Technology Day 2000 - "Clicks & Mortar, Future of Physical University”
PRESENTER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. And welcome to our afternoon panel on Clicks and Mortar, the Future of Physical University. It's an appropriate topic in many, many ways.
About a century and a half ago, 1852, Henry Cardinal Newman wrote a book called The Idea of the University in which he examined the nature of the university, what it was to be a university, what it was to be an educated person. Ideas have changed considerably since that time but the fact remains that the concept of the university is an important part of our culture and ever more important these days.
How do we define the university? We can define it as a place. From the very, very beginning when Plato strolled up and down with his students in the Groves of Academus to the building of the great universities of Europe, Bologna, Paris, at Oxford, at Cambridge, it was a place to which people came to enhance, further their education, to be with like-minded people. So first and foremost, it was a place.
But it is also a community. It is a community of scholars, of people seeking to advance the forefront of knowledge, celebrated from the oldest times in antiquity. [INAUDIBLE] wrote of Plato's Academus [SPEAKING LATIN], to seek the truth in the Groves of Academe. And certainly that is very, very characteristic of MIT, one of the preeminent research institutions.
So it is a community of scholars. It's also a community of students, those who come here and to other similar places to consume the knowledge, to take part in it, to enhance their own understanding. So a university is a place. It is a community. It is a gateway for many, many people.
At the outset in the early days, it was a gateway to the wealthier classes, those who had already made it but needed their gateway to the arts of culture and refinement that was befitting their station in society. In medieval Europe, it was a gateway to the church, which was the major institution that transcended national boundaries. Later, it became a gateway to polite society, for those who, again, were of the upper financial and social classes.
It's hard for us to imagine and understand, but only in about the past century and a half has it become a gateway to a different world. Not the world of culture and privilege, although it's still often is, but to the world of science and technology. This was a world that for many, many years was not considered to be a world fit for the gentleman.
One of the earliest engineering schools of all was the Ecole Polytechnique in France, which was established to assist the military to better prepare them for the science of warfare. MIT itself was the result in no small part of the rejection of the then prevailing university establishment of the idea that there was a place for science or technology in the cultured person.
The legend goes that Henry Cabot Lowell, who sponsored a series of lectures for the education of society at large who's made his fortune up in the Lowell Mills, was very interested in popular education, extending it. Himself a graduate of Harvard wanted Harvard to establish a school for the study of the practical arts, namely engineering, as engineering was then called. And the president of Harvard indicated that such was not a fit study for gentlemen.
Through Lowell's contacts with his various people he came in contact with, William Barton Rogers, a professor down in Virginia, and getting to like Rogers, talked with him and joined with him and assisted him in establishing what became the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of today. So the concept of what a university is has changed over the centuries. And only in the past century and a half has that concept included the idea of science and technology as proper and fit subjects for the university education.
One reading, which I think will summarize these concepts of the university-- not so much the last, not so much the university as a gateway to science, but certainly the concept of the university as the gateway to polite society. The university as a place and the university is a community. A brief reading, if you will bear with me. I think it's well worthwhile. And it comes from a non-academic of the last century, and an unusual writer but a wonderful, wonderful story.
The writer is Thomas Hardy. The story is Jude the Obscure. And to those of you who are familiar with it, it is the story of a young man who was of a great scholarly natural inclination, an orphan, who had set his sights on going to the university, the fictional Christminster, which we can all read as Oxford. And the story begins in chapter 1. I won't read you as much as a page, but I will jump from excerpts and piece it together to illustrate my thesis.
Chapter 1. The schoolmaster was leaving the village and everybody seemed sorry. Why do you go, sir, asked the boy. And that was Jude Frawley. That would be a long story. You wouldn't understand my reason, Jude. You will perhaps when you're older.
I think I should now, sir. Well, don't speak of this everywhere. You know what a university is, and a university degree. It is the necessary hallmark of a man who wants to do anything in teaching.
My scheme or dream is to be a university graduate, and then to be ordained. By going to live at Christminster, or near it, I shall be at headquarters, so to speak. And if my scheme is practicable at all, I consider that being on the spot will afford me a better chance of carrying it out than I would have elsewhere.
The schoolmaster leaves. Jude is sorry, walking along the road, catches a glimpse of a distant town that, in fact, is Christminster. Its distant not only geographically, but it's distant also socially, economically, politically, by any measure you can think of, but he still dreams.
He comes across a group of men who are carrying a load, having come back from Christminster, and asks the gentleman, the men, if they can identify the place where it was. He wants to be sure that it's what he's thinking of. And they say, ah. Yes. 'Tis Christminster.
'Tis all learning there. Nothing but learning except religion, and that's learning, too. But I never could understand it. Yes.
'Tis a serious minded place. You know, I suppose they raise parsons there like they raise radishes in a bed. And though it do take, how many years, Bob? Five years, [INAUDIBLE] boy chap like you into a solemn preaching man with no corrupt passions.
They'll do it if it can be done, and polish him off like the workmen they be. And turn out with a long face and a black coat and waistcoat a religious collar and hat, same as they used to wear in the scriptures, so that his own mother wouldn't know him. But then, that's their business.
Jude continues his walk in silence, thinking about this. And this is the final paragraph. Jude continued his walk homeward alone, pondering so deeply that he felt timid.
He suddenly grew older. It had been the yearning of his heart to find something to anchor on, to cling to, for some place which he could call admirable. Should he find that place in this city if he could go there? Would it be a spot in which without fear of farmers or hindrance or ridicule, he could watch and wait and set himself to some mighty undertaking like the men of old of whom he had heard?
The tree of knowledge grows there, he said to himself. It is a place the teachers of men spring from and go to. It is what you might call a castle, manned by scholarship and religion, he said to himself again. It is a city of light.
Such are the changing faces of the university and their importance to our culture. And these are some of the topics and others that we will address now in the question of, what is the university today? What is its place in society?
Our speakers are evenly divided between MIT and Harvard.
Two of the panelists from MIT, one from Harvard, and our moderator from Harvard.
I will leave the introduction of the panelists to our moderator, but I will introduce our moderator.
I'm very, very pleased to welcome David Warsh of the Boston Globe to moderate our panel today. David is an excellent columnist and a frequent writer on the topics of economics. He is a graduate of Harvard, has been a staff reporter with the Keene Evening Sentinel in New Hampshire, a reporter for the Pacific Stars and Stripes during his service days, a reporter for Newsweek Magazine, a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal, an associate editor of Forbes Magazine, and now a columnist for the Boston Globe.
He's the author-- excuse me-- of a number of books on economics, including The Idea of Economic Complexity published in 1984, Economic Principles, Masters, and Mavericks of Modern Economics published in 1993, and will shortly be coming out with his new work, The New Generation and the Old in Economics. Ladies and gentlemen, David Warsh.
WARSH: I hate it when I follow a litigator. And I really hate it when I follow a litigator who does dialect. So I'll exercise my authority to begin with by asking those of you who can to move towards the walls. Just take a second and slide down.
We've got enough people in the back that if we had a few more seats on the aisles, it would be a big help. Just two, three seats, easy. Easy.
So thank you. We're going to talk about Clicks and Mortar in education, the differences thereof. It's five years since the clicks mania got going. I date that to August of '95, the Netscape IPO. It was unbelievable by the standards of the time.
The stock was offered at $28. It went to $78 or $79 that day, and settled at the end of the day at $58. It raised two billion bucks like that in a single day, and people had never heard the like of it. They couldn't believe it. Sounds absolutely paltry now, it seems to me.
Some of the air went out of that bubble in the spring. But I take the mortar mania to have started sometime in the fall [INAUDIBLE] with the recognition that established businesses were going to be able to muscle in on this internet business much more easily than people had imagined at the beginning. I date that as much as anything to the auto companies joint venture with parts, but there were a number of things in the fall. And I think it's useful to keep in mind that things come down as well as go up as we talk about this.
I just kept a track of the stories that came across my desk last week in this area. I clipped an ad that said Barnes & Noble, the bookstore, was preparing to offer courses, a large array of courses, through the bookstore. I clipped an ad for Dow Jones University whose ad said, give a lifetime of powerful investing skills instead of a necktie. Online courses start at $49.
I got the catalog from Walden University, which you may think only appears in Doonesbury but in fact it exists in St. Paul. It offers a half a dozen PhDs. It's essentially a very successful old line correspondence course business that was bought 25 years ago by a guy who prepared a lot of the Pentagon distance learning. The manuals by which military personnel take courses and get certificates.
He's built it into a very prosperous little business. In each case, the doctoral degrees involve a partnership in-- I don't think it's [INAUDIBLE], but it's some engineering degree with Indiana University, requiring some period of residence. That came on Wednesday.
