ERIC Number: ED412816
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
The Virtual Campus: Technology and Reform in Higher Education. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, Volume 25, No. 5.
Van Dusen, Gerald C.
The "virtual campus" is a metaphor for the electronic teaching, learning, and research environment created by the convergence of several relatively new technologies including, but not restricted to, the Internet, World Wide Web, computer-mediated communication, video conferencing, multi-media, groupware, video-on-demand, desktop publishing, intelligent tutoring systems, and virtual reality. The focus of this monograph is of necessity limited to changes occurring in higher education institutions that are committed to reform via technology. A survey of the literature finds reform characterized by changes in teaching, learning, research and scholarly activity, organizational culture, and governance and finance. Section 2 takes up teaching on the virtual campus and how institutional variables influence adoption of information technologies according to their particular missions and goals. Section 3, on classroom learning, contrasts traditional and virtual classrooms and describes the interface capabilities of various technologies. Section 4 explores recent reconceptualizations of scholarship as well as new computer-based technologies that are beginning to influence both the methods and substance of research. Section 5 depicts efforts to reform both the bureaucratic and academic spheres of higher education institutions by applying principles of Total Quality Management. Section 6 delineates some of the important new responsibilities of governing boards, including monitoring regulatory legislation, establishing a telecommunications policy, and shepherding resources for technology. The final section draws conclusions from the literature and makes recommendations for institutional planning and research. Specifically the seven conclusions are: (1) a paradigm shift can occur only in institutions committed to comprehensive reform; (2) attempts to change the classroom focus from "the sage on the stage" to collaborative learning are likely to fail without a substantial commitment to professional development; (3) higher education will continue to be market driven, requiring redoubled efforts to define academic productivity; (4) new constituencies appear to be well served by a variety of available distance learning venues; (5) the TQM movement has made impressive inroads in higher education administration; however, very little penetration has occurred when it most matters--on the academic side of the institution; (6) even as instructional use of technology rises, institutional support for applications development has been dilatory; and (7) the historic commitment to core values in traditional undergraduate education has wavered; the same vacillation threatens to undermine general education requirements in electronically delivered certificate and degree programs. Seven recommendations for beginning this process of integration include: (1) create a venue where key stakeholders can analyze major technology issues and purchases; (2) assert the value of technology-based learning from a variety of research perspectives; (3) establish quality standards for certificate and degree programs; (4) avoid pitting traditionalists against technology enthusiasts; (5) make "collaboration" and "cooperation," not "reengineering" and "restructuring" the new institutional buzz-words; (6) retain a strong commitment to adequate library staffing and funding; and (7) prepare for success by creating the necessary support structures. A glossary of terms is appended. (Contains 228 references.) (AA)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Cooperative Learning, Educational Change, Educational Development, Educational Finance, Educational Principles, Epistemology, Governance, Higher Education, Information Technology, Integrated Learning Systems, Online Systems, Organizational Change, Scholarship, Science and Society, Systems Development, Technological Advancement, Technology Transfer, Telecommunications, Total Quality Management
ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, The George Washington University, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20036-1183; phone: 800-773-3742; fax: 202-452-1844 ($24).
Publication Type: Books; ERIC Publications; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners; Teachers
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, Washington, DC.; George Washington Univ., Washington, DC. Graduate School of Education and Human Development.; Association for the Study of Higher Education.