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Openness, Dynamic Specialization, and the Disaggregated Future of Higher Education

  • David Wiley Brigham Young University
  • John Hilton III Brigham Young University
Keywords: open education, online learning, distance learning, higher education


Openness is a fundamental value underlying significant changes in society and is a prerequisite to changes institutions of higher education need to make in order to remain relevant to the society in which they exist. There are a number of ways institutions can be more open, including programs of open sharing of educational materials. Individual faculty can also choose to be more open without waiting for institutional programs. Increasing degrees of openness in society coupled with innovations in business strategy like dynamic specialization are enabling radical experiments in higher education and exerting increasing competitive pressure on conventional higher education institutions. No single response to the changes in the supersystem of higher education can successfully address every institution’s situation. However, every institution must begin addressing openness as a core organizational value if it desires to both remain relevant to its learners and to contribute to the positive advancement of the field of higher education.

Author Biographies

David Wiley, Brigham Young University
David Wiley is an associate professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University. He has previously been the director of the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning, a nonresident fellow of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, a National Science Foundation–funded postdoctoral fellow, and a visiting scholar at the Open University of the Netherlands. He is also the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Young Researcher/CAREER award.
John Hilton III, Brigham Young University
John Hilton III is a doctoral student in Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University (BYU). He also teaches part-time with BYU's Department of Ancient Scripture.
How to Cite
Wiley, D., & Hilton III, J. (2009). Openness, Dynamic Specialization, and the Disaggregated Future of Higher Education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(5).