Thursday, the new copy of University Business came in the mail, and the interesting story in it was about how UMI-- who knows UMI? It was a Xerox [INAUDIBLE]. They have a copy of your dissertation on file. It's the old university microfilm in Ann Arbor.
And they were bought by Bell and Howell in 1986, and they became the research division, the information and learning division of Bell and Howell. And about three years ago they hired the guy who had been running LexisNexis, and guess what? He's about to spin them out from Bell and Howell as a freestanding business in a week with the auto parts business that they own in Cleveland as a side play.
And they're going to go into every kind of data bank business that you can imagine that you can build off of those dissertations. That a guy at LexisNexis could imagine.
I got a letter from a friend, Maurice Shepherd, who was a physics professor at Northeastern until he got bored of it. And he bought a bunch of PCs and networked them together, and found that he was very good at turning out course packs, on-demand textbooks drawn from a variety of sources, journal articles, and a chapter from one text and a chapter from another text. What he was really good at, of course, was not the networks but the permissions.
He's done a couple of joint ventures with copy shops and stuff. Next time the window opens, he's going to go back to the IPO market and try to become a big customs learning content provider.
And this morning I was down at the Harvard Business School, and I heard the dean, Kim Clark, talking about the office that they've opened on Sand Hill Road in Stanford up above the Stanford Business School. Where, for the moment, all they're doing is writing cases and keeping an eye on it. But it wouldn't take very much to put a classroom adjacent to the 75 faculty worked out there last year.
And what's really funny is above Sand Hill Road up in Portola Valley, Cal has been trying to establish a business school presence in Silicon Valley. So it's very easy to imagine a leapfrog game like that going forward.
Well, those were the things that came through a newspaper office. You don't have to know much to clip those. We have a panel that really knows something about this business.
And to them I want to just observe by way of caution that all those incidents, five or six that I mentioned, they all had to do not with education but with publishing. There were five or six different outfits that want to get-- maybe the latter I'll give you dispensation to, but there are five or six outfits that really want to get into the publishing business which is very lucrative.
But we're here really to talk about education, and I'm going to swipe through the panel twice. Merton Flemings is here because he's the co-director of the MIT Singapore alliance. Dick Larson is here because he's the director-- is that the right term-- of the Center for Advanced Learning Services here at MIT, which is the cockpit of all of MIT's distance learning operations which are extensive.
And Jonathan Winder is here because he's the vise president for education at Harvard Business School Publishing. Which if you don't know it, you should know is a behemoth of talented people that are trying to extend the HBS brand.
So we'll go back and talk about what they did before they got into this breaking way. Merton Fleming says that his 50th reunion will be next year, and he'll put on a red coat then. He's the class of '51 here at Tech, and he's a professor of material science as you know.
Was head of the department for 15 years during its big boost phase, and told me that it was the best job he'd ever had with the possible exception of fighting fires in Idaho. He's a member of the National Academy. He's a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which is the Harvard would be wing down here in town. And he's a guy of great distinction, and he wears a bow tie.
Dick Larson is professor of operations research, was president of the association, is also a member of the National Academy, and two weeks ago was giving testimony on the hill before the science committee on distance learning. I don't know whether it's a good thing or a bad thing-- and I don't think he does-- that Congress should be holding hearings on distance learning. But it gives you some idea of what the stakes are. And it's reassuring that he should be there instead of somebody from Walden College or Walden University.
He also is a member of the National Academy, and he's founded a company. Mert, have you founded a company?
FLEMINGS: Didn't do very well.
WARSH: Instead, he's the Toyota professor. But Dick has a company that does queuing theory, and that's been a very fruitful business for people from Tech for many years. And the one thing that I can tell you that you can't possibly find out from yourself is that underneath the table, he's wearing cowboy boots.
Jonathan Winder-- Martin actually had-- the score here is Harvard two, MIT two, and Princeton one. Jonathan Winder went to Princeton as an undergraduate, and he moved out from there to a variety of enterprises culminating in a McKinsey partnership?
WINDER: Let's make it a partnership even if it wasn't.
WARSH: A very an invaluable partner at McKinsey. But he went on from there-- his real claim to distinction is that he went from there to the Mouse. He was with Disney. And his great claim to fame, I think, is that he was one of the ramrods of Euro Disney.
WINDER: [INAUDIBLE] now.
WARSH: Which he describes as Disney's Vietnam in France. But since has been turned around, I think, in general turned around certainly from the benchmark where it was headed. And that was sufficient claim to fame to get him called to Harvard where they say he's-- with an office, no less, in the Watertown arsenal where they've all moved. They're serious about this business.
So having said that, we're going to run through the three panelists, beginning with Mert. Each will talk for 15 or 20 minutes, and then we're going to go directly to questions at the end of that. And I'll come back and call on you. So Merton.
FLEMINGS: Thank you, David. You know, I'm reminded following that introduction that, in fact, I did start a company now almost 25 years ago and a new technology. And that technology in the materials field is finally becoming of some practical importance. They're really producing things throughout the world, different companies are picking it up. And it took 25 years.
Allan Bufferd, who many of you know who is now treasurer of MIT and probably a couple of other titles, I'm not sure, began as a material scientist, as a metallurgist. But he got out of it pretty soon, went into finance, and did very well.
After that he said metallurgy is too slow. It takes too long. Finance is where I'm going to go, and he's done great things with it.
But in terms of speed of things, of course, this modern internet dwarfs even financial things. Of course, the finances are a big part of it, but the rate at which it's changing and the rate at which is going to change education is, of course, very, very great.
Now I'm here to talk about MIT's Singapore MIT alliance. And you will know that when MIT decides to try something new to move in a new direction, we often call it an experiment. It might be an experimental course for freshmen. It might be an experimental program, an experimental even method of governance around the university.
And that is one way to describe SMA. It's an experiment, and it's a very big experiment. It's $100 million, five year experiment. And what is it?
Well, you could describe it in a couple of different ways. It's certainly the largest worldwide experiment today in distance education and research. I think maybe even a better way to describe it is it's MIT's experiment in learning how to become a new kind of global university.
In one sense, we've been a global university at least since the Second World War with people coming from all over the world here. I'm sure many of you in this audience will have come from some other country to MIT. And I guess because you're here you've stayed here.
But that's different than us reaching out in some new and different way to other parts of the world. And this experiment is going to provide our faculty and our students with a view of the world that they wouldn't otherwise have. Of course, it's an experiment in using the internet for course work, for education.
And we're beaming as a part of this SMA-- we call it Singapore MIT Alliance-- we beam courses through Dick's operation every morning of the week during the semester and every night. And they receive it simultaneously in Singapore, of course, 12 hours later. So it's a little unique hours to be teaching, 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning and 7:00 or 8:00 at night, but it works. And by the way, we have in many of these courses that we're teaching, we'll have students at both ends, students in Singapore and students at MIT.
A part of SMA is research. We're giving-- it's all graduate education, so we're giving master's degrees and doctors degrees. There really are two basic paths, the traditional research path, such as we have at MIT and have had for many years, and then there's the one year professional master's path.
So on the research path the students do research, and each student has two thesis supervisors, one at MIT and one in Singapore. And they have meetings over the internet. So the research employees the internet, Internet2, as well as the formal teaching.
Of course, not everything is over the internet. Each of the faculty members involved from MIT goes to Singapore for about two weeks a year, two or three weeks a year, to meet face-to-face with people there. And they come here periodically.
So what is SMA? You can picture it, I think, as a virtual engineering college. It's virtual in the sense that we don't have our own buildings and our faculty are all part time at either MIT or at one of our two partners, NUS, National University of Singapore, or NTU, Nanyang Technological University. So it's virtual in that sense.
It's virtual in the sense that SMA doesn't give a degree, and it's not an MIT degree. The formal degree when they walk away with their masters or doctorate is issued either by NUS or NTU. But in most other respects, it's an independent, autonomous engineering college.
We admit our own students. We define our own curriculum. We pass or fail our own students. We develop our own research activities, and so forth.
We have five-- they're basically academic departments. We call them programs. By the way, you may know English is the central language in Singapore. If you walk along the street, you may hear more Chinese than you'll hear English, but English is the language of business and the language of education. And we teach in English.
Well, that, of course, you've got to decide which English, whether it's American English or British English. And the Singaporeans are moving very quickly towards American and American English. But somehow we call our programs, we end it with an MES.
But there are five of them. We've been gearing up slowly. We admitted our first class just a year ago, July 1. And in two of our five departments, so to speak, or our programs, one was advanced materials and the other was in advanced computing. Actually, high performance computing for engineering systems.
The professional master's students of that program will already be graduating. And in July 21 we'll have our first graduation ceremony in Singapore. Meanwhile, we have admitted our students for next year, and we've geared up to one more program and that's manufacturing.
Those students will be arriving on campus in Singapore within a few weeks now, so we'll have three programs running next year. And at the moment we're formulating-- it takes a little time to get the coursework ready and so forth. We're formulating the final two programs, one in chemical engineering but with actually a biological and molecular emphasis, and then the fifth in computer science.
So these are the five programs. The collaboration will go for five years. Of course, could be continued if we decide to, and it's an exciting thing for all concerned.
One thing I'll just mention before moving on is that the faculty I've mentioned are part time with SMA and part time with one of the other institutions. In the case of MIT, each of these five programs has six FTEs. That is, well, I've got to define that.
It has six faculty members working half time so that a given faculty member will be teaching in the materials department, for example, and 50% of his or her activities will be in that department and 50% will be in SMA. Of course, you understand that we always manage to fit more than 100% in a year. In a week, I mean. So we have many interesting tensions.
The department heads aren't sure that they want our faculty to be doing too much in Singapore. And so we find some very interesting compromises where many of the things that we're able to do on this internet also overlap with things that benefit the individual departments. And it's worked out most successfully in that regard.
So at the end-- well, I should say, really, at the beginning of our first year-- that's last October. We had finished one summer of education. That's all. And most of that, we hadn't really geared up for the internet yet.
But we were all ready and we were practicing, ready to go, and we had a governing board meeting. That is, this independent institution is governed by a group of administrators from MIT and a group from Singapore. And that governing board met here early last fall, and we prepared a little video for them.
I'm sorry I don't have one more up to date, but I think this video will give you a little better idea of what it is that we're doing. If we could turn to the video.
- We have a vision for the Singapore MIT Alliance. It is a vision of a bold, new model for university collaboration. We aim to create world class academic programs in areas of strategic importance to Singapore and to the United States. We aim to form a new paradigm for distance collaboration in education, research, and technoprenuership.
SMA opened its doors on July 1, 1999 to its first class of 64 outstanding students, selected from an applicant pool of 500. After approximately a month of study in Singapore, most of these students came to MIT for a two and a half week period. The first two days, the pre-immersion period, exposed the students to technoprenuership activities at MIT with real examples of startups by MIT faculty and students. The remainder of this day, the immersion period, was spent continuing studies the students had begun in Singapore.
Not all was work. The students also got to see something of the broader life and culture of MIT and the Boston area, and also to engage in recreational activities, including an American barbecue, and a duck tour along Boston streets and waterways.
Following their stay at MIT, the students returned to Singapore to complete their summer term.
- SMA is a very pioneer program.
- Things are new here.
- It's a chance for me to do research.
- I guess the biggest impression I've had is actually the MIT spirit.
- The people here are very helpful.
- The faculty and the students--
- From MIT and Singapore.
- --they work together.
- Okay. So let us start. Can Singapore hear me?
- Beginning September 8th, we have held synchronous distance education classes, approximately four mornings and four evenings each week.
- Who is with me? Raise your hand. How about in Singapore?
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
- Classes on the MIT campus are attended by regular MIT students. The classes are delivered synchronously, using video conferencing and application sharing over Internet2 connections.
How is this done? We transmit two streams to Singapore from our classroom on the MIT campus. One stream consists of all cameras in the classroom, including cameras showing the presenter, the students, the chalkboard, and the document camera. These images appear on a large screen in the classroom in Singapore. The other stream handles just the computer-generated images, such as PowerPoint slides, animations, simulations, and other software used by the faculty in the classroom.
- And in this case, this is the optimal solution.
- These images appear on a second large screen in the classroom in Singapore. The resulting collaborative class sessions are of the highest quality, since the remote participants in Singapore receive all computer-generated slides and graphics on a separate screen and at the same resolution as those presented locally at MIT.
Asynchronous delivery is achieved by using a hybrid of two of MIT's predominant web delivery platform systems. Faculty and teaching assistants prepare all course materials and upload them onto the SMA course website. This includes lecture notes, quizzes, and announcements. Students access uploaded course materials and digitized lectures in both asynchronous and synchronous formats.
The system offers threaded discussion groups, interactive posting boards that can be sorted by topic, respondent, and other criteria, and calendars that include a full range of course information, including links to specific subject matter for class preparation on any given day.
In addition to the courses being delivered to students in Singapore, 15 SMA students from the advanced materials program are on campus this fall, taking courses with regular MIT students. They are also beginning research collaborations with their MIT thesis co-supervisor.
What does the future hold for the SMA program? Faculty in both MIT and Singapore are working hard, gearing up for the next academic program to go online.
- Do we have some ideas on how to do it?
- Innovations in manufacturing systems technology will commence next July. Preparations are being laid for two remaining programs to come a year later.
- My plans are maybe go back home, Singapore, and work for a startup.
- Starting up my own business.
- SMA is a very, very wonderful program.
- We should bring the spirit back to our country.
- Through these bright young SMA students, and with our Singaporean colleagues, we seek to build a world-class alliance in engineering education and research in Singapore. Through special emphasis on technoprenuership, we will be strong team players in Singapore's T21 initiative. We aim to have a positive impact on all three universities which host us, not least MIT, through enhancing the reach and worldview of its faculty, and through this close association with two other outstanding faculty and student bodies halfway around the world.
FLEMINGS: Well, let me just make a few final remarks on the way we view things now, where we're headed, how we feel about it. First of all, we're discovering a number of advantages we hadn't even thought very much about coming out of it. One of them is that our faculty who use all these modern PowerPoint slides and new approaches to education, other than the old blackboard that all of us were used to, are finding that the same kind of preparation, these same kind of materials can liven up the class that they teach here a great deal.
Secondly, we've been developing a number of cross departmental, interdepartmental subjects, bringing faculty together from a variety of different departments. I haven't had a chance to go into that. But those new subjects are going to impact our own education here.
We've had a number of, of course, already joint research publications even as well as some exciting ideas coming out of the collaborations that we've developed. And one company even about to be formed between our people here and there. We've been using up until now the distance education room in Dick Larson's shop, which he'll be talking about, but as we gear up that won't be nearly enough.
And so we're renovating other rooms, 1390 for those of you who might be from civil engineering. Probably 66110 before long and several others by the time we get done, both for SMA and for the similar alliance that we'll be developing with Cambridge University. We'll have four or five distance education rooms at-- well, several million dollars a piece is what they cost.
I could cite other advantages on the MIT side. Let me simply give you one example of how Singapore views this. The National University of Singapore, the main university, the most prestigious university, has just inaugurated its new president. A man named Fong Shih was inaugurated two days ago on June 1. And his speech that he gave was quite a marvelous document in where he wanted education and NUS to go in the future, and highlighted in that speech was the role that MIT is playing and that they're playing jointly with us.
So with that, thank you, and I turn the mic over to Dick Larson.
LARSON: Well, good afternoon, everybody. It's nice to see all of these red blazers here. I'm 15 years from that event myself. God willing, I'm looking forward to that.
But thank you so much for coming, those of you who are with red blazers. I'd like to give you a round of applause.
I'm class of '65, so I also know it's the 35th anniversary for that, the 35th reunion for that class. And I see some friends here in the audience. So I'm going to ask, Chuck, you there? You hear me? Okay.
What was new on the campus at that time, and what would be being broadcast on it at this very hour if we were listening? This is to Chuck McCallum, the CEO of-- now retired from AT&T Lucent, Bell Labs. I can't remember which version of this was--
LARSON: This is Saturday. Yeah.
AUDIENCE: Well, [INAUDIBLE]
LARSON: What was new on campus [INAUDIBLE]?
LARSON: It was our FM station, right?
AUDIENCE: Right, right. [INAUDIBLE]
LARSON: The FM Station. Does anyone recall what the original call letters were?
LARSON: You got it. Of course, we know where the WTBS currently is, in Atlanta, Georgia. It's in Atlanta, Georgia.
Well, so welcome all of those of you who are at different reunions. I'm happy to say, too, MIT is very similar to-- I can guarantee this-- to Christminster. Those who get to stay here for five years and then graduate certainly graduate with quote "no corrupt passions" unquote.
So with that, if you believe that-- okay. What we're going to be talking about today is a continuation of what Mert was discussing with the very exciting and innovative SMA program. I've had the privilege to direct this Center for Advanced Educational Services, CAES, for five years. And this will be a little bit of a tour of what we've been up to, but also nationally/internationally what some of the current developments are.
And let's have a context for distance education. There are many virtual universities right now where you can get degrees, bachelors, masters, PhDs. We heard about Walden University out of Naples, Florida. You'd never know it's from Naples, Florida.
You can go to their website. That happens to be their snail mail address. But you can get the PhD from anywhere by corresponding with them.
There are many corporate universities, over 1,000 now, corporate universities. Not just a McDonald's Hamburger U. Some of these are quite serious, and you can also get degrees from them, particularly masters and PhD degrees, from some of these corporate universities.
In the private sector, Glenn [INAUDIBLE] here in the audience, and he and his son and others keep a record adding two or three companies per week to an Excel spreadsheet of for-profit companies who are providing various kinds of products and services in the educational sector. And then we have the internet, which allows the communication between places.
And if you don't believe The Economist when they said five years ago, distance is dead, look at what Mert Fleming's just showed you with Singapore. We bring the Singaporean students in their own MIT Cambridge based classrooms daily, routinely during the school year by videoconferencing, by television.
And how do we do that TV image? By the internet. Not by satellite, not by ISDN or something else. That's internet television, using the Internet2.
So from a university's point of view, we have huge risk and huge opportunities. I tend to be an optimist so I see these as huge opportunities. Others might see it as huge risks.
So just to give you an example, in some of these new things that are happening in higher education happened before the internet. So we can't blame the internet on things if these are a little bit innovative or upsetting.
Professor Tom Eagar at MIT, used to be department head in material science, he has a course on welding which is very, very popular. Used to be taught at 7:00 in the morning over breakfast. And some General Motors students who are continuing education students in Michigan really liked his course and registered for the course, and that is part of their activity.
So the students would come-- and the GM students, continuing education master's science students at GM, would combine Tom Eagar's course with others from RPI, Purdue, Columbia, and University of Arizona to get their master's degree from Purdue. So mix and match, and that's been going on now for seven years.
National Technological University-- by the way, who knows the largest private university in the country today? What it is? University of Phoenix. Do you know how many students they have?
LARSON: It's more like 85,000 right now. University of Phoenix distributed in many, many states, coming into Massachusetts right now. Has a distance learning component as well as on campus component, but these campuses are distributed around. It's growing at about 24% per year. Their distance learning part is growing at almost 50% per year.
A wholly owned subsidiary of the Apollo Group, NASDAQ symbol APOL. Has always made money every quarter. Okay. So that's interesting the way things are changing, isn't it?
Now National Technological University, which was born in about 1969 or so, the oldest satellite TV university before the internet. They're getting internet savvy now, but they still use satellite. They broadcast credit and not-for-credit courses from brick and mortar universities, including MIT on occasion.
They graduate about 160 master's students per year, and the average student has taken courses from seven different brick and mortar universities, perhaps including MIT. You might ask, well, do they learn? On average their grade point average on a four point scale as 0.3 higher than the corresponding brick and mortar student counterparts.
University learning networks-- I think SMA is an example of that. We're now expanding-- the idea is to expand the university off the campus and join like-minded folks in universities elsewhere. MIT's tie to Singapore is certainly an exemplar of that, and a leading edge exemplar.
We're about to get involved with the University of Cambridge in the UK and do a similar scale thing, but have different aspects to it, including junior year abroad for 50 of our students. So we're likely to have soon-- not this coming academic year but the one after that-- 50 MIT students spend junior year abroad at University of Cambridge and visa versa, 50 of them come here. We'll have some distance learning back and forth across the pond, as they say.
There is the MIT Singapore alliance. You saw all of that before. But it is, as Mert said, the world's largest point-to-point distance learning and research collaboration program that we're aware of, and the largest industrial strength use of Internet2.
Electronic cross registration. For many, many years, Harvard, MIT, and Wellesley have shared the courtesy of cross registration for their students. And I think this is mutual respect and geographical proximity.
And so typically I might have students cross registered at Harvard, or I have some Harvard students in some of my classes. But now the need for geographical proximity to do that is dead. You can electronically cross register using the internet, and that's happening more and more.
And there are websites-- if any of you are interested I can give them to you. You can see hundreds of courses on the web. So local monopolies supported by geography are vanishing.
One could speculate there could be an entrepreneur who might have $100 million, or maybe $200 or $300, who might want to buy 500 acres in Costa Rica or some other pleasant warm place, and build a campus and lots of facilities. Athletic and teaching and learning. Invite lots of mentors down there, including recently retired folks. Maybe professors on sabbatical from brick and mortar universities, and a lot of musicians and artists and poets.
And also put up a sign saying, this is an Ivy League plus, Ivy plus place. It's going to be just as hard to get into as Harvard, MIT, or Princeton, or Stanford. And you come here, and your learning will even be better than any of those places, because you can take your classes from best in class.
There'll be no regular faculty here. There'll be lots of adult mentors to transition you between age 18 and 22 to become independently operated adult, but the classes you take will be from all those Ivy plus universities over Internet2. And there you go.
This is just pure speculation, but I wouldn't be surprised to see something like this announced within the next five years. Somebody might try this.
Another focus, though, is that people get confused between distance learning and what we call technology-enabled education. Technology-enabled education, I think, is more interesting and also benefits the on campus students as much as the off campus students.
And basically technology-enabled education is creating learning environments for our students that couldn't be created before because of the technology that's around. So one of the things is that if-- this is one of my favorite little drawings. In 1837 the first steam engine to go on tracks in the United States went 13 miles between Albany, New York and Schenectady. It's called the Dewitt Clinton.
This is it. An exact replica of it exists in Dearborn, Michigan today. I actually touched it a few months ago. I was out there in the Ford Museum.
And so they had the steam engine. They had the tracks, but nobody had given any thought to, well, I think we have to tow something here. We have this thing called railroad cars, but nobody had designed them so the only thing they could think of was stage coaches.
So they took these stage coaches. They took the horses away and put the wheels on so they said they'd be rigid. They'd stay on them. And in a sense, that's what we're doing now in a lot of distance learning.
We're taking the chalk and talk, passive listening lectures mode that's been the primary mode of teaching and learning in universities for centuries, and putting it onto this 21st century technology. So you might call it 12th century teaching in the 21st century technological environment.
And so there's a lot of centuries to catch up, and a lot of things we can do differently now. And that's very exciting applied research, and MIT is involved in that a lot of different ways.
And so the words on the left are the words that we thought of when we were taught, when we went through MIT. And the words on the right are new words, which is a learner focused, active learning, asynchronous which is all synchronous learning, accomplishing a goal rather than teaching the students material, these sorts of things. And there's lots of experimentation in this past year.
MIT has virtually exploded with this with the d'Arbeloff funds and the iCampus funds from the Microsoft alliance. And there are many faculty around now who are doing very, very innovative, interesting things in this area.
We're also interested in that area applied to lifelong learning. And particularly for this audience, looking to our alumni to see what the alumni would like to have from MIT in terms of lifelong connection to MIT, perhaps using the internet as the primary connecting vehicle. The research I was talking about is basically, how do you match pedagogy and technology so you can get a specific knowledge domain?
It can be calculus. It could be Shakespeare, whatever it is, into a best learning environment for whatever group you're talking about. If it's alumni, if it's college undergraduates, if it's K-12. And this matching a pedagogy with technology to deliver a certain knowledge domain to a certain set of learners is an active, very, very fast growing active research enterprise here at MIT, and bringing in a lot of disciplines that you wouldn't think might apply there, including my own discipline of operations research.
Now one of the areas where we're doing some really innovative stuff is in Shakespeare. You wouldn't believe this, but Professor Peter Donaldson has an online video archive, an imaging archive, allowing the students at MIT to learn Shakespeare in this way. If I had more time, I would explain more details. But we can do that after, if you'd like.
We also have-- most of you remember what 801 is?
AUDIENCE: Oh, yeah.
LARSON: Okay. Freshman physics, one of the hardest courses on campus. It still has a 15% failure rate, unfortunately. Down slightly this past year.
And so we're trying to focus on that and create a better learning environment there. Some students who can afford it actually hire human tutors. So what we try to do is create a virtual tutor on the web.
And that's the Pivot Project, and there's Professor Walter Lewin teaching this thing, physics interactive video tutor. It's a million dollar project. It was funded primarily from an anonymous donor plus equipment from IBM.
And basically we have a keyword. You take a keyword and you click on it, and we'll show you all kinds of media from little snippets of lectures, or from Professor Lewin working out problems. The other kinds of things that could help you-- the real life Professor Lewin maybe sleeping at 3 o'clock in the morning, but you can bring him up on your desktop in your dorm room or your fraternity.
It's a highly interactive, student-directed, non-linear learning environment. It means that no two students traverse this in the same way, and it's got loads of helpful things on it.
Professor John Belcher in the physics department has more than a million dollars now dedicated and allocated to teaching electromagnetism, 802, in better ways. Two better ways, one animation simulation visualization-- here's an example right here-- and also studio learning.
They're going to ban large lectures out of 26100 in about a year or so for 802, and they're going to have very active studio environments where the students learn electromagnetism by accomplishing goals by sitting in partnerships at the computer in various learning environments.
Real virtual lab. Now there's a picture of our old lab, but we have Professor Jesus de Alamo, EECS, who now has a microelectronics lab on the web. And we've had students from Singapore, part of the SMA program, actually, conduct microelectronics experiments at MIT by setting up the lab equipment automatically on the web from Singapore.
So we have a research question. If you had some web-based tutors that have laboratory experience, animation simulation, people talking with you, answering questions, would this really improve learning? And so this is one of the central research areas that we're looking at.
So to you, our alumni, we have some questions. A number of us think that MIT should focus next its major next strategic initiative in distance learning to you folks. You're here for four years or five years.
I'm glad to hear that. So we're hoping in the Q&A we might get some response from you as to what you would like. Here's some examples. What postgraduate educational services would have been or would be now useful to you? And can we talk about it?
And so here's some options. One, we could have the whole course catalog, all these courses, available to you on the internet. I don't think that would be that interesting, but there is one example. We could have these short, intensive, one week professional institute summer session things available to you that way.
We could have something which we've called MIT World. MIT World would be a 24 hour a day, seven day week TV station on the internet showing you what's going on at MIT that week. Our best lectures, events, public colloquia and seminars, broadcast to you. User protected, password protected, so only you or alumni could see these things.
AUDIENCE: Reality TV.
LARSON: You mean we would go with the hackers as they climb up on the dome and do the latest things? I like that.
Active learning modules for updating you in your majors, or getting you accustomed to new things like molecular biology. Or how about this for a thing. You've heard of the HMO. How about an EMO, Educational Maintenance Organization?
Have your employer donate to this on a monthly basis, tax advantage menu, cafeteria account. And from that you can have both emergency care and regular care from MIT.
So we can talk about all those things. If I have time-- I don't wear a watch so I never know how late I am. But if we have-- I have a five minute video I'd like to summarize this little presentation with.
Do we have time to do that? Let's do the five minute video. Okay.
- MIT, one of the world's preeminent research universities, known for both educational excellence and cutting-edge research. Dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship. MIT, educating for the future.
Graduate students in MIT's System Design and Management program, or SDM, are trained to become engineers who can lead. Instructed through video conference and web-based courses as well as on campus sessions, these practicing engineers learn a holistic view of systems and new product development. The Institute's first degree-granting distance education program, SDM awards master's degrees jointly given by MIT's schools of engineering and management.
Using leading edge technologies, the Singapore MIT alliance is pioneering a new standard for global collaboration in graduate engineering education and research. MIT and Singapore's two leading universities, the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, are working together to develop and deliver programs to students 12 time zones away. Students learn from materials, including live and archived video, available 24 hours a day via Internet2.
- If you're in the right place at the right time, you are watching a course on internet commerce.
- Working professionals, now lifelong learners, can also take educational programs from MIT while they're at work. In partnership with PBS the Business Channel, MIT's Center for Advanced Educational Services provides non-credit professional development to thousands of learners.
- --and of those areas may be quick adapters--
- Students receive video-based education on their computer desktops, or in their company's training center via satellite broadcast and streaming web video.
What if students could customize web-based class materials to fit their own learning styles? MIT's hypermedia teaching facility creates and evaluates new types of desktop education to give students a richer, more interactive learning experience.
- All different kinds of media enhancement.
- Directed by Dr. Nishikant Sonwalkar, HTF also instructs on campus and remote participants from industry, government, and universities in creating learning applications, and why the web is a good choice.
- Very good. Very good.
- Imagine having your favorite professor around to answer your questions anytime, day or night.
- I'm signing on to Pivot now. And I'll begin number one.
- MIT's physics interactive video tutor does just that. The Pivot Project, directed by Professor Richard Larson, lets students have virtual conversations with physics professor Walter Lewin.
- And you can even ask the question, with what speed do they hit [INAUDIBLE]?
- On an interactive website, students ask questions and receive video tutorials customized specifically for their needs.
- I would like to do a demonstration and show this to you, but ultimately, you will have to do it.
- In the future if you can't come to the lab, the lab will come to you. Professor Jesus Del Alamo and his team are making a real microelectronics testing laboratory available online to students from anywhere at anytime, 24 hours a day. This will revolutionize science and engineering education by providing greater access to state-of-the-art labs, including at other institutions.
Making sense of complex content, such as foreign culture, is a challenging task. With the hypermedia documentary Berliner sehen, students can investigate cultural material from multiple perspectives, create their own mini documentaries, and collaborate with other students. The program, developed by Dr. Kurt Bent and Ms. Ellen Crocker, features on location video and authentic historical documents depicting Berlin's cultural, social, and political life.
Now delve into the Far East. Soon you will be able to travel into 20th century China with the Long Bow China archive, a digital collection of video, images, articles, even hundreds of hours of music. When complete, it will give scholars access to one of the most comprehensive visual archives covering the last 100 years of life in China.
- To be or not to be, that is the question.
- With the Shakespeare Electronic Archive, students can experience the world's greatest plays in a brand new way.
- Using an extensive digital library, students create their own multimedia essays from early Shakespearean texts, as well as stage and film versions.
- --can create a resource for scholars.
- Led by Professor Peter Donaldson, the MIT team has also created an internet prototype that lets students share their projects over the web.
Future students may learn engineering in a different way. Under a model proposed by MIT aeronautics and astronautics, students will get engineering fundamentals while also learning real world systems and products. The initiative will include an exploration of distance collaboration in design courses using desktop video conferencing as a tool to teach, design, and communicate. People from remote locations will work together on common design projects.
Innovation, educational excellence, cutting-edge research. MIT, educating for the future.
[END VIDEO PLAYBACK]
LARSON: I do hope during the Q&A we have some chance to hear from you about what kinds of educational products and services you'd like from MIT. Thank you very much.
WINDER: That seems like an even harder act to follow than a linguist. If we could, we'll tee up here. I wanted to start with a little light motif of music hall or movie house, but also show that when we talk about the future of Physical U that you can actually jam a spell check or two.
I don't want to make too much of music hall or movie house. The question of clicks or mortar and what is the future of the physical university. Or is it clicks and mortar? Is it bricks and mortar? What's it going to be? Just brought to mind-- as I think David said, I have a bit of a show business background. And so I think in terms of music halls and movie houses and so on.
And if you think about the university as, is it in this situation of a music hall or a theater was in the 1920s or 1930s when movies started to come into view? When, for example, on Broadway there were 336 shows playing on Broadway consistently year by year in 1927-- I think 1929. There were 336 Broadway shows. And, of course, today there are 20 perhaps. Many of them revivals, by the way.
Movie houses, because I was at Disney, I also thought about that. When we were very worried in the-- let's see. I was there in the 1980s. There were about 20,000 movie screens in the country.
And we said, boy. Cable, VCR. I mean, the video cassette recorder came in, and for the first time people used their TV more for watching pre-recorded videocassettes than they were watching actual TV programming.
And you had cable coming in, and you had satellite television. We said, that's it for the movie business. And screens have gone up pretty consistently 2% to 4% per year since.
So you say, well, Why is that? And in a sense that's a little bit what's the question for schools.
So this is to prove that maybe if I'd applied, I might have come to MIT and been able to do the work. It's kind of an engineering drawing. This is actually borrowed from one of our professors, Clay Christensen.
Now I'm going to do a shameless plug as well. If you haven't read The Innovator's Dilemma, it's a wonderful book. The subtitle here is When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, but you can substitute in firms or organizations, institutions, schools.
Because it's kind of interesting. Just a week ago-- all of you, I'm sure, subscribe to USA Today. But there is an article called "Will Business Schools Go Out Of Business?" And it talks about what Merton and Dick were talking about in terms of technology-enabled distance learning. What is this going to do for us, to us?
And there was this nice quote here from Clay Christensen, the author, who said, "Harvard has become a finishing school for consultants and investment bankers." Ouch. So you think about that and what are you doing.
Now what does that have to do with this drawing? This is some of Clay's work in which he's basically saying that there is a band of performance that the market wants at any given time. And over time that tends to move up. There are suppliers who have a band of competence that they deliver at various price points, and that moves up over time.
And his primary thesis is, and over time you begin to overshoot what your customers really want. You keep getting better and better and better at it, and that's his observation about, are you really creating really at Harvard Business School, where I spend time now, are you making it too good? Too good that you really move away from the market, that you overshoot.
That, in fact, people-- that we can bring a lot more into the classroom. We can use a lot more technologies. And we're doing that, by the way. We really believe in that, make it the best experience possible.
But then it also costs more. It takes more out of people. It's maybe more intense.
And ultimately the question becomes, is this for the elite few? I'm not well versed on Thomas Hardy, but who gets to go to the university then at that point. And he says what happens inevitably is that alternatives start to come up, often technology enabled.
Much of his work was around the computer industry, and he noted that, for example, at IBM in the 1970s they said the PC, this is a toy. It doesn't do what big blue iron does. And, in fact, they're absolutely right. It didn't.
