Is Higher Education in Danger? Education in a Digital Age

This video was created loosely in response to the prompt: “Do MOOCs threaten institutions of higher education, or are they something that happens outside of these institutions altogether — and then, do they threaten at all?” I created it as an “assignment in the 2013 Mooc Mooc (#moocmooc on Twitter) at

Posted in blog, MOOC, Videos

About Bernard Bull

Dr. Bernard Bull is a President of Goddard College, author, podcast host, and blogger. Some of his books include Missional Moonshots: Insights and Inspiration for Educational Innovation, What Really Matters: Ten Critical Issues in Contemporary Education, and Adventures in Self-Directed Learning. He is passionate about futures in education; leaner agency, educational innovation, and social entrepreneurship in education.

6 Replies to “Is Higher Education in Danger? Education in a Digital Age”

  1. David Black

    My question — Can higher education entities, given their structure, adapt quickly and nimbly enough to embrace the changes that you suggest in your comments? How many other educational institutions are able to adapt quickly in this way? I see this deft and rapid adaptation as essential for education success in the digital age.

    • Bernard Bull Post author

      It is a good and fair question. Yes, I think that they can change fast enough. Of course, there will be higher education winners and losers. Some schools may well close, for example, if they refuse to adjust prices while also not having anything distinct enough to continue to draw students. The first MOOCs were run out of a University. Edx came from a University. Coursera functions on the basis of partnerships with top Universities. Udacity grows out of the vision of making University-level education accessible, inexpensive, and high quality. Then we have the competency-based efforts (leaving the credit hour and letter grade behind?) coming out of Western Governor’s, Southern New Hampshire U., and Arizona State University. Yes, Universities of certain types tend to move slowly, but they have long been enormous engines of innovation in the United States and around the world. In times of major crisis, the intellectual capital of our Universities very often gets tapped. Also, we now have the blended of corporate and higher education in the form of a growing number o ffor-profit higher eduction institutions (UoP, Capella, Walden, American Public U., etc.). The institutions that will struggle are the ones that refuse to adapt or lack the distinctiveness to continue to draw students. In the future, I do not think that a school will be sustainable by simply offering college course. They need to be distinct and people need to want what they offer.

  2. Mary Hilgendorf

    Very cool! I completely agree. The fun will be the experience of following the yellow brick road through change and innovation with a diverse group of colleagues. Just watch out for those flying monkeys!

    • Bernard Bull Post author

      “the experience of the yellow brick road through change and innovation” That is great! We can do all sorts of things with this analogy.

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