serving institutions have been enabling learners to maximize their experience for transfer credit. We can look to them for models.

A model in the form of a virtual university is the Western Governor’s University (WGU). Celebrating 10 years and 8,000 students, WGU is one model that did come out of the 90’s heyday of online learning’s promise. It is a competency-based assessment-only university accredited by four of the six accrediting bodies in the U.S. (an innovation in itself). To earn your degree, you work with an advisor and a rigorous assessment process to demonstrate that you’ve achieved the knowledge, skills and behaviors required by the competencies defined for your degree. Following in the footsteps of other adult-serving institutions, it doesn’t matter how you earned the knowledge, but that you can provide evidence of your achievement.

Another model for bridging formal and informal has been proposed by Jim Taylor at the University of Southern Queensland. Taylor describes a concept for an Open Courseware University. In this model, self-learners using OER from Open Courseware Consortium members would be supported by volunteer tutors and gain credit on-demand from providing institutions. Credits earned in this way from various institutions would be aggregated by a new mechanism that would award accredited degrees. This model lowers costs and increases scalability by using innovations in academic support and accreditation to leverage online learning using OER.

Conclusion

Unless a new solution to the world’s higher education gap is created out of the strengths of OER, and online learning, these promising innovations will have limited impact in terms of increasing access. They will certainly be used by faculty and institutions to increase the quality of their offerings and to extend their reach from existing activities. We can go a long way through incremental innovations to existing practices. But, online learning and OER alone will not be enough to make a dent in closing the gap. We need creative ways of bridging informal and formal learning. We need teaching, learning and student support systems enabled by the efficiencies of OER and online learning. We need to expand the frame of the problem, and therefore the solutions, in terms of both the means (institutions) and the ends (human development). By focusing on solutions for human development, we can realize the unique strengths of OER and online learning as significant innovations.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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