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probes
1st May 2013, 06:23
BBC News - Jimmy Wales: Boring university lectures 'are doomed' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22160988)


"I think that the impact is going to be massive and transformative," says Mr Wales, describing the importance of the MOOCs (massive open online courses) that have signed up millions of students.
"It's also been slower than anyone would have anticipated. But I'm not a person who thinks that people will be able to just go online and get a complete education without the guidance of the teacher. That sort of simplistic model shouldn't be our framework."
Instead he thinks that universities need to use online technology where it really works.
And from his own experience as a student, the traditional university lecture should have been condemned decades ago and replaced with an online video recording that can be stopped and started.
[---]
Wikipedia itself is central to this changing landscape in which huge amounts of high-quality information are available free anywhere with an internet connection.

when I went to school, we were forbidden to write with ball-point pens (ruins the handwriting... not that I have any despite having started with the regular fountain pen :sad:), then we used the slide rule [had to look up the word, slipstick in the US Wiki said], but not during the tests - one would lose the ability to use one's brains if doing so...
By now students do admit their online activities (F-b etc) are distracting and exhausting - so, do you think people will massively use 'the devices' for something meaningful, like studying?
(I'm for banning boring lectures, btw, just the criteria of 'boring' could be somewhat blurry?)

KAG
1st May 2013, 06:39
Probes: EXCELLENT subject.

Education is going to live a revolution. That's what I have been saying for a long time around me.

You now can explore the universe at home (Stary night enthousiast with world wild REAL telescope online for example) and do some major research that can be published FROM HOME without having a PhD (yes it happens).
(see Universe Comins as a guide and online exercice for beginners)


You can study biology (biology Deboeck, Raven) and do experiences at home with a cheap home laboratory and online exercices.

You can study all neurosciences (Neurosciences and Sylvius 4 online exercises) from home at the highest level.

At your own pace, exploring what interests you the most. Internet being the best tool ever even to exchange with your professors and other students.

Results are great, flexibles, highly interesting.

Next step will be: exams open the whole year any time you want when you are ready on a particular subject.

You can become an expert in the subject you are interested in with much more efficiency.

University will take place mainly AT HOME (with some part to be done at university) and GLOBAL.

The Postman has an ATPL and a JB pprune PhD.

KAG
1st May 2013, 06:49
I know many people look down on Wikipedia because there are some mistakes from time to time.
But I want to say Wikipedia is one of the most important and great creation this century, let's be honest.
And let's be frank: everybody uses it now, even the ones who don't admit it.
Never hesitate to make a donation to Wikipedia, a free universal tool. :D:D:D

500N
1st May 2013, 07:02
KAG

I'd agree with that.

Even if it has mistakes, it gives you a first point of call,
it often lists the sources and other references / links to
go to all of which + Google allow you to cross check
and verify the information quickly for accuracy.

As much as people say they do not like it.

green granite
1st May 2013, 07:07
know many people look down on Wikipedia because there are some mistakes from time to time.

Not just mistakes but deliberate falsification in some cases, Wiki should not be used as an authority on any subject that is controversial such as medical research or climate change. Remember, anyone can edit any article to say what they wish it to say.

KAG
1st May 2013, 07:17
Not just mistakes but deliberate falsification in some cases, Wiki should not be used as an authority on any subject that is controversial such as medical research or climate change.
Yep, but some university teachers at university desagree concerning climate change too. What you see on wikipedia only reflects what happens between scholars and their fight against each others.


Anyway that is a thread about Education, and you learn more reading Wikipedia than not (and still can make your own mind like you do).


500N: exactly.

toffeez
1st May 2013, 07:18
The pest who went from door to door trying to get people to pay a fortune for a heavy pile of books.

The knowledge therein was supposed to remain valid for a lifetime. An investment.

