Globally, higher education is growing from 100 million students to 263 million students in 25 years. Just to keep pace with this growth, Christian higher education will need to grow more over this 25 year period than it did in the previous 900 years. At the same time, 99% of the growth of Christianity is projected to be in non-Western countries — called the “majority world.” Based on that need, we are developing four courses to help develop the capacity of Christian higher education to serve the majority world and the poor in the face of rapid global growth. CHEIA has initiated this project to help build the capacity of Christian higher education to serve the majority world and the poor. While CHEIA’s Christian Vocational Qualification Framework (CVQF) working group is focused on changing accreditation systems to enable the global expansion of Christian higher education, these courses are intended to enable global expansion through free courses to build the capacity of Christian higher education and theological education leaders.
Digital Gleaning and Creative Commons
We recognize that to meet this challenge, the effort must be lead by those in the majority world; however, there are still a wealth of resources in Western Christian higher education that can help toward this effort if they are re-contextualized and repurposed by non-Western leaders. Creative Commons licensing provides a modern-day counterpart to the concept of “gleaning”: When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. (Deut. 24:19-20)
Generating courses and other academic content in many ways represents a “harvest” of content generated by Western Christian higher education. We ask that Christian leaders contributing to this project provide a Creative Commons license their materials as a form of digital gleaning that can be offered freely to those serving the majority world and the poor. We appeal to Christian higher education faculty and staff to contribute their own material to this cause. In particular, we request that staff and faculty contribute in the following 3 ways:
- Recording a lecture or screencast to serve as a part of the courses below and providing Creative Commons licensed slides to enable reuse.
- Providing Creative Commons documents or templates that other institutions could reuse in their programs.
- Assisting with overall course design or overall design and success of this project.
We recognize that this model has a built in Western bias, but our hope is that the Creative Commons licensing would enable other majority world leaders to repurpose, contextualize and translate these materials into their own context.
The initial scope of this project is to focus particularly on developing the technology and innovation capacity of Christians serving the majority world and the poor. We expect it to later expand beyond this focus. We have started this project with 4 free and Creative Commons-licensed Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) targeting Christian higher education leaders serving the majority world and the poor. We appeal to Christian higher education faculty and staff to contribute their own material to these courses and welcome other material outside of these courses. These courses are particularly focused on new models of education and online education, but we welcome other materials. While the courses will be free, the intent is that they will be designed in a way that those taking them could later take an accredited version of the course to receive Master’s level credit (similar to the “freemium” model used by “Micromasters” degrees). City Vision University will initially be providing credit toward a concentration in Education Management as a part of its MBA program, but other schools that contribute significantly to this project are welcome to provide their own credit and degree completion paths.
We have roughly defined the following courses. We welcome input into their final design and are seeking contributors to components of them.
- Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education. After completing this course, students should be able to: 1) explain how the forces of disruptive innovation are affecting their organization’s context, 2) apply models such as Lean Startup, Blue Ocean Canvas, Porter’s Five Forces and the Dual Transformation model to their organization’s context, 3) develop a strategy presentation on how their institution should respond to the forces of disruptive innovation using the Dual Transformation model and other models. Currently only the MOOC on Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education has been completed (listed below). The course has had over 5,000 students from 126 different countries.
- Instructional Design. After completing this course, students should be able to: 1) Develop a syllabus and course structure to meet accreditation standards, 2) design online and blended courses in a Christian context, 3) apply best practices to integrate a Christian worldview into course design, and 4) adapt instructional design principles for serving in contexts with limited resources such developing countries. This course will also provide Creative Commons-licensed materials for other institutions to use in developing their own syllabi, course templates, course manuals, course design standards and training material.
- Program Design and Accreditation. After completing this course, students should be able to: 1) conduct online research on comparable programs to serve as models, 2) design an effective Christian higher education program, 3) complete the documentation needed to submit a Christian academic program for review to an accreditor, 4) design programs to support alternative methods to accreditation in contexts where that is needed, 5) apply Lean Startup principles to program design to adapt to severely resource-constrained environments. This course will also provide Creative Commons-licensed materials for other institutions to use in developing their own degree proposals to submit to accreditors, outcome maps and degree planning materials.