On March 3 and 4, 2013, MIT and Harvard University hosted Online Learning and the Future of Residential Education, a Summit at which academic and institutional leaders convened to exchange ideas about the future of higher education at the intersection of on-campus and online learning.
The Summit program comprised a broad mix of speakers and panelists, and provided ample opportunities for thoughtful engagement through multiple interactive, working sessions. The aim was to share knowledge and perspectives across institutions, to stimulate our thinking about the future, and to shed light on the emerging opportunities and challenges facing our colleges and universities during this time of tremendous potential for transformation.
Participants left the Summit having learned about:
- Key challenges and opportunities for merging digital, online educational experiences with on-campus, interactive educational experiences to create a new model of residential education
- Best practices and lessons-learned from current online learning efforts
- Major barriers to adoption that must be addressed by institutions, faculty, and students to enable a smooth transition to new modes of learning
- Critical issues to consider when assessing the new financial models that will drive higher education in a blended online/residential world
Participants also gained:
- A set of templates for understanding how one can use online methods for different intellectual disciplines
- A better understanding of how online tools can provide self-assessment capabilities
- Proposals for next steps, both for individual institutions and for the higher education community as a whole
We would like to acknowledge all contributors — the joint MIT and Harvard Summit programming committee, speakers, staff, and attendees — for having made possible these four highly productive and stimulating sessions. Thank you.
MIT–Harvard Program Committee
- Chair: W. Eric L. Grimson, Chancellor and Bernard Gordon Professor of Medical Engineering, MIT
- Peter K. Bol, Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
- Eric Klopfer, Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
- Robert A. Lue, Director, Harvardx and Professor of the Practice of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
- Martha L. Minow, Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law and Dean, Harvard Law School
- Sanjay Sarma, Director of Digital Learning and Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
- Karen E. Willcox, Professor and Associate Head, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT