Fascinating miscellany of a book, _Higher Education in the Digital Age_ approaches the topic from a mix of angles. Anchoring it is a discussion of theFascinating miscellany of a book, _Higher Education in the Digital Age_ approaches the topic from a mix of angles. Anchoring it is a discussion of the Ithaka S&R report on the power of blended learning. We also read William Bowen's survey of issues in higher education economics, and short essay responses by a variety of leading thinkers and practitioners, including a scientist, a university president, one humanities researcher, and a leading light in the MOOC world.
The combined set of topics and reflections is well worth the time of anyone interested in the fate of American academia. For instance:
-the high cost of sustaining a research university (117-8) -the relatively low cost of maintaining administrative staff (30) -a framework for assessing online learning platforms (76) -a call to separate academic freedom from teaching methods (65-6) -the challenges technology presents to traditional faculty/shared governance (124) -on adjuncts: MOOCs accelerating adjunctification (139), adjuncts as akin to dental hygiene assistants (!) (116)
The responses are uneven and yet useful, given their size. Andrew Delbanco's suffers from the same problems I found in his book _College_. Koller managers to beat the drum for MOOCs while carefully engaging with other speakers. John Hennessy's economic analysis seems right on, and a bit grim. Howard Gardner's discussion sparkles.