Dan & Sarah,
This is a great critique of the GA type of education system. We had some amazing conversations at this year’s IxD Education Summit in Helsinki. Would love to have you submit something for the upcoming Summit happening in NYC in Feb, next.
Something I’d like to offer to this conversation as someone who’s done both professional vocational training and was a professor at an accredited institution (both undergraduate and graduate levels). What is missing from GA is what makes solid educational platforms success:
- Not all candidates get a free pass into a program. They have to apply, be vetted through some sort of process and accepted based on meeting explicit and repeatable criteria.
- Completion is not synonymous with attendance. There has to be assessment of work completed.
- Curricula have to have clear goals and outcomes that are articulated throughout the program.
When one of these is missing, what I’ve noticed is that you get the 10% confirmation bias of evaluation that it seems GA is having. That is to say that 10% of your recruits are already amazing (standard bell curve) so you can promote that same 10% of “graduates’” outcomes as amazing b/c odds are they will be. And so you have confirmed that your program is successful. Yeah!
I teach a lecture per immersive course here in Austin. I do my thing. What I see are eager and motivated students, but it is always on a spectrum. There are definitely levels of engagement.
I would say that out of the 3 issues above, the first one is the most important. If you accept everyone you will always end up with just 10% being acceptable graduates. But that is enough to make your case of success.