Making the Grade
E-learning meets the challenge of traditional schools.
Knowledge, technical know-how or information of any kind, is one of the world's driving forces. It always has been, but in 2005, its influence is global.
Since the 1990s knowledge has blossomed as an internet-based consumer market economy. Individuals, companies, and various institutions tapped into the bubble, as e-learning became the educational buzz word.
The traditional colleges and universities around the world were fairly ambivalent. The boom was about novelty; the bubble would burst eventually. Consumers would come to their senses. People would realize that on-line education and on-line accreditation were oxymoron's of sorts.
Almost ten years later the bubble has burst and the market has settled down; the demand for on-line accreditation is still high, though, and neither traditional institutions, nor the government, for that matter, are benefiting. Most of these haven't got a piece of it; something has to be done. In 2001 there were at least 971 degree-granting virtual institutions in the United States.
Let's face it, there are always scams, but the perpetrators don't survive in the woodwork for long. The consumer boom of e-learning has ended, and wiped out most, if not all, of the "diploma mills" that emerged in the bubble.
Anyway, when there's money involved, people aren't long fooled.
Studying for a four year degree can cost as much as $100,000. Student loans help, scholarships help; but with the enrollment numbers more than doubled in recent decades, the traditional universities are stretching themselves as it is. Then, not every one wants to be traditional; and when there are so many opportunities, it doesn't always pay to follow the path of the righteous.
On-line universities recognize the importance of individuals who veered away from the standard experience of higher education and opted for work experience. But a life-experience degree is no cop-out. Life Experience Degree offering schools minimum requirements for a B.A., are rigorous: least five years experience in a field directly related to major, or else experience and some college credits totaling five years.
The government's interest in destroying the credibility of on-line schools is obvious and something to watch out for. Government agencies don't like the global market potential of e-learning because they can't tap into it. They start jumping up and down, waving seals of officialdom. On-line schools aren't accredited.
E-learning is not lowering the standards, it is setting new criteria: exactly what it says on the tin, the criteria is life experience
Making the Grade - E-learning meets the challenge of traditional schools. Knowledge, technical know-how or information of any kind, is one of the world's driving forces. It always has been, but in 2005, its influence is global. Read More
Catch 22 - "It has been said that, "Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning." Unfortunately, this sentiment is often reduced to, "only the WEALTHY will learn," and those obstacles? Ever-increasing tuitions and fees." Read More
Personal Responsiblity - "For many of us, the unquestioned path that follows a high school diploma is a full time commitment to further education. While this educational endeavour is undoubtedly a noble one, we must not assume that the only way to achieve these goals is through the attendance every day for four years or more at a physical campus. " Read More
Untraditional Path - " Watching a Steven Spielberg movie, you'd naturally assume that the man behind the camera holds a college degree that helped him realize his visions. You would most likely think the same reading a treatise from famed anthropologist Richard Leakey." Read More
On the Offensive -" In most industries, when businesses start to decline the companies experiencing the drop make changes to improve their bottom lines. They change their prices, improve their quality or start providing better service." Read More
Mediocrity Rules - "Part of the problem with getting hired when you don't have a degree, but have plenty of experience, is that the menial functionary to whom your resume goes in the human resources department has a degree, and is on the inside of the whole structure. Like any bottom-of-the-totem-pole group member, he or she is not interested in opening up their club to a whole group of new blood, so they're more than happy to consign your resume to the bottom of the heap." Read More
Bells and Whistles - It's the usual routine: a young person graduates from college with a four-year degree and goes on a job hunt. When they get hired, the first thing their new employer does is put them through a long training period before they're turned loose on unsuspecting co-workers. Read More