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Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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Planning for Disruption | 'Modularity is overtaking interdependent architectures.'

Planning for Disruption | 'Modularity is overtaking interdependent architectures.' | SCUP Links |
Harvard Business School Professor Clay Christensen spoke about disruption in higher ed as a keynote speaker at the Harvard IT Summit.
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

"'Modularity is overtaking interdependent architectures.'

Christensen made a connection between higher ed today and the reign of mainframe computing. 'At the time of the mainframes, the proprietary architecture mattered most and the components were secondary. Everybody knew IBM and Digital, but not the maker of their components. The PC’s arrival flipped all that, and the component makers like Intel then became more important.'

He continued, 'Harvard will still have its unique architecture, but the courses are becoming modular, like PC components. The brand [recognition] could move away from the universities to the courses.'

With more ways to access learning, a difficult question looms: 'Is this [transformation] a threat or an opportunity for Harvard?' There was a long silence after Christensen posed the question.

Finally, [Harvard President] Margulies, sitting in the front row, answered.

'It’s both,' she said."

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Reimagining the Undergraduate Experience: 4 Provocative Ideas

Reimagining the Undergraduate Experience: 4 Provocative Ideas | SCUP Links |

Four broad provocations emerged:

The “open loop” university. I mentioned this idea, which imagines the college experience as a series of “loops” over a lifetime, in my column last week. This plan would admit students at 18 but give them six years of access to residential learning opportunities, to use anytime in their life. It would allow alumni to return mid-career for professional development and new students to get real-life work experience.

Paced education. This abolishes the class year and replaces it with adaptive, personalized learning that allows students to move through phases of learning at their own pace. The goal is to help students make better choices about what they want to study and understand their own learning style.

Axis flip. Rather than traditional academic disciplines, the curriculum would be organized around common and transferable skills that could be used over the course of a lifetime. Schools and departments would be reorganized around “competency hubs” so that there would be deans of scientific analysis, quantitative reasoning, moral and ethical reasoning, communication effectiveness, among others.

Purpose learning. Instead of majors, students would declare a “mission” to help them find meaning and purpose behind their studies.

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Jeff Selingo will speak Tuesday, July 15, at SCUP–49 in Pittsburgh. Register by July 7 or register on site.

Sayward Henry's curator insight, July 1, 2014 8:06 AM

My Two favorites here are the Purpose Learning and the Open Loop ideas.  Wow, how empoering would it be for students to feel a self driven purpose for being in school beyong 'getting a job' or because it's the middle class thing to do after high school?