Does a little piece of paper ever really mean that much? Usually, the answer has been no, unless that piece of paper is a college diploma. However, according to some, these colleges diplomas that people spend thousands of dollars and countless hours pursuing might become just another piece of paper in the near future, thanks to the advent of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
MOOCs and other higher education courses that are available online are changing the future of higher education.
“Who needs a university anymore?” David Wiley, a professor at Brigham Young University, asked. “Employers look at degrees because it’s a quick way to evaluate all 300 people who apply for a job. But as soon as there’s some other mechanism that can play that role as well as a degree, the jig is up on the monopoly of degrees.”
Wiley thinks that this change will be coming sooner than you might have thought, maybe by the end of the year. He proposed that it will become common place for people who studied through MOOCs to have high-paying jobs at companies like Google.
So how does an online program earn the creditability of a traditional university? Mozilla and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are two organizations that hope to create a system of “badges” that show students have learned specific skills.
Another problem that faces these new methods of earning an education is the ease with which people could cheat. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is hoping that the honor system will keep students from cheating in their new pilot course, MITx, a MOOC venture. Another company that offers MOOC classes, Udacity, plans to curb cheating by allowing students to take tests at in-person testing centers.
The idea of a online class that offers thousands of people a free education that could rival a college degree is appealing, but I don’t think that you should abandon your pursuit of a higher education at a traditional school just yet. It will probably take a little time for this trend to catch on and become mainstream.
But hey, that’s just what I think? What are your views on the subject? Share them with us in the comment section below.
Via The New York Times
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