In my last book I argue: It is true… an avalanche is coming! It will hit the universities and change completely the nature of their organization, profile and mission. The avalanche has started already on the top of the mountain and finds its way downward. You don’t see it but it is moving faster and faster with great force underneath the surface. If you are experienced with avalanches you know that it will hit but you don’t know when, and if you are experienced with higher education you know why: Universities are giving away knowledge for free. More and more higher education institutions are opening up, in their business models in their leaning designs and in their access regulations. A huge pressure on the classical 20th century university is building up because its unique selling point – to be produces and shepherds of knowledge – no longer holds differentiating power when knowledge is made available for everybody or free. When knowledge is available one of the important future tasks of universities will be to give orientation about quality and to organize certification and assessment. The intention of this book is to lead the way to these horizons and discuss new emerging and more open forms and methods of quality development and assessment.
Ulf-Daniel Ehlers (2013): Open Learning Cultures. A Guide to Quality, Evaluation and Assessment for Future Learning. New York (Springer)