By Sean Scarpiello
Recently in the field of higher education Carnegie Learning, a company that designs cutting edge online math tutorials, was bought by the company that owns the highly popular online college, University of Phoenix. Therefore, we can expect an increase in the amount of online educational programs in the future. This will bring education to more people in more places at a very low price. This will also change the current infrastructure of higher education as we know today.
How will this effect higher education in the long run?
First, increased availability of online learning means that it will be extremely cheap to educate millions of people. This will be great for individuals because everyone will have the opportunity to learn. It is also great that Carnegie Learning is creating this ground breaking program because it will definitely be a success. This company has scientists whom have studied the ways humans think and learn; therefore, the programs that they make are very personalized and designed to be successful for each individual student. Since these programs are so personalized, students will learn quickly and efficiently and thus at a lower price.
These new programs will also affect the typical four year college greatly. Colleges need a campus, dorms, professors, labs, dining halls, libraries and much more. Online education requires only a computer and an internet connection. Therefore, online education institutions do not need to worry about funding for all the other aspects of college. They deal with the class being taught which allows students to avoid spending a small fortune on a college education. This will pose a problem for many colleges and universities that have not yet kept up with the rising popularity of online education. These programs will literally steal students from campus due to their lower prices.
One may argue that online education is a joke and that students will not flock to these programs because there is a lack of prestige associated with these programs. Some large universities have already invested in these new technologies and they will be the ones to survive this new change. When it comes to this shift from the campus to the online classroom, I feel as if it will be gradual at first and pick up a lot more support in the following years. We cannot expect a change overnight, but within the next four years, expect a different norm for higher education. This also does not mean that students will never step foot in a classroom again, but students will definitely spend less time in class and more time learning on their own with these programs.
The Carnegie Learning programs will change the way that students are graded in school. This will definitely have an effect on the jobs and futures of students after they graduate. For example, someone with a B+ in an MIT calculus class will be looked on more favorably then someone with the same B+ who goes to a less prestigious school. With these cutting edge programs, someone who took a class on economics in California will have taken the same exact class as students in New York. This also means they took the same tests and completed the same assignments and can be graded equally when it comes to securing a job.
Overall, the rising popularity of online education has now gotten a large boost and we can expect to see a general shift towards online classes in the future. Not only are they cheaper, but they bring a higher standard of education to more people worldwide.