"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Inspirational Management Education

As learning institutions become more centered on a full bodied education and interdisciplinary collaboration, why not go further. Take inter-university collaborations to the next level by using web 2.0 as a starting point. While online education is no new idea, who usually teaches it? Well established professors and professional educators. What about students? Students that are truly passionate about one specific subject, whether they are just sharing information, course notes, analyzing a course they’ve already taken or putting their own spin on old course content, they can create a learning environment friendly to other students.

We all understand something best if we can teach it, so why not share the information from the best class you’ve ever taken or maybe it’s the one you hate – but after teaching it you gain a better understanding of the content and come to, like, or slightly less than hate the course. If a proper online establishment was set up, students could take mini-courses or workshops on different subjects they were passionate about. The online community would have to create standards for testing and other ways of proving that the course content has reached the students, but these technicalities could be easily worked out by using many of the business models already set up for online education today.

As course content is explained and understood by a variety of mediums (podcasts, videos, documents, presentations, etc.), and once it has been tested, the students could receive 'mini degrees' or certification in small amounts about things they are truly passionate about. With no restrictions on how many credits in which subject matter are required to graduate (because there is no formal graduation, students may come and leave at any given time) students have the opportunity to seek what they are truly passionate about. This could be achieved by either teaching a subject or learning course content. The opportunity generated here enables students to sample many different subject areas until they find something they like in which they can further pursue it in a post-secondary institution.

This type of learning environment might be most suitable for students transitioning from high school to post-secondary education or those who are already in a post-secondary institution but lack the focus and direction in which to complete their degree.

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