All Inclusive has its place

allinclusive
In the process of getting my head round the place of openness I’ve been contemplating pessimistic warnings on the demise and disaggregation of HE.

We’ve been encouraged over this MOOC to consider technology as a disruptor and, as examples, consider how music and newspaper industries have been impacted.

Another industry that has had to change is travel. As a consumer I have loads of choice, I can buy a package, go all-inclusive, or opt to DIY. DIY is possible with online booking, crowd-sourced hotel recommendations and tourist info websites. If I do all the arrangements myself it involves a bit more risk and additional effort (but if I get it right it promises rewards!). If instead I go all-inclusive I devolve some of this responsibility and risk to the operator.

All-inclusive works for me if:

  • the operator is reputationally sound
  • they offer good value for money
  • they take responsibility if things go wrong
  • they make sure I get to know about all the good things to do in and around the location
  • I lack confidence/or time to put together as good an experience
  • (the house wine is good)

Recalling how my newly graduated peers spent at least 5 years harking back to the “amazing time we had at university”, it’s obvious that the value of the on-campus experience was judged not just for education and and career development. The overall package was important:

  • A credible curriculum with expert teaching
  • Support mechanisms
  • Skill development promising employability
  • Accreditation that has market value (trusted by employers)
  • A safe and good place to live, be, mature and make lifelong friends
  • (good wine/beer/scrumpy and all things social)

Yes, this all comes at cost, but like the all-inclusive, the consumer makes the judgement on value. In the UK, arguably, the easy availability of undergraduate student loans protects HE to an extent from real market forces. It’s clear though that its far from time to be complacent.

Our friends the MOOC and OER present much more of a competitive challenge in post-graduate, life-long learning pathways. Here the consumer may have developed into one with: clearer learning goals: have established learning literacies; be capable of generating a PLN and be much more open to alternative forms of education as a consequence of limited time/money.

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