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We’re ripe for a great disruption in higher education

February 11, 2012

Via Scoop.itMore … or less!

“But the real disruption comes when you stop measuring academic accomplishment in terms of seat time and hours logged, and start measuring it by competency. As all employers know, the average BA doesn’t certify that the degree-holder actually knows anything. It merely certifies that she had the perseverance to pass the required number of courses. The most subversive element of Western Governors University is that it certifies students by competency, not seat time. In fact, students don’t sit in a “class” at all.

There’s no prescribed curriculum. Students are assessed before each course to see which concepts they already grasp and which ones they need to master. Then they’re offered a variety of “learning resources” – textbooks, videos, online simulations, conversations with a tutor – to close the gap. They can complete a course in eight weeks or 80. Routine assessments along the way – and a tough exam at the end – ensure they’ve mastered the material. As one graduate told Washington Monthly, which recently profiled WGU, “If you can prove your competence, why pay all of that money to sit through something you already know?””

(via @AnaCristinaPrts)

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