Posts Tagged ‘online education’

The End of the University as We Know It

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Nathan Harden writes a sweeping overview of “The End of the University as We Know It” for The American Interest Magazine. “We have reached a tipping point where new interactive web technology, coupled with widespread access to broadband internet service and increased student comfort interacting online, will send online education mainstream,” Harden says. Online students may miss out on some of the advantages of a residential college experience, but they will learn more efficiently, be able to choose from a more varied curriculum, and enjoy greater convenience, all at a lower price than traditional residential students pay. And universities will have to adopt this new model or become obsolete.

Read the full article here.

Related: Dr. Stephen Hicks’s entire Philosophy of Education course is now available online.

Interview with Jeff Sandefer

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Jeff Sandefer is a founder of the Acton School of Business, an innovative MBA program in Austin, Texas focusing on entrepreneurship. Sandefer received his MBA degree from Harvard University before launching five successful companies in several industries, most notably in energy. He translated that business experience into becoming an award-winning professor at the University of Texas, where he was named by BusinessWeek as one of the top entrepreneurship professors in the United States.

Kaizen: In 1996, you were teaching at the University of Texas and honored by BusinessWeek, yet soon you would be leaving to start a new business school with a very different approach. Why was BusinessWeek impressed with your teaching?

Sandefer: The BusinessWeek award was based on a survey of students, which I think is the best measure of a teacher, especially if there is a strong learning contract in place. After all, who other than students knows if a class has delivered on its promises? I believe that this is the same reason Acton wins so many honors from Princeton Review because unlike most business school polls it asks students: “Did you get what you were promised?” Of course, the BusinessWeek and Princeton Review awards really belong to all the Acton teachers, each a successful CEO who is committed to his or her students and the Socratic Method.

Our secret is that we set high expectations and hold students accountable to their promises. It helps that teachers are rewarded based on student satisfaction, after the students have been evaluated based on a forced grading curve. In other words, we have an incentive system that rewards performance, just like in the real world. No grade inflation, with rewards tied to results. It’s a system I wish more people in academia would adopt.


Coursera Offers Over 100 Free Online College Courses

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Coursera, an innovative startup, is offering (as of today) 116 free online courses from 16 major universities. Some courses can be taken for credit. Subjects include: statistics, poetry, history, artificial intelligence, mythology, and engineering. Coursera has the potential to bring higher education to millions of people who previously did not have access to it.


Read more about Coursera at The New York Times.

Online Education Entrepreneur: Salman Khan

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

The Khan Academy YouTube channel is the most popular source for free online educational videos, beating out even MIT. Salman Khan, the man behind it all, is a self-appointed teacher who tries to “deliver things the way I wish they were delivered to me.” He has made over 1,400 videos so far, most of them consisting only of his voice and crude illustrations. He now has a non-profit organization, also called Khan Academy, that is devoted to “providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere.”

Read more about Mr. Khan at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Also, watch the short PBS feature on Mr. Khan below: