That may be changing. Since the hype around free MOOCs emerged three years ago, a growing number of colleges have set up new R&D units on campus focused on continually improving their practices.
A meeting last week marked a key moment in what leaders hope will be a movement. They brainstormed ways to create tools to help more colleges set up similar centers.
But there was some anxiety over whether these elite colleges will stick with these efforts for the long haul. After all, companies often set up innovation efforts that they later abandon.
The practice is also so new that colleges don't quite know what to call it. "Academic innovation" is the usual, though others say "precision education" or "educational inventors" might be more fitting.