Monday, October 03, 2011

Our unprepared graduates

Original Article

Summary goes here!
To me, I have read this kind of articles long enough and have heard enough of proposed solution and I am basically not very interested in this kind of articles anymore.

For this particular one, the value is that it pointed out the quality of college graduate is of concern. However, this is not the first time this idea been pointed out. Personally, I have asked this question for a long time and there are various others.

The bigger question is what we are going to do to solve this problem.

For the beginner, we have to understand couple of things. First of all, our higher education all like to be unique and all have their own mission and there is no way to compare them - claimed our higher education insider (Presidents, Professors ... alike). Second of all, all our higher education claimed to equipped our students with critical thinking skills that none of our higher education insider knows how to quantify it. Third and not the last, our higher education insiders believe United State has the best higher education system in the world and there is no need to fix.

As we all know, higher education insiders include a lot of well educated, sophisticate professors, whose words carry weights - right or wrong is a different issue. But, as we all know, protecting self-interest is not immunized by any human beings including professors. In order for us to inches to anywhere closer to the solution, we have to exam these myth.

To continue...

The University of Wherever

Original Article

Summary goes here!
This has been my idea all these times. Like the article said, a lot of those in question can be resolved. For example, the evaluation or test can be arranged at a test center similar to what ACT has been handled all these years.

The biggest problem I see is actually the accreditation. Just think about this, they can't even trust Thrun to issue a Standford credit. The 'statement of accomplishment' may good to show someone who knows who Thrun is. But in general, it is useless for any practical purpose. Do you think that is what a 'normal' student is looking for? I doubt it.

One thing I would like to point out is that the statement 'There would be huge audiences and paychecks for superstar teachers, but dimmer prospects for those who are less charismatic.' is not necessary true. In the learning world, it is not the best written book will have the best effect on all students. Based on student’s background, some less than stellar book may have the most effect on some students. The same is true for lecturer. Based on the growing-up experiences of a lecturer, their illustration of a topic can be totally different and affect the same audience at different level. So, there is no short of the need for lecturer. Even for that non-lecturer, they can serve the purpose of counselor and customize the information to students' need.

Again, I see the greatest obstacle in evaluation and accreditation. Given that none of the professors these days supporting some kind of uniformed evaluation and the accreditation is still based largely on none student-achievement based factors, I see no light in front of this yet.