I see a good trend starting: Universities are looking to lead by letting go. They are letting go of the idea that all their faculty and students are to be found behind their specific walls (ivy covered or not.)

Full Courses

Babson recently made the announcement that they will be licensing entrepreneurship courses to other schools :

The courses will be part online using the NovoEd platform and part face-to-face with local instructors who have been trained by Babson, says Shahid Ansari, chief executive of Babson Global, a subsidiary of the college that will be launching the effort.

These are still full courses. I expect that eventually it will get down to the "nugget" level with licensing of topics. I don't believe that Babson has the best coverage of every topic -- the best course would draw on the best in the world, no matter what institution they are affiliated with. This could be like building with Legos. Like a Lego clicks together in certain ways, systems could help with prerequisites. Eventually, the resource sites might be smart enough to be make suggestions of valuable next topics and content given the developing base. 


Stanford and many other schools have often shared their content in ways that faculty at other universities could blend this material into their courses (the nugget level I mention above). Stanford’s eCorner is a learning resource for entrepreneurship material. I often use their streaming and downloadable material in my innovation and organizational design courses.

University of Texas, Austin

William C. Powers Jr., president of the University of Texas, Austin issued a memo to the UT academic community on August 15, 2013 . It included a discussion that seems to lean in the direction I support:

We should share content. Blended learning will never be sustainable if every professor or every university must reinvent the wheel. We have never expected our professors to write all of the textbooks from which they teach; likewise we cannot expect all teachers who use blended learning to generate all-original content. Rather, we should produce content and technology that is sharable across many different platforms. A faculty member might begin with building content for a flipped class on campus, then experiment with using the same resources in an online course. Another might build simulations for a MOOC, and then develop training modules to help instructors around the world use that content in their own flipped classes. Yet another faculty member might repurpose interactive content created for an advanced undergraduate course into stand-alone modules that help professionals stay abreast of developments in their field.

Next Steps

We are making substantial headway, but the content is not the whole story. As President Powers notes above, there are experiments to be done, platform technologies to come to understand, and training to be provided. We also have great resources to consider as corporations, like IBM, and non-profits, like TED-Ed, provide support.

I will try and touch on these aspects soon, but until then, please share your best resources for learning at any level. Are these places to find full courses, or places to find nuggets to build into courses?