But it started to pick off some of these opportunities, some of these lower elements in the band of performance that was desired, and it could serve those well. And gradually it got better on its own track. And as big machines were overshooting the market, the small machines got better and better. And eventually, where would you rather be these days?
So it's a very useful metaphor for thinking about any kind of demand supply situation. In fact, I think when we talk about education-- when most of us think about education, certainly when I do, I think of the first customer as being a student, right? And now why does the student go? To get an education, to learn a skill, education learning in some broad sense. Everyone went to MIT for that.
Probably also went to get a degree, to get a credential that they could use. Maybe they went to get away from their parents. And maybe they went to find a spouse. Or it just happened.
They got a network. They met some friends, people probably in this room now, who you've worked together, perhaps, in various times in different ways over 10, 20, 50 years. Get a job or get a better job.
Yeah, I went to school to get an education. But we want to get a good job. In fact, [INAUDIBLE] get a better job.
In 1980, 28% of the students, learners, in the post-secondary environment were under the age of 25. In 1995, 43% of them were. They've either gone out and worked, coming back, getting a better job.
Get a life, get an identity. I think all of us probably here think about their MIT association as a very important part of who they are and what they are, and what they will do and have done. I certainly feel that way about my alma mater.
So the point here, [INAUDIBLE] sure there's many more as well that when we think about that performance demand, what is it that people are looking for? We think immediately education. In the university context, particularly at the undergraduate level, I think, it can be quite a mix of things.
And indeed, there are other customers of the university. There are corporations. In thinking and looking at your website, I found that MIT has some $300 million annually of funded research. And as we all know, tuition itself, if we think about the student as the customer, the student pays for less than half at even the most robust level, at any university, maybe half of what it costs to run the place. Probably somewhat less, increasingly less.
MIT as a research institute has done-- realized importantly and is-- what can I do for you?
There was a subtle message in this shirt, by the way. I don't know if you can read this, but it says Docent, which is one of these learning platforms that Harvard Business School Publishing just did a deal with. And they pay me $2.50 every time I wear the shirt in public.
So there are corporations and government, as we said, in that $300 million of funded research. A very big part of what the university is, and in sense a customer of the university.
Their alumni. Indeed, I don't know of any top tier institution who doesn't succeed without the support of the alumni. I even noticed on that same MIT site that you're in the midst of a $1.5 billion fund-raising campaign.
One of the things that Dick pointed to and where I think there really is this disruptive quality to what's going on now-- and Dick's slides, I thought, were terrific in laying out 600 companies in the for profit world and the technology enabled versus distance learning. There in David's early comments about some of these companies, and Apollo being the largest enrollment.
Well, I guess, yeah. 85,000. We'll put it right up there. There may be a couple of state universities that are at that range, too. But there's something fundamentally different going on with the pedagogy when you go towards technology enabled, and particularly e-learning or distance learning.
Which is that in the kind of traditional model, we have that the intellectual expertise and the delivery of the intellectual expertise is embodied in one person. So typically you have someone who really knows their stuff, and it's so and so's course on. Now they may have teaching assistants, and they'll use other materials and so on, but in the technology world that unbundles. And there's a new role.
You have the intellectual capital creation, the expertise. You have the instructional designer, which all of a sudden is a new role that frankly is very uncomfortable certainly for the content expert, because it's giving up. It's ceding control over to this new entity.
And the delivery can also be unbundled. Once you instructionally design something, someone else can deliver your course. And so fundamentally you start now to get folks that specialize in those different capabilities, and that creates change.
The big question, of course, as this evolves is, will new technologies displace traditional suppliers of learning? Is it a threat? And Dick referred to an optimist or a pessimist. It kind of remind-- sorry, one quick joke. But it's the story, what's an optimist? When they see a glass of water and it's filled to the mid-level, it is half full. And a pessimist is?
AUDIENCE: Half empty.
WINDER: And a re-engineering consultant?
WINDER: Twice as much glass as you need.
So will we displace the existing supply, or will the demand for learning increase? In a sense, if we go back to that chart is there under this level of demand or in the disaggregating are there good enough applications of the specialized applications that people will want?
I'm also an optimist. By the way, my answer to that is it's both. I think some universities are going to be hammered.
It's interesting. There was one closure, I guess, Bradford. I didn't know Bradford, but you see that last week or a few weeks ago.
And I said, oh. It's happening. And then at the same time there's a new engineering school that's being announced, Olin. Anybody know about this one? Apparently they're going to fund it. You do, maybe you--
WINDER: Okay. They're going to fund in perpetuity free tuition for everyone who goes there. Kind of an interesting idea. So clearly this is a space that is going to shake up.
And the question is where will you come out? I don't mean by that MIT. I think you're pretty clear on that. I mean, there is-- what are the options?
You've talked about research focused institution, but clearly you're a full service institution service provider. When I said full social service provider, I was referring back to the transformational process, particularly the undergraduate level, that I think students want, or at least some segment of the student population wants.
Local market resellers. If you think about smaller schools that don't have reputation, that don't have world class faculty, what are the choices open to them? They can become a local market reseller of materials, course materials produced by others. Because as you think about that, where is intellectual capital created? Where is it instructionally designed and made into, in the old days, textbooks, but now something much more robust that it can be delivered potentially locally?
And by the way, the distance learning and technology enabled learning is not about the death of the teacher. It's not about the removal of what has been called human ware from the educational process. Because the most successful programs, and I would predict this here, will be hybrids of both.
They will take advantage of the personalization that technology can provide, of the communities of interest on the fly that it can provide, of the rupture of time and space, synchronicity. But the single most important thing to date in all e-learning experiments has been the quality of interaction of the learner with the human intervention, with the teacher, the facilitator, the instructor, the professor, specialized learning centers or something else.
So where will it come out? That's something that every school is going to have to decide. And it sounds as though it's something you all are thinking of.
Just a last footnote to close out. There are approximate 3,700 post-secondary institutions representing $240 billion annual flow. 98% of that is not-for-profit. David, to you. Thanks.
WARSH: Well, that was terrific. Let's have some questions, and let's see if we can get some differences of opinion going. Yes?
AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] you made reference to displacement versus increased demand for learning. I suspect a lot of what will determine that [INAUDIBLE] the economics that underlie this. If one looks at the mid or 500 [INAUDIBLE] demand for production, at some level the dollars available to fund production, distribute it, advertising is unchanged to some degree.
So what you've seen in some cases is a reduction in the production budgets for many kinds of applications. We haven't even talked about, again, displacement versus increased demand as a similar thing. [INAUDIBLE] where are the dollars [INAUDIBLE] productivity gains paid for?
WINDER: I'm not sure entirely I entirely understand the question, but I guess if I think about demand it's global. For example, I think what you see with MIT going to Singapore, that's something that wouldn't happen. To me, that represents arguably new demand.
I think the continuous learning cycle-- I mean, people know that this is-- that if they want-- the economy is moving on. It's much more of a knowledge economy. It sounds trite, but it's very, very true.
The half life of information is shorter. They know they need to come back. They can get it in bite-sized chunks without the residential requirement for it, so it's just more accessible.
Gosh. I mean, I think people will just simply want more because it's more accessible. And I really think we're already seeing the evidence of that.
AUDIENCE: Presumably that implies people are going to spend more for that. [INAUDIBLE] people will allocate their resources differently have to invest more.
WINDER: Well, my guess is that the first big wave will be much more in corporate spending, whether it's in the technical area, the engineering areas, or whether it's in the-- certainly the market that I spend most of my time thinking about is management science.
Yeah. On that, it's a really interesting question about who will pay for it. We looked at this-- the average managerial person will spend $321 of their own money per year on quote "education."
That will change dramatically if, for example, I know that by getting a C++-- if I can program in C++ or direct in Macromedia, I can get a $10,000 salary increase. So I think the economics in the first wave will be very much driven by the employment market.
WARSH: Good. Who else? Sir?
AUDIENCE: Kind of practical question to Richard Larson. [INAUDIBLE] started [INAUDIBLE]?
LARSON: How do you start to tap into the things that are available now?
AUDIENCE: We as alumni.
LARSON: Well, a lot of alumni who I've spoken with said that they really want to come back to MIT, but they want to do it from their current residence where it could be Colorado, California, Florida or wherever. Not just on some reunion that divides by five or 10 from their class. And talking about this, the idea of these public seminars and colloquia and special events, if we could broadcast the most wide-ranging of those, the things that we think would be most interesting to you, would you be interested in that?
We call it MIT World. Would you be interested--
AUDIENCE: Can i interrupt? Could you bring up your last slide on the screen, because I think the question is addressed to that but I think you're answering from the slide.
LARSON: Can we switch to the Macintosh?
LARSON: Well, if you go to the MIT Alumni Association website, as of either this past week or next week we will have on there some very interesting videos for you that are archival from our history, including Winston Churchill's visit to MIT in the late '40s, et cetera et cetera. However, so you do think that this MIT World might be interesting? If we had like a TV guide to it, show you hour by hour through the week, 24 hours a day.
