Universities have not changed much since students first gathered in Oxford and Bologna in the 11th century, The Economist reports.

Teaching has been constrained by technology. Until recently a student needed to be in a lecture hall to hear the professor or around a table to debate with fellow students. Innovation is eliminating those constraints, however, and bringing sweeping change to higher education.

Online learning takes many forms. Wikipedia, a user-generated online encyclopedia, contains wonderfully detailed explanations. YouTube offers instruction on how to boil an egg as well as lectures on cosmology. Within many universities the online is displacing the offline.

Professors publish...

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