Commodification? Unbundling?

BY ERIK DUVAL. Apparently, some people are rather worried by the risk of ‘commodification‘. I’ve added quotes and a link to the wikipedia article, because I wasn’t really sure what the word means. Apparently, wikipedia is itself an illustration of the commodification of knowledge…

Written by computer science researcher Erik Duval, read the entire post on his blog. He tweets as @ErikDuval.
erik-duval

(c) KU Leuven – Rob Stevens

Trying to articulate in terms that I understand better what I think is the real challenge for universities, I used the notion of ‘unbundling‘. A long time ago, universities offered a full package and had almost a monopoly as a provider of that package. Nowadays, many, if not all, of the parts of that package are also offered by alternative providers.

  • professors used to author content: many still do, but there is such an abundance of high quality content (OER and other) that I don’t understand why we would still focus on this as a core aspect;
  • professors used to deliver content, for instance by lecturing: many still do, but the effectiveness of doing this is very questionable, there are many alternatives now and delivery of content is challenged by the ‘flipped classroom’ and other alternative models;

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