Quentin McAndrew 1
  • 1 University of Colorado Boulder, 40 UCB, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0040, USA

Innovation Leashed: How a MOOC-Based Master’s Degree Brings Invention Home to the Institution

2018. No. 4. P. 60–80 [issue contents]

Quentin McAndrew — PhD, Special Assistant Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives, University of Colorado Boulder. E-mail: Quentin.McAndrew@colorado.edu

This paper tells the story of the first MOOC-based Electrical Engineering graduate degree in the world. In so doing, it provides an object lesson about the narrative of disruption that has grown up around MOOC providers and the speed at which self-limiting systems emerge in even the newest ventures. This in turn reveals a paradox brewing at the heart of the MOOC enterprise: it is the supposedly staid institution of the university—whose entrenched systems tend to recoil from innovation back to the status quo—that actually wields the critical mass to effect change. This observation recalls us to a fundamental truth: while universities are conservators of academic tradition and systemic efficiency, they are also, most essentially, extraordinary engines of creation and innovative will. It is by tapping into that truth that we harness the potential for transformation. Ultimately, this paper offers a message of hope and a pathway to change at a moment when the institution of higher education is under threat. The experience of the MOOC Electrical Engineering degree suggests three primary lessons about our ability to answer that challenge: First, if we mean to achieve broad change, we must commit to the hard work of creating that change from within. Second, a bottom-up effort led by a small team with top-down support generates momentum to overcome entrenched systems that inherently resist difference. Third, and most importantly, the impetus for innovation has always resided with the university. In recognizing the systems that work to collapse innovation into convention, this paper acknowledges the difficulties that beset any groundbreaking venture; it also argues for universities’ pride of place as engines of transformation that can lead the way to the future.
Citation: McAndrew Q. (2018)

Ukroshchenie innovatsiy: kak onlayn-magistratura vernula universitetu initsiativu v preobrazovaniyakh


Innovation Leashed: How a MOOC-Based Master’s Degree Brings Invention Home to the Institution

]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no4, pp. 60-80.