Monday, 3 March 2014

YES to physical universities in an age of MOOCs, distance and online learning

Do we still need physical universities in an age of distance learning and online courses? A unanimous yes is the answer according to the authors of a new book, The Physical University, published this month, edited by Paul Temple from the Institute of Education. They make the case that place-based universities are still essential even while virtual universities expand and flourish across the globe. Demand for all forms of learning is growing internationally as the world population expands and as higher education participation rates rise, even in the poorest countries. So there is still a vast and expanding need for face-to-face, virtual, and blended learning offerings. Place-based research environments where new knowledge develops are also increasing. It is there that the new ideas taught by future teachers are generated.

Alexi Marmot's illuminating chapter "Managing the Campus" demonstrates how the student experience and university effectiveness are influenced by the design and management of the estate. This is essential reading for all those interested in university space, pedagogy, teaching and learning, estate management and design.

Details about the book are available here.

University of Oxford, Trinity College
© Creative Commons licence

 Illinois Institute of Technology, Crown Hall, by Mies van der Rohe
© Creative Commons licence

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