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Eugene Frier

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How can we best engage college students in the idea of learning instead of just getting a degree?

I work at a 4 year, public university and I see a great deal of students who come to school to get their degree (which they equate to money/success) and do not care about learning. What are your thoughts on the best way to engage them in the actual process of learning. I have my thoughts, but would love to hear my fellow TEDsters thoughts.


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  • Mar 17 2013: Perhaps you are asking the wrong question.. Perhaps the question should be: Considering that degrees do equate to jobs (or at least the absence of a degree limits your career options), Is it not better to allow students to pursue areas of learning (inside and outside their chosen degree subject areas) both during and after the completion of their course? My thought is that learning will (very likely) abruptly end with its associated degree, as the conclusion of a course means the end of their term at the university. If the resources for learning were kept freely available for all enrolled students, irrespective of their enrolment status, then maybe the students would invest their time and effort into learning beyond the duration of their degree. Allowing past students to return (or to essentially never leave) could bring any number of benefits to all areas of the university, as they return with new insight and real world experience.
    • Mar 17 2013: Do you think that people would come back to learn after getting the degree (and job based on your example) that they went to school to attain? I agree with the beginning of your point, but I would find it hard to believe that students (especially type of students that prompted this question) would come back for learning whether it was free or not.

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