Realigning Higher Education for the 21st-Century Learner through Multi-Access Learning
Twenty-first-century learners have expectations that are not met within the current model of higher education. With the introduction of online learning, the anytime/anywhere mantra taken up by many postsecondary institutions was a first step to meeting learner needs for flexibility; however, the choice and determination of delivery mode still resides with the institution and course instructors. Recently, the massive open online course (MOOC) movement has been introduced as an undeniable force in higher education, and the authors argue that it is distracting leadership from focusing on alternative options for supporting the needs of learners who demand both personalization and real access to learning opportunities. The key element to the MOOC movement is its openness that enables student access to education. In this article, the authors present the multi-access learning framework that envelops the MOOC phenomenon and merges course access modes enabling student choice and agency. The authors report results from a pilot study on one type of multi-access course, where students were able to choose their mode of access. In this case, remote students accessed the course via webcam and joined their on-campus classmates and instructor who were together face-to-face. Implications for multi-access learning in relation to the MOOC movement are discussed.
MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching