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Higher Creducation
Do Students Go to College to Get Educated or to Get a Degree?

It is that time of year when higher education recognizes accomplishment through the awarding of degrees and commencement celebrations. That has me thinking about what it means to be educated and/or to earn a credential. Earlier this year, Ithaka S+R released a report entitled Higher Ed Insights: Results of the Fall 2015 Survey. That report highlighted a potential tension between two approaches to improving rates of degree completion: 1) guided pathways; and 2) unbundling college credits and services. The report suggests that developing a better understanding of this tension merits deeper scrutiny, since it would appear that one approach succeeds…


Artstor-ITHAKA Community Letter

To our creators, partners and users Artstor and ITHAKA Join Forces We are writing to you as a valued member of our community to share the good news that Artstor, the nonprofit provider of the Artstor Digital Library of images and the Shared Shelf platform for cataloguing and digital asset management, will now operate under the umbrella of its fellow nonprofit ITHAKA, the organization that currently operates three other services: JSTOR, Portico and Ithaka S+R.  As you may know, Artstor, ITHAKA and JSTOR were all created as mission-driven nonprofit organizations with the initial support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation…


A Glimpse of the Future at ITHAKA’s Next Wave Conference

Last month ITHAKA hosted The Next Wave conference. We brought together people from both inside and outside the academy to discuss issues important to the future of education. Our broad theme was data, value, and privacy. As is always the case with ITHAKA meetings, we spent as much time projecting technology’s impact on the future as we did reflecting on how it is affecting us today. In this post I will share a few of the highlights and thought-provoking ideas from speakers at the meeting from outside the academy.   Hilary Mason, CEO and co-founder of Fast Forward Labs, kicked…


Online Learning Markets: Inter-Institutional Challenges

In my last blog post, I described some of the challenges that must be addressed in the institutional context if online learning technologies are going to have maximum impact on the way registered students at existing institutions learn and on the costs associated with that instruction. The barriers described in that post are intra-institutional in nature: faculty concerns, addressing teaching specialization, governance, and cost management. In this post, I want to address important inter-institutional challenges to a robust “business-to-business” market for online learning.  These inter-institutional barriers include building better pathways to manage credits and other evidence of competence across colleges…


Online Learning Markets: Institutional Challenges

In late July I posted on the different markets that exist for technology enhanced teaching and learning in higher education. To summarize the assertion from that post: there are substantial differences between the activities and impact of courses delivered by online learning platforms directly to individuals and those delivered through institutions to students. The latter represents a “business-to-business” case that must overcome different obstacles for success than “direct-to-consumer” offerings like MOOCs. I promised in that post to highlight a few of the challenges that must be addressed in the institutional context if these technologies are going to have maximum impact…