Distance-Education.. Futures LO23062

Arun-Kumar Tripathi (tripathi@statistik.uni-dortmund.de)
Thu, 28 Oct 1999 11:34:55 +0200 (MET DST)

Schoene Gruesse Org-Learners,

Reports about the RUFIS 99: Role of Universities in the Future Information

The following post on "Distance-Education Backers Gaze Into the Future,
and See Customization" written By SARAH CARR is forwarded from The
Chronicle of Higher Education by Arun Tripathi.

***** Some Important Points from the Article -I have stated below *****

"The society that will be successful in the future will not be the
nation-state or community that can accommodate a steady stream of
students, but that nation that can lift the level of learning among all
its students rapidly and repeatedly," Gov. Michael O. Leavitt of Utah said
last week at a conference here. "Higher education ought to be focused on
content, not hardware."

Governor Leavitt was the keynote speaker at an annual conference, "the
Role of Universities in the Future Information Society," held Friday and
Saturday at Northern Arizona University. Mr. Leavitt said advances in
technology had led society from a period of mass production into a period
of mass customization.

The point was echoed by Richard Hezel, president of Hezel Associates,
which provides planning and research to distance-learning programs. "There
are those who might recoil at the idea of students as customers, but I
think what we need to do is treat them as customers," he said.

Clara M. Lovett, the university president, said that when the university
began offering distance-education courses, administrators devoted a lot of
effort to figuring out what forms of technology would enable courses to
reach the most students. But now administrators have shifted their focus
to content. Ms. Lovett said Northern Arizona was trying to "export the
academic strengths" of the university, such as courses in teacher
preparation and environmental science.

Ms. Lovett said for-profit universities chose academic niches on the basis
of market conditions, but public universities like hers could afford to
focus on what they were good at -- as long as they earned enough to cover
their costs.

"The challenge we are facing right now is to decide on our content, on
which courses we are especially proud of," she said. "The fact that we can
reach millions of people is not all that important."

Members and readers can read this story in full on the Web at this
address: <http://chronicle.com/free/99/10/99102602t.htm>
Arun Tripathi
University of Dortmund


Arun-Kumar Tripathi <tripathi@statistik.uni-dortmund.de>

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