Hurray, a non-government solution to the cost of education
"Higher Education in the Digital Age, a slim and highly readable volume, is built around Bowen's Tanner Lectures at Stanford University and includes reactions from four astute observers, Stanford President John Hennessy, Harvard education professor Howard Gardner, Columbia humanities scholar Andrew Delbanco, and Daphne Koller, president of the for-profit online education company Coursera. The collection of voices provides a thoughtful and provocative discussion of the emergence of online education, which Hennessy says is hitting colleges and universities with the force of a "tsunami."
Supporters of online learning argue that it has the potential to pull off a higher education hat trick: reduce costs, raise learning outcomes, and reduce inequalities. Bowen, an early skeptic, now declares himself a "convert," though one who adopts a measured tone. "I regard the prospects as promising, but also challenging," he suggests."
If you add to this volunteer tutors, the student could get more individual attention and the volunteer gets a refresher.
""Early in his career, Bowen helped identify the "cost disease" facing labor-intensive industries such as higher education and the performing arts, which have found it difficult to raise productivity. Bowen invokes Cornell economist Robert Frank's observation: "While productivity gains have made it possible to assemble cars with only a tiny fraction of the labor that was once required, it still takes four musicians nine minutes to perform Beethoven's String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, just as it did in the 19th century." To make matters worse, the wage premium for highly educated workers, like professors, has grown.""
"But will learning outcomes suffer as universities move to a greater reliance on online learning? Bowen argues that if online learning options are executed in the right way, outcomes won't suffer, and, indeed, should improve. Particularly promising, he suggests, is the "hybrid" approach, which mixes online lectures with face-to-face "active learning" sessions. This method, called "flipping the classroom," was found by one poll to receive 69 percent support from professors.
According to Bowen, the most rigorous study to date of online learning involves a randomized trial experiment of a "hybrid" statistics class designed by Carnegie Mellon University, taught mostly online with a once-a-week face-to-face question-and-answer session. The experiment involved 600 students, some of whom took the more expensive class in a traditional setting while others took less costly hybrid classes. The differences in completion rates and on tests were not statistically significant—and low-income students succeeded at comparable levels in the two sets of classes."
volunteer tutors would allow the student could get more individual attention and the acceptability of both student and volunteer would be continually tested. Students could continually discuss the abilities of there tutors with students migrating to the best. Students who were lazy or inept could be invited to leave by a volunteer. Survivors in both categories would continually
Improve. At some point the volunteers would surpass the professors. The remaining professors could be left to teach the laze and inept- for their fee .
"But skeptics—including Delbanco and Gardner—wonder if the hype is too good to be true. In education, there is often a trade-off between quality and cost. Just as an expensive ten-person seminar usually provides more meaningful learning opportunities than a 300-person lecture class, learning may also suffer in cheaper online classes designed for thousands."
Identified and solved. Use volunteers to man 30 ten person seminars, at no cost. Or of the class size is thousands, find volunteers in the hundreds.
Sent from my iPad