This is a fascinating development. According to my Theory of Disaggregation, knowledge organizations that are based on physical locations will be reorganized by other methods. It has already affected the music industry, the newspaper industry and the book industry. This will definitely include universities.
A university is basically a place where there is knowledge. People come to it because that is where the knowledge is. Of course with the Internet, now the knowledge comes to us so where does that leave colleges?
This week’s theme I want to talk about is what I think is going to happen to universities.
Exhibit A: University of Wisconsin is going to allow a new program that will be based on competency based learning. Usually you get a degree by accumulating a certain amount of credit hours and adequate grades. With the new system, you will demonstrate mastery of certain skills in order to get a degree. This takes the emphasis off of time. Instead you can take a long as you want to master a skill. Some people will do it fast, some will do it slowly but even so each person will master the skills. I like this better and seems to be a more natural way to learn.
Learning can’t happen on a schedule.