Lead Presenter: Joel Thierstein (OpenCourseWare Consortium, US)
Session Duration: 90 Minutes
Abstract: With the exponential growth in access to information brought about by the availability of digital technology, the learning paradigm has shifted significantly. At the same time, the costs of traditional Higher Education are skyrocketing. The plethora of informal learning opportunities, the failure of the academy to develop effective prior learning assessment tools and processes, and the failure of the U.S. Higher Education system to adequately respond to the curricular needs of the 21st century learner have begun to call the value proposition of the traditional academy into question. The toll of the academy critic’s bell rings loudly. “Why do I need to pay over $100,000 for a college education that I can get online for free? What can college do for me that the internet and my own drive can’t?” Many parts of traditional higher education are struggling to maintain their relevancy. Civic engagement/civic learning are a part of the broader civic agency movement and portend to breathe new life into the traditional academy. Dr. Thierstein will discuss the civic agency movement and its positive manifestation through civic learning/civic engagement in the traditional academy. He will map a pathway forward for Higher Education to reclaim its civic mission through the use of Open Educational Resources, alternative credentialing/badging, and civic learning/civic engagement.