IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FUTURE
The previous chapter analyzes various dimensions of online courseware projects in their current forms. But in this evolving field, the terrain is shifting rapidly. With the sustainability of online courseware initiatives in question and evidence of their impact encouraging but inconclusive, it will be critical to demonstrate the concrete value that projects like these can provide—either within their parent institutions or elsewhere in the higher-education sector. University leaders contemplating new courseware investments must not only consider their peers’ experiences to date, but also think strategically about the transformative opportunities that online instruction might hold for their institutions in the long run. This final chapter offers insight into where the field might be headed and considers how its ripple effects may be felt throughout higher education.
A number of future trajectories can be imagined for the projects profiled here, with different approaches to content creation—and varying institutional contexts—opening up distinct possibilities. Broadcasting digital audio or video recordings of lectures—as described in this book’s chapters on webcast.berkeley, Open Yale Courses (OYC), and the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) —is becoming an increasingly common activity, as is evident from the growing amount of content on iTunes U and YouTube.1 In addition
1This is true even though universities’ iTunes U and YouTube channels are often dominated by non-course-related content, such as captured special events, promotional materials, and performances, in addition to or in lieu of lectures (see Young, Jeffrey R., “College 2.0: