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Open Classroom Learning For Today's Learners!

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A Research On Open Learning Classroom
Today's higher education is undergoing a radical change, posing newage challenges to universities. The role of teachers and educators has gone through a metamorphosis as technology and globalization redefine the contours of the world. With access to information anytime and anywhere, knowledge is no longer restricted to physical classrooms. In fact, real learning happens laterally, outside the four walls of schools, colleges and Universities.

Some of the issues that were discussed and debated upon in two international conferences held recently at two different places are, 'Re-inventing Higher Education' in Madrid, Spain and the 'World Innovation Summit for Education' (WISE) in Doha, Qatar.

Lisa Anderson, the President of American University in Cairo (AUC), points out, “Most of the learning now takes place outside the classroom; through the internet and social media sites." Considering the way technology has changed the education landscapes, experts working in the area of education believe that first and foremost, the traditional mindset has to change. That can help the academic community to perceive the future needs of a student going through this transition.

The future road-map of higher education : the academic world agrees, needs to include blended methodology, lifelong learning, collaborative efforts in research and curriculum development, introduction of transnational accreditation agencies and increased student mobility.

The challenged Job Factor : Yet another challenge for universities is to account for the relevance of education for graduate's careers. Traditional Universities who pride themselves on their role in imparting knowledge should not be critical but open to the fact that majority of students are not opting for higher education for the sake of education but for a better job and life. But it is also equally important for Universities to bridge the skill gap, as well as ensure a seamless shift from the classroom to workplace.

Re-inventing Higher Education was organized by IE University and World Innovation Summit for Education by the Quarter Foundation. Another important change that is being observed is the role of students as stakeholders in higher education. The dynamics of a traditional classroom has undergone a major change, with the online space coming in, students have a broader knowledge source today and universities should realize that the mode of knowledge delivery has to change in order to cater a student's individual profile.

What do you think! Do institutions of learning need to have closer ties with industry? Do Universities need to rethink of their roles in a global society? Should Universities cater to a diverse group of students with different needs without compromising on intellectual integrity?

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