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


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.

Original Publication Citation

David Wiley and John Hilton III. “Openness, Dynamic Specialization, and the Disaggregated Future of Higher Education.” International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 10 (5). (2009)

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


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Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor