Planning Day Readings

At this week’s LIS annual planning day we’ll be spending some time thinking about the future of our work in the context of the future of higher ed. The following two articles have just recently been published and offer some views on the challenges ahead. As you can imagine, technology is a huge driver in the current evolution of education and pedagogy, and as a result, LIS does and should have a role to play. We need to prepare ourselves and help lead some of these changes in the future.

Prior to Wednesday, please set aside a little time to review the full text of the articles linked below as well as our draft annual report (http://lis.luther.edu/about/2008-09) [LIS-Only]. We will reference and discuss these on Wednesday.

The Case of the Disappearing Liberal Arts College

“In a dynamic society, change is inevitable and, in most cases, desirable. However, how change occurs is important as well. Do we let change unfold without direction or do we guide change through a careful process of assessment, dialogue, and strategic initiative?”

The Impending Demise of the University

“Universities are finally losing their monopoly on higher learning, as the web inexorably becomes the dominant infrastructure for knowledge serving both as a container and as a global platform for knowledge exchange between people.”

“Meanwhile on campus, there is fundamental challenge to the foundational modus operandi of the University — the model of pedagogy. Specifically, there is a widening gap between the model of learning offered by many big universities and the natural way that young people who have grown up digital best learn.”

“The old-style lecture, with the professor standing at the podium in front of a large group of students, is still a fixture of university life on many campuses. It’s a model that is teacher-focused, one-way, one-size-fits-all and the student is isolated in the learning process. Yet the students, who have grown up in an interactive digital world, learn differently. Schooled on Google and Wikipedia, they want to inquire, not rely on the professor for a detailed roadmap. They want an animated conversation, not a lecture. They want an interactive education, not a broadcast one that might have been perfectly fine for the Industrial Age, or even for boomers. These students are making new demands of universities, and if the universities try to ignore them, they will do so at their peril.”