June 15, 2012 Chari Leader-Kelley
The information explosion is bigger and better than any of the futurists could envision. The good news is that for curious learners, this is the time to direct your learning your way on your terms!
Whether you visit Khan Academy or participate in a MOOC (massive open online course) or simply search the web for information on a subject you want to learn more about – your intellectual curiosity can take you farther and faster in your learning for virtually free! While some traditionally-minded folks question the “quality” of such learning, quality is not the issue. It’s the learning itself.
I don’t have to apply to a college to take a course in “Introduction to Marketing.” If I look on the web, I’ll find tremendous resources organized in ways that appeal to my own interests, learning style, and budget. Moreover, I can find ways marketing theories are applied every day for some of the most successful brands globally.
Now, it’s one thing for me to be walking around with the knowledge. It’s another thing for me to get credit for it. For many of us, access to an enriching learning experience is all we need now. For most of us, we want credit for that learning so that we can get that job of our dreams, or move laterally at a company or even move up. Still, the college degree is the admission ticket to jobs – even when we have equivalent knowledge.
PLA – Prior Learning Assessment – is gaining momentum nationally. When I can document my learning as equivalent to college-level learning and it can be translated into credit hours, I can earn my degree faster (by not having to take courses for the knowledge I’ve gained independently on my own) and save money (tuition!). The skills I use to direct my own learning are invaluable to an employer. The degree opens the door! For information about how to earn credit for what you know, go to www.learningcounts.org
. It’s a national game changer for higher education and highly motivated self-directed learners! For information about MOOCs, check out this video:
Or this article from Inside Higher Ed