Re: Advancements in Technology and the Impact on Higher Education

Lloyd Wood (
Sun, 26 Apr 1998 16:36:58 +0100 (BST)

On Sat, 25 Apr 1998, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:

> The second survey is turning into my thesis and was a survey of
> over 60 software products. Without that information on the
> WWW I would have access to limited information on limited
> products also, probably less than 10. All in all, this has
> shortened the length of time that it will take to do my PhD
> from usually 5 years to about 2-1/2 to 3.
> Why is this important? A higher education program now is a
> series of hoops.

Unfortunately, the PhD is increasingly being seen the same way, as
just another hoop to get through. The object becomes the generation of
material considered suitable for PhD assessment, rather than
documenting original contributions.

> My prediction? Education changes from an instructional model
> where a series of activites are designed to impart knowledge, dependent
> upon information previously learned, incrementally build up to the
> understanding of complex concepts which students are tested on
> at regular intervals, to a much finer-grained skills explorational
> model where there are many paths to a skills set, the ordering of
> learning is less constrained, and if an exploratory path is beyond
> understanding, the student will backtrack to more solid ground. The
> learning goals may also be unknown. Education becomes less formal,
> focus is on advanced concepts as early as possible, areas become more
> specialized, college and advanced degrees become less a
> breadth/broad-based skills set and start embracing actual skills
> that have value and worth in the marketplace.

In other words, education turns into training.