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Matt Messinger

Thanks for the very interesting post. The idea that informal learning can indeed be a boon to institutions of higher learning is an interesting one. I agree in concept. But as you say, Higher Ed will need to adjust to make this a reality. These adjustments won't be trivial. As you know, a primary advantage of H.E. is the seal of approval they grant via their degrees. If individual students are finding all sorts of different, open educational resources to incorporate into their degree programs how does the university vet these different sources to make sure they meet the "standards" of that university? A short answer is more power is put into the students' hands, and the universities trust students to pick high-quality resources to incorporate into their degree programs.


When we were having our discussions about Social Learn accreditation was one of the things I got most excited about. I am arguably learning more now than ever before thanks to the web but have no formal evidence of my efforts.



I agree with the messages higher ed can take, but i am increasingly skeptical they will be. It seems online learning is still thought of as an efficiency, not another way of imagining relevance. It's almost assumed to be a budgetary, not an academic shift---and for that the radical experimentation should not have happened so late. I mean Downes, Siemens, Cormier, Wiley, and others I'm sure imagined this model 2 or 3 years ago---or at least theorized and implemented it---and if I were to speak openly about what I am doing at UMW with administration I would really be afraid they would shut me down. Now they may not, and I have had a lot of flexibility at UMW, but I am not tenured, I do edtech, but I am an adjunct professor, so what I am doing is still extremely marginal, what's interesting however is that students and other faculty are taking notice. So we'll see if we can model our online programs around this approach to some extent because I agree with you 100% (at least after 2 weeks) this model really captures and instantiates the way the networked web works---it's amazing.

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