- TJ Evert
- Cincinnati, OH
- United States
Scalable Online Education
My idea is to create a scalable peer-to-peer network for education.
While the final exams and instructional content could be set by the community, discussion and support could all be provided by the learning community itself. In short, the students (mostly former, but some current) would bear most of the weight of individualized instruction, leaving the more repeatable tasks content and assessment creation to "experts" in the field.
The real questions is "How to make such a learning community "propel" itself?" What would motivate someone to stay within a peer-to-peer "school"?
My thought here is using a social-media-like platform. To join, you must "pay-forward" by acting as a peer-tutor for a student in class in which you have been "qualified" as shown by the course's corresponding exam. These students, in turn, *rate* your tutoring, providing you with "credits" to join a class. The more (or better) tutoring, the more credits.
Once you earn enough credits, you can join a course of your choosing and ask for support - as much as you want. Now, every questions you ask is an opportunity for someone else to earn credits. Helping out other students out in your course (as judged by your fellow classmates) earns you more credits.
Clearly, care would have to be taken to insure students don't abuse the credit process. In the long run, it's just a motivational trick to encourage people to provide quality help - sort of a "monetized" ask.com.
At the end of your course, you can take a qualifying exam (as determined by the community) which should allow you to "advance" to other courses. This allows local communities (be they school districts or industries looking to "certify" potential employees) to set the bar and provide the instructional content to get there. Once that's set, it's up to the student community (with help from "qualified" members of the community).
I'd love to know what the TED community thinks. Thanks, in advance, for all you comments.