Alternative Educational Delivery: Using Information Technology in a Multicampus Environment


Three concerns dominate virtually all discussions of higher education in this decade: student access, academic quality, and fiscal efficiency. The California State University (CSU) has formed a systemwide commission to examine the role of emerging technologies in addressing these issues. Its charge is to develop new models of instructional delivery and information access for the 21st Century based on the latest developments in telecommunications networks and interactive multimedia. Concurrent with this effort are activities aimed at enhancing the existing technical infrastructure to support alternative educational delivery.The CSU currently enrolls 360,000 students on 20 campuses spanning a distance of 1,000 miles. Like institutions across the nation, the system is confronted with facility constraints, faculty shortages, fiscal retrenchment, and political demands for greater accountability, but within a unique environmental context of projected enrollment growth of 110,000 to 180,000 students over the next 15 years. This paper and slide presentation will describe 1 ) the commission's progress in developing a conceptual model and implementation plan for alternative instructional delivery in the system and 2) long-range plans for infrastructure enhancement. They will be of interest to policy planners as well as technical management.

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