University 2.0: Human, Social, and Societal Issues

University 2.0: Human, Social, and Societal Issues

Daniel W. Surry (University of South Alabama, USA) and David C. Ensminger (Loyola University Chicago, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-729-4.ch006
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Higher education is changing in important and profound ways. New technologies are enabling universities to reach new students and create innovative learning environments. Technology is also allowing students to interact, collaborate, and create customized learning experiences in ways that were previously impossible. University 2.0 offers amazing potential to fundamentally change the way higher education functions in the future. With this change will come the opportunity to improve educational quality, reach new learners, and create new organizational structures, but there will also be many potential problems. Many of the problems relate to the key issue of maintaining the vital human and social dimension of higher education in a rapidly changing, technology rich environment. This chapter describes many of the potential problems that will accompany university 2.0 and provides a series of recommended actions that university administrators can take to respond to the problems.
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The history of the modern university can arguably be traced back to any one of a number of important dates and events. While there is no single widely accepted date for the birth of the modern university, perhaps the most important event occurred in the mid-12th century when the modern concept of academic freedom was formalized at the University of Bologna (Watson, 2005). In the nearly 1,000 years since then, change has come slowly to higher education. Certainly, many innovations, both technical and social, have changed the way universities function over the centuries. Technology in some form has affected the university experience of most faculty and students for many years (Burbules & Callister, 2000). However, despite occasional change, the modern university has remained fundamentally the same since its inception. As a general rule, the university has always been seen as a “place” occupied by a well defined and relatively unchanging group of faculty who interacted with students in a more or less standard manner. A professor or a student from the University of Bologna in the mid-12th century would likely have felt very comfortable and familiar at most universities well into the 20th century. That, however, is no longer the case.

Recent advances in technology have led to radical changes in the way colleges and universities operate. Technology now allows students to take classes without ever setting foot on campus or ever meeting their instructors in person. Once major factors in a student’s decision about which college to attend or degree to pursue, geographic and time constraints have now been eliminated, or at least reduced, for most students. Perhaps as important as the reduction of geographic and time concerns, online learning has made possible an amazing number of pedagogical changes (Pursula, Warsta, & Laaksonen, 2005). University students in online courses can receive information, interact with the material, communicate with the instructor, cooperate with each other, and demonstrate mastery of course content in ways that are impossible, or at least not often attempted, in traditional courses. The use of blogs, wikis, and other types of communication, social networking, and collaboration software has changed the way students work, has created new teaching challenges and opportunities, and will be a major factor driving innovation in higher education in the future (Rantanen, 2007). These tools have the potential to fundamentally alter the university experience and create an entirely new conceptual model of higher education. This new conceptual model of higher education, freed from the limits of geography and time, and based on technologically advanced, student driven innovations in communication and collaboration, is commonly referred to in the literature (e.g., Barnes & Tynam, 2007) as “University 2.0”.

