Fielding Graduate University is pleased to announce that Dr. Don Bushnell will be presenting at the World Universities Forum, Twelfth Annual Conference, in Vancouver in January, 2013.
Along with colleague Chuck Champlin, Don will present “Open Courseware Dreams . . . and a Catch-22: Free classes for all but who’s to say what’s been learned?”
The worldwide explosion of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Courseware (OCW) is a “revolution in opportunity” for every person on the planet. The chance to learn – virtually – any subject via a relatively inexpensive mobile phone or lap top (assuming that the student has the discipline to do so) far exceeds the scope and power of books. The idea that a farmer in Africa may have the same access to top lectures in computer skills and engineering as a privileged young student at Stanford suggests a tremendous potential for growth in the intellectual well-being of our world. However the OER phenomenon faces a Catch-22 that threatens to invalidate this global-scale, readily accessible knowledge base. There is a lack of certification and degrees granted by most sponsoring institutions for free online courses that have been successfully completed. Ambitious, capable students everywhere may not be able to capitalize on their newly acquired knowledge. Will they be admitted to a university, or secure a job without documented credentials? A survey of the relatively slow growth in potential solutions to this problem will be explored, and there will be a call for urgent new means to address it.
Don Bushnell, Ph.D. is the past president of the Association for Educational Data Processing and a founding dean at the Fielding Graduate University.
Chuck Champlin is the communications manager for the Office of Admissions at the University of California, Santa Barbara, which received 68,000 applications for Fall 2013. He has also worked as a journalist; as a communications director at The Walt Disney Company; and managed communications for Pasadena Unified School District and Pasadena Community College, both in California.