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Will University’s eventually go ALL online?

With the increase of Education startups revolutionizing the Education space what are others take on whether or not universities will be all online in 10 years or so? And if this were to happen what that will mean for their business model & prestige? Will that be lost


34 Replies

Michael Barnathan
3
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Michael Barnathan Entrepreneur • Advisor
Co-Founder of The Mountaintop Program, Google Alum
I've been one of the dissenters on this topic: no, I think there is still valuable learning to be done when groups of people assemble in the same place to work on common problems, in communication with professors/other appropriate mentors. However, implicit in that statement are a few other changes to the structure of the university that I *do* believe will happen to keep them relevant:

1. Groups of people solving problems. Think "accelerator experience".
2. Same place. Doesn't have to be a school building, just a common area. Could be a Starbucks, or something like General Assembly.
3. "In communication" could be a Skype/Hangout.
4. Mentors from the community in addition to or even instead of a professor.

The university will have to change simply because the existing model no longer provides most people with a consistent economic benefit that exceeds their tuition (root cause: degrees have become too uniform and too universal; students must now seek additional differentiators). The original purpose of personal enrichment / learning to create a more enlightened populace unfortunately isn't popular enough to keep schools in business now that they've expanded to the size they've reached - people want something tangible from it.

When you view the university through that lens, online vs. offline doesn't seem like a particularly important distinction - at least for those from populated areas where schools are dense.

There's another component of what a university does, which is research - but that's a whole separate can of worms.
Marie Patterson
0
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Marie Patterson Entrepreneur
VP Loans Processing at Markit
That will never happen. There is more to school than learning from classes taught online. I have two master's degrees and have taken classes both
Roshan Diwakar
1
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Roshan Diwakar Entrepreneur
CTO and Principal Consultant at Xtreme Automation Corp
Will the increase in "Learning A, B, C" apps... eliminate kindergartens, elementary schools? No.

The Knowledge of the Universe is infinite. For every knowledge 'n' that you put on the internet, there is always 'n+1' that needs to be taught, collaborated in a structured setting -- with no constraints of 'business' goals or personal distractions.

Top Universities are also the only places on this planet which thoroughly vets out the top 20%ers in this world bringing together a diverse set of fresh minds to collaborate, share and build knowledge at a single location for a long duration of time.

I can't think of any other setting which gives the proximity, access and time duration to build the next layer of knowledge to understand the physical universe and living beings.

I'm not even going to mention the non-academic benefits of a university setting (networking, long term relationships, and good ol' partying)

So, my answer is a resounding 'no'. For the remaining 80% who can get by the current understanding of the world, you can make a case for a pure online university. But, even they benefit from non-academic activities of a university setting.
Eoin Matthews
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Eoin Matthews Entrepreneur
Cofounder at Point
Just from a practical perspective, most universities have made large capital investments in equipment that is essential to many types of academic learning (especially in the STEM subjects). Basically, those laboratories with expensive equipment and with skilled training are impossible to replicate virtually. Almost all of the STEM courses have some location-specific demands.

More of the typical liberal arts can be done remotely but therein lies some of the challenge and, perhaps, the answer -- it's the liberal arts students who typically struggle most (in the current world) to get a quick ROI on their college education investment.

The rest of the arguments I don't buy so much (e.g., networking, collaborations etc). Future generations who've grown up with different technologies are obviously going to network and collaborate differently from anyone today -- face to face may not hold much appeal or benefit for them. That remains to be seen but it's not a given that it will be THE reason for students to relocate for a university education.
Hoofar Pourzand
0
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Hoofar Pourzand Entrepreneur
Owner, Lotus Industries and Consulting Group
No,
But the online education will only grow. I don't think it's even close to what it can become. Also, the traditional universities will only become more and more expensive, which is very sad to see especially when governmental loans is one major player at this industry.

I did my Masters in Aerospace Engineering at one of the Universities that is ranked among the top 50 in the field I was interested in, back when I was a student. There are industries that can not be virtualized with the current existing technology, Aerospace Engineering is one of them but even 10 years ago when MIT Open Course was "the" online education, it was as popular it is today: Some people, I included, used it as a supplement pill and many more ignored it. What should change to make the online education truly ground breaking? Virtual reality and 3D printing technologies are two gateways to the future of Education Industry.

Karl Schulmeisters
0
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Karl Schulmeisters Entrepreneur
CTO ClearRoadmap

>>With the increase of Education startups revolutionizing the Education space<<


I'm seeing no such revolution. The best you have is the Kahn Academy which is bad teaching at its worst:

  • Perch and Preach

So far I have yet to see ANY "education innovator" do much more than that. Coursera etc. these are just basically recorded sessions of the course and not much more.

Sure, if you live in Bangalore and don't have access to univ. course work, or if you are a professional already in the field and need to brush up on something new - this is better than nothing. But so far nothing I've seen in the "Education" field comes close to what companies like Microsoft or Redhat or Oracle offer.


Joanan Hernandez
0
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Joanan Hernandez Entrepreneur
CEO & Founder at Mollejuo
Hello Karl,

"But so far nothing I've seen in the "Education" field comes close to what companies like Microsoft or Redhat or Oracle offer."

Wouldyou please elaborate on this?What does MS, RedHat & Oracle offer compare to a university?

Cheers!
Michael Barnathan
0
0
Michael Barnathan Entrepreneur • Advisor
Co-Founder of The Mountaintop Program, Google Alum
Be careful of assuming that the change a university makes will actually be attributed to that university. Before Bill Gates founded Microsoft, he was a student at Harvard. Lots of foundational technologies that enabled Microsoft, Oracle, et al. to go in and commercialize so successfully were created in universities.

Second-order effects are important too; they're simply harder to measure. But that's where education really shines.
John Sharp
6
2
John Sharp Entrepreneur
CEO at Hatcher
I hope "University's" eventually all go online... because then perhaps we will all be able to go back to spelling things correctly... as in "Universities"!
Thomas Watson
0
0
Thomas Watson Entrepreneur
Freelance SEO Analyst/Specialist and Web Developer
Depends. Some people learn better in a classroom. Others learn better in a university. I honestly with that universities would provide degrees based on different careers. There are more careers existing nowadays that rely on skill and talent that are learned outside the classroom. Also, some things can be taught better online for some people. So yea, I think universities should and will eventually go online. I never graduated college and I took courses in classroom and online. Personally, I've learned more things on my own reading stuff online in my own time on my own interest. Interest-based learning. In the classroom, it depends on the professor. Some professors are awesome at what they teach while others....not so much.
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