Digital Disruption to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

The best way to get a sense of the impact of digital disruption in higher education institutions is to visit a campus and walk from room to room. It was a reasonable prediction a decade ago that university campuses would disappear with the greater sophistication of digital tools, with students connected remotely to the resources they might need, including teachers and students. It was also reasonable that lecturers might become redundant as part of the higher education equation. They simply need to impart their knowledge, and this can be captured for use and reuse indefinitely. This possible future is similar to the prediction that with the development of household technologies, which have benefited significantly from the digital revolution, we would have so much leisure time that we would be bored and looking for activities to fill our time. Of course, we know the reverse is the case, with the emergence of the digital capabilities causing unexpected disruptions, including an acceleration of the rate of change, and greater consumption of time with concomitant higher expectations and the need to be able to keep up with this pace (Pendergast et al. 2012).

So, a visit to a university campus is still possible. In fact, a huge investment in the physical infrastructure of university campuses, at this time, is underway globally. The experience of being on-campus is rapidly changing, however, from that of seven to ten years ago.

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