Move Over Oprah: There’s a New Book Club in Town
Oprah has a great book club, so why can’t I? And, since I love higher education, I’m putting a new spin on the model. Instead of starting just a book club, I’m taking things up a notch and starting the first Massive Open Online Book Club (MOOBC).
Won’t you join me? To be really newsworthy, I’ll need several of you – along with your best friends and colleagues, of course – to join me, so please pass the word. We can reach 25 million, right?
Following the educational nature of book clubs – and courses – we’ll have to learn something in this MOOBC. I’m going to facilitate your learning by challenging you to read things you haven’t yet read and – with my apologies to the Scarecrow – think of things you’ve never thought before. We are going to stay open-minded and tolerant of divergent opinions as we go about changing the world. In the spirit of a MOOC, I’ll even provide a few quizzes and tests to make sure you’ve grasped the most critical concepts.
This is going to be fun! If this gets as big as I think it might, I’m going to be busy grading. I’ll need some Teaching Assistants. I’ll need a website. And, I’ll need a learning management system.
Oh, and there has to be chocolate. No book club is really a success unless it has chocolate involved, in my opinion.
Up first will be College (Un)Bound by Jeffrey Selingo. In it, Jeff, editor-at-large for The Chronicle of Higher Education, outlines some of the current challenges facing higher education and what we all must accept in order to meet the wave of changes that are coming. Here’s your first assignment:
Read the book and meet up to discuss it with people who care about student service on your campus. Debate what the book says. Decide what the implications are in your region, on your campus and in your department. Dedicate to making one small change that will ready you to address one of the transformations you see becoming a reality at your institution.
- Will we eventually offer MOOCs? Will our students take them? Or, if your institution already does offer MOOCs, how have they gone over with students?
- Will students eventually get credit for MOOCs? (Read page 92-93 for the American Council on Education’s thoughts on that – it seems that may become a reality.)
- Is the fact that a prospective student has taken a MOOC something we should consider in our admit decisions? After all, that might be indicative of someone who really values learning for learning’s sake and is self-motivated. (Read page 91.)
- What about employees? Will we see start seeing MOOCs on resumes? What does that mean?
- Will higher Ed’s whole billing model eventually change with all the variables that are evolving?
- Are traditional students going to be less “tethered to one institution” because they often arrive with dual-credit classes from high school, online classes or a MOOC experience?
I could go on and on. But, don’t miss this thought: MOOCs, and how institutions will respond to them, will change higher education. Preparing to meet future demands requires the presence of the most flexible systems and processes possible and is best served by a true digital campus and a comprehensive but secure view of every student and staff member on campus.