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About University 5.0

University 5.0 is an integrated news, information, research and consulting resource that explores the ways in which online education is fundamentally changing higher education. Its mission is to contribute to the national and international conversation about the pro’s and con’s of online education in higher education and to consult with relevant stakeholders in their efforts to effectively respond to the changing environment in higher ed.

Where We Stand: Since their emergence around 500 years ago, universities have experienced four major pivot points—the development of land-grant institutions that combined instruction in the practical arts with the liberal arts in the mid-19th century; the emergence of the research university and the growth professional training in the late 19th and early 20th century, and the expansion of access to a much wider population including women in the 1960s and 1970s. Each of those shifts dramatically reshaped the landscape for higher education. And in each period, some institutions flourished, while others fell away.

The emergence of online education, in our view, represents, the next major inflection point for higher education.   Every college and university must appropriately respond to the new opportunities as well as to guard against the pitfalls it presents. Those colleges and universities  that can deliberately and successfully integrate online education into their overall  mission will flourish. Those that cannot, will struggle.

What We Do: The University 5.0 blog and Web site offers news, research, insight and commentary targeted specifically at the emergence and impact of online education in higher ed. Not only do we aggregate news, research and information from other sources and provide our own insight and commentary, we report on our own challenges building an effective online program at Loyola University Maryland, a mid-sized comprehensive university in Baltimore, Maryland. We have also developed the Generational Model of Online Program Development, a proprietary development model premised on the idea that online education has ramifications for the entire university, not just the academic program. We welcome the opportunity to participate in the conversations taking place about online education on campuses and in conferences across the country and the world, and to offer our advice and counsel when invited to do so.

Who We Are: 

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Elliot King

Elliot King, a co-founder of Loyola University Maryland’s online M.A. program in Emerging Media, has studied the impact of emerging technologies on  social institutions for more than 30 years. He has been teaching online since the 1990s, when he was on the faculty of a Pan-Asian M.A. program in journalism offered by the Ateneo de Manila University in The Philippines . He has written six books  about emerging technology including Best Practices in Online Program Development (with Neil Alperstein, Routledge, forthcoming), Free for All: The Internet’s Transformation of Journalism (Northwestern University Press, 2010) and The Online Journalist (with Randy Reddick, Harcourt Brace, 1995). He is the chair of the Department of Communication at Loyola University Maryland. He holds a Ph.D. in media sociology from the University of California, San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @ElliotKingPhD. Reach him via email at


Neil Alperstein

Neil Alperstein is a co-founder of Loyola University Maryland’s online M.A. program in Emerging Media and a leader in the application of educational technology in higher education.  Dr. Alperstein is passionate about the use of technology in new learning environments and has presented his research on this topic internationally. He also consults with many non-profit organizations and educational institutions in the development of effective communication and marketing campaigns. Dr. Alperstein is co-author (with Elliot King) of Best Practices in Online Program Development (Routledge, 2014) and his scholarship has appeared in leading academic journals. He is a professor of communication at Loyola University Maryland and director of its M.A. program in Emerging Media.  He holds a PhD. in American Studies from the University of Maryland. Follow him on Twitter @u5dot0.  Reach him via email at


Best Practices in Planning Strategically for Online Educational Programs


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