Modular education is the format of learning in a piece by piece fashion. Each skill or knowledge branch, is on a skill tree based pattern. Allowing for interleaving between branches, and the fundamental understanding of the overview of the skill.
Free form learning as I like to call it. Your choice on what you learn next, and it helps you retain the knowledge better as well.
Starting out your education the traditional way of doing things is to overload your information highways of your learning. This take all in approach is akin to a fire hose going into a tiny window.
With modular education you can break up that large hose into smaller streams, and more fluid of entry (easier to learn). The possibilities too are endless, since each person is fundamentally different; The individual learner; will be learning their own curriculum. Particularly at their own pace, which is most suitable for their engagement. YOUR engagement.
At this point in time the process is mostly manual with tools and frameworks like the Modular Degree.
However in the near future the development of Artificial intelligence in educational setting will progress further. Allowing for a more automated approach.
This is a platform where students can curate their own degree via MOOC’s, and other resources, as well as provide my own courses. This was the inspiration for PolyInnovator Academy, and the process of pursuing your own Modular Self-Education. Perhaps creating a way to get that Self-Edu accreditation, instead of just how to build them.
I know there has been some websites sort of doing it. People have been talking about MOOC degrees for a hot minute now, but there lacks accountability. Most of the websites that talk about it, simply make a list of courses in a blog post and call it a day.
I do know that sites like www.classcentral.com actively tries to do more than that. At the very least explains what options are available for potential/current students. For those who do not know Class Central is a search engine, discovery platform, and review site for MOOC’s.
Community Aspect of Learning
The CEO of Class Central, Dhawal Shah, said on elearninginside:
” But one thing that has sort of been lost is the community aspect of it….. You can’t just put a course online and expect that people will learn from it. But if you build that ecosystem around it…” https://news.elearninginside.com/moocs-learners-perspective-conversation-dhawal-shah-founder-class-central-com
I quite resonate with that, for out of all the courses I’ve taken, there hasn’t really been much of a community aspect. Yes there are forums or chat, but none of them quite get that deep level of interactivity.
One of the biggest benefits of MOOC’s is the fact that often a lot of them are self-paced. This can be good or bad depending on how disciplined you. Conversely some Mooc-based degrees focus on a time table system. Even if you are disciplined they often can be quite rigorous despite being online.
This intensity of participation can often come as a surprise to many.
In 2018 there was a lot of new degrees introduced on learning platforms like edX, and I believe there will be more coming this year as well. Already University of Queensland is working on a masters to connect with their Corporate Innovation MicroMasters.
These degrees are quite intriguing partially because of their microcredential counterparts. Such as MicroMaster, or MasterTrack, for EdX and Coursera respectively. They lead into certain degrees, often by the same university, although some can even lead into different schools on edX’s side.
This can open the opportunity to many who may not normally be able to go to school.
Here at PolyInnovator Academy the idea of making a Mooc-based degree is quite accepted, but some places people are still trying to wrap their heads around the idea.
Understanding the Current Education System
The current system works by maximizing accreditation opportunities in order to get more benefits from the government. This isn’t a bad thing in concept, but combined that with raising tuition rates and it paints a different picture.
The challenges many schools face is not providing the best education, or getting enough funding. It is getting enough people graduated, so they can make more money.
This profit-centric system has lead to inflated education costs, and less inclination to make the students do better.
There has to be a system to complete the schooling you sign up for, and this goes for the Modular degree as well. There needs to be, and PolyInnovator is working on it too, to hold students accountable. Loss of money shouldn’t be the only motivation. Not only should there be a positive connotation, but if there has to be a negative it should be much more strict.
Such as if you fail a course it could have repercussions on your degree, or something along those lines. Conversely if you excel at your work, besides having honors, maybe there could be a change in a positive light to your degree.
One way we could go about this is standardizing the system in a new decentralized way. There is too much bureaucracy involving in accreditation. If there was a way to create a measurable impact of any degree or course, then we could use that to quantify a student’s learning.
Universal Learning Unit
“Imagine a system in which we allocate one Universal Study Point (USP) per 25 study hours. “https://www.classcentral.com/report/universal-lifelong-learning-credit-system/
A brilliant idea to create a points system, as an alternative to college credits.
This Universal Point could revolutionize education because it wouldn’t just be the first world countries benefiting. Even third world schools and universities could create their curriculum to a higher standard. This new standard could give people in lower thresholds of success a new path to higher education.
Giving “Quality Education” (From the UN’s SDGs) to a wider range of people.
Coming All Together
All in all I would say the future is looking bright, and maybe some would disagree. However we haven’t had a real revolution in education since the time of Henry Ford. The Internet is giving way for new ways of doing things.
One of which is the Modular Degree, and I hope that in the near future it could consolidate all of those topics talked about today.
Creating a new system of which could be spread across the world.