Making universities obsolete

Jan 30, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

There's a lengthy comment thread following this post from Matt Welsh describing three ways today's universities are failing:
- Exclusivity - "I estimate that I taught fewer than 500 students in total during my eight years on the faculty at Harvard. That's a pretty poor track record by any stretch."
- Grades - "the idea is that if you can't get through a course in the 12-to-13 week semester then you deserve to fail, regardless of whatever is going on in your life."
- Lectures - "it was to boost my ego and get some gratification for working so hard on the lectures."
The upshot is that online learning is challenging some of these bedrock assumptions of the traditional system. Yes, it's true that "a shallow, 18-minute video on the first 200 years of American History can't replace conventional coursework, deep reading, and essays." But online learning today isn't that (or to the extent that it is, it's changing). Via Seb Schmoller.
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