For my final, I want to explore ways to explicitly link an online course’s offerings to a real life task or need. There is a debate in higher learning about the cost of higher education over one’s lifetime and if it truly is a means to the middle class and beyond. Online learning is well positioned to make a goal to be a rigorous examination of the value of the skills a student gains from completing a course. There is also a need in industry for the completion of a specific type of task. There may be demand for an efficient market for immediate skills learned by a student on the fly using online tools. For a cinematic analogy, imagine how the heroes of the Matrix learn their fighting skills. For a real time analogy, think of the plans for the defense department to use video game scores as a way to recruit possible drone pilots.
I mentioned in our first class the example of the high school that teaches and assessing programming by making students participate in tasks that real world programmers complete like bug reporting. Ms. Kamenetz mentioned the english and history classes that edited wikipedia. First, there may be an opportunity for people in all types of industries, whether it be health care or finance, to participate in tasks. Second, it must be in the interest of business to find skills they need fast. There should be a better linkage between someone who immediately learned a skill (and may make a better attempt at utilizing that skill at the right time) and the industry that needs it.
I hope to design an infrastructure where those two needs meet.
We should try to go where people are in order to train them. Social networks and online gaming can become educational site. I propose that online games can serve as a site to train and test these possible candidates for specific tasks.