An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

The Past, Present, and Future of the Digital University

Online Education Policy and Practice

Presenter: Anthony Picciano

Date: 18 January 2017

Visit Amazon or your favorite bookstore to buy the book on which this webinar is based.


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This presentation will draw on material from the presenter’s book, Online Education Policy and Practice: The Past, Present, and Future of the Digital University (Taylor & Francis/Routledge, 2017). It will provide an analysis of the waves or phases of online education over the past twenty years, including the major developments of fully online courses and programs, blended learning, and the rise and fall of the MOOC phenomenon.

Looking toward the future, the presenter will speculate on the future, dividing this timeframe into a near future and a more distant future, being both optimistic and cautious in his speculations about the digital university. Policymakers, administrators, college faculty, instructional designers, government, and private funders interested in higher education will find a complete treatment of the topic of online education in this presentation.

Outcome of Attending

  • Discover how online education has evolved in American higher education over the past twenty years.
  • Gain an appreciation for higher education’s near future (2020s) as a digital university increasingly dependent upon technology for instruction and research.
  • Explore higher education’s more distant future (2030s and beyond) as one that will change radically as society changes in response to artificial intelligence, mind-machine interfaces, and massive cloud computing.

Speaker Information

Anthony Picciano

Anthony Picciano is a professor and executive officer of the Ph.D. Program in Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He is also on the faculty of the graduate program in Education Leadership at Hunter College. He was a founding member and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the Online Learning Consortium (formerly the Sloan Consortium). Picciano’s research interests are leadership, education policy, Internet-based teaching and learning, and multimedia instructional models. Visit for a more complete list of his books, articles, presentations, and other activities.