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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2020

Maree Conway

This study aims to identify and explore the nature of ideas of the university in the present to demonstrate how the ideas both enable and constrain the emergence of its…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify and explore the nature of ideas of the university in the present to demonstrate how the ideas both enable and constrain the emergence of its possible futures.

Design/methodology/approach

An integrated literature review of work on the western university was undertaken to identify the defining elements of ideas discussed in the literature – purpose, social legitimacy and embedded future – for the university in each idea.

Findings

Four contested and co-existing ideas of the university in the present were identified, and the nature of their co-existence and their underpinning assumptions about the purpose and social legitimacy and the embedded future held by each idea are made explicit.

Research limitations/implications

The paper focuses only on public, non-profit western universities as they exist in Australia, Europe, the UK, Canada and the USA in the present. Whether other forms of the university such as private non-profit and private for-profit “fit” into the four ideas and university types identified here was not explored and is a topic for future research.

Originality/value

The paper draws on an extensive literature to identify a new frame to understand the evolution of multiple ideas of the university, the impact of these ideas on the empirical organisational form of the university and how they shape assumptions about the university’s possible futures.

Details

On the Horizon , vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Maree Conway

This viewpoint paper aims to review the book Educating Educators with Social Media, Charles Wankel (Emerald Group Publishing).

Abstract

Purpose

This viewpoint paper aims to review the book Educating Educators with Social Media, Charles Wankel (Emerald Group Publishing).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides an overview of the book, key messages and implications for the future.

Findings

Social media is already being used in higher education and its almost ubiquitous use in the social environment means academics and other staff involved in learning activities will need to consider how and when to integrate social media into those activities.

Practical implications

The book provides an excellent starting point for anyone interested in social media and learning to find out what has been done to date, what has been learned, and what is possible in the future.

Originality/value

The value of this book rests with the wide range of social media tools it covers, and the willingness of authors to share their learnings from their experiences with social media.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Maree Conway

This viewpoint paper aims to provide an overview of this special issue of On The Horizon on new media and learning. An integral framework which can be used to inform

Abstract

Purpose

This viewpoint paper aims to provide an overview of this special issue of On The Horizon on new media and learning. An integral framework which can be used to inform thinking about factors to consider when integrating new media into existing learning approaches is also discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper highlights the messages emerging from the papers in this issue, and places those messages in the context of an integral framework that can be used when considering how to integrate new media into existing learning approaches.

Findings

Higher education is in transition, from the traditional model of learning to a new, socially mediated model. The exact form and nature of that model are as yet unclear, and can be shaped now if people are able to change the way they think and move beyond current assumptions about the “right way” to teach and the “best way” to learn.

Practical implications

The integral framework presented in this paper provides a holistic approach for both individual staff and institutions to explore how to integrate new media into learning today.

Originality/value

The application of an integral approach to learning and new media provides the originality for this paper.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Tom P. Abeles

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the cost of basic or textbook knowledge that is asymptotically approaching zero.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the cost of basic or textbook knowledge that is asymptotically approaching zero.

Design/methodology/approach

New ways to access such knowledge and to receive academic credit are challenging the mature academic institutions and acting as a disruptive innovation.

Findings

These alternatives will create competitive models, some current institutions will fade or be absorbed and the present institutions will/are undergoing substantive changes in what is delivered and how and what will emerge as the new value proposition.

Originality/value

This knowledge is both fungible and transferable across geo‐political boundaries including the walls of the Ivory Tower.

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Colin Allen and Wendell Wallach

In spite of highly publicized competitions where computers have prevailed over humans, the intelligence of computer systems still remains quite limited in comparison to

Abstract

Purpose

In spite of highly publicized competitions where computers have prevailed over humans, the intelligence of computer systems still remains quite limited in comparison to that of humans. Present day computers provide plenty of information but lack wisdom. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether reliance on computers with limited intelligence might undermine the quality of the education students receive.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a conceptual approach, the authors take the performance of IBM's Watson computer against human quiz competitors as a starting point to explore how society, and especially education, might change in the future when everyone has access to desktop technology to access information. They explore the issue of placing excessive trust in such machines without the capacity to evaluate the quality and reliability of the information provided.

Findings

The authors find that the day when computing machines surpass human intelligence is much further in the future than predicted by some forecasters. Addressing the problem of dependency on information technology, they envisage a technical solution ‐ wiser machines which not only return the search results, but also help make them comprehensible ‐ but find that although it is relatively simple to engineer knowledge distribution and access, it is more difficult to engineer wisdom.

Practical implications

Creating computers that are wise will be difficult, but educating students to be wise in the age of computers may also be quite difficult. For the future, one might explore the development of computer tools that demonstrate sensitivity to alternative answers to difficult questions, different courses of action, and their own limitations. For the present, one will need to train students to appreciate the limitations inherent in the technologies on which they have become dependent.

Originality/value

Critical thinking, innovation, and wisdom require skills beyond the kinds of answers computers give now or are likely to provide in the coming decade.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Petro Poutanen, Olli Parviainen and Leif Åberg

The purpose of this paper is to describe the conditions that give rise to and support self‐organizing learning and creativity in blended learning environments. Particular

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the conditions that give rise to and support self‐organizing learning and creativity in blended learning environments. Particular attention is given to theoretical and practical suggestions and the roles of on‐ and offline working environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Iterative grounded theory methodology is used to provide a case analysis of a course held at the University of Helsinki in 2010 in conjunction with theoretical discussions.

Findings

Practical advice is provided for organizers of blended learning courses and a theoretical model for self‐organizing in blended learning settings is proposed. Three key considerations of self‐organizing – space, knowledge, and agency –were located and each of them is discussed with a focus on practical recommendations.

Research limitations/implications

More research is needed, especially in a “classroom” context, in order to further clarify the links of different on‐ and offline learning environments and to reach a better understanding of the interplay between them.

Practical implications

The approach presented here can be useful for implementing web‐based blended learning methods in universities and other educational organizations.

Originality/value

Technology‐ and teacher‐oriented views of learning are not successful in the context of blended learning. Conditions for self‐organizing and creativity are needed.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Trish Andrews, Belinda Tynan and Rosalind James

This paper aims to report on a recent study that investigated the distance learner's voice in relationship to their “lived experiences” of the use of information and

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report on a recent study that investigated the distance learner's voice in relationship to their “lived experiences” of the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), including new media, for teaching and learning. The study reported on here sought to understand how distance learners are using new technology for teaching and learning in a world that increasingly uses and relies on these technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study took a phenomenological approach to investigating the students' experiences with ICTs. Participants were purposively selected to represent a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as a diverse range of distance learning experiences. A number of strategies for collecting the student voice were utilised, including the Day Experience Method (DEM), Charting the Week's Activities (CWA) and focus group discussions.

Findings

The study found that learners vary widely in their use of new media. However, there is emerging evidence that distance learners of all ages are beginning to appropriate new media to support a more mobile and connected learning experience.

Originality/value

These findings suggest that students' learning preferences are changing. This study provides the basis for further studies in this area and the need for institutions to consider how these changing preferences might be considered in relation to policy and practice in the provision of education for distance learners.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Carina Bossu and Belinda Tynan

The main aims of this viewpoint essay are to raise awareness and to provoke discussion regarding important issues surrounding open educational resources (OERs) as a new

Abstract

Purpose

The main aims of this viewpoint essay are to raise awareness and to provoke discussion regarding important issues surrounding open educational resources (OERs) as a new media for learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The issues discussed are based on the authors' critical analysis of a select review of the body of knowledge available.

Findings

The discussions here led to the conclusion that, despite the challenges brought by this recent movement, OER resources are here to stay. They have the potential, among other things, to further incorporate Web 2.0 applications in learning environments and to bridge the gap between non‐formal, informal and formal education.

Originality/value

The reflections of the challenges and benefits of OERs presented here can assist government bodies, educational institutions, decision makers and educators in general whether they are considering adopting this movement or not.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Michael Marien

The article seeks to provide an overview of 55 recent books (2009‐2011) on higher education, with special emphasis on the authoritative overview edited Altbach et al.

Abstract

Purpose

The article seeks to provide an overview of 55 recent books (2009‐2011) on higher education, with special emphasis on the authoritative overview edited Altbach et al., American Higher Education in the Twenty‐First Century (Johns Hopkins, 3rd Edition, June 2011, 511 pp.).

Design/methodology/approach

Books are grouped in nine categories: Global trends, Losing autonomy, Faculty, Students, Finance, Digitization, Curriculum, Diversity, and Moving forward. A concluding Coda discusses an important new paradigm of four types of scholarship, proposed in the seminal 1990 report on Scholarship Reconsidered, and the two types of scholarship that continue to be badly lacking in the academy, to the detriment of the world, the nation, and higher education itself.

Findings

American higher education is undergoing many changes and stresses, and all of the books considered here point to a “bleak horizon” in various ways, in part caused by the outdated structure of higher education. Altbach issues a timely call for a new “sense of academic mission,” which is discussed in the Coda.

Originality/value

This uniquely broad and up‐to‐date “frontier frame” overview, enabled by the GlobalForesightBooks.org web site on current affairs books, emphases the many perspectives on higher education, provides a broad frame to appreciate current thinking, and encourages more synthesis that seriously addresses the “Knowledge for What?” question.

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

John Chelliah and Elizabeth Clarke

This paper aims to examine pedagogical issues in higher education as a result of the shift to a social networking society where Web 2.0 collaborative technologies increase

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine pedagogical issues in higher education as a result of the shift to a social networking society where Web 2.0 collaborative technologies increase user creativity, contributing to unique forms of communication and community building that support a “social constructivism”. In this context, it is becoming clear that traditional pedagogical models cannot be sustained into the future. Engaging the digital generation of students in a learning process that emphasizes creation of skill sets that match views on twenty‐first‐century learning skills (problem solving, self‐regulated learning, collaboration, sharing ideas, focus on learning etc.) as well as views on 21st‐century employability skills (communication, collaboration, creativity, leadership and technology proficiency, etc.) is the new imperative. This paper seeks to identify related pedagogical challenges and to provide some recommendations for higher education institutions towards tackling these challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review of the opportunities presented by emerging Web 2.0 technologies and critical assessment of the challenges in addressing the transformation of pedagogical needs is the approach taken in this paper.

Findings

Emerging Web 2.0 technologies are pervading higher education and have the potential to trigger learning innovation and enhance teaching and learning. However, technologies are and remain tools and cannot by themselves generate innovation, nor realize many educators' vision for technology to improve education. Technology by itself cannot change the nature of classroom instruction unless educators are able to evaluate and integrate the use of that technology into the curriculum. Changes such as addressing organizational and cultural factors that reflect the whole institution governance community's combined efforts to create a new and all embracing concept for higher education are also necessary. By identifying and addressing those dimensions of organizational development which are most affected by drivers and directions of change, higher education can remain relevant in the future.

Originality/value

The paper provides a theoretical analysis in relation to the pedagogical role of social technologies in teaching and learning, with concern for the contrast between generational differences in relation to perceptions of learning and teaching and the limitations of technology.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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