Four years in, students are beginning to graduate from the world’s first free online university. What is their credential worth?
This seems like an interesting experiment, but the limited choice of degree plans is worrying. And the fact that the university isn’t accredited is even more worrying.
Still, I would like to know more about the graduates of this experimental institution and how they’re faring in the job market. It appears that for some of the graduates, at least, the gamble is paying off.
What’s most interesting about the university is that it is deliberately low-tech. The course materials are open source texts and the method of communication between students and professors is asynchronous, generally involving e-mail and discussion forums only. Written assignments are required, but some of the assessment for each course is provided through peer-to-peer interaction. I’d love to see what graduates think of this model of education. Do they feel like they’ve missed out on something by not attending a traditional brick-and-mortar institution? Is the free tuition enough to make up for the lack of face-to-face interaction?
I’m willing to bet that the education you get is on par with the traditional face-to-face education I received, but I’d love to hear what others think. Comments are open!
Source (New York Times): Where Are the Graduates of University of the People?