Higher ed disrupters: It may not be what it seems, Alice. It's the unbundling and competency building that makes the difference.
As shared on this curation stream, with higher education seeming like one of the next bubbles to burst, due to high cost, ossified bureacracies and the like, there is more to the story.
The context, if you've missed it, is further below. Meanwhile, here's a few other things to consider having to do with profitability, the value of a degree & unbundling - several key concepts for these changing times for higher education:
If you build it, will they pay?
...when the chattering class meets Professor Thrun, it’s love at first sight. The notion that they might take a Stanford course for free recalls their youthful days at similar elite universities
...educational romantics already have degrees. And when Udacity begins charging even modest fees for its courses, Professor Thrun may find this group resistant to paying for lifelong learning.
"Degrees are definitely not disappearing; they’re not even in decline."
...in developing economies, where there is truly a hunger for knowledge in any form and where the degree may not yet be as central to the evaluation of prospective employees [like it is in the US], the wage premium from a bachelor’s degree is even higher [than the US]:
- 124 percent in Mexico,
- 171 percent in Brazil and
- 200 percent in China,
- compared with a mere 62 percent in the U.S.
Unbundling & Building Success in Competencies are the Innovation
Salman Khan's popular on-line Khan Academy videos teach a single concept.
- Stanford Professor Thrun’s (reference below) online course builds on Khan’s innovation, and the resulting andragogy is remarkable.
Professor Thrun had to say in his announcement, excerpted:
We really set up our students for failure. We don’t help students to become smart.
Grades are the failure of the education system. ...So rather than grading students, my task was to make students successful.
We changed the course so the questions were still hard, but students could attempt them multiple times. And when they finally got them right, they would get their A+. And it was much better.
Today, when someone fails, we don’t take time to make them a strong student. We give them a C or a D, move them to the next class. Then they’re branded a loser, and they’re set up for failure. This medium has the potential to change all that.
The news media has been abuzz over two higher education developments:
1) MIT announces an extension of its successful OpenCourseWare initiative and that it will offer certificates to students who complete courses. MITx will allow students to access content for free. Students who wish to receive a certificate will be charged a modest fee for the requisite assessments, issued under the name MIT.
2) Sebastian Thrun, an adjunct professor of computer science at Stanford who invited the world to attend his fall semester artificial intelligence course and who ended up with 160,000 online students, announced he had decided to stop teaching at Stanford and direct all his teaching activities through Udacity, a start-up he co-founded that will offer online courses from leading professors to millions of students.
He called the experience of reaching so many students life-changing: “Having done this, I can’t teach at Stanford again. I feel there’s a red pill and a blue pill. And you can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture your 20 students. But I’ve taken the red pill, and I’ve seen Wonderland.”
Read more via InsideHigherEd.com
Photo credit: DaBok, Flickr cc