Recent studies have shown that students can learn more from videos, games, and other forms of interactive learning than they can in the traditional classroom. A student’s attention span is about 10-18 minutes before their mind begins to drift, suggesting 1 hour+ long lectures are very ineffective (Ripley). Students also can retain more from watching a documentary or a YouTube video on a topic rather than reading a 500+ page book on it. I believe replacing traditional, archaic forms of learning with an innovative form of online and interactive learning would not only help students learn more, but also could provide an option of lower costs and high availability. We would be replacing the traditional classroom with a virtual one. If implemented properly, online learning could revolutionize education and make a college degree much more affordable.
Experts refer to the three biggest problems facing America’s universities and colleges as “The Iron Triangle.” The triangle consists of access, cost, and quality, all of which draw a direct link to our countries work force, uneven wealth distribution, and overall economy.
The student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt, nearly reaching 1 trillion (HERI). If education is truly our greatest asset, then why has college become our greatest liability? This Whitepaper is directed at the United States congress, as well as President Obama. I am proposing we allocate government funding towards massive open online courses, as well as allow the online courses to be recognized with official college degrees. Official examinations should be used to test the online student’s level of knowledge, and whether the degree is properly deserved. The same examinations can be used to test students at traditional colleges as well.
Access to quality education for low income households is tougher than ever. Only 3% of students from top 146 schools come from families in the lowest quarter of household income rankings. My proposal is to increase the supply of education and make it accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Anyone with a desire to learn and work deserves the opportunity to earn a degree. If implemented, the nation will produce more college graduates with skills needed for the work force, which in turn should lower unemployment rates. With the lower class’s new found access to education and therefore career opportunities, the uneven wealth distribution should improve as well. More people will have more purchasing power to boost the healing economy. Innovation in education will lead to a better America.