Don Tapscott, CEO of business strategy think tank nGenera Insight and author of Growing Up Digital and his latest book, Grown up Digital recently submitted an article on The Huffington Post titled, The Impending Demise of the University. His article challenged the traditional approaches to learning at the university level and encouraged universities to emphasize collaboration over lecture, and discovery and critical thinking over memorization. While this is nothing new as major educational institutions are working to re-engineer the university model, the speed and scope of the re-engineering process seems to be following the extremely slow pace of academia. Facilities, tenure, and accreditation processes are the sacred cows that might just keep universities tweaking a dying model instead of disrupting the model altogether.
Colleges and universities need to race to adopt an enterprise model for education. Every other institution does – government / military, religion, and business. Education could benefit by creating a more open source environment where more information is shared more often by more people. The speed of business has increased significantly around the globe. Therefore, so must the speed of education. Speed comes from an enterprise approach where the best theories don’t just come from the research labs of the Ivy League, but rather from anywhere both inside and outside the institution.
Some of you might challenge the integrity of education. But just like the best ideas, theories and content can come from anywhere; we also have evaluators, critics, and reviewers that can validate these theories from around the globe. More people are contributing and more people are evaluating. And more students are discovering their own opinions in the process, thus becoming critical thinkers.
Our organization is fortunate to work with the world’s largest university, and their size isn’t getting in the way of needed change. The University of Phoenix is on the move taking a decentralized, collaborative and interactive approach that brings timely opportunities to its students and corporate clients through its many partnerships around the world. Look for the University of Phoenix to be one of the key leaders in driving a new and valuable disruptive model for higher education.