the Irish for rights

Online disruption of the classical university model

Hibernian College logo, via their site.A little while ago I blogged about the potential challenge which online education can pose for the traditional model of the university, comparing and contrasting the positions of newspapers and universities as they face online challenges. Now I see that Grant McCracken is also musing that what’s happening to journalism may some day happen to higher education (disintermediating higher education) – the Washington Post also notes that online classes are just cheaper to produce – but then McCracken points out that whilst there may be a move towards self-instruction, the key difference between newspapers and universities is accreditation:

We will continue to need a university, or someone, to certify students have completed their degree requirements, and perhaps how they did. Then the question becomes:

what’s the best way to do accreditation?

The English universities are a useful indicator. Traditionally, they forgave the separation [of] knowledge acquisition from examination. The universities allowed the student an extraordinary latitude. If a student could pass her exams, it didn’t matter if she had spent all her time in the college bar. She was good to go.

We could use a model of this kind. We would leave it to students to prepare their own programs of education, to gather on line with whomever they found interesting and useful. … Students in self instruction will have to decide whether they are ready to sit their exams. They will visit the accreditation website occasionally and examine the oral exams and written ones. They ask themselves, “Could I handle questions of that order?” And if they think they can, they book an appointment, pay their fee, and wait for the examiners to swing back through town. …

For a glimpse of a future that is rapidly become present, have a look at the Online Degrees Hub. For a major Irish player in this market, have a look at Hibernia College.

Leave a Reply



Me in a hatHi there! Thanks for dropping by. I'm Eoin O'Dell, and this is my blog: Cearta.ie - the Irish for rights.

"Cearta" really is the Irish word for rights, so the title provides a good sense of the scope of this blog.

In general, I write here about private law, free speech, and cyber law; and, in particular, I write about Irish law and education policy.

Academic links


  • RSS Feed
  • RSS Feed
  • Subscribe via Email
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Archives by month

Categories by topic

My recent tweets

Blogroll (or, really, a non-blogroll)

What I'd like for here is a simple widget that takes the list of feeds from my existing RSS reader and displays it here as a blogroll. Nothing fancy. I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

I had built a blogroll here on my Google Reader RSS subscriptions. Google Reader produced a line of html for each RSS subscription category, each of which I pasted here. So I had a list of my subscriptions as my blogroll, organised by category, which updated whenever I edited Google Reader. Easy peasy. However, with the sad and unnecessary demise of that product, so also went this blogroll. Please take a moment to mourn Google Reader. If there's an RSS reader which provides a line of html for the list of subscriptions, or for each RSS subscription category as Google Reader did, I'd happily use that. So, as I've already begged, I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

Meanwhile, please bear with me until I find a new RSS+Blogroll solution




Creative Commons License

This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. I am happy for you to reuse and adapt my content, provided that you attribute it to me, and do not use it commercially. Thanks. Eoin

Credit where it’s due

The image in the banner above is a detail from a photograph of the front of Trinity College Dublin night taken by Melanie May.

Others whose technical advice and help have proven invaluable in keeping this show on the road include Dermot Frost, Karlin Lillington, Daithí Mac Síthigh, and Antoin Ó Lachtnáin.

Thanks to Blacknight for hosting.