Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Will Campuses Become Irrelevant?

A BYU professsor thinks that in a world of YouTube and iPhones, paying $100,000+ for a campus-based education will be seen as absurdly not worth the money. Also see the nearly 100 comments that follow the article.


Anonymous said...

Those comments are a riot.

I saw two of them that said what I've thought about learning: it depends on the student. If the student is motivated to learn something, the student will find a way to learn something, whether that be college or not.

Will campuses become irrelevant? They will if they don't keep up with the times. How well do they do that now? If they're falling behind now, they won't be any better in 2020.

They won't go away anytime soon, not with the love affair many people seem to have with the idea of college, or the colleges' need to survive. They will change only if it is deemed absolutely necessary.

I do think there is a place for classes on a campus. Some learners learn better in that setting. Besides, there are still some professions that require rigorous training that you can't get anywhere else. But for those who need and want other options, they should have more than what most colleges offer. And I have a feeling that there will be better options 10 years from now.

For the people that argue that you also pay for a social experience: you should not be going to college for the unique, and uniquely expensive, social experience.

Kelly said...

One very obvious educational option that many people either don't know about or don't think applies to them is the CLEP (http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/clep/about.html). It's not just for geniuses or for people with highly specialized knowledge (what I thought for many wasted years). What it means is that no one with (1) above average intelligence and (2) a decent amount of self discipline should begin college as anything less than a sophomore. Don't pay big bucks for freshman-level classes, ever.

GeekMBA360 said...

I think one missing piece is the "supporting network" for study. For me, one of the most value thing for my college experience was the friends I made, and the smart people I met. I learned a lot of from those people as well.

Forum/message board could provide some peer-to-peer help and communication, but it's still different from in-person contacts. Maybe we need a meetup.com for online learners.

Marty Nemko said...

No one would argue that having social contact is valuable but to obtain it, there's no need to pay the mammoth sums colleges charge.

Anonymous said...

I think that professor is right in a way. Some people do find a need to be
face to face, but I think more and more people enjoy the flexibility of
learning from home. Also, some colleges are getting so expensive that people
are going to find a way to make it more efficient and cost-effective.

Cornhusker said...

Yes, let's hope they become irrelevant. Here's some interesting news from the recent Berkshire Hathaway meeting in Omaha.

"Messrs. Buffett and Munger made clear their complete disdain for the use of higher-order mathematics in finance.

"There is so much that's false and nutty in modern investing practice and modern investment banking, that if you just reduced the nonsense, that's a goal you should reasonably hope for," Mr. Buffett said. Regarding complex calculations used to value purchases, he said: "If you need to use a computer or a calculator to make the calculation, you shouldn't buy it."

Said Mr. Munger: "Some of the worst business decisions I've ever seen are those with future projections and discounts back. It seems like the higher mathematics with more false precision should help you, but it doesn't. They teach that in business schools because, well, they've got to do something."

Mr. Buffett said: "If you stand up in front of a business class and say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, you won't get tenure....Higher mathematics my be dangerous and lead you down pathways that are better left untrod."


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