Regional Campuses & Distance Education 2011 Annual Report
In their new book, “The Innovative University,” authors Clayton M. Christensen and Henry J. Eyring contend that traditional brick and mortar universities in the U.S. appear to be in “educational decline” relative to other countries. They assert, using the lens of Christensen’s “theory of disruptive innovation,” that unless these same universities reevaluate and even reinvent curricula to better prepare students for the increasing demands of the working world, their influence and appeal will steadily decline giving way to more innovative educational models.
Senior Vice-Provost for Utah State University’s Regional Campuses and Distance Education Ronda Menlove agrees. “We’ve seen the need to change and adapt for a long time and have been applying disruptive techniques and technology for decades.” Menlove mentions further that Utah State fully embraces and takes pride in its traditional mission as a land-grant college to provide educational opportunities in underserved areas of the state employing any and all means. “That’s in our DNA.”
With regards to applying the disruptive influence of technology, Utah State is a national leader in distance education born out of the following:
- 385 online courses
- 116 new online courses developed by USU faculty since 2008
- 187 faculty members taught online courses over the past year
- 230 classrooms in Utah received interactive video conferencing courses from USU in fall 2010
- 24,496 students use Canvas, a new learning management system as of fall 2011 (duplicated headcount)
- Online courses delivered to all states and more than 50 countries worldwide
The evidence of success in preparing students for the increasing demands of the working world is highlighted in this report. From Blanding to Logan, Utah State University students are being taught in innovative ways by world-class instructors. It’s they who will embrace the world and disrupt in positive ways like no other generation before.