Thanks Quincy. The work done at freecodecamp is urgent and essential, and I applaud you for your contribution. It matters.
My point about dropout rates wasn’t to say that MOOCs are bad, particularly the ones that focus on critical skills. It was to point out that without the carrot (the degree, the “A”) and the stick (peer pressure), it’s clear that traditional educational techniques have a tough time transferring to a new medium, at least for most people.
So, if we’re going work to bring education to more people, yes, we should certainly optimize courses that have a tiny marginal cost, but we also need to rethink other options.
I’ve been teaching in search of that other way for more than twenty years, relentlessly avoiding ways to maximize profit. It’s not easy or safe, but it’s a worthwhile journey. The free SAMBA, FeMBA and other sessions I’ve run in my office have been transformative for everyone involved, but they don’t scale, not at all. The Leadership Workshops I ran this year as a fundraiser for plus Acumen were a significant change agent for the 1200 people who took them, and the cost was relatively low. plus Acumen is now building out entire online curricula for groups around the world, courses they offer for free or close to free. All of them involve group work.
I have no illusion that I’ve found the one magic bullet, nor do I think that this is the end of the process. The internet, the crowd of people who want to lead and participate, the technology — all of it points to ever more courses for every more people.
My argument, I guess, is that high touch is worth it, and that seeking enrollment instead of compliance needs to be our North Star.
Thanks again for the comment and for the work you’re doing.