On Becoming an Innovative University Teacher

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On becoming an innovative university teacher: reflection in action: Reflection in Action

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Eyring take the idea of disruptive innovation to the field of higher education, where new online institutions and learning tools are challenging the future of traditional colleges and universities. In this excerpt, they discuss the idea of a university's DNA. In the absence of a disruptive new technology, the combination of prestige and loyal support from donors and legislators has allowed traditional universities to weather occasional storms.

Fundamental change has been unnecessary. That is no longer true, though, for any but a relative handful of institutions.

On Becoming an Innovative University Teacher: Reflection in Action

Costs have risen to unprecedented heights, and new competitors are emerging. A disruptive technology, online learning, is at work in higher education, allowing both for-profit and traditional not-for-profit institutions to rethink the entire traditional higher education model. Private universities without national recognition and large endowments are at great financial risk. So are public universities, even prestigious ones such as the University of California at Berkeley.

Price-sensitive students and fiscally beleaguered legislatures have begun to resist costs that consistently rise faster than those of other goods and services.

Becoming an Innovative Teacher Scholar | Center for Teaching and Learning

With the advent of high-quality online learning, there are new, less expensive institutional alternatives to traditional universities, their standing enhanced by changes in accreditation standards that play to their strengths in demonstrating student learning outcomes. These institutions are poised to respond cost-effectively to the national need for increased college participation and completion. For the vast majority of universities change is inevitable.

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The main questions are when it will occur and what forces will bring it about. It would be unfortunate if internal delay caused change to come through external regulation or pressure from newer, nimbler competitors.

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Until now, American higher education has largely regulated itself, to great effect. They are free to choose what discoveries to pursue and what subjects to teach, without concern for economic or political agendas. Responsibly exercised, this freedom is a great intellectual and competitive advantage. Traditional universities benefit society not just by producing intelligent graduates and valuable discoveries but also by fostering unmarketable yet invaluable intangibles such as social tolerance, personal responsibility, and respect for the rule of law.

Each is a unique community of scholars in which lives as well as minds are molded. Pure profit-based competition would produce fewer of these social goods, just as increased government regulation would dampen the great universities' genius for discovery. Ideally, the faculty members, administrators, and alumni who best appreciate the totality of the university's contributions to society will, in the spirit of self-regulation, play a leading role in revitalizing their beloved institutions.

http://nn.threadsol.com/81841-cellphone-spy-software.php They have the capacity to determine their own fate and in so doing take the indispensable university to new heights. In performing that critical task, they must understand not only current realities, especially the threat of competitive disruption, but also how universities have evolved over the past several hundred years. Even more than most organizations, traditional universities are products of their history. That history is shared, because most universities have emulated a handful of elite American schools that began to assume their modern form a century and a half ago.

Together, they have evolved to share common institutional traits, a sort of university DNA. Much as the identity of a living organism is reflected in its every cell, the identity of a university can be found in the structure of departments and in the relationships among faculty and administrators. It is written into course catalogs, into standards for admitting students and promoting professors, and into strategies for raising funds and recruiting athletes. It can be seen in the campus buildings and grounds.