Blog Post

Faculty Advisory Board Meeting and Revised MA Knowledge and Networks

A dozen or so faculty will be meeting today in Bay 6 for our first Faculty Advisory Board for the Master's in Knowledge and Networks.  Soon we will update the document on Comment Press with the great feedback we received from the Town Hall meeting on the MAKN.   We'll also post a list of the faculty advisors soon and will include a FAQ based on comments and questions people filled out at the Town Hall.  

In the meantime, the Comment Press posting of the entire degree with all appendices continues to accept your comments and feedback at:


And here's the latest one-pager on the MAKN (with apologies for all the usual formatting issues when a Word document is dropped into Drupal):





Masters Degree in Knowledge and Networks

 Duke University


The Problem Addressed: Contemporary institutions of education have evolved over the last 150 years to train students for an Industrial Age workplace that is fast being transformed by the globally networked digital age. Meanwhile, communities--including local governance structures, media, businesses, nonprofits, arts organizations, museums, galleries, and learning and community organizations--are struggling with the burden of adapting to changing business and communications ecosystems. The corporate world too is reeling from interdependent new global partnerships that require in-depth knowledge of culture, context, creativity, and historical change, fields in which contemporary business students or those in the natural and computational sciences have little training. Students in the human and social sciences often have limited practical skills.  Few in any field have a command of the everyday web skills and technologies necessary for success.    Finally, our current reward system in K-20 education is based on individual, specialized achievement while the workplace requires collaborative thinking, creativity, innovation, and flexibility. In short, our current educational system does a good job preparing students for the twentieth century.


Solution: The Masters in Knowledge and Networks is the first program at any research university to radically reconceive the fundamentals of how and what we need to know.   This is a transformed re-professional education designed for the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century.


Key Features of the Masters in Knowledge and Networks

 A preliminary intensive technology skill-building and assessment workshop where students and advisers co-create an individualized plan for developing students programming and/or social networking skills over the course of the MAKN.


  Four required courses: Twenty-First Century Literacies; History and Future of (Multimedia) Reading, Writing, and Publishing; Concepts and Practices for a Digital Age; and New Modes of Assessment and Data-Mining.


  Four elective courses chosen from across the entire university and planned with an advisor to create a portfolio of skills and substantive knowledge.


 A year-long Practicum where MAKN students work with learning or community organizations or businesses to develop and implement sustainable technology, communications, and business plans with the hosting organization. Students will participate in a concurrent Proseminar where real-world problems are addressed with a team of trained consultants.


 Prototyping: Rather than standard research papers, student learning and experience (both real world and classroom) will be peer-guided, collaborative, and public, resulting in open, online resources and courseware.


 A final intensive resume-building and career planning workshop, with a professional consultant reviewing resumes that students have workshopped with their cohort.



Timeframe: The MAKN is going through Dukes formal approval process. We will begin accepting applications for fifteen to twenty students per year once approved, with classes beginning in 2012 or 2013. In the future, we may expand  the Masters of Arts in Knowledge and Networks to MS and MBA versions and envision an on-line component with future national and international partnerships. 


Duke University asked the virtual network HASTAC (haystack) to take a leading role in designing this visionary program. HASTAC ( is dedicated to transforming learning and its institutions for a digital age. Founded in 2002, the Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (pronounced haystack) now comprises 5,000 individuals and over 100 institutional partners, including nearly 200 HASTAC Scholars (undergraduate and graduate students on scholarships from seventy-five universities.

We invite comments, feedback, and partnerships @


For more information or to be added to the MAKN mailing list, send an email to hastac@duke


No comments