Universities Must Adapt or Die Online Learning, Structural Changes in the Economy and Increasing Competition among Educational Institutions Are Convulsing Higher Education, Explains Engineer/computer Scientistsubhash Kak

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), January 28, 2018 | Go to article overview

Universities Must Adapt or Die Online Learning, Structural Changes in the Economy and Increasing Competition among Educational Institutions Are Convulsing Higher Education, Explains Engineer/computer Scientistsubhash Kak


Automation and artificial intelligence technologies are transforming manufacturing, corporate work and the retail business, providing new opportunities for companies to explore and posing major threats to those that don't adapt to the times. Equally daunting challenges confront colleges and universities, but they've been slower to acknowledge them.

At present, colleges and universities are most worried about competition from schools or training systems using online-learning technology. But that is just one aspect of the technological changes already underway. For example, some companies are moving toward requiring workers to have specific skill training and certifications - as opposed to college degrees.

As a professor who researches artificial intelligence and offers distance-learning courses, I can say that online education is a disruptive challenge for which colleges are ill prepared. Lack of student demand is already closing 800 out of roughly 10,000 engineering colleges in India. And online learning has put as many as half of the colleges and universities in the United States at risk of shutting down in the next couple of decades as remote students get comparable educations over the internet - without living on campus or taking classes in person. Unless universities move quickly to transform themselves into educational institutions for a technology-assisted future, they risk becoming obsolete.

Existing alternatives

Enormous amounts of information are now available online for free, ready for watching, listening or reading at any time by anyone who's connected. For more than a decade, private companies, nonprofits and universities alike have been experimenting with online courses, often offered for free or at low cost to large numbers of students around the world. Research has shown that it's as effective for students to use a combination of online courses and traditional in-classroom instruction as it is to just have classes in person.

Providers of massive open online courses, or "MOOCs," are refining ways for people who complete classes to present their accomplishments in ways that employers easily can understand. For example, students in certain classes from major MOOC provider edX can get an official Arizona State University transcript listing their courses and grades. An employer would never know the person studied online. (And BTW, another threat to universities' business model is that students can take classes and get their grades for free; they need to pay only if they are happy with their grades and if they want official college credit.)

This is a period of rapid change unlike what universities have dealt with for centuries.

The evolution of the university

Medieval European universities trained would-be clergy members in canonical law, theological discussion and religious administration. These institutions amassed huge repositories of knowledge, storing and indexing them in libraries, which became the focal point of the campus.

As European countries explored the world and established overseas colonies starting in the 15th and 16th centuries, universities evolved to train officers to manage those territories, study navigation across the oceans and look after colonists' health.

After the Industrial Revolution, colleges changed again, teaching workers how to use new scientific and technological methods and tools.

In the 21st century, the workplace is transforming once more. What businesses, governments and society need from education is shifting, and technology has made the brick-and-mortar library obsolete.

It used to be that users of a technology needed to know how it works. In the early days of driving, for instance, it was important for a driver to be able to fix a car that broke down on the side of the road, perhaps far from any expert mechanics.

But in today's post-industrial economy, that has changed: Even a car mechanic uses a computer to connect to car systems to identify what is not working properly. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Universities Must Adapt or Die Online Learning, Structural Changes in the Economy and Increasing Competition among Educational Institutions Are Convulsing Higher Education, Explains Engineer/computer Scientistsubhash Kak
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.