Yesterday, I wrote about what I learned about Capella U. The discussion around the post was great - a challenging, honest, and positive dialogue.
Today I'd like to share some of my hopes for Capella:
Give Back: That Capella can find a way to give back to the educational commons by sharing some of the large number of multimedia learning objects with non-profit education providers, particularly community colleges that do not compete directly with Capella's main business. Capella could brand these multimedia learning objects and place a Creative Commons license on each item, insuring that Capella's brand gets exposure while making meaningful contributions to the higher ed community.
Sharing and Transparency: That we find ways for Capella to share some of the best practices they have learned in course design. The sheer volume of courses that Capella has produced, coupled with a business model that depends on retention and allows for a collaborative and team approach to course design, leads me to believe that all of us could learn a great deal from Capella's approach to putting together courses. I don't think that there is much risk in Capella sharing their best practices and learning around course design, as their value proposition revolves around accreditation, degree granting, and providing a high quality student experience. Courses, and course material, should be transparent and shared across educators and educational institutions, just as research results should be open.
Make Faculty Available: That Capella and our IHE community engage in a dialogue about what life as a faculty member at Capella is like. I'm wondering if teaching for Capella is a good option for academics who love to teach. I'm wondering if Capella supports and encourages its faculty to make contributions to the profession along the lines of innovations and best practices in teaching.
Capella has some pages that allow access to their faculty, staff, and alumni - but I think a complete list of faculty with contact info, C.V.s and links to professional work would be much better:
These three goals, I think, will be similar for other for-profit institutions. My sense is that many for-profit institutions, including Capella, are already accomplishing many parts of these goals, and the challenge will be to find ways to share this information and start a productive dialogue across the higher ed community.
What would you like to know about for-profits institutions?
What would be your goals for engaging and collaborating with our colleagues in the for-profit world?
What are the risks for people who work in non-profits (like myself) in engaging with people in the for-profit world? What are the risks for the for-profits?
What would be the incentive for for-profits to engage in such a dialogue and long-term relationship building?
What structures, institutions or opportunities do we have in place where for-profit and non-profit education providers can come to together to share best practices and find common ground?