In less than two weeks, Provost Vincent Price will represent the University of Pennsylvania at a discussion with other universities’ administrators about the future of online education.
At the Presidential Innovation Lab, hosted by the American Council on Education, Price and 13 other university presidents will discuss ways of addressing problems facing the new online course market inspired by the “disruptive potential of [these] new educational technologies.”
Some of these problems include ways of enhancing online methods of delivering education and models of extending these opportunities to close attainment gaps, notably those seen among low-income adults.
“This is an opportunity for senior higher education leaders to engage in comprehensive and critical thinking about the potential of this new learning modality to boost attainment levels, particularly among older, post-traditional students, low-income young adults and other underserved students,” ACE President Molly Corbett Broad said in a press release.
This lab comes as part of an initiative launched by ACE last November to assess the academic potential of massive open online courses. Also part of that initiative was ACE’s credit recommendation of five Coursera courses, one of which was taught by a Penn professor.
“I think that Penn has established a leadership position in this area [of online education],” Price said. “This lab presents a great opportunity to share with and learn from … a range of institutions in the higher education sector.”
Some of these institutions will include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a co-founder of the online nonprofit education platform EdX, and Northeastern University, which offers degree programs to students through online courses.
Price sees this gathering as an extraordinary opportunity for both Penn — which, as of May 2013, has received over 1 million enrollments through its Coursera courses — and the future of online education.
“Our goal at Penn, and I believe the goal of the Innovation Lab, is … to engage with these technologies in a thoughtful and innovative way,” Price said. “This is a great opportunity to think about … [how we can enhance online learning at Penn and] how we can contribute broadly to supporting higher education over the next decade.”Comments powered by Disqus
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