From bricks to clicks: A new model for higher education

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Higher Education in a Globalized World Vol. 37

July, 2014, 352 pages
Published by
A. Kwan, E. Wong, T. Kwong, P. Lau & A. Goody

Globalisation is defined as the worldwide movement towards economic, financial, trade and communications integration (Business Dictionary, 2014). In the process, local and national perspectives are exposed to international influences, and people have to be prepared to participate meaningfully in the exchanges. In this new world, Higher education has a key role to play, but the question is whether the traditional bricks systems can manage the educational needs of large numbers of people in need to be educated for the new world order. If not, with what should it be replaced? Daniel, Kanwar and Uvaliċ-Trumbiċ (2008) have argued for a new model in which the traditional higher education elements of community, communication and commodity are delivered through distance education. This paper explores a prototype of such a model, referred to as Signature Courses, developed at the University of South Africa (UNISA), and implemented on a trial basis during two semesters in 2013. The theoretical framework supporting this online educational model is presented here, as well as an overview of its implementation and initial impact on student performance.

Keywords: Signature courses, Heutagogy, Distance Education 

From bricks to clicks: A new model for higher education

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van Schoor, W. & Mischke, G.