Monday, 2 January 2012

Qualification-only institutions

The internet and world wide web have made available significant amounts of academic material (in written, pictoral, audio and video formats) at no cost; forums, mailing lists and answer websites provide support, again at no cost; and dedicated educational websites provide the means to test your own knowledge via quizzes (often combined with the former two elements required for education).

The last piece of the above puzzle that is missing is an institution, with reputation, that will open up its assessment mechanisms and allow anyone to gain a qualification. It may be necessary for such an institution to charge in order to recover the administration and assessment costs (e.g. markers). But such a charge would typically be a small fraction of the current cost of education.

Such a shift could be revolutionary, as more people would be able to access qualifications that are currently the reserve of the rich, or those willing to brave significant debt. In widening the pool of candidates, the institutions could afford to make the assessment more taxing.

1 comment:

adreama said...

Actually looks like we're nearly there with MITx: