In the first post in this series, How a course-rich world might impact higher education: I. Technology vs pedagogy, I looked at some of the characteristics of the readily-available, "off the shelf" new college level courses (NCLCs) that have created a course-rich world. In particular, I examined the potential of the NCLCs to produce disruptive innovation in higher education. In the second, How a course-rich world might impact higher education: II. Creating new institutions, I discussed using this new course-rich resource to create new institutions using higher education business models that are radically different from the faculty-centric model that is traditional in higher education. Because these institutions are creating business models that are optimized around the NCLCs and other similar online offerings, they are using the NCLCs in a potentially disruptive fashion.
In this post, I turn attention to some potential uses of these NCLCs in existing traditional non-profit institutions of higher education. As is well known, such innovations are often used to produce both sustaining innovation when utilized within the context of the traditional business model, and disruptive innovation when used within the context of a new business model optimized around the new innovation. Because of the wide variety of traditional institutions of higher education and of the challenges they face, we can anticipate that NCLCs will be used in both sustaining and disruptive modes in this sector.