I have long predicted that instruction and assessment will one day be separated, and that when this happens, the university's monopoly on instruction will be ended. This could be that day: "Southern New Hampshire University is poised to launch a $5,000 online, competency-based associate degree that would be the first to blow up the credit hour -- the connection between college credit and the time students spend learning. A regional accreditor has signed off on Southern New Hampshire’s 'direct assessment' method, and the university will soon apply for federal approval." No doubt someone will tell us this is impossible and that students need guidance and encouragement and support and all that. And they will be disproved as people start earning these degrees in the hundreds, and then the thousands.