- Successfully modernising higher education implies fully exploiting the potential of technological advances and new models for delivery, including adapting assessment and accreditation of learning as necessary. Flexible higher education is not a new phenomenon, but the opportunities for HEIs to offer open and distance lea rning have changed dramatically in recent years due to evolving technological capacities. Most notable are the now almost ubiquitous provision of fast mobile and wireless networks, portable devices and the impact of the Internet and social media in particular.
- A profound change in higher education is seen in the new options for delivery, either by expanding traditional distance learning with digital technology, or by offering alternatives like Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Open Educational Resources (OER). The technological development that has made education opportunities at the level of tertiary education more accessible, allowing for the provision of university-like courses by other organisations, is challenging the role and structure of higher education institutions (HEIs) MOOCs have not yet fulfilled all the promises that were associated with their rise, but they seem to have prompted change and innovation in higher education. As the number of new MOOCs continues to increase, business models are developed based on MOOCs and new variations on the MOOC concept.
"A recent survey of HEIs explored the offer of MOOCs in five Member States, showing clear disparities between them. In FR, ES and UK, the proportion of universities that are offering MOOCs is similar and relatively high (around 35%), compared to DE and PL at 12.0% and 7.5% respectively. However, both FR and PL stand out where the planning of future MOOCs is concerned; respectively 26.0% and 24.6% of HEIs plan to offer MOOCs in the near future".