The traditional college experience is changing, just like the demand for DIY degrees and life long learning. Some personal thoughts about it.
Below are three directions that may emerge based on working, reading, experience and reflective thinking.
Competency and capacity based life long learning is vital. Students will become learners for life. Learning is a long continuous process. It will not stop after higher education. It will continue as learners need new skills for career change, job training or even personal development and interest. MOOCs will play a role, as well courses offered through other venues, perhaps face-to-face, online or through iTunes U. This model has much potential.
The traditional college experience where students attend college will change. The learning space will be augmented with online learning, flipped classrooms, and blended learning. The community will become part of the learning experience. Students work within the community to solve problems or work as part of their education. Four years of attendance will be the exception. We see students building degrees and mix them with work and travel experiences. Courses are becoming the norm to build your degree in 3 till 6 years time.
Students will adopt the ‘build-your-own-degree plan’. Colleges are becoming unbundled, which means students will be able to choose preferred courses, MOOCs and assessment of skill for credit. This model will grow as costs for college continue to be out-of-reach for the average family when you look at return on investment.
The future is bright for higher education. Resistance to change can be a significant barrier to the developments needed within education. Those who resist will eventually be forced to get on board or be left behind. Those that do change and adapt will have the opportunity to reach students as never before. Higher education will be a place for people of all ages to be productive, educated and contributing members of society. It all begins with embracing change, and changing our thinking.