Welcome to Pioneering Higher Education’s Digital Future: Twenty Years (1992-2012) of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Anytime, Anyplace Learning Program. This website is the result of a research and evaluation project documenting the contributions of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Anytime, Anyplace Learning Program. In this 18-minute video, Reflections, you will get a sense of what this program accomplished for online learning and higher education.
In 1992, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation established the Learning Outside the Classroom Program. The name was changed soon after to the Anytime, Anyplace Learning Program, the purpose of which was to explore educational alternatives for people who wanted to pursue higher education but who could not easily attend regularly scheduled college classes. This exploration resulted in a promulgation of a major development in pedagogical practice commonly referred to as the asynchronous learning network or ALN. Using modern data communications technology, including the Internet and World Wide Web, ALNs allow teaching and learning to transcend time and space in order to provide access to a quality higher education. Twenty years later, online learning and its offshoot blended learning have become a basic aspect of American higher education.
In June 2009, a project was conceived to examine and evaluate the Sloan Foundation’s Anytime, Anyplace Learning Program. The purpose of this project was twofold: first, to analyze the role of the Anytime, Anyplace Learning Program in nurturing online learning enabling it to evolve into a major vehicle for providing higher education opportunities to millions of students; and second, to examine the historical record and to begin the process of documenting and preserving the stories of the individuals, colleges, universities and organizations that were critical players in the Anytime, Anyplace Learning Program. This website provides the facility for sharing the results of this project. On this site, the visitor will find video commentaries on the program, a timeline highlighting key events in the program and a substantive evaluation that examined the impact of the program on higher education and online learning. The eighteen-minute video, Reflections, available on the opening page serves as an introduction and overview of the program. There is also an area for visitors to leave comments about their impressions of any of the material on the site. Feel free to use it as appropriate.
An Evaluation of the Sloan Foundation’s Anytime, Anywhere Learning Program (1991-2012)
Anthony G. Picciano, Ph.D
Graduate Center, City University of New York