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The ‘Pickle Guys’ route

February 15, 2012

Daniel de Vise writes at the Washington Post: 

…education will go the ‘Amazon route’ or the ‘eBay route.’ Under the Amazon model of education, the focus will be on service delivery. One or two large providers will emerge from the rubble and provide courses much as Amazon does. Courses will be in the millions, with different providers, some celebrities (the Stephen King of lecturers) and some not. Pricing will thus be equally complex. Professors and courses will be rated, and you will be able to see the top 100 courses that help you learn to program, for instance…

How about the ‘Pickle Guys route’? (Specialty merchandise priced accordingly.) The only way to scale “courses” this way is direct instruction. Higher-order learning requires faculty/student contact. Online courses that work involve MORE faculty/student contact than traditional face-to-face ones.

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