This report analyzes the role of the emerging global information infrastructure in helping higher-education institutions to improve learning and teaching, improve the creation of instructional and learning materials, create educational communities, compete with new providers, and address policy and planning issues. The authors recommend that institutions coordinate technology plans and purchases; unite behind a common vision to influence the political debate; and pursue options for inexpensive end-user machines. They argue that acquiring the tools and skills with which to create Web-based distance-learning courseware can be accomplished within existing budgets if colleges and universities use existing tools and training; shift staff time from teaching to creating software; nourish grassroots publication; and examine alternative models for delivering educational services, such as creating ultrashort courses for use on an as-needed basis. They warn, however, that the effective use of technologies may threaten the current structure of higher education more than just streamline it.
Table of Contents
Introduction and Overview
Benefits for Learning and Instruction Delivery
Improving the Creation of Instruction and Learning Materials
Creating Connected Educational Communities
Competing with New External Providers of Education
Addressing Planning and Policy: How to Make the Best Use of the Internet and WWW in Higher Education