Changing models of teaching and learning

In recent times, it appears that an 'accelerant' has been added to the mix of global factors that are driving change in higher education. MOOCs (massive open online courses) have emerged on the international landscape with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard joining forces to launch 'edX', which offers courses to both on campus students and to millions around the world for free.

One of the first offerings, Circuits and Electronics from MITx, attracted over 154,000 enrolments with around 7,000 students making it to the end and passing the course.

In 2012, the Study of Undergraduate Students and IT by the EDUCAUSE Centre for Applied Research found that two out of every three students agreed that technology elevates the level of teaching; and open educational resources and game-based learning topped the list of what students would like from their instructors.

Supporting students to harness knowledge to understand their world and its past, to solve complex problems, to apply case or clinical studies or a platform for creativity will always be a university's core business. Against this backdrop, the next generation academic will blend disciplinary expertise with the capacity to engage students, wherever they are in the world, through the use of customised technologies. One of the many challenges ahead for all education institutions will be to define how much learning takes place 'in the cloud' and how much takes place 'on the ground'.