And we're not going to have 24 hours a day of new content, but we might have maybe six to eight new lectures, special events, an event like has occurred here today. Some of these events there for you. Well, so how many think this might be interesting to you? Okay.
WINDER: Ask them if they'll pay for it?
LARSON: Okay. I'm happy to announce that this will become a reality September 1 of this year.
LARSON: If I could just finish this, not to be facetious. What we are currently doing now, there is a joint program proposal from the Alumni Association, from Corporate Relations headed by Karl Coster and my center. CAES, and we are seeking five corporate founding partners to fund this at $100,000 per year for the first year. To do this will cost us $500,000. And I'm happy to announce that we have the first signatory this week, and we have two others that are just about to sign. So we're just looking for two more.
We hope to be able to close this out on June 30th. Even if we don't have all five, we're going to go live anyway in September with maybe a reduced thing and get this going. So this will be up for you.
This will be offered by those three programs, the ILP, Corporate Relations, and the Alumni Association, NCAS, as of September of this year. And we're hoping this is just the first of many, many educational products and services. This will be available to you for no charge in the future.
AUDIENCE: Will you send us emails, the class of '50. Would you like [INAUDIBLE] telling us September 1st?
LARSON: We will when it's announced. This is the first public announcement of this today. So? We haven't had it yet.
AUDIENCE: $500,000 buys you one year?
LARSON: Buys us one year. So we'll have to find $500,000 every year to do this.
LARSON: What is this product?
LARSON: On the MIT campus during the school year from September through May, if you go to Tech Talk-- if you read Tech Talk, or Tech Talk is now on the web so you can go see Tech Talk on the web. You can go to the MIT web pages and see it. There are announced every week many, many public seminars, talks, special events, colloquia, that are open to the public.
And the typical attendance at these things is 20 to 50, I would say. And sometimes we bring in-- the Sloan School brings in CEOs of Fortune 100 companies. We bring in dignitaries from other countries, or faculty members here that are talking about breakthroughs in bioengineering or something like this.
One reason that we can't put that on a public access website is because of the myriad copyright problems with all of that video and imaging content. There are like 300 or 400 copyright holders of all the stuff that we have here. Under the fair use doctrine, we can use that for our on campus students. But if we put it on the web we have to clear all those copyrights.
And that is a problem that every major university is having right now. And we're hoping that maybe Congress or the universities themselves can get together with copyright holders and come up with some clearinghouse, some standard way of dealing with us. Right now that's a real problem with the Shakespeare content.
AUDIENCE: I would assume that that's a major problem with faculty members to give their intellectual lecture and then have it be used by the university on an indefinite basis [INAUDIBLE], with or without compensation. What are some of the issues that you must get into when you have these kind of things [INAUDIBLE]?
FLEMINGS: Well, I think Dick and I probably are going to give you about the same answer on that. And that is that a lot of us, both on the legal side of the house and on the academic side of the house and on the administration side of the house, are trying to figure out what to do about that right now.
LARSON: Well, at CAS where we have to produce things and distribute them, often under business models that at least break even, sometimes actually create positive revenue which we reinvest in other educational products and services, we have the faculty sign contracts with us. And the contracts typically separate the realization of a particular hour, let's say, from our TV studios. With the realization of an hour where they might be talking about e-commerce or supply chain management or project manager or something like that.
That hour that's from our TV studios, and the compression of it on the web and the related website, MIT owns the copyright to. However, the intellectual content that went into that hour, the faculty member retains ownership of. And we've had very few faculty members have any problem signing that kind of arrangement.
FLEMINGS: Yeah. But we have no general rule as yet.
WARSH: Can we just sort of stay in that area?
AUDIENCE: One thing--
AUDIENCE: --would be Alumni Association staff is in the next about three weeks will be merging the A and S site.
[INAUDIBLE]? Along with the Alumni Association site, which it sounds like is still live. But one of the implications of it is we then have a database with everyone who's on [INAUDIBLE] so that you can notify people. And also when you look, you will have a home page which we'll talk about.
You can quickly link with things going on at the Institute. So it will become a base from which we can do more. But these things do take time and take some money, and we've got about 30,000, 40,000 alumni who are now dependent on email [INAUDIBLE].
We don't have backup and maintenance or whatever, we could have a real disaster. These things are much simpler to talk about then to get done.
AUDIENCE: I'd like to go to a different area that hasn't been discussed here. That is, undergraduate education. I understand that there are going to be a lot of corporate things and masters things, but what about undergraduate education? When are we going to [INAUDIBLE] what we can be a really revolutionary change in undergraduate education, having basically undergraduates who are on campus and undergraduates who are off campus?
Economics are going to drive us in that direction. And where MIT's [INAUDIBLE]?
WARSH: That's a really good question. Dick, you spoke to that most directly in terms of methods.
LARSON: Okay. Some of what I talked about and some of what was in the video that I showed talked very specifically about undergraduates. 801 is really changing because of the Pivot Project. 802 is changing because of visualization animation simulation and then studio courses.
By the way, studio courses were made popular-- by studio courses I mean there's no large lectures, and the students meet for three hours once a week in a technology-enabled reconfigurable classroom that typically has 70 to 80 students, one faculty member who is allowed to speak only for five minutes at the beginning. That's it.
And then the students usually sit in pairs or triples or fours in front of a computer that has software that's very user friendly that is set up to help them achieve a goal during those three hours to show that their expertise in that knowledge, in that theory, or whatever, by achieving a goal in that technology enabled environment. That was made popular at RPI in the mid '90s. And Jack Wilson and others at RPI, they won every conceivable award for innovation in undergraduate teaching and in engineering universities. So the studio model is what we're trying now with 802 and John Belcher.
There is a revolution going on, a positive revolution going on the MIT campus. Because now with the Microsoft money from the iCampus Initiative, which is $5 million a year, and the d'Arbeloff funds which are going in this area as well, and some others, some provost discretionary money, there is an order of magnitude of $7 to $8 million a year that are being focused on on-campus education and learning. The huge majority of that being undergraduate.
So the very exciting thing is you have faculty members from virtually every one of the five schools now who have bought into this, and who are now viewing the idea of how my students learn as an interesting intellectual challenge. So in addition to the usual research, they're going to do research on that for, perhaps, the first time in their life and explore some of these new venues. So I think if you think of that going on for five years, five years from now, this would be a much different place in terms of teaching and learning, and hopefully much improved.
AUDIENCE: When will you be ready to [INAUDIBLE] having enough content [INAUDIBLE] have off-campus--
WARSH: [INAUDIBLE] on the west coast branch [INAUDIBLE] and double the undergraduate population?
LARSON: I have not heard of any discussion of people who want to do that, although there are these international networking arrangements with research and teaching like we have with the SMA program. We're about to have with the University of Cambridge in the UK. But I haven't heard anyone talk about MIT opening a West Coast branch, or a branch in another continent for undergraduate education.
FLEMINGS: Let me give you the sense of the faculty, as I understand it, at this time. And that is that MIT would not want to give a degree at any level to a person without that person spending a major part of the educational activity here on campus. That's true even at the graduate level where I don't know what the ratio is that will do it now. Maybe a master's degree half out, half in.
But undergraduate, I think that the ratio would have to be very largely on campus in terms of the current sense of the faculty of the institution.
WARSH: So that means the bricks aspect of this is really very important. That it's not scalable [INAUDIBLE].
FLEMINGS: Well, that is-- the future is the future, but I believe that's the sense of the faculty right now. That the MIT diploma which you all have and I have is something that came from not only the lecture but the culture that we have here. And so far as I know, the sense of the faculty is that the world has not progressed far enough in a different direction that we should change that requirement.
AUDIENCE: Can I speak to that for a moment, please? I'm involved in the SDM program, and I have had from the beginning. And there are a few dark sides to it.
And one of them is that I sense that the companies don't know the difference between education and training. And I think this is something we have to drive home. [INAUDIBLE] here. They can get training by remote.
And when the students come on campus for their semester on campus, and they spend an hour a week with me talking and getting to dialogue back and forth, how I think and how it affects how they think, they start to talk to me. And they start to tell me that suddenly they understand what the difference is.
They'll never be able to explain it to their boss. They despair being able to explain it to their boss.
Maybe I'm old fashioned. Maybe you're old fashioned. There is something about the on-campus experience that can't be replaced. The growth of academe is real.
The dark side is very, very serious. The companies want the students to work full time at their job and do an MIT education. We've had divorces. We've had people delay their degrees.
We have to keep in mind that from the outside this may look very different than the way it looks on the inside. And we have to learn how to teach the customers on the outside, and how we make the best use of this technology so that it gets all the benefits that we want it to have.
