This poster session will consider emerging models of how online learning is provisioned and what implications this might have for the various stakeholders in an increasingly complex higher education ecosystem. Globally many institutions are developing online degrees and qualifications and the processes and steps needed to achieve this are becoming better understood.
Drawing on conceptual work from the research project, ‘The unbundled university: emerging models in an unequal landscape’, jointly undertaken by the University of Cape Town and the University of Leeds (The Unbundled University, 2019), the poster session will visually illustrate the stages and activities an institution typically needs to work through for delivering online qualifications. Such stages include: readiness, programme level planning, as well as various course design, development, delivery and support services. What is apparent is that while the processes and activities (conceptualisation, design, production, support and maintenance) can be integrated and the university is able to undertake the work itself, it is also possible that several components can be disaggregated and repackaged into discrete services. This constitutes a form of unbundled provision and provides both opportunities and creates tensions for academics and instructional staff and brings new players and providers into the higher education ecosystem. Being able to see the bigger picture of increasingly unbundled higher education provision is helpful for institutional decision makers and implementers when an institution moves to offer qualifications in online modes. It also raises issues regarding the alignments and misalignments which may arise systemically and pedagogically. The session will be of interest to all grappling with new ways of working in blended and online education projects and allow reflection on the various intersections and connections between different stakeholders.
The Unbundled University. (2019). The Unbundled University: Researching emerging models in an unequal landscape [online]. Available at: https://unbundleduni.com/