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ERIC Number: ED534048
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul-27
Pages: 43
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
The Future Impact of the Internet on Higher Education: Experts Expect More Efficient Collaborative Environments and New Grading Schemes; They Worry about Massive Online Courses, the Shift Away from On-Campus Life
Anderson, Janna Quitney; Boyles, Jan Lauren; Rainie, Lee
Pew Internet & American Life Project
The material presented in this paper was gathered in the fifth "Future of the Internet" survey conducted by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center. The surveys are conducted through an online questionnaire sent to selected experts who are encouraged to share the link with informed friends, thus also involving the highly engaged Internet public. The surveys present potential-future scenarios to which respondents react with their expectations based on current knowledge and attitudes. The surveys are conducted to help accurately identify current attitudes about the potential future for networked communications and are not meant to imply any type of futures forecast. Respondents to the Future of the Internet V survey, fielded from August 28 to Oct. 31, 2011, were asked to consider the future of the Internet-connected world between now and 2020. They were asked to assess eight different "tension pairs"--each pair offering two different 2020 scenarios with the same overall theme and opposite outcomes--and they were asked to select the one most likely choice of two statements. The tension pairs and their alternative outcomes were constructed to reflect emerging debates about the impact of the Internet, distilling statements made by pundits, scholars and technology analysts about likely Internet evolution. They were reviewed and edited by the Pew Internet Advisory Board. Here are some of the major themes and arguments they made: (1) Higher education will vigorously adopt new teaching approaches, propelled by opportunity and efficiency as well as student and parent demands; (2) Economic realities will drive technological innovation forward by 2020, creating less uniformity in higher education; (3) "Distance learning" is a divisive issue. It is viewed with disdain by many who don't see it as effective; others anticipate great advances in knowledge-sharing tools by 2020; (4) "Bricks" replaced by "clicks"? Some say universities' influence could be altered as new technology options emerge; others say "locatedness" is still vital for an optimal outcome; (5) Frustration and doubt mark the prospect of change within the academy; (6) Change is happening incrementally, but these adjustments will not be universal in most institutions by 2020; (7) Universities will adopt new pedagogical approaches while retaining the core of traditional methods; and (8) Collaborative education with peer-to-peer learning will become a bigger reality and will challenge the lecture format and focus on "learning how to learn". (Contains 8 footnotes.)
Pew Internet & American Life Project. 1615 L Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-419-4500; Fax: 202-419-4505; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pew Internet & American Life Project