Most people would agree that technology has already begun to bring about significant changes to higher education and that the ever expanding power of technology will likely mean that colleges and universities will continue to change at an increasingly rapid rate in the future. This change will have both positive and negative effects on higher education. The potential benefits of technology to colleges and universities have been well documented, but the potential negative effects are less well understood. These negative effects could include loss of institutional and cultural identity, reduced educational quality (Smith & Mitry, 2008), worsening of class and regional divisions, an overemphasis on curricular areas that most lend themselves to online or technical modes of delivery, commoditization of higher education (Rowley & Sherman, 2004), alienation of older, less technologically adept students, and problems related to faculty workload (Oh, 2003). As Volti (2006) writes, “technology does not yield it benefits without extracting a cost” (p. 18). University administrators and political leaders will have to carefully consider not only the potential benefits of University 2.0 but also the potential costs, both fiscal and human, in order to ensure that higher education reaches its greatest potential in the future.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
George Siemens
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Chapter 1
Stephen Downes
The purpose of this chapter is to outline some of the thinking behind new e-learning technology, including e-portfolios and personal learning... Sample PDF
Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge
Chapter 2
Ann Dutton Ewbank, Adam G. Kay, Teresa S. Foulger, Heather L. Carter
This chapter reviews the capabilities of social networking tools and links those capabilities to recent legal and ethical controversies involving... Sample PDF
Conceptualizing Codes of Conduct in Social Networking Communities
Chapter 3
Judi Repman, Cordelia Zinskie, Elizabeth Downs
As online learning continues to expand and evolve, new challenges emerge regarding the implementation of Web 2.0 tools and technologies in online... Sample PDF
Fulfilling the Promise: Addressing Institutional Factors that Impede the Implementation of E-Learning 2.0
Chapter 4
Robert Z. Zheng
The growth of online resources and the advancement of Web 2.0 technology are changing the instructional landscape and have significantly impacted... Sample PDF
Designing Dynamic Learning Environment for Web 2.0 Application
Chapter 5
Marshall G. Jones, Stephen W. Harmon
This chapter deals centrally with one emerging aspect of Web 2.0 for education, that of the increasing demand for real time and near real-time... Sample PDF
Instructional Strategies for Teaching in Synchronous Online Learning Environments (SOLE)
Chapter 6
Daniel W. Surry, David C. Ensminger
Higher education is changing in important and profound ways. New technologies are enabling universities to reach new students and create innovative... Sample PDF
University 2.0: Human, Social, and Societal Issues
Chapter 7
Jay Alden
The emergence of Web 2.0 technologies with its emphasis on social networking has presented an opportunity for academic institutions to take... Sample PDF
Use of Wikis to Support Collaboration among Online Students
Chapter 8
Curtis J. Bonk, Mimi Miyoung Lee, Nari Kim, Meng-Fen Grace Lin
A Wikibook is a transformative and disruptive technology that is finding increasing use in schools and higher education institutions. This new form... Sample PDF
Wikibook Transformations and Disruptions: Looking Back Twenty Years to Today
Chapter 9
Chareen Snelson
The recent explosive growth of Web-based video has expanded the repository of free content that can be tapped into for e-learning. Millions of video... Sample PDF
Web-Based Video for e-Learning: Tapping into the YouTubeTM Phenomenon
Chapter 10
Deborah Everhart, Kaye Shelton
Collaborative research teaches students critical knowledge management skills, whether they are undergraduates learning the basics of Web research or... Sample PDF
From Information Literacy to Scholarly Identity: Effective Pedagogical Strategies for Social Bookmarking
Chapter 11
Morris S.Y. Jong, Junjie Shang, Fong-Lok Lee, Jimmy H.M. Lee
VISOLE (Virtual Interactive Student-Oriented Learning Environment) is a constructivist pedagogical approach to empower computer game-based learning.... Sample PDF
VISOLE: A Constructivist Pedagogical Approach to Game-Based Learning
Chapter 12
Patricia Edwards, Mercedes Rico, Eva Dominguez, J. Enrique Agudo
Web 2.0 technologies are described as new and emerging for all fields of knowledge, including academia. Innovative e-learning formats like on-demand... Sample PDF
Second Language E-Learning and Professional Training with Second Life®
Chapter 13
Hyung Sung Park, Young Kyun Baek
The purpose of this chapter is to offer practical ideas and cases for educational use of the Second Life® virtual world with Web 2.0 based... Sample PDF
Empirical Evidence and Practical Cases for Using Virtual Worlds in Educational Contexts
Chapter 14
Sharon Stoerger
Schools based in the United States are trapped in a Henry Ford factory model of education that is focused on high-stakes testing. This model was... Sample PDF
A Pedagogical Odyssey in Three-Dimensional Virtual Worlds: The SECOND LIFE® Model
Chapter 15
Youmei Liu, Shawn McCombs
E-Learning has undergone an amazing metamorphosis: it has changed from the delivery of individualized, static curricular information to the... Sample PDF
Podcasting: A Flexible E-Learning Tool
Chapter 16
Steve Chi-Yin Yuen, Harrison Hao Yang
This chapter provides an overview and development of sense of community and social networking; discusses the potential uses of social networking in... Sample PDF
Using Social Networking to Enhance Sense of Community in E-Learning Courses
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