Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Word of the day

Today's word is mass personalisation - a clever formulation because it is apparently an oxymoron, but in fact not. It means that much in contemporary education, especially higher education, should be optional at the student's option. Such things as attendance, learning styles, scheduling, on/off campus learning, and so on. Along with this concept is the idea that content is ubiquitous, and teaching is the differentiator between good and bad education. It also relates, given its commercial origin, to the idea of the student as customer. My thanks to the ever creative Swinburne visioning process for the term.

The expression is not new - it already has a Wikipedia entry which defines the term as "custom tailoring by a company in accordance with its end users' tastes and preferences", and there are references to the concept back into the nineties. Despite this, the mass personalisation website describes itself as a "stealth-mode startup in an exciting niche" - another way of saying that it has no content yet. Browse the web and enjoy - plenty of hype, but a growing reality.

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