"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
March 22, 2006

The Trials of E-ducation

The failure of the collaborative AllLearn project (funded by Oxford, Yale and Stanford) poses a lot of questions for those interested in the online delivery of tertiary education. I recall looking in depth at the AllLearn site on a few occasions and I was put off by two things. First, it was impossible to cohere […]

The failure of the collaborative AllLearn project (funded by Oxford, Yale and Stanford) poses a lot of questions for those interested in the online delivery of tertiary education. I recall looking in depth at the AllLearn site on a few occasions and I was put off by two things. First, it was impossible to cohere the courses into programme; second, there was no qualification on offer.

Granted that AllLearn was delivered as a continuing education package, however the problem remains; who is this for and where does it move them to? AllLearn seemed to be education without goals, without direction. Part of what attracted me (and many others) to Berkleemusic is the feeling that their courses, even if not equivalent to a full degree, still create a sense of progress and still meet a “vocational” need. Whilst some of the people I met on the Berklee programme were already full-time musicians, many were in other careers seeking either to dedicate mre time to their music or to transition into a fuller role in music. The fact is those courses are costly and it requires some serious passion to make the financial sacrifice required to take them.

Maybe online educators need to look a little deeper than just “continuing education” and focus more on transitional education. The goal may be, in the words of Robert Frost, seek to unite vocation with avocation. This requires more than just one-off filler courses, it requires programmes that create a sense of momentum and have the gravitas to aid in moving from one line of work to another.

[tags] Online Education, AllLearn, Berkleemusic [/tags]

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