The word “university” seems to imply the universe, infinity, no restrictions. The reality of today’s universities looks very different.
Restrictions of the traditional system
Today’s university is an institution with serious limitations. There are restrictions on access to courses, limitations on teaching staff, limitations on offering courses, restrictions on courses you can attend, restrictions on course offerings, and so on.
In addition, universities are enormously expensive. The average cost in North America is more than $ 25,000 per year per student, or around $ 5,000 for an eight-month degree in a subject. In Canada, for example, 6.1% of GDP is spent on “higher education“.
The potential of online education
The internet is a much more promising model. The possible methods of providing educational content include video, audio, text, web conferencing, blogs, podcasts, forums, and other forms of interactive learning.
Face-to-face meetings can also be organized efficiently via the web. Age, nationality and language need not limit this interaction. And the Internet is available around the clock, twelve months a year, and anyone can access the Internet from anywhere.
Professors, experts, trainers and moderators who provide their skills and knowledge on the Internet can choose what to calculate, how to calculate or what to provide for free. The cost of these services will certainly be much lower than the cost of university courses.
Interactive functions and methods for finding, storing and reviewing knowledge components can make this environment a more effective learning environment than the university lecture hall.
As the Internet takes up an increasing share of the education space, governments and other third party donors can pay for part or most of these costs, just as is the case today for established educational institutions. And the costs will be much lower and the range will be much wider than the model of keeping students in college.
The argument against “e-learning” is that learners soon lose motivation. However, the e-learning methodology is improving just as a new generation of learners find it more convenient to be connected electronically than sitting in a classroom.
Moreover, this is not about elementary school children. The mature, lifelong learner, whether 18 or 80, should be interested in what he or she is learning or doing something else. I know a large company in France that only pays for formal language courses for its employees when the employee spends 6 months on a low-cost self-study program.
In other words, why should you pay for a learner who is not motivated? The same question must be posed by third-party funds that finance college students, namely parents, taxpayers, foundations, alumni, businesses, etc.
But there is another piece that will be very helpful in motivation, accreditation or evaluation. the ticket everyone gets to the university.
Society (and the learner) needs this “proof” of what the student really knows. I provide a rating system that is developed over the Internet and is independent of providers of educational content. A day with A fast company.
These independent evaluators may include private trainers or organizations performing various types of essay and test corrections. Test results and comments from reviewers and trainers may accumulate in a digital educational profile (or portfolio) of the learner’s activities, which would include records of written and oral presentations.
Details such as rating, verification and standards for the testers and coaches need to be addressed. However, I am confident that the economic cost and fairness of such a system would be superior to today’s university system.
Creating a truly universal “university” on the web will provide peer-inspired motivation. Perhaps we will achieve the vision of Ivan Illitch of global, interlocking, learning “Convivia”, communities of learning communities.