Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Experiments in HigherEd

The Economist has an article entitled The Digital Degree on the disruptive potential of online education. In the middle of a lot of hype, one finds this interesting concept that combines the benefits of online education and traditional universities:

Anant Agarwal, who runs edX, proposes an alternative to the standard American four-year degree course. Students could spend an introductory year learning via a MOOC, followed by two years attending university and a final year starting part-time work while finishing their studies online. This sort of blended learning might prove more attractive than a four-year online degree. It could also draw in those who want to combine learning with work or child-rearing, freeing them from timetables assembled to suit academics. Niche subjects can benefit, too: a course on French existentialism could be accompanied by another university’s MOOC on the Portuguese variety.

BTW, I liked this summary of the benefits of attending a traditional university:

Traditional universities have a few trump cards. As well as teaching, examining and certification, college education creates social capital. Students learn how to debate, present themselves, make contacts and roll joints. [Bold emphasis added]


  1. Desi Babu said...

    Professor Abi,

    Just curious, by a "joint", did you mean the one from Mechanical Engineering or the one from Orthopedics?

    I have to assure you though, that we Sadhus are aware of no other kinds of joints. And college education, is simply not available in the Himalayas (IIT Mandi is still in the works).