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Archive for June 1, 2012

More Companies Turning to Universities to Educate Workforce, Study Shows

From the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for Phys.org

The partnership of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with American Public University to provide online college degree programs to Walmart’s U.S. workforce has generated skepticism among some in academia. The arrangement, however, reflects growing trends in employee development as organizations struggle to remain competitive in a global marketplace and adapt to rapid-fire technological change with several generations of workers on board that have wide disparities in skills, said Jessica Li, a faculty member in the College of Education at the University of Illinois.

Li and Amy Lui Abel, a researcher with Silk Road Learning in New York, recently completed a study in which they examined the operations, functions and structures of 210 corporate universities across North America.

Corporate universities – defined as organizations that instill the parent company’s values, processes and strategic goals in its workforce and may also train clients, suppliers and other external constituents – have doubled in number in the U.S. over the past two decades and now number more than 4,000. Corporate training and employee development is familiar territory for the researchers, both of whom worked in the field – Li at Motorola and Nokia, and Abel at Morgan Stanley.

Visit: http://phys.org/news/2012-05-companies-universities-workforce.html

Read the Study in the Human Resource Quarterly, Spring Edition

Chubb and Moe: Higher Education’s Online Revolution

By John E. Chubb & Terry M. Moe

At the recent news conference announcing edX, a $60 million Harvard-MIT partnership in online education, university leaders spoke of reaching millions of new students in India, China and around the globe. They talked of the “revolutionary” potential of online learning, hailing it as the “single biggest change in education since the printing press.”

Heady talk indeed, but they are right. The nation, and the world, are in the early stages of a historic transformation in how students learn, teachers teach, and schools and school systems are organized.

These same university leaders mentioned the limits of edX itself. Its online courses would not lead to Harvard or MIT degrees, they noted, and were no substitute for the centuries-old residential education of their hallowed institutions. They also acknowledged that the initiative, which offers free online courses prepared by some of the nation’s top professors, is paid for by university funds—and that there is no revenue stream and no business plan to sustain it.

In short, while they want to be part of the change they know is coming, they are uncertain about how to proceed. And in this Harvard and MIT are not alone. Stanford, for instance, offers a free online course on artificial intelligence that enrolls more than 150,000 students world-wide—but the university’s path forward is similarly unclear. How can free online course content be paid for and sustained? How can elite institutions maintain their selectivity, and be rewarded for it, when anyone can take their courses?

Visit: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304019404577416631206583286.html

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