Another Credential in the Wall

Elite colleges all allege to be global institutions, and many are known around the world. But it is simply untenable to claim global leadership in educating a planet of seven billion people when you hoard your educational offerings for a few thousand fortunates living together on a small patch of land.

MIT Mints a Valuable New Form of Academic Currency”  Kevin Carey

It’s one more step in the evolution of the new decentralized education system: inexpensive credentials for MIT’s open courses. This is going to spread from school to school, in a kind of vanguard fashion, I imagine, until at some point someone will call for some sort of systemic standards. Once those standards are in place,  people  will be able to gather collections of these credentials as the  ad hoc equivalent of a college education.

At some point, someone will define how a particular collection of credentials makes up a college degree… We’ll have to figure out if a set of credentials collected online is in every case equal to, less than, or greater than, a  credential or set earned in a traditional classroom… Will a set of credentials gathered at several different places be seen as inherently more valuable than a set gathered at one place?

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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