FLEMINGS: I agree. I just want to say that I totally agree. There's so much to learn in this area. And there's very different kinds of distance education, too.
There's the SDM program, which goes out to separate companies in multiple locations. There's the Singapore Program, which is very different where they do have a home and a cohort. And there are other models, too, that we'll be experimenting with over the years ahead.
LARSON: Can I add something to this--
WARSH: Yes, please.
LARSON: --as well? The fact that we are not planning to open a West Coast version of MIT doesn't mean that we don't have some plans to take these new educational technology products and services and have some leadership impact nationally, internationally. The Green Book Series, which came out of the electrical engineering department in the late '50s and early '60s, redefined the teaching of engineering as engineering science. It was motivated primarily by the experience in World War II and then Sputnik.
World War II where the inputs into applied R&D in a fast environment by electrical engineers were woefully inadequate compared to what the physicists were doing. And it was felt that we weren't training engineers from a general perspective.
Anyway, to make a long story short, we had a major impact on teaching of engineering education in the late '50s, early 60s as a result of the Green Book series. There have been several other series since then.
If you could think about it today, the Pivot Project, for instance, the electromagnetism work we're doing. There are plans for distributing those with a business model analogous to what a publisher would do previously. But now it's a web-based product and service.
And we hoped that the Pivot Project, for instance, the Pivot thing, might be available to students at 100 different colleges and universities a year from now. In fact, we're experimenting in the fall not only with MIT students, but also Wellesley students, NRPI students, who are all going to have access to Pivot.
AUDIENCE: I wonder, thinking back to Jude and his desire to go to the shiny university up there. Does anybody really here have the feeling-- I had a son who was in MIT's class of '88. so he graduated from high school in 1984, which in some ways it's just eons ago.
Does anybody know if the current 18-year-old, or how many of the current 18-year-olds, have a desire to go to this shiny university, or are they completely happy with what I, as an adult who has had so many rich experiences particularly at a small women's undergraduate college where I got my science degree? Do these contemporary young people feel enthralled with this more highly technical, computerized videoized wonderful way of learning?
But are you going to be able to get them involved on campus with some of the older faculty-- I don't want to say older. Which some of the faculty feel is a very important thing. I certainly feel it's very important, but how do the young people feel?
WARSH: Merton, you've got the longest base line of experience in this. How do the undergraduates stack up?
FLEMINGS: I think there must be as many different kinds of undergraduates as there are of all the rest of us. But the kids who come to MIT, they love it. It seems to me there were several things in what you were saying.
But they love the pressure the way they always did. They love it and they hate it, but they're here for it and they know it's here.
They love the new things. They love the educational technologies. Now that's on the campus, not the distance sort of thing. But what they like somewhere else, I don't know.
AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] the ratio of applications to available spots has never been higher. [INAUDIBLE] question. The interest in getting into MIT, the ratio of people wanting to to the slots available has never been higher.
WARSH: [INAUDIBLE] Institution in all this is the admissions committee so far. I was struck by the Singapore Project's ratio of 500 to 60 places or something like that. Isn't the work that the admissions committee [INAUDIBLE] generalized continues to do for these well-respected universities still very, very important? Doesn't matter quite a lot how many or how few you let in?
FLEMINGS: [INAUDIBLE] Well, there are some 56,000 students a year with what SAT scores above 1,400, I think it is. And those 56,000 students are most of them trying to get into the top 10 universities. The admissions committees have at the best universities, Harvard included--
--have two jobs. That's to pick out the right ones out of that pool, because they're all so bright. And the right ones, they define that in a lot of different ways appropriately.
It's to pick out the right ones, but then it's to attract them, too. There's two parts to that job is to choose and then attract. And the same with the Singapore Project.
AUDIENCE: I'm not too much worried about the Harvard and MIT students. They're so bright, even if you do something wrong it's still going to turn out right.
I've spent 43 years in higher education, a little bit at MIT. Just a little bit. And let's take another model that corresponds a little bit about the question about undergraduate education.
Let's take a Midwestern State University where the state mandates that anybody who graduates from a high school has to be admitted, and they're studying electrical engineering, computer science, or something like that. And how does this apply to them? Some of them probably-- the very good students are as good as the MIT and Harvard students. That's okay.
But the bulk are really not [INAUDIBLE] remedial help. But the stuff that you make for 801 is not going to help them, because they can't teach 801 there because it's too high powered for them. Except for some of the best students in a very selected senior physics course. So how do you export this to a school like that?
FLEMINGS: [INAUDIBLE] the RPI model.
WARSH: Jonathan, that question is for you.
WINDER: Dick sidled up to the microphone.
LARSON: That's cause Mert pushed me there.
WINDER: I have some thoughts on it as well.
LARSON: Well, I think, first of all, MIT doesn't necessarily see as its role, contributing directly to those universities, those institutions. However, even without that being a central part of MIT's role, let's take the Pivot Project which you mentioned. Half of the $1 million that we spent creating Pivot was to create a generic software infrastructure that supports a video tutor.
So we have that now so we can populate it with any content we want. We have started creating that for 1806 linear algebra with Professor Gil Strang. I know we're not going to teach that at this course either.
But the lecture part of that, by the way, is freely available on the web to you right now. You can go see it-- you can learn linear algebra, the entire course which is the most popular undergraduate math elective on the MIT campus. I think 45% of our students take it.
We could populate it with Shakespeare. We're going to next year start with Paul Gray, former president and chairman of the board. He's going to be teaching circuit theory, and we're going to create a video tutor for that. However, you could create a video tutor for algebra 1 or algebra 2 or pre-calculus, or whatever else those colleges need.
AUDIENCE: If you create the model and the script, and then try and involve someone from one of those schools to use the same delivery facility to create a vehicle that helps them in their courses, that's one way of [INAUDIBLE].
WARSH: They're thinking about all these same [INAUDIBLE]. They can't do it.
AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] have a special opportunity. Distance learning in many ways came to serve small [INAUDIBLE] people who had the potential to go to a higher level. Your small cohort at the Midwestern University. That university may or may not have a facility to offer some of these [INAUDIBLE] to those students.
This is something that MIT could contract as an opportunity to serve other universities. It may not be their role to do that right off the bat. But if you had a product already in existence, a good way to maybe fund some of these other things that we're talking about.
WINDER: Yeah. We have a little bit of experience from the publishing perspective at Harvard Business School on that where we've been doing essentially distance learning, but the correspondence way by producing effectively 90% of the cases that are used in the case method business school management education programs. Well, 90% of the cases used are ours, and we sell about 6 million of these cases per year.
I think that the short answer is the student can only benefit if the institution wants him to, because they have access to really high class, best minds, and production value-- hope that you've instructionally designed it in a rich way that the student can only benefit. Part of the issue that I think is who's the faculty as much who's the student. Will the faculty let it in?
There's an organization called eCollege. I don't know if you've dealt with them much, but that's exactly what they do. There are a couple of competing platforms that are now going to typically state universities, community colleges, smaller schools, and saying, we'll give you an internet platform. We'll give you essentially an electronic platform.
And we're encouraging-- in some cases, we're funding-- the creation of great materials. Sometimes not so great, but aspiring to be as good as they can be and better than what would otherwise be offered. Or perhaps, something that's not even offered at all. If there's no Russian studies program, well, you can do that if that or fill in a gap thing.
My sense is that, back to an earlier question, that the student learner can only benefit if the institutional forces will permit this through. And certainly MIT could do that, as you were saying.
WARSH: It's 5 o'clock, so we're going [INAUDIBLE] ask one last question and then we'll break up and talk afterwards.
AUDIENCE: Several of you have talked about the proliferation of competition with private universities that are springing up, the possibility of an Ivy League private university online or whatever. What should be the University's position on allowing its professors or their professors to participate in some of these other opportunities?
They offer money to the professors. They want the best names from places like MIT or Harvard. Should the research universities be concerned about their professors doing this? Do they have to be concerned about their own reputation, or their professors being spread thin?
LARSON: He's an MIT professor.
FLEMINGS: I don't mean to treat that one too lightly, but it's awfully late in the day to ask that question.
WARSH: It was a rhetorical question. I think the evidence is abundant. MIT is really up on the [INAUDIBLE] opportunities at the very top of the line to be to be picked out, MIT will pick them up.
AUDIENCE: It seems like a lot of universities haven't moved as quickly as the opportunities from the outside, and that they may be a little bit behind in figuring out what their policy's ought to be.
FLEMINGS: I think that's correct.
WARSH: This is a very encouraging session. [INAUDIBLE]
FLEMINGS: Mr. Chairman, may I make one closing remark?
WARSH: Yes, please.
FLEMINGS: I just want to say that I've been looking at those wonderful red coats out there, picturing you all as those grown up sophomores when I came in 1947. And I want to know you've hardly changed at all.