I wonder what he's doing now. Good riddance, anyway.

probes
1st May 2013, 08:22
yep, and Wikipedia is good for language, also maybe it's even good that one has to know - doubt and check everything? :cool:

Also it would mean (or does already) international competition and comparison for lecturers.


P.S what's that The Postman-thing, btw?

Hydromet
1st May 2013, 08:26
Because the number of students undertaking the course that I teach is small, it is only offered by external study through one institution in Australia. Most students would never see a lecturer in the flesh, although we do offer some introductory subjects in an intensive one week practical session.

Our contact with students is through email, telephone,faceb00k including Adobe connect sessions. As most students are working in the field, they are required to have their supervisor certify their practical ability.

As mentioned by KAG, exams, until recently, were taken as subjects were completed, not necessarily at the end of the year. Now, with a rewriting of the course, there are no exams, only assignments that must be passed (no marks, just pass/fail).

I have mixed feelings about the changes. I've found correspondence study generally better because of the more consistent quality of the 'learning resources'. In the case of this course they are usually written by experts in the topic, rather than being presented by a lecturer who may have only text book knowledge himself. However, I'd prefer to see exams, as assignments can and should be done with access to texts, internet etc, unlike exams taken under secure conditions which go a little way to demonstrating the students retained knowledge. I'm also disappointed in the format of the course materials - they are all printed notes, while a similar course run by the USGS includes video clips, interactive quizzes and audio commentary.

KAG
1st May 2013, 08:44
Hydromet: I have mixed feelings about the changes. I've found correspondence study generally better because of the more consistent quality of the 'learning resources'. In the case of this course they are usually written by experts in the topic, rather than being presented by a lecturer who may have only text book knowledge himself. However, I'd prefer to see exams, as assignments can and should be done with access to texts, internet etc, unlike exams taken under secure conditions which go a little way to demonstrating the students retained knowledge. I'm also disappointed in the format of the course materials - they are all printed notes, while a similar course run by the USGS includes video clips, interactive quizzes and audio commentary. Sure there is room for improvement: that's just the beginning. Ang good for you for sharing your knowledge with your students: we need more teacher than ever.

Wikimail.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
1st May 2013, 08:57
1. University lecturers are not, generally, teachers. Students should not go to lectures expecting to be entertained by the lecturer; the material itself should be interest enough. That said..
2. If they are good teachers, lectures are more interesting. I've lectured for a couple of years and the students were practically fighting to get on my courses. However..
3. Universities and schools are generally no longer interested in top quality teaching. They certainly won't pay for it. They pay for adequate teaching, and the money goes to top researchers who bring even more money in. Furthermore, the teaching unions are running a closed shop, and does anyone really believe that a PGCE/BEd guarantees adequate teaching any more? It certainly doesn't where you have a non-specialist.
3. You can't make a policy of shifting good science teachers into Uni because...there aren't enough good science teachers in the school system.
4. I think the future is in home schooling/study using online resources, authored by people who are good teachers, and backed by sessions with experienced tutors who are good teachers. Nothing else will work as there simply aren't enough good teachers out there in subjects like math(s) and physics.


Major weaknesses with wikipedia - they will not accept anything that hasn't been printed, and they will accept anything that has been printed. Printing is assumed to indicate veracity, and it doesn't. & v.v.

dead_pan
1st May 2013, 09:29
Interesting thread.

I was talking to a chum a couple of weeks back about the costs of a uni education here in the UK. Apparently quite a few parents are accompanying there kids when doing the rounds to ask the uni reps some hard questions about the amount of lecture and tutor time they will be getting for their money. Seems bizarre you have to fork out nine grand a year to get a couple of lectures and a few sessions with your tutor a week (not all subjects granted). Not exactly value-for-money.

The market is changing rapidly and in time I think we'll see the demise of the conventional 3/4 year residential uni course. As fox3 has said it will be replaced by more flexible, home-based distance learning-type provision. Its a shame in some respects because half the fun of uni was living it up with a bunch of like-minded and like-aged people. Mind you, its much more fun a bit later in life when you have a bit more financial firepower and nouse to really enjoy yourself. Ahh, those residential weekends when I was doing my Masters:E. Those undergraduates didn't know what hit them!

dead_pan
1st May 2013, 09:36
Wikipedia is usually a good start point when - gives you a steer in the right direction when researching a topic. The fact it may not be entirely accurate is also a good thing IMO - it encourages us to dig deeper and not take everything we read at face value.

Worrals in the wilds
1st May 2013, 09:53
I'm also disappointed in the format of the course materials - they are all printed notes, while a similar course run by the USGS includes video clips, interactive quizzes and audio commentary. Being a bit of a perennial student (though I do have a couple of bits of paper to show for it :\) I've noticed a huge variation in course materials. Unis that are good at external study have all the stuff you mention. Unis that aren't (the sandstone institutions IME) basically send you a bunch of paperwork at the start of semester and schedule an exam at the end.

I've found (from both my own experience and that of my friends) that the smaller unis like CSU, USQ and Griffith have more to prove and deliver a better external product. The big guys are already raking in a fortune from wealthy international and domestic school leavers, so they don't have to try so hard.

3. Universities and schools are generally no longer interested in top quality teaching. They certainly won't pay for it. They pay for adequate teaching, and the money goes to top researchers who bring even more money in...Absolutely. I hadn't thought of that, but it explains why the aforementioned sandstone unis don't always deliver a sandstone product. Smaller institutions don't do so much research work (and it's usually concentrated in one or two areas) so if they want income they need students.

In summary, I think external study is great for people who work, people who live in remote areas and people who are looking to further existing qualifications. However, in my experience it's not so great for doing a primary degree in a study field that needs hands on tuition. For example, I don't know if you could do an external degree in Chemistry or Medicine effectively without either blowing up your house or getting arrested for body-snatching :E:ooh:.

Book based courses like Arts, Business or Law are a different matter, particularly if there are scheduled residential courses. In many ways I found internet resources were more useful than twice weekly lectures with the added advantage of flexible attendance via your computer. I do think that without a supervised exam it's almost impossible to gauge whether a student is submitting their own work (even then it's fraught with rorts) but that can be managed by sending out the papers to a local institution that supervises students.

Wikipedia is usually a good start point when - gives you a steer in the right direction when researching a topic. The fact it may not be entirely accurate is also a good thing IMO - it encourages us to dig deeper and not take everything we read at face value. Agreed. Wiki is for references; look up the wiki article for the references and quote from them. :\ That said, I've found some horror errors on Wiki. Maybe one day it will be a plausible source but at the moment it's seriously caveat emptor.

KAG
1st May 2013, 10:16
Wikipedia's main failing is that it's trying to be too much. The level of detail to which it aspires simply cannot be relied upon, especially as a situation changes over time.Main failing and main strength at the same time, wiki is alive and changes with time.

What I have done... It was mainly about Education and University, that's all about Wikipedia now...
Probes: I am sorry :O

The Postman had the wrong address.

probes
1st May 2013, 11:02
KAG, sorry for not educating me about the Postman-thing? You should be! :E

University lecturers are not, generally, teachers. Students should not go to lectures expecting to be entertained by the lecturer; the material itself should be interest enough. That said
Interesting. One would deduce teachers are entertainers? :E
You do have a point, of course. But often it's not about 'the material itself', which is of interest - some lectures are SO dead boring (=how they are delivered) it kills the material, too. Some people are just not born to be a storyteller (well, basically). Of course one would prefer some online resource then. In English almost everything (and of good quality) is available - not so in smaller languages, dunno about French or German or Japanese, for example.
Its a shame in some respects because half the fun of uni was living it up with a bunch of like-minded and like-aged people.
yeah. More effective and less social - that's where we're heading?

As for Wikipedia - one good thing about it is that everybody knows about it. The trouble with so many good sites is one does not know they exist.

Hydromet
1st May 2013, 11:13
When I was studying externally through CSU, I found generally the course material was pretty good, and lecturers were pretty responsive if called on. We attended 2 week face to face sessions, the quality of which varied considerably, from extremely good, to abysmal, with a lecturer reading from the notes we already had as he wrote them on the blackboard.

One of the things I most appreciated was one of the lecturers (not one of mine, but I knew him through my work) who used to host a dinner for a small group of students from different courses and different levels. You may have a first year student in his 30s studying computing, a young PhD student studying irrigation efficiency, a farmer in his 50s doing undergrad ag. science...etc. He believed that a university should provide a universal education, and this was one component. We try to do the same thing with our students, by getting them together at conferences, the connect sessions and by talking to them about their work when they ring with a course enquiry.

Worrals in the wilds
1st May 2013, 11:27
A mutual yay for CSU then. :ok: I found them great for the subject I did though them (a qualifier) but unfortunately they weren't offering the course I wanted. The lecturers answered email questions quickly and provided good feedback on sumbitted work.

Small congenial plug... They're literally the university of Wagga Wagga, so what could be wrong? :} They also offer courses in Wine Sciences, and are at pains to point out that wine is a major agricultural industry that's therefore worthy of serious study. :cool::8

http://www.csu.edu.au/__data/assets/image/0019/120772/logo-full_bg-white.jpg
Home | Charles Sturt University (http://www.csu.edu.au/)

A couple of years ago I did an external subject through the local sandstone where lectures were optional. I went to one and the lecturer was so good that I made an effort to get to the rest. She was brilliant; each time I left with a bunch of things to look up (via book, internet or both) and a new perspective on the subject. Unlike the others she could control several hundred recalcitrant first year Gen Ys with A Look :ooh:.

Early in the semester a rowdy engineering first year kicked a footy at the stage :eek:; she kicked it straight back at him without missing a beat in her presentation, then went onto a quick discourse about trajectory. There were no more footballs, talking or other rowdiness for the rest of semester. :ok:

Unfortuntately that contrasted with several other subjects where the lecturers were a bit average (putting it mildly) and the session would degenerate into a talkfest, Facebookfest and footy kicking fest within fifteen minutes. :sad: I didn't play along but I could sympathise, because it was all Very Boring. :zzz:

603DX
1st May 2013, 11:40
I think much of what Jimmy Wales says makes good sense, in that he advocates more use of online and DVD material, a "cull" of lecturers who are generally considered to be so boring that they put students off, and a balanced mixture of remote working and face-to-face contact with the lecturers, as appropriate to the subject studied. For vocational subjects like medicine, science and engineering, there is also a vital need for physical attendance at clinical and laboratory facilities, and on speciality courses.

But in the UK, I feel that his approach has already been in operation for many years, in the format of the Open University. Extensive remote study plus periodic attendance at designated centres and on courses has been a defining feature of this excellent organisation for a very long time, and no doubt the OU online content has advanced by leaps and bounds, commensurately with the rapid development that Wales is referring to. It would be very surprising if those "dull as ditchwater" lecturers that everyone deplores have managed to survive as key recorded presenters in the OU curriculum, so that discouraging aspect of traditional student lecture theatre experiences has probably already been weeded out.

Open University - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_University#Teaching_methods)

Fox3WheresMyBanana
1st May 2013, 12:15
I do think that without a supervised exam it's almost impossible to gauge whether a student is submitting their own work

I'm not sure you can gauge whether the student has learned anything useful on a supervised course anymore. I recently taught an astronomy course at a reasonably well respected University. I found the previous exam was half multiple guess questions, and a third of those were just True/False questions. I rewrote it, and the course, by a fair bit. Final Exam, standard three hours, which I had to supervise. In the same hall were second year sociology and history exams. After an hour and a quarter, every other student except those on my course had finished and left. My first student finished after 1 3/4 hours, with the median finishing after 2:25 hours. Two of my students were qualified teachers, and both thanked me afterwards for actually setting an exam that really tested the knowledge. Results? No one failed my course and the average mark was about the same as the previous year. Students like to be worked hard, as long as the assessment is fair and the teaching good, because it means they've really learned something not just gained a certificate.
By the By. I picked up the European History exam paper and did it during the second half of the supervision - 88% (I was able to check the marks later) without even doing the course. Shameful really.

603DX
1st May 2013, 17:46
Use of the internet for research and fact-checking nowadays is orders of magnitude quicker and more convenient than ploughing through reference textbooks used to be for students, and its attractions are obvious. But I wonder whether it is sometimes making things a little too easy, and blunting that keen edge of concentration and sense of enquiry that study of some of the more complex subjects requires. Young people are now so used to the speed of access and lack of effort needed to follow a path of discovery, that constant use of the internet may impair their powers of concentration on the pursuit of salient points, a case of "not being able to see the wood for the trees". It is a frequent comment by the older generation that the computer-savvy young have butterfly minds, flitting from point to point without adequate absorbtion of key points needed for proper understanding. If there is some truth in this, then it could be unwise for uni teaching to become predominantly online, it would be better retained as a supremely convenient tool, in combination with a judicious amount of face-to-face traditional teaching. Personal contact in the imparting of knowledge is time-tested, it has a value distinct from rapid scrolling through pages of facts and figures without guidance on their import.

I think that Jimmy Wales is aware of this, and despite his position as the "Wiki Man", he appears in favour of a mixture of online and traditional teaching.

Limeygal
1st May 2013, 18:22
I work in an academic environment and I have to say, that while I love technology and what it brings to education, it should be used carefully. Texting seems to have rendered a lot of students incapable of actual communication face to face. Writing seems to be a dying art, as some of us have discussed on another thread. Spelling is awful when spellcheck cannot be used. Unfortunately, spellcheck only tells you if a word is spelt incorrectly, not that you have used the wrong word. Calculators remove the need to actually work something out in your head. Call me old fashioned, but I love books and the written word. I can foresee a time, in the not too distant future, when we will become unable to write our own language. What if all this technology should fail? We will have lost the ability to do even the simplest of tasks. Just saying :)

probes
1st May 2013, 18:54
it could be unwise for uni teaching to become predominantly online
absolutely. In my mind it's just that 'online' could mean 'more than a book' (showing, not describing), not less - meaning clicking here and there and remembering nothin'?

toffeez
1st May 2013, 19:12
As long as there are bricks-and-mortar schools with a high pedigree dating
back a hundred years or more the graduates will be a premium product for recruiters.

It's expensive, but you can't replace being taught face-to-face by the best brains in the business.

For the others, there'll be a surplus of home-taught MBAs from the 'Uni of my back room'.

The job market has no pity. "Say again, you studied where ???"

Paper qualifications do not guarantee employability.
.

Rwy in Sight
1st May 2013, 19:24
It is funny how one looses the capacity to write neatly when one has not taken a pen/pencil on his/her fingers for a few days. Sometimes I feel I am back to grammar school from the styling of the writing.


Rwy in Sight

Loose rivets
1st May 2013, 20:47
I just do not understand how people have the time to go to university. My son, six years in total to PhD. Reasonable living. Other son, Tendring secondary school then art college in Colchester where they learned to drink. Now in America, huge house, nice cars etc. No qualifications whatsoever.

Daughter, private school in posh little Frinton - then roughing it in the East End as part of the nebulous campus of London Uni. No feel of student life. Got her degree, but chooses to live in North London so will be paying for very expensive house forever.

It's a different world now, but there is still the likes of Alan Sugar. Boiling beetroot to being driven around London in one of his magnificent cars.

One is permanently confused. But things change. Leaving school at 14 was fine for me. I was not ready to learn a thing, though by 18 I was in charge of a small electronics and T/V workshop. One day a week at Tec. served well. Good income flying by 22, and Britain's latest jet by 25. RHS of course.

Filling in application forms in those days was a bit worrying. I scribbled a lot, and no one looked at them anyway. Never heard a word about qualifications, apart from what mattered. Different world.

In fact, I once was upset that I didn't come close to qualifying for BEA. The list of requirements was frightening. Then I noticed the job was for aircraft cleaners. This is absolutely true. An 1/8 page ad with a nice picture of a Trident on it.

Milo Minderbinder
1st May 2013, 22:27
I very much think that the online /not online debate heavily depends on the subject matter and the lecturer
For quantum mechanics and relativity we had an absolute nutter who was obviously very knowlegeable but totally incompetent at lecturing. So bad that by the end of his course lecture attendance was down to two people. This was back in the 1970's so online wasn't an option. But, its one of those special cases where online would have been so much better. One quality online course available to our 18 students studying chemistry, shared also by other universities. Doing so would have cut costs dramatically - running a course in person for 18, of which 16 gave up was financial nonsense.
Nowadays with the pressures on institutions a national online syllabus for subjects like that should be regarded as essential

To put it into context
trying to get your head around the Schroedinger Wave Equation is hard
having it taught to you by someone with no powers of communication is a mind bender

Hydromet
1st May 2013, 22:44
Small congenial plug... They're literally the university of Wagga Wagga, so what could be wrong? They also offer courses in Wine Sciences, and are at pains to point out that wine is a major agricultural industry that's therefore worthy of serious study.

Of course! I didn't study Wine Sciences, but did attend a few 'practicals'.:ok:

Worrals in the wilds
2nd May 2013, 01:09
The job market has no pity. "Say again, you studied where ???"
Maybe in the UK, but I don't believe it happens so much in Australia (with the exception of Law, Med and probably MBAs).

My primary degree is from one of the country's top five sandstone universities but I've rarely been asked about it at interviews. Another friend who is far more successful than I am has a drama degree from a small university and she's rarely been asked about it either.

I agree that face to face is generally a better option, but for many people who want/need to continue working while they study the choice is external or nothing, and I believe that external is better than nothing.

Nor was said sandstone university's teaching standard all that great. Some were good and some were terrible. I think many of the traditional Australian universities trade on their name and prestigious reputation rather than a quality product.

KAG
2nd May 2013, 06:00
Loose Rivets:I just do not understand how people have the time to go to university. My son, six years in total to PhD. Reasonable living. Other son, Tendring secondary school then art college in Colchester where they learned to drink. Now in America, huge house, nice cars etc. No qualifications whatsoever.
You never thought that your son probably wouldn't want to exchange his PhD for one or 2 big cars?
You never took into consideration that maybe your son enjoyed his research and made his life worth it (to his standards)?
Do you think a PhD is only about money?
If you want money, at 16 learn how to build a house alone and keep doing so for 20 years, then you can retire very rich. In France many Portugese are now millionaires (or at least are fairly well of owners) because they knew how to build houses and were coureagous, never went to university. Now their only goal is to send their kids to university. So what? That's a life choice that goes above the size of your car, it depends on the individual and his story. Really. We are not all the same, some like big cars/houses, some just want to work and search on a topic they are passionate about, some others want both. But who are we to judge their choice to go to university?


The Postman has no education. That's precisely why he is postman.

probes
2nd May 2013, 06:07
an absolute nutter who was obviously very knowlegeable but totally incompetent at lecturing
so - don't make him lecture and let him do what he's suprer at, and pay more to the born lecturer and videotape them?

Actually, what I started with, was that some things seem totally unacceptable and then appear to be a good thing after all. :8
Really interesting to read about what people have done.
Loose - why were you not ready to learn a thing?

Loose rivets
2nd May 2013, 06:23
KAG, you must learn to read people's posts in the spirit in which they are writ.


I did think a lot about my kids, and that's why I sold both of my homes in Essex (part of my pension and houses on which I'd worked as an artisan for goodness knows how long.) and split one of them between the kids. Then I spent a chunk of the other, being a grandad to all their kids for the last ten years.

Wish I kept it all now.:hmm:

The youngest passed his 11 plus and I argued for weeks and nearly an hour on one call alone to get him in to Grammar school, despite the number of places having run out. The man was nice, but there was nothing he could do. So unfair, he was only 11 months younger than his brother who was there, so the system tore them apart. The point is, he has by far and away the most material wealth. Learned to to big computer web sites with another English guy and it worked for years.

Professor son? He drives a Geo Tracker. "I haven't got a student with a car as modest as mine." He once remarked. And yes, he is utterly absorbed in his work.



Thinks. Did I finally rise to the bait?

Loose rivets
2nd May 2013, 07:24
probes Sorry, I got sidetracked.


Not ready? Hard to say. There were still trees to climb and rivers to swim. I was still gravely immature. A bit like now.;)


We were expected to work on the farms, or if we were lucky, learn to drill holes in metal at Colchester Lathe Company. Trouble was, a pal of mine who set out doing that, was still doing it two years later. He felt he had to escape and joined the merchant navy to earn the money for a CPL.

I thought, if he can do it, so can I. He took me for my first flight from Southend, scared the bejeebers out of me in a Tigermoth and finally, we both worked for airlines, but not the same one until we were in our 60s.

KAG
2nd May 2013, 07:32
Okay I see. Perhaps I didn't quite understand the first time the way your post was writ(ten?).
It looks like your kid/grand kids are lucky to have you.


The Postman first language is not English, and neither his second'! Furthermore, he learnt Shakespeare language in Bombay and now have a very funny accent.

603DX
2nd May 2013, 10:29
There is another factor worth considering, in the "remote online or face to face bricks and mortar" dichotomy. Many people believe that further education to university standard should not simply consist of studying their own chosen subject to a high standard, it should also involve social and intellectual interaction with a wide diversity of other students on different courses from other faculties within the body of the university. In fact, they feel this to be a tremendous benefit of the wider experience of being "up at uni" together, in a cosmopolitan community of similar age groups.

This interaction with other bright minds and personalities on the campus is less likely to prove possible, the more that remote, online methods are used to deliver the narrow stream of one's degree subject matter alone. That is a shame, and a loss of opportunities that could be rewarding and very educating in the more global sense.

I was very fortunate to be an undergrad at UCL, now one of the leading Russell Group universities, which has always had a rich diversity of highly reputed faculties and schools within its campus. Over meals in the refectory, or a drink in the student union, we engineers mixed with others from the famous Flinders Petrie Department of Egyptology, the Bartlett School of Architecture, The Slade School of Art, chemistry undergrads being taught by the developer of X-ray crystallography Professor Kathleen Lonsdale, and hordes of assorted psychologists, linguists, historians, physicists, and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, and all ... I wouldn't have missed those experiences for the world, and value them highly. What a pity it would be, if the online degree course ever became dominant. :(

Loose rivets
2nd May 2013, 19:47
That's what my daughter missed in London. She made some good friends, but it's not the same as the mixing of minds a real campus offers.


But, if it is to be the lonely late night Open University on an old black and white telly, it can still be a powerful teaching tool.

I thought I knew it all about not getting zapped, but one program showed how some experienced electrical engineers met their end. Frightening. About three times I exclaimed, 'I hadn't thought of that.' Very well done with quiet dialog and simple diagrams.


It looks like your kid/grand kids are lucky to have you. When I remind them of that, they all laugh. :p


Okay I see. Perhaps I didn't quite understand the first time the way your post was writ(ten?).

Oh, and KAG, If I'd wanted written, that is what I'd have writ.:8


The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it












.