Wiki College (and other education ideas)

WIKI-COLLEGE

Why not free college online – say a college wikipedia, where professors have posted their lectures. Then at the end of the course there’s a system to take a final for $25-50. If you pass you get credits. The test money is split between the professor and wiki.

I think most of the bigger colleges would oppose it because it would challenge their high prices. I think it would be good for those who can’t afford college but deserve it – which means everyone. Then too I would think there would be some professors who want to have the world as their class room – and make royalties on their lectures. The main colleges would protest any accreditation for sure, but part of that would be to protect themselves and their monopoly. In the end it would come down to whether corporations that hired, would recognize it as a degree. The net is a real leveler! Education is part of that.

FINAL EXAM; You would pay a fee to take a final either online, or through the mail, Then mail it to the professor or his representative for grading. If you pass you get credit. If you don’t you don’t pass.┬áBut let’s go further – why have ‘gotcha’ tests in the first place? Just post the final test online waaaay ahead of time to show the student what he needs to learn in the course. You can still have some leeway there. For example the teacher could list 50 important people in the field. Tell the student you should know all of these. The test will pick 5. Etc.

SCHOOL GETS AN ‘F’
Nobody is talking about the most important thing in education – the desire to learn. IF a school kills the child’s desire to learn the school gets an “F”. If the school helps the child have a life lasting love for learning the school gets an “A”. None of the rest really matters.

MIDDLE AGES LECTURES
When a teacher gets in front of a class and lectures them, that teacher is doing the same thing as the first university teachers of the middle ages did. It’s a learning technique that is about 400 years out of date. Time to bring a revolution to education starting with the end of middle ages type lectures.

[See Musea issue on education reforms for more]

 

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6 Responses to “Wiki College (and other education ideas)”

  1. musea Says:

    People have expressed some concerns as to online college. What about online experiences? How about the interaction between teacher and student? How about the social aspects of going to college? How could you have a fair final exam?

    Those are valid concerns. I think some of them can be resolved for many courses for most people – with the exception of the on hands lesson experience. I don’t think you can learn car repair online .

    Then too online students, will have to sacrifice some of the interaction and social aspects of college. They’ll have to weigh the benefits of that to the cost. But there is no reason there couldn’t be an online newsgroup for that course. That would allow for a lot of interaction between students, and between students and teacher on a daily basis.

    A final test for course credit would be key here. if the SAT can be given and monitored, then a course final could be taken and monitored somehow. That’s not a big problem.

  2. musea Says:

    Maybe the experience of an online study newsgroup would be even better than a teacher in front of a class.
    Again it would not be the same. But would tell people – no college for you because online courses won’t have the same experience as an expensive college?
    Creative people could come very close – ex. newsgroups for each course could discuss the lessons. Remember too these courses would be ongoing, so the responses and discussions would grow over the years to cover even more than a single course would ever come close to covering. Maybe it would not be the same experience, but the more I think about it, it may be even a better learning experience.

  3. musea Says:

    [Update version] WIKI-COLLEGE – Why not free college online – say a college wikipedia, where professors first post their lectures for the course as a series of videos. Maybe have newsgroups of students to discuss the lessons too. And even a backlog of discussions from past students and the teacher. Then at the end of the course there’s a system to take a final for $25-50. If you pass you get credits. The test money is split between the professor and wiki. This would allow online students to access some of the best professors in the world. And professors to have an ongoing royalty for their video lessons they posted one time.
    I think most of the bigger colleges would oppose it because it would challenge their high prices. I think it would be good for those who can’t afford college but deserve it – which means everyone. Then too I would think there would be some professors who would want to have the world as their class room – and make royalties on their lectures. The main colleges would protest any accreditation for sure, but part of that would be to protect themselves and their monopoly. In the end it would come down to whether corporations that hired, would recognize it as a degree. The net is a real leveler! Education is part of that.

  4. musea Says:

    See also wikipedia on MOOC, massive open online courses.

  5. musea Says:

    Some say nothing can replace a live classroom. I respond, You are saying that an online course of carefully crafted video lessons, by the best teachers at Yale, or Harvard or MIT, that is the result of decades of teaching – with all the background teacher and student questions and answers on a discussion newsgroup; is somehow worse than a temp professor at a Junior College, that’s bored and muffles his words into a book in his first attempt at teaching an undergraduate class?

  6. musea Says:

    Some say they’d rather go online for courses from MIT, for example, than a wiki-college idea. My response:

    I’d wait and see what the wiki-college idea could provide before you discard it. For example what if it had not only the free courses from MIT, Harvard, etc;, but from all the other best colleges, from their best professors. Remember it could be a sizable retirement fund for any teacher – just post your lessons one time, answer some questions when you want to and post those for now and the future, and then collect money till people stop looking at your course. This would reward the better teachers for sure. They deserve that fair recognition as much as students deserve an education.

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