BBC News reported on a discussion around Universities and their online offering for students recently. The story centered around a claim made by Daphne Koller, President of Coursera – an online learning platform –that the rush is on, and that leading Universities will offer fully accredited undergraduate courses online within five years.
Making Digital Progress
Typically, the online offering from digital courses is focused on achieving a certificate and completing a shorter course as supposed to a full blown undergraduate degree. Daphne believes this will soon change to include; lengthier study, invigilated exams and every other component you’d expect from what is at present, a residential 3+ year qualification.
As the original online recruitment agency founded in 2005 we felt our industry was too mired in tradition and could thrive – saving thousands for clients – if operated solely online. And we were proved right; the RR story continues as our business goes from strength to strength.
It is for this reason that to us it seems only natural that formal education will soon start to follow business and embrace the digital era fully.
Should Universities take the plunge and make cyber space a formal home for degree learning, the expensive world of residential tuition – and those controversial fees and loans – could drift into the background. Online courses are cheaper to run and logistical savings mean costs in turn could be saved and passed back to students – educating a higher volume of people to degree level. This, in our opinion, could help newly qualified candidates and their recruitment efforts when applying for STEM-based and other such jobs (although for many positions degrees are not necessary).
This brings another parallel with RR too. By being online we are able to deliver the same service as offline agencies, but at a lesser cost – something Universities will echo should they further embrace online learning.
It’s implied in the article that Universities are embedded in tradition – and of course, we should preserve their wonderful heritage. However, the benefits of going digital can’t be ignored. One argument for keeping University degrees away from cyber space is personalisation, or lack of with online learning. However, the article notes that a lecture hall with 300 people in it isn’t personal either, and a live video stream of a lecture along with other students may fare just as well.
There’s also the point one could consider that online learning technology is expensive, temperamental and cumbersome – but as smartphone technology advances that’s no longer the case.
Leading the Way
In the USA Coursera has announced a partnership with the US State Department to help refugees access online courses to improve their job chances. Additionally, the UK’s online University platform Futurelearn has announced a project with the University of Leeds where units studied online will count as credits towards degrees.
There is solid progress taking place all over the world.
Given the nature of our business RecruitmentRevolution.com couldn’t endorse this move more! Our business is growing and thriving because of its digital roots and we believe this move will allow for more affordable education in line with modern societal movements.
"the UK’s online University platform Futurelearn has announced a project with the University of Leeds where units studied online will count as credits towards degrees."