Outlook 2013: Despite advances in technology, mission of higher education will stay the same, higher education chancellor says

by Silas Allen Published: April 28, 2013
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Advances in technology will almost certainly change the face of higher education in Oklahoma over the next 20 years, the state’s top higher education official said.

Despite that change, the mission of Oklahoma’s colleges and universities will stay the same, he said.

Oklahoma higher education Chancellor Glen Johnson said he expects to see technology play a greater role in higher education over the next 20 years, both in online courses and in traditional, classroom-based classes.

As new technology becomes available, the model for delivering information to students will change, Johnson said. That change is already taking place, with colleges and universities across the state offering online-only classes and the growing popularity of massive open online courses, or MOOCs.

Johnson said he expects the same technology to be integrated into classroom-based courses in the coming decades.

Professors may incorporate content from MOOCs into their courses, he said, or they may use holographic imaging as a part of their lectures.

“It’s going to be a much different learning model,” he said.

Online courses also will play an important role, he said. Such courses allow students who aren’t able to travel to a college campus for work or family reasons to pursue a college degree, he said.

Those classes help the state’s higher education system reach so-called nontraditional students, or college students who don’t go directly from high school to college, he said. Those students make up a growing share of the overall student population, he said, and that share will continue to grow as the state’s college completion initiative progresses.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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