Ten years from now college might not look too different from the outside—the manicured quads, the football games, the parties—but the learning experience students receive will probably be fundamentally different from the one they get today, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Textbooks. Lecture halls. September-to-spring calendars. Over the next decade, technology may sweep away some of the most basic aspects of a university education and usher in a flood of innovations and changes.
Look for online classes that let students learn at their own pace, drawing on materials from schools across the country—not just a single professor and a hefty textbook.
All those changes probably won’t make a university education cheaper—alas—but they will likely upend our perceptions about how we value it. Traditionally, schools have been judged by how many prospective students they turn away, not by how many competent graduates they churn out.
“Those are status rankings, driven by exclusivity and preservation of an old model,” says Michael Crow, the president of Arizona State University. But as new technologies seep into the classroom, it will be easier to measure what students actually learn. That will “make universities more accountable for what they produce,” Dr. Crow says.
… In the near future, professors will run their courses over digital platforms capable of collecting data on each student’s progress. These platforms were initially developed for massive open online courses, or MOOCs. However, universities are now folding these platforms back into their traditional classes because they make it easier to share content, host discussions and keep track of student work.