Gutenberg's effects on universities

  • Moodie G
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This article considers the effects on universities of Gutenberg?s invention of printing. It considers four major effects: the gradual displacement of Latin as the language of scholarship with vernacular languages, the expansion and eventual opening of libraries, major changes to curriculum, and major changes to pedagogy including lectures. The paper does not find that the ubiquity of books changed the role of university teachers as was proposed in the late fifteenth century. The paper also considers a fifth change: the eventual replacement of oral disputations with written examinations as the main form of assessment for admission to a degree. While this was radical, it owed little to the direct effects of printing. The paper concludes with brief observations on the implications of the earlier information revolution for understanding the effects on universities of the current information revolution.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Gutenberg
  • MOOCs
  • Printing
  • University
  • curriculum

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  • Gavin